Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a Victorian themed hotel and spa located at the Walt Disney World. The property opened on June 28, 1988 as the Grand Floridian Beach Resort. The name was changed to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa during the fall of 1997. The resort contains 867 rooms among six buildings at an average of 400 square feet (37 m²) per room. A standard room can sleep up to five people.
The Grand Floridian is categorized as a deluxe resort, one of four types of accommodations at the Florida site. According to The Walt Disney Company, it is considered Disney's flagship resort. The resort has received designation in the Florida Green Lodging Program. It represents Florida's Victorian Age. It was also tied into the backstory of the former Pleasure Island nightlife district, being described as having once been the Pleasure Family Mansion built by Merriweather Adam Pleasure as an anniversary gift for his wife.
History and influences
The hotel was inspired by the Victorian-era beach resorts built along Florida's east coast during the late 1800s and early 1900s; its exterior is modeled after the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California, with red gabled roofs and white walls. Additional design inspiration was taken from the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, Florida.
The resort's outer lodge buildings — Sago Cay, Sugarloaf Key, Conch Key, Boca Chica and Big Pine Key — are named for islands in the Florida Keys. Along with Disney's Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian sits on the shores of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon near the Magic Kingdom. The hotel occupies land that had been earmarked for Disney's Asian Resort during the initial development of Walt Disney World Resort in the late 1960s.
In 1992, a 40,000-square-foot convention center opened adjacent to the hotel, which contains a business center.
As of June 2007, smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor smoking locations.
- Victoria & Albert's: A restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort, with a menu created nightly and an award-winning wine cellar. The intimate restaurant has received AAA's Five Diamond Award each year since 2000 and is currently the only Central Florida restaurant to achieve the designation. Serves dinner nightly. As of January 2008, children under 10 are no longer permitted.
- Cítricos: American food with a Mediterranean flair. Serves dinner five to seven nights a week, depending on season. Formerly an Italian restaurant called Flagler's, which operated until 1997.
- Narcoossee's: A seafood restaurant with an open kitchen and views of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, Wishes. Serves dinner nightly.
- 1900 Park Fare: Buffet dining with Disney characters including Mary Poppins and Cinderella. Inside this restaurant is "Big Bertha", an organ built in Paris and used from 1909 to 1955 in a Grand Rapids, Michigan amusement park. The organ's instruments include pipes, drums, bells, cymbals, castanets and a xylophone, and are played by a piano-roll score. It plays short concerts periodically during mealtimes. Serves breakfast and dinner (buffet-style) daily.
- Grand Floridian Café: Traditional American fare, with fresh fruit, seafood, and burgers. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
- Gasparilla Grill and Games: A 24-hour snack bar with an adjacent arcade.
Recreation and spa
The resort offers two pools, a jacuzzi, and a white sand beach. The marina contains various watercraft rentals, including fishing excursions and a yacht. Other recreational activities include tennis programs, a mile-long jogging trail, health club, and preferred access to the Walt Disney World golf courses.
The full service spa offers massages, therapies, and other treatments.
The Walt Disney World Monorail System, water taxis, and buses provide access to other Walt Disney World areas and attractions.
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