Eating at Grand Floridian
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the crème de la crème of Walt Disney World resorts. This hotel is easily the most expensive Disney option. Realistically, the cost to stay here is prohibitive to many potential guests. Still, there’s no charge to visit the hotel, and you really should. The theming and style of the place is inimitable. Plus, while you’re here, there’s something that you can do that will make you feel like royalty. Here’s a guide on Table Service restaurants and other fine dining at Grand Floridian.
5) Victoria & Albert’s
I’ve ordered this list in terms of bang for the buck, but you can also view it as least reasonable to most reasonable option. What I mean by that is that Victoria & Albert’s isn’t for everyone. When you eat here, you’ll have divine dining choices such as a Chef’s Degustation Menu. All this meal will cost you is $235. Per person. And oh yes, there’s a dress code in place, too. A man without a dinner jacket won’t be getting dinner. Women must dress up as well. It’s a big ask.
You’d swallow your pride about the meal price, which is basically an iPhone for a party of two, in exchange for one of the best dinners of your life. Victoria & Albert’s is one of the two best restaurants in America…and I don’t mean at Disney theme parks. In 2016, Trip Advisor selected it second among Fine Dining options in the United States. That’s rarefied air for any restaurant, much less one ostensibly at a theme park.
You’re eating at Victoria & Albert’s for the experience. As long as you can afford the staggering meal cost, it’s a memory that will last for many years to come. Think of this establishment as the ultimate celebratory location when you celebrate some huge milestone in your life like an anniversary, birthday, or other personal achievement. Even then, you’re still going to feel a pinch when the bill arrives. If money is no object, however, Victoria & Albert’s becomes the clear-cut choice for best meal at Grand Floridian.
The Grand Floridian campus is host to a pair of Signature Dining restaurants. These are the eateries that are so upscale that Disney charges two Table Service credits per meal to dine here. In terms of perception, they’re fairly similar. Both of them are highly rated, as we’ll discuss in a moment. They also have similarly priced menus, meaning that you’re going to spend about the same amount at either establishment. Still, one restaurant is better than the other, at least for most people. Let’s quickly examine why.
Citricos is the 55th best restaurant in Orlando according to reviewers on Trip Advisor, the most trusted travel site on the internet. That sounds amazing, right? Well, it is, but 55th place still isn’t good enough. Narcoossee’s is the 32nd best restaurant according to Trip Advisor, and yes, Victoria & Albert’s is ranked #1, in case you were wondering. As you can see, the food at Grand Floridian is universally amazing.
Why is Narcoossee’s better than Citricos? Well, in addition to slightly better food, it also offers a lovely view at dinner. Specifically, this restaurant offers a wonderful seating area for the nightly fireworks. You can watch Happily Ever After from some of the booths inside the restaurant, but the true joy is sitting on the accompanying deck outside. Here, Disney has speakers that pump in the music from the show, giving you a pristine view of the breathtaking fireworks exhibition.
Citricos doesn’t offer this sort of fireworks seating. In combination with the food, that’s enough to give the nod to Narcoossee’s. Still, both restaurants are extremely expensive, with many entrees priced at $40 or more. That makes these eateries expensive when you pay out of pocket but also a terrible value when you use anything but the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan. Again, if you’re not concerned about prices, the situation changes. These are two of the finest restaurants anywhere at Walt Disney World. They’re just not great values, unlike the next two selections…
2) 1900 Park Fare
This particular eatery is a tale of two meals. 1900 Park Fare isn’t open for lunch, but breakfast and dinner both display a lot of character. That’s because they’re both themed meals that you’ll love.
The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast features beloved characters from Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, plus a loving hostess named Mary Poppins. All of the characters will roam from table to table, meaning that you don’t have to do anything to enjoy a meet and greet. You’ll take a picture as you enter the facility, and then you’ll sit at a table. The server will take your drink order and direct you to the buffet. You’ll have your choice of breakfast standards, but there’s also a surprise treat. The hotel’s legendary Floridian Strawberry Soup is one of the buffet choices. You’ll definitely want to try it.
While breakfast is wonderful, I’m squarely on the dinner side of the 1900 Park Fare debate. Some people favor the Alice in Wonderland crew and choose an early morning meal for that reason. I’m diametrically opposed to that decision. I want the dinner service, because that’s when the Cinderella’s Happily Ever After crew arrives. And I’m not picking this meal for Cinderella or Prince Charming, either.
The stars of 1900 Park Fare are the Tremaines. The evil stepmother and vicious stepsisters from the Cinderella fairy tale sound inhospitable in the story. At this restaurant, they’re an absolute delight. The Lady Tremaine and her daughters, Anastasia and Drizella, hold court over the entire room. They delight in their willingness to say awful things about Cinderella and anyone else they hate…which is everyone they’ve ever met since Prince Charming. And speaking of which, the stepsisters aren’t shrinking violets when they see the crown prince in the area. They will throw themselves at him, hoping to get him to overlook his foot fetish long enough to marry one (or both?) of them.
Look, 1900 Park Fare is an expensive place to eat. Dinner is $47 per person plus tax as I type this. Despite the lofty price, I heartily recommend a meal here to everyone that I know. The explanation is that the Tremaines are so entertaining that this restaurant is a better show than Hoop Dee Doo Revue, at least for my family. We have about eight must-visit eateries on our Walt Disney World list, and 1900 Park Fare is near the top. The ONLY sticking point is the price.
On the plus side, this restaurant costs only one Table Service credit, the same as the number one selection on my list. That’s a lot better than the two Table Service credits required for the third and fourth selections on this list…and if you tried to use the Disney Dining Plan at Victoria & Albert’s, you’d get laughed off the property!
1) Grand Floridian Café
Prepare for blasphemy. The best Table Service option at Grand Floridian, at least in terms of bang for the buck, is the unheralded one. Grand Floridian Café is the easiest place to get a reservation at the hotel or at ANY monorail Table Service restaurant. It couldn’t have a lower profile if the entrance were invisible to the naked eye. And that’s great news for you!
When you want to visit The Grand Floridian, you should plan to eat at its titular café. You’ll have no trouble getting a seat, and you’ll enjoy one of the most delicious meals available at Walt Disney World. Best of all, the entrees are inexpensive. For breakfast, you can eat for $15 or less, which is reasonable for any Disney restaurant, much less one at Grand Floridian.
Lunch entrees are generally under $20, and even the dinner menu offerings are largely under $25. The most you can spend is $33 on a steak. Also, here’s a pro tip. You can order breakfast items at brunch hours, which makes Grand Floridian Café a marvelous compromise option when your party is divided on breakfast vs. lunch.
In terms of bang for the buck, you’ll struggle to beat Grand Floridian Café. Trip Advisor reviewers rank it as the 85th best restaurant in Orlando, which leads to an amazing statement about Grand Floridian as a whole.
Despite being one of the top eateries in a metropolitan area of roughly 2.4 million people, Grand Floridian Café is only graded as the FOURTH best restaurant at the hotel. Suffice to say that you’ll never go hungry eating at this resort, as long as your credit card can handle the sting. You’ll feel the pain less at Grand Floridian Café, which is why it’s your best bet.