Each year, I try to incorporate new activities into our trips to replace the special things we did when they were younger. One of the new favorite activities I began doing a few years ago is the “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 could even serve as a great rainy day activity.
Here is the way we do it:
We take the bus from whichever park we are enjoying to the Grand Floridian. No, you do not have to be a guest of the resort to take the bus from the park. 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 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.
If you have young children and prefer trying this idea earlier in the day, there are other things to enjoy during that time, such as poolside games in early afternoon and evening outdoor movies at around 7:30 pm. You do not have to be a guest of the resort to enjoy these activities; they are open to all Walt Disney World Resort guests.
There are so many fun activities you can tailor around 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. 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!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.