The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a unique and classy resort at Walt Disney World. The resort opened June 28, 1988. A standard room here, around 400 square feet, sleeps up to 5 people. It is themed as a seaside resort you may have found in old Florida along its east coast during the 19th/20th centuries. Guests can choose from 870 rooms, 145 villas or 25 suites. The theming of the Grand Floridian has inspired the design of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel in Paris. The resort is one of the “Florida Green Lodges” because they have exhibited good practices in energy savings and environmental conservation measures.
9. Upscale Gift Shops:
Commander Porter’s sells men’s designer label clothing, watches and some golf apparel; Summer Lace sells designer label resort wear for the ladies, bathing suits, handbags, watches, jewelry, accessories, perfume and make-up. Sandy Cove Gifts & Sundries is where to go for Grand Floridian merchandise, home décor, sunscreen, groceries, alcohol, packaged food and beverages and Disney autograph books. M. Mouse Mercantile offers more Disney merchandise including apparel, plush, princess costumes, collector pins, MagicBands and accessories, and D-Tech merchandise. Basin White offers luxurious natural bath products, similar to the merchandise at its Disney Springs shop Basin. Senses – A Disney Spa, sells their line of health and beauty products, robes, candles and other gifts.
8. Disney’s Wedding Pavilion-
The Wedding Pavilion is the beautiful building you see extending out onto the Seven Seas Lagoon. Inside you will find vaulted ceilings, arched windows, wooden pews, and a leaded window outlining Cinderella Castle in the background. This brings a fairy-tale element that so many brides desire as they begin the next phase of their lives. Outside are beautiful gardens, arches, and a bridge that is perfect for guests to line the side of and cheer on the newly married couple. The photographic elements of this venue is unlimited. There is a symphonic organ and even an organist provided. There is video collection, through built-in cameras to keep your guests sight lines focused on the Bride and Groom. To learn more about this venue and others open for Disney weddings visit www.disneyweddings.com.
7. Live entertainment:
A grand piano player performs daily in the Lobby and a Harpist and the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra perform nightly on the second floor balcony area. The 1900 Park Fare restaurant holds “Big Bertha” organ, built in Paris, previously used at Ramona Park (amusement park in Michigan) in the early 1900’s. This unique instrument, by way of piano-roll scrolls, uses its pipes, bells, xylophone, castanets, drums and cymbals. Although this is not “live” entertainment, it is very unique.
6. Children’s activities:
One of which is a Pirate Adventure which takes children age 4-12 on a pontoon boat as they participate on a treasure hunt. There are complimentary activities for children at GF such as a Disney film shown on the beach in the evenings, along with a campfire. While you are on the beach for the campfire and movie you may enjoy watching the Electrical Water Pageant nightly, 9:15PM. There are some Tennis clinics available to child guests of the resort. In-room child care is available. The Spa offers a menu of treatments just for children including “My First Facial” and “My First Manicure”. The Garden View Lounge features My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party in the morning is a more formal approach to a Princess party, which is attended by Princess Aurora. Each little girl receives a decked out doll with additional accessories and they participate in the Grand Princess Parade through the GF lobby. There is a less formal tea in the afternoon at 1900 Park Fare, the Wonderland Tea Party, which is attended by Alice in Wonderland characters. Included are juice, cupcakes, and stories/ games for one hour, a craft and photo.
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Victorian era beachside retreat for the wealthy, 5-story atrium, marble floors, gabled roofs, clapboard siding, dormers, trim and molding. Look up while you are in the atrium to see stained glass domes lighting up the ceiling. There is an aviary in the main lobby and a beautiful cage elevator. Even the Monorail station carries this theming as it resembles a Victorian-era train station. Each of those chandeliers in the lobby weigh 1-ton. During the Holidays you will find only grand decorations here. In the Lobby you will find a giant real Gingerbread House that you can actually walk through. The wonderful smell of gingerbread entices you inside. The style of the house is, of course, Victorian. Inside you will find gingerbread house kits and gingerbread cookies available for purchase. The Grand Floridian resort lobby also is a feature of the Easter season with giant decorated eggs made by Disney chefs. This is a truly beautiful resort, but it appeals more to adults than children.
4. Amazing rooms:
The rooms are luxurious and standard rooms are 430-square feet. Most of the rooms have great views and balconies. When you enter and see the crisp white linens on the bed it is enticing! (Disappointedly the sheets are only 250-thread count.) The standard and deluxe rooms all include in-room safe (large enough for a laptop to fit), iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker with tea and coffee, robes, pool towels, telephone with voice mail, free wi-fi internet service, glasses and ice bucket, Mini refrigerator, triple sheets, flat screen TV, couch/daybed, double sinks, desk and chair, nightstand, wall mirror, living plants, and iPod docking stations/clock radio. The standard rooms sleep 5, except for those in the upper level Dormer rooms that has high ceilings and a private balcony but are slightly smaller and sleep 4. Rooms & Suites with Club Level Service receive Evening Turndown service, Special Key Access to Club Level Lounge serving refreshments from 7AM to 10PM, complimentary fax service, Pre-arrival planning, Complimentary health club access, Complimentary newspapers in CL Lounge and all the amenities listed for standard and deluxe rooms. 1-bedroom suites include tea cart, table with four chairs, 2 arm chairs, end tables and coffee table, double size sleeper sofa with pillows, additional flat screen TV in bedroom with mini refrigerator, two beds, and wing chair with foot rest, desk, lamps, ceiling fan in some, spa bath supplies, and sleeps 6. 2 Bedroom Suite, Club Level sleeps 8 has 2 queen beds and 1 King Bed and 1 Double-size sofa sleeper with the same amenities as the 1-bedroom suite living area. Businesses have made good use of the Convention Center that opened in 1992. In 2011 the property underwent a complete renovation. In 2013 the property completed the 18-month long remodel project. In 2013 the Disney Vacation Club completed The Villa’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. More than half of the rooms have a view of Seven Seas Lagoon or the Marina. Bed rails, full-size crib, microwave and rollaway beds are available upon request, first come first served.
3. Emphasis on health and beauty:
At Senses-Disney Spa imagine yourself immersed in soft lighting and calming music while enjoying a soothing massage, facial, aromatherapy or body wrap in this Victorian themed spa. Perhaps finish your treatment in the steam room? Choose from a long menu of spa treatments to help you relax. There are special treatments for children age 4 to 12. Ivy Trellis Salon is a full service salon for the whole family on the resort’s second floor. There is a 24-hour Fitness Center onsite if you want to go the other way and build up your strength with a work-out. Make use of the free weights or the strength-building equipment. It contains about 20 elliptical/treadmills, weight machines and free weights. 2 Swimming Pools-quiet pool, beachside pool with 181-foot long water slide, waterfalls, and zero-entry for guests in wheelchairs. There is also a hot tub and a children’s water playground and a pool bar and lounge to get a drink or bite to eat. Cabanas you can rent complete with 2 padded lounge chairs, 2 padded straight-backed chairs, plush towels, 32-inch TV with cable, optional earphones, DVD/CD/MP3 player, in-resort phone service, ceiling fan, mini refrigerator which is stocked with included sodas and water, and fruit basket. If you would like private dining served inside your cabana, just request it, for an additional charge. Additional Sports: 2 clay Tennis Courts for play or arrange for private lessons. There is an arcade open 24 hours, 1-mile long walking/jogging trails, boat rentals including a yacht, and guided fishing trips. There is a 24-hour fitness center with cardio equipment and strength-training. At the Captain’s Shipyard Marina guests can rent Sea Racers, Boston Whaler Montauks, Sun Tracker Pontoon Boats, or a Grand 1 Sea Ray Yacht that is 48-feet of luxury including four TV’s and an exceptional Bose sound system. There is a Specialty Fireworks Cruise that can accommodate up to 10 people nightly.
2. The Monorail
The Monorail offers one-stop transportation to the Magic Kingdom. There is also a boat launch to the Magic Kingdom. Epcot is accessed by taking the Monorail to the Transportation & Ticket Center where you will board a separate Monorail to Epcot. You will need to take a Disney bus to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and the Water Parks. Being on the Monorail enables Guests a quick ride to two other deluxe resorts opening up even more dining options.
1. Numerous Restaurants:
This is the crown jewel of Disney resorts and as such a bit more fit for adults, as children. Still, some of the very best Disney restaurants exist inside this resort. Victoria & Albert’s is a 5-star Signature Dining option. This is the quintessential gourmet meal at the Grand Floridian. There is a formal dress requirement and you won’t be sorry for making that effort. A meal here is one that will stay in your memory for a long time. There is beautiful music performed by a live harpist, live roses for the ladies, and a 7 prix fixe course meal designed to knock your socks off, respectfully. (10 courses in Queen Victoria’s Room, which only has 4 tables or 10 at the Chef’s Table that seats 10). There are two seating times each evening. The restaurant is small and serves only 70 diners at a time in the regular dining room. There is an even more exclusive Chef’s Table for 10 lucky guests. The Chef’s Table also includes additional courses, a tour of the kitchen and the chance to chat with the chefs. Just be aware of the dress code.
1900 Park Fare is a five star restaurant character meal that is a buffet. Characters featured include Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter at the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast. You won’t go hungry with this 40-item buffet of choices spread out before you. Who would not want to start the day with a Lobster Benedict? At the Cinderella’s Happily Ever After dinner the characters present would feature characters from Cinderella, the princess of course, her Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine with Anastasia and Drizella, Gus and Jacques.
Citricos, another 5-star Disney restaurant offers Mediterranean fare. It is a softly lit dining room that offers a complete wall of windows offering views of the pool and marina area. It has an award-winning wine list. There are white table cloths and an upscale atmosphere. Again, be sure to understand the dress code. Adjacent to Citricos is the Chef’s Domain where up to 12 guests can enjoy ordering items not on the regular menu.
Narcoossee’s is yet another 5-star rated restaurant in GF. This is one of the most enjoyable meals of seafood at Walt Disney World. Not only is the food top notch, but the view is too. It sits inside a wooden floor circular extension that sits over Seven Seas Lagoon. That placement makes it an excellent location to view Happily Ever After, the fireworks show performed every evening at Magic Kingdom. They have a business casual dress code.
Grand Floridian Café, is awash with light during breakfast and lunch, through several tall windows. They are also open for dinner and although their menu items tend to change frequently they have the reputation of serving consistently good food. This is a bit more casual yet still elegant dining room, perfect for families.
Garden View Tea Room is open for traditional high tea, set with windows overlooking a garden, of course. Toward the lower end of price lies a 24-hour food court, Gasparilla Island Grill is ready anytime you are, as they are open 24-hours a day. An Arcade is adjacent to the Grill. Mizner’s Lounge is located and has a carven marble bar top. Citricos Lounge is located at Citricos where you can get a drink and seasonal tapas. Don’t forget the Grand Floridian has 24-hour Room Service. There is a Pool Bar at both the Courtyard and Beach pools. Salads, Burgers, and Sandwiches are available at Beaches Pool Bar and Grill.