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Most Walt Disney World visitors know that there is far more to this vacation destination than just theme parks. Walt Disney World hotels offer world class dining locations, plenty of fun activities and some expert theming that will delight those who venture beyond the theme parks, whether or not they are actually staying at the resorts or not.

This month brings a number of updates to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa specifically, with a recent price hike, a new limited-time test, and even a lengthy restaurant refurbishment confirmed to be happening this fall at this resort. But first, let's kick off our update with news of a fun, new free event happening next week at this hotel that will be open to all Walt Disney World guests (not just those staying at the hotel).

1. The Grand Floridian Garden Party to kick off next week

Image: Disney

Earlier this year, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa quietly introduced a new, free, Wishes dessert party themed to Alice in Wonderland that was open for anyone (not just resort guests) to attend. Known as the Gone Mad Party, this fun event had a lighthearted atmosphere and allowed guests to purchase themed snacks and cocktails while they enjoyed a unique view of the Wishes nightly spectacular. Perhaps in an effort to build upon the success of this first event, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has recently announced that it will host yet another free event at this resort this fall.

Next Saturday, October 29, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will host the Grand Floridian Garden Party in the hotel's Mary Poppins garden, just outside the 1900 Park Fare exit at the front of the resort. This event will take place from 7:00PM to 10:00PM and will feature live music, as well as unique cocktails available for purchase. Currently this is a one night only event, but if the Grand Floridian Garden Party proves to be successful, it seems likely that Disney will try and make these free events a more regular occurrence. 

2. New, possibly limited time lounge opens at Disney's Grand Floridian hotel

Image: Disney

For those who are looking to spend a leisurely evening at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort in the near future, it has been announced that the resort has opened its Garden View Lounge into the evening from 7:00PM through 10:00PM for a limited time test this fall. During these later operating hours, a limited selection of champagne, wine and small plates will be on offer for guests to savor. Available menu items will include indulgences such as caviar, charcuterie, and seafood. This new dining experience will be walkup only and will be available at the resort daily through December, with an extension possible if this evening offering proves to be popular. 

3. Gasparilla Island Grill gets an extensive fall refurbishment

Image: Disney

The Gasparilla Island Grill casual dining restaurant at this resort is currently going through a moderate refurbishment that kicked off earlier this week and will last through the middle of December. During this closure, Disney will be offering hungry guests at the Grand Floridian a number of extra choices:

  • Guests can snag a quick Grab ‘N Go meal at Mizner’s from 7:00AM to 6:00 PM.
  • The Grand Floridian Cafe will also offer a Grab 'N Go menu during regular hours
  • The Beaches Pool Bar and Grill will expand its service from 6:00 AM until 9:00 PM 
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