The Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom monorail loop runs along the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. Along this loop are three of Walt Disney World’s most iconic resort hotels: The Polynesian Village Resort, The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and The Contemporary Resort. Along with the convenience of being a monorail ride away from both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (via transfer) you’ll also find an abundance of recreational activities along with some of the best dining on property.
The Polynesian Village Resort was one of the original Walt Disney World resorts opening on October 1, 1971. This resort has the highest number of returning guests of all of the Disney owned resorts – it is a Walt Disney World icon unto itself. The theme here is a melting pot of the islands of the southern pacific. The Great Ceremonial House is the center of the resort with 11 longhouses named for the different islands in the south pacific are where you will find the guest rooms and villas. The Great Ceremonial House is also home to shopping and two very popular restaurants. Kona Café is the casual restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Hawaiian flare while ‘Ohana is where you can have breakfast with Lilo, Stitch and Mickey and dinner featuring meal skewers cooked over an open pit. The marina offers several different kinds of boat rentals. There is a white sand beach (no swimming please!) with cabanas and two pools, one volcano themed and one that offers a quieter escape. A new infinity hot tub along with several pool bars and refreshment locations round out the tropical grounds. After dark you’ll find tiki torches lining the paths along with an authentic Hawaiian Luau, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. The Polynesian Villas and Bungalows are attached to the property and are a part of the Disney Vacation Club.
Fun Fact: On December 29, 1974 John Lennon signed the legal paperwork that ended the Beatles at the Polynesian Village Resort.
The Contemporary Resort is another true Walt Disney World icon. Also opening on October 1, 1971 this A framed resort hotel has a coolness factor unlike any other. The monorail glides right through the lobby as guests dine and shop below. The large mural on the wall of the Grand Canyon Concourse was designed by Mary Blair who was one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists – in fact she also designed the dolls in it’s a small world. Most rooms here are found in the tower but there is an outer garden wing as well. This resort offers rooms facing the Magic Kingdom with incredible views of the castle and fireworks. The other side of the tower offers spectacular Bay Lake views. The Magic Kingdom is a short walk or quick monorail ride away. In fact, this is the closest resort to the Magic Kingdom. Three table service restaurants are located here. California Grill is a signature restaurant on top of the tower with stunning views over the lake and Magic Kingdom. Chef Mickey’s offers breakfast, brunch and dinner with the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. The Wave of American flavors is known for its sustainable seafood and beef dishes. A fully stocked marina offers boat rentals as well as parasailing excursions, fishing and tubing. The resort also offers pools, tennis courts, volleyball courts and jogging trails. Bay Lake Tower adjoins the resort and is a Disney Vacation Club property.
Fun Fact: President Richard Nixon delivered his “I Am Not a Crook” speech in the ballroom of the Contemporary Resort on November 17, 1973
Disney’s flagship resort is the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This Victorian themed resort opened in 1988 and has played host to visiting celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. The hotel is fashioned after Hotel del Coronado in California with its red roof and while walls. This is a very Floridian resort however and as such it’s outer building that house guest rooms are all named after islands in the Florida Keys. The lobby in the main building is a destination unto itself with stained glass, a grand piano, a large birdcage and intricate elevators all providing a very grand backdrop. If you are visiting during the holiday this is one resort you won’t want to miss. A full size gingerbread house is erected in the lobby and many nights you’ll find carolers around the tree and a string band playing Christmas carols. The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is home to two signature restaurants, Narcoossee’s and Citricos as well as a the relaxed Grand Floridian Café. Mary Poppins and friends host breakfast while Prince Charming and Cinderella host dinner at 1900 Park Fare.A tea rooms and lounges are also available as well as several pool bars and snack locations. This is also the home of the crown jewel of all Disney restaurants, the AAA Five Diamond award winning Victoria & Albert’s. Along with a full service spa the resort offers pools, a full marina including luxury yachts available for charter and tennis courts. Upscale shopping can also be found here. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa adjoin the property and is part of the Disney Vacation Club.
Fun Fact: The resort was the backdrop to Hulk Hogan’s TV show, Thunder in Paradise in the 1990’s.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tour of the Walt Disney World monorail resorts. My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel professional with Travel with the Magic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 20 times and I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Email me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on facebook for tips, tricks and information on all things Disney!