The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is getting a makeover! As the flagship luxury resort at Walt Disney World this resort was built in 1988 and honors a Victorian Seaside Resort theme. Frankly, we love the Victorian charm, but we’re interested to see all the Grand Floridian Changes on the way. We’re going to be collecting the changes here of everything happening so far.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Renovation
Prompted by comments made previously by parks chairman, now Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, The Grand Floridian Resort has been in line for a major overhaul for a couple of years now. Of course many of us Walt Disney World fans love it like it is. But, as Chapek noted, The Grand Floridian lacked the luxury commonly found at the Four Seasons and he’d like to see that improved. Now that Josh D’Amaro is the new Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products we’ll see how far these plans can go.
Original comments suggested that guests were due for more of a “Wow factor”. And with prices for The Grand Floridian Resort, Spa and Villas ranging from $700- $2800 per night we could agree that WOW! is what we’re hoping to see. Because at those prices there should be a little “more” to the experience here. I mean I think our last Disney Cruise was cheaper than that, and there you got wine for free with your apple turnover cooking class.
Grand Floridian Changes Happening Now
Interestingly enough just as the talk around the Grand Floridian Resort’s new look started, so did the talk about making things at Disney more “Disney”. We’ve of course seen this permeate ALL of the coming changes happening over at EPCOT. So why not overlay the same concept at the resorts as well? We do have to admit this does make us a little nervous. It’s one thing to elevate the Grand Floridian to a luxury resort standing. But another entirely to re-theme it.
That said, ALL the new Grand Floridian Merchandise is very clearly themed around Beauty and the Beast. While we don’t know if this is temporary, it could be an obvious nod in the direction the resort is going. We’ll have our fingers crossed on this one in the hopes that everything is done right. Here’s all the Grand Floridian changes so far and a few that are on the way. We’ll add everything here as it’s announced.
The Magic Kingdom to Grand Floridian Walkway Path is being completed
The biggest news so far has been that finally the “Walkway to Nowhere” is getting love. Under construction right before closing in March this pathway is getting close to done. What is this walkway you ask? It’s a Walkway from Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian. We’ve talked about this in our Disney Construction Updates post and it’s by far going to be wonderful. This new path wraps right past the Resort Monorail Entrance and hugs the lagoon. Lined with lamp posts, this new path brings you over the bridge of a small inlet that the Electrical Water Pageant uses to come in and out of the lagoon.
Once past the bridge you will turn left on the pathway towards the Grand Floridian. It is also at this spot that a path has been angled to the right as well ( as if another path will one day be put there). What we most love about this new pathway is that it will connect to the Grand Floridian to Polynesian Pathway. Meaning that after your evening at Magic Kingdom you can just walk home, instead of crowding onto the monorail. And may give people a bigger reason to stay at The Polynesian or Grand Floridian.
Victoria and Albert’s Bistro Replacing Citricos
By far one of the more major changes to be happening at the Grand Floridian is the removal of Citricos. This signature restaurant never quite drummed up the award winning accolades or hard to get reservations like Victoria and Albert’s. So why not just make more of an already award winning system? And frankly, that’s exactly what Walt Disney World is doing. Citricos is now closed and undergoing refurbishment into an extension of Victoria and Albert’s. This new restaurant will feature the best parts of the Grand Floridian’s most popular restaurant. And be made available as a step down from the two dining credit Signature Restaurant we all know and love. We don’t know this menu yet, but we expect this project to complete by the October 1, 2021 50th Anniversary deadline. We’ll be adding the developing changes here as they happen.
The Enchanted Rose Lounge Replaces Mizner’s
The newest lounge to arrive at Walt Disney World is the Enchanted Rose Lounge themed to Beauty and the Beast. For fans of this movie you will see EVERYTHING you know; Cogsworth sits on a shelf, the Beast’s rose is encased in domed glass and even a gilded hand mirror has a space to be seen. While others may have different opinions on this one, we could not be more impressed or blown away by the grandiose feeling of Beauty and the Beast here. Very subtle, elegant and classy. We absolutely loved our experience at the Enchanted Rose Lounge.
If you’re up for a perfect late afternoon drink head inside to the library, garden room or main bar. Or even outside on the balcony. Everything here felt modern yet classic. The drinks menu was filled with Beauty and the Beast inspired drinks, and the appetizers were exactly what you would expect from a small establishment in the south of France. We simply could not get enough of the truffle fries, so be sure to try those. If this is a sign of what’s to come, we’ll take it!
Removal of Disney’s Grand Floridian Society Orchestra
After 32 years of playing at the Grand Floridian, Disney’s Grand Floridian Society Orchestra has been cancelled. While this isn’t a huge surprise given that some of their previous performance space was renovated when the Enchanted Rose Lounge arrived, it is still heartbreaking not only to the performers but also guests who look to the Grand Floridian for respite from the parks. We absolutely loved the orchestra and all that it brought to the classical upscale feeling of the resort. The last day for the orchestra is October 3, 2020.
Grand Floridian Changes on the Way
As part of the Re-imagining of the Grand Floridian there will also be the basic resort refurbishments on the way. You can count on room refurbishments and updates that will take place more than likely as soon as the NBA leaves the resort. The temporary stay of the players due to coronavirus pandemic only affects half of the resort at this time. But as the other half is open to Disney guests, it leaves little wiggle room for renovations at the moment.
Grand Floridian Resort Rooms Refurbishments
Currently rooms at the Grand Floridian are done in the classic style, but as you can still not quite as nice as even Coronado Springs after that refurbishment. This room still boasted the large red, somewhat tattered sofa, an Alice in wonderland lampshade in the bathroom and a dated telephone. No doubt all being replaced as the resort becomes available for renovations to be made. .
Disney’s Grand Floridian Lobby Refresh
The most recognizable lobby on Walt Disney World property is due for a paint job. But what else? While we haven’t seen any concept art on this vision yet, it will be interesting to see how Disney World balances this antique charm with modern luxury. For our money as long as nothing happens to the Christmas Tree or the Gingerbread House, we’ll be able to cope.