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Old 10-31-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
Kelleigh710
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An Intimate Dining Experience at the Grand Floridian!

Hi Everyone!,

We just returned from our AMAZING 1 year wedding anniversary trip to the world and dare I say....it was better than the honeymoon! I think with wedding planning you get so pre-occupied that you don't put as much time into the honeymoon. Well, not the case with this trip!

I wanted to do something different for our anniversary and decided that an intimate dining experience is just what the doctor ordered. I must say, it was well worth EVERY penny! The experience from planning to execution was seamless and my husband and I felt like absolute royalty from the moment our butler came to the lobby to greet us. It was among the most magical experiences of my life.

The planning part was super easy. I contacted Pat Anderson at the Grand Floridian and told her I was looking into booking this experience. She works kind of odd hours, so I was suprised to get a phone call from her at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night. She promptly e-mailed the contract to me, along with menu choices. It is my understanding that you can order ANY food from ANY restaurant in the World, it just costs more to go outside the parameters of the menu she gave me. So we ended up choosing a 5 course dinner which consisted of: Lamb Braised Ravioli, Tomato Florentine Soup, Garden Salad with Vinigarette Dressing, Filet Mignon with Truffle Scented Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus, and for dessert, Pastry Swans filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse.

Since we were married in Florida last year, I hired the same stylist that did my hair and make-up for the wedding. This was completely over-indulgent on my part, but it was vacation, right!?



Of course, since we were getting all dolled up, I hired a photographer (not a Disney photographer because they were SO expensive) to take photos of us before dinner in the lobby and on the grounds. Mind you, Grand Floridian has a strict "no outside photographers" rule so our photographer dressed down and said she was a family friend. There were no problems! Keep in mind, you can dress up or dress down for an intimate dinner. There is no dress code because you are the only one's in that dining location. So feel free to wear what you want!

After our lovely photoshoot, we were greeted by our private butler, Bill. We met at the Grand Piano and he greeted me with a single red rose with a light up Tinker Bell attached. We were then escorted to the elevators, and promptly got off on the Concierge Level. We were brought out to the 3rd floor balcony, and it took my breath away!



Sorry for the bad lighting in this pic, but this shows the view we had for the Electrical Water Pageant:



Here is a close-up of our beautiful table:



When I first got to the table, I couldn't help but smile with the personalized touches they had put on our menus!



I was just in awe at this point. We had booked the dinner reservation for a little later than usual so by the time our appetizers had been served, Wishes had already begun. Of course, I was too caught up in the moment to actually take photos of the appetizers or the fireworks, so please forgive me for skipping that part! This is actually the only fireworks pic I have, but it can give you an idea as to the view we had:

I can tell you this much, there was not a morsel of food left on either mine or my husband's plate! Here is a picture of the filet:



For me personally, it was all about the dessert! It was sensational!



I have to say this for our butler Bill and all the staff at the Grand Floridian....they really are the makers of magic. They all did everything they could to make this a magical evening. Bill shared amazing stories of people he has served since starting work in the Grand Floridian in 1988. From providing butler services to Princess Diana, Saudi Arabian Royalty, you name it, and his stories were just so entertaining! My husband had to shake hand LOL!



The cost for something like this can be overwhelming, but at the end of the day, it is a once in a lifetime experience. The cost is $95 per person, $75 for private butler service, tax, gratuity, and drinks. When it was all said and done it all came to $322.00. It may be expensive, but it provided me one of the most romantic nights with the love of my life. I hope you all get to experience it at least once!
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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Amazing! I didn't know this was something Disney even offered. Congratulations! It looks like you and your husband had a great time!
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your experience! (The hair and make up were totally worth it, by the way. You look beautiful!)
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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tbf not much more than V&A and alot more amazing!!! do you have to stay at the GF to do this?? we are celebrating dh and my 40th b days whilst there and was looking for something to "top" v&a... this would be amazing!!
love the wedding picture btw.... and is your hubby REALLY tall or is it just the pictures lol??
ty
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Your dining experience looks fantastic! I would love to do that someday....that's really not a bad price for that kind of event.

Jill in CO
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:12 AM   #6
Kelleigh710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scojos View Post
tbf not much more than V&A and alot more amazing!!! do you have to stay at the GF to do this?? we are celebrating dh and my 40th b days whilst there and was looking for something to "top" v&a... this would be amazing!!
love the wedding picture btw.... and is your hubby REALLY tall or is it just the pictures lol??
ty
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Hi Tracy! Yes, my husband is 6 ' 5 and 320 pounds. We have nicknamed him Baby Shaq! LOL

You absolutely do not need to stay at the GF to make something like this happen. We were acually staying at Bay Lake Tower and just hopped on the monorail

Here is the contact info for the woman that can make it all happen!

Pat Anderson, CPS
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
office - (8282) 407-824-1951 (Tuesday through Saturday)
pager: 407-815-0184
patricia.k.anderson@disney.com

She was wonderful to work with. E-mail is the quickest way to get a response from her. The private dinner is formally called "The Intimate Dining Experience" and they can accomodate you on the 3rd floor balcony. If it's raining, you will be on the 5th floor indoor balcony, right above the orchestra in the lobby I hope this helps!

~Kelly
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelleigh710 View Post
The cost for something like this can be overwhelming, but at the end of the day, it is a once in a lifetime experience. The cost is $95 per person, $75 for private butler service, tax, gratuity, and drinks. When it was all said and done it all came to $322.00. It may be expensive, but it provided me one of the most romantic nights with the love of my life. I hope you all get to experience it at least once!
I love what they did for your menu and you both look so wonderful! Honestly, I don't think that $322 is all that expensive for what you received. It's on par with V&A's. Could you bring your own wine if you wanted to? Could you have it on your own balcony if you were staying there? I'm filing your experience away for one of our upcoming trips. Unfortunately, my DD starts high school next year so our August birthday/anniversary vacations are OUT for the next 4 years .
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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I had no idea this was available, either. How cool! And $322 seems well worth it for all you got -- from the food to the service to the experience. Thanks for sharing, and happy anniversary.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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Thank you so much for sharing this!!!! I'd love to arrange this for DH and me someday - just haven't had the right timing yet. Looks amazing!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:03 PM   #10
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Wonderful and Magical!

Congrats on your 1st Year together!

Thanks for sharing this great review!
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:00 PM   #11
Kelleigh710
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Thanks everyone!!!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:03 PM   #12
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wow, i didnt know that they did this and I know what you mean about concentrating so much on the wedding. I dont think that it is a bad price, I know of some normal restaurants where you would pay that and not be alone on a balcony watching wishes
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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Thanks for posting this! I am so glad to see they are still offering private dining. For some reason, I thought they stopped.

We did this for our 20th anniversary and I agree it was magical and worth every bit.

Congratulations!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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Congrats on your first anniversary! We did this 3 years ago for our 5th anniversary. I surprised my DH, he thought we were eating at Bistro de Paris! It was absolutely amazing and well worth the money. Since it was our 5th, I wanted something different than eating in a restaurant in a hotel or a park. Pat was great! Ours was a little different, she asked me to e-mail her our food preferences and the chef came up with a specialized menu just for us. We could take out or add anything we wanted or didn't like. We were on the same balcony. Incredible view! Our "special dessert" was different too, it was 2 chocolate covered strawberries, one that looked like a groom, one that looked like a bride, an image of Mickey and Minnie dusted in cocoa in the middle of the plate and a white chocolate swan filled with chocolate mousse. FABULOUS! I can't remember our butler's name, but he was great, he knew when to be around and when to disappear. It was so cool being able to see the Electric Water Pageant and the Hallo-wishes fireworks during dessert. (Our anniversary is October 26th so MNSSHP was going on that night and we could actually hear all the music from the party in the park!) I would totally recommend it!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:51 PM   #15
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What an amazing experience for your 1 year anniversary! Congratulations on celebrating your anniversary in such a spectacular manner. For the experience that you received, I tend to think it was well worth the cost. You just created some wonderful memories. I'm sure your photos in the lobby were beautiful as well.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
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