Saturday, June 28, 2014

Grand Floridian Celebration!

26 years ago, the Grand Floridian Beach Resort hotel (now the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) at Walt Disney World opened its doors. Its location on the Monorail route, makes it extremely convenient for hotel guests to shuttle between areas of the resort.

As you can see, it was inspired by the Hotel del Coronado on the west coast:

The photos in today's post were from a June 2002 trip to Orlando, where I got to see this hotel for the first time.

In the background, you can see The Polynesian Resort.

Although it's a beautiful hotel, like the rest of Walt Disney World, I find that its gargantuan size precludes it from having any intimate charm. The basic concept of most WDW hotels is the same; the skins are just different. Here's the grand lobby area:

The band was playing during my visit:

Just as they were on my most recent visit in 2010:

We were given a tour of Citricos Restaurant:

Looks like one of the desserts was celebrating a 100th anniversary; any readers remember the significance of 1902? Maybe it's a leftover garnish celebrating Walt's 1901 birthday.

Happy Birthday, Grand Floridian!

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K. Martinez said...

The only WDW hotels that remotely interest me are the Polynesian and Contemporary and only because they're the 1971 originals. The rest seem contrived and blah. Now the Hotel del Coronado is a beauty.

Fifthrider said...

LOL, I feel the same. Been to the Polynesian back in 73 or so, and only ridden through the Contemporary. To me, those ARE the resort hotels. The GF looks nice too but when you've already got the Coronado in your back yard it's hard to go somewhere else and see the replica.

Go said...

These are "resorts" not just hotels and the Grand Floridian is beautiful.

Dave DeCaro said...

Settle down, Go. Yes, as the post states in the first paragraph, we all know that the complex is a resort; but part of the complex is the hotel where people stay and that is the architecture that I am referring to (as well as the previous 2 posters).