Hop on a Monorail for FREE Walt Disney World Resort Activities

Disney Monorail, Disney vacation, monorail Yellow

You hear us say over and over- A Disney vacation is fantastic and memorable, but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. Next to your room and food costs, theme park tickets are one one of the next largest purchases for any Disney trip.  We always seem to be searching for inexpensive ways to get the most from our Disney Dollars. Sometimes it’s nice to do other activities that don’t involve purchasing tickets or expensive character meals. Window shopping at Downtown Disney is good for half a day’s free, or almost free, entertainment and riding the WDW monorail to the resorts is another.

“Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas. Ladies and Gentlemen, please collect your belongings and watch your head and step. Please assist small children by the hand.” Here we go, Mouze Kateerz, we are headed around the monorail track in search of some mostly free entertainment.

Since the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971, the monorail system has carried more than one billion passengers.  The WDW Resort Monorail, the most heavily traveled passenger monorail system in the world, carries nearly 150,000 passengers every week day.  Each year, the monorails transports more than 50 million people. That’s a lot of people jumping on a monorail.

Your first stop…Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The monorail runs right through the Contemporary, which is probably the coolest features of the resort. Built in 1971 as well, this resort was considered a modern and futuristic vacation destination for its time.

Grand Canyon Concourse, Mary Blair tilesThe Contemporary offers window shopping at Bay View Gifts (BFG) and Fantasia.  As you watch other monorails zip through the building, if you get hungry, you can pick up an inexpensive snack or lunch from the Contempo Cafe.

One sight you cannot miss at the Contemporary is the floor-to-ceiling ceramic mural, created by artist and Disney legend Mary Blair, celebrating the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the southwest region of the U.S.  Need some quiet time to rest your achy theme park feet?

Take an escalator down one floor to the Convention Center area, where there are usually some fluffy couches available, and the bathrooms here are super clean, quiet, and roomy. Prop your feet up an enjoy the atmosphere.

Bay Lake Tower, one of Disney’s newest Vacation Club Resorts, is right next door. Ever wonder what it would cost for a stay there? Disney’s Bay Lake Tower Resort: Is It Really Worth the Big Buck$?

Take a walk outside and have a seat on a bench by Bay Lake. You can also take a free boat ride over to Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Camp Ground.  There is a trail that runs from the camp ground to the resort, if you have time for a beautiful nature walk.

Polynesian Resort, Polynesian Resort food, Plynesian resort restaurants

Next stop…Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

The Polynesian Resort is a South Pacific themed tropical paradise. Walk down to the lower level and gaze at the 70 species of plants found around the waterfall.  Take a seat, so close you are within reaching distance of the flora, and feel your vacation tensions melt away to the sound of the peaceful falling waters.

Polynesian Resort Disney waterfall, Polynesian Resort LobbyIf you need a quick bite to eat, try Captain Cook’s or grab a coffee at the Kona Cafe.  If you are here near nightfall, ask about the Polynesian Resort’s torch-lighting ceremony, which includes a traditional fire-knife dance together with authentic drumming and chants. You can pick up a tropical drink, cocktails and appetizers at Tambo Lounge.

The Polynesian has three stops for the window shopper: BouTIKI, with its 1,000 pound Balinese statues, art and collectibles at Wyland Galleries, and souvenirs and gifts at Trader Jacks. Take a walk down to the volcano-themed swimming pool, down the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, and enjoy tropical theming at its finest.

By the shores of the lagoon, you can watch boats zipping around, with the sound of boat whistles as music to your ears, and the trails along the water offer a glimpse of tropical theming at it’s best around the resort. See if you can spot a duck by the pool.

What will a room cost you at the Polynesian Resort? Disney’s Polynesian Resort: Three Reasons It Just May Be Worth the Co$t

Last stop…the magnificent Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

The flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resorts, just standing in the five-story lobby is a journey into opulence and splendor.  There are six restaurants to choose from, some definitely more expensive than others,  with the two least expensive options being the 24 hour Gaspirilla Grill and Games and the Grand Floridian cafe. Shopping is available at Basin White or M. Mouse Mercantile.

Pull up a lobby chair and listen to the frequent free musical entertainment, which ranges from a musician seated at a grand piano to a Disney big band. The level of musicianship here is always incredible, and the music is quite relaxing. If you are vacationing near the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, be sure you take a look at the Victorian era-style Grand Floridian gingerbread house before you make your way back upstairs for the monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom.

Grand Floridian Christmas decorations, Grand Floridian Spa, Grand Floridian Lobby

By the way, if you do get hungry and you’re trying to stay within your almost-free budget, here’s just what you need. Lovin’ Some Disney Food: What is the Greatest $3.99 Snack You May Have Missed?

Now you have some ways to spend an afternoon when you lack those Disney park tickets or when you just need some down time strolling through fantastic Disney Resorts. Unless you buy a snack, meal, or a souvenir, window shopping and architecture gazing is totally free. People watching is free too.  So take a ride on the WDW monorail, a modernistic transportation system to journey you to the Future, the South Seas, and the Victorian Era…all in a Disney’s free, or almost free, afternoon.

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you climbing aboard the WDW monorail.

Be sure to stop by Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.

10 Ways to Save Time at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, because Time is Money!

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