Which Walt Disney World Resorts have Monorail Access?

by Carrie Kallash

If you have ever looked into or have traveled to the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida you were probably surprised at all the choices for resorts to be found on Disney property. Staying on Walt Disney World Resort property brings a certain element of magic to each vacation.  For a lot of families it makes sense to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort with monorail access. What is a monorail resort, you say? The monorail resorts are conveniently located with easy access to Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. These resorts are some of the most favored on Disney property. 

Walt Disney World Resorts Monorail

The three resorts located on the monorail loop are Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  The main reason why I recommend staying at these resorts is easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. These resorts are all deluxe properties which mean they offer multiple dining choices, pools with waterslides/ splash areas, larger room sizes, and club level amenities (for certain guests). The ease of transporting small children, or those with special needs really streamlines your vacation.  Guests can leave their resort and put their small children in strollers without much worry. That means no more fold up of strollers and unfolding in a hurry to get to your next adventure. Hooray!

Another bonus of being on the monorail loop is dining at other neighboring monorail resorts becomes a breeze. It’s just an easy off and on at those locations. All of the monorail resorts offer character dining and fine dining locations.  But what about Epcot? It is a simple one time transfer each way. These resorts can really spoil you especially with the ease of transportation to two essential parks and it decreases vacation stress when you’re unsure of Disney transportation to begin with. 

Let’s jump into each monorail resort:

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Contemporary Resort is the iconic A-frame structure that you see in most Walt Disney World commercials or videos.  This resort is modern, stylish, and offers your closest location to Magic Kingdom. This resort is unique from the artwork, to walls made of glass, and a monorail that goes through the resort. Rooms offer exciting views of Bay Lake and views of Magic Kingdom, as well as garden views.  

The Contemporary Resort is  a walk-able distance to Magic Kingdom theme park. Guests can get to Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom by bus transportation.  The pool has water slides for guests and cabanas for rent. This resort offers many on-site restaurants. Some favorites are Chef Mickey’s (character dining),  California Grill with rooftop views of the Magic Kingdom, and Contempo Cafe.

If you looking for proximity you can’t get much closer to Magic Kingdom than this resort.  I personally like the Contemporary the least of the monorail resorts. While it is a great option I’m not a fan of modern design and I feel the resort feels busy most of the time.  Some people like feeling like they are in the middle of the magic but, I tend to like a more relaxed atmosphere.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort 

As my daughter has stated, “Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is princess perfection!” This Victorian inspired resort is their “flagship” resort with elegant decor inspired by Floridian seaside resorts.  This is a very romantic resort located one monorail stop from Magic Kingdom. The lobby is so beautiful and includes marble inlays of characters, a grand staircase, birdcage, and massive chandeliers. Can you tell I’m in love?!  Guests of this resort also enjoy a pianist playing Disney song favorites and well as an orchestra playing multiple times daily.  

The grounds at the Grand Floridian are kept lovely and the views are beautiful looking across Seven Seas Lagoon.  The pool and splash areas are themed nicely, as is the beach nearby. Fireworks from Magic Kingdom can be seen from multiple areas at night. This hotel offers many delicious on-site dining options 1900 Park fare, Victoria & Albert’s, Narcoossee’s, Citricos, and Grand Floridian Cafe.  Guests can access the parks by monorail, boat, and bus transportation. Although I recommend this resort to families with a healthy budget this resort is a great option for adult travelers, or those celebrating their wedding/honeymoon at Disney. 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort offers Spa and salon services on-site.  Another perk is if your prince or princess is looking for a magical makeover they will be in luck!  The Grand Floridian Resort now has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location that provides makeovers to kids ages 3-12.  I mean, who doesn’t love that? Imagine your little princess getting her princess makeover followed by dining with Cinderella and Prince Charming at 1900 Park Fare.  It sounds pretty perfect to me!

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

The Polynesian Resort is an ultimate fan favorite!  Many guests believe that this resort has the best theming of all the Disney resorts.  I’ll leave that up to you to decide. All I know is the resort has a heavenly smell. Plus, there is something special about standing in the lobby and seeing Cinderella’s Castle in the distance. Everything in this resort is classically Hawaiian and Disney. You will immediately feel relaxed when you enter this resort. Guests can access the parks by monorail, boat, and bus transportation. 

The lobby of the resort houses a couple shopping options, and several dining locations.  The most popular dining location is ‘Ohana. This dining location offers dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  At breakfast guests can dine with Lilo and Stitch in a character dining experience. Adults enjoy Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto which houses a fun tiki bar in a lively atmosphere.  Other restaurants to note are Kona Cafe, The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Captain Cook’s, and Pineapple Lanai (serves the legendary dole-whip).  

The pool at the Polynesian Resort is a kid and family favorite. The main pool offers a volcano themed water slide and a splash area for kids.  The Polynesian resort has beaches that are roped off to water access. These beach areas are a wonderful way to take in the amazing Floridian sunsets, and fireworks from Magic Kingdom. The Polynesian is my top pick for families wanting a relaxing atmosphere while enjoying all the fun that Walt Disney World has to offer.  

What are your thoughts?  If you were to choose a monorail resort which would be your first choice? Or do you think the monorail resorts are over-rated?  If you would like more information on Walt Disney Resort leave a comment below.  

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