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Disney World Monorail Resorts | Complete Guide 2024

While we love staying at all the resorts at Walt Disney World, there is something really special about the Disney Monorail Resorts. Ever since I was a kid, there is nothing quite like getting on Disney’s “Highway in the Sky” and taking it directly to the front entrance of Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Grand Floridian Resort monorail

But which monorail resort is the best for your family? In this article, we’re going to compare the pros and cons of all 3 monorail resorts and rank them from best to worst. 

We’ll compare the resort theming, guest rooms, pools, activities, dining options, as well as the resorts’ other transportation options for getting to the parks. We’ll also compare the prices, which can be very different and a deciding factor in your decision.

In fact, the only real downside about the Monorail Resorts is the price, but we are going to help you find the best time to go where you will save the most money making your stay much more reasonable.

If you decide that the Monorail resorts are not for you, we’ll give you some other alternatives including resorts along the Disney Skyliner (arguably an even better transportation method than the Monorail).

monorail going through Contemporary Resort

Over the last couple of years there have been some big changes to the Monorail Resorts with newly designed guest rooms themed to Mary Poppins, Moana, and the Incredibles all making big splashes. We are also right in the middle of a big refurbishment to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort with a reimagined lobby on the way, and a new DVC Tower coming to the Polynesian Resort.

Our rankings are for 2024, and no doubt these additions will bring changes to our Monorail Resorts ranking in the near future.

As always with any rankings article, our list is very subjective to our own tastes and it may look different than yours. You may have different likes and dislikes, preferences, and needs than us, so keep that in mind and read through our notes to see if you’d like something else.

And if you haven’t had the chance to read them yet, here are some of our other best posts on Disney World Resorts:

Before we get started, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we will update you with the latest Disney World Resorts updates, and share the latest vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Which Disney Hotels Have the Monorail?

Monorail passing through Disney's Contemporary Resort

There are currently three Disney World Resorts that are on the monorail. And while each of them has vastly different theming, each of them is unique and has a personality of its own. They are all Deluxe Disney Resorts, which makes them amongst the highest of Disney offerings as regards cost. 

The three monorail resorts are:

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

All three of these resorts have tremendous perks and amenities in addition to being on the monorail. But what is even so great about being on the Disney monorail? Well, in addition to being a ride in itself, it also gives you direct and ultra-efficient service to the Magic Kingdom!

monorail passing by Cinderella Castle Magic Kingdom in background

And while having close proximity to Magic Kingdom is wonderful, what’s even more wonderful is if you’re staying at one of these three resorts, the monorail can also take you to EPCOT. All you need to do is transfer at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and hop onto the EPCOT line. Talk about service! 

What’s nice about these three resorts in addition to the location and proximity to the parks, is that by staying at a Disney Deluxe Property, you get the best of all worlds! And that includes the many wonderful perks of staying on-site in addition to the luxury and immersion that Disney Deluxe Resorts brings! 

Here is a quick look at each Disney Monorail resort and what makes these resorts stand out:

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney World Resort Hotels List

One of the original two Walt Disney World Resorts, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a truly distinctive-looking resort that themes itself to being a futuristic look at tomorrow. The Contemporary Resort is a three-building complex that is uniquely built with an A-frame tower allowing the monorail to run directly through the very center of the resort! 

While it’s not quite on the same level of class and extravagance as the other two Disney monorail resorts, it’s typically the most affordable for families. And with its beautifully redone ‘Incredibles-themed rooms’ and an updated lobby, the Contemporary brings about a more updated and modern look at tomorrow. 

What’s wonderful about the Contemporary is it’s the closest resort to the Magic Kingdom and is less than a 10-minute walk away from the front gate if you choose not to take the monorail.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Grand Floridian Resort dock near Seven Seas Lagoon

In a class of its own when it comes to indulgence and extravagance, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian-style resort that brings about some of the best of Disney when it comes to theming, dining, location, and top-end service. 

Beautifully situated with spectacular views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Grand Floridian brings to mind the prestige and glamor of 19th-century Palm Beach. From the moment you want in the lobby, you’ll be awed by the jaw-dropping lobby and ambiance that this resort brings. 

We also love the beautiful new walking path that takes you directly to the Magic Kingdom! The Grand Floridian Resort is a great pick for families that want a touch of high-end living while being ideally situated on the monorail and Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby Interior statue

The other of the two original hotels, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a beautifully-themed South Pacific resort that will immediately transport you to the islands of your dreams! This is the most relaxed atmosphere of the three Disney monorail resorts, giving you the laid-back beach vibe that families adore. 

This resort is situated adjacent to the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center), making it the easiest of the three resorts to get directly to EPCOT without having to change monorail lines. Similar to the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian also recently underwent major renovations including changing the theming of their rooms to beautiful new ‘Moana-themed rooms’ so you no longer get that outdated feeling.

With a beautiful beach on the property and some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom Fireworks, we love Disney’s Polynesian Villa Resort as the best of both worlds when it comes to entertainment and fun!


The three Disney monorail resorts typically go, from highest to lowest, in terms of price: Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and then Contemporary. What should you expect to pay? 

For a standard room at all three of these resorts, here is what you can expect to pay in 2024, depending on the time of year. 

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort: $572 – $1043 per night (Includes tax)  
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: $816 – $1350 per night (Includes tax) 
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: $691 – $1256 per night (Includes tax)

Room Types

the beds in The Incredibles themed rooms contemporary resort

And while the prices above are for standard rooms, each of these three monorail resorts has additional rooming options that are even more elaborate and with more features. What types of rooms can you expect to find? 

At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you will find several different room types that fit anywhere from up to 2 guests all the way up to 10 guests. The types you’ll find here are:

  • Standard rooms with different views allowing for up to 5 guests
  • 1-Bedroom Suites allowing between 5-7 guests 
  • 2-Bedroom Suites allowing between 8-10 guests
  • Presidential Suites that will sleep up to 8 guests 

At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, you’ll find many different room types that fit anywhere from up to 3 guests all the way up to 8 guests. The room types here you’ll find here are:

  • Standard rooms with different views allowing for up to 5 guests
  • 1-Bedroom Suites allowing between 4-6 guests 
  • 2-Bedroom Suites allowing between 6-8 guests 
  • Grand Suites allow for up to 4 guests

At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you’ll find room types that fit anywhere from up to 2 guests all the way up to 8 guests. The room types here you’ll find here are:

  • Standard rooms with different views allowing for up to 5 guests
  • 1-Bedroom Suites allowing up to 5 guests 
  • 2-Bedroom Suites allowing for up to 8 guests 
  • VIP and King Kamehameha Suites that allow up to 8 guests

Keep in mind that all three of these resorts have both standard rooms and suites that for an additional cost will give you club-level access. Club-level rooms are an upgraded cost and will give you additional perks such as complimentary snacks, drinks, and concierge service to name a few.

Amenities & Perks

Disney Vacation Planning Guide other things to do

With all three of the monorail resorts being both Disney Resorts AND Deluxe Disney Resorts, they entitle you to additional bells and whistles. What are some of these? Like all of Disney Resorts, no matter the resort level they are in, they include many wonderful on-site perks such as:

  • Movies Under the Stars –  A beautiful nightly themed outdoor movie party
  • Jogging Trails – Take a walk on a scenic pathway around the resort
  • Fun Arcade – Enjoy both classic games and newer games with the whole family
  • Free Transportation To and From All the Parks
  • Early Theme Park Entry – Get into the parks 30 minutes earlier than guests NOT staying at a Disney Resort.
  • 60-Day +10 Dining Reservations – You can book dining reservations 60 days in advance when staying on-site at a Disney Resort + up to 10 additional days whereas those NOT staying in Disney only can book at a 60-day window.
  • Free Parking – Guests staying at a Disney Resort get free parking both at the resort AND in the Disney parks. Read more in our Disney World Parking Guide.
  • 7:00 Booking Window for Lightning Lanes – Guests staying at a Disney resort can book Individual Lightning Lane attractions at 7:00 am giving you a significant advantage when it comes to booking the rides you want to go on

But there are several additional amenities that each resort includes as well, and we will get into those in just a minute.

Disney Monorail Map

Monorail pulling into the station

Right from the very beginning of Walt Disney World in 1971 and the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom, the Disney Monorail has been a transportation staple. Often termed the “Highway in the Sky”, the Disney Monorail is a classic way to get around and holds up to 360 people at a time. 

In addition to being an original form of transportation, Disney aficionados would likely tell you it’s their favorite form of transportation. It’s efficient, fun, and free! What’s not to like? 

When staying at a Monorail Resort, it is incredibly helpful to know the monorail lines and routes as this will allow you to plan and resolve the best solution in each and every instance you need to utilize the monorail. 

The Disney World monorail system has three separate lines that travel throughout different areas of the Walt Disney World Resort. The three lines are:

  • The Express Monorail line
  • The Monorail Resorts line
  • The EPCOT line

Just so you can visualize it better, here is a look at the monorail map:

Disney World Monorail Map Loop

As for the stops, there are a couple of things you need to know ahead of time:

  • The Express Monorail only makes stops at the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) and Magic Kingdom. 
  • The Monorail Resorts line makes 5 stops, including at each of the three Monorail Resorts, the Magic Kingdom, and the Transportation and Ticket Center. 
  • The EPCOT line takes you directly between the TTC and EPCOT.

What Direction Does the Monorail Resort Loop Go?

Walt Disney World Resort Monorail sign entrance Magic Kingdom

It’s important to know that even though there are three routes for the monorail, if you are staying at one of the Monorail Resorts, you will need to take the Monorail Resort Loop to get back to your hotel.

When taking the Monorail Resort Line you’ll stop at the three Disney Monorail Resorts in addition to Magic Kingdom and the TTC. 

The Monorail Resort Loop has five stops in total and it runs in this continuous circle going clockwise around the Seven Seas Lagoon in this direction (starting from Disney’s Magic Kingdom):

  1. Magic Kingdom
  2. Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  3. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  4. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  5. Transportation and Ticket Center

The Express Monorail Line – only takes you between the Magic Kingdom and Transportation and Ticket Center. Use this one if your car is in the parking lot at the TTC, if you are using a ride-sharing service, or if you are taking the monorail to EPCOT.

The EPCOT Line is a direct route that is far simpler and just has two stops, the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and EPCOT.

How Long is the Monorail Ride Around the Resort Loop?

Disney World monorail pulling in to the station

On a normal day, a full circuit around the monorail on the Monorail Resort Loop takes anywhere between 15-20 minutes. 

Many times we’ve just taken a ride around the loop when we are bored and looking for something to do. It’s a fun thing to experience while also giving you a sneak peek into Magic Kingdom without having to even leave your comfy monorail bench!

Disney World Monorail Hours

Monorail entrance sign

To the Magic Kingdom: 

  • Opening Hours – Both the Monorail Resorts Line and the Express Monorail begin operating 30 minutes before the opening of Magic Kingdom each morning. 
  • Closing Hours – Both lines stop running typically one hour after Magic Kingdom closes. 


  • Operating Hours – The EPCOT Line operates 30 minutes before the park opens and stops 2 hours after closing.

At times the operating hours for the monorail may be slightly different, so make sure to check the Disney World website for the latest updates.

Best Disney Monorail Resorts Ranked

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

When we decided to rank the Monorail Resorts, it sounded like an easier task than what it turned out to be. After all, how hard could it be to rank 3 hotels? While it’s true there are only 3 of them, they have so many common advantages that they were hard to separate. Most of the time it’s splitting hairs.

Even though there isn’t a huge separation between the Monorail Resorts, we still wanted to put them in order from our least favorite to our favorite, as well as the pros and cons you can expect to find at each one.

What will probably come down to is your personal preferences for theme, atmosphere, and amenities.

Our Ranking Factors

Some of the things we looked at to help us form our ranking included:

  • Value – What is the difference in price between these resorts and what are you getting for that extra money?
  • Theming – How immersive and special is the theme of this hotel? Did it make us feel like we were really in that unique atmosphere?
  • Convenience – Location in comparison to the Magic Kingdom, and other theme parks.
  • Rooms – Are the rooms comfortable?  How big are they and how many people do they fit? Are they newly refurbished?
  • Dining Options – Restaurants at that particular hotel.
  • Amenities – Pools and other activities the resort provides.
  • Transportation – What transportation options are available from here?

Again, many of the Monorail resorts have gotten or are currently getting refurbished including new guest rooms or other common areas like the lobby and restaurants. How much we like these changes certainly weighs in on our ranking this year.

To be clear, we love all the Monorail Resorts, and we’d happily recommend any of them to our readers, but there are still clear differences between them that should be taken into consideration. We’re sure our list could differ from yours, so let us know which is your favorite and why. On to the rankings…

3. Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney's Contemporary Resort from across Seven Seas Lagoon at night
  • 2024 Cost: $572 – $1043 per night (includes tax)
  • Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area
  • Theme: A futuristic and modern look at tomorrow
  • Rooms: 750 
  • Family Suites: Yes. 2-Bedroom Suites and Presidential Suites will fit between 8-10 guests. 

Our 3rd favorite of the Disney Monorail Resorts, Disney Contemporary Resort is a unique and original Disney World Resort. 

And while I love the new Incredibles-themed rooms and the updated common areas, I still can’t quite put it on the same level as Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. 

There are certain things we adore about the Contemporary, most notably the best access to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and being the cheapest of the three Monorail Resorts. 

But there are other things we don’t like, how outdated it still feels in terms of theming and also being incredibly noisy.

Best For

Disney's Contemporary Resort Lobby

I’d recommend staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort to families that prioritize having the most effortless access to Magic Kingdom but don’t want to pay the costs of staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. 

It’s also a great option for families with small children that will particularly enjoy the new Incredibles-themed rooms.

Rooms at the Contemporary Resort

The Incredibles themed rooms Contemporary Resort

Those staying in the hotel part of Disney’s Contemporary Resort will stay in one of two areas, either the Garden Wing or the A-frame Tower. The Garden Wing has several different views, including a water view, a garden view, or just the parking lot area. Those staying in the Tower will either see views of Bay Lake or Magic Kingdom. 

Standard rooms at the Contemporary are spacious and feel roomy, fitting up to 5 adults. They include either two queen beds and a day bed OR a king-sized bed and a daybed. The rooms in the Tower Section include the newly reimagined Incredibles-themed rooms, which the kids will love, even though we think they could have added a few extra touches.

For an additional cost, you can choose a club-level room and upgrade to a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom suite or a Presidential Suite that will fit between 8-10 guests! 

These rooms include full dining and living room areas in addition to kitchenettes and are great if you are looking for one of the suites at Disney World for big families.

Which Part of the Resort to Stay In?

Inside of the lobby from upstairs at Disney's Contemporary Resort

When choosing which part of the resort to stay in, we almost always recommend trying to stay in the Tower Section. These rooms are more centrally located giving you easy access to the common areas of the resort as well as the monorail. 

And if choosing to upgrade to a suite, ask for a suite on the 14th floor! You’ll have breathtaking views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom Fireworks.

The only downside is that tower rooms at the Contemporary are more expensive, but if you have the budget for it, we recommend it over the Garden Wing any day of the week.

Dining Options

Goofy at Chef Mickey's

One of the nice things about all of the Monorail Loop resorts is that they have fantastic dining options. Restaurants at Disney’s Contemporary Resort include:

  • Steakhouse 71 This table-service restaurant is a wonderful new addition to the Contemporary, offering quality beef for affordable prices.
  • Steakhouse 71 Lounge – The lounge adjacent to the restaurant of the same name.
  • California GrillOne of Disney’s signature table-service restaurants located at the top of the Contemporary.
  • California Grill Lounge – Lounge adjacent to the restaurant of the same name.
  • Chef Mickey’s – All-you-can-eat character breakfast and dinner located on the 4th floor.
  • Contempo Cafe – Quick-service spot serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
  • Contemporary Grounds – Serving Joffrey’s coffee and snacks at this bottom floor location.
  • Cove Bar – Pool bar if you’re staying at Bay Lake Tower or if you’re a DVC member.
  • Outer Rim – A 4th-floor lounge that has an extensive variety of seating areas.
  • The Sand Bar – A poolside quick-service bar and lounge.


There are many additional amenities that guests staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort can enjoy and you will never get bored, trust me! Amenities here include:

  • Basketball Courts
  • Boat Rentals
  • Campfires 
  • Fishing 
  • Supervised children’s activity center 
  • Tennis Courts
  • Views of the Electrical Water Pageant 
  • Volleyball Courts 
  • Walking path to the Magic Kingdom


Disney's Contemporary Resort Pool Bay Lake

There are two pools found at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, including both a leisure pool and a bigger featured pool. 

The feature pool is heated and comes with a 17-foot water slide that both kids and adults will love! However, if you want to escape the noise and get some peace and quiet, visit the leisure pool area which will no doubt be significantly quieter and is also nice.

That Extra Disney Magic

Big mural at Disney's Contemporary Resort main concourse

Beautiful Concourse Mural – One of the most iconic Disney Imagineers, the late Mary Blair, created a beautiful 90-foot-tall Grand Canyon Concourse mural on the main floor of the resort. Blair’s unique sense of color and art is highlighted in this vibrant work of art! 

You’ll immediately see why Walt Disney entrusted this talented designer with creating some of the famed art found in things such as It’s a Small World, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. 

This is truly a work of art and being able to look at it is one of the highlights of any stay.

2. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Grand Floridian Resort dock near Seven Seas Lagoon
  • 2024 Cost: $816 – $1350 per night (includes tax)
  • Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area
  • Theme: A Victorian-style hotel that evokes the golden era of Palm Beach 
  • Rooms: 867
  • Family Suites: Yes. 2-Bedroom Suites will fit between 6-8 guests.

Coming in at 2nd on our list of the best Disney World Monorail Resorts is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. It’s hard not to love this iconic masterpiece of a Victorian-style hotel! Very few hotels around the area can exude the same level of high-end luxury and sophistication that the Grand Floridian does. (This should be even more true once they finish the latest renovations.)

There are so many things to love about Grand Floridian, including its plethora of dining options that are second to none. I’d argue that the Grand Floridian has hands-down the best dining options out of any Disney Resort in all of Walt Disney World! 

Combining the dining options with the full-service spa ‘Senses Spa’ and guests have the best combination of dining and indulgence out of the Monorail Resorts. 

While there are many things we love about the Grand Floridian, the fact that it’s the most costly of the three resorts by a considerable distance knocks it down a peg for us. It’s also very formal, making some guests that want more of a ‘laid-back vibe’ feel a little uncomfortable walking around in more casual-style outfits.

Best For

Outside walking around Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Guests that want the maximum Disney experience when it comes to dining and sophistication will love the Grand Floridian. If getting dressed up for dinner, and walking along the beautiful pathways throughout the grounds appeals to you, you’ll love this resort. 

And while it’s not as close as Disney’s Contemporary Resort, there is also a newly built walking path to get to the Magic Kingdom there in 10 minutes or less.

Rooms at the Grand Floridian Resort

Grand Floridian Resort The Villas new rooms with Mary Poppins theme

Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will stay at one of six buildings including the Main Building, Big Pine Key, Boca Chica, Conch Key, Sago Cay, and Sugarloaf. All of the buildings outside of the main building have either standard lagoon, garden, or theme park views. 

In fact, most of the rooms available on property are in one of the smaller buildings and not in the main building where the breathtaking lobby is located. Those staying in the Main Building will have the option of staying in a club-level room or a suite. 

Standard rooms in the Grand Floridian will fit up to 5 guests and feature either two queen beds and a day bed OR one king bed and a daybed. For guests that want either a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom suite for an added cost, they can fit between 6-8 guests. 

These rooms feature full dining and living room areas in addition to smaller kitchens or kitchenettes. For the ultimate experience, stay in a ‘Grand Suite’ which is one of the most incredible rooms in all of Disney. You’ll find over 2,200 square feet of opulence and five balconies with stunning views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom.

Which Part of the Resort to Stay In?

Outside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

If not limited by budget, I’d recommend staying in the Main Building with a theme park view. These rooms are more expensive and include club-level access but they include outstanding views of Cinderella’s Castle. There are few things cooler than watching the fireworks from your own bedroom balcony.

They also are directly connected to the main part of the hotel, allowing for easy access to the main lobby and requiring less walking overall.

If you are limited by budget, just stay in a standard room at any one of the other five outside buildings. They are all being redone and just as nice.

Dining Options

Citricos pork belly Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

As we said, the dining options at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are the best in Walt Disney World. Here are all your options:

  • Citricos – Signature table-service restaurant location inspired by Mary Poppins.
  • Narcoossee’sSignature table-service restaurant with waterfront views.
  • Grand Floridian Cafe – Reasonably-priced table-service option for all times of the day.
  • Enchanted Rose – Beauty and the Beast-inspired lounge that features a fabulous ambiance, costly drinks, and tasty appetizers.
  • Gasparilla Island Grill – Quick-service location that serves standard quick-service fare. We LOVE the mac and cheese here. 
  • Beaches Pool Bar & Grill – Outdoor pool bar that serves flavorful cocktails and American snacks.
  • Courtyard Pool Bar – The other outdoor pool bar that offers cocktails and snacks.
  • 1900 Park Fare – Character meal in a carousel-themed dining room serving breakfast, brunch, and dinner.
  • Citricos Lounge – This lounge is attached to the namesake restaurant.
  • Garden View Tea Room – A traditional tea room where you can pamper yourself with different teas.
  • Victoria & Albert’sFancy signature multi-course meal that is the most costly restaurant in all of Disney World. Worth a try if the price is no object!


Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is jam-packed with activities, entertainment, and recreational indulgences. Here are some of our favorite additional amenities:

  • Basketball Courts
  • Boat Rentals
  • Campfires 
  • Fishing 
  • Senses Full-Service Spa 
  • Supervised children’s activity center 
  • Views of the Electrical Water Pageant 
  • Walking path to the Magic Kingdom


Swimming in April at Disney World

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has two totally different pool areas. The Beach Pool is the larger of the two, featuring cascading waterfalls, a walking bridge, and a 181-foot water slide! There is also a full kids’ splash area by the Beach Pool which will get the little ones soaked!

The Courtyard Pool is more centrally located but is significantly quieter and smaller. It’s ideal for guests that want to escape the noise and enjoy a more peaceful pool setting.

That Extra Disney Magic

playing the piano in Grand Floridian Resort lobby

The Grand Floridian Lobby – And while just taking in and enjoying every ounce of Disney magic scattered throughout the lobby makes for an enjoyable experience, we particularly enjoy the live music. And while the Grand Floridian Orchestra is no longer here, the Grand Floridian Lobby Pianist still is, so grab a glass of wine, have a seat, and soak in the wonderful atmosphere.

There’s nothing quite like finding a cozy spot in the lobby and people-watching while enjoying the peaceful sounds of the piano! There are few things that get me in a better and more tranquil state than sipping on a cocktail and just relaxing in the Grand Floridian Lobby. 

The lobby at Disney’s Grand Floridian is also undergoing a reimagining this year and we are excited to see what it looks like when complete. Let’s hope it doesn’t lose any of its luster.

1. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby Interior statue
  • 2024 Cost: $691 – $1256 per night (includes tax)
  • Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area 
  • Theme: Celebrates the spirit of the Pacific Islands
  • Rooms: 847
  • Family Suites: No. But they have both VP Suites and King Kamehameha Suites that will fit up to 8 guests. Standard rooms also fit up to 5 guests. 

Our 1st choice for the best Disney Monorail Resort is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! While it’s very very close between the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian, we slightly prefer the Poly. Let me explain why. 

We just think the Polynesian Village Resort is a more fun resort for the whole family! The relaxed and light-hearted atmosphere makes for a soothing and refreshing trip that truly makes you feel like you are at an island hideaway. It definitely doesn’t have any of the stuffiness that the Grand Floridian sometimes can have. 

It also is the best of the three resorts in terms of monorail convenience! You can easily get to both EPCOT and Magic Kingdom at the Poly without needing to change lines. 

And while the Polynesian isn’t perfect and in some aspects, the Grand Floridian is better (Dining, Walking Distance to Magic Kingdom), we slightly prefer the Polynesian overall!

Best For

View Seven Seas Lagoon from Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Balcony

If the relaxed Island life vibe is the life for you, you’ll love the Polynesian Village Resort. Out of all the three monorail resorts, the Polynesian feels the comfiest and laid-back.

It allows families the opportunity to feel removed from the parks when they’re at their resort but at the same time, being a short monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom.

Rooms at the Polynesian Resort

Moana rooms Polynesian Resort Disney World

While recently getting beautiful new updated rooms themed to Disney’s Moana, rooms at the Polynesian are spread out through 11 different buildings. There are several different views you can get including Theme Park, Lagoon, Pool or Marina, and Standard Views. 

Standard rooms feature two queen beds and a day bed OR 1-king bed and a daybed. If you want to pay for an upgraded option, there are club-level rooms that can come in either standard rooms, 1-bedroom suites, an Ambassador VP Suite, the King Kamehameha Suite, or a honeymoon room. 

The VP Suites and King Kamehameha Suites will fit up to 8 guests. The honeymoon room will fit only 2.

Which Part of the Resort to Stay In?

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Overwater Bungalows

The Polynesian Village Resort is very spread out and with 11 different buildings, all with different room types and views, we typically recommend guests stay at either the Tonga, Niue, or Rarotonga buildings. 

These three buildings are closest to the Great Ceremonial House presenting the greatest convenience for guests.

Dining Options

'Ohana Noodles Polynesian Resort

While not nearly as fancy as the restaurants at Disney’s Grand Floridian, we still love all the dining options at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, including:

  • Barefoot Pool Bar – This fun pool bar features several cocktails and food offerings.
  • Captain Cook’s – A quick-service site that features a wide variety of food at all times of the day.
  • Pineapple Lanai – The little outdoor window that serves multiple flavors of Dole Whip.
  • Kona Cafe – A table-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Tambu Lounge – Delightful lounge upstairs that is connected and shared with ‘Ohana.
  • ‘Ohana – One of the most famous restaurants in Disney World. They serve all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner. The breakfast is also a character experience with Lilo and Stitch.
  • Oasis Bar & Grill – Outdoor pool bar and grill that features different drinks and snacks.
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – The indoor area of Trader Sam’s. Get here early to put your name in when it opens at 3:00.
  • Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace – The less popular outdoor area of Trader Sam’s.
  • Kona Island – Grab a coffee, pastries, and snacks at this indoor quick-service location that stays open all day long.


Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is loaded with activities and fun things to do throughout the resort grounds. Things such as: 

  • Boat Rentals
  • Campfires 
  • Fishing 
  • Supervised children’s activity center 
  • Views of the Electrical Water Pageant 
  • Volleyball Courts 
  • Walking path to Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) giving you easy access to EPCOT

If you have a celebration coming up, we really recommend getting one of those specialty fireworks cruises. Even though they are not cheap, we thoroughly enjoy it, and to us, it’s worth the money. This cruise can also be taken from Disney’s Grand Floridian if you are not staying at the Polynesian.


Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lava Pool

Just like the other two Disney World Monorail Resorts, the Polynesian Village Resort has both a larger pool and a smaller pool. The larger pool area is the Lava Pool. It’s one of our favorite pools in all of Disney! 

It features a towering volcano, a waterfall, and a 142-foot water slide. There is also a splash park in the pool area as well. 

The quieter pool is called the Oasis Pool and it is a nice retreat for families that want a little more tranquility and peacefulness.

That Extra Disney Magic

fireworks over Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Fireworks from the Beach – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort features an experience that no other Disney Resort features, and that’s the opportunity to find a nice spot on the beach with a comfy lounge chair to enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks! 

This is an awesome and fun experience that is a breath of fresh air in comparison with the craziness of actually being in the park! Just make sure you get here early so you can get a good spot on the beach.

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

Reasons to Stay at a Monorail Resort

Walking into Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Genie+

While there are a TON of reasons to stay at a Monorail Resort, in this section we are going to talk about the truly stand-out reasons why guests should consider staying at a Monorail Resort. 

Disney Resort Perks

While staying at a Monorail Resort has its perks, you also get the additional Disney Resort perks as well. These perks are beneficial to guests staying at value, moderate, and deluxe resorts. Here are a few of the perks you will get:

Close to Magic Kingdom

Disney Vacation Planning Guide Transportation

Nowhere can you beat the convenience and efficiency of getting to the Magic Kingdom than by staying at a Monorail Resort. Both Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa have walking pathways that’ll quickly enable you to walk to the very front of the Magic Kingdom Park Entrance which means no wait time for transportation.

If walking is too much, just hop on the monorail and you’ll be at the front of the park within a few minutes. If being at Magic Kingdom is a priority for your family, staying at a Monorail Resort can be a lifesaver!

Quick Ride to EPCOT

Disney World Ticket refunds

While the direct line to the Magic Kingdom is incredibly easy and fast, getting to EPCOT isn’t too much more difficult! If staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you can easily walk to the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) and take a direct line to EPCOT. 

If staying at either Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa OR Disney’s Contemporary Resort you can simply take the monorail over to the TTC and transfer over to the EPCOT line. Either way, you’ll be to EPCOT in no time at all! And better yet, you’ll be doing it while enjoying one of the best rides in all of Disney World: the monorail!

Great Amenities

fire pit Disney's Contemporary Resort

The Monorail Resorts include some of the best amenities on Disney Property and are perfect if you are looking for activities to do outside the parks. These resorts also include so many waterful options for families with a large variety of interests.

Some of these include the wonderful array of watersports options (Fishing, Boating, etc) and being near arguably the best Disney Spa on the property, Senses Spa. 

You’ll also have additional amenities like:

  • Incredible pool areas with waterslides, hot tubs, children’s splash areas, and fun pool activities 
  • Campfires
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Jogging Trails
  • Arcades 
  • And so much more!

Amazing Dining Options

Dessert at California Grill Contemporary Resort

The Disney Monorail Resorts are filled with terrific dining options for families of all budgets! From quick-service options to some of the best table-service restaurants in all of Disney, the Monorail Resorts will provide families with easy access to all three resorts via the monorail. 

Some of our families’ absolute favorite dining experiences in Walt Disney World are found at the Monorail Resorts including:

  • California Grill – Atop the Contemporary Resort. Unbeatable views of the Magic Kingdom Fireworks and stellar food
  • ‘Ohana – All-you-can-eat meat and shrimp, ‘Ohana Noodles, and the best Bread Pudding ever! 
  • Citricos – An all-around wonderful signature dining experience that features a lovely setting
  • Narcoosee’s – One of the best seafood restaurants in all of Disney stretched out right over the Seven Seas Lagoon 
  • Victoria & Albert’s – The most expensive but immersive dining experience in all of Disney World 

And these are just a few of our favorites here! The Monorail Resorts are PACKED! I could go on and on with how many are included in our list of the Best Disney World Resort Restaurants, so give them a try.

Superior Rooms

Most of the Deluxe Disney Resorts include standard rooms that will fit up to 5 guests per room. And the good news is all three of the Monorail Resorts include these bigger-sized rooms, allowing for 5 guests each. 

All the Monorail Resorts feel roomy and spacious while having superior-themed rooms. For example, we LOVE the newly upgraded Incredibles-themed rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the new Moana-themed rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  

And while the standard rooms are more than sufficient, the upgraded suite options are amongst the best in all of Disney World! 

If you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, stay at the King Kamehameha Suite at the Polynesian or the Grand Suite at the Grand Floridian!

Awesome Theming

Trader Sam's volcano Polynesian Resort

The Monorail Resorts have truly tremendous and exceptional theming. Each of the three transports you to an entirely different locale while making you feel completely immersed in their respective stories. 

From the relaxing islands of the South Pacific to the glamor of Palm Beach during the turn of the century, the theming stretches at these resorts from the hotel lobbies to each and every individual room and hallway of the resort. 

You’ll feel a level of immersion from the very moment you step foot at your resort, and these resorts are truly amongst the best Disney has produced in terms of theme.

Monorail Fun Factor

Disney World Monorail pulling into the station

A ride on the Disney Monorail is a great time and you can do it over and over again without getting tired of it! There’s something incredibly timeless and vintage about taking a ride on this original 1971 true OG attraction. 

And while we often talk about re-rideability when it comes to Disney attractions, there is no greater example than the Disney Monorail! 

Disney fans never get tired of repeatedly hearing the famous phrase “Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas” every time the monorail doors open and close. When translated this phrase means “please stand clear of the doors” and it’s truly a Disney classic.

Our family can just sit and ride on the monorail over and over again, especially when the Florida sun is baking outside!

Extended Evening Hours

New EPCOT Entrance and Spaceship Earth with lights

One of the fantastic benefits that guests staying at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts can experience is Extended Evening Hours. Unlike guests staying at value resorts or moderate resorts, those staying at a deluxe resort or villa can have access to some of the parks for two hours after it closes to the general public!

That means extremely low wait times for all the best rides, which otherwise can be hours. This is an unforgettable experience that deluxe resort guests (all Disney Monorail Resorts) can take advantage of and something we highly recommend. 

For example, EPCOT usually offers this option on Mondays, and Magic Kingdoms typically on Wednesdays. 

Just be sure to check the park schedules and dates as you get closer to your trip so you can plan accordingly.

You Can Watch the Fireworks from Your Room

Fireworks over Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Villas

A huge plus about staying at the monorail resorts is that some guests staying in certain rooms at one of the Disney Monorail Resorts can have amazingly good views for viewing the Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Our absolute favorite is watching the fireworks from the 14th-floor rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. 

The views in these rooms are incredible, though only available in the resort suites. But although they are both expensive and extremely hard to book they can be worth the money for views like this.

Good for Magic Kingdom Parties

Walt and Mickey Mouse partner's statue Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Magic Kingdom especially during certain times of year is home to late-night special events that are extremely popular with guests such as:

Being on the monorail loop can be incredibly time-efficient and just flat-out worth it when you’re exhausted after a late night. 

These events are generally in the colder months of the year and late into the evenings, making it often chilly by the time they end. Not to mention you are likely beyond tired and just want to get back to your room as soon as humanly possible.

Reasons to AVOID Staying at a Monorail Resort

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

After reading all of this, it can seem like staying at a Monorail Resort is always a no-brainer! And while it can be for many families, it’s not always the case. We don’t recommend it for every family and there are a few scenarios and cases where staying at a Monorail Resort could prove NOT to be worth it. 

Let’s consider all the reasons not to stay at a Monorail Resort.

Most Expensive Disney Resorts

While the Monorail Resorts have all of the many amenities and perks of being Deluxe Disney properties, they also have the associated costs. Stays at these resorts can be incredibly costly, sometimes in excess of $1,000 per night! 

In fact, even though all the Disney World Deluxe Resorts can be costly, the Monorail Resorts in particular are towards the top in terms of cost per night. 

For example, both Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are almost always within the top three or four of the most expensive resorts in all of Walt Disney World.

Crowded During Peak Periods

Gingerbread House in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

For those that enjoy quieter resorts away from screaming children and large quantities of crowds, they’d want to steer far away from the Monorail Resorts. These resorts are incredibly popular with guests that want to be able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom Parties and the Holidays with their families.

Monorail resorts get incredibly crowded and are almost always full, especially during peak periods of time, like during the Holiday Seasons. If you do stay at a Monorail resort, make sure to consult our Disney World Crowd Calendar first to go at one of the least busy times of the year.

Further From the Other Theme Parks

While having unbeatable access to both the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT is wonderful, reaching the other two Disney Parks isn’t as convenient, and it can be downright far at times.

If you’re planning on spending significant amounts of time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, being on one of the Disney Monorail Resorts isn’t nearly as convenient. You’ll be further away and have to take a longer Disney Bus which can be very long at times.

Monorails Can Be Unreliable

Disney World Monorail

Just like with any form of Disney Transportation, the monorail isn’t free from problems. There are moments when the monorail lines can get incredibly long, seemingly taking forever, especially at the TTC or when leaving Magic Kingdom at the end of a long day. 

There are also times when the monorail will break down for a while and be unavailable for periods. While this CAN happen it’s not a commonality, so don’t rule out staying here on this factor alone.

Do the Monorail Bar Crawl

Enchanted Rose cocktails Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

A fun thing to try for adults when staying at any of the Monorail Resorts is to do a Monorail Bar Crawl! What is this? It’s a completely self-guided experience and the idea is for guests to hop on the Resort Monorail and stop at a bar or lounge at each one of the three Monorail Resorts. 

It’s a great way to spend a date night with couples or friends and an awesome way to see the other Monorail resorts you aren’t staying at. You can even do the Monorail Bar Crawl if you aren’t staying at one of them. 

There are several awesome and unique different lounges scattered throughout these resorts including some of our personal favorites:

  • Enchanted Rose Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 
  • California Grill Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort 
  • Tambu Lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

All four of these are amazing lounges and amongst the best in all of Disney World. They all have great snack and appetizer options as well. Be prepared to wait for a spot, especially at Trader Sam’s and California Grill.

Of course, if you are going to do this, be responsible and don’t drink too much if you are driving afterward. However, if you are staying at one of the Monorail Resorts it can be perfectly safe and one of the most fun things to do outside the parks.

Is It Worth It to Stay in a Monorail Resort?

View Seven Seas Lagoon from Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Balcony

Deciding whether it is worth it to stay in a Monorail Resort relies heavily upon a few factors. In our opinion, it’s absolutely worth it if you can answer “YES” to all three of these questions. 

  1. Is getting a room at one of the Monorail Resorts within your family’s budget for this trip?
    1. Factor in all of the other aspects of a trip such as Park tickets, food, entertainment, etc.) 
  2. Do you plan on spending a significant amount of your trip running back and forth to Magic Kingdom? 
  3. Do the theming at any of the three Monorail Resorts appeal to your family? 

If the answer to any of these three questions is “NO” we’d recommend avoiding paying the associated extra costs of staying at one of the Monorail Resorts. 

Even if you can technically afford it, considering the interests and other expenses of a Disney trip, it could cause you to think twice about whether you’d WANT to pay the costs. 

Perhaps your family would prioritize signature restaurants, spa treatment, additional shopping, or other entertainment offerings instead of necessarily being at a more expensive Deluxe Resort. It’s a good idea to check our Full Guide to Disney World Costs to see what your family can reasonably afford.

How to Decide Which Monorail Resort to Stay At?

Disney's Polynesian Resort lobby

If you’ve definitely decided to stay at a Monorail Resort, the question you need to ask yourself is “which one?” And if you’re like our family, this could be a hard decision! 

While we generally choose between Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, your family can feel differently! Here’s how I’d choose if I were you:

Stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort IF:

  • You want to be on the monorail but want the cheapest available rooms 
  • Your family prioritizes the easiest possible access to Magic Kingdom (5-min walk) 
  • You love the modern and futuristic theming of the Contemporary Resort 

Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa IF:

  • You want the most stunning and opulent resort on the Monorail
  • You’re willing to pay the highest costs associated per night in order to get the very best Disney has to offer in terms of spa treatments, signature dining, and entertainment
  • You love the Victorian-style theming and sometimes snooty temperament 

Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort IF:

  • You’re willing to pay a significant amount of money but not quite the same level as Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • You love the laid-back and tropical paradise feel that will immediately transport you to the South Pacific Islands
  • You love the easy direct monorail access to both EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom 

These are just a few of the main points but they can be a good gauge to help you choose between the three resorts. Many families swear by the Contemporary Resort despite having the budget to afford the Grand Floridian, so a lot of it just depends on the feel and how it appeals to your family! 

I’d suggest exploring them all the next time you’re down and making a decision after seeing them in person.

Saving Money at the Monorail Resorts

Top floor of the lobby at The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

If you’ve looked at the rack rates above in our price estimates, perhaps you’re thinking “wow I’d never be able to afford to stay there!” And even though it may seem impossible,  saving money at the Monorail Resorts can be done! 

The good news is with a few of our helpful hints and tricks, your family may be able to save as much as 30% or more at times! 

Here are some of our very favorite ways to save money at the Monorail Resorts:

  • Timing – Timing truly is everything when it comes to saving money! Go at slower times of the year, and plan on saving significantly! Disney allows you to book a trip at least a year prior, in most cases longer.

    If you use an authorized Disney travel agent, such as Show You The World Travel, they’ll assist you in booking your vacation but they’ll also find you additional savings if the rooms get any cheaper in the time leading up to your trip.
  • Stay at the Villas – One of our favorite tricks to save money is by staying in one of the villa rooms. All three of the Monorail Resorts have separate ‘Villas’ which are essentially Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rooms that can also be rented or booked through Disney or other DVC Members.

    You will oftentimes find these rooms SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper, especially if you rent from another reputable DVC Member. We recommend checking out David’s DVC Rentals which almost always has the best selection of rooms and cheapest prices.
  • Look for Discounts – Scattered throughout the year, Disney offers several different promotions that will allow you to save on both dining and hotel rooms. Watch for those. Do the math and see which promotion saves you the money amount of money and go with it.
  • Discount Disney Gift Cards – You may be able to save a decent amount of money by getting Discount Disney Gift Cards and spending them on your resort room or meals. In general, you should be able to save at least 5% and as much as 10% by using them. Read our Discount Disney Gift Card Guide for all our tips for using them.
  • Airport to WDW Transportation – No matter what type of resort you stay at, you’ll need to consider the expenses of getting there. This could be one of the cheaper methods like a bus or an Uber, or even something more expensive but convenient like a limo service.

    Our article How to Get from Orlando Airport to Disney World covers some money-saving tips you will find useful.

These are only a few of the ways you can spend less on your next vacation. For a more in-depth look, check out our Best Ways to Save Money at Disney World and How to Do Disney on a Budget which both have a ton of great tips.

Best Way to Save Big $$$ on Disney Resorts

Pool at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

If you want to potentially save thousands of dollars on your next trip to Disney World, I personally recommend David’s DVC Rentals. They consistently have the best prices and biggest selection of Disney Villas that will make you ask yourself: “How do they do it?”

Best Disney Monorail Hotel for Families

Moana rooms Polynesian Resort refurbishment

While all three Monorail Resorts are appealing to families due to their proximity to Magic Kingdom, the one that stands above the rest for us is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

It feels the most relaxed, its theming is conducive to kids (especially with the new Moana-themed rooms), and it has the best pool area out of the three resorts. Plus we feel their dining options are more appealing to families than perhaps the more upscale dining options at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. 

So if you have young ones, the Polynesian is your best bet.

Best Monorail Resort for Adults

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Beach with chairs

As a general rule of thumb, we prefer Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa as the ultimate Monorail Resort for Adults.

There are many reasons here why we chose this over the others, including the fact that it has the best combination of indulgence, signature dining, an adult feel, and a terrific full-service spa. It’s also a very romantic and elegant atmosphere which adults tend to love.

Which Monorail Resort Has the Best Pool?

Polynesian Village Resort Pool

Without a doubt, the Monorail Resort with the best pool is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The stunning zero-depth entry Lava Pool features a towering 142-foot water slide, a volcano, and a waterfall which is hard to top imo.

The bigger pool tends to be filled with families, so there is also a quieter pool, the Oasis Pool, where guests can get a more tranquil and relaxing garden atmosphere if they prefer.

Best Rooms at Monorail Resorts

Disney's Contemporary Resort Suite Bedroom

With many different room types, views, buildings, and themes, it can be hard to know which rooms to book at the Monorail Resorts. Some of them are also more geared toward kids featuring the Disney characters, others have amazing views or just flat out more space.

Here are our favorite picks when it comes to the best rooms at the Monorail resorts:

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – We almost always prefer staying in a ‘Tower room.’ They are the best situated with ideal access to the food areas, shopping areas, and the monorail. You’ll never have to step foot outside! 
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Ideally, we prefer to stay in the Main Building at the Grand Floridian. It’s the most accessible without having to walk outside to reach your building. But keep in mind all rooms in the Main Building are either suites or club-level, making them more costly. Our 2nd favorite option if not staying in the Main Building would be 
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – If searching for the best views of the Magic Kingdom, we’d recommend staying on the 3rd floor of the Tuvalu Building or the 3rd floor of the concierge building Hawaii. If wanting to be nearer the Great Ceremonial House with easy lobby access, we’d recommend staying at either the Tonga, Niue, or Rarotonga buildings.

Which Monorail Resort Has the Best Restaurants

chocolate sphere dessert Victoria & Albert's restaurant Grand Floridian Resort

While both Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort have crowd-favorite restaurants like ‘Ohana and California Grill, the overall best choice for restaurants is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

In our opinion, it’s impossible to top the Grand Floridian for dining as it has 3 signature dining restaurants that are all top-notch and another 2 more table-service restaurants that are both underrated.

Citricos and Narcoossee’s alone both rank in the top 15 in our list of the best restaurants at Disney World, and Victoria & Albert’s is the overall #1 restaurant on that list and a meal you will never forget. There is also a great buffet (1900 Park Ave) and the Grand Floridian Cafe which is an incredible bang for your buck.

When considering all these, we think it’s hard to beat the Grand Floridian.

Monorail Resorts vs. Skyliner Resorts

Disney Skyliner at sunset

While the three Monorail Resorts are hard to surpass, the Disney Skyliner Resorts are remarkably close in terms of the overall experience and the Disney Skyliner has even taken over as our #1 transportation method at Disney World.

The Walt Disney World Resort hotels with easy access to the Disney Skyliner Resorts include: 

  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort

The debate about which is better is an incredibly difficult choice for us because ultimately it depends on what kind of trip you’re looking for. Our family typically prefers the location of the Skyliner over the location of the Monorail. We like being a short ride on the Skyliner away or within walking distance of both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, while also being right on the Disney Boardwalk. 

When it comes to the overall quality of the resorts themselves including the theming, dining options, resort amenities, and quality we’d give the Monorail Resorts a slight edge over the Skyliner Resorts. So it’s extremely close for us and it basically comes down to which parks you like spending more time in.

Monorail Hotel Tips

Disney World Monorail pulling into the Contemporary Resort station

A stay at one of the Monorail Resorts can be the ultimate in terms of amenities and options, but taking advantage of a few of our helpful monorail hotel tips can be all the difference to maximizing your time, dollars, and overall experience. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

Take Advantage of the Location

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa across seven seas lagoon at sunset

During your stay at a Disney Monorail Resort, you are going to have unbeatable views of the Seven Seas Lagoon. You’ll be able to check out the Electrical Water Pageant that floats through the Lagoon each night and you’ll also get different vantage points to enjoy the many different views of the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy them!

  • Contemporary Resort – If you’re at the Contemporary Resort, see if you can get a view from either the California Grill or along one of the outdoor walkways to watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks. 
  • Polynesian Resort – If you’re at the Polynesian Village Resort, pull up a chair or find a hammock on the beach to watch the fireworks with unbeatable views. 
  • Grand Floridian Resort – And if you’re at the Grand Floridian Resort, walk along the different pathways down by Narcossees to get some beautiful views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the fireworks in the background. 

Use your location to enjoy not just when going to Magic Kingdom but also with easy access to EPCOT as well. If you’re at the Polynesian, take a short walk to the TTC and hop on the direct line to EPCOT!

Use the Unique Perks

Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

The Monorail Resorts have some of the most unique perks that are exclusive to their individual resort. Lots of the time you’ll even find guests NOT staying at these resorts will travel to the resort to be able to enjoy these perks, so if you are there you sure should be using them!

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Get awesome coffee right in your resort! On the ground floor of the Contemporary Resort there is a coffee quick-service location called Contemporary Grounds. Here they serve Joffrey’s Coffee and pastries, a true lifesaver! After all, what’s better than being able to get a good coffee right downstairs before even heading off to the parks?
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – With practically a mini-mall at the top floor of the hotel lobby, Disney’s Grand Floridian has the most amount of shops among virtually any Disney Resort! They have you covered with every kind of gift shop imaginable! From Vineyard Vines to a Basin White to Standard Gift Shop fare, you’ll find a variety of gifts to take home when you leave.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Take advantage of several of the best and most unique Disney treats on property! Of course, you must go to the ONLY Disney Resort Dole Whip stand here at Pineapple Lanai. But also don’t forget about the Tonga Toast at Captain Cook’s, an amazing Banana French Toast served in the morning.

    Another thing you HAVE to get at the Tambu Lounge is the ‘Ohana noodles! While they serve them for dinner at ‘Ohana, if you can’t get in for dinner at least get a side order of the noodles at the Tambu Lounge. Lastly, if you like sweets, be sure to also try the Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana, which you can also get at the Tambu Lounge if you can’t get a reservation to ‘Ohana.

Take the Best Transportation for You

walking path from Grand Floridian Resort to Magic Kingdom

And while taking the monorail can almost certainly be the best form of transportation when it comes to getting to Magic Kingdom, you can also switch it up if you want something different. For example, water taxis will take you to Magic Kingdom from both Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. 

You can also take a larger ferryboat from the Magic Kingdom to the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) or in the opposite direction. 

Even better than waiting for transportation, guests staying at either the Contemporary Resort or the Grand Floridian Resort can now take one of the walkways directly to the front of the park. These are easy and incredibly fast! 

And while you don’t have a direct walkway from the Polynesian Resort to Magic Kingdom, you can easily walk to the Grand Floridian Resort or the TTC via walking paths and then walk over to the Magic Kingdom, it just is a significantly longer walk so give yourself another 10 minutes or more.


Do You Have to Stay at a Disney Resort to Ride the Monorail?

No, you don’t. Guests do NOT need to stay at one of the Monorail Resorts or a Disney Resort to take advantage of the convenience and wonderfulness of the monorail. So even if you aren’t staying there, stop on by and hop onboard for a quick trip around the Seven Seas Lagoon!

Can You Park at a Disney Hotel and Ride the Monorail?

Disney's Contemporary Resort from the ground near parking lot

Yes and no. If you’re staying at a Disney Monorail Resort, you can leave your vehicle parked at the resort in which you’re staying to take advantage of all the different transportation options including the monorail! 

However, if you’re looking to park at one of the Monorail Resorts and you do NOT have active hotel reservations, you cannot park there and leave your car there while you ride the monorail.

READ: Ultimate Guide to Parking at Disney World

Can You Get Off the Monorail at Any Resort Stop?

Guests riding on the monorail can get off at any of the resort stops. You don’t need a hotel reservation or proof that you are staying there, just exit wherever you like, perhaps to go shopping, eat at one of the restaurants, or attempt our Disney Monorail Bar Crawl!

Can I Take the Monorail to EPCOT from the Magic Kingdom Area Resorts?

Disney World Monorail over EPCOT

Guests desiring to take a ride to EPCOT from the Magic Kingdom area resorts can easily do so with a simple transfer. All you need to do is take a ride to the TTC (Transportation & Ticket Center) and get off the Resorts Monorail and transfer over to the EPCOT Line. This will take you directly to EPCOT.

Where Does the Monorail Stop?

There are three different monorail lines with different stops. 

  • The Express Monorail only makes stops at the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center) and Magic Kingdom. 
  • The Monorail Resorts line makes additional stops in this order:
    • Magic Kingdom
    • Contemporary
    • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) 
    • Polynesian
    • Grand Floridian
  • And lastly, the EPCOT line takes you directly between the TTC and EPCOT. 

Does the Monorail Go to All WDW Theme Parks?

Disney World monorail old photo

Unfortunately, the Disney Monorail only takes you to two of the Disney Parks: EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom. There are no current plans to expand this at this time so don’t expect to ever see it at Hollywood Studios or the Animal Kingdom.

Are All the Monorail Resorts Also Deluxe Resorts?

All three of the Monorail Resorts: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are all under the classification of a Deluxe Disney Resort. 

These are the highest class of resorts at Walt Disney World and they are not only located near the Magic Kingdom, but all around property. You can read our Guide to Disney Deluxe Resorts for more info and a complete list of pros and cons for each one.

How Much Does the Monorail Cost to Ride?

Park Hopping Transportation

While Disney can be incredibly costly when it comes to practically every aspect of a Disney World Vacation, the good news is, when it comes to taking a ride on the monorail it’s completely free! That’s right, you do not have to pay a cent to ride the monorail.

In fact, we think it’s near the top of our list of the Best Free Things to Do in Disney World.

Does the Monorail REALLY Go Through the Middle of One of the Hotels?

Believe it or not, the monorail actually does go through one of the Disney hotels, Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The monorail runs through the main part of the hotel, making for some stunning views both inside and outside the resort. 

In fact, one of the greatest photographs in Walt Disney World is watching the Disney Monorail come directly through the center of the A-frame Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and when I was a kid it was the most fascinating thing to me!

What is the Cheapest Monorail Resort?

inside Disney's Contemporary Resort main concourse

While none of the Monorail Resorts are cheap, the one that is the most affordable is Disney’s Contemporary Resort. 

It can still be costly but it’s a bit cheaper than Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. 

If the prices here are just too high, make sure to check out my article on the Cheapest Resorts in Disney World to see what other resorts fall in your price range.

Which Monorail Resort is the Best?

Deciding which Monorail Resort is best is completely open to subjective views, but in our personal preference, we enjoy Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort the most. 

The theming, pool area, and just overall vibe of the hotel just make it next-level fun! But Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa isn’t far away, and really you can’t go wrong with any of the three.

Is the Monorail Going to Be Upgraded Soon?

Disney World Monorail pulling into station

While Disney continues to upgrade the monorail fleet with minor maintenance, when it comes to the track system or the monorail trains themselves, Disney currently has no plans to upgrade it. 

Since the current monorails themselves have been running since 1989, many guests and Disney fans have been wanting to know when Disney plans on upgrading them. Sadly, despite the many rumors, there is nothing substantial that would lead us to believe that we’ll be getting new monorails anytime soon.

There are also rumors going around, but nothing concrete and we don’t expect it in the next 5 years either.

Also, it has long been rumored that Disney will eventually make the monorail track longer and connect it to both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Again, at this point, those ideas are highly unlikely as it would cost way more money than Disney is willing to spend to do this.

And with the arrival of the Disney Skyliner, it’s even not necessary for the other parks as this is a much cheaper and frankly, more fun transportation option.

Making Reservations

Best Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Now that you’ve compared all the Monorail Resorts and you’ve figured out which is the best one for your family, it’s time to book it! There are two main ways to do this:

  • Book directly through Disney
  • Book with an Authorized Disney Travel Planner

Booking through Disney – This is the most direct option and it’s easier for people who have been to Disney World a million times and know exactly what they want, and that don’t need any additional help. You can book your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel directly on the Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-4357.

Booking through Disney Travel Agent – This is the easiest way to book your hotel and our preferred method. A friendly Disney vacation planner will help you during every step of the vacation process, they will answer any questions about your needs, and help you decide which resort is best for your family.

Lobby chairs Disney's Contemporary Resort

Our best recommendation is to use René Cittadino at Show You the World Travel for your Disney World reservations. They are the absolute BEST, and I’ve used them dozens of times to book my own hotel reservations and packages. Trust me, her amazing team will give you the best treatment around and help you have your most magical vacation ever!

They will also help you with dining reservations, booking special events, and more. The best part is that they are 100% FREE and it doesn’t cost you any more money to use them than it does to book directly through Disney. They are even great at getting special discounts when new promotions come out to save you money after booking so give them a try!

That wraps up our ranking of the top Disney Monorail Resorts. We hope that we helped you see the differences between them all so you can make the best choice for your family!

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about our ranking of the best Disney Monorail Resorts…

  • What is your favorite Disney World Monorail Resort?
  • What is your #1?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂


Wednesday 19th of July 2023

Mono Rail is really cool to ride. When you stay at one of the Mono rail resorts taking it is very relaxing after a long day on your feet. Also nice when you want to go to Epcot from MK. Then it's an easy walk if you stay at the Y&BC, Yachtsman, Boardwalk, Swan, Dolphin.