Citricos Signature Restaurant Set to Become “Victoria and Albert’s Bistro” as Part of “Lobby-Gutting” Project at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

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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.

Grand Floridian Lobby
Current lobby work on the Beauty and the Beast themed bar has wiped out both Mizner’s Lounge and the Commander Porter’s shop.

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.

Citricos at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

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.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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E M
Guest
E M

So sad! I love the Grand with the Victorian theme just the way it is. I don’t want to go to Disney and go to any generic “luxury” hotel that you can find anywhere else

Mary Horvath
Guest
Mary Horvath

I am so sorry that this will be happening. Grand Floridian was supposed to be like the beautiful Florida homes of the past. I’m not sure I understand why everything must now be Disneyfied. It was great coming to Disney regularly as an adult without having the Princesses always in your face. While I love the Princesses, it was nice to have some adult areas as well and I’m not sure why a lounge (bar) needs to have a children’s décor. As an adult, I like to be able to go to some areas where there are no children at… Read more »

Heidi
Guest
Heidi

Thank you Mary – you hit the nail on the head – a Beauty & the Beat themed BAR is just bizarre! As a Disney-loving adult I would be too creeped out to order a drink a kid-friendly looking lounge.

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

As awful as Paul Pressler was, Bob Chapek is a true disaster who does not understand a THING about what makes the parks work. And now we’re seeing the results: awful, bland “re-theming,” terrible choices both inside the parks and at the resorts, and declining attendance. How long will he stick around?

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

At least a millennia. After all, he is in fact a robot.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

It’s the Grand Floridian. It’s meant to be a turn of the century themed resort. Modernizing it is wrong. If you wanna make a Four Seasons, build a Four Seasons. You have 27,000 acres! Use your blessing of size!

SJames
Guest
SJames

So demoralizing, how they are removing the ambiance and uniqueness of each Disney resort. I agree with Tom, it’s time for Bob to go!

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

We’ve eaten at Citricos twice and the food and service both times was excellent. The only thing lacking was the decor that felt generic. Hopefully the redesign will address that issue.

Will
Guest
Will

I’m concerned that this will cheapen V&A, which is such a special restaurant that it shouldn’t be diluted. While Citricos is good, I find it too noisy, so usually find other options, such as Narcoossee’s.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Too many changes I love the grand Florida motor a fan of what I’ve seen of the new hotel
Not very disney

R Meunier
Guest
R Meunier

Love the Grand Floridian and Citricos. My family and I have been there many times
In fact we are having dinner at Citricos at the end of this month. I will be sorry after it’s gone. Certainly will be missed by all. I always found the lobby inviting and restful, especially with either the piano being played or the orchestra in the background. Sometimes new isn’t always better

Darrell White
Guest
Darrell White

I’m totally fine with this. My wife and I are owners at GF DVC Villas. The villas very much compliment and mimic the hotel in a more refreshed way. If they use the villas as their template, the refurb will be great.

Elizabeth Smock
Guest
Elizabeth Smock

I hope everyone here who is concerned is also emailing Disney with these same concerns. It may not help, but there is no way that simply commenting here will do anything useful. Gripe all you want, I completely understand about blowing off steam in a group of like-minded people, but EMAIL DISNEY. [email protected] will get the message to them, although there may be even better ways. I’m open to suggestions!

tvnutt
Guest
tvnutt

Hmm…don’t know what to think of this. My husband and I LOVE V&A . It’s my husband’s favorite restaurant ever. We also love Citricos. I’d be happy with a V&A off-shoot. Also interested in when it will take place as we currently have reservations at Citricos in November. What is beyond disturbing is Bob Chapek’s comments on the GF. Seriously? What the heck!!!!! GF is luxury in the Victorian sense just like Yacht club is. You can’t just “Modernize” these resorts? They have a periodic theme. Just dumb, dumb, dumb. He needs to worry more about their movie studio than… Read more »

Jeb
Guest
Jeb

I will miss Citricos! Such a hidden gem at WDW! They did really cool things with their wine list back in the early 2000’s that set trends in the industry,