by JollyFrogger Diva
Whenever my family visits Walt Disney World, we have a list of traditions we like to try and uphold. One of my favorites is a relaxing afternoon spent sipping tea and taking in the sights and sounds of the lobby at the Grand Floridian. Tucked away in a corner on the first floor of the lobby, you might miss the Garden View Tea Room if you weren’t looking for it. It’s a beautiful room with white wicker furniture and large windows that let in the Florida sunshine, and overlooks the gardens with the Seven Seas Lagoon in the distance. In true Disney style, even the waiting area is tea-themed with inlays of Chip and Mrs. Potts in the marble floor
Afternoon tea is served seven days a week from 12pm to 5pm Tuesday and Thursdays and 2pm to 5pm the remaining days. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online as well as through Disney’s reservation line. The Disney Dining plan is not accepted, so be sure to budget a little extra for this experience. Garden View Tea Room offers several tea and food packages that range from $175 for the 2 person service that includes tea (of course), caviar, tea sandwiches, scones, dessert, and champagne to a $30 package that includes tea, tea sandwiches, scones, and dessert. They also offer a Mrs. Potts Tea package for children that include sandwiches in child-friendly flavors like peanut butter and jelly as well as a jam tart, dessert and a special “dark tea” that’s actually chocolate milk. The Cast Members at Garden View Tea room are very accommodating when it comes to the menu and will allow you to substitute if there is a sandwich you don’t care for, or, if you’re like my sister and would prefer the Mrs. Potts Tea package, even as an adult.
The selection of teas offered by Garden View Tea room is quite extensive, so it may be a hard choice. We always have each person in our party order a different tea so we can sample several each visit. Your first course will be the tea sandwiches unless you choose one of the higher end packages that start with an additional item. The variety of sandwich may vary each visit, but my favorite my far is the cucumber and watercress. Last time we visited, there was also an egg salad sandwich, a pear and gorgonzola sandwich (that I asked they switch for an extra egg salad), and a chicken salad sandwich. There was also a caramelized onion tartlet that was to die for.
The next course is the jam tart and scone. Once again, the flavors for these offerings vary at each visit, but I’ve found the jam tart is usually raspberry when we visit. Even thought I am not usually a fan of raspberry, the tarts are delicious. The scones are wonderful- not too dry and quite flavorful, and are served with jam, Devonshire cream and lemon curd.
The final course is the best, in my opinion, and always full of difficult choices. For dessert, you have the option of 2 house-made pastries, berries and cream, or an English trifle. Everything always looks and tastes delicious, so it’s really pretty hard to go wrong with any option. I always like the swan pastries (they offer a variety of filling for these so be sure to see what the flavor of the day is) so I usually go with the 2 pastries option and always have a hard time narrowing it down to 2. I am told the chocolate covered strawberries are also quite good if you like them.
If you are looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon outside the parks, consider the Garden View Tea Room. Delicious food, wonderful tea, and fantastic scenery make it a great spot to unwind and soak up the Disney atmosphere.