Resort Hopping is one of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World! Visiting the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, and The Polynesian Village Resort are as much on my trip to-do list as Pirates of the Caribbean or devouring a Mickey Premium Bar. That being said, I feel that guests who skip the resorts, or who don’t know they are allowed to visit the resorts, fail to achieve the full Walt Disney World experience. So for those who don’t know, anyone is allowed to visit the Walt Disney World Resorts, even if they’re not a guest of that resort or of any resort on property. But why should you? That’s what I intend to address in my five Disney World Resorts to See During Your Vacation!
Grand Floridian lobby
The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Let’s start with Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, shall we? The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa boasts a Victorian Florida theme and is Disney’s take on luxury and sophistication. But no need to worry about feeling out of place or having rambunctious kids in tow. While the Grand Floridian Resort is like stepping into an old fashioned postcard, this is a Disney World Resort after all!
How to Get There
If driving your own car or a rental car, the Grand Floridian Resort is located at 4401 Floridian Way in Orlando, Florida, just off Seven Seas Drive.
Free transportation to and from the resort consists of Disney Buses, Ferry Boats, and the most famous mode of Disney transportation of all, the Monorail! A 1 mile walking path between the resort and the Polynesian Village Resort is also provided, offering views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Wedding Pavilion, and the Magic Kingdom Park in the distance.
Why You Should Visit
A number of Walt Disney World Resorts boast awe-inspiring lobbies, and the Grand Floridian’s lobby is at the top of the list! In addition to a grand staircase, a cage elevator, and enchanting Disney-inspired tilework under your feet, the Grand Floridian’s 5-story lobby is topped with stained glass domes and massive chandeliers. Tip: For the holidays, a life-size gingerbread house and a towering Victorian Christmas tree occupy the lobby and are must-sees!
The Grand Floridian’s women’s boutique
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, a live pianist and the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra alternate playing popular turn-of-the-century tunes and Disney songs!
The Grand Floridian Resort offers more shops than any other Walt Disney World Resort, which is why it’s one of my favorite locations to hunt for resort exclusive merch, Disney Dooney and Bourke bags, and that perfect souvenir to take home.
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Are you a fan of Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort? Well, if you are, you’ll now have one more chance to dine at the popular restaurant here in the future. You see, beginning May 31, brunch will begin being offered to Guests. (Previously only breakfast and dinner were offered.)
Brunch will take place daily from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and will include all your favorite breakfast items (yes, that includes Mickey Waffles) plus soup; salads including Caesar, seafood, fresh broccoli, antipasto, chicken and Caprese; barbecued ribs; seafood étouffée; and baked salmon. Rounding things out will be the ice cream bar and Contemporary bakery sweets.
Reservations for brunch at Chef Mickey’s can start being made as of May 22. You can do it via the Walt Disney World website or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
This is great news as it’s often difficult to obtain a reservation for Chef Mickey’s, so it gives fans just one more chance to get to dine with the mouse!
Chef Mickey’s has a new look after the construction on the 4th floor of the Contemporary resort has subsided. Overall, the area now has 3 entry portal – one to the rennovated Outer Rim Bar, Chef Mickey, and the Contempo Cafe quick service.
Guests are channeled down a long black and red tiled walkway to the new check-in podium for the restaurant.
Once checked-in, guests wait to be called in a plush new waiting area. This area is again adorned in the black and red “Mickey” color scheme.
We suspect the original structures which remain will soon be repainted to match the new additions. Seating has been reworked to give the whole restaurant a more open and less cramped feeling.