Most people who go to Disney World plan their experience around the parks, not thinking about the activities that are offered by the hotels they are staying at. This is particularly true when it comes to after dark activities. I’m here to tell you that you’re missing out if you don’t check out the resorts, like the Disney Grand Floridian and what they have to offer. Staying at your home base during the evening hours gives you a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks, while offering some amazing activities for your family or just for the two of you.
I recently spent four days at the Disney Grand Floridian Resort enjoying all the amenities the resort has to offer. I spent a lot of time in the parks, but sometimes just wanted to escape the crowds and do something a bit more low key. I found by just staying put at the resort, I was certainly not at a loss for things to do. The Grand Floridian offers a little something for everyone, whether you are with a multigenerational group, just you and your kids, or you and your husband are looking to escape as a couple. It’s definitely worth checking out. Just be sure to check with the resort for the schedule while you are there as not every activity is offered every night.
Seriously, who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows around a crackling fire even if it’s 75 degrees outside? This is a little old-fashioned family fun at its best.
Movies Under The Stars
We’ve all seen our favorite Disney movies in a theater, on our home TV, or on our iPads, but how many people have seen it under the starlit sky and in the fresh evening air? I’m guessing not many. You’re in for a real treat with Movies Under The Stars. During my stay, they showed The Jungle Book and no matter how many times the kids had seen the movie, viewing it out in the open on the grass made it seem like they were seeing it for the first time. This is a complimentary activity.
If playing games are your thing (and it’s probably your kids’ pleasure), then the appropriate-for-all-ages Arcadia Games room should keep you occupied for a while. You can battle aliens, play sports, race cars, or play pinball, just to name a few options. To play, however, you must first purchase a Game Card and add game points using a credit card or cash at a kiosk inside the arcade. Game Cards are rechargeable and can be used at other Walt Disney World Resort arcades.
There’s a great view of the Disney Castle from the dock on the property. And if you can see the castle, you can see the fireworks. It’s a serene, uncrowded setting perfect for viewing. But, probably the best part is that you’re just a few steps away from your room! No buses, no monorails…
If you’re like most parents, after spending so much time in the parks with the kids, face it, you need and deserve a break. Well, Disney Grand Floridian makes this easy for you by offering an in-room babysitting service provided by Kid’s Nite Out, an independent childcare service that will come to your hotel room. And, it’s not just watching the kids. They will provide fun-filled activities, art and crafts, and read and play games with children 6 months to 12 years. The cost starts at $18 per hour for one child and goes up nominally for each additional child. After 9 p.m. add $2 per hour.
So, now that you have the sitter lined up, what are you going to do?
You have several options for a nice dinner just for the two of you. If you really are looking for something special, there’s the Victoria and Albert restaurant. It has a Five Diamond Award from AAA, among other accolades, and is noted as one of the area’s finest restaurants. It features fresh, seasonal offerings in an elegant setting. If you want to take it a step further, there’s the 13 course Chef’s Table for a gourmet odyssey with the chef that’s paired with wine and spirits. Only potential downside to either is that men have to wear jackets and women have to wear nice dresses. No flip flops or shorts here!
If the Victoria and Albert seems a bit much, you have two other choices – Citricos or Narcoosee’s. Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a great wine list at Citricos or try fresh seafood and steak in a waterfront setting at Naroosee’s. Either one won’t disappoint; it’s just a personal preference on atmosphere and cuisine. If you’d like a late night drink, you can head to the bar at Citricos until 10 p.m. and the Mizner’s until midnight.
Take a Cruise
You have two options here. You can go for the Fireworks Cruise aboard a pontoon and sail up the International Gateway or or you can have customized private dining while you cruise around the resorts. Think champagne and strawberries or a birthday celebration!
I hope this shows you there are some options for after dark at the Disney Grand Floridian Resort if you want a brief escape from the activity of the parks. You can always find some fun and romance!