A big thanks to Mary Giordano, who just returned from a trip to Disney World! She’s been kind enough to review a special dining opportunity in the Grand Floridian Resort, the Afternoon Tea (which I have done and can highly recommend)! Take it away, Mary!
Nestled in the corner of the Grand Floridian’s massive Main Building is the Garden View Lounge. Every afternoon from 2pm to 5pm, an afternoon tea of sorts is served at the lounge. After many years of hearing about the afternoon tea, I finally found time during a recent trip to check it out and can only ask myself why I had not tried it sooner.
The Garden View Lounge is beautifully sunlit from the windows overlooking the garden outside. It is a bright and intimate space despite being within the main confines of the grand lobby. It also has a feeling of formality, though casual wear is certainly acceptable.
Upon being seated, I immediately recognized classic Disney songs being played on the grand piano in the lobby, sometimes accompanied by the upbeat jazz band in the lounge upstairs. This helped to create a truly warm and inviting atmosphere.
As I sat down at the table with elegant settings of Royal Albert china, I instantly felt like royalty. Our server explained that we could order a full offering, which includes the tea as well as multiple courses, or we could pick and choose our own courses and tea ‘a la carte.’
The tea menu was overwhelming (in a good way!), having nearly two dozen options of black teas, green teas and herbal infusions. I chose the Eros tea (a delicious blend of orange and vanilla flavors) while my friend ordered the Mad Hatter tea (a blend of passion fruit, pomegranate and vanilla flavors). We were both impressed by our respective choices. It is certainly the best tea I have had on property.
The full offerings range from $13 – $25 with a $10 children’s option. I ordered the Buckingham Palace option, which included my tea as well as tea sandwiches, a scone, a strawberry tart and a choice of two desserts. I found the prices to be reasonable for such a unique experience. The courses were small but tasty.
I especially enjoyed the various tea sandwiches (watercress & cucumber, egg salad, shrimp salad, pear & gorgonzola and chicken salad).
For dessert, we were asked to choose two desserts from their dessert platter. I chose a chocolate-covered strawberry and a chocolate-covered éclair…and I chose well! Next time I would love to try one of their cheese platters from the ‘a la carte’ menu.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Kelly Tressler, we have a couple more shots of Tea Service options:
The Afternoon Tea is not meant to provide a hearty meal. Instead, it is a wonderful place to enjoy a late afternoon snack and to relax in Disney’s most luxurious resort. Take time out from an exhausting day at the Magic Kingdom, hop on the monorail and enjoy a couple hours of serenity, you deserve it!
Unfortunately, at the time of my visit, there was some construction going on in the garden outside, which did not offer the best of views. Hopefully that will clear up sooner than later. My only other criticism is that the service was a bit slow as it seemed that there was only one server at the time.
This is also a great place to go if you have late dinner plans (at Citricos or Narcoossee’s for example). Also, consider taking your little girl here for a special date with mom or dad. You can also book My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party here.
Afternoon tea reservations are not available online, but can be booked by calling Disney Dining (407-WDW-DINE).
Thanks to Mary for this wonderful review! We’re looking forward to more reviews from Mary’s recent trip as well, so stay tuned!