Disney now has over 25 different resorts but only 3 of those deluxe resorts are on the monorail system. These resorts are Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Each of these resorts is uniquely themed and full of Disney magic. Resort hopping on the monorail has become a popular activity for a lot of Disney guests. This is a great way to spend a day off from the parks, to do on a rainy day, or to just take a break from the crowds for an afternoon. It is also an activity you can do on your travel days when you don’t have enough time to visit a park. Let’s look at some of the different things you can do as you hop around to each resort monorail stop.
Disney goes all out for the holidays, especially at Christmas. Each lobby is decorated with beautiful Christmas trees and huge gingerbread houses. The Grand Floridian’s gingerbread house even has a little shop inside that sells gingerbread treats. Visiting these resorts will surely get you in the holiday spirit.
Monorail hopping is perfect for the shopaholic. Each resort has shops with luxury items as well as Disney merchandise. You can find name brand items from Dooney & Bourke and Kate Spade to Lily Pulitzer and Tommy Bahamas. The Grand Floridian is the home of Basin which is a great place to pick up your favorite soaps. Take home a bar of soap with Mickey or Cinderella’s carriage in it to remind you of your magical trip.
While monorail hopping it is a great idea to make reservations at one of the many dining experiences these Disney Resort properties offer. Each resort has everything from quick service dining to award-winning signature dining experiences. Don’t forget some of the best character dining experiences is also offered at each of these resorts. So make sure you check out one of these dining experiences on your trip around Bay Lake or at least grab a dole whip at Disney’s Polynesian Resort!
Each of these Disney Resorts offers something other resorts don’t have. It’s another reason why these are deluxe resorts. Sit in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and listen to live music or even indulge in a spa treatment at the spa! If you are monorail hopping in the evening you should make your last stop around the time the fireworks happen over Cinderella’s Castle. These resorts pipe in the music from the castle and offer viewing areas to watch the fireworks. Take a seat on the white sand beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and enjoy the fireworks without fighting the crowds at the park! You can also catch the Electrical Water Pageant that happens in front of each of these Disney Resorts around 9pm each night.
You have most likely heard of drinking around the world at Epcot but now a lot of people are adding the monorail pub crawl to their “adult” vacation. This is not a Disney sponsored activity. Start at Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and take in music by the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. After you finish there, head over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort and grab a quick drink at the Outer Rim or head to the top floor to the California Grill Lounge that boasts some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom. This is also home to the Wave which is another popular bar stop. Finish the crawl at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Check out their Tambu Lounge or their newer bar, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. This is one of the most unique bars on property that gives you an authentic tiki bar experience. If you order certain beverages you may get to experience crazy antics from the bartenders and lighting and sound effects that go along with your order. This has become a very popular place with limited indoor seating but they do have a larger outdoor seating area. Just remember if you pick this activity to always be responsible and safe! You don’t want to ruin anyone else’s magical day.
Highway in the Sky Dine Around
Disney picked up on this popular activity and created their own monorail hopping dining experience. The Highway in the Sky Dine Around experience is a culinary journey where each of the resorts offers a different delicious experience. Check in is at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at The Wave… of American Flavors where you can expect appetizers and a specialty cocktail. When you are finished there you head to Disney’s Polynesian Resort for a variety of island-inspired drinks and appetizers. You are then off to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for an elegant and first class experience. Sip champagne and snack on an artisanal selection of cheeses or charcuterie before experiencing a special chef’s main course selection at their award-winning restaurant, Citricos. Now that you’re feeling happy and full you will return to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to a private patio for desserts, cordials and coffee and a chance to watch the Happily Ever After fireworks show over Cinderella’s Castle. The availability is very limited and advanced reservations are highly recommended. There is a dress code similar to other signature Disney dining experiences. The Highway in the Sky Dine Around is the perfect Disney date night or addition to your magical honeymoon!
You can access the monorail to start your monorail hopping journey if you are not staying at one of these deluxe resorts from the Magic Kingdom or the Transportation and Ticket Center. If you don’t want to take the monorail you could always take one of the water taxis that go from the Magic Kingdom to the different resorts around Bay Lake. When you go by water you can also expand your resort hopping experience to include Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Not only is this experience a great way to see some of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts but it is also a way to save money for a day and still experience Disney!
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My favorite thing to do is plan Disney vacations and it has been a dream of mine to help others plan their own magical experiences. As they say in Disney, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,” and I want to help you see it all!
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