Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the flagship of Disney Resort Hotels. This Deluxe Resort is one of the grandest Resort Hotels on the Walt Disney World property – with its stunning Victorian-era architecture and luxurious interior, charm oozes from every inch of the Resort.
Of course, there’s a price tag to match, but even if you’re like us and have never actually stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian, it’s well worth resort-hopping to check it out. And there’s no better time than the holidays to drop by!
The 5-story lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian is magnificent any time of the year, with its stained-glass domes, crystal chandeliers, and Italian marble floors (look for hidden Disney characters!). There are sofas and chairs where you can sit and enjoy the view, whether you’re staying here or just visiting.
During the holidays, the Resort dials up the décor with the addition of a massive Christmas tree in the lobby. This year, there’s a new 12 Days of Christmas snowflake ornament theme that extends to the evergreen garland draped around the Resort. Everywhere you look, posh Victorian Christmas has come to life, and it’s captivating!
If you’ve ever set foot in the Grand Floridian’s massive lobby, you’ve probably noticed the beautiful grand piano sitting there in the middle of the floor. If you time your visit right (performance times can be viewed online, and there are generally a couple in the afternoon and a few in the evening), you’ll be treated to some of your favorite Disney tunes, which somehow sound so much fancier on piano!
We still lament the loss of the magnificent Grand Floridian Society Orchestra, once a staple in the Grand Floridian’s lobby until performers were let go during the pandemic. But it’s wonderful to be serenaded in any form once again!
Smell the Roses
Alright, you got me – the Grand Floridian doesn’t smell like roses. It smells even better. We’re told the exact scent is aloe and clover, and Disney uses the Enviroscent system to pipe the scent through the ventilation system in the main building of the Resort. It’s intoxicating!
And if you’re like many Guests who become obsessed with this fabulous scent (including the author), there are plenty of places you can order candles or room sprays that smell just like it. Because who doesn’t want their home to smell like Disney World!
Hit the Shops
All Disney Resort Hotels boast a gift shop, featuring Disney merchandise and often items that are specific to that Resort. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort takes shopping up a notch, though!
There are currently four shops within the Resort that are welcoming visitors: Curiouser Clothiers, M. Mouse Mercantile, Sandy Cove Gifts and Sundries, and the always-addictive Basin White. So if you’re looking for a special Christmas gift for a loved one, look no further!
Grab a Bite
Christmas shopping sure makes you hungry. And there are plenty of places to grab an exquisite bite to eat here. If you’re resort-hopping from a Disney Resort Hotel with a limited number of dining options, you’ll be blown away by the list of restaurants Grand Floridian boasts.
While some offerings remain closed due to COVID-19 (notably Victoria & Albert’s, the award-winning fine dining location that’s so fancy, children under 10 aren’t allowed, and 1900 Park Fare, formerly a buffet hosted by Disney characters), there is still an excellent lineup to choose from.
The casual Grand Floridian Café, Citricos (recently refurbished with a Mary Poppins theme), waterfront stunner Narcoosee’s, and Enchanted Rose, a recently reinterpreted lounge that now has an elegant Beauty and the Beast feel, are just a few of the restaurants that reflect the Resort’s elegant Victorian theme while providing excellent food.
There are more ways than ever to get around WDW nowadays, but the Walt Disney World Monorail System will always hold a special place in the hearts of many Disney Guests. In fact, it’s one of the reasons to stay at, or at least resort-hop to, the Grand Floridian!
The Resort Monorail stops at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, the Transportation and Ticket Center, and three Disney Deluxe Resorts: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Whether you use the monorail strictly to get from point A to point B, or sit back and enjoy the views with no particular destination in mind, this is the perfect way to travel around WDW during the holidays – or any time of the year!
We’ve saved the best for last. The most important reason to visit Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa during the holidays is the life-size gingerbread house that’s erected in the lobby every year – except in 2020 due to the pandemic. We’re thrilled that this iconic Christmas staple is back this year and better than ever!
For 2021, the classic gingerbread display got a blue and gold makeover to celebrate WDW’s 50thanniversary. More than just a pretty showpiece, the gingerbread house is baked fresh every year and takes the Grand Floridian Pastry Team (hello, dream job) more than 400 hours to make. Then there are the 160-plus hours it takes to put it together and decorate it.
There are dozens of yummy treats for sale at the gingerbread house, and you can check out the recipe stats for this beloved behemoth. Ever wonder what 800 pounds of flour look like? Now you know!
We never need an excuse to visit one of the most magnificent Disney Resort Hotels on property. But the holidays add even more magic to a visit to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.