Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two in the intimate setting of a private boat, or a huge dinner buffet hosted by Cinderella and her friends, the restaurants at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort provide an atmosphere and menu to satisfy any appetite.
The resort is home to six dining facilities, each with a distinct identity and décor, all using the freshest and finest food available. The restaurants get fresh seafood, meats and vegetables, including vine-ripened, hand-picked tomatoes, from local markets daily. Specialty foods, such as caviar, are selected from the best available in the international arena. The culinary staff also specializes in catering to the dietary needs of guests.
Victoria & Albert’s
The crown jewel of the Grand Floridian’s dining destinations is Victoria & Albert’s, Central Florida’s only five-diamond restaurant, awarded by AAA. Featuring American regional cuisine with classical influences, soft harp music fills the air as guests ages 10 and older dine on fine china and imported crystal and silver. Servers provide personalized service to each of the restaurant’s 18 tables during the gourmet dining experience.
Menu offerings are prix fixe and feature the freshest regional products, complemented by world-class wines. Diners can choose from a menu that’s customized daily by Chef Scott Hunnel, offering seven courses, including four signature entrees and exquisite desserts. A wine-pairing menu also is available.
In addition to superb personal attention, guests also receive take-home reminders of their special evening: a personalized menu and a long-stemmed red rose for women.
For the ultimate dining experience, guests can reserve a spot at the Chef’s Table. Up to eight guests a night are given VIP treatment in Victoria & Albert’s kitchen. After Hunnel consults with everyone at the table, guests can watch him and his culinary team create customized dishes. Wine enthusiasts also will appreciate the selection of wines that are specially paired with each course. In addition to the great food and atmosphere, this dining extravaganza throws in a few surprises to keep guests amused.
Victoria & Albert’s boasts an extensive wine cellar — one that has been recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with an “Award of Excellence.” The restaurant also has earned several other honors, including a Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Rating and a place on Epicurean Rendezvous’ list of top 25 most romantic restaurants.
Grand Floridian Cafe
Classic dishes and traditional favorites are the staples at Grand Floridian Cafe. Guests can stop in at this all-day-dining restaurant, which is open from 7-11 a.m. for breakfast, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch and 5-9 p.m. for dinner. Rich soups, flavorful burgers and the signature Grand Sandwich are featured menu items.
Outside the windows of the 230-seat restaurant, guests can view a verandah overlooking the courtyard and pool. The restaurant also is surrounded by beautiful gardens which are visible from inside.
1900 Park Fare
This buffet-style restaurant is the best place to see Disney characters at the Grand Floridian. From 8-11 a.m., Mary Poppins and her friends visit with guests, pose for pictures and sign autographs at a breakfast buffet. Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner buffet is from 4:30-8:20 p.m.
Park Fare’s buffets offer a variety of food choices and are even customized to accommodate special tastes. In addition to the regular dinner buffet, which includes prime rib, hot and cold seafood, salads, vegetables and bread, the restaurant also offers a children’s buffet with hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets and Mickey Mouse-shaped macaroni and cheese, plus a dessert and salad bar.
The restaurant’s centerpiece is Big Bertha, a century-old band organ built in Paris and a focal point of a Grand Rapids, Mich., amusement park for many years. Installed 15 feet above the floor in a proscenium, the bellow instrument simultaneously plays pipes, drums, bells, cymbals, castanets and a xylophone. The restaurant’s amusement park atmosphere is reinforced by old-fashioned carousel animals.
Cítricos offers a market-fresh menu that reflects the flavors of France. The cuisine’s sun-drenched flavors and stylish simplicity evoke a sense of nature’s basics — the sun, earth and sea. The restaurant features an exhibition kitchen, rotisserie cooking and a sumptuous dessert and pastry display with chefs placing finishing flourishes on signature creations. Cítricos is located on the second floor of the main building.
Narcoossee’s menu focuses on seafood, with the fresh Maine lobster a hands-down favorite. A dazzling view of Seven Seas Lagoon offers guests a feast for the eyes. Narcoossee’s has 150 seats.
Gasparilla Grill and Games
Casual, family dining is what this 24-hour, counter-service restaurant is all about. Parents can enjoy such favorites as grilled chicken, sandwiches and pizzas while kids try out the latest games in the video arcade. Continental breakfast is also available.
Guests who prefer to dine in a more intimate setting need only to pick up the closest telephone. The Grand Floridian can arrange a private dinner for two, served against the elegant backdrop of the Grand Floridian beach, or with a personal butler aboard the Grand 1, the most luxurious watercraft at Walt Disney World Resort. Certain menu items can be specially prepared for the evening. Twenty-four hours notice is requested.
For all restaurant reservations: 407/WDW-DINE (939-3463).
High tea is served every afternoon from 2-6 p.m. in the Garden View Lounge. Full tea service is provided, including imported teas, fruit tartlets, tea sandwiches, scones and freshly baked pastries. Guests are entertained by the sounds of a grand piano and orchestra.
Mizner’s, a second lounge located off the resort’s main lobby on the second floor, is named after Addison Mizner, the self-taught, eccentric turn-of-the-century Palm Beach architect. Specialties include cognacs, ports and appetizers.
- Walt Disney World Fun Facts (chipandco.com)
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