PHOTOS: Paneling Removed From Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Columns During Balcony Refurbishment

Shannen Ace

PHOTOS: Paneling Removed From Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Columns During Balcony Refurbishment

As part of the ongoing refurbishment of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, crew members are working on the balconies overlooking the resort’s lavish lobby.

Construction in Grand Floridian Lobby

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Guests exiting the Grand Floridian Monorail station will immediately notice these potted plants blocking the view of the lobby.

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The plants are just around a section of the balcony in front of the Monorail station doors.

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From other vantage points, we can see sheathing taped to the floor behind the plants.

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This indicates a small construction vehicle may park here or crews are expecting some falling debris and want to protect the floors.

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This area is on the second floor overlooking the lobby.

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Two construction lifts are parked on the ground floor behind construction walls.

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Though a remodel is planned for the lobby, this construction work is for the guest room areas. The lifts are needed to reach the balconies.

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White walls surround the three guest room floors above the lobby.

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Some white paneling is missing from the columns between balconies, evidently to be refurbished or replaced. The steel beams of the columns are visible for now.

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The lifts were not in use when we visited on Tuesday, but two crew members were on site.

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The plywood beneath the lifts protects the lobby floor.

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The lobby remodel is delayed to 2024.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Refurbishment

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa lobby

Reportedly, when now-former CEO Bob Chapek took over the Parks & Resorts division in 2015, he felt that the Grand Floridian was not up to standards, so put in motion a major overhaul of the resort.

This began with the “Beauty and the Beast”-themed Enchanted Rose Lounge, which replaced Mizner’s Lounge. Cítricos followed with a new “Mary Poppins”-inspired design. When the Grand Floridian Spa reopened in January 2022, it was revealed that it, too, had been remodeled. All the rooms of the resort are still being updated and some “Mary Poppins” theming has been added throughout guest buildings.

Narcoossee’s was closed from June 2022 to April 2023, and reopened with a revamped interior and “land and sea” menu. Read our Narcoossee’s review.

1900 Park Fare, the character dining buffet location at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is still closed for refurbishment. The restaurant has not reopened since it closed in March 2020 with the rest of Walt Disney World Resort due to COVID-19. When physical distancing measures were still in place, 1900 Park Fare was used as overflow seating for Grand Floridian Café for a short period of time.

In December 2022, Disney confirmed that the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa would be refurbished but “will maintain the classic theming you know and love with some fresh new enhancements.”

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will celebrate its 35th anniversary on July 1, 2023.

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  • Shannen Michaelsen

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at