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Which is the Best Disney Monorail Hotel for Families?

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It’s no secret that Disney goes all out, and that effort even extends to the ways you get into the parks. If you’ve ever been to Disney before then, you may be well aware of some of the transportation methods that get you to and from the Disney hotels and between the parks themselves.

These methods include boats, a skyliner, park to park buses, and one of the fastest methods, the Disney monorail. Staying on-site is one of the most magical ways to experience Disney, and there are a few hotels on the monorail system that cut down your travel time so you can spend longer in the parks. 

In this article, you’re going to find out everything you need to know about the Disney World monorail hotels so you can make an informed decision before booking your Disney World vacation or holiday!

which is the Best Disney Monorail Hotel for Families

What is the Disney World Monorail?

Disney World’s monorail first opened in 1971 and originally only transported guests to and from Magic Kingdom. Later Disney added an extra line to the monorail route that takes guests between the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, and select Disney hotels. 

The monorail is one of the fastest ways to get into Magic Kingdom or Epcot and has services running from the Transportation and Ticket Center and three Disney hotels with monorail access.

If you’ve never seen or heard of a monorail, then it’s essentially a single rail railroad track that is suspended in the sky. If you’re staying at one of the Disney monorail resorts and have kids in tow, then in my opinion it is the perfect transportation to and from the resort as it’s quick, easy, and air-conditioned. 

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What Disney Hotels Have Monorail Access?

There are three Disney World resorts with monorail access, and these include the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, and the Polynesian Resort. All three resorts are located fairly close to the Magic Kingdom Park and have monorail lines running through each of their grounds.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Disney Contemporary Resort is ultra-modern in design and has the Disney monorail running directly through its iconic A-frame tower. It’s without a doubt that the monorail gives you incredible access to the park, but you also have the option to walk from the resort to the Magic Kingdom gates. 

The Contemporary Resort is the closest resort to Magic Kingdom, meaning there is only a short 10-minute stroll from your hotel to the most magical place on Earth.  

Rooms

The hotel has roughly 655 rooms split into two sections, the A-frame Tower and the nearby Garden Wing. The A-frame Tower is 14 stories tall and offers views of Bay Lake or Magic Kingdom. The Garden Wing, on the other hand, has views of the water, a garden, or a parking lot. 

Rooms throughout the Contemporary resort come in a standard or suite variation. The standard rooms have either two queen beds and a day bed or a large king-sized bed and a day bed. Disney only recently renovated the rooms in the tower section of the Contemporary Resort, and they now have a subtle The Incredibles themeing running throughout.

Disney Tip: The suites on the hotel’s 14th floor have spectacular views of either the sunrise over Bay Lake in the morning or the Magic Kingdom fireworks at night.

These suites come in a one-bedroom or two-bedroom variation and although they’re classed as one-bedroom suites, they actually have two queen-sized beds along with a living area, dining area, small kitchen, and full bathroom. 

As you can choose between views, standard rooms, or suites, it’s best to check the Walt Disney World Website to get an in-depth look into what you can expect in each room. 

Fantasia sells basic groceries and sundries
Fantasia sells basic groceries and sundries

Facilities

The Contemporary Resort has a range of facilities and amenities to make your stay at Disney World even more special. These include gift shops, Fantasia market for groceries and sundries , laundry and dry cleaning services, and a fitness centre. 

You also have access to movies under the stars on the lawn behind the A-frame Tower. The Contemporary Resort will play a favourite Disney movie (as long as the weather permits) every night for kids and adults to enjoy. 

From the Contemporary Resort, you can also watch the Electrical Water Pageant along the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, which takes place every evening.

Some other recreational activities include:

  • Arcade games
  • Basketball courts
  • Fishing
  • Boat Rentals
  • Volleyball courts
  • Tennis courts
  • Jogging trails
  • Campfires

Contemporary Resort Pools

The Contemporary Resort has two pools, a feature pool and a leisure pool. The feature pool is heated and has a 17-foot high waterslide for both adults and kids. Sunbeds line the edge of the pool, but you can also rent cabanas equipped with a flat-screen TV, docking station, and a mini-fridge. 

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the main pool, then the leisure pool is the perfect area for you as loud noises are gently discouraged. 

Restaurants

The Contemporary Resort has three full-service restaurants that offer up exquisite fine dining and two counter service options for those times you need a quick grab-and-go bite. 

California Grill

The California Grill restaurant is the Contemporary Resort’s premier restaurant located on the 15th floor of the Tower building. The restaurant serves up Californian cuisine from 5 pm to 10 pm, and you can check out the full menu here.

Disney Tip: As I’m sure you can imagine, from the top of the tower, you have incredible views of both Magic Kingdom and the surrounding areas and the restaurant even has an outer balcony area from which you can watch the Magic Kingdom firework display.

Steakhouse 71

Steakhouse 71 got its name from the year the resort first opened and truly showcases the design style of the era. The menu nods to Walt Disney himself and serves up family favourites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find the full Steakhouse 71 menu here.

Chef Mickey’s

If you’re after a character meal at the Contemporary, then look no further than Chef Mickey’s. This family-style all you can eat buffet has expansive views of Bay Lake and the beautiful 90-foot-high mural by Mary Blair. 

Mickey and his friends make their way throughout the restaurant during breakfast and dinner, giving each table an autographed card keepsake. The breakfast menu features all your standard breakfast items, and for dinner, you can expect to see everything from baby shrimp and potato gnocchi to ribs and turkey breast. 

Other Food and Drink Options

  • Steakhouse 71 Lounge
  • Contempo Cafe
  • Cove Bar
  • Outer Rim
  • The Sand Bar

Grand Floridian

When Disney designed the Grand Floridian, they wanted Victorian elegance to meet modern sophistication, and boy, did they make that happen. The beautiful Grand Floridian Resort is just a 15-minute walk away from the Magic Kingdom gates, and of course, as it’s one of the Disney monorail resorts, you also have the option of riding the monorail.

Rooms

The Grand Floridian is split up into six buildings, the Main Building and five outer buildings, which include Big Pine Key, Boca Chica, Conch Key, Sago Cay, and Sugarloaf. The outer buildings have standard lagoon, garden, or theme park views, while the Main Building houses the resorts Club Level Access rooms and suites. 

Similar to the Contemporary Resort rooms, the Grand Floridian has options of two queen beds and a day bed or one king bed and a day bed. The suites come in a one-bedroom or two-bedroom variation and have separate living and dining areas. 

As you can choose between views, standard rooms, or suites, it’s best to check the Walt Disney World Website to get an in-depth look into what you can expect in each room. 

Facilities

The facilities throughout the Grand Floridian are just as exceptional, including their very own onsite spa. 

If you haven’t done enough shopping in the parks, then you can visit one of the many shops throughout the Grand Floridian grounds; these shops include Sandy Cove, Fantasia Market, M.Mouse Mercantile, Commander Porters, Basin, and Summer Lace. You can get everything from your favourite Disney treats to sunscreen, apparel and key chains.

As with other Disney properties, the Grand Floridian has a movie under the stars showing every night depending on the weather, and you can also watch the Electrical Water Pageant on the Seven Seas Lagoon. 

Some other recreational activities include:

  • Arcade games
  • Basketball courts
  • Fishing
  • Boat Rentals
  • Jogging trails
  • Campfires

Grand Floridian Pools

There are two pools at the Grand Floridian, the Beach Pool and the Courtyard Pool. The Courtyard Pool is a serene environment in the centre of the resort that offers a calm and peaceful swimming experience for its guests.

The Beach Pool, which is slightly off to the right of the resort, on the other hand, has a 181-foot-long waterslide, cascading waterfalls and a walking bridge that has incredible views of the pool. There is also a kids splash area for the little ones and cabanas that are available for daily or hourly rental.

Restaurants

There are six main sit-down restaurants in the Grand Floridan with a further four bars and lounges for light and quick bites. 

Citricos

Citricos is only open for dinner and pays homage to the elegance of Mary Poppins Returns. The dining room is themed after a fanciful garden scene and presents its guests with a Mediterranean influenced Florida cuisine. The entire Citricos menu can be found here.

Narcoossee’s

If you want to feel extremely fancy at dinner, then Narcoosee’s is right up your street. (They even have a dress code!)

The Narcoossee’s restaurant overlooks the water, so it’s only fitting that the menu consists of coastal cuisine. But, if you aren’t into seafood, then not to worry, they also have land-based dishes like filet mignon and gnocchi.

For the Narcoossee’s menu and information on the dress code, click here.

Gasparilla Island Grill

Gasparilla is a quick-service restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll find all your classic family favourite dishes like pizza, burgers, and sandwiches alongside a fantastic selection of yummy Disney treats. The full Gasparilla menu can be found here.

Grand Floridian Cafe

The Grand Floridan Cafe has beautiful views of the nearby rose gardens and the courtyard pool. This elegant Victorian-themed cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so expect to see all of your usual mealtime favourites on the menu. For a closer look at the Grand Floridian Cafe menu, click here.

1900 Park Fare

1900 Park Fare is the Grand Floridian’s character restaurant where guests can meet Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh during breakfast. Come dinnertime, however, you’ll be joined by Cinderella, Prince Charming, and some of the princess’ friends.. 

The food in 1900 Park Fare is buffet style, with the usual breakfast items appearing in the morning seating, and meats, soups, pasta, and salads in the afternoon and evening seatings. You can find the 1900 Park Fare menu here.

Victoria & Albert’s

If you thought Narcoossee’s was fancy, then you’re in for a surprise with the Victoria and Albert’s restaurant. (I’m talking seven-course fancy). Victoria and Albert’s has been recognised with a AAA five-diamond rating since 2000 and has also received many other awards making it one of the most preeminent restaurants in all of Walt Disney World.

The menu at Victoria and Alberts features modern American cuisine that has been crafted with ingredients from different countries in the world.

Inside the restaurant, there are three different seating areas, the Dining Room, Queen Victoria’s Room, and the Chef’s Table. All three areas offer a unique experience and you’re guaranteed to make memories that’ll last a lifetime. Victoria and Alberts do have an extremely strict black tie dress code, but you can find more information about that and the menu here.

Other Food and Drink Options

  • Enchanted Rose
  • Beaches Pool Bar & Grill
  • Courtyard Pool Bar
  • Citricos Lounge

Polynesian Village Resort

The final resort on the monorail route is the Polynesian Village Resort, which has been a favourite Disney destination since 1971. 

Upon entering the resort, you’ll be transported to the South Pacific with palm trees, vegetation, and decorative nods to the tropical islands of Polynesia. In my opinion, it really makes you feel like you’re on holiday, during a holiday. 

The Polynesian Village Resort happens to be the furthest monorail resort from Magic Kingdom, but it still only takes 25 minutes to leisurely stroll to the park. The Disney Polynesian Resort monorail, however, takes roughly only 10 – 15 minutes. 

Rooms

The Polynesian Village Resort has many different rooms and suite types for you to choose from. Much like the two other monorail resorts, the Polynesian Village has standard rooms with either theme park, pool, or lagoon views. These rooms feature two queen beds and a day bed or a king bed and a day bed.

From there, the next level of rooms are the Club Level Access rooms which are available in a standard room, a one-bedroom suite, an Ambassador VP Suite, a King Kamehameha Suite, or a honeymoon room.

And if that wasn’t enough, you also have the choice of deluxe studios or bungalows which can sleep up to eight adults. The studios feature a small kitchenette, a full bathroom and a balcony. And the bungalows have two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, a dining area, and a private plunge pool. 

As you can choose between views, standard rooms, or suites, it’s best to check the Walt Disney World Website to get an in-depth look into what you can expect in each room. 

Facilities

Unfortunately, the Polynesian Village Resort doesn’t have its own fitness centre or spa, but guests of the resort are allowed to head over on the monorail to the Grand Floridian and use theirs. 

Like all other Disney hotels, the Polynesian has plenty of opportunities for shopping. Moana Mercantile is the biggest shop of them all and sells everything from sunscreen and aspirin to baby diapers and formula.

At the Polynesian Village Resort, the Great Ceremonial House Lawn is where you can spend the evening watching the movie under the stars, or you can head over and watch the Electrical Water Pageant on the lagoon.

Some other recreational activities include:

  • Arcade games
  • Volleyball courts
  • Fishing
  • Boat Rentals
  • Jogging trails
  • Campfires

Polynesian Resort Pools

In my opinion, the pools at the Polynesian Resort are the best of all three Disney monorail resorts. 

The larger and more kid-friendly pool is the Lava Pool, which has a towering volcano, a waterfall and a 142 foot-long waterslide. There is also a smaller more manageable splash park nearby for the little ones of the family. 

And, if you’re after a more tranquil swimming experience, then you can head over to the Oasis Pool, which is quieter and nestled among lush gardens.

Restaurants

There are four restaurants in the Polynesian Village Resort which are all open from breakfast to dinner. Along with these sit-down restaurants, there is also an abundance of bars and counters in which you can order alcoholic beverages or snacks for a quick afternoon fix.

Captain Cook’s

Captain Cook’s is a quick-service dining option with your usual breakfast bites and all American dinner time favourites. You can find the full Captain Cook’s menu here.

Kona Cafe

Sushi, burgers, poke bowls and noodle bowls are all on the dinner menu at Kona Cafe. The casual cafe also offers up a standard breakfast with the added option of Disney’s famous Tonga-Toast. Check the Kona Cafe menu here.

Ohana

The Ohana restaurant is beautiful, themed with colours and statues taken from the Polynesian islands. It also happens to be the Polynesian Village Resorts character dining location, so along with your buffet-style American breakfast, you can meet Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and Mickey!

Kona Island

Kona Island is essentially a pastry and sushi bar where you can pick up spicy tuna or California rolls along with muffins, cupcakes, and pies.

Other Food and Drink Options
  • Barefoot Pool Bar
  • Pineapple Lanai
  • Tambu Lounge
  • Oasis Bar and Grill
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
  • Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

FAQs

What Hotels Does the Disney Monorail Go Through?

The Disney Hotel monorail runs through three resorts close by to the Magic Kingdom Park. These resorts are the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian Resort. 

Where Does the Disney Monorail Stop?

The Disney monorail stops at the monorail hotels, which include the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, and the Polynesian Resort, and it also runs to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Is Disney Discontinuining the Monorail?

No, Disney has no plans to discontinue the monorail, and it still remains to be one of the most popular ways to get into Magic Kingdom and Epcot. 

Does the Disney Monorail Go to All Parks?

Sadly the monorail only runs into Magic Kingdom and Epcot. 

Is the Grand Floridian on the Monorail?

Yes! The Grand Floridian is one of three Disney World Resorts with monorail access. The other two include the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian Resort.

How Does the Disney Monorail Work?

The Disney Monorail runs on a single rail from the car parks of Epcot and Magic Kingdom to the Epcot and Magic Kingdom Parks. It also then runs on to the Contemporary Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, and the Polynesian Resort. 

All Disney guests can ride the monorail as if it were a normal train. Simply head on up to the station platform, jump into a cabin, and be whisked away to the magic. 

Can Anyone Ride the Monorail?

Anyone is able to ride the monorail even if they don’t have tickets to the parks. With that being said, however, to get onto the monorail at either Epcot or Magic Kingdom, you need to enter in through the car park, which charges $25 per vehicle. 

How Much Does Disney Monorail Cost?

The monorail is free for all guests, even if you don’t have a park ticket, so anyone can hop on and off when they please. 

What is the Cheapest Disney Hotel On the Monorail?

The rooms in the Garden Wing of the Contemporary Resort are more often than not the cheapest option out of the Disney monorail hotels.

Which of these Disney hotels on the monorail is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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