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This story is by Nina Gilroy, a Senior Travel Advisor at Magic Family Getaways.
Want to know more about the deluxe and deluxe villa resorts at Disney World? Nina’s review and facts about these resorts are spot on! Contact Nina by clicking here or below to book or learn more about these wonderful resorts!
There is no magic like Disney magic, and this summer, I felt like I was living in the magic! In my last blog, I mentioned that at Disney World, resorts are divided into 3 categories – value, moderate, and deluxe, and I shared my value and moderate experiences. In this blog, I’ll take you through my stays at a deluxe resort and deluxe villa.
Deluxe Resort. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Outer Building
Walking into the Grand Floridian, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re about to have the vacation of a lifetime. The grand lobby is elegant with high ceilings, bird cage elevators, a grand piano with a pianist playing your favorite Disney songs, and gorgeous floral arrangements. At the rear of the lobby, a hallway takes you to the Grand Floridian Cafe, 1900 Park Fare, and outside to paradise. We were upgraded from an outer building garden view room and ended up in Sago Key with a view of Cinderella’s castle, making it the ideal place to watch the Electric Light Parade and fireworks at Magic Kingdom. The quick service, Gasparilla’s, had delicious food, staff who engaged with and enchanted my kids, and was convenient after a hot day in the parks. We went night swimming twice, and once we even watched the fireworks while hanging out in the zero-entry end of the Courtyard Pool. There is an Alice in Wonderland-themed splash pad that delighted young and older kids alike as they raced around to avoid getting soaked by the Mad Hatter’s hat. We also spent time in the Beach Pool where we enjoyed the waterslide and poolside music. Although we enjoyed taking the monorail home from Magic Kingdom, we used the new walking path both days to go from our room to Magic Kingdom, and each time our walk was 10 minutes. The path had plenty of lighting and benches along the way. Overall, this resort made us all wish we could stay another month!
- The Grand Floridian books rooms in the main tower as well as surrounding buildings, with views of the gardens, lake, pools, marina, or Magic Kingdom. Standard rooms sleep up to 5 guests. The Grand Floridian Villas are also on property, allowing guests to book rooms with kitchens, washers, dryers, and multiple bedrooms.
- Dining options are plentiful here. Gasparilla Island Grill provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a quick-service setting, while Grand Floridian Cafe is a casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner option. Victoria and Albert’s, Narcoossee’s, and Citricos are fine dining dinner options, and the Enchanted Rose is a Beauty and the Beast-inspired cocktail lounge. Although it hasn’t reopened as of August, 2021, Grand Floridian is also home to 1900 Park Fare, a fun character meal.
- The Courtyard and Beaches Pools each have their own pool bar where you can enjoy snacks, salads, wraps, and cocktails.
- The Courtyard Pool is an all-ages quiet pool that includes a spa, the Beach Pool provides entertainment with a pool-side DJ, dedicated cast member conducting activities for children, and a 181-foot-long water slide, and the splash pad is beautifully themed and conveniently located between the two main pools.
- A playground, campfire activities, arcade, playground, fitness classes, movies under the stars, painting classes, and a jogging trail are some of the extra activities you can get involved with at Coronado Springs Resort!
- Senses Spa and Salon and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique allow guests to be pampered and feel like princes and princesses!
- Transportation options include the monorail to Magic Kingdom and Epcot and buses to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
- Other deluxe resorts include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club.
Deluxe Villa Resort. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, 1-Bedroom Villa
For several years now, my girls have wanted to stay “with the animals” at Animal Kingdom, so we spent 3 nights at Kidani Village this summer. Upon arrival, the kids were able to check out giraffes and other animals at the viewing area while I checked in, and the lobby gave us the vibe of actually being in Animal Kingdom. Our room was in the second to last building on the fourth floor, and the time it took to walk to our room (usually about 15 minutes from the lobby) was the only drawback I found. While it wasn’t bad for the adults on the trip, there was no “quickly running” here or there – we had to plan our every move knowing the time it would take to get to and from various locations in the resort. However, our room quickly put the walk out of our minds because it was absolutely stunning. One bedroom villas at this resort boast two full bathrooms, and the main bathroom was the largest I’ve seen at any of the Disney resorts. It had a huge walk-in shower in addition to a tub, spacious sink area, and separate toilet. The kitchen was well-designed, the table was substantial, and the balcony overlooked a gorgeous savanna. The animals were quickly given names by my girls, and the pair of zebras, herd of springbok, two ostriches, Ankole cattle, and passers-by warthogs quickly felt like part of our family. We spent several hours on two separate days at the pool which featured a small water slide and a larger water slide for more adventurous guests. The zero-entry pool never felt crowded, and directly behind the pool was a splash zone with water cannons, water falls, and a playground with a ping pong table. Food and drinks from the pool bar were delicious, and it was hard to pull ourselves away from basking in the sun and water.
- At Kidani Village, you can choose a deluxe studio which sleeps 4 adults, 1 bedroom villa which sleeps 5 adults, 2 bedroom villa for up to 9 adults, or a 3 bedroom grand villa which sleeps up to 12 adults. Choose from a standard view villa or upgrade to a savanna view. All options except the studio include two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a washer and dryer.
- There are plenty of dining options between Kidani Village, its sister villas at Jambo House, and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sanaa serves East African food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and looks over the Sunset Savanna…talk about a meal with a view! Sanaa also has a lounge providing bar service and a limited appetizer menu, while The Mara is a great place to grab a snack or quick meal and eat on the go. Boma – Flavors of Africa and Jiko – The Cooking Place give guests a taste of African cuisine.
- The Uzima Springs pool has a zero entry side that lets you ease into the water, and a 67 foot long water slide offers a bit of a thrill for more daring guests. Samawati Springs Pool also has a zero entry side that sits opposite the 128 foot water slide. There is also a playground-sized water slide here.
- The pool bar serves appetizers, snacks, sandwiches, and drinks, and you can order at the bar or from servers who circulate the pool area.
- Uwanja Camp is amazing for younger guests. This is a playground meets splash pad area with 3 sections for kids to play. It is conveniently located directly behind the Samawati Springs pool, making it easy to appease families with guests of all ages.
- Community Hall features ping-pong, video games, pool tables, shuffleboard equipment, and grilling tools. The resort also has an arcade, basketball and tennis courts, and a fitness center.
- In the evenings, check out Kidani Campfire activities and roast marshmallows around the fire! Movies under the stars also take place by the pool.
- Buses provide transportation to each park.
- Other deluxe villas include Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
These resorts are what dreams are made of. They provide exquisite theming as well as options for more spacious accommodations. If you’re looking for luxury with endless touches of Disney magic, check out a deluxe or deluxe villa resort. I can’t recommend these two enough!
For over 30 years, Nina has been enjoying the magic of Disney. Traveling there as a child, an adult, and now with children of her own, she brings her enthusiasm and expertise to every trip she plans. She’ll give you a stress-free planning process full of tips and tricks so the only thing you have to worry about is making memories. She can also help you plan your next cruise, all-inclusive tropical vacation, or international adventure.
At Magic Family Getaways, advisors plan and design unforgettable vacation experiences for families who want the confidence that every step is handled. Its team of expert advisors can save you time and money and attend to the smallest detail so you can focus on creating memories that last a lifetime.