disney’s grand floridian resort

manda jayne events blog

Closing out my series on Disney World meeting space, we have the Grand Floridian. The Grand Floridian is the flagship resort of the park. It’s one of the oldest resorts and it has a sophisticated Victorian theme. The resort sits on the Seven Seas Lagoon and is only a short monorail hop from the Magic Kingdom. This resort just oozes luxury (at least for a Disney Vacation) – I like to just sit in the lobby and people watch (and let’s be real – I’m secretly judging some of the people I see: “Seriously – YOU paid $500+ a night to stay here!?!”).

The meeting space is gorgeous. It’s a little more sophisticated than the whimsical BoardWalk Inn, but more old-fashioned and classic than the Contemporary Resort (that’s the one that was “Contemporary” in the 70s when it opened, and the monorail just passes right through the atrium). There’s 40,000 square feet of meeting space in the on-site convention center, including the 18,000+ square foot Grand Floridian Ballroom:

disney's grand floridian | amanda jayne events blog

That’s pretty, right? For an interior ballroom with no windows? The carpet actually works here (although I’ve already mentioned that I’m not particularly bothered by garish hotel carpets they way some people are).

But I was more interested in some of the smaller spaces with more character (although not necessarily characters like Minnie or Mickey – although I’m sure Disney could make that happen for you) so I was shown the Whitehall room and patio. The meeting room is octagonal and has some nice details, particularly the ceiling. The room holds about 50 guests, so it would be perfect for a shower or small party, or a small wedding ceremony.

manda jayne events blog

manda jayne events blog

But the real draw for this space is the private patio accessed from the room. It’s partially covered (with ceiling fans which hopefully help with the central Florida humidity – I went in early June and felt like I was melting).

manda jayne events blog

But check out this view!

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort | amanda jayne events blog

Yes – I would love a view of the monorail because I’m a nerd like that. But I actually meant this view:

jDisney's Grand Floridian Resort | amanda jayne events blog

That, my friends, is the Magic Kingdom, and that’s not even zoomed in! That might not seem that impressive, but wouldn’t it be fun to watch the nightly fireworks from here on your private patio?

For a less-private event space, (also outdoors), you can reserve space at the marina:

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort | amanda jayne events blog

And of course, all of these locations (and everything else within the Grand Floridian) is within walking distance of the Disney Wedding Pavilion, which I did not get to peek in (unfortunately), but this 43 second video sums it up nicely:

One thing to note about the wedding pavilion is that it is literally next door to the Grand Floridian, including the Grand Floridian Disney Vacation Club construction. That must not have been pleasant for some of the brides who have had their view of the beautiful red and white hotel obstructed, but the construction is almost over and shouldn’t affect weddings for much longer.

manda jayne events blog

What are your thoughts? Would you have a wedding or event at the Grand Floridian?

Read my other posts on events at Epcot and the BoardWalk Inn.


hideous hotel carpets aren’t a big deal

I’m going to say something controversial: I’m not bothered by loud, vibrant hotel carpets. In fact, I rarely notice them, and I notice more than most people do in hotel meeting space.

At an event a few weeks ago, a fellow attendee commented that the carpet in the Peabody Hotel was really loud and reminded her of the carpets in Vegas convention centers. Well, I’ve never been to Vegas (I know!) but do you know what the Peabody’s carpet reminded me of? Every other hotel ballroom carpet. Maybe with a tiny bit of Florida flair.

What do you think?

So why isn’t it a big deal? First of all, if your meeting room is full of furniture you can bet that no one is going to notice. But even if the floor is visible, any room can be transformed with lighting and decor.  Look at this example:

Photo via  Superlative Events

Photo via Superlative Events

So brides and concerned planners, don’t fear the carpet! You can make it work (or you can hide it!). And I can almost guarantee that if the carpet is really that bad, the hotel staff is used to hearing about it and have some tricks to help you disguise it.

If you’re curious as to why  hotel carpets are so ugly, it’s generally because big, loud patterns hide stains and wear and tear. They also tend to create visual interest in long corridors and empty spaces. And as for the Vegas comparison – Vegas casinos apparently have some of the worst offenders, and it might just be on purpose to encourage gambling.

Complaining about ugly hotel carpets is a cottage industry – check out this Flickr site devoted to hideous carpets.

Do you hate on hideous carpets too or do you just roll with it like me? Do you have any photos of attractive hotel carpets to share?