News: Changes to Afternoon Tea Packages at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Lounge

Are you looking forward to an Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian?

The Garden View Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian hosts Afternoon Tea each day with Advance Dining Reservation opportunities starting at 2:00 pm.  I mention Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) because this has become quite a popular experience, so planning for your tea in advance is becoming more of a must.

In order to help you with your Afternoon Tea plans, we wanted let you know of some very recent changes to the Tea Packages available for purchase.

The previous menu featured packages ranging from $25 (the Buckingham Tea) to $45 (Princess Kate Tea), with the $13 “Mrs. Potts Tea” package for children ages 3-9. Packages on the new menu start at $30 and go up to a pretty penny for a big vacation splurge. Here’s the full rundown:

The Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea menu

The Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea menu

The Bedfordshire Tea includes finger sandwiches accompanied with berries, cheese, and lavosh; a buttery scone and jam tart; and a dessert course with the guest’s choice of pastries, strawberries and creme, or English trifle. And, of course, a pot of tea. The cost for this package is $30 per guest.

Bedfordshire Tea package

Bedfordshire Tea package

For a comparison to the previous menu, it closely resembles the former Buckingham Tea package which was $25, but with the addition of berries, cheese, and lavosh.

The Derbyshire Tea features all the [Read more…]

Review: Tea at Garden View Lounge at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Editor’s Note: The menu for Afternoon Tea at Garden View Lounge has changed since this review was written, and many of the items featured here are no longer available. For more details, see our news post about the changes.

Today, we’re taking in afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge. This charming spot, which occupies the far end of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa’s cavernous lobby, is the perfect place to relax, dress up a bit (perhaps), and slow down, while you enjoy traditional offerings and steaming pots of tea.

Menu Cover

Menu Cover

It’s become a rather hot ticket, though, so if you like what you see, be prepared to make your advance dining reservation well in advance.

Tea at the Grand has become a tradition of sorts for my mom and me, and so we were excited to head there for this special treat.

Atmosphere

Upon entering the Grand Floridian, take a moment to notice the details of the soaring atrium. With natural light flooding the seating areas during the day, the large birdcage, and the beautiful domed skylights, it really is lovely.

Lobby and Atrium Garden View Lounge

The Lobby and the Atrium Put the “Grand” in Grand Floridian

I’ve often heard people suggest that the Grand suffers from a “lack of themeing”. I’ve never thought so. To me, the setting is beautiful — elegance with a light touch, befitting Florida’s subtropical climate. And even with families around me rushing to catch the monorail, I’m transported when I enter it to a less-rushed time and place.

Whether you visit during the day or evening, you are likely to catch some form of live musical entertainment here. During the day, you’ll enjoy piano music. In the evening, be sure to catch Grand Floridian Society Orchestra playing jazz standards from the bandstand located just outside of Mizner’s Lounge on the second floor.

Piano Music in the Grand's Lobby

Piano Music in the Grand’s Lobby

The Garden View Lounge is located at the far end of the lobby, directly opposite from the main entrance.

View of the Tea Room from the Lobby

View of the Tea Room from the Lobby

Flanking either side of the lounge are these adorable mosaics of inlaid marble.

Mrs. Potts Mosaic

Mrs. Potts Mosaic

Be sure to look down occasionally while walking around the Grand! They redid the floors a few years ago and added mosaics like these throughout. They are absolutely stunning.

Chip Mosaic

Chip Mosaic

Garden View is also the setting for the Perfectly Princess Tea Party, a character and storytelling experience.

Tea Info

Tea Info — Click to Enlarge

The Lounge itself is an open-air spot, separated from the rest of the lobby by a wall featuring “windowless” windows.

Flowers Garden View Lounge

Looking Into the Lounge from the Lobby

We arrived a few minutes early for our advance dining reservation, and were told that our table would be ready shortly. I’m not sure what all of the luggage by the hostess stand was about! There was a full house inside, however. And it seemed as though a few people were dressed up for a special occasion of some sort.

hostess stand Garden View Lounge

Hostess Stand

We relaxed nearby in the lobby. Soon, our pager went off, and we were shown to our table.

Entrance

Entrance

Marble statues flank both side entrances of the lounge. Other than that, the space is sparsely decorated.

Entering the Lounge

Entering the Lounge

The center of the room is dominated by [Read more…]

Guest Review: Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

While an exclusive meal at the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s is a unique experience, the main dining room exudes romance. This week, guest author Michelle Buchecker reviews this table service restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Located on the second floor in the main building of the Grand Floridian Resort, Victoria and Albert’s puts the “fine” in “fine dining”.

This table-service restaurant has won many awards and accolades for its fine food and superb service. The restaurant is divided into three seating areas: Main Dining room, Queen Victoria’s room, and Chefs Table. The Chefs table is in the kitchen. There is only 1 table and it often books well in advance. The Queen Victoria room seats 8 people and has only 1 seating a night. The 8 people may be all 1 party or 4 parties of 2 people or whatever ends up being reserved. But once they hit 8 people they close reservations.

Victoria and Albert's Entrance

Victoria and Albert’s Entrance

The main dining room (where we dined) has about 20 tables and has 2 seatings per night. This is a prix fixe meal for $135. A wine pairing is an extra $65. In addition, the menu will have “upcharge” items, which I will mention in the details below.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

Victoria and Albert’s Seating

The dress code is jacket and dress pants for men, and nice dress or pants for women. Ties are optional. We did see 1 family where the 2 men were dressed in tuxes and the woman was in a long cocktail dress. Most women were in nice dresses or skirts, but I did see one lady who was more casually dressed.

Our reservation was for 5:15PM on a Friday night. We arrived about 5:00PM and the doors were still locked. There were several other couples seated in the lounge area that is shared by Victoria and Albert’s and Citricos. Shortly after, a hostess came and asked people their names and escorted them into the restaurant based on their reservation time. Reservations are staggered, my guess is to not overwhelm the staff all at once. At about 5:10 we were escorted in and shown our table.

Atmosphere

As you enter the restaurant there is a [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

Cinderella’s Dining Experience at Citricos with Magical Add-On Options

Cinderella’s digs will be closed to diners as of January 5, 2015. But there’s no reason to panic as she’s only sprucing up her dining room, Cinderella’s Royal Table. The refurbished royal room has an anticipated re-opening date of March 7, 2015 — subject to change, of course.

Guests seeking royal dining experiences will not feel left out as the Disney Princesses will take up residence at Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian from January 8 – March 3, 2015.

And all of the traditions that we’ve grown to love at Cindy’s will carry over to the temporary residence. Yes, Cinderella will greet guests upon arrival, Disney princesses will grant photographs and autographs while visiting guests tableside, and the Maqical Wishing Ceremony will still be performed.

This interactive performance will include Cinderella and the Disney Princesses, of course. Wishing Wands and Swords will be bestowed upon the children so that they can join in the fun.

Wands and swords for interactive fun

Wands and swords for interactive fun

Want more? Take your Cinderella’s Dining experience at Citricos to a whole new level with an extravagant add-on gift. Surprise your little loved one with a personalized Princess Proclamation. It’s over-the-top! Perfect for a special occasion!!

Dreams become reality when your princess arrives the table where a “My Disney Fairytale Proclamation” signed by a Fairy Tale Princess is already waiting. And of course, there is bling! A gemstone tiara and crystal light-up slipper will make her smile sparkle. Plus, she’ll be able to don a pink plush princess cape (it even turns into a blanket!!) for when the Palace turns cold. This add-on is currently priced at $285.95.

A fairytale come true!

A fairytale come true!

Further enhance Cinderella’s Dining Experience with [Read more…]

2014 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House and Beach Club Gingerbread Treats

There’s more gingerbread in store for you at Walt Disney World now that the season is in full swing! Let’s take a look at a couple of the most anticipated displays of the holidays…

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Gingerbread House

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is open for the season!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2014

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Gingerbread House began celebrating its 16th year.

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House operating hours

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House operating hours

It’s always fun to see the massive ingredients list!

Gingerbread House ingredients

Gingerbread House ingredients

Open daily for the remainder of the year from 10 am to 10 pm (though it will likely close early on New Years Eve), the unique thing about the Grand Floridian’s gingerbread display is that it is a fully functioning snack stop, with Cast Members serving up gingerbread and other sweet treats through this cheerful window.

Treat window

Treat window

The traditional Gingerbread Shingles return, along with some other familiar seasonal treats like Peppermint Bark and boxes of Stollen Bread (with a printed history of the traditional German treat attached).

GF gingerbread shingle

GF gingerbread shingle

Stollen Bread and Peppermint Bark

Stollen Bread and Peppermint Bark

Mickey Pop

Mickey Pop

The beautifully detailed Gingerbread Ornaments are probably my favorite things to look at.

Large Gingerbread Ornament

Large Gingerbread Ornament

Mickey Gingerbread Ornament

Mickey Gingerbread Ornament

Red Velvet Cupcakes are available alongside White Chocolate Snowmen.

White Chocolate Snowman and Red Velvet Cupcake

White Chocolate Snowman and Red Velvet Cupcake

Gluten-free choices include Gingerbread Men, but also Ginger Chocolate-Chip Bread, Cinnamon Toastie Bread, and Brownie Bites.

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

And if you had any doubt whether the cast of “Frozen” could be found at the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House, too, then doubt no more! You can find [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: November 18th, 2014

Ready for another trip around the World? We’re heading to three parks and a few resorts to check out holiday treats, gingerbread feats, and new menu eats! And which Counter Service location is now serving up steak? Just read on to find out and see What’s New!

HOLIDAY TREATS

Red and green aren’t the only colors taking over Disney World now that the holiday season has launched around here… hues of blue decorate the festive snacks at this year’s brand new “Frozen” Gingerbread Display at the Contemporary Resort!

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

We tried the Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Read our review and see all the other treats available at the new display here!

Get ready for all your favorite Disney World bakery items (we’re talking Krispy Treats, Candy Apples, and Mickey Macarons) to be dressed up for the holiday season in spots like the Main Street Confectionery, Seashore Sweets, and Big Top Treats.

Holiday Bakery Case

Holiday Bakery Case

Ornament Candy Apples

Ornament Candy Apples

More candy apples!

More candy apples!

Holiday cupcakes

Holiday cupcakes

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

And now let’s look into some ways the Parks are getting into the [Read more…]

2014 Gingerbread House Displays at Walt Disney World

Once again, visions of gingerbread houses will become reality at select Walt Disney World resort hotels!

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

The holiday season is underway as Mickey and his elves (and some talented chefs!) get busy filling the resorts and parks with seasonal decor, merchandise, and treats. Plan to stop by the resorts to see the displays, purchase a pin, and/or meet one of the fabulous chefs!

Contemporary Resort

And how cool is it that the Contemporary’s NEW gingerbread display showcases characters from Disney’s popular film, “Frozen” in the artistic style of Disney Legend Mary Blair! We reported on all the details last week. Check out all the details (including festive treats!!) on the Frozen Gingerbread Display here.

Frozen Gingerbread Display

Frozen Gingerbread Display

Grand Floridian Resort

The impressive gingerbread house churns out baked goods made from a classic Austrian recipe. Holiday treats for sale include cookies, shingles,ornaments, and houses — all made from gingerbread. Other freshly made items include Stollen Bread, chocolate peppermint bark, and truffles. Gingerbread decorating tips are given in free demonstrations! Opening date: November 23, 2014.

Life-size!

After 400 hours of baking, the chefs spent 160 hours decorating the house. This unique 80 square feet of retail space is 16 feet high by 17 feet wide and constructed with 1,000 board feet of trim, 60 sheets of plywood, 40 window panes, 100 square feet of display, and 10,000 pieces of gingerbread used.

Looking Down on the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Looking Down on the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

The immense amount of gingerbread was made with 700 lbs. of chocolate, 1,050 lbs. honey, 600 lbs. powdered sugar, 35 lbs. spices, 800 lbs. flour, 140 pints egg whites. and 180 lbs. apricot glaze. Wow!

BoardWalk Inn

Inside the gorgeous lobby of the BoardWalk Inn, the Sweet Treats gingerbread display conjures visions of a Jersey Shore concession stand. We love the whimsical decor!

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney's BoardWalk

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney’s BoardWalk

Beach Club

Once again, a life-size carousel will be the centerpiece of the Beach Club’s lobby. Look for the seven Hidden Mickeys! Take home treats including small gingerbread kits will be available for purchase at the Beach Club Marketplace. Watch for inspiring demonstrations by pastry chefs. Opening date: November 25, 2014.

Carousel Horse at Disney's Beach Club

Carousel Horse at Disney’s Beach Club

Think your holiday baking list is long? It took [Read more…]

Dine With Cinderella at Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (well…at least until Cinderella’s Royal Table reopens)

As we shared on our News Pin Board, Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom is slated to close for a lengthy refurbishment beginning early January and extending to March 2015.

With the temporary closure of this royal venue, the Disney princesses will move to Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort. Starting January 8th, a breakfast/brunch experience will be offered daily at this restaurant just a monorail or boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom!

Similar to the welcoming tradition at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Cinderella will meet and greet with guests upon their arrival, while other Disney princesses mingle at each table.

Cinderella greets guests in her castle

Cinderella greets guests in her castle

As always, you can take photos and collect autographs of the Disney royals. The Magical Wishing Ceremony will also move over to Citricos — a fun, interactive experience that involves souvenir wands and swords handed out to young guests.

Sword Action at Cinderella's Royal Table

Sword Action at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Choose to have breakfast or brunch as hours will extend from 8AM to 2:20PM at a cost of $49.99 and $31.99 for ages 3-9. Guests on the Disney Dining Plan can pay with 2 table service entitlements per person.

Looking out over the Grand Floridian's court yard

Citricos looks out over the Grand Floridian’s court yard

To reserve your Citricos princess meal, call 407-WDW-DINE. Reservations will become available for Walt Disney World Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members on December 3, 2014, before opening to all guests the next day.

Adult Menu

APPETIZERS OF THE COURT
Bakery Basket

Choice of One:
Garden Salad–Artisanal Greens, Endive, Roasted Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Marcona Almonds with Riesling Vinaigrette
Assorted Fresh Fruits

ENTRÉES ROYALE
Choice of One:
Traditional Breakfast–Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Bacon, and Twice-cooked Breakfast Potatoes
Scrambled Egg Whites, Hot Ten-Grain Cereal, Greek Yogurt topped with Granola, Whole-Grain Bread, and Fresh Fruit
Steak and Slow-Poached Eggs with Twice-cooked Breakfast Potatoes and Wilted Spinach
Grilled Ham and Biscuit, Slow Poached Eggs topped with Sausage Gravy
Market-inspired Fish with Angel Hair Pasta, and Aromatic Tomato Sauce
Florida Shrimp with Creamy Cheddar Cheese and Smoked Bacon Grits

DESSERT TRIO

Beverages included:
Unlimited Coffee (regular/decaf), Iced Tea (regular/decaf),Fountain Beverages, and Juices (Apple/Orange/Tomato)

Choice of one Adult Specialty [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Gingerbread at Disney!

Today, we have another great edition of Disney Food Pics of the Week! We love to head over to our Flickr page — Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza — where DFB readers share all of their Disney Food Photos. Wanna get in on the fun? Just head over and post your pics for a chance to have them featured in our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series!

There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than a tour of the extravagant Gingerbread Displays at Walt Disney World. The treats that pop up during this time of year are extra special, too! Today, let’s look at a few of the photos that you’ve taken capturing the magic of Disney World Gingerbread!

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

Gingerbread Mickey Cookie

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian

Photographer: Scott Sanders

It just wouldn’t be Christmas at Walt Disney World without a trip to see the huge Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I love this shot, which shows you the scale of the house and captures some of the beautiful lobby interior of the hotel as well! (Keep an eye on the chimney — you may just see smoke rising from the house when you’re there!)

Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Gingerbread Shingle

Photographer: Riniel Calaelen

After a day of touring all of the beautiful gingerbread displays at Walt Disney World, it’s pretty normal to start craving those spicy cookies! That’s when a shingle from Disney’s BoardWalk will come in handy for takeaway holiday noshing!

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney's BoardWalk

Gingerbread Shingle from Disney’s BoardWalk

Gingerbread Carousel Horse at Disney’s Beach Club

Photographer: [Read more…]