A Visit to the Walt Disney Suite at the Grand Floridian Resort
I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to share a night at the Walt Disney Suite at Disney’s Flagship Resort, The Grand Floridian.
The Grand Floridian has a number of guest suites, but the Walt Disney Suite is one of a kind. (There is also a Roy Disney Suite, as well as a Grand Suite, both of which are also very special). While of course Walt never stayed there, the Walt Disney suite is a homage to the founder of the Happiest Place on Earth. Filled with mementos, family photos and a number of shout outs to one of Walt’s biggest passions, railroads.
I would imagine if he had stayed here, Mr. Disney would have enjoyed himself.
The suite is located in the main building of the Resort. It’s Club Level, and we checked in at a special desk for concierge guests. The area was festooned with beautiful fresh floral arrangements, and the cast member who welcomed us could not have been nicer. We were ready to go to the room in no time flat.
I was super excited to see the room, Disney Geek that I am. I am not one who is generally impressed with fancy hotel rooms, but this one was decorated with my hero in mind, so I was very psyched to see what it looked like. As we reached the room we noticed the wallpaper in the hallway outside the room had subtle hidden Mickeys on it.
We let ourselves in and I was immediately impressed with the entrance foyer, which is quite large (by the way, the entire suite is just under 1700 square feet). There is a glass encased model train on the right as you head towards the living room. At the end of the foyer two huge marble pillars adorn both sides of the wall.
The foyer leads into a huge living room, which contains a large dining room table. On the table is a vase filled with beautiful fresh red roses.
There is also a wet bar, and a polished wooden writing desk. The comfortable overstuffed couch has drawings of trains hanging on the wall behind it. There is a chaise lounge with an intentionally mismatched colored Mickey Shaped ottoman at the foot of the chaise.
Completing the furniture in the living room are a couple of easy chairs and my personal favorite-a display case filled with photos of Walt Disney and his family and friends. Most were pictures I had not seen before elsewhere. By the way the cabinet has a glass front so you can see the pictures, but it is kept locked just in case someone “mistakenly” thinks the pictures are a souvenir to take home.
As you head towards the master bedroom another “ahhh” moment—more rare photos of Walt and his family up on the wall in the hall leading to the room.
Interestingly enough the master bedroom itself, although beautiful, does not contain much of anything that is directly connected to Walt Disney. However, from what I have read about his taste, I think he would have approved of the décor.
The style is Victorian. There is a canopy King sized bed, a night table, a loveseat, a small table, and a decent sized flat screened TV. There are a couple of prints on the wall that are Disney related, but no family pictures. The closet is huge and offers a nice plush bathrobe to guests (which you can take if you would like, they will add the cost to your bill).
The master bathroom has fixtures made of marble. There is a TV inside the mirror, a spa tub, double sink and larger than average shower. Since my friend was footing the bill she got the pleasure of staying in this room.
My room was very different and IMHO more suitable for a child than an adult. I believe the suite is actually meant to be for a family with two kids. There are two beds in the room, both singles, both situated fairly close together. There is a mirror on the wall and a print or two, an overstuffed chair, but nothing particularly notable about the second bedroom.
The balcony is very long, stretching to most of the length of the suite. The view from the room was pretty cool. Just below us was a pool, and when we looked to the left we could easily see the monorail.
If we looked to the right we could clearly see the Polynesian Resort, and in the distance the Swan and Dolphin hotels were also visible in that direction. There is a view of the lagoon as well.
As the Suite was club level we took advantage of that a couple of times. The food was fresh and very good. It is very hard to experience all the food, because it varies throughout the day and night, so unless you don’t go to a park at all you will miss something. The Royal Palm Club overlooks the Grand Lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. In some areas of the club you can sit and eat your food at a table that overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon. For breakfast they offer fruit, yogurt, cold cereal, hot oatmeal, muffins, bagels, pastries, rolls, cheese and croissants. There is juice as well as coffee and tea.
Midday options are hummus, cookies, pretzels, chips, crudités with dip, lemonade, and iced tea. Later in the day they serve jelly tarts, fruit, banana bread, scones with Devonshire cream and marmalade. Once again you can get coffee or tea.
Early evening offerings are particularly awesome. These may vary but usually include most of the following: Various hors d’oeuvres, crudités with dip and hummus, cheese and crackers, smoked pork loin with apple chutney, roasted vegetables, meatballs, sweet glazed salmon, potato crepes stuffed with salmon, pot stickers, beef bites with blue cheese, Asian chicken with noodles, spring rolls, grilled veggies, chicken Wellington, stuffed bread, and sushi. For those who enjoy adult beverages the wines include Pinot Noir, White Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, and sparkling wine. There are a number of beer types available as well.
There is a separate kid’s area for food which had mini corn dogs, Peanut Butter and Jelly as well as turkey sandwiches, cookies, and cupcakes. If you still have room there are also desserts. These include cookies, brownies, rice krispie treats, cream puffs, eclairs, cheesecake, and chocolate covered strawberries (my favorite!). You can find a self-service cappuccino machine as well as dessert liqueurs (for those of legal drinking age).
The food was great (and plentiful!) but personally the best part for me was the mementoes and family photos in the living room and the hallway. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience, as I could never have afforded this on my own. We got a fairly hefty discount and it was still over $1500 a night. But for that one night I really did feel like I was one of Walt’s friends or relatives visiting him at home, especially when I sat in that living room or walked up the hallway and looked at all the family photos and other Disney personalized memorabilia. I will always treasure that feeling.