Disney Family Traditions: Monorail Mania Meal

Monorail Mania Meal

Planning has always been one of the best parts of our magical Walt Disney World vacations. I have always tried to incorporate new and fun things into every trip. Long before I was a travel specialist with Pixie Vacations, I was a Disney fan and blogger. Whether through a bit of serendipity, or clearly my destiny, I came to hold the greatest job ever!  I love helping families plan fun little adventures so today I am sharing one of our family favorites with you.

Our “Monorail Mania Meal” is something we began doing years ago, when my kids were young. Being from an Italian family, much of our quality time has been shared around the kitchen table so I guess it is no stretch of the imagination that I began this tradition in the same way. We’ve  incorporated this fun activity into many of our trips but we haven’t done it with our newest generation so this year we’re bringing it back!

We utilize quick-service locations for this pseudo progressive dinner because it saves both time and money. It could easily be done around a table-service reservation at a monorail resort as well. It’s a really fun acitivity and great for any day, but especially for non-ticketed days and during certain times of the year.

When I first developed the idea of our Monorail Mania Meal, I put it in the itinerary as a fun activity to do on arrival or departure days when we didn’t have a park ticket. A couple of years later, we started traveling during the holiday season when all the monorail resorts are decorated to the nines with fancy holiday decor. That was perfect for our family jaunt around the monorail resorts.

This funtastic activity follows the monorail resort loop. We start with drinks at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa then monorail over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for dinner and then to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for dessert. We do this during the evening and into late night, but a family with young children could easily do it at any time of the day. This could even serve as a great rainy day activity.

Here’s how we do it:

Stop 1: Drinks

We take the bus from our resort to the Magic Kingdom and head to the RESORT MONORAIL. We ride all the way around to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. If you are starting at a park, you can just take the bus straight to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. No, you do not have to be a guest of the resort to take the bus from the park. Once at GF, we head to the Beaches Pool Bar & Grill.

My husband and I like the Banana Cabana and the Strawberry Margarita and the kids usually have the Lava Smoothie (non-alcoholic specialty). They also have sodas, beer, wine and bottled water. Then we head over to the lounge chairs on the beach, veg out and enjoy the view. We talk about what we are most looking forward to during the trip or what has been best about the trip so far, depending on what day we visit. After drinks, we head back to the monorail to go to Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Stop 2:  Dinner

We have a quick-service meal at the Contempo Cafe at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. They have excellent selections here and everyone can get whatever they want. My favorites are the flatbreads. They’re delicious! After dinner, we get onto the monorail again and ride over to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for dessert.

Stop 3:  Dessert

We usually arrive at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort about 45 minutes before the Electrical Water Pageant begins. This gives us time to grab our desserts of choice before heading out to the lagoon and pool area to view the show.

There are many wonderful offerings here. Captain Cook’s (the quick-service location here) has several great selections. You might also choose a Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai or head upstairs to the Tambu Lounge for an order of ‘Ohana’s Bread Pudding (don’t even get me started on the bread pudding people!!). We get our dessert of choice and then head outside to sit at a table overlooking the lagoon and pool area. We are normally in a comfortable spot before the EWP pageantry begins.

The Electrical Water Pageant doesn’t begins at the Polynesian at around 9:00 pm so this has been a great thing to do in the evenings. After the EWP, we take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and head to the bus for our resort. Believe it or not, this usually turns out to be one of our early nights in as we normally stay at the park for evening extra magic hours.

There are so many fun activities you can arrange for your family; this is just one idea. There are even numerous versions one could come up with for the Monorail Mania Meal, being that each of these resorts has several location choices for drinks, meals and desserts. For our family, this is perfect! The fun is that you can plan it however you’d like.

Since we started this, there have been other similar activities others have started. Adult guests traveling without kids have morphed this into something called a Monorail Crawl. They hop on and drink around the monorail.  Practically any idea can be personalized for your family – it just takes a little planning.

Have a magical day!


“I’m a Planner, what’s your superpower?”


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