Resort Hopping at the Grand Floridian

So what do you do when you’re traveling to Walt Disney World on a budget, yet you want to get a taste of what life is like on the other side?
I have two words for you my friend……..Resort Hopping.

If you take a little time away from the parks, there is a whole new world to discover. And I’m not talking about flying on a magic carpet either. I’m talking about hopping over to the Grand Floridian resort. Located on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon and just a monorail stop away from the Magic Kingdom, it’s no wonder that the Grand Floridian resort can cost a pretty penny to stay at. And let’s face it, I’m probably not going to be able to afford any room (for any length of time) at the Grand Floridian anytime soon! So what better way to experience the finer things in life then to resort hop and check it all out? I’ve made this particular resort a stop on many of our past Walt Disney World vacations. We’ve experienced some of the restaurants, did some shopping, did some lounging – just like we were real life resort guests. It really is a magnificent place to spend an afternoon or evening. I will admit, for the money it’s not really my style, but I can appreciate the beauty and grandeur of it from afar (as I stay at the less expensive but not any less charming Port Orleans Riverside). This resort is also home to one of my favorite hidden gems restaurants, the Grand Floridian Cafe. I suppose it is not really hidden but I think it is extremely overlooked due to some of the more popular restaurants at this resort like Citricos and Narcoossee’s. The Grand Floridian Cafe actually has some amazing food and I would put it on par with some of the signature dining. I also loved the atmosphere of the restaurant. Best part is, it’s less expensive or less credits on the dining plan. Want to feel real fancy for a minute? You can also take part in afternoon tea in the Garden View Lounge while enjoying crumpets, scones and more. To top it all off, this resort has some beautiful grounds and great views of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Making it overall an amazing stop while resort hopping. Perhaps one day I’ll get to stay there, or at least make a visit to the spa. A girl can dream right?

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Can Tables in Wonderland Save You Money?

By Frances

Tables in Wonderland is a discount card that can be purchased by Florida Residents, Disney Vacation Club Members & Annual/Seasonal Pass Holders only.

BENEFITS INCLUDE

  • 20% discount on all food and beverages at 99 participating Resort hotel and Theme Park restaurants (discount is valid for a party of up to 10 Guests).
  • Resort and Theme Park parking for dining purposes
  • Invitations to special member-only food and wine events, winemaker dinners and celebrity chef dinners
  • Discount is also available on most adult & specialty beverages.
  • And more!

Cost to you:

$100 for Florida Residents or DVC Members

$75 for Annual/Season Pass Holders

It’s good from the first day purchased for 365 days.

You can purchase it at Guest Relations at any Walt Disney World Theme Park or Downtown Disney. Annual/Seasonal Pass Holders can order it Epcot Le Cellier, Epcot Le Cellier sign, Epcot Le Cellier menu, Epcot Le Cellier pricesby phone or mail. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

There are a few Block-out dates for the Tables in Wonderland: Mothers Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Tables in Wonderland discount cannot be used in combination with any other discount and is not valid for Fantasmic Dinner Package, Food and Wine Festival dinners, Candlelight Packages, or any other special events / special dining experiences.

An 18% gratuity is automatically added regardless of how many are in your party. A 20% gratuity is automatically added at Victoria & Albert’s.

Don’t lose the Tables in Wonderland Card. There is a $50 replacement fee.

For more information:

Here is why, Mouze Kateerz writer, Lucinda purchased a Tables in Wonderland Card. She is a Florida Resident & Annual Pass Holder. “20% is a good discount…makes it easy to get your money back, so to speak. Meaning…that for our family, we only need to dine out four times a year for the card to be a good value. TiW makes it more feasible for us, as locals to dine on Disney property. I like that beverages are included as well…and I like that we can include up to 9 guests per visit. There’s a nice long list of participating restaurants.”

Here is my thoughts. If the Disney Dining Plan says that it will save you up to 20% off and this will save you 20% off plus you can save on adult beverages, I think it will save money.

Here’s a list of participating restaurants:

DISNEY RESORT LOCATIONS
All Star Movies Resort

  • World Premiere
    Food Court

All Star MusicResort

  • Intermission Food Court

All Star Sports Resort

  • End Zone Food Court

Animal Kingdom
Lodge Resort

  • Boma – The Flavors
    of Africa
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place
  • Sanaa
  • Victoria Falls

Beach Club Resort

  • Beaches & Cream
    Soda Shop (excludes
    take-out shop)
  • Cape May Café
  • Martha’s Vineyard Lounge

BoardWalk Resort

  • Belle Vue Lounge
  • Big River Grille
    & Brewing Works
  • ESPN® Club
  • Flying Fish Café
  • Kouzzina by Cat Cora

Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Shutters at Old Point Royale

Contemporary Resort

  • California Grill
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • Outer Rim
  • The Wave

Coronado Springs Resort

  • Maya Grill
Fort Wilderness
Resort & Campground

  • Crockett’s Tavern
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (9:30 p.m.
    show only)
  • Trail’s End Restaurant (Excludes take out shop)

Grand Floridian
Resort & Spa

  • 1900 Park Fare
  • Citricos
  • Garden View Tea Room
  • Grand Floridian Café
  • Mizner’s Lounge
  • Narcoossee’s
  • Victoria & Albert’s (excluding the Chef’s Table & Queen Victoria Room)

Old Key West Resort

  • Olivia’s Cafe

Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course

  • Sand Trap Bar & Grill

Polynesian Resort

  • ‘Ohana
  • Kona Cafe
  • Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (Late show only)
  • Tambu Lounge

Pop Century Resort

  • Everything Pop Shopping and Dining (excludes merchandise from shop)
Port Orleans Resort
– French Quarter

  • Sassagoula Floatworks
    & Food Factory
  • Scat Cat’s Club

– Riverside

  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall
  • River Roost

Saratoga Springs Resort

  • The Artist’s Palette
  • The Turf Club Bar & Grill
  • Turf Club Lounge

Vero Beach Resort

  • The Green Cabin Room
  • Shutter’s
  • Sonya’s (Excludes
    Sunday Brunch)

Wilderness Lodge

  • Artist Point
  • Territory Lounge
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe

Yacht Club Resort

  • Ale and Compass Lounge
  • Captain’s Grille
  • Crews Cup Lounge
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

  • Il Mulino New York Trattoria
  • Kimonos
  • Shula’s Steak House
  • Todd English’s bluezoo
  • Garden Grove
DISNEY PARK LOCATIONS
Magic Kingdom® Park

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • The Crystal Palace
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Tony’s Town
    Square Restaurant

Epcot®

  • Akershus Royal
    Banquet Hall
  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Bistro de Paris
  • Chefs de France
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Nine Dragons Restaurant
  • Restaurant Marrakesh
  • Rose & Crown Pub
    & Dining Room
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante
  • The Garden
    Grill Restaurant
  • Tokyo Dining
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante
  • Via Napoli

Disney’s Hollywood Studios™

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Mama Melrose’s
    Ristorante Italiano
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In
    Theater Restaurant
  • The Hollywood
    Brown Derby
  • Tune-In Lounge
Animal Kingdom®

  • Flame Tree Barbeque
  • Pizzafari
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Tusker House Restaurant

DOWNTOWN DISNEY®
– Marketplace

  • Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant
  • Fulton’s Crab House

DOWNTOWN DISNEY®
– Pleasure Island

  • Paradiso 37
  • Portobello
  • Raglan Road” Irish Pub
    and Restaurant

DOWNTOWN DISNEY®
– West side

  • Bongo’s Cuban Café
  • House Of Blues®
    (Excludes Sunday Brunch)
  • Planet Hollywood®
  • Wolfgang Puck Café

ESPN Wide World
of Sports® Complex

  • ESPN Wide World
    of Sports® Grill

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian: 3 Reasons You’ll Love This Pricey Restaurant!

Narcoossee's lobster, Narcoossee's menu, Narcoossee's restaurant, Narcoossee's at the Grand Floridian

By Lisa.

Narcoossee’s is a signature dining restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  It specializes in seafood fare served in a Victorian style setting.  We decided to try a new dining location during our last trip, and Narcoossee’s was certainly a choice that we did not regret! Here are some reasons that you should add it to your next list of ADR’s: [Read more…]

Mouzing Around on the WDW Monorail

All aboard the WDW monorail

Every photo has a story.

“Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas. Ladies and Gentlemen, please collect your belongings and watch your head and step. Please assist small children by the hand.” If you’ve ever ridden on a Disney monorail, this simple exit speech is etched into your Disney memory forever.

Picture this…since the 1971 opening of Walt Disney World, the monorail system has carried more than one billion passengers.  The WDW Resort Monorail System, the most heavily traveled passenger monorail system in the world, carries nearly 150,000 passengers every week day.  Each year, the monorails transports more than 50 million people. If you are looking for a break from the theme park crowds this holiday season, hop a monorail and tour some of the breathtaking resorts along the monorail route.

Your first stop…the Contemporary Resort offers some shopping and a quick-lunch at the Contempo Cafe.  As you watch other monorails zip through the building, you’ll definitely want a Black Forrest Cupcake for dessert.  A traditional Contemporary must-see is the floor-to-ceiling ceramic mural, created by artist and Disney legend Mary Blair, whimsically celebrating the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the southwest region.  Need some quiet time to rest your achy feet?  Take an escalator down one floor to the Convention Center area, where there are usually some fluffy couches available, and the bathrooms here are super clean, quiet, and roomy.

Next stop…the Polynesian Resort, where you’ll enter a South Pacific themed tropical paradise. Walk down to the lower level and gaze at the 70 species of plants found around the waterfall.  Take a seat, so close you are within reaching distance of the flora, and feel your vacation tensions melt away to the sound of the peaceful falling waters.  If you need a quick bite to eat, try Captain Cook’s or the Tambo Lounge. If you are here near nightfall, ask about the Polynesian Resort’s torch-lighting ceremony, which includes a traditional fire-knife dance together with authentic drumming and chants.

Last stop… is the magnificent Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Labeled as the flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resorts, just standing in the five-story lobby is a journey into opulence and splendor.  There are six restaurants to choose from and shopping at Basin White or M. Mouse Mercantile. Pull up a chair and listen to the frequent musical entertainment, which ranges from a pianist seated at a grand piano to a Disney big band.  Because this holiday decoration will be gone after New Years, make a trip over to the Victorian era-style Grand Floridian gingerbread house before you make your way back upstairs for the monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom.

A modernistic transportation system to journey you to the Future, the South Seas, and the Victorian Era…all in a Disney holiday’s time.

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride!

Do you have any fabulous Disney vacation pictures you’d like to share?  Drop by and share your photos on Facebook at Mouze Kateerz. Take a virtual Disney vacation twice a day in photographs.  You can email a photo of your favorite Disney location at mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

Mouzing Around the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Victorian Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian

Every photo has a story.

With theme park crowds at some of their highest levels during the Christmas  Season, you may need a break from the long lines.  Hop a monorail and head  over to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for some holiday shopping in a  fabulous resort themed in the style of America’s palace hotels.  As you  walk into the lobby from the monorail platform, you’ll feel as if you have  entered an architectural era of days gone by.  Inspired by the Brown Palace  Hotel in Denver, Colorado, the five-story lobby will take your breath away.

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa decorates each holiday season with a can’t miss  Victorian era inspired gingerbread house.  Grab your camera and head  to the right side of the lobby, where you’ll find a staircase frequently used  for bridal portraits for weddings held at the resort.  Snap your own photo  here on the stairs, followed by a shot next to their astounding Christmas tree,  and then make your way across the lobby to the gingerbread house taken straight from every child’s Christmas morning fantasy.

Picture this…the GF Gingerbread House is whipped up every year from scratch  using 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 1,050 pounds of honey,  and 180 pounds of apricot glaze.  It takes about 400 hours to bake  everything, and by everything, I mean the upwards of 10,000 pieces it takes to complete the mouth-watering 16-foot-tall piece of culinary architecture.

Want to learn some neat tips for creating your own holiday gingerbread  masterpiece?

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House decorating demos are held Monday through  Saturday right out in front of the Victorian Gingerbread House.  You’ll need to bring your Disney Rewards Visa, because with all these sweet-treat options, you probably won’t walk away empty-handed.  There’s usually a classical pianist or a big band  performing all your favorite Disney tunes in the lobby.  Rest those feet for a while – enjoy your snack.

When you’ve had your fill of gingerbread, walk back upstairs to the monorail level and spend some time in Basin White.  Basin White  has a very simplistic décor that focuses all your attention on their specialty  line of luxury bath and body care.  With an amazing selection of bath bombs, salts, scrubs, and perfumes, they have a wide range of specialty soaps that you must smell to believe.  You can preview some of their  holiday soap bars right here.  You’ll not soon forget the clean  smells and the colorful soaps.  Basin White is a great place to wash your hands with their sugar and salt scrubs before you resume your journey  back to the Magic Kingdom.  Don’t be surprised if you take some home for the holidays.

Gingerbread for the tummy and fabulous bath products for the body…what an excellent holiday combination.

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride!

Do you have any fabulous Disney vacation pictures you’d like to share?  Drop by and share your photos on Facebook at Mouze Kateerz.  Take a virtual Disney vacation twice a day in photographs. Or shoot me an email of your favorite Disney location at mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

 

This article was originally published here at Chip and Co. on Dec. 3, 2011