Next up we take a look at the resort that defines what a Deluxe Resort at Disney World is, and that is the Grand Floridian. The Grand Floridian is one of the 3 Deluxe Resorts located on the Seven Seas Lagoon and on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line and is far and away the most lavish of all the Disney World hotels. The resort opened on July 1, 1988 as a themed Victorian seaside resort on the east coast of Florida during the turn of the 20th Century and boasts 867 rooms (DVC not included). The Grand Floridian is mostly influenced after 3 real places; Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire and the Hotel de Coronado in Coronado, California are the main influences giving the resort its signature white wall/red room design, however it also draws some structural influence from the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, Florida.
The plot of land that the Grand Floridian sits on was originally intended for an Asian Themed resort centered mainly around Thailand, but the 1973 oil crisis brought the project to a screeching halt and left the land empty for the years to come. When the idea for building on the site resurfaced, Imagineers wanted to make sure whatever they built mirrored a land in the Magic Kingdom (a la Contemporary with Tomorrowland and Polynesian with Adventureland). They finally decided on a totally new concept that would mirror Main Street U.S.A, the Grand Floridian.
The Grand Floridian is the most elegant of any Disney Resort and it shows the second you enter the lobby. In fact the Grand Floridian has its own Orchestra; the Grand Florida Society Orchestra, that plays in the lobby quite often. The lobby also features a Grand Piano, Stained
Glass Domes, a Bird Cage, an open cage elevator, and if you’re lucky enough to see it during the holidays a life-sized gingerbread house. If you make it up to the Second Floor of the Grand Floridian you will have a few unique shops explore. Commander Porter’s is the place to go for some apparel that you can only get at the Grand Floridian, much of which caters to golfer or a couple looking for some fancy new digs for their night out at one of the resorts Signature Dining locations. Basin White is the place to go if you are looking to pamper yourself or your loved one, the shop has everything from scrubs to bath bombs, they even have a create your own candle station!
The resort’s location may be its greatest asset of all, located directly on the Seven Seas Lagoon puts you a monorail or boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom, Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, and the Ticket & Transportation Center. Staying at the Grand Floridian truly puts you right in the middle of the magic and a great way to feel that magic even more is by taking a trip down to the Marina and renting a boat to fly around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. The boats can give you a very unique view of all the resorts as well as the parks and for a pretty reasonable price.
Finally far and away the best thing about the Grand Floridian are its dining options! The Grand Floridian without a doubt has the best array of restaurant on property (yes even better than Animal Kingdom Lodge). Lets start with Narcoossee’s. Narcoossee’s is an open kitchen signature restaurant that juts out into the Seven Seas Lagoon and serves up some of the best seafood on property to go with your great views. It is a very popular destination for a romantic meal and if you can be sure to book a late reservation and watch Wishes from your table for a truly incredible experience.
Next up is Citricos. Citricos is another signature restaurant at the Grand Floridian, but this time you can indulge in a Mediterranean inspired menu. The oak-fired steak is one of the hidden gems in Disney World, and the service never misses a beat either. Citricos is a diamond in the rough that is rarely mentioned among the best restaurants on property because there is a certain restaurant upstairs overshadowing it most of the time, but make no mistake the food is to die for!
Of course we save the best for last, Victoria & Albert’s! Victoria & Albert’s is not only the absolute best of the best on Disney Property but quite possibly the best meal you can get in the Southeast. The restaurant has won AAA’s Five Diamond Award 13 years in a row and counting! Chef Scott Hunnel has built a masterpiece of a restaurant that features Modern American cuisine from North Florida Oysters to Italian Truffles, Japanese Beef and everything in between. Dining at Victoria & Albert’s is more than just a meal, it is a culinary experience that truly makes it stand out from all the great Disney restaurants as the unquestioned best. The menu is created nightly and the wine list is as exquisite as the food. There is a strict dress code and children under 10 are not permitted.
The pool areas at the Grand Floridian are nothing exciting just very relaxing and romantic much like the rest of the resort. It truly is the perfect resort to bring your loved one for an adult getaway to maybe leave the kids with family for a weekend and indulge! The Hotel is also home to Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, where Brides to be can have their perfect Disney Fairytale wedding come to life.
Thank you for reading and please share your experiences at the Grand Floridian, as well as some of the things you love (and don’t love so much) about the resort!
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