Looking for a great idea for an adult-only outing or date night? Take a ride on the monorail and check out all the great things the resorts along the way have to offer.
What is Disney World’s Monorail?
Disney World’s monorail is a train that connects the Magic Kingdom parking lot (Transportation and Ticket Center/TTC) with Magic Kingdom and three deluxe resorts. It has three separate lines. The express line will take you only from TTC to Magic Kingdom, speeding past the resorts. The EPCOT line will take you from the TTC to…wait for it…EPCOT. The line you want is the resort line that goes to all the resorts on the line, Magic Kingdom, and the TTC. To get on the monorail, make your way to any of the stations. You can park at the TTC, take a bus from a different resort to Magic Kingdom (offsite buses go to the TTC), drive to one of the resorts (if you have a reservation), or just get on the monorail if you happen to be staying at one of the monorail resorts.
What Resorts are on the Disney World Monorail?
The three monorail resorts are the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary Resort. The resort line moves clockwise from TTC, to the Polynesian, to the Grand Floridian, to Magic Kingdom, to the Contemporary and back to the TTC. With that in mind, let’s hop aboard.
Monorail Crawl Date Night
For an epic Monorail experience, you want to do the monorail in order. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending way too much time on the train circling back around. Here’s what we did, and it was amazing. Start by getting to the Polynesian. Again, the easiest ways are: Lyft to Polynesian, park at TTC and go one stop on resort line, or take a bus to Magic Kingdom and take the monorail for three stops.
If you have a meal reservation at one of the resorts, you can park at the resort you’ve reserved for up to three hours and up to one hour before your reservation according to a PlanDisney Q&A. But the official Disney guest services page is not as specific. I include all these links because there’s a lot of disagreement about what Disney’s actual policies are regarding parking and resort hopping. I’ll let you do your own research, so I don’t get blamed if you get towed. But let’s get on with the night!
Polynesian Resort: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Our first stop is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian Resort. Located in the back left corner of the first floor of the main building (from the entrance), you can experience an amazingly themed, quirky Polynesian bar. Enjoy lots of festive drinks and get amazing souvenir cups. Ordering certain drinks will also have a magical effect on the lights and decorations. Split the Uh-Oa. I don’t want ruin it for you, but let’s just say the bar goes crazy, and the drink is on fire.
On a weekend or a high crowd day, you may have to wait a little before you can enter. Have no fear! You can explore the rest of the amazing resort and take a walk on the beach. We couldn’t stay for the wait when we got here on this particular date (and we’d been before), so we found the exact same menu on the deck behind the bar. It was a fun atmosphere, but nothing compared to the uniqueness inside.
After your first experience, hop back on the monorail, and head to Grand Floridian.
Grand Floridian Resort: The Enchanted Rose
While our stop at Trader Sam’s was a raucous, party environment, the Enchanted Rose is the exact opposite. Located on the second floor at the back of the main building, the Enchanted Rose has subtle theming based on Beauty and Beast. It’s decorated with the ornate, overstuffed furniture and gilded decorations of high class, baroque society.
The Enchanted Rose has a bar, and a lounge. Head to the lounge side for one of the fanciest and quietest places on Disney property. The large curtains and furniture deaden a lot of the ambient noise. Once you find a comfy couch, order an incredibly fancy and creative cocktail, and order some caviar if you really want to put your pinky up. I had an amazing old fashioned here, and my wife had the lavender fog.
After that, you are probably ready to eat…if you didn’t snack at all the bars. Now, get back on the monorail, wave at the Magic Kingdom castle as you pass it, and get off at the Contemporary. Since our goal was to see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom last, our dinner reservation was right at sunset. The huge windows in the fourth floor atrium had an amazing view of the sunset right as we got off the train.
Contemporary Resort: Steakhouse 71
Dinner for us was at the Contemporary Resort’s Steakhouse 71. Located in the back of the first floor (three floors below the monorail), Steakhouse 71 was rebranded (from the Wave) during the pandemic to be an upscale celebration of Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort, which both opened in 1971.
It’s known for their choice cuts of steak, particularly their prime rib, which comes with a puff pastry on top. It and the sides were phenomenal. We had the macaroni and cheese and the broccolini. Steakhouse 71 also has 7 creative steak sauces. I couldn’t resist even though I consider my wife putting Heinz 57 on my steaks at home extremely offensive. The wild mushroom and signature sauce were my favorites. I also had another great old fashioned here, this time chocolate.
Magic Kingdom: Fireworks
We happened to have tickets to Magic Kingdom on the day of our date night. We had taken the kids there earlier then left them with our babysitter, so we headed to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks. If you don’t have tickets to the park, you can view them from any of the resorts on the monorail, though the best viewing spots have changing rules about them (Polynesian Beach, California Grill, etc.).
To get to Magic Kingdom, instead of taking the long way around the monorail, we walked from Contemporary to Magic Kingdom. It’s only .25 miles. We enjoyed the fireworks, I attempted to get a high score on Space Ranger Spin (only 700k, meh), and then we headed back to our hotel. Despite the decadent night we had, we were actually staying at the Drury Plaza in a suite for $200 a night. Here’s my review of the Drury Plaza Disney Springs.
These aren’t your only choices for a monorail crawl. All three hotels have amazing restaurants. A more common option at Contemporary is the California Grill, where you can watch the fireworks from your seat or a rooftop deck. Grand Floridian has some great options including the uber-deluxe Victoria and Albert’s. Polynesian has the creative fare of ‘Ohana, where you can also watch the fireworks.
All of these hotels also have several bars to choose from as well. We just think these are best. Next, you could use a boat to include the Wilderness Lodge. Finally, if you really want to enjoy the fireworks in style, you could take a dessert cruise or private boat on the Seven Seas Lagoon for the fireworks. In fact, if you want a list of tons of creative date night ideas at Disney World, check this article out.
Go have fun and see you real soon! Let me know if you’ve had any amazing experiences on the monorail that I left out.
Alex has three kids and an amazing wife, and he’s spent a lot of time at Disney Parks and on Disney Cruises with them. He loves Disney and wants to share tips, insights, and funny stories to help parents everywhere navigate the Most Magical Place on Earth.
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