A Lovely Day Spent at Disney’s Grand Floridian
Most of the folks I know who visit Walt Disney World Resort look forward to their vacations for months. They start planning well ahead of time. When faced with the reality of just how much there is to see and do, they almost always wind up booking a stay that will last for at least a week. A wise friend said it best: “I’ve been planning this shebang for months, you better believe I’m going for 7 full days!” And why not consider staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian?!
She definitely knew her audience (me) would nod its head in agreement, and when she got the response she was expecting proceeded to say “I knew you’d agree! So what should we do on our non-park days? Is there anywhere else on-property to spend a day? I want it to be entertaining for the kids, but relaxing enough for my husband and I too. NO shopping!”.
I know her family well, and I know that recommending a day at Disney Springs would be the last thing her husband and sons would be interested in, so the wheels in my head started turning. I know they love music, love to walk, and would want to be completely immersed in the Disney-sphere, even on an off day. Through the fog of my brainstorm, I began to see shapes. Outlines of massive, red-roofed buildings began to cloud my vision and all before I even formed the thought the words came out of my mouth faster than a Florida thunderstorm rolls in… “spend the day at the Grand Floridian!”
Strolls With A View
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and is one of the three Resorts that boast views of the very nearby Cinderella Castle and the surrounding Magic Kingdom. If you’re traveling with adults, a relaxing walk along the shoals of the lake make for a fantastic morning. Start the walk from the Magic Kingdom boat launch and you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Narcoossee’s- the famed lakefront dinner-only restaurant.
You’ll walk among Disney’s Grand Floridian’s many buildings before happening upon the lobby. After you take a walk through, my favorite thing to do is take a break near the pool bar and order one of their signature cocktails! The St. Augustine is a refreshing choice that always motivates me to keep walking! Once you finish your drink, continue walking past the Wedding Chapel- if you’re lucky, the gates may be open and you can explore the interior of one of the most gorgeously designed buildings on property!
Make It A Game!
I love to walk, but when I tried to take my little cousin on a stroll during our last Disney vacation together, he made sure I knew that walking was NOT his idea of a fun Disney pastime! If you’re traveling with kids, you can very easily turn a ‘boring’ walk into a sightseeing adventure! Start off by walking past the Wedding Chapel and ask the kids to find the window that faces Magic Kingdom; when they do, tell them this fun fact: when the bride walks down the aisle, her sightline is directly aligned with Cinderella Castle!
While not technically at the Grand Floridian, a continued walk in that same direction will bring you to the Polynesian. If you’re spending the day, stop into the lobby and see the newly renovated space, or if you visit after 4:00pm, Trader Sam’s Grogg Grotto is a great place to take the kids for a wild Tiki-themed appetizer while the adults sample a specialty cocktail!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Music
Since you’ve chosen Walt Disney World as your family’s vacation destination, chances are you’re all fans of Disney and the fantastic music that has been produced by the company. Several times daily, music spirals through the lobby and up to the very tops of the soaring ceilings of Grand Floridian, and in true Disney fashion, it’s all live, and it’s all complimentary! If you’re a fan of Disney classics, you’ll want to look out for the pianists who play multiple sets daily; with a set list stacked with tunes that range from classical to classic Disney, I would bet that everyone hears a recognizable tune or two!
My absolute favorite way to spend a non-park afternoon is by relaxing at one of the Resorts, and so far, I’ve yet to have a more glorious afternoon than the one I spent listening to the Grand Floridian Orchestra fill the air with sweet orchestral sounds. It must be the Disney magic, because I’m not sure how else a full band complete with trumpets, drums, and loud woodwinds succeeds at simultaneously being the center of every guests’ attention while also providing relaxing and non-distracting live lobby music.
The only thing that beats disembarking a monorail and hearing the sounds from the band spill out from the quaintly massive lobby is that the show is completely complimentary!
The best part about a non-park day is that they are yours to create! You know your family better than anyone, and with so many options at the Grand Floridian, customization is very easy.
You can grab a Mickey bar from the gift shop and enjoy it near the pool, take in views of Cinderella Castle on the beach, hop on a monorail and tour the other Resorts along the loop, or sit in that amazing lobby and listen to the sweet swells of live music…whatever you decide to do, we want to know! Leave us a comment detailing what you’d do on a day at the Grand Floridian…we’d love to hear from you!
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