We have been talking a lot lately on the podcasts about topics such as: rainy-day activities, what to do when you arrive at Disney too late to make it a park day, ideas for days with late departure, and even monorail-hopping ideas. All of these topics brought to mind one of my favorite activities: my family’s Monorail Mania Meal! If you are planning a Disney trip or even if you are already there, this is a great activity to incorporate into your itinerary.
Affectionately named our Monorail Mania Meal years ago (24 years ago, in fact), this has been one of our favorite family traditions. So, I am sharing some ideas with you today in hopes that you might be able to incorporate this fun tradition into your upcoming trip.
You may not know that I am from an Italian family, so most of our best conversations have ensued around a great meal. I guess it’s by no stretch of the imagination, then, that I began this tradition in the same way. We tailor-make this activity for each trip, depending on what we are wanting to do, how we plan to spend our days and what our budget will allow.
If this will be your first visit to Walt Disney World, you should know that there are 3 monorail resorts: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Special Note: both Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are OG resorts that opened with the Magic Kingdom in October, 1971.
The basic principle of our Monorail Mania Meal is to break up a meal into 3 sections. We do this in one of these ways: drinks at one resort, followed by dinner at another and dessert at another; appetizers at one resort, followed by dinner at another and then dessert at another. Each part of the meal happens at one of the 3 monorail resorts.
As examples of these fun days, we might decide to start with drinks at the Enchanted Rose in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa then monorail over to ‘Ohana at the Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for dinner and then to the Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort for dessert. Another option would be to have drinks at Tambu Lounge in the Poly, followed by dinner at Steakhouse 71 in the Contemporary followed by huge cake pops at Gasparilla Grill at the Grand Floridian. Tambu Lounge has a fun kids drink with a special cube that fizzes the drink and changes its color.
You can do this activity anytime. 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. You can even use it as a fun way to spend the morning and have a great breakfast.
Another great feature of this “progressive meal” is that you can plan it based on your budget. If you want to do only snacks and quick-service that’s easy. If you want to incorporate a table-service meal, like ‘Ohana, you can plan it around that. There are literally endless possibilities. You can even plan this around certain scheduled or special events.
Planning this fun activity around fireworks viewing by the lagoon or viewing the Electric Water Pageant are two great examples. Times are posted online so you can plan around those. This is also a fantastic way to resort hop during the holidays. The monorail resorts all have special decorations and a holiday trip to Walt Disney World without seeing the famous Gingerbread House inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa would be an incomplete trip, to say the least.
You might ask, how can I do this if I am not staying at a resort on the monorail? Anyone can visit the monorail resorts. If staying at another Disney resort, you can take the bus (or boat) from your resort. Or you can take the bus from whichever park you are enjoying to the resort you begin your Monorail Meal with and go from there.
Be sure to allow plenty of time for ordering and eating and taking the monorail so you won’t get caught short. This is meant to be fun and relaxing, and it is a great way for family to spend time together without being at the park.
Being that each of these resorts has several location choices for drinks, meals and desserts, you can feel free to 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! And if you need help planning yours, reach out to me. I would love to help you plan your trip!
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