One of my family’s favorite activities is something we began doing when my kids became teenagers. Our favorite family tradition at Walt Disney World is our “Monorail Mania Meal.” Being from an Italian family, most of our best visiting has often ensued in the kitchen around a meal, so I guess it is no stretch of the imagination that I began this tradition in the same way.
When I developed our Monorail Mania Meal, I decided to start with drinks at the Grand Floridian then monorail over to the Polynesian Resort for dinner and then to the Contemporary Resort for dessert. We liked it just that way the first time, so we continued it that way for future trips. 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 is also a great rainy day activity.
Here is the way we do it:
We take the Disney transportation from whichever park we are enjoying to the Grand Floridian. If you are coming from the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, you may take the monorail. If you are coming from Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom park, a bus will get you there. Once at the GF, we head to the Beach Pool Bar. My husband and I usually get the Orange Creamsicle blended drink and the kids usually have either the Sour Apple Freeze or the Lava Smoothie (non-alcoholic specialties). 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 has been best about the trip so far and what we are most looking forward to during the rest of the trip. When our drinks are gone, we head back to the monorail to go to the Polynesian Resort. You can also walk along the beach to the Polynesian. We like riding the monorail because it has to travel all the way around to get back to the Poly so we enjoy the ride and the view.
Once we arrive at the Polynesian, we proceed to Captain Cook’s. We usually order a combination of Caesar Salads, pizzas and burgers. We get our food and drinks and then head outside to sit at a table overlooking the lagoon and pool area. If you can’t tell yet, we love being outside and since we visit in the Fall it is usually comfortable outside. We enjoy our dinner and then take a stroll around the grounds, as they are so beautiful, before heading back to the monorail station on our way to the Contemporary Resort.
Once we arrive at the Contemporary Resort, we usually have about 45 minutes to spare before the Electrical Water Pageant (EWP) begins. We head to the Contempo Café and order our choice of dessert, and there are many choices whether you are a chocoholic like me or not; then we grab a coffee, milk, juice, etc. and either eat there before the EWP begins or head on out to the marina to enjoy our dessert outdoors and await the pageantry. The EWP doesn’t usually begin at the Contemporary until around 10:10 pm so this has been a great thing to do with older kids, especially on nights that the parks don’t have extra magic hours. If you have young children and prefer trying this idea earlier in the day, you might do this for lunchtime in the early afternoon and then go back to Magic Kingdom for the 3:00 parade.
There are so many fun activities you can tailor around your family; this is just one idea. We utilize quick-service locations because it saves both time and money, but it could easily be done around a table-service reservation as well. There are even numerous versions of what we call our Monorail Mania Meal. There is even something now called a Monorail Crawl, I have heard, where you hop on and drink around the monorail. You can certainly tailor it to fit your needs. Practically any idea can be personalized for your family – it just takes a little planning. Have fun with it!