Once upon a time, in a land far, far away—Clearwater Beach, Florida to be exact—I was bound and determined to find my way to the castle (Cinderella’s…is there any other?). If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you know that you need a week to experience the fantasyland that is now six parks spanning about 25,000 acres, so I settled for dinner on Disney property. Battling traffic, getting lost with navigation through blinding flash thunderstorms, we made it there relatively worse for the wear and not at all in the mood for “the happiest place on earth.”
Arriving at the Grand Floridian with longtime friends, our spirits were instantly lifted. This luxurious, Victorian style hotel is the flagship hotel of Walt Disney World Resort and is pure magic (even without the kingdom). We arrived too early for our reservation, so we hopped on the monorail for a quick tour. Judging by the kids still jumping off the walls and parents at their wits end, our evil plan to steal all the fun without all the exhaustion had worked. Mwhahaha!
Our meal at Citricos, Mediterranean inspired for the 21 and over crowd, exceeded all expectations, delivering food that was as amazing as the view. The roast chicken on the bone was served over linguine with artichokes and cherry tomatoes…each bite bursting with more flavor than the next. The favorite part of the meal? The Shirley Temple with a Mickey Mouse straw and cherries on top…because sophistication, no matter what fairy tale you’re in, is best balanced by a little bit of whimsy.
We made our way to the water’s edge for a front row view of the fireworks. My prince, being a little jaded, wasn’t quite prepared for the spectacle that had us feeling like kids again. Piped-in music set the scene for each POP!, WHIZ! and BANG! And with huge smiles on our faces, we captured a piece of the magic.
The evening had come to an end and we were under the Disney spell. We jumped on our “magic carpet” and wished upon a star that it would be a painless two hours back to our hotel. Thankfully, dreams really do come true.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel. 4401 Floridian Way. Lake Buena Vista, FL. 407-939-7675