For first time Disney travels plotting out your dining reservations, my advice is not to limit yourself just to the theme parks. Disney’s resort properties have an amazing array of restaurants that can really enhance your Walt Disney World experience. Nowhere is this more evident than with Disney’s incredible monorail resorts. The Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village Resort and Contemporary Resort all sit on the monorail line making getting to them from Magic Kingdom and Epcot a breeze. They offer a great starting point in the morning for a relaxing breakfast or making it easy to slip away from the park for an hour or two to refuel. There are an amazing array of eateries to choose from. Here are 7 of our favorites!
7. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Trader Sam’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a whole lot of awesome. Not only do they have some of the most amazing cocktails with absolutely delightful souvenir take-home containers but the Tiki Terrace Restaurant is also one of the best places to sit back and unwind after a long day at the parks. Whether you awaken the tiki gods at the inside bar or chill out to the sounds of the islands with the live bands playing on the terrace you’ll definitely feel like you are on a tropical island getaway. There are also fantastic dishes to sample including: sushi rolls, fried dumplings, or my favorite the Kalua Pork Tacos. Trader Sam’s is just a short boat or monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom. The restaurant does not participate in the Disney Dining Plan and dishes are usually in the $10 – $15 range. Seating is walk up only.
6. Chef Mickey’s – Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Considered by many to be the quintessential Disney character dining experience, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this fun-filled meal with Mickey Mouse and friends. The food here’s pretty good standard buffet fare but the atmosphere is the real draw. The restaurant sits in the heart of the Contemporary Resort with the monorail making its rounds right through the building as you dine. Being just a quick stop away from the Magic Kingdom it is also the perfect place to head to before or after your day at the parks. Chef Mickey’s is open for breakfast, brunch lunch and dinner. The cost is usually between $35 – $59 per adult. Advance reservations are essential.
5. Kona Cafe – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – I am a firm believer that everyone should be as absolutely enamoured with the Polynesian Resort as I am. It is just a short stop on the monorail and the tropical surroundings truly make you feel like you are on holiday. The food here is absolutely wonderful and evokes the beautiful flavors of the islands. Located in the Great Ceremonial House, Kona Cafe is a bit of a hidden gem of a restaurant. Have a breakfast before the parks open and sample the Tonga Toast- a fan favorite or the out-of-this-world Macadamia-Pineapple Pancakes. Lunch and dinner options are just as amazing with teriyaki steaks, lamb chops or fresh selections from their very own Sushi Kitchen. Then it’s just a boat-ride or monorail over to the theme parks. Dining here will set you back anywhere from $15 – $34.99 depending on the meal or 1 Table Service Credit.
4. 1900 Park Fare – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. This is another fantastic contender if you are looking for a character dining on the monorail line. If you’re lucky enough to nab an early morning reservation then you’ll get to enjoy a Supercalifragilistic Breakfast where you can feast on a buffet filled with your favorite breakfast fare while getting acquainted with some much-loved Disney friends including Alice, the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh and of course Mary Poppins. The evening meal at 1900 Park Fare is hosted by Cinderella and Prince Charming. The buffet is classic cuisine with a carvery that boasts nice cuts of pork and beef. However what really makes this meal an event you won’t soon forget are the amazing character interactions with Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella. Have your cameras and autograph books at the ready. Both of these meals run 1 Table Service Dining Credit and range in price from $39.00 – $59.00 depending on the meal.
3. Ohana- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – You’ll hear a lot of Disney regulars going on about ‘Ohana and with good cause. This is a wonderful Disney World eatery located in the Main Ceremonial Hall at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Go in the morning and you’ll dine on classic breakfast fare brought family style in big skillets to your table. During breakfast, you’ll also get to hang out with Lilo, Stitch and Hawaiian Mickey. For dinner ‘Ohana offers a delightful banquet sans characters but with live Hawaiian music, storytelling, games and mouthwatering dishes like sweet and sour chicken and oak-grilled shrimp brought to your table. Reservations for both breakfast and dinner can be tricky to get so book early. The cost to dine at ‘Ohana will range between $35 – 59.99 per adult.
2. California Grill – Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Whether you’re treating your family to a fancy night on the town or looking for a romantic meal for two, the California Grill definitely delivers. Be lucky enough to get a seating that coincides with Magic Kingdom’s “Happily Ever After” fireworks display and you’re in for a real treat! This rooftop restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has a private viewing deck where visitors can sip on a glass of bubbly while watching the fireworks light up the night sky. As it is one of Walt Disney World’s Fine/Signature Dining Restaurants, you can also count on top-notch cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. You’ll find everything from Colorado Bison Loin and Swordfish, to an amazing sushi bar and massive wine menu. Fireworks dining times can be incredibly popular and fill up fast so advance booking is highly recommended and can be made online via My Disney Experience or at 407.WDW.DINE.
1.Victoria & Alberts – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – The ultimate Disney Dining indulgence, Victoria & Albert’s offer a top-notch dining experience like no other. Consistently receiving AAA’s five-diamond award for excellence, this is the best restaurant on Disney property and one of the best in the country. Its refined dress code, limited seating and delectable cuisine will definitely make you feel like VIPs for the evening. The cost to dine here is well over $60 per adult definitely making it a splurge but one that you’ll be bragging about for years to come. Advanced booking is essential and can be made at 407.WDW.DINE.
We’ve given your 7 of our favorite places to dine on Disney’s monorail line but this list is by no means exhaustive. There are more restaurants at each of these properties that are definitely worth exploring. So next time you pay a visit to Walt Disney World venture a bit further afield for monorail dining experiences that you won’t soon forget!
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