Grand Floridian Hotel by Tammy Selee
Walt Disney World Grand Floridian Hotel
The moment you arrive the entrance to the Grand Floridian you know that you are somewhere special, because not only are you entering the grounds of the happiest place on early, you are also entering the Grand Floridian, Walt Disneyworld’s luxury property.
You are required to show your identification to drive in to the property. Unbeknownst to me, your name and make of car is relayed to the valet parking attendant and hotel staff. As I pulled up to the valet parking attendant I am greeted by my name and extended a warm welcome and pleasant stay. I grab my roller bag and head to check in.
A lovely lady named Mary approaches me and greets me by name and along with her computer pad she escorts me from the lobby to the 3rd floor concierge area for check in. My room is located in the Main Building on the club level. Once she has gathered my information she escorts me to my room and hands me a packet with information pertaining to the next few days of my stay.
At the Club level rooms you have access to Club Cast Members that are at your service daily from 7am – 10pm. Arrangements can be made for dining, recreation, activities, Walt Disney World Theme Park and Water Park Tickets, childcare and many other services. A print out of my pre-made dining reservations is waiting from me on my in room desk.
The Club Lounge area offers complimentary Coffee, Grand Beginnings, Refreshments, Afternoon Tea, Twilight Refreshers, and Cordials and Desserts, throughout various times throughout the day. The Grand Floridian is a full service resort offering a beautiful spa facility recently refurbished, a pool side cabana restaurant, Movie’s Under the Stars and many other resort activities. The highlight from my room was the balcony, which offered the best views of the fireworks happening every night at the Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian is on the monorail system, and allows you direct access to the Magic Kingdom and WDW transit system. You can also take advantage of the bus system that offers timely transportation to other parks, water parks and Downtown Disney. The hotel has an elegant and sophisticated Victorian theme and this theme is carried out throughout the rooms.
Lounges and Pool Bars
Citricos Lounge: Open 5pm-10pm
Mizner’s Lounge: Open 4:30pm-12am (does not accept Disney Dining Plan)
Beaches Pool Bar and Grill: Open 11am-8pm (sandwiches, salads and burgers)
Courtyard Pool Bar: Open 11am-varied closing times
Gasparilla Island Grill: Open for breakfast 6:30am-11am (French pastries, pancakes, waffles, eggs, cereal and fruit); Open for lunch and dinner 11am-11:30pm (grill items, sandwiches, salads, pizza and burgers); Open for late night 11:30pm-6:30am (pizza, salads and sandwiches)
1900 Park Fare
Serving as a lively and family-friendly dining experience, 1900 Park Fare is an all-you-care-to-eat buffet hosted by a rotating cast from assorted Disney films such as Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio and Cinderella. Open for breakfast 8am-11:45am (character breakfast buffet, pancakes, waffles, fruit, omelets and pastries); Open for dinner 4:30pm-8:30pm (character dinner buffet, salad, chicken, steak, pasta, seafood and dessert)
Set in a chic and sophisticated setting, this restaurant serves American seafood and Mediterranean-Florida fare. Tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, cut-offs, torn clothing, hats (men only) and clothing with offensive language or graphics are not permitted. Open 5:30pm-10pm (grilled and braised meats, fresh fish and chicken)
Garden View Tea Room
Guests of all ages can indulge in the centuries-old English tradition of “afternoon tea.” This is a unique experience offered outside of the theme parks. Priority seating is recommended. Open for early tea 10:30am-12pm (sing-along tea party); Open for afternoon tea 2pm-5pm (does not accept Disney Dining Plan)
Grand Floridian Cafe
This family restaurant overlooks the pool and courtyard in the back of the resort and provides a casual but elegant dining option. Open for breakfast 7am-11:30am (pancakes, waffles, fruit, eggs and pastries); Open for lunch 11:30am-2pm (soups, salads, sandwiches, steak, pasta, seafood and dessert); Open for dinner 5pm-9pm (chicken, steak, pasta, seafood, cheese course and dessert)
This octagonal-shaped restaurant is separate from the resort and sits on the bank of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Dinner is prepared in an open kitchen. Tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, cut-offs, torn clothing, hats (men only) and clothing with offensive language or graphics are not permitted. 5:30pm-10pm (specialty seafood selections, steak, salad and chicken)
Victoria and Albert’s
As the signature restaurant of the resort, this award-winning dining experience is the definition of formality. There is a dress code that requires men to wear jackets and women to wear a dress or dressy pants. Prepare for a seven-course meal and be aware that priority seating is a must. The Chef’s Table may be reserved where the Chef personally welcomes guests into his kitchen, introduces them to the other cooks and seats them in a special area at the rear of the kitchen. First seating 5pm-6pm; Second seating 8:30pm-9:15pm; One seating July-September 5pm-7pm (7-course); Queen Victoria Room and Chef Table (9-course) (does not accept Disney Dining Plan except for the Platinum Plan, does not accept Tables in Wonderland).
The Grand Floridian offers two options for swimming. The primary pool is the grotto-themed Beach Pool with its slide and waterfalls. A quieter setting can be found at the Courtyard Pool where the pool and a hot tub are nestled in the middle of the resort.
For children, there is an interactive water play area with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Teacups and teapots pour water amongst the two miniature water slides, sprinklers and spouts. And with an upside-down Mad Hatter’s hat that fills with water and then dumps onto guests when it fills, the area is widely popular with little ones.
A number of poolside activities are scheduled each afternoon. Ranging from an unbirthday pool party to ring toss, there is a broad spectrum of games and challenges for families to participate in while they enjoy the water area.
I truly enjoyed this property, and even though it is at the high end of the price spectrum at Walt Disney Resorts, it offers a number of amenities that you won’t find at any of the other park properties. It’s approximately to the Magic Kingdom and the transportation center makes this property very attractive to young families, who have children still in need of nap time.
The staff at the Grand Floridian were always smiling and friendly and making everyone’s stay memorable. I can’t wait to stay again.