When Walt Disney World opened its monorail system in 1971, it serviced just two routes: MK: Resort and Express. Those Mark IV trains worked hard to transport guests around Walt Disney’s newest park. Just ten years later, Epcot opened, and a year after that, Disney connected the monorail to Epcot in 1982 and the Grand Floridian when it opened in 1988. The monorail system was now 14.7 miles of track servicing three routes including the Express, which runs between Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center, the Resort, which connects the three resorts to the TTC; and the Epcot line that takes guests from the TTC to Epcot and back.
Currently, 150,000 riders board the updated Mark VI trains daily making it the second busiest monorail in the world!
There’s a lot to do in Disney for adults, and a monorail crawl can be a really fun adventure for a non-park day. Although it may not save you money over park tickets, it is a great way to experience everything monorail resorts have to offer.
With all of the restaurants and activities to do on the monorail line, you might feel overwhelmed when trying to plan a monorail crawl. Fortunately, I’m here to help you with a well-planned schedule.
Since the monorail provides your transportation, you don’t have to worry about having a designated driver!
Morning & Brunch
Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel is a great place for guests of any age, but adults will enjoy it just as much as the kids. I’ve decided to put brunch on the plan so you can sleep in, but this restaurant is also open for breakfast.
This all-you-care-to-eat brunch buffet includes fresh fruits, yogurt, fish, salads, cheese, shrimp, frittatas, ham, kielbasa, ribs, and cheesy potato casserole. For dessert, you can build your own sundae! Enjoy all of this wonderful food as you mingle with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy. They may even lead you in a sing and dance along! Although the food and characters here are fun, I chose this restaurant as your first stop because you can watch the monorail zip by as you eat! What could be better when you’re on a monorail crawl?
After brunch, head over to the Outer Rim Lounge for your first adult beverage of the day. There are several different wines including sparkling, white, rose, and red, plus sangrias, lagers, seasonal beers, ales, stouts, and ciders. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, there are several specialty ones to choose from.
Don’t forget to take a look around the resort before you leave. You may find some neat souvenirs at the shops, and you’ll enjoy the scenery as you walk around the grounds. With Magic Kingdom right next door, you can find great views of the park as well.
Afternoon & Lunch
The Grand Floridian Café is also on our list for the family monorail crawl, but that’s because it’s such a great casual location. With a variety of salads like the autumn heirloom apple salad, shrimp cocktail, salmon, turkey and harvati, pasta three ways, and a Rueben sandwich, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.
As you look over the beautiful rose garden, sip on specialty cocktails like the Florida Sunshine, which is Skyy Vodka, peach schnapps, Chambord, and cranberry and orange juice. There’s also Bailey’s and coffee, a Godiva Chocolate Martini, and the Grand Colada with rum, coconut, pineapple, and Blue Curacao. My favorite drinks here though are the wines. The wine served at the Grand Floridian Café is called family wine because the wineries either have a direct association with Walt Disney himself or with other important people in the Disney family who have carried out Walt’s legacy. Wineries include MacMurray Ranch in Sonoma, Fess Parker in Santa Barbara, and Silverado in Napa Valley.
Be sure to take in the views of the beautiful lobby and the grounds of this classic Disney Resort.
Evening & Dinner
Our last stop on the adult monorail crawl is the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The actors provide an entertaining show with hula dancing, fire dancing, and fire-knife dancing inspired by dances from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, and Hawaii. Be sure to make your Advanced Dining Reservations for this show because it does sell out!
Dinner includes a mango-poppy seed vinaigrette salad, pulled pork, BBQ ribs, roasted chicken, vegetables, pineapple coconut bread, and warm pineapple bread pudding. Although soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee are included with your meal price, you can enjoy alcoholic drinks at an additional charge. The tropical rum punch is well worth the extra cost because it comes in a hand-carved coconut souvenir cup!
If you can schedule your meal for the earlier show, you’ll have time after dinner to explore the beautiful South Seas resort. Be sure to find a viewing spot on the white sand beach in time for the Electric Water Pageant and Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After Spectacular. The beach is a romantic place, and it’s a lot less crowded than Main Street USA.