The second-floor signature restaurant Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa will reportedly be converted into “Victoria and Albert’s Bistro” as part of a continued re-imagining of the resort. The first of the major changes to the lobby is already underway, a conversion of Mizner’s and Commander Porter’s into a Beauty and the Beast themed bar.
You may recall a story from a few years ago where we told you that Bob Chapek was not a fan of the look and feel of Disney’s Grand Floridian hotel. Here is an excerpt from our story in January 2017:
It appears Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts Bob Chapek is not a big fan of the current Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Walt Disney World’s flagship hotel and often most expensive per night. Similar to the recently initiated shakeup in housekeeping for Disney World, Chapek feels as if the Four Seasons Resort Orlando is putting them to shame when it comes to what a luxury resort on-property should be. So, what’s the solution? To completely gut the 28-year-old Magic Kingdom area resort, of course.
Should it come to fruition, all of the rooms and the lobby of the resort will be completely gutted and rebuilt with a more modern-luxury theme, perhaps along the lines of the new hotel being constructed at the Disneyland Resort.
As it stands now, this project may not even be in the design phase as of yet, but it seems as if it will come to fruition should Chapek remain at helm of Parks and Resorts for the foreseeable future.
Well, he’s been in charge for a few years now, and it seems that they are finally getting around to gutting that lobby in phases. While the next phase includes Citricos for sure, we also know that the concierge level lounge in the lobby building will be getting an overhaul imminently.
The space that today is Citricos was once Flagler’s Restaurant, which opened on June 28, 1988. It featured Italian and continental cuisine. It closed on July 6, 1997, to become Cítricos on November 8. Imagine the Walt Disney Company being able to remodel a restaurant in only 3 months today. I can’t wait to see how long The Incredibles Steakhouse is going to take to complete.
So, why change Citricos into Victoria and Albert’s Bistro? Well, because besides your “need” to remodel the lobby and all of its offerings, V&A keeps racking up awards and recognition. It’s not an easy reservation to grab and you certainly can’t just walk-in. Meanwhile, while I love Citricos and it is probably the most underrated signature restaurant on property, it is seemingly always available during a dining reservation search in the MyDisneyExperience app. Mooching off of the success of Victoria and Albert’s isn’t the worst idea, even if putting an IP-themed bar in the lobby is.
While the timeline remains unclear for when Citricos will close for these changes, it should be after the bar project is complete. We assume that it will entail a remodeling of the dining space and an overhaul of the menu, at the very least.
So, what exactly is happening in total to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa? It’s hard to say so early-on in the project, but based on concept art and what we now know will make up the next phase of the project, I assume Mr. Chapek’s dreams are coming true. I assume that elements in development for the Fantasy Springs hotel for Tokyo Disney Resort and the upcoming re-imagining of the already similar Disneyland Hotel in Paris are being shared and all-three will have this “deluxe resort with Disney princess elements” motif.
So, if you love the Grand Floridian Resort as I do, it may be a good time to go and start saying your goodbyes to the lobby area as it exists now.