Monday, February 26, 2024

Grand Floridian Resort Reimagining Information & Development Updates for 2023

Development continues at Grand Floridian Resort, with extra work to constructing exteriors and (presumably) interiors. On this submit, we’ll share pictures and ideas on the influence to company with stays right here between now and Fall 2023. We’ll additionally handle the reimagining of rooms, eating places, foyer, and extra. (Up to date April 12, 2023.)

Proper now, the official announcement from Walt Disney World is that “Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is present process refurbishment. Company will be capable of see and listen to building throughout daytime hours. Most Resort resort facilities will stay out there. Please permit for extra journey time.”

This began again in March, and the idea on the time was that discover the mission pertained to the Disney Trip Membership overhaul of the Huge Pine Key constructing of resort rooms at Walt Disney World’s flagship resort. This constructing reopened over the summer season and the brand new rooms have debuted–see Grand New Rooms at Walt Disney World’s Flagship Resort for a glance inside. Nevertheless, work has continued.

Since initially reporting this, Walt Disney World has since confirmed a lot of what’s mentioned under on this submit as ‘rumor,’ which is that the foyer and visitor rooms are being reimagined. This wasn’t actually a ‘rumor’ within the conventional sense of the time period earlier than, because it was revealed within the official Disney Trip Membership journal, however it’s the primary official affirmation we’ve seen from the corporate outdoors of that. Right here’s what Walt Disney World has now shared in regards to the Grand Floridian overhaul:

2023 will even be a momentous 12 months for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa because it celebrates its thirty fifth anniversary on July 1! The resort has been receiving some grand touches that weave acquainted storybook allure into the Victorian magnificence of this flagship resort. Visitor rooms are at present being up to date as we communicate with extra to return because the beloved Grand Floridian ushers in its third decade of magic. The continuing renovation will even embrace an upcoming refurbishment of the foyer, which can keep the basic theming and love with some recent new enhancements.

The story doesn’t finish there, as you possibly can dine beneath the stunning London sky at Citricos, impressed by “Mary Poppins Returns” … and perhaps bookend your night with a shimmering sip at Enchanted Rose Lounge, impressed by “Magnificence and the Beast.” And our beloved Victoria & Albert’s – the culinary crown jewel of Walt Disney World Resort and AAA 5 Diamond Award winner – reopened its doorways this 12 months to rave evaluations that includes a renovated inside.

All of this was already identified primarily based each on circumstantial ‘proof’ and comparable statements within the aforementioned DVC Information journal. Nevertheless, it’s good to see separate affirmation, even whether it is exceedingly gentle on particulars. Right here’s hoping that Imagineering releases some precise idea artwork and a building timeline for when the foyer might be impacted.

Figuring out when the entire mission will wrap up in 2023 (or will or not it’s 2024?) would even be good. This could possibly be a comparatively minor initiative that swaps out furnishings and furnishings in a single day and has zero influence on company, or it could possibly be a serious mission that largely takes the foyer out of fee. It could possibly be the sort of factor that makes company wish to keep away from the Grand Floridian, or a complete non-factor. There’s no approach of realizing till Disney offers precise, substantive particulars.

April 12, 2023 Replace: We’re again with new building pictures and an on-the-ground replace from our newest keep on the Grand Floridian. Throughout that, we have been within the Boca Chica constructing (behind the pool), which is now absolutely refurbished and options the above-mentioned reimagined rooms.

We’ve now stayed within the new rooms on the resort facet of the Grand Floridian and the Resort Studios as a part of the Villas at Grand Floridian. They’re precisely the identical, minus a microwave for the resort rooms. No shock there–though unannounced, it’s precisely what was anticipated when this mission started.

Along with the Boca Chica constructing being ton, so too is Conch Key. That’s nearer the boat dock to Magic Kingdom, throughout from Narcoossee’s, which can also be now absolutely reimagined and reopened as of April 2023.

At present in progress are the Sugar Loaf and Sago Key buildings, which started work within the final couple of months. If previous precedent is any indication, Sugar Loaf ought to be completed very quickly, with Sago Key returning earlier than Summer season 2023.

On the time of our final in-person photograph replace in Spring 2023, parts of Sugar Loaf and Sago Key are coated by scaffolding, with building partitions erected across the perimeter of the buildings.

In watching building, it’s fairly apparent that a couple of issues are occurring. The roof is being changed in sections; that is overdue and makes an evening and day distinction. Moreover, there’s repainting and repairs to the constructing and its lattice work.

Lastly, the stairwells are being rebuilt. This additionally occurred with Huge Pine Key, and the outcomes are comparatively underwhelming–the brand new stairwells have an nearly short-term really feel. We at all times use these stairwells as a substitute of elevators, and the previous ones didn’t have any seen points.

After all, that doesn’t imply they didn’t should be changed for no matter cause. I’m no building professional and I extremely doubt Disney would’ve undertaken this (at greatest) lateral if it was pointless.

Because of the work on Sago Key, the superb Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom walkway is closed. Our expectation is that this can reopen as quickly as that constructing is completed, though that’s not but sure.

On a associated observe, the walkway between the Grand Floridian and Polynesian has modified on a few events because of building of the Poly DVC Tower. A brand new route simply opened and is simpler to navigate and feels safer. Provided that that is open proper now with the diploma of structural building that’s occurring, we anticipate that pathway to stay open in the course of that mission.

The one constructing that isn’t completed or in progress is the principle foyer. Which means that for those who ebook any of the “Outer Bldg” room classes at this level, you’ll get a brand new room. The buildings which might be at present in progress are closed fully; solely the reimagined rooms can be found for reserving. That’s the excellent news.

The unhealthy information is that all the Major Bldg. rooms (together with Membership Stage and Suites) are nonetheless the previous, dated, and bland type. Nevertheless, you gained’t even have the choice to ebook these relying upon your journey dates, because the Major Constructing is completely unavailable for Summer season & Fall 2023, which ought to present perception into the timeline for that mission.

As famous above, Walt Disney World already introduced that the foyer “will keep the basic theming and love with some recent new enhancements.” What which means is unclear; it leaves a whole lot of latitude for a variety of adjustments. Our expectation is that the scope and scale is on par with the opposite buildings, making a constant visible type with these.

What’s additionally unknown is what occurs with Grand Floridian Cafe and 1900 Park Fare, the latter of which has nonetheless not reopened. Our expectation is that each obtain reimagined interiors, with the previous closing over the summer season to accommodate that overdue replace and the latter not reopening till the foyer mission is completed. (So maybe someday between October and December 2023–that’s the largest stretch of the 12 months for Walt Disney World restaurant demand.) That’s simply our hypothesis, although.

Late final 12 months, we stayed within the new Huge Pine Key DVC constructing, in a room straight going through the development the place work was actively occurring all through our keep. Sitting on the balcony, I might see welding on the stairwell, which was oddly transfixing. I wouldn’t essentially name that an “enhancement” however I did want it to the choice of wanting on the pool. That’s simply me, although.

In any other case, there wasn’t a lot of a building influence. As long as this work continues constructing by constructing–and I assume that’s the plan–the Grand Floridian doesn’t really feel or sound like a building zone. Positive, there are building staff coming and going (notably alongside the trail main previous Gasparilla Island Grill), however there are at all times upkeep staff, landscaping, housekeeping, and so forth. That’s par for the course, and essential to service the resort and preserve the grounds wanting good.

There are occasions after I’ve felt like there’s an excessive amount of noise or visible blight because of resort building at Walt Disney World. That’s not my take right here; I’d not hesitate to ebook one other keep on the Grand Floridian throughout this mission. (Effectively, I’d since we’re out of factors for the 12 months, however that has nothing to do with building!)

As at all times, your mileage could differ. If you happen to’ll be spending a whole lot of time within the room throughout daytime hours or are delicate to noise, think about making a room request away from wherever the work is happening throughout your trip.

Anyway, it looks as if an open secret that the Grand Floridian is changing its normal resort rooms (pictured above) with one thing within the type of the resort studios.

We’re extremely happy by this information (or rumor, relying upon the way you have a look at it). For years, we’ve been complaining that the rooms usually are not commensurate with the costs. I’d go so far as to say that the Grand Floridian common visitor rooms are among the many dullest at Walt Disney World. You’d be hard-pressed to differentiate them from a mid-range Hilton or Marriott.

Above is a have a look at the Resort Studio.

To me, it’s an evening and day distinction–simply the largest earlier than/after enchancment of any resort room at Walt Disney World within the final decade. This reimagining introduced with it larger usability, consideration to particulars, luxurious finishings, thematic thrives, and a variety of different particulars. Whether or not you’re assessing from a perform or type perspective, these are a marked enchancment.

I’d go a step additional than that, and say the Resort Studios are the perfect rooms from an goal perspective–or at the very least in rivalry for that. I personally want a handful of different rooms, however there’s no denying the standard of those.

It makes full sense that Walt Disney World is replicating this type on the resort facet of Grand Floridian, because the staff behind these rooms completely crushed it. This might be an enormous enchancment, with company not questioning (to the identical diploma) how this room value $800 or extra.

Past this, it’s rumored that Grand Floridian will obtain a considerable overhaul in 2023 with “Enchanted Gardens” because the unifying visible type. (That’s the time period utilized by the Disney Information journal for DVC members. I haven’t seen “Enchanted Gardens” used anyplace else when describing the reimagining, however there’s presumably a foundation for it someplace.)

This might embody the foyer, eating places, and different facilities. An overhaul of the foyer looks as if an inevitability at this level. Though I don’t assume that’s obligatory (do the Grand Canyon Concourse within the Up to date first!), I do assume this type could possibly be used as the idea for a refresh.

That’s in all probability going to get me excoriated amongst Walt Disney World purists. As a realist, I believe this type is just about the best-case state of affairs when accounting for tastes of contemporary company and the worth level of the Grand Floridian. Whereas WDW diehards may love the foyer and general aesthetic, I’d hazard a guess that the resort doesn’t comport with the expectations of the first-timers or informal company who really ebook it.

With that mentioned, my hope is that Imagineering can marry the visible type of the brand new rooms with the opulence and grandiosity of the principle foyer. It shouldn’t develop into an Ethan Allen showroom, however with the next ceiling. Modernized doesn’t must imply uninteresting and devoid of character. There’s a strategy to have the perfect of each worlds, a foyer that’s each well-themed and opulent. It’s a tricky stability to strike, however hopefully it may be achieved, if that’s what Walt Disney World opts to do.

If Walt Disney World does decide to overtake the foyer of the Grand Floridian, one factor is definite: we should defend the masterpiece monkey and bunny work in any respect prices.

I’m not one for petitions, but when somebody have been to begin one to get these puppies added to some historic register of culturally important artistic endeavors, I’d signal it. Maybe the Grand Floridian ought to even be added to the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations as house to those priceless treasures. They’re arguably why it’s known as the Grand, and is the flagship resort at Walt Disney World.

In the end, we’re more than happy that it seems the Grand Floridian is lastly getting visitor rooms which might be worthy of Walt Disney World’s flagship resort. It’s not completely clear why Walt Disney World hasn’t introduced this, or launched main particulars a couple of new foyer, eating places, and rooms?

Regardless, it’s a near-certainty that the visitor rooms on the resort facet are being reimagined in a mode that’s similar or similar to the resort studios that simply debuted within the new Huge Pine Key DVC constructing. Given the tempo of building to this point and the truth that that is occurring on a building-by-building foundation, it’s doubtless that this mission will final properly into 2023.

Ultimately, that was the aim of this submit–to present you a heads up about ongoing building on the Grand Floridian in case you’ve gotten a keep booked earlier than Fall 2023. Hopefully the pictures and commentary offer you an thought of what to anticipate. Whereas I don’t plan on making standalone Grand Floridian building updates a daily factor, you possibly can observe our Walt Disney World Resort Refurbishment Tracker for future updates.

We’re cautiously optimistic in regards to the finish consequence. The Grand Floridian is arguably probably the most well-rounded Seven Seas Lagoon Resort, with fewer drawbacks than the Up to date or Polynesian. The rooms are probably the most obvious weak point, and people will quickly be resolved in an distinctive approach. As long as widespread areas and eating places aren’t screwed up an excessive amount of, the Grand Floridian will emerge from this as a greater choice than earlier than, and a resort really deserving of the flagship distinction.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study motels on our Walt Disney World Motels Opinions web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions. To save cash on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the perfect place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for the whole lot it’s essential know!


What do you consider the rooms on the Grand Floridian? What in regards to the new DVC resort studio rooms v. present resort rooms? Are you a Grand Floridian fan? Excited for a possible overhaul to Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, or nervous it’ll lose its persona and richly-themed areas within the course of? Have you ever stayed on the Grand Floridian since that superb walkway debuted? Did you employ it or the monorail? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Different ideas or considerations? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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