Disney Quietly Confirms That Divisive Grand Floridian Retheme Is Happening

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goofy (left) and pluto (right) outside of disney's grand floridian resort

Credit: Disney

For years, Walt Disney World Resort’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been the crown jewel of Disney Deluxe hotels.

cinderella in front of disney's grand floridian resort and spa
Credit: Disney

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The Resort — which was an “opening day” hotel on October 1, 1971 — features opulent Victorian embellishments and theming that current Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek reportedly finds subpar, particularly in comparison to other Orlando hotels at a similar price point, namely the Four Seasons.

grand floridian society orchestra
Credit: Disney

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One article noted:

…[when] Chapek took over the Parks & Resorts division in 2015. He felt the Grand Floridian was not up to standards compared to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, which didn’t befit the current state of Walt Disney World. It was also no longer suitable as the flagship resort. So, as a solution, the company decided to make much-needed changes instead of shifting focus to another resort.

enchanted rose lounge at grand floridian
Credit: Disney

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Already, Disney has rethemed Mizner’s Lounge with the Beauty and the Beast-inspired Enchanted Rose Lounge and redone Citrico’s with a Mary Poppins-influenced design.

The Grand Floridian is also getting newly designed Disney Vacation Club Villas. The DVC suites will feature an opulent design, which Disney Parks Blog noted will feature “charming accents in the rooms include Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Victorian-themed silhouettes and other artwork featuring Mary Poppins and Dumbo.”

Victoria & Albert's dining room
Credit: Disney

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Now, high-end restaurant Victoria and Albert’s is set to reopen with a reimagined design and a new menu. Disney Parks Blog shared details about what Guests can now expect at the AAA Five Diamond-rated establishment:

The time has come to experience its timeless elegance and modern twist on American cuisine. Not only will its flavors be enhanced, but the space will be too. The newly reimagined dining room brings guests into a Victorian-styled setting with murals and wall coverings that showcase a timeless elegance and subtle inspirations of a whimsical garden…

disney's grand floridian
Credit: Disney

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In the same post, Disney quietly confirmed other changes coming to the Resort, including a note that the process will be a “multi-year transformation” and a caveat that the “transformation will continue with updated offerings across the resort over the coming years.”

Fans seem less than thrilled with the changes coming to Disney’s flagship hotel. When a construction permit for new theming was filed, ITM readers shared comments like, “Don’t even think about it Chapek! Don’t mess with the Grand Flo!” and “If anybody could screw up the Grand Floridian it would be Chapek.”

grand floridian dvc villa bedroom
Credit: Disney

Other commenters — seemingly unhappy with recent rethemes like The Incredibles revamp at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the Moana rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort — said things like, “Another sterilization coming to a Disney resort near you.”

One reader wrote:

Yep! I can see it now. Someone got offended because it’s too reminiscent of a southern plantation house. How long before the mansions at Port Orleans get rethemed? I have never stayed at the GF because I can’t afford to, but l don’t ever want to see them retheme it. It’s beautiful and needs to be left alone.

At this time, Disney has not confirmed what changes will be made to the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa lobby area and general Guest rooms.

Are you looking forward to the Grand Floridian retheme?

Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!

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