Time to check out the Grand Floridian for the holiday season. We’ve already seen the Gingerbread House, which opened on November 14th, but the rest of the decorations are all “new.” We’ll take a look around the Resort as well to check out restaurant menus, pools, and other points of (varying) interest.
Worth visiting for the Gingerbread House alone, Grand Floridian does an admirable job of decorating the rest of its massive lobby and grounds as well. While the “rich people…and birds” theme is a little bizarre, it’s best not to think about such things.
We might as well cut to the chase, which is rare for this website. There is this huge tree in the middle of the huge lobby.
This is the main entrance on the first floor and the entrance from the monorail station on the second floor. Either way, you’ll arrive to a couple of nice looking Christmas trees.
A nice photo opportunity. You can tell that the Monorail just arrived because there will be a line to take a picture of the kids in between the two trees.
Living up to expectations, you’ll see a lot of wreaths. A lot of wreaths.
Christmas trees on both sides of the Society Orchestra on the second floor. They’ll be out playing later in the evening. For now, guests enjoy the live piano player. A bad picture accompanies.
Commander Porter’s and most of the other stores have a few Christmas decorations in them. Probably a subliminal, “Remember, you need gifts for people, right?” message, but we’ll take it.
Check out the size of that tree and its proximity to the Gingerbread House. There’s a popular photo opportunity in front of the tree – you can (sort of) see that people are sitting in chairs at the base of it.
Garlands along the stairwell leading down to the first floor. Amusingly, I heard a woman say, “The carpet is so soft, I bet you could fall down the stairs and it wouldn’t hurt.” Let me assure you that it would.
Not much going on at check-in. We’ll call it “tasteful” decorating.
Big. Very big.
The Birdcage starring Robin Williams – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115685/. One of his better movies.
Good looking garlands welcoming guests arriving by car or bus.
Some poinsettia looking things and some reindeer on both sides of the walkway to the main entrance.
Another nice photo opportunity just inside the main entrance. You’ve got trees on both sides, the huge Christmas tree right in between these two trees and the gingerbread house in the left corner.
Looking up the big tree.
Swans cradling swans. Get a room you two!! Oh, they’re $750/night? Okay, continue cradling.
The huge birdcage that’s ever-present in the Grand Floridian’s huge lobby. It’s always empty these days.
The lobbies of most of the restaurants will have a token Christmas tree.
Reindeer grazing outside.
That just about wraps up the holiday portion of this walkabout. Let’s have a look around the resort otherwise.
Checking out the “Not-DVC site” from the Resort Monorail.
A simpler time with apparently an abundance of hot air balloons. Speaking of which, I often hear people at Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney say that they’ve never been in a hot air balloon before, and that’s the reason why they’re riding. The bad news is that you still haven’t been in a hot air balloon. Characters in Flight is a helium balloon on a string.
The hallway that leads to Citricos and Victoria & Albert’s.
Citricos current menu:
“Subject to change.”
Citricos/Victoria & Albert’s lobby. Again, your token Christmas Tree in the background.
The doors to Victoria & Albert’s are always closed to me.
Victoria & Albert’s menu today:
I don’t know what most of this stuff is.
Citricos’ dining room.
Over to Mizner’s Lounge – like most Deluxe resort lounges, it’s open from 4:30pm – 12:00am.
It could be so much more.
Popping into Commander Porter’s on the second floor. We saw some of the Christmas decorations inside earlier:
This is a container to hold your golf tees.
Some interesting items for sure. The store was remodeled about three months ago and is much more “open” and “inviting” for the 99% of us.
1900 Park Fare Breakfast. Expect to meet Alice, Mad Hatter, and Mary Poppins. You can easily find Alice in Magic Kingdom or Epcot, Mad Hatter in Magic Kingdom, and Mary Poppins in Epcot:
And dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella. You can meet Cinderella and the Tremaines in Magic Kingdom, but Prince Charming is more difficult.
$3 cheaper than Chef Mickey’s at Contemporary Resort!
More birdcages. Why not?
Grand Floridian Cafe lunch menu:
The featured wines are all related to Disney in one way or another.
Over to the gigantic “quiet pool,” which was at one point the “feature pool.”
We’ll get a better look at the feature pool in a moment. Pool pictures are very awkward for me. More awkward than condiment pictures. I fear the “Why are you taking pictures of my daughter?” conversation.
Feature pool bar. The 1% really are just like the rest of us. They have a Super Pretzel warmer after all.
Once you’ve seen one, you’ve them all (unfortunately).
One more of the feature pool. Luckily, the Grand Floridian doesn’t suffer the same crowding problems that you’ll find at the Polynesian Resort’s Volcano Pool.
Looking at the main building from the pool area.
A nice view of the beach and Polynesian Resort.
Back to the lobby.
The grounds. Beautiful.
You, too, can stay in one of these rooms starting at around $800/night (and up to $3,140/night).
Unlike most resorts, even the quiet pool has a bar!
Reminds me of the bar at my house. I pour drinks and make sandwiches too!
Headed over to Narcoossee’s, which is located a ways away from the main building.
And for our younger guests:
Had to edit out a pretty nasty bug underneath “Fresh Fruit Cup.” The things I do for you. Welcome to Florida.
Boat dock to Magic Kingdom.
Other than the marina outside Gasparilla Grill (pictured in the Gingerbread House post), this is your best bet for Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing from the Grand Floridian.
The view from Narcoossee’s. Some tables have a decent view of the fireworks, but it’s far from a sure thing.
Looking toward the Contemporary Resort.
A Magic Kingdom view. It would do.
There you have it – the Grand Floridian Resort on a cloudy day in November.