The Grand Floridian Expansion Has Arrived
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa improved dramatically this week, as the highly anticipated expansion has opened.
Here’s what you need to know about the new and improved DVC experience at the Grand Floridian.
The New Inventory
We’ve known for a while that the Disney Vacation Club would add new inventory at Walt Disney World’s stateliest resort.
Disney announced the Big Pine Key conversion last May, well ahead of its opening this week.
The conversion of Building Nine to exclusive DVC rooms has dramatically impacted members’ approach to the Grand Floridian.
DVC has added more than 200 hotel rooms here to the overall inventory, effectively tripling your odds of booking the Grand Floridian during your vacation.
I’m not talking theoretically. I’ve never owned here, which prevented me from staying regularly. Historically, this resort has sold out before or at the seven-month window.
Since DVC introduced the new inventory, I’ve booked for Halloween and persuaded friends to stay on that night and Christmas.
For the past few weeks, the Grand Floridian hasn’t been a challenging reservation to acquire, a statement that would have sounded impossible a year ago at this time.
Before the expansion, the Grand Floridian offered 100 rooms with a maximum of 147.
In 2022, DVC has added 101 more rooms in February and then 101 more in June. So, we really are talking about three times as many available rooms.
Friends, the Grand Floridian now offers more than 1.7 million more DVC Points than it had at the start of the year.
About the Expansion/Rooms
Writers hate the phrase, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” Still, you just can’t beat video in describing this stuff.
And here’s a room tour:
I highly recommend you subscribe to their YouTube channel for additional DVC content.
The host of the second video, Amy Krieger, correctly points out the essential point about the new rooms at Big Pine Key.
DVC has converted a former hotel building into a timeshare resort. Disney didn’t demolish the building and start from scratch, though.
As such, the new Resort Studios look like hotel rooms because, well, that’s what they are.
Obviously, Imagineers have modified the rooms to make them feel extended stay friendly.
Also, since they’re at the Grand Floridian, they were already deluxe accommodations to start.
However, when you want a legitimate studio, one Disney designed that way, you should book the Deluxe Studio option on the DVC website/app.
That’s a vital distinction here. Disney anticipated the potential confusion and possibly even customer frustration over the change.
So, the new DVC rooms at Big Pine Key receive their own booking category. So, when you want to stay in one of the Building Nine rooms, you should book a Resort Studio instead.
A Quick Points Cost Discussion
In terms of points, all studios cost the same amount in the Standard View and Lake View categories.
The new rooms also include a new category, Theme Park View. These rooms cost up to 50 percent more DVC Points than standard studios.
Are they worth the extra money? Early opinions sound mixed, but I believe that’s true of Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort as well.
Some DVC users swear by Theme Park View there, while others describe it as a terrible use of DVC Points.
The Kriegers booked Lake/Lagoon View, which you can watch at the 9:20 mark of that video. I suspect you’ll agree that it’s a breathtaking view.
You should study the Grand Floridian Points Chart and determine the best room view option for yourself.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong. It’s the Grand Floridian, after all. What matters is that you’re three times as likely to book a room here now!