Gran Destino & The Toledo Restaurant
Okay guys! Pretty cool news. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get the chance to explore Disney’s all new Gran Destino Tower!
For those of you who are not aware, the Gran Destino Tower is the newest addition to the Walt Disney World Resorts and the continuation of Coronado Spring’s Resort & Spa. It is also considered the first convention “tower” for Disney World Property. Obviously there is other towers on property like the Dolphin, Bay Lake, etc, but Gran Destino was created mainly due to its convention guest atmosphere.
Anyways this place was GORGEOUS. The decor and theming itself is already completely different from anything I’ve seen Disney accomplish in the past. The check-in lobby is actually the ‘second floor’ of the lobby. The lower level is cleverly called lower lobby, this is where the lobby bar and lounge area is. The upper floor also holds various work outlets such as desks, charging stations, and a mini business center. Right away you can tell it’s definitely geared more towards the business traveler. With plenty of areas to sit and focus on work with calming music in the background, business travelers can work in peace.
The decor gives off a very different vibe though. Although the ambiance I would say is an overall modern art-deco style theme, it almost looks like you’re stepping right into a casino foyer. My mom noted it even looked similar to the new Encore Casino in MA. The second floor lobby overlooks down into the lower and a giant chandelier centerpiece looms overhead. The walls are covered in tile artwork and the bar back splash is a gorgeously colorful mosaic. On the lower lobby level there are two floor to ceiling paintings that really stand out from the rest. One side shows a female with twisting designs behind her, while the other side portrays Mickey looking thoughtfully up at Walt peering back down at him from above.
After exploring a little and realizing the only check in spot in all of Coronado’s property is now held within Gran Destino, my friend’s and I decided to stop for a quick drink before dinner. We decided to opt out of the new lake-center bar out on the water (it was scalding outside per usual) and head back to the lobby bar in the lower lobby. The only thing I found strange is that Gran Destino is connected to the original Coronado Spring’s Lobby, but in order to get to it, you have to walk through the eerily empty old check in hall. It almost looks like an empty ballroom with outlets that people use to be checked in and out at. I would have thought they would have at least converted it to something else or had a plan in mind for it instead of leaving it abandoned upon the grand opening of the new tower.
That’s besides the point though, the entire place was truly stunning. I already thought the place was amazing enough, then I went to the top floor. The elevators are very high tech and you simply press which floor you wish to go to prior to boarding the elevator. Once you have selected your desired destination, the system tells you which elevator to get on and once inside there are no buttons! It simply takes you and others to your specific destinations. A little confusing to figure out at first, but pretty cool technology.
Once we arrived at the top floor, the first thing I took note of was all the glass. The signs were shaded glass, and almost all the walls were floor to ceiling windows overlooking all of Disney World. The view was stunning. The closest thing I can compare it to would be the view from the California Grill, except the Gran Destino’s balcony allows for outdoor seating as well as more viewing space. The only downside I have about the view is the location of it. Yes, you can see almost all of Disney Property from up there, but it was almost like the backside of water. Galaxy’s Edge can be seen, but so can all the ugly construction (which I know will obviously not be there for long). Other than that you could see the Epcot ball, Swan & Dolphin, Tower of Terror, Blizzard Beach, but then you see the industrial backside of Mount Everest and some parking lots. Can’t win em all I guess with such a wrap around view from up there.
The cool thing is unlike the California Grill, the rooftop area has much more space to accommodate people. With the Contemporary’s rooftop, the only way to access it is through a set of elevators that are blocked off by the check in desk for California Grill whereas at Gran Destino it can be accessed from the normal elevator system. You simply go to the 16th floor. On the floor itself, there are two sides to the top. One is the Toledo Restaurant, and the other side is the Dahlia Lounge. So whether or not you have a dining reservation, you can still enjoy the view.
Lastly, to top off our night, we ate at Toledo. The restaurant itself was beautiful and obviously had the same floor to ceiling windows. They even already had an allergy friendly menu, but it was extremely limited. The food itself was pretty pricy as expected so we all got some smaller appetizers and split bigger meal items. I got the Spanish Paella which was amazing for $3, but as expected it was bite sized. For my version of a main course since I wasn’t about to spend a crazy amount of money on a full meal here when I wasn’t even that hungry to begin with, I decided to order an appetizer with a side dish. I ordered the Romaine Salad and a side of roasted Cauliflower. General thoughts, everything was WAY too salty. The food was amazing and the service was terrific, but everything had at least a cup of salt added to the recipe and my mouth is still recovering. To put it into perspective, the salad alone was covered in olives, olive paste, and anchovy dressing. Salt. Lick. But I do have to commend them on their AMAZING cauliflower side dish. By far the best thing I tried that evening. The cauliflower was roasted perfectly and only had a drizzle of spicy sauce to it didn’t make my mouth catch on fire. Underneath the cauliflower was a puree of sorts which I am still trying to decipher whether it was warm cheese or pureed cauliflower mash. Either way it was to die for honestly.
Overall I spent about 30$ for those three dinner items and I was contently full after even though I was definitely tempted to try the mouthwatering dessert options they had. If you’d like the full tour I did of the Gran Destino, then check out the vlog I made here! Also PLEASE LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWLY REDONE YOUTUBE CHANNEL. Enjoy!