Sunday, April 3, 2011
Based on the number of projected parking spaces, the resort is expected to be on the small side, adding around 200 rooms to DVC's inventory. According to the plans, the building will be no more than six floors high. This information was also confirmed by cast members at the wedding pavilion and at the Grand Floridian itself. Rooms on the higher floors are expected to offer Magic Kingdom views, a perk most consider a necessity for any resort located on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop. Rumor has it that some of the rooms in the Grand Floridian will be converted over to DVC rooms in much the same way they were in Animal Kingdom Lodge when Jambo House was built. If this is the case, it's possible that some of those rooms will be concierge level. Finally, there will be a covered walkway between the DVC building and the Grand Floridian's main building.
I'm seeing a lot of excitement over this project, but I'm also seeing a great deal of worry. Most concerns surround how it will effect the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon. The view of the Grand Floridian from the ferry as you go to and from the Magic Kingdom is one of the prettiest sights at Walt Disney World. The buildings, beach, and vegetation are simply beautiful. How will a large building, possibly one that's taller than the main building of the Grand Floridian, effect this view? Another potential problem has to do with the site's location next to the Wedding Pavilion. Fair warning: Brides (and nervous mothers of the brides!) can expect construction noise for several years. From a practical standpoint, how will adding two hundred more rooms full of guests effect transportation and check-in? Finally, what will happen to the scenic, peaceful walkway between the Polynesian Resort and the Grand, arguably one of the nicest spots for a relaxing walk in all of Disney World?
I'm hoping that Disney will do what it did with Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, which is seamlessly create a resort which appears to have always been there. If you read here, you'll know that I love the Grand Floridian: It's airy, peaceful (even when it's crowded) and relaxing. I'm looking forward to seeing what Disney has planned for one of my favorite resorts in the future.