Whether you have been to Disney World or not, you know what hotel this is (probably). It is the most iconic hotel that Disney owns and maybe one of the more iconic hotels in the world. It is Grand. It is Floridian. And it is quintessential Disney. But what about the food? They have a signature dining spot that is called Victoria and Albert’s which is a top rated Michelin restaurant. One of the best in the world (or say I’ve heard – I’ve never actually dined there because it requires a suit jacket or fancy attire that I don’t pack with me to Disney World). Then you have other signature dining spots (that don’t require crazy fancy attire) like Narcoose’s and Citrico’s. I’ve dined at both in the past and loved them. But I didn’t dine at either on this trip so they won’t get reviews. Then you have the Grand Floridian Café which is their non-signature dining spot right next to the main lobby. Let’s see how this spot ranks in this review…
First let me tell you about my scoring (whether you follow my reviews or are a first time reader). Anything in the 9’s means it is worth traveling far to eat and experience. Anything in the 8’s means it is great but don’t go out of your way. If something scores in the 7’s then it pretty good but I’ll only eat there if I need to. Anything 6 and below is basically a failing score for these reviews.
I’ve been raving about Disney and their food on Instagram lately. So why does the Grand Floridian Café, a restaurant in possibly one of the best hotels in Disney that is KNOWN for their food get a lower then expected score? That is simple – because the food quality is less then stellar at the Grand Floridian Café. I typically only go here because my family loves to dine at this spot. Whether they like the hotel more or because their gluten filled food (they aren’t gluten free) is actually really good is beyond my purview. But the breakfast at the Grand Floridian for gluten free eaters is pretty good but not anywhere near as good as most Disney restaurants.
I got the eggs benedict over gluten free muffins which was overall really tasty actually. But the eggs were extremely runny to the point of it being way under cooked. The hollandaise sauce was fantastic and the gluten free muffin was awesome, especially since restaurants don’t carry anything like it. But the eggs ruined it. The side of hash browns was such a small portion that it could be eaten in one spoonful, albeit a very tasty spoonful. And the allergy friendly mickey waffles are made with the less then stellar Golden Malted waffle mix which isn’t as good as the other mixes used at other resorts.
It is hard to give any restaurant in Disney below a 9. The chef coming out to speak with you is always amazing and the chef always personally guarantees no cross contamination. That is because they are trained well, caring and have a great setup in the kitchen. The servers are most often great too. This is no exception here. In the past, breakfasts typically take 1-2 hours (extremely long for Disney dining) even when the restaurant is only 1/5th full. But this time, service was speedy and everything came out really quickly. So keep in that mind if you make a reservation here but have plans in the park right after. Give yourself some time and space because things could potentially take a while here.
The menu options here are fantastic. As I always mention, this rating doesn’t speak to the food quality. It only speaks to the quantity of options and what kind of options there are. For instance, does a menu offer popular items in a gluten free version? Can many items be made gluten free upon request? Is the menu honest when it labels something gluten free (never a problem at Disney world)? Those are the things that go into this score. And Grand Floridian has a great allergy friendly menu that offers a lot of gluten free items.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I didn’t get sick at all – I never have anywhere at Disney World. But let’s talk about the Golden Malted waffle mix I mentioned in the Food review section. This mix is slowly becoming the standard at Disney World. Kona Café uses it as a standard (although I asked for Namaste – which I’ll cover in a future review of Kona) and so does the Grand Floridian Café. Many others are starting to follow this path. Why do I even mention it you ask? It isn’t just about taste, which isn’t as good as other mixes. I point out this mix because it has been researched by other influencers that this brand of waffle/pancake mix actually uses shared equipment lines (with wheat) to produce this mix. They don’t disclose it on their website or their packaging and Disney won’t acknowledge it. In fact, Disney even side steps any responsibility by making disclaimers on all of their menus that they aren’t responsible for other companies undisclosed manufacturing practices.
I didn’t have a problem eating this mix at this dining experience but I always try and avoid it. That is why talking to the chef, no matter what, is always a necessary step for us when dining out in Disney World. They know these facts and will work with us to accommodate our needs, despite whatever sidestepping corporate Disney does.
The menu options are great, and the service is outstanding, as always. But the food score weighed heavily here along with the fact that they use Golden Malted mix for their allergy friendly waffles. An 8.3 is still a great score but when compared to other Disney restaurants, this is on the lower end of the spectrum. I still would recommend this spot to others if you are in the hotel and want to dine somewhere for breakfast. Or maybe you are traveling to the Magic Kingdom for the day and want to eat outside of the park but take an easy monorail or boat ride over right after breakfast. Or maybe you are staying in the Grand Floridian Resort. Anyway you look at it, this place still gets my stamp of approval. It is hard to not give any Disney restaurant that stamp, as of right now.