10 Best Hotels And Resorts On Walt Disney World Monorail In Orlando


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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort are all Disney monorail hotel resorts. But which is the best?

Well, they are all very different with different themes, so your preference may be determined by whether you want to feel like you are in the South Pacific, the 1970s, or a Disney version of the Victorian times.

While you may be tempted to spend your Marriott Bonvoy points on the Disney Dolphin or Swan, staying in the Disney Vacation Club hotels is undoubtedly more fun. It will give you a more “Disney” experience.

Disney’s Monorail makes the below stops and operates from 30 minutes prior to earliest park opening until one hour after latest park closing.

  • Magic Kingdom park
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)
  • The Epcot Monorail and the Express Monorail originate at the TTC and offer express round-trip service to Epcot and Magic Kingdom park

Interestingly, there is a reason why you may not want to be on the Monorail at all. Have you heard of the recently built Disney Skyliner? The Disney Skyliner is probably my favorite way you get to the Disney parks, with its whimsical aerial gondolas.

They say, “Glide across the sky and add an extra dash of pixie dust to your day. This grand, state-of-the-art gondola system conveniently connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot and links to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. The Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at Epcot is also conveniently located just a short stroll away from Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.”

So what does this mean? Well, in terms of decision-making, I have listed the top 3 hotels on the Monorail below, but don’t discount the hotels a short stroll from the Disney Skyliner station either. This is just as fun a way to arrive and gives you an extra set of hotels to choose from: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, plus Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort.

You may be surprised that we think the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort is the best Walt Disney World® Resort even though it is not walkable from the parks, nor is it connected to a Monorail or gondola. Instead, you have to use the free Four Seasons minibus shuttle. We have reviewed and compared both of these top resorts in case you need help choosing between Four Seasons Resort Orlando vs. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Four Seasons is the best resort with the largest rooms and is also one of the best Four Seasons hotels in Florida, but it lacks the Disney Magic and character dining. It is an escape rather than an immersion in Disney.

Of course, there is no Four Seasons rewards program, but if you are a regular guest of the Four Seasons or even want to try this iconic brand for the first time, you can take advantage of loyalty style benefits at Four Seasons hotels for no extra cost by booking your next stay via our luxury travel concierge.

We have also reviewed the best resorts near Disney.

1. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is the very best Disney-branded resort in Orlando. Rooms and, in fact, the entire resort is Victorian in style but with a Disney makeover of the Victorian times. Located just one stop from the Magic Kingdom, you can get to the parks by riding the complimentary Resort Monorail – what a brilliant way to arrive!

This resort is classy with mosaic floors, fountains with nymphs, lots of creams and whites, pillars, and an impressive lobby. Within the rooms, the creams are complemented by forest greens that bring the outside in. The feel is elegant and dignified.

In terms of the resort itself, you can cool down at the Beach Pool or the Seven Seas Lagoon and ride down the water slides. Both pools are massive and are flanked by cabanas and loungers. Enjoy a massage at Senses Spa, and dine with Disney characters or in award-winning restaurants. There is also a club lounge for those who want to escape, which is the best club lounge at the Disney hotels.

Being so close to Disney World itself, you are in the perfect place to watch the magnificent fireworks light up the sky over Cinderella’s Castle.

This hotel also has the best club lounge of the Disney hotels. The Royal Palm Club Level, which is the Main Building Club Level offering at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is classy. It is one of two club lounges at this hotel. Interestingly, you will either get access to this or the Royal Palm Club Level, which is the Club Level for guests of the main building, or the Sugarloaf Club Level, which is the club in the outer building. Included in the club lounge are five small food and drink offerings plus useful concierge staff from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm who will help you with FastPass+ reservations.

The lounge on the 4th floor is traditional in design, with lots of turquoise and orangy colored sofas and traditional dining tables with seats. It feels like a traditional British hotel. It includes the corridor areas so you can sit on the balcony with views to the water on one side and views over the reception on the other. As the evening sets in, there is lobby music, either a piano player or a band, and the music wafts up to the lounge, where you can enjoy a drink while watching the magnificent sunset.

The lounge itself is open 24 hours and is serviced from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm. Alcoholic drinks include beer, wine, champagne, champagne, and non – alcoholic drinks, including coffee, espresso, tea, bottled water, and cold soft drinks.

2. Disney’s Contemporary Resort

This Disney resort has a completely different vibe from most of the other quaint and cute Disney resort hotels. Disney’s Contemporary Resort is an ultra-modern Disney Resort hotel with spectacular views and dazzling pools. It is the closest hotel to the Magic Kingdom Park and is the height of retro, 1970s cool.

This resort is a modern highrise with an A-frame Contemporary tower and a nearby Garden Wing. To get to the parks, you can walk to Magic Kingdom’s main gate or catch the Resort Monorail as it stops at the tower. Inside, a 90-foot-tall mural by Disney Legend Mary Blair—responsible for the distinct look and feel of the “it’s a small world” attraction—celebrates the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest.

Rates here vary wildly from around $800 USD for a snazzy Main Tower club level room to a standard garden wing room, which can come in at under $500 USD per night. If you are planning to stay in the garden wing, the club lounge is not worth the upgrade, but if you are planning to book a theme park view room in the Main Tower, then you are only looking at around $100 USD more for the club lounge which seems well worth it. Of note, Theme Park View rooms ARE worth paying more for. The other side of the resort offers Bay Lake views overlooking the Bay Lake Tower hotel. Theme park views mean you can watch the fireworks and other events from your room.

There are two club lounge level floors here. The Atrium level offers the standard rooms on the 12th floor, and the Tower level on the 14th floor also has suites.

The Atrium club lounge itself is smart and large (although much smaller than the Universal hotel club lounges). It feels like slightly art deco decor with diagonal dividers, marble floors, and three balconies overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. This is a great place to watch both the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant. Bear in mind that, while this is a brilliant view for these events, during the day, the car park in front also makes up much of this view, so the view and resort feel quite urban.

This club lounge is one of the most stylish executive levels across Disney’s resort hotels. Although I don’t much like the modern look of this hotel from the outside, from the inside, the classy interiors and fittings make this one of the most luxurious resort hotels in Disney, with one of the best club lounges.

3. Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is set in the South Pacific with tropical palms, lush vegetation. From moonlit nights immersed in the outdoor island ambiance to the exotic tastes of our world-class restaurants, discover the signature tropical atmosphere that’s made Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort a favorite Disney destination since 1971. This resort is also on the Monorail, making it a great choice.

4. Disney’s Beach Club Resort

In my opinion, this charming New England-style resort with baby blue and white clapboard frontage is the most lovely looking of all the Disney resorts. You can laze on your wooden balconies in this oh so pretty, almost turreted resort design.

I love the color scheme of the rooms. The sandy carpet, the hints of sea blue in the headboard. The decor is unfussy and simple and yet classy and luxurious. The decor will remind you of a New England beach cottage, but the Disney flair makes it that bit better.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort is also super convenient, walkable from Epcot and just a short boat ride (what fun!) to the popular Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

But this isn’t the way we like to travel (foot or boat). We love the fact that you can use the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas to get to the parks.

We also love the fact that most of the resort looks over the charming pools and the lake beyond. Kids and adults of all ages will love splashing and sliding at the 3-acre on-site water park. A kids club also gives the younger members of the family a chance to make crafts and play games. If you have little ones, you must stay here for the character dining – what could be more fun!

5. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is also within walking distance of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you want to visit the other parks, there are free shuttles provided by the resort.

The rooms here have dark blue carpet and yellow and white stripes on the walls. The lobby’s decor is more interesting, with old-fashioned white pillars like something out of a cruise ship. There are intricate lamps and gold-mounted wall paintings above the reception, making the entranceway feel very authentic.

Highlights include multiple themed pools with a waterslide, the delicious Flying Fish Cafe, and a 1940’s Atlantic City vibe. This resort sparkles by night and by day. The way it crowds around the pool means that you can take advantage of vintage charm with great views of the pool if you choose one of these rooms.

Once again, you can use the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas to get to the parks from this resort.

6. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is also on the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas which will get you to the parks.

This New England-style yacht club is set on the lakeside. It is elegant and nautical, and you can actually rent boats from Bayside Marina. It shares many amenities with its pastel-toned sister, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and is within walking distance to Epcot and a convenient boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The club lounge here is formal, looking in blue, navy, and white hues. The lounge offers service from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm. You can order or self-serve complimentary alcoholic drinks; beer, wine, champagne, coffee, tea, and cold drinks. There are also nuts, crisps, raisins, and whole fruit, etc., available throughout the day for grazing on.

7. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will surround you in the artistry, enchantment and magic of Walt Disney and Disney and Pixar movies.

Stay at a Disney Resort hotel that invites you to explore the storybook landscapes seen in such classics as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.

From delightfully themed family suites to wondrously detailed courtyards, Disney’s Art of Animation “draws” you and your family in to become a part of some of your animated favorites.

Once again, you can use the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas to get to the parks from this resort.

8. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort plays Calypso rhythms and uses vibrant colors to whisk your mind to the Caribbean. With lush grounds, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort transports Guests to the paradise islands of Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba. Colonial forts mingle with lively markets, pristine beaches, splashy florals, and swaying hammocks.

Once again, you can use the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas to get to the parks from this resort.

9. Disney’s Pop Century Resort

At Disney’s Pop Century Resort, you can experience the unforgettable fads of the 1950s through the 1990s all over again. From yo-yos and Play-Doh® to Rubik’s Cube® and rollerblades, this Resort hotel salutes the timeless fashions, catchphrases, toys, and dances that captivated the world through the decades. Once again, you can use the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas to get to the parks from this resort.

10. Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort is inspired by Europe and imagined by Disney. Here, you can delight in exhilarating activities, delectable dining, and stylish accommodations—from cozy Tower Studios to spacious villas with up to 3 bedrooms. Once again, you can use the Disney Skyliner with its whimsical aerial gondolas to get to the parks from this resort.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.