First off, let me start by saying that Walt Disney World, has absolutely nothing to do with the Monorail Bar Crawl, or the Monorail “Pub” Crawl. They do not endorse it, they do not promote it, and they sure as hell do not acknowledge one’s demands to have their accomplishments announced over the monorail loud speakers on the journey back to the Magic Kingdom.
But, let’s be honest, who can resist having a 200 foot train-in-the-sky cart you around from drinking establishment to drinking establishment? While this may not be the reason the monorail was invented, it certainly does take bar hopping to new heights (pardon the pun.)
Monorail Pub Crawl?????
So, what exactly is the Monorail Pub Crawl, you ask? Well, the answer is pretty self explanatory. You simply board a monorail at Magic Kingdom and when it makes its first stop (at the Contemporary Resort) you hop off the sky-train and head to the nearest watering hole.
Once you have seen (drank) enough at The Contemporary, you simply hop back on to the monorail and enjoy the quick ride to the next stop, the Polynesian Resort. Throw back a few pineapple concoctions or other beverage of choice that you deem appropriate for the polynesian atmosphere and stumble back on to the monorail and head to your final stop, the Grand Floridian.
Make a fool of yourself at Disney’s classiest resort by insisting they serve you a Mickey martini, hop on the monorail one final time and head back to the Magic Kingdom. Viola, you have completed the epic adventure of Disney’s Monorail Pub Crawl.
What Makes This Pub Crawl So Different?
One of the best parts of the Monorail Pub Crawl (unlike the other famous Disney drinking adventure, “Drinking Around the World”), is that you can create your own experience. It’s basically a real life choose-your-own-adventure book for adults. Each of the three Disney hotels on the “Crawl” have multiple bars, located everywhere from fine dining restaurants, and casual dining, to tiki huts and pool side bars.
Which route is best for me?
So how do you know which path to take when embarking on your Disney drinking challenge? Below, is not only the 7 must-drink-at bars on the Monorail Pub Crawl, (ranked in order, this is Ryan’s Countdown’s after all), but also a guide as to what stops you should make based on your wants and needs. Maybe you just want to try one drink at one bar at each of the three hotels. Not my style, but I have the perfect route that you should take to maximize your limited participation.
Maybe you want to get a good buzz on, but you have to get back to the baby-sitter by 7, and can’t get demolished. I have a route that will get your Buzzzzzzzz Lightyear on and ready to hit up “It’s a Small World” with the kiddos for the 8th time in 3 days.
Or maybe, just maybe, you are tired of the lines, the heat, the children, the crowds, and the alcohol-free Magic Kingdom all together, and ready to hit the Monorail Pub Crawl head on. I will show you the best route to maximize your time while experiencing everything that the three luxury hotels have to offer.
Regardless of whether you choose to follow one of the three routes, or if you pick and choose your own route, the Monorail Pub Crawl is the greatest thing that has happened to adults at Disney World since….. well………. ever.
The 7 Must Visit Stops on the Monorail Pub Crawl
7. Mizner’s Lounge (Grand Floridian)
Let’s face it, the Grand Floridian is way too classy for you. If you are the type of person that will be participating in the Monorail Pub Crawl, odds are you are not staying at the Grand Floridian. And everyone can tell. I am sure that actual Grand Floridian guests will be able to spot you a mile away and will be able to sense that you are up to no good. The thing is, however, that the Grand Floridian is the last stop on the crawl, and you will not care what any uppity Grand Floridian guests will think of your epic monorail adventure by the time you stumbled through the front doors and arrive in the Victorian ballroom (or hotel lobby for the rest of us.)
Mizner’s Lounge is a small pub with a limited, but enticing menu. The bar itself is small, and the staff was by far the least welcoming out of all the stops on the crawl. Granted this is Disney World staff, so “not welcoming” simply means that they were not so overly sweet that you start to hate yourself for not being as bubbly as they are when you are working.
The best part of Mizner’s Lounge is that it is located directly behind the bandstand in which the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra plays live jazz music. OK, that may be the 2nd best part. The best thing is that they give away free trail mix at the bar (which will be quite necessary if you make it all the way there.)
If you follow the Ryan’s Countdowns guide to the Monorail Pub Crawl, the only people that will make this stop will be the people that are on the advanced track AKA the Donald and Daisy Drunk route.
6. Outer Rim (Contemporary Resort)
While the overall experience at the Outer Rim was delightful, it still lands at number six simply for the lack of excitement surrounding the bar. The location of the bar itself resembles that of an airport bar. While sitting at the small bar (which only seats about 6-7 guests) your back is to everyone and everything that is happening in the hotel. There is so much hustle and bustle happening around you that it makes you feel like you are missing out on things, when in actuality, you are just missing families yelling at each other, people rushing to catch the monorail before it embarks towards its next destination, and the sounds of the patrons at Chef Mickey’s enjoying their non-liquid dinners.
Best Part of Outer Rim…
The up side? The views are fantastic, the drinks are fun and delicious, and the bartenders (at least the one man that we had, an older man with many years of bartending experience) are exceptional. It is a great place to begin your Monorail Pub Crawl journey as it is the closest bar to the 1st monorail stop. Get the Blue Glow-Tini as you get to keep the glow in the dark cube that goes in your drink, and it is a great souvenir to remember your Monorail Pub Crawl experience. You will need all the help you can get.
5. The Wave (Contemporary Resort)
The Wave is a stylish ocean themed bar that is inviting from the minute you walk into the tunnel entrance designed to make you feel like you are walking under the crest of a giant wave. It is all quite apropos.
The Wave offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has a variety of unique seating options including a roomy bar, luxurious over-sized couches in their “underwater” lounge, and plenty of traditional table seating in their dining room.
The bar area is perfect for watching a game on one of their large TV’s, and their lounge area is a great place to relax in blue-lighted ambiance after a long day in the theme parks. It is recommended that you take a seat at the bar and have an appetizer at Wave before you head to your next stop. While the menu may not be as extensive as it is at the Contemporary’s other must-visit bar, California Grill, it is high quality food and not outrageously priced.
4. Citricos (Grand Floridian)
With perhaps one of the most extensive drink menus at all of Disney World, Cítricos Lounge at the Grand Floridian is a great place to begin winding down your pub crawl. Enjoy one of their delicious unique martinis, or choose from one of their many international wines.
Cítricos is one of the classier lounges on the bar crawl, so you may want to remove your hat, refresh your make-up, and compose your drunken self before trying to get a coveted spot at one of their limited bar seats. Once you’re there, grab your final appetizer of the night and enjoy a cocktail with the peace of mind of knowing that your liver will be getting a well deserved rest in no time at all.
(Try to hold out for bartender Chris, from Massachusetts, as he was by far our favorite bartender on the adventure.)
3. Tambu Lounge (Polynesian)
No pub crawl is complete without a delicious hollowed out pineapple filled to the brim with rum, rum, and more rum. The Tambu Lounge, on the upper level of the Polynesian Resort, is the embodiment of Disney World. You will feel like you are really in the French Polynesia as you sip on a Lapu Lapu (above) and are getting leid by your bartender.
The only negative thing about the Tambu Lounge is that it gets pretty crowded, as many people wait at the bar before their dinner reservations at Ohana or the Kona Cafe. The positive though, is that there is a good amount of comfortable lounge seating that you can take advantage of once you do get your delicious cocktail.
The bartenders at the Tambu Lounge are the real deal, and they can probably make a Lapu Lapu in their sleep. The bartender I had was making nine of them at one time. It is difficult to find a resort anywhere in the world that is better than the Polynesian, and the Tambu Lounge is one of the main reasons why the Polynesian is so epic.
2. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (Polynesian)
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is by far the most fun stop on the crawl. The catch, however, is that it is very difficult to get in. The bar only allows 51 guests inside at any given time, and you can not make reservations. They will allow you to put your name in at the front desk and they will give you a pager so you know when you can return to get inside.
BUT, even when you finally are allowed to enter, there may not be seats available for you and your party. It is first come, first serve seating, so unless you do not mind sitting down with a stranger, you may want to take a quick peek just to see what all the fuss is about, and head outside to their outdoor patio (which has the same menu of fun drinks and delicious appetizers.)
If you are lucky enough to get inside Trader Sam’s and find a seat, you are in for a treat as the staff is highly dedicated to making it a memorable experience for you and your party. Because of the limited amount of guests at any given time, the staff (particularly the waiters and waitresses) make you feel like you are the most important drunk person in Disney World. This is the ONLY stop along the crawl where not sitting at the bar may be better for you to fully enjoy the Trader Sam’s experience.
1. California Grill (Contemporary Resort)
Not only does California Grill offer the greatest views in Disney World, but it also has the best menu, the best drinks, the best service, and, most importantly, the best overall experience on the Monorail Pub Crawl.
There is an official dress code to get to into California Grill (no hats, no holes in jeans, basically just don’t be a mess.) There is also a very high demand to get up to the restaurant at the top of the Contemporary. We had no problem getting a spot at the bar, but you may want to make a reservation just to be safe. Try to schedule your stop at California Grill close to sunset. This way, you will see the beautiful view of Magic Kingdom in the daytime, but also the breathtaking transition of Cinderella’s Castle becoming illuminated. Also, if you plan on having a full dinner on the pub crawl, this would be the place to do it, especially if you are not on a tight budget as the menu is a bit pricey.
CHOOSING YOUR ROUTE
The MINNIE Route (Easy)
This route is for those that either do not want to drink too much, are on a limited budget, have time restraints, or have underaged members in their party. You’ll experience the crawl and visit all three hotels, but will only stop at the best of the best. Pretty lame, but hey, at least you tried.
3 Stops (estimated time: 2 1/2 hours)
Stop 1 – Contemporary
California Grill (If for some reason you can not get into the California Grill, Wave would be your stop at The Contemporary.)
Stop 2 – Polynesian
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (If you can not get a seat inside, go to the outdoor patio, Make sure to keep your souvenir glass that your cocktail comes in.)
Stop 3 – Grand Floridian
Cítricos (If kids are with you, just go to one of the pool bars at the Grand Floridian.)
ROUTE 2 – The Buzzzzed Lightyear (Medium Difficulty)
5 Stops – (estimated time 4-5 hours) This if for those of you that want to get a good buzz on, and take a reasonably long break from the chaos of the parks. You will get almost the full experience of the entire Monorail Pub Crawl, but will avoid some of the spots that are not overly exciting.
Stop 1 (Contemporary)
California Grill (Substitute Outer Rim for California Grill if you can not manage to get in.)
Stop 2 (Polynesian)
Tambu Lounge (But first be sure to put your name onto the list at Trader Sam’s)
Trader Sam’s (Hopefully you can get a seat inside, but if not, go to the outdoor patio.)
Stop 3(Grand Floridian)
ROUTE 3 -The Donald and Daisy Drunk Route -(Expert Route)
7 Stops (estimated time 5 1/2 – 6 hours) This is the route to experience all the Monorail Pub Crawl has to offer. You will be an unofficial official member of the club if you can get to all these stops, and earn some big Disney bragging points.
Stop 1 – Contemporary
Stop 2 – Polynesian
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Stop 3 – Grand Floridian
*There are also many pool bars/lounges that could take the spot of a drinking spot should there be an issue (i.e. long waits, members of the group that are under 21, hot days, etc.)
Finally, Click here for the Top 10 Tips You Need To Know in order to have a successful Monorail Bar Crawl…
Comment below with any questions you may have about the crawl. And make sure you come back after your trip and let us know about your Monorail Pub Crawl adventures.