By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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The Monorail Resorts at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

(This page is one of a series explicating Walt Disney World lingo, abbreviations, and FAQ for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World.)


The so-called “monorail resorts” at Walt Disney World are Disney’s Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary resorts. (Full reviews begin at the links.)

These deluxe resorts are called monorail resorts because they are the only hotels at Walt Disney World with monorail stops.

They are among the most popular hotels at Walt Disney World…and may face an interesting future!

Disney World’s monorail system has three loops, a spur, and some switches.

  • One loop, the Epcot Monorail, runs between Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).
  • Another, the Express Monorail, runs counterclockwise around Seven Seas Lagoon with stops at the TTC and the Magic Kingdom.
  • The third loop, the Resort Monorail,  runs clockwise around the lagoon, paralleling the Express Monorail tracks, and stops at TTC, the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary, and then back to TTC.

A spur ties in between the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary, affording access to the monorail shops, and switches allow the monorails here to access the two Seven Seas Lagoon loops.  Another set of switches at TTC gets the monorails onto the Epcot loop.

The Resort Monorail stops at the three monorail resorts and most famously travels through the Contemporary itself (as does the Express Monorail).

As a result, guests at these hotels have a particularly fun and convenient way to access the Magic Kingdom, the other monorail resorts and their restaurants, and the Epcot Monorail.

Well, kinda convenient.

While the Magic Kingdom is the first stop out from the Grand Floridian, that hotel is the last stop back; the Contemporary is the first stop back from the Magic Kingdom, but that park is the last stop from the hotel; the Polynesian has reasonable monorail access in both directions, being two stops in and three stops back.

Each of these resorts has a transportation alternative to the resort monorail, which in many cases is the better choice.

Those at the Contemporary can walk ten minutes to or from the Magic Kingdom; those at the Grand Floridian can evade being the last stop back by taking a boat, and those at the Polynesian can avoid being the third stop back by taking the Express Monorail to the TTC and walking to the Polynesian from there.

These resorts access Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios theme parks via buses, which they share with at least one, and sometimes two other resorts.

Getting to Epcot from the monorail resorts requires two transportation acts: getting to TTC, and then catching the Epcot Monorail.  Travelers from the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary have no other way provided to get to TTC than taking the Resort Monorail; those staying at the Polynesian can walk to TTC and catch the Epcot Monorail there.


Redevelopment of the monorail resorts began last decade with the demolition of the Contemporary’s North Garden wing and its replacement with Bay Lake Tower. More recently the Villas at the Grand Floridian and Polynesian Villas and Bungalows have opened.

There’s one obvious spot for a new monorail resort, and a couple not so obvious ones.

The obvious spot is the place that had once been reserved for the Venetian Resort, between the Contemporary and TTC.

In the image, the site is the red-colored land north of TTC between the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.

Reportedly, Disney has tested this site at least twice, and both times been dismayed by the suitability of the geology for building.

But that dismay could mean several things–ranging from “expensive” to “impossible.”  If the issue is on the “expensive” end of the scale, then the expense has to be compared to the next best alternative–having no place to put those who would otherwise pay big bucks to stay near the Magic Kingdom.

But this site, although likely the best, isn’t the only option.  It looks to be the only buildable site on the Resort Monorail–but that’s not the only monorail worth considering.

What about a monorail resort on the Epcot Monorail?


There’s a couple of sites on the Epcot monorail that look buildable to me–and also to Disney’s land-use documents, the Reedy Creek Improvement District Comprehensive 2020 Plan.

One of these sites for an Epcot monorail resort is visible on the image above–it’s the long, wide strip of red-colored land between the Magic Kingdom parking lot and Fort Wilderness, which currently contains the old STOL landing strip and swamps.

This enormous space, big enough for a theme park, could easily hold both a large monorail resort and a major water feature, perhaps an extension of Seven Seas Lagoon.

The other option is within the Epcot footprint, and shown on the image to the right.

It’s the red-colored “C”-shaped land on the northwest corner of the Epcot area, where the Epcot Monorail curves away into Epcot proper from the straight line it had been taking from the TTC.

It lies between the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and Epcot Center Drive, and could easily hold a massive monorail resort.

Rumors of a resort being built at or near the front of Epcot have been rampant since 2017. So we’ll see!

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book you in a monorail resort, or anywhere else that’s been built!  Contact her via the form below.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

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1 Jan { 06.04.13 at 8:30 pm }

What is the best way to get from yacht club to magic kingdom dailey?
How long is the ride from yacht club to magic kingdom?
Does yacht club have personal vehicle parking nearby?

2 Dave { 06.05.13 at 7:17 am }

Jan, Disney World runs bus service from the Yacht Club to MK. It runs every 20 minutes or so, and takes 10-15 minutes. And the Yacht Club has plenty of parking!

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3 Jen { 06.05.13 at 2:26 pm }

Hi Dave, we are staying at AofA. We would like to ride the monorail one evening as free entertainment 🙂 what is the easiest place to get one from A of A? Epcot? Thanks 🙂

4 Dave { 06.06.13 at 7:43 am }

Jen, there’s more uncertainty in bus arrival times than there is difference in transport times, so I’d just go to the bus stop and take whichever bus for either MK or Epcot comes first!

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5 Marci { 09.01.13 at 4:12 pm }

Hi! We are wanting to just make a loop around the monorail hopping on and off at The Contemporary with our 3 year old prior to dinner at Chef Mickey’s how long should we allow to make it around once? Thanks in advance 🙂

6 Dave { 09.02.13 at 9:08 am }

Marci…do the loop after dinner…that way you don’t have to worry about timing, which can be unpredictable…

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7 Sharon { 02.25.15 at 9:18 pm }

Hi Dave, How long does it take to get from the Polynesian to BLT at the Contemporary and back again? Thank you!

8 Dave { 02.26.15 at 1:12 pm }

Sharon, the resort monorail itself take little time. Uncertainties are on the trip to BLT stops for traffic–there’s little space between stations here. I’d leave 20-40 minutes each way, including walking time.

9 Jessica { 12.28.17 at 11:41 am }

If you have Breakfast reservations before the park opening at MK from the Polynesian Resort do you have to take the bus? From what I can see the monorail doesn’t open in time.

10 Dave { 12.29.17 at 9:09 am }

Jessica, ask at the conveorge desk the day before the best way to get to the park–it may be a bus, or it may be the boat.

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