Grand Floridian Refurbished Room Review, Citricos Review, 1900 Park Fare Breakfast Review, Beach Pool Bar Review, Mizner’s Review – 2/7/15

Dust off that monocle and button up those frilly lace cuffs because we’re headed to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa!

Grand Floridian Resort rooms underwent a major refurbishment throughout the first half of 2014. Above is what they look like now.

This is what they looked like before.

This particular room is a “dormer.” In this case, it features a vaulted ceiling and private balcony and is slightly smaller than standard rooms. All of the other amenities are present. A tour of the room:

Two queen beds are standard.

Along with the desk and chair.

A bedside table and an old iHome separate the beds.

Looking toward the television.

The usual fridge is hidden inside.

One more look at the bed.

Dual sinks and a large mirror in the vanity area around the corner.

Twinings Green Tea, in addition to Joffrey’s Coffee.

Slightly upscale bath products.

From the air.

The bath/shower/toilet area.

They did a nice job with the refurbishment – the colors and furnishings feel a little more regal, the lighting is less harsh, and everything “feels” newer and nicer.

Of course, pricing has risen to heights higher than most people can afford:


Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports13/gfpricing.jpg.

Rack rate on the cheapest room with the worst view during the least expensive season is $517. If you wanted to book that same room tonight (Saturday February 21st), it would cost you $696, or $179 more due to higher demand. If you wanted a theme park view, the same size room pictured above would run you an appalling $937 per night. Add tax and six nights runs you $6,324.75.

So is it worth it? No. Or yes. Somebody must think so – otherwise Disney wouldn’t be able to command these kinds of rates. I enjoyed walking around the resort with an air of pompousness, even if people staying at the All-Stars weren’t directly aware that I was undeniably better than them for a few hours. That sort of “I’m better than you” mentality isn’t going to be listed under features of any resort, but it has a lot to do with why people shell out this kind of money to stay at the resort. Or spend money on most luxuries for that matter. Nobody “needs” a Louis V after all.

Fresh flowers are a nice touch.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports13/gfview.jpg

And it’s hard to put a price on waking up to this view in the morning.

Or this one if you spring for the lagoon view.

On the quick service front, the resort offers one truly hidden gem – the Beach Pool Bar:

The Grilled Fresco Chicken Sandwich and House-made Crab Cake Sandwich might be the two best quick service sandwiches on property. The Florida Escabeche is a nice snack. Even the burgers see more attention to detail than most with the addition of real applewood-smoked bacon, Tillamook Cheddar, and beefsteak tomatoes and the nuggets have a variety of potential sauces like guava barbecue and thai chili.

One thing to note is that the location is incredibly slow in preparing and delivering the food to your table. Expect to wait 20 to 25 minutes for anything that isn’t pre-packaged. Operating hours vary, but expect the grill portion to be open at least from 11am to 6pm with the bar serving through 7:30pm.

A Falafel Flatbread similar to Animal Kingdom’s was the chef’s special.

Fruit, vegetables, and dessert.

This time around, I tried the $8.49 Florida Escabeche with Shrimp, Scallops, and Tri-Color Corn Chips.

It’s basically a ceviche with cooked shrimp and scallops, of which there were quite a few mixed in with the acidic tomato and onion marinade. I think this works better as a snack with a cocktail or two at the bar than a meal, but comes recommended.

This trip is again joined by our friends Julia and Steve, whom you may remember from the BoardWalk Inn review. Steve and Lisa both ordered the Grilled Fresco Chicken Sandwich – Marinated Sliced Tomatoes, Pesto, Avocado and Provolone served with French Fries, House-made Chips or Cucumber Salad.

These pictures are terrible, but it’s a great sandwich. Fresh, thick cut avocado, crunchy greens, marinated tomatoes, and a juicy chicken breast topped with melted provolone. DEELISH.

Julia ordered the Angus Cheeseburger with most of the toppings on the side. Unlike most Disney burgers, it wasn’t grilled to death and she enjoyed it more than her Beaches and Cream burger from last month.

They were unfortunately out of crab cake sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday, which seemed like poor planning on somebody’s part. For less than twelve bucks, I’m not sure there’s a more satisfying meal on property if you like that sort of thing.

Around the corner, you can order the same food items, in addition to a pretty standard bar menu.

Standard pool bar menu.

If you enjoy beer, you’ll want to look for the rotating Cigar City Special Release tap.

In this instance, it was the Minaret Extra Special Bitter on nitro – one of the prettiest beers I’ve ever seen. Tasty, too. Hopefully InBev won’t buy them out.

Gasparilla Island Grill is the main quick service location, open 24 hours.

A 2013 refurbishment upped the classiness of the space, and perhaps more importantly, removed the noisy arcade games. Menus for each meal are available here. It’s a decent option if you’re staying at the resort, but I think Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary serves better food in a more interesting atmosphere if you’re looking for fast food outside Magic Kingdom. Captain Cook’s menu is also a bit more inspired.

Citricos is one of two signature restaurants at the resort.

Narcoossee’s out on the water is the other signature. This post features reviews of both Narcoossee’s and Victora & Albert’s.

Citricos during the day.

It’s difficult to capture the colors in the evening lighting, but a few tables do have decent views outside of the courtyard pool and potentially Cinderella Castle and the fireworks in the distance. I wouldn’t book Citricos with the expectation that you’ll have much of a fireworks view – Narcoossee’s and California Grill are better for that.

For example.

According to “The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015,” penned in part by yours truly:

If you’re having trouble synthesizing all the information in the various posts on this site or over at yourfirstvisit.net, you might want to pick up a copy. I guarantee you’ll get 15 bucks worth of value out of it. The Kindle version will see a free update next week with new theme park ticket pricing and a variety of other changes to make sure you continue to have the most up-to-date information possible.

Citricos dinner menu:

Compare the menu above to one from January 2013:

Many of the dishes are similar in name, but each features new sides and preparations with each season.

Unlike most signature restaurants that bow out from creating unique cocktails, Citricos offers nearly a dozen variations that you won’t find elsewhere.

The Florida Manhattan dressed up with Local Small Batch Palm Ridge Whiskey, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, and Luxardro Cherry is a step above the usual Rye Manhattan found on most resort lounge menus.

Lisa ordered the $40 Oak-grilled Florida Swordfish – Provençal Vegetables, Plump Israeli Couscous, and Bright Citrus-marinated Shellfish Frutti di Mare. I won’t bore you with the details since it’s likely the presentations will change before you get over here, but everything tasted terrific.

It’s a dish she still raves about.

Steve ordered the $38 Berkshire Pork Two Ways Cannellini Cassoulet – Rotisserie Roasted Tenderloin, Slow-braised Belly with Cannellini Beans, Anson Mills Cheese Grits and Braised Escarole, and Pork Natural Reduction. Another excellent dish.

Julia ordered the $13 Arancini – Sicilian Street Food – crispy Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage, Creamy Mozzarella, and Poma Rosa Tomato Purée. This is a different presentation than what’s historically been offered – the dish usually arrives with three smaller balls that makes it a little easier to share.

I ordered the $46 Crispy Pan-fried Veal Chop Elephante – Butter-mashed Bonaito, Baby Rainbow Carrots, Roasted Cipollini Onions, Citrus Butter, and Madeira Sauce. This is, without a doubt, the best tasting entree I’ve been served property-wide.

Dessert and drinks:



A Glenmorangie 25-year. Just kidding.

After a heavy meal, we finished with the $10 Tasting of Gelato – featuring Italian Vanilla Bean, Cappuccino, and Raspberry – a relatively light end to a decadent meal.

Citricos has a bar area near the front of the restaurant that serves the full menu should you be looking for a less formal meal.

Mizner’s tends to be a lackluster experience these days. Disney added the pricey Villas next door without adding any bar or restaurant capacity to the reosrt, seriously increasing demand in the early evening at what is available. With the band playing and people lingering, it’s unlikely you’re going to find a table between 5:30-9pm. A couple of us ended up standing in the corner while others sat in the windowsill. With one bartender and one server on staff, it took more than 45 minutes for one round of drinks. It’s an embarrassing lack of service for just about any lounge, let alone Disney’s flagship resort. Anyway, if Mizner’s is swamped, try Citricos next door. It’s a more comfortable atmosphere and the drinks are better. Plus they serve food. And you can get the drink to go.

There are several very good signature restaurants on property. And for the prices they charge…they should be good. If you’re looking for a signature restaurant in the Magic Kingdom area that focuses on food instead of resting their laurels on potential fireworks views, I think you have to take a hard look at Citricos. They do just about everything right.

What was on the menu at Victoria & Albert’s:

Where the prix fixe price is up to $150/guest from $135 and they no longer accept Tables in Wonderland.

A flower picture that doesn’t really work as a segue to a review of breakfast at 1900 Park Fare.

The breakfast and dinner buffet is located on the ground floor just inside the entrance:

Breakfast usually features Alice, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger.

Dinner is Cinderella, Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother, and the Tremaines. I have a dinner review here.

If you choose, your group can take a picture in front of this backdrop before being seated. No characters appear out here or anything.

Awkward buffet food pictures:

Fruit.

Plain low fat yogurt, nonfat strawberry yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Roast Beef Hash – Roast Beef, Potato, Onion, Red and Green Pepper; Scramble Egg, Lobster Benedict – Poached Egg, Buttermilk Biscuit, and Hollandaise over Lobster Sauce.

Strawberry Soup – Strawberry Puree with Yogurt and Sour Cream.

Cheese Grits, Oatmeal, Smoked Salmon with capers, diced red onions, and chopped hard boiled eggs.

Plain and Onion Bagels, Whipped Cream Cheese, Salmon Cream Cheese, and Boursin Cream Cheese.

Custom made omelettes and eggs to order.

Breakfast pizza on the far left, cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and Mickey waffles.

Ham.

Hash brown casserole, biscuits, and gravy.

Cheese blintz with strawberry topping.

Maple French Toast, Pancakes (covered), bananas foster, and old fashioned syrup.

Bread.

Croissants and muffins.

Cereal.

Bread pudding, sticky cinnamon buns, and pastries.

Two major disappointments:

“Lobster Eggs Benedict” is advertised on the menus online and in front of the restaurant, but once you read the description above the item in the buffet line, you realize that the only thing lobster about it is the sauce. Not even a shred of actual lobster to be found and no lobster flavor to speak of. Very disappointing.

The menu also notes a carving station with ham…but the ham is actually sitting in some kind of liquid and it’s serve-yourself with tongs. Both of those reduced the value of the $26.99 breakfast considerably from my point of view as those were the two things I was looking forward to eating. Otherwise, the quality of the food is somewhere between resort quick service and slightly above resort quick service quality. That’s not a huge diss necessarily as quick service breakfasts are usually pretty good. But we’re talking about the same bacon, pancakes, waffles, sausage, pastries, etc. that you would get for breakfast at All-Star Sports.

Character interaction is what you would expect – each of the five characters come by the table to interact and take pictures. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are otherwise easy to meet in the UK Pavilion at Epcot and also appear at Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom. Alice is available in the UK or out in front of Mad Tea Party. Mary Poppins is easy to meet in the UK Pavilion or Main Street.

Mad Hatter is rarer and doesn’t ordinarily meet, so you do get that. Otherwise, this is an easy way to get pictures with five characters without having to track them down elsewhere and wait.

I’m not a big fan of the restaurant’s atmosphere. It’s windowless and a variety of carousel animals serve as most of the theming.

At $26.99 for adults and $14.99 for kids ages 3-9, 1900 Park Fare is a reasonable value for breakfast when you consider the all-you-can-eat aspect, in addition to bottomless non-alcoholic beverages and the characters. I was expecting a couple high quality signature items and the restaurant didn’t deliver, but if you lower your expectations on that front you may want to give it a go.

Overall, a stay at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is going to be somewhere between a serious splurge and completely unobtainable for most of us. There’s nothing about the quality of the room or level of service that commands the $500+/night price, but there are people willing to pay, so there’s really no use in debating it. One of the unfortunate aspects of Disney resort culture is that you’re just as likely to run into an unpleasant cast member that has no idea what they’re doing at All-Star Music as the Grand Floridian. At most resorts that command $750+/night elsewhere, you’re only going to encounter the best, most capable employees there to make you feel as special as possible. At the Grand Floridian, whoever checking you in is probably going to be wearing a red “Earning My Ears” ribbon.

But if you’ve got the money, there’s nothing quite like it.

Comments

  1. Monica says

    got a kick not just out of seeing you being chummy with Tigger (he’s still the best), but also because it looks like your morning libation is a big glass of chocolate milk :)

  2. Someone says

    I noticed that Josh only ever has alcohol in his fridge when staying at Disney and almost always only orders alcohol at food venues. What gives? Do you need help? lol

      • Summerw says

        What’s funny is when I saw the fridge pic, I thought, that must be someone else’s room since it looked like neither the usual fridge stash or the typical park purchase for personal consumption. It was more like mine would be. He he.

        • Allan says

          Anyone that has reads Josh’s booze reviews should know Budweiser adjuncts and equivalent 1.5 L white “wine” aren’t his thing.

  3. Jody says

    My wife and I stayed at the Grand Floridian for our honeymoon back in 2000. Rates at the hotel were different then. I wonder how many years until the rates at Riverside match what we paid at the Grand Floridan 15 years ago? Soon enough, I guess.

    Thanks for the coming update of the book you co-wrote. I’m looking forward to it on my Kindle app and will use the info for my mid-March stay at Riverside.

  4. Dawn H says

    I love the fact that you always seem to order/review the dishes I would like, the ceviche ‘type’ stuff and the lobster Benedict, exactly what I needed to know!! also, love that you are clean shaven in all your pompousness!! Simply lovely!

  5. Mike says

    For those interested in one of the conventions at grand floridian, the conference room rates are often around $250, which is an incredible percentage off, much better relative deal than convention rates at other Disney resorts.

    • Anne says

      This is how I was able to stay here last year. It was totally worth it for $250/night but frankly short of winning the lotto I’m not sure how willing I would be to pay $600/night.

  6. Melissa says

    As always great review! We stayed at GFV 1 bedroom last summer for first time -split stay between there and YC CL. We ALL preferred YC CL even in the more dated rooms. I liked GF well enough but didn’t feel at HOME at all. I am in my early 40’s and the rest of the guests seemed definately older…YC much more ME. And you were supposed to say “Grab your Speedy” like you did on your last review there! LOL!

  7. cupcake says

    Wow! Those renovated rooms look great. I’ve always said I would never book a stay at GF due to those hideously tacky “Grandma’s Cottage” style rooms, but I think now I’ll finally be able to cross the last deluxe resort off our to-do list.

  8. dusty cheatham says

    citricos for the dumpling & myself is our go too couples nite out spot . vic & alberts been there done that. no tables in wonderland anymore means no visits for me . good pic of you & tigger.

  9. Laura says

    Great review! I do have to disagree on your comment that people stay at the Grand Floridian (or other deluxe hotels for that matter) to show they are better than everyone else. We always stay at one of the three hotels on the monorail because we love the convenience to the parks and yes, we can afford to. Has nothing to do with arrogance or feline better than anyone else!

  10. Maria says

    Enjoyed the 1900 Park Fare breakfast review! Trying that in May for the first time. I had no high expectations of stellar food, just something different (where we’ve never been) and some characters, so I think we’ll be well satisfied.

  11. Gary says

    GF is not without it’s faults, but relative to the other monorail deluxe resorts its rates are not a whole lot more expensive. Especially with the Poly currently undergoing construction, the GF gets you many of that resort’s benefits and conveniences at a slightly higher nightly rate, plus the stellar dining options. Still, those rack rates… wow.

  12. disfan says

    Thanks Josh. I’ve never had any desire to stay at GF and now that I’ve seen your review, nothing’s changed. True luxury, it ain’t.

  13. Bev says

    I’ve enjoyed the breakfast buffet at Cape May but looking for something new so we might try GF on our next trip. Do you know the latest breakfast reservation time? I think at Cape May it is around 10:40. We like to schedule a later breakfast so it eats more like brunch and then have an early dinner (avoid the crowds).

  14. lexmelinda says

    Long time lurker here. As always, I love your funny and informative reviews. Thank you so much for making your fun, detailed reviews and information free to everyone.

  15. angela says

    Last month we stayed at a house near the parks for a total of $700 for 7 nights. For that price we had: four bedrooms (including a master suite with California King bed), three full baths, two living rooms, fully-appointed kitchen, game room with pool and air hockey, laundry room, and a private pool. Also, we could bring our two elderly dogs with us (which is why we started staying off-site to begin with–Disney really needs a pet friendly resort). Sure, we had to drive a short distance to the parks and pay parking but…yowza! those Grand Floridian prices are truly stunning. I’m all for Disney charging whatever the market can bear so more power to them, I’m just kinda bummed that that prices me (wayyyyy) out.

    The rooms look nice though!

    We had dinner at 1900 Park Fare and enjoyed it, like always. Drizella and Cinderella nearly knocked over our table–character interaction was wonderful.

    • Shannon says

      There is absolutely no good reason why Disney doesn’t have a top-notch, pet friendly resort. At LEAST one. Universal’s doing it. With all the dog and cat characters in Disney films, the theme does itself, really. I get to keep my VERY senior pup and very young cat with me at night, drop them off at the top of the line boarding facility with web cams and all the concierge perks you can think of while we’re in the parks. My pets ARE my kids and not being able to bring them kills me and is a major issue when planning. They should not stay in the room in all and they should not come into the parks but to sleep in the bed with me at nite, to get ’em good and spoiled while they are there, to have access to see them anytime during the day, etc, etc etc. Pet people are nuts. We will pay for this, trust me, lol. (Sorry for the rant – can you tell this is a major thorn in my side!)

      • angela says

        I only learned about Universal’s pet-friendly rooms a couple weeks ago and am seriously considering them for our next trip. We haven’t done Universal before because our daughter wouldn’t ride anything more thrilling than Peter Pan until recently, but with her being more adventurous and Universal letting us have our dogs in our room, well, I think it’s time.

        Disney could make a bundle with a pet-friendly resort, I would think.

        Dusty Cheatham, the Best Friends kennel is nice, but if you’re staying on Disney property you can’t bring your pets back to your room at night (unless you’re at Fort Wilderness in a trailer/RV, I think) so that doesn’t work for those of us who won’t leave our pets in a kennel overnight.

      • Keith says

        Shannon WTF?? I’m not sure what is more vile…allowing pets in hotel beds or the people that think that should be allowed. The day Disney ever caves into such twisted mentality will certainly be the beginning of the end. Let me guess…you probably wouldn’t stay in smoking friendly room? Both are equally disgusting.

  16. Mike says

    GF cafe for breakfast is also a great hidden gem, very affordable, good food, great to pop in before heading to MK. Many locals there for breakfast which speaks volumes.

  17. Cassie says

    We stayed at GF last august under the category of “serious splurge.” With the late summer room discount, we were able to swing. So happy we did, we loved it, unlikely to ever stay there again because of the price. I think our new strategy will be to stay somewhere else but visit GF often. We had lunch at GF Cafe on our last day and really enjoyed it. My girls were in heaven with dark chocolate Mickeys for dessert.

    It was great seeing your pix of GF, Josh, they are way better than mine!

  18. Rachelle says

    The refurb was needed! I always said I couldn’t imagine paying $500/night to stay in my great-grandmother’s guest bedroom. Ew. New rooms are very pretty. Still not worth the price though. I’d have to get a really good deal.

  19. Andrew says

    V & A losing Tables certainly hurt but a price increase on top just raised that dinner price like 30% for us, that is crazy! Last year at $135 and Tables dinner was $216(not incl. tax or tip..or drinks lol) Now that base price is $300, thankfully the food has always been amazing but might need to go with a different restaurant for the anniversary dinner haha.

  20. Ed says

    I had breakfast at 1900 Park Fare and while nobody said anything elitist or exclusionary to me, in my head I did feel like everyone was thinking “Oh look at this street urchin ascending from his cesspool at Port Orleans to eat from Winnie the Pooh’s honeypot.”

    It’s just not my vibe, I guess, but if you can afford it, more power to you. I’m accepting donations.

  21. Anonymous says

    My younger self vowed that I would stay at the Grand Floridian one day. My older self has decided that I’m more fond of my money. Anyhoo… we do enjoy going to the Garden View Tea Room to enjoy the atmosphere of the resort and to do something a bit different. The Tea Room was under refurb when we were there last summer and we opted not to go to the substitute location. Did you happen to get any shots of the Tea Room? Would love to see what they did with the location. Thanks!

  22. Guff says

    We stay there in 2013 and will be stay there again this September under the theory that if we’re giving Walt most of our money, we’d might as well give him the rest. No sense going to our graves wondering what we might have missed. We enjoyed our stay there and didn’t get a hoity-toity vibe from the other guest. That’s why I’m going back. I didn’t see any men with a sweater draped over their shoulder with the cuffs intertwined and it was late October so a sweaters were needed.

    I agree that the Pool Bar a good quick service option. Food was decent and it never “seemed crowded”.

    I like the Contemporary’s bathroom set up better. Having the toilet behind its own door makes the getting 4 people ready easier – one in the shower and one on the loo

  23. Damon says

    I’ve stayed in some nice hotels as a business traveler and while the Venetian in Vegas tops the list, it was nowhere near $500-1000/night. While I can appreciate being at Disney and being close to MK, the value just isn’t there to me to spend that kind of money. I may use my DVC points for a stay there in the future, but even on the point exchange it’s not anywhere near the cost for a room. We do enjoy 1900PF though, due in large part to the character availability and interactions. Mary Poppins was a particular hoot on our last visit. Like you said you can find these characters elsewhere, but it lets you do double duty if you’re meeting them while you are eating.

  24. Dawn 16 says

    Had stayed once years ago and was meh about GF but fell in love with the Villas last summer and now can’t wait to stay again. Went to Citricos for our anniversary where not only was the food excellent but they treated us like royalty b/c of the special occasion, so nice. Also agree the pool bar lunch is great. Thanks goodness for DVC or we’d not be staying for those crazy prices.

    • RebeccaMcK says

      I agree. We haven’t stayed at GF yet but it’s our home resort with DVC so we will try it some day. Haven’t dined anywhere there yet other than the tea room twice and 1900 PF once for dinner, but at least it’s near a lot of other good places to eat (at other resorts, and in my opinion). I don’t know if we’ll ever get to Citrico’s or V&A but I might try with Hubby for a big anniversary some day.

  25. Pam H. says

    I do need a Louis V, but I don’t need to stay at the Grand Floridian. Plenty of other wonderful (aka cheaper) options available.

    • Bellamouse says

      I’m with you Pam – while I guess I don’t “need” a Louis V, I could get one for the cost of one night at GF. And while that night at GF would be over reeaaalll quick, the LV would last me basically forever :) I keep telling myself it’s an “investment” 😉 LOL

  26. Levon says

    I’m relatively sure I have that exact blue polo. Great minds think alike or at least shop alike (at Costco if memory serves).

    • Anne says

      I don’t think there’s a list. These are not large general interest meetings for the most part so I think it would be difficult to join a group where you aren’t already involved. My professional society has continuing education conferences at Disney and I’ve gotten great room deals as part of that. But the tuition for the meeting was about $1000 so if you weren’t actually interested in the meeting/convention that extra cost minimizes the benefit of the room discount. Several years ago I saw a trip report from someone who had stayed at the contemporary at a considerable discount through a Tupperware convention and I did have a brief thought “maybe I should sign up to sell tupperware”. But again, probably more capital outlay to be part of that group/convention than you’d get back in room discount.

  27. projectx says

    “I enjoyed walking around the resort with an air of pompousness…”

    Oh man, spot on. We dropped off our son at the pirate adventure tour and had breakfast at the cafe. The meal was outstanding. We had some time to kill so we roamed around the resort. We couldn’t believe we didn’t see more blood on the sidewalks from all the guests sticking their noses so high in the air.

      • projectx says

        Yes, seriously. On the other hand the staff was great. And the food we had for breakfast at the cafe was beyond outstanding.

  28. K says

    We stayed there in October. We were able to get 35% off the rack rate so it ended up being cheaper than the Contemporary – which is where I initially booked. I’m partial to the Contemporary… mostly because I have a very young child and its easy to get back there and nap and/or stay a little later in MK and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. Honestly, I was totally disappointed in the rooms in comparison to the Contemporary. They seemed smaller (not sure if it was just the layout) and the drawer space is AWFUL. Also, it took awhile to get to Epcot compared to Contemporary / Poly. That being said, we absolutely loved the pools at GF! I also thought the service was average except for our cleaning lady. She made towel animals for my child every day and then gave her a small towel animal to take home on our last day…. She also frequently brought her chocolates. So that was pretty nice. However, it wasn’t really exciting enough for me to book another trip there… on our next trip, we are planning to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

  29. Megan says

    We stayed at the GF for six nights this past December. We received 35% off the room rate with a BB offer. We had an incredible stay, and felt like the money we paid was worth the cost. The service was great, the atmosphere was nice, the rooms were great, and we feel like the GF has some of the best food choices on property. We had two great character meals at 1900. Our family loved seeing the castle while walking to our room. Totally disagree about Contempo Cafe having better food and atmosphere, but then again I’ve always found the CR to be totally lacking in atmosphere. We loved sitting outside GG eating our meals by the lake with a view of the castle. Never once did I feel like the resort was pretentious. It was truly a magical stay and the most magical time of the year. My 3.5 year old still talks about the GF. It will be hard staying elsewhere next time.

  30. Dana says

    “One of the unfortunate aspects of Disney resort culture is that you’re just as likely to run into an unpleasant cast member that has no idea what they’re doing at All-Star Music as the Grand Floridian. ” – so true! and so not what I expected.

  31. Tami says

    Now that you have eaten at 1900 Park Fare for breakfast, which would you recommend…
    Crystal Palace or 1900 Park Fare?

  32. Sheryl says

    It’s funny – I always said I wouldn’t pay the outrageous prices for deluxe, but we stayed at Contemporary once when I got a wonderful discount pin and we have wanted to go back ever since. If I had the $ per night they ask for, I would pay it in a heartbeat. There really is nothing like staying on the monorail and seeing the castle/fireworks nightly! We are always trying to figure out a way to afford staying there again! Thanks for the reviews and great pictures!

  33. Cat says

    Or Tami, I can probably let you know sooner than 2018, as we’ll be there this July. :o) Already booked Crystal Palace and will most likely also book 1900 Park Fare.

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