Walk Around the Grand Floridian Resort, Crab Cake Sandwich, Construction, Everything's Closed – 9/20/12

Grab your Louie V Speedies and Cartier Demoiselles folks, we’re headed to the Grand Floridian Resort and Construction Zone!

If I were to ask you which Disney would build faster, would you pick a single attraction or an entire resort hotel?

We’ll get a closer look at that newly unveiled water feature shortly, but this will give you an idea about the number of walls we’re going to see.  That’s them lining the back side.

From the second floor of the main building.

I spent most of my time trying to duck Disney Parks Blog.

But they’re everywhere.  My guess is they’ll be filming from the wall’s side.

The water feature.

It’s pretty neat.  The hat tips over about once a minute.

Here’s 14 seconds of it. Someone turn off that clanking please.

There’s a lifeguard patrolling.

I usually ignore Disney’s rules, because I’m an American on vacation(!), but I’ll probably adhere to “No Diving.” Probably. While it states that the area is solely for those 48″ and below, I saw plenty of parents joining their kids, so I’m not sure if that’s enforced.  It’s probably just protection if they need to remove unruly teenagers and vacationing Americans.

Gasparilla Grill closed September 13th and is scheduled to reopen on December 18th.  It certainly needs it as it’s one of the most depressing places on property.  They are reportedly removing the games to add more tables, which will hopefully bring down the noise level.  One can hope they brighten the place up or something as it feels like it belongs in a prison rather than Disney’s flagship resort.  Now let me tell you what I really think!

In the meantime, the resort’s Beach Pool Bar serves an expanded menu.

As described for lunch:

And the rest:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/pool2.jpg.  I was just rocking my 40mm Pancake lens, which is why some of these pictures are going to be more or less zoomed in than we’d like.  I just can’t help it!  It’s so cute!  And no one cares!

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/pool3.jpg.  It’s a pretty decent selection and we’ll head over to the indoor option momentarily.

I didn’t forget! NapkinWatch2k12 update: Even the upper class is served brown generic napkins.  Socialism!

Food comes delivered to you at your table, which there really aren’t many of.  I was hoping to just grab it and head over to a less populated area, but was DENIED!  I could probably have just waited there until it was ready.  Or you know, move once it came.  We’re already at the Grand Floridian so whining really won’t do us any good.

Inside.  This was actually really good on an extremely fresh bun.  It wasn’t as slippy sloppy as the Surf and Surf Burger at Art of Animation, where it seemed like someone had lubricated it prior to serving and heaped on a few deep fried shrimp.  It’s definitely recommended if you’re visiting the resort.  While it doesn’t appear to be large, it was quite filling and had a significant amount of crab in it.  Disney has beverage dispensers at the bar for your reusable (from your last vacation) mugs.  I’m planning on trying that Chicken Salad Sandwich here one of these days.

Mizner’s is your other option.  You’ll find it on the second floor on the opposite side of the monorail station.

Gasparilla seating has invaded.

They’re set up for light service.

Here are your options:





There seems to be some confusion with what their hours are and it’s likely that someone forgot to put a “1” in front of the “2.”

While we’re in menu land, we’ll check out the others.

Citricos:

Is that a $53 veal shank?

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/citricos.jpg.

Sorry it’s blurry!  I accept returns, but don’t offer refunds.

Victoria & Albert’s, which changes daily:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/vicandalb.jpg.

Downstairs to 1900 Park Fare.

Breakfast:

Is it bad if a $21 breakfast seems like it’s bordering on reasonable around here?

Dinner:

The Tremaines at dinner are hilarious.

And over to the first floor Grand Floridian Cafe.

Dinner menu:


Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/gfc1.jpg.


Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/gfc2.jpg.


Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/gfc3.jpg.

Narcoossee’s:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/younarc1.jpg.


It’s located out on the water near the boat dock.

If it’s pouring rain, I’m not sure if they’ll walk you out there with an umbrella or something?

Previous to running this site, I had not spent a lot of time at the Grand Floridian because it is decidedly not my style.

While I am most definitely a sir, I’m not really one to let you know it.

But it’s actually a really pretty resort and not in an All-Star Music sort of way.

It’s always felt unpretentious to me.  While there are going to be a considerable number of people with their Louie Vs, there are far more that just look like us.

The Courtyard Pool is completely behind walls in the middle of the resort.  It’s expected to reopen in late December.

It sounded like there was some heavy machinery going on back there, but I didn’t have the heart to pop Tom over and take a shot.

Back inside.

Even Sandy Cove, one of the resort’s many stores, is behind walls.  It will reopen November 18th.  And then Ivy Trellis Beauty and Barber Shop closes October 20th through December 3rd.  So if you’re visiting sometime after Christmas 2012, things should look great!

So the resort’s merchandise has moved to the other first-floor stores.

I was surprised at how much non-Disney apparel I saw.

This is Tommy Bahama. If you’re male, there is exactly one instance when wearing Tommy Bahama is socially acceptable, and that’s if you’re 55+ and on a cruise to the tropics.

Still my favorite shirt of all time. Of all time.

The shirt on the left reminds me of that painting of Jesus that the “restorer” botched.

Disney should hire whoever markets Ralph Lauren products in South America and Europe.  I want to tell them that nobody actually wears Big Pony polos here.

The band featured a singer.  I wish the BoardWalk resembled the lounge where Nucky Thompson had his birthday in Season 1 of Boardwalk Empire.

A quick change of scenery over to the Contemporary Resort.

For whatever reason, Contemporary is the only Deluxe that doesn’t offer any resort-specific merchandise, outside of this pin and potentially a pencil somewhere.

When you see it.

I did spot this Haunted Mansion snow globe, which I thought was tres cool.

The back.

It’ll run you about three keychains.

Nothing earth shattering, but a nice look at what’s going on over at the Grand Floridian.  With the Resort easily accessible via the Resort Monorail, you may want to pop over for a look or a break during your trip.  Along with the Contemporary and Polynesian, they’re definitely worth visiting.  And no one will make you feel like you’re not welcome.  Unless of course, I see you.

Comments

  1. keri says

    FWIW I visited the Grand Floridian Cafe on Tuesday afternoon for dinner with my brother, because neither of us had ever spent much time at the GF besides popping in to oggle (or, for him, sitting around the dock for a few minutes to adjust the timing on his launch cycle, I suppose, since he’s one of the boat crew CMs). It was really nice and almost surprisingly unpretentious and quiet! Like, I didn’t expect the cafe to be as fancy as it was, but even so, it was really laid back and lovely.

    I had the seasonal greens for my starter and the onion soup for my main, with mini key lime tart and berry tart for dessert (we didn’t want the entire dessert sampler, so they brought us the 2 mini versions, which was fab). It was really good, and I highly recommend it. My brother got the Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast, and it looked pretty good, but the risotto was kind of boring. I think I would have liked it with some roasted bell peppers or something for color and a bit of sweet zesty flavor. He had the onion soup for his starter, and we both loved it, but ended up with a giant clump of cheese at the bottom. There is a LOT of cheese in it…

    The roundish room (there is a long rectangular room that leads into a roundish room) has really cool seating for larger parties that uses semi-circular booths arranged in a circle. The view was rather nice, too, except for it being a miserably rainy day and the walls were up. It was fairly empty right at 5pm, so I should think you wouldn’t have a problem getting a seat if you showed up promptly. Even when we left around 6pm, I don’t think it was but half full, if that.

    (PS: I’m kind of confused by the Alice in Wonderland theme of the water feature. I thought the GF used Mary Poppins as its mascot film?)

  2. Rob says

    Thanks, Josh! With the October schedule changes, I am always appreciative of looks at dining options around MK.

    And if there was anything at Boardwalk that resembled “Boardwalk Empire” – like a Nucky Thompson meet-and-greet or a Charlie Lucciano Stunt Spectacular – I’d be changing that reservation from POR, as well.

  3. annon says

    How did you get fries instead of cucmber salad as the menu says? Did you pay extra? The nicoise salad at Mizners looks good.

  4. Jill Marie says

    The outside of the Grand Floridian hotel is pretty. The inside is just “meh” to me. Victorian is definitely not my style. Give me the Arts and Crafts style over this any day!

    And I’m convinced the only people who really think the Grand Floridian is swanky or fancy are people who only vacation at WDW and nowhere else.

  5. Websteroni says

    I’m glad you’re finally visiting a deluxe! I was beginning to think Disney banned you from anything but the values.

    I can attest that when it’s pouring down rain they DO NOT walk you over to Narcoossee’s with an umbrella. Unless it was just me. I probably looked like I didn’t belong there. I’ve never had much luck with service at Narcoossee’s. I’ve given them 3 tries and the service is not what you would expect from a signature. The food is also hit or miss for me.

    In your Contemporary pictures, what is that pink horse thing with the Mickey’s across the bottom?

  6. says

    I’ve always thought the GF was a very pretty resort but I’ve never had a great desire to stay there. Thanks for the pictures.

    The last time I went to Chef Mickey’s, it was over $30 for an adult for breakfast. That makes a a $21 character breakfast seems like a good deal to me. And makes me doubt the level of my sanity when I’m at WDW. Under normal circumstance, I could buy breakfast for my whole family for $21.

  7. Anonymous says

    I like the GF but prefer the proximity of the Epcot area resorts. There was entirely too much carrot slaw on the crab cake sandwich. Tommy Bahama does sell more than just floral print shirts, I bet you could find at least one item in their product line to your liking.
    Nice post.

  8. Ryan B says

    Hey Josh, I like seeing photos of construction walls up at a resort I would never waste the money to stay at as the next guy, but I’m wondering if it’s allowed to enter in a special request for the next time you brave the hordes of unwashed masses? Can you check what the deal is with Character Pooloza? Reports from the past week have it meeting outside in various locations with secretive CM’s not willing to point the way. What gives?

    Also, and I beg your pardon my lord for being so bold, but can you check into if Pirate Goofy disappears with the Opening of Pete’s silly sideshow at the end of the month. We are on site October 5th and I was hoping to meet Goofy in his pirate garb. Rest assured if you want to show me nothing be photos of construction walls I will still consider myself luck!

  9. says

    Visited GF for the first time during our trip in late August. It was VERY pretty on the inside and out. I doubt I would ever stay there because it really isn’t my style and, let’s be honest, I don’t have half a grand to drop on a hotel room every night I’m at Disney.

    We ate at Narcoossee’s while there. Thanks to a blunder on my part using a dining credit when we weren’t supposed to because I was star-struck by a certain celebrity Disney blogger at a lunch date in Mexico of all places, we ended up dropping WAY too much money on dinner; only had two credits left when we needed four. Needless to say, the $100+ we spent didn’t seem worth it to me considering that was after we used two meal credits.

  10. Psac says

    Anyone else quickly look at the Citricos menu and think they were serving Pandas? :)
    Those rich people get to eat the endangered species!

  11. bowbat says

    “This is Tommy Bahama. If you’re male, there is exactly one instance when wearing Tommy Bahama is socially acceptable, and that’s if you’re 55+ and on a cruise to the tropics.” —
    Obviously you don’t watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” as Fat Mac has proven the above statement wrong.

    Stayed at GF in February and never even saw the main pool. Saw plenty of fools swimming in the courtyard pool in 50-degree weather, though. Also, GF is totally not pretentious, the CMs there are among the best/friendliest on-site, but those rooms need updating something fierce.

  12. tanya says

    You mean Disney Parks Blog didn’t offer anything your way? Don’t they know just how important you are? Rude. Nice work by Tom and the pancake though.

  13. Kelli says

    Ok, kind of a related question. We will be in AK until 6pm one evening and then headed to the GF for dinner at 8pm – 1900 PF. Do you suggest just bussing from AK? How would you kill time (if any?) before going to PF? Browse the GF? I’m soooo far from pretentious that even dining there makes me a little nervous. I surely do not fit in at all.

  14. Websteroni says

    Siskaren, thanks for the info. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen Fantasia! Obviously that character didn’t make much of an impact on me!

  15. weepstah says

    I can’t help but notice that it appears the Grand Floridian Cafe has swiped the old Polynesian Village resort font for it’s kids menu.

    On the whole panda thing, maybe it’s just Red Pandas. I hear they are quite tasty with Tamarind sauce. Besides, the Giant Panda isn’t even on most top 10 lists anymore, endangered wise. Mei Xiang (finally) had a baby, crisis averted. Plus Disney has a panda farm somewhere in the Land pavilion, so it’s *sustainable*, people!!

  16. Melissa says

    “And if there was anything at Boardwalk that resembled “Boardwalk Empire” – like a Nucky Thompson meet-and-greet or a Charlie Lucciano Stunt Spectacular – I’d be changing that reservation from POR, as well.”

    Would Richard Harrow count as a face character? 😉

  17. RebeccaMcK says

    Josh, did I miss a continuation of the All Star resorts? What I last read said you were going over to the Movies and would have a London Broil (something I’m interested in reading about, actually). Please point me to it if I missed it?

    @keri
    I think the GF uses Alice in Wonderland as a kind of mascot film, too. Doesn’t the breakfast buffet still include Alice characters (Alice and the Mad Hatter) along with the Mary Poppins bunch? And I think there is an Alice tea party for kids…unless that has changed recently. I used to read about it in people’s trip reports…never did it myself (or for my daughter, I mean).

  18. ellie says

    “So if you’re visiting sometime after Christmas 2012, things should look great!”… shouldn’t that be Grand!? :)
    We liked the GF last year but were in the parks too much to really enjoy it… although my BF loved reading the e-paper and drinking his coffee on the balcony each morning.

  19. Anonymous says

    @RebeccaMcK

    Oh, of course you’re right! I’d forgotten about that – and then there’s the Cinderella theming of Park Fare. I’m not sure where I got convinced that Grand Floridian = Mary Poppins, but I was. The same way Beach Club = Little Mermaid, Contemporary = Fantasia, and Polynesian = Peter Pan (and Wilderness Lodge = those old Donald Duck cartoons with the national park theme, back in the day)

  20. keri says

    Oops, last one was me! Didn’t notice that the comment fields weren’t pre-filled as usual.

    Also, now I’m trying to remember if any of the other resorts had “mascot” movies back in the day. I feel like the Caribbean Beach was the Three Caballeros at one point, but that’s obviously changed. Ft Wilderness was always Chip & Dale…

  21. Jill Marie says

    @Kelli – I wouldn’t worry. It’s Disney World…not some super posh place. You’ll fit in fine, I’m sure. I actually think at WDW, it’s the pretentious people who DON’T fit in anywhere.

  22. berwick says

    We had a lovely experience here on a previous vacation. The kids went off on a pirate cruise whilst we wondered into the the GF and had a very civilised breakfast then a lovely little wonder round the hotel. very highly recommended

  23. krikiter says

    Love the resort pics. Josh, didn’t you mention a visit to the Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge a while back? Any chance of that getting written up?

  24. RebeccaMcK says

    @keri
    The Polynesian was linked with Peter Pan? Was this a while ago? These days it’s more Lilo & Stitch. Would have been cool to see some Peter Pan stuff there when I was there last October. I wish I was going back soon, but DLand comes first now (in exactly a month!).

  25. Meghan says

    I highly recommend the breakfast there. The characters are great and there are some interesting choices that you can’t get at any breakfast at that price. We sat around the hotel for half a day one time. It’s not nearly as pretentious as I always thought it was.

  26. Karen says

    Thank you, thank you for the Madame Leota photos and SKU. I was planning on calling Disney merchandising once that got in the parks!!

  27. keri says

    Belatedly! @RebeccaMcK – Yeah, the Peter Pan at the Polynesian was ages ago. It’s related to the theming for the “Neverland Club”. There used to be a few upscale-ish shops back near where Capt. Cook’s is now (similar to the upscale-ish shops at the GF, but with a more ‘island’ feel than the GF’s), and they had a combination of Peter Pan and Mickey’s Luau cartoon imagery. I seem to recall pictures or something of the mermaids/lagoon in PP especially, in one of the shops? This is back in the mid ’90s. I’m not sure when they took out the shops to expand Capt. Cook’s.

  28. Dan Young says

    >Grab your Louie V Speedies and Cartier Demoiselles folks…<

    I don't know what any of this means . . . . .

    And I'm very concerned about the seating arrangements in Mizner's, one of my favorite bars. Do they move the barstools back in during the evening, or are we stuck with sitting at a table?

  29. Al says

    Was at WDW in July and saw the construction of the timeshare units between GF and Polynesian. It takes away from the ‘feel’ of the seven seas lagoon. Hope they don’t build between the Transportation Center and Contemporary as is rumored. Getting too built up!

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