Grand Floridian in Orlando, Florida
Disney's Grand Floridian in Orlando Florida was a big deal when it first opened at Walt Disney World. There was a lot of fanfare at how elegant it was -- a departure from the other Disney World resorts. Instead of a theme, it was just pure luxury.
OK, there actually is a theme -- Victorian England.
But the Grand Floridian still looks and feels like luxury.
Staying at the Grand Floridian
First, you walk into a grand, multi-story lobby, complete with crystal chandeliers. Three lighted stained-glass domes, as well as metal scrollwork are part of the Grand Floridian Orlando Florida decor.
The Grand Floridian is actually one of the smallest of the Walt Disney World resorts, at just 867 rooms. Ahhh, but the rooms themselves are actually the largest, at roughly 440 square feet of space -- room to spread out! You have a choice of a single king bed or two queen beds, for a maximum of 4 guests per room.
In addition, there are both concierge rooms (also sleeping up to 4) as well as suite that sleep up to 8 guests.
Naturally, the rooms themselves have a turn-of-the-century feeling, with wall coverings, light woods, gables and balconies that have picket fences.
High-speed internet is available in the rooms, at an extra cost. Make sure you have a network card, because the internet is not wireless.
Out and About Disney World
The Grand Floridian resort is one of only three Disney World resorts served by the monorail. (The other two are the Contemporary and the Polynesian.) The monorail station is on the second floor concourse. However, all of the other the theme parks and Disney locations are reached via bus.
For a change of pace, there is also a water launch to the Magic Kingdom. It departs from the Grand Floridian marina dock.
I know I've mentioned it before, but the complimentary Disney World transportation is simply marvelous for getting around. Although I'm pretty sure the waits could be longer during the busiest times, I've never had to wait longer than 15 minutes. And it's so nice to relax and let someone else navigate the maze of roads!
Fine Dining and More at the Grand Floridian Hotel
One thing is for sure -- you won't go hungry at Disney's Grand Floridian! There are seven places to eat, from quick service to casual to classic to signature, plus room service on fine china!
The quick food court is called "Gasparilla Grill and Games". Here you can find items such as pastries, sandwiches, salads, hamburgers and even pizza.
If you'd like some table-service but still casual dining, check out the "Grand Floridian Cafe". On the menu for lunch are soups, sandwiches, salads and some creative entrees sprinkled in. If you decide to go for dinner, you can also have steak and/or seafood.
There are two restaurants that fall into the unique category at the Grand Floridian -- "Narcoossee's" and "Garden View Lounge". The "Garden View Lounge" is where you can attend tea in the afternoon. If you've never been to a high tea, go and experience the pleasure.
"Narcoossee's" is named after a Florida city not far from Disney World. In this dinner-only restaurant, you will find seafood and lots of it. Of course they have some non-seafood items, but that's not what you come to "Narcoossee's" for. Think Alaska salmon, Maine lobster, fanny bay oysters -- you get the picture.
Next are Disney's Signature restaurants -- "Citrico's" and "Victoria and Albert's". "Citrico's" offers Mediterranean foods, with a flavor of Tuscany and the Spanish Riviera. It is a dinner-only restaurant.
The Grand Floridian's "Victoria and Albert's" restaurant is something else altogether. For one thing, you can't make dinner reservations though the normal Disney dining reservation system -- you'll be directed to a different service. And reservations are most definitely required.
Finally, there are Character meals at "1900 Park Fare" for both breakfast and dinner. While exact characters are never guaranteed, you could encounter Mary Poppins, a beautiful princess like Cinderella or one of the Alice in Wonderland characters.
For Your Entertainment...
You won't have a chance to get bored when you stay at the Grand Floridian inOrlando, Florida, because there is plenty to see and do.
Three pools (one of which is a kiddie pool are available, as is a spa. A white sand beach is also present, for your pleasure. Other activities include:
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Weddings, Conventions and Parties at the Grand Floridian Hotel
The Grand Floridian hotel and spa also has a wedding pavilion nearby, as well as plenty of room for a large reception.
For that matter, the Grand Floridian has plenty of space for conventions as well as weddings and other celebrations.
Victoria and Albert's Awaits
"Victoria and Albert's" is a sumptuous experience.
Dining is not rushed in the slightest, and actually, you had best expect dinner to take 3 hours.
There are harpists that play music, lavish decor and a rose for each lady. This restaurant also has individualized menus.
Go to "Victoria and Albert's" if you want a very special and romantic evening.
A word of warning -- you will probably pay in excess of $100 per person for this dining experience. But Disney makes sure it's worth it!
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