I have wanted to go to the Grand Floridian since I can remember. Before I knew about Ritz Carltons and Four Seasons, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, I wanted to experience the elegance and luxury of this hotel I’d seen on a couple TV shows and instantly fell in love with, all without really knowing a single thing about it.
We did visit Disney when I was a kid but we stayed in vacation home once and at Dixie Landings once. I have fond memories of both, but they weren’t the Grand Floridian. I know we had breakfast with Mary Poppins there when I was little, but that I don’t remember.
None of that really matters because now I live in Orlando and I finally headed to the Grand Floridian. Though I didn’t stay there, just an afternoon showed me it definitely lives up to all those lofty childhood expectations.
This was my first experience with anything Disney, save for Disney Springs, since I was seven, so I didn’t know if it would be overwhelmingly busy with tired families who’d spent too much time at the parks, but it was stunning, with a relaxed elegance that was inviting. I was immediately comfortable and in love.
Because you need a dining reservation to access the Disney hotels, I booked the Grand Floridian Café. We sat outside, overlooking the courtyard with flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies. Service, food, and coffee were all great, but mostly I just liked sitting on the veranda, instantly transported to another world.
We poked around the cute shops and looked at all the intricately decorated chocolate Easter eggs. I was so excited to see those and they most definitely did not disappoint. If you have the chance to visit, do so! I can’t wait to see the gingerbread house this holiday season as well.
Enchanted Rose, the Beauty and the Beast themed bar, opened in the afternoon so we stopped to enjoy the ambiance, warm and opulent on the inside with lots of windows overlooking the property since the bar is on the second floor. I really enjoyed checking it out, however, they did not have either of their featured cocktails. That was disappointing since they literally take up an entire page of the menu, but I look forward to trying them in the future.
And I look forward to spending more time at the Grand Floridian. There are several fine dining restaurants to try, and I love being able to escape for just a few hours and feel like I’ve been on vacation. That’s exactly what happened at the Grand Floridian.