The Pros and Cons of the Monorail Pub Crawl

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Monorail Pub Crawl, or perhaps the title of this post made you think, “ooooh that sounds fun!” Indeed to hop aboard a monorail, stopping at each resort’s lounge for an adult beverage is a fun endeavor, but there are some downsides of which to take note.

photo 2

The Pros

  • Convenient and easy access, especially if you are staying at one of the Magic Kingdom area resorts
  • Monorail rides are a true Disney experience that you can’t enjoy anywhere else
  • The three monorail resorts, Disney’s Grand Floridian, Disney’s Contemporary, and Disney’s Polynesian resorts are classic, beautiful resorts. It’s fun just to visit these places for any reason.
  • The lounges in the monorail resorts are well themed and offer lovely atmospheres.
  • If you time it right, you can be on the monorail as you watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks. During my recent birthday celebration monorail pub crawl we departed the Grand Floridian around 9pm and were able to see Magic Kingdom’s fireworks on one side and Epcot’s on the other. We were surrounded by Disney magic!

grand flowers

the wave

The Cons

  • The monorails, especially at the end of a busy day, aren’t always the cleanest and most pleasant smelling thing in Walt Disney World.
  • If traveling as a group of 4 or more people it can be tough to find a good place to sit inside the lounges.
  • The momentum can die out. It can be exciting to wrap up a round of drinks and appetizers with the words, “Alright onto the nextphoto 5 stop!” Then comes the waiting for the monorail.  Then the struggle of finding an empty monorail cabin. Then the walking to the next lounge. Before you know it your buzz is wearing off and the excitement is hard to keep up.
  • Disney’s Contemporary has weird lounges. You have three choices here, the Outer Rim Lounge (more on this later), The Wave (also more on this later), and California Grill (yeah good luck getting up there!) I am a Disney Vacation Club Member and could have tried to squeeze my party of six into the Top of the World lounge, the exclusive DVC Member lounge at Bay Lake Tower, but it was fireworks time and I did not want to walk all the way there just to be told no.
  • The Magic Kingdom and the TTC. No matter where you start your monorail pub crawl you will eventually have to stop at the Magic Kingdom, which is fun to see passing by, but it is a loud and busy stop, as well as the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) which is full of buzz killing fluorescent lighting and everyone around you asking “what is this place?” and “do we get off here?”
  • Almost all Disney lounges use the same drink menu, which is depressing to me. One of the main draws of Walt Disney World is the theme and I love seeing how each resort and restaurant’s theme is carried out in the food and drink menu. Fear not though, many lounges do have location-specific specialty drinks, all you have to do is ask about them.
Mitzner's Lounge
Mitzner’s Lounge


The Stops

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian is definitely the classiest of the three monorail resorts. I recommend starting here because if you do get progressively tipsy at each stop you may feel out of place here as the night progresses. A full jazz band is perched on the second floor overlooking the grandiose, multi-story lobby. Tucked behind the impressive bandstand is Mitzner’s Lounge serving up classy beverages and a sampling of appetizers straight from the kitchen of the crave-worthy Citirico’s. This lounge is shaped like a huge bay window and has really small tables that can make it difficult for large gatherings.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort was the next stop on our pub crawl. The monorail landing is located above the Grand Canyon Concourse, home to a counter service dining location, Chef Mickey’s character dining, two gift shops, and the Outer Rim Lounge. This lounge is awkwardly located and tends to be over run with tired out parents who are waiting for their pager to go off so they can take their turn inside Chef’s Mickey’s. Your buzz can easily be killed by the loudness of Chef’s Mickeys wafting over to the lounge.
  • wave groupshotWe opted for the lounge at The Wave. This little gem is a semi-secret restaurant that only Dis nerds and foodies seem to really appreciate. Truth be told, I adore The Wave. I call it the Seasons 52 of Walt Disney World, serving up fresh, locally sourced food and drink. The lounge at The Wave is one part swanky lounge, one part bar, and one part waiting area for families waiting for their table. The rectangular bar has flat screen TVs mounted above the libations while large alcoves with deep blue lighting offer a nice gathering place for groups. The drink menu is the same old same Disney drink menu, but I knew some of the specialty drinks that are listed on the restaurant’s menu, and ordered my favorite: “Over the Florida Moon” which is a martini made from 4Orange vodka (made solely from 4 types of Florida oranges), orange juice, and topped with Blue Moon beer.
  • Disney’s Polynesian resort makes my heart happy. I love the theme and classic feel of this resort, even if portions of it are getting a little long in the tooth. I had hoped that this stop would be saving the best for last, but again as a group of six it was hard to find a comfortable spot right near the bar.  We opted for seats along the lobby-like sitting area, but were so removed from the bar it kinda killed the energy of the evening. The Tambu Lounge is a favorite lounge among Disney geekdom and is home to some cherished memories of mine. This lounge has sadly fallen victim to the generic Disney drink menu, however, some classic tiki drinks are still around, like the Zombie, the Backscratcher, the Lapu Lapu, and the Mai Tai. Be sure to ask your server.

photo 1

Other Tips

  • The monorail pub crawl is definitely the best if you are staying at one of the monorail resorts or even Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • You can take it up a notch and include Epcot in your monorail crawling, just know you have to transfer monorails.
  • You can also take a boat from either the Magic Kingdom or Contemporary over to Disney’s Wilderness and Fort Wilderness if you’d like to add more stops to your pub crawl.
  • If the weather is right you can also enjoy the monorail pub crawl: pool bar edition!

the wave inside

grand lobby



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