With limited free time before, during or after their meetings and events, convention attendees are always looking for unique ways to make the most of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort. Operating since 1971, the legendary Walt Disney World Monorail has offered not only transportation for daily park visitors and resort guests, but by night, it also offers a most efficient means of exploring the award-winning dining and nightlife options available at some of Disney’s most-acclaimed resort hotels.
Let's take a look at two unique ways attendees can ride the 'Highway in the Sky' to discover food, fun and adventure:
Highway in the Sky Dine-Around
The brand-new Highway in the Sky Dine-Around event gives guests priority boarding on the monorail for an unparalleled dining journey around the circuit between Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Guests start their journey at Disney's Contemporary Resort by checking in at The Wave…of American Flavors restaurant for a welcome cocktail. Then, they board the monorail to be whisked off to Disney’s Polynesian Resort to celebrate the spirit of the South Pacific with island-inspired sips and appetizers. Guests then hop back on the monorail and head to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, stepping into the elegant hotel to enjoy a sumptuous entrée with wine pairing at the award-winning Cítricos. After dinner, guests then sip sparkling wine and sample artisanal cheese in the hotel's lavish lobby.
But, the evening doesn't end there! For the final stop on their magical journey, Guests board the monorail one last time to return back to the Contemporary Resort to enjoy dessert, cordials and coffee on a private patio overlooking the Magic Kingdom Park with a spectacular view of the nightly fireworks show.
The Highway in the Sky Dine-Around is offered Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Cost is $150 per person, including gratuity and valet parking. (Tax is additional). For reservations, attendees should call 407-WDW-DINE.
Monorail Lounge Crawl (Self-Guided Experience)
However, if attendees have already enjoyed a meal with their group, or they are on a tight timeframe or budget, they might be looking to explore the various lounges located along the monorail for themselves. That's why we’ve created a must-do list to help attendees navigate all that these Disney signature bars and lounges have to offer - from the elegant rooftop lounges to "hidden" tiki bars.
Let’s get started at our first stop, the Outer Rim at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
Located on the 4th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, attendees can admire the gorgeous sunset views of Bay Lake before or after dinner at Outer Rim. Light snacks and a full bar menu are available as well as specialty cocktails including Piña CoLAVA, Raspberry-Ginger Mojito and Red Stag Lemonade. The real gem of Outer Rim however, is the popular Blue “Glow-tini” – an out-of-this-world cocktail made with SKYY infusions Citrus Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao, and Pineapple juice with a Sugared Rim and a souvenir glow cube!
California Grill Lounge
Ascend to the hotel's 15th floor to discover California Grill Lounge, featuring panoramic views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park. Inside, lounge visitors will enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant’s lively open kitchen, where chefs combine global flavors in deliciously inventive new ways. On the cocktail menu, be sure to try the Cucumber Fizz with Hendrick’s Gin, limoncello and cucumber water with a splash of lemon-lime soda. For an end of night pick-me-up, try the California Grill Coffee made with Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur with Baileys Irish Cream, Licor 43 and coffee.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Our second stop on our monorail tour is Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Head in to this tranquil hideaway for an enchanting evening packed with fantastic fun and delightful surprises. Attendees can explore the whimsically themed lounge—overrun with ancient artifacts and exotic treasures—or set sail on the open-air Tiki Terrace for a relaxing sip or nibble under the starry sky, complete with the melodious sounds of live Hawaiian-themed musical entertainment. Delicious cocktails unique to Walt Disney World Resort include the Polynesian Pearl, Nautilus, Castaway Crush, Tahitian Torch and the Dark & Tropical Stormy.
Hungry for a taste of the island lifestyle? Attendees can surely order a sharable feast! Sample Hawaiian poke, sushi rolls, salmon oshizushi, chicken lettuce cups with hoisin ginger sauce or the signature bánh mì sliders—made with a savory combination of roasted chicken and pork pâté. Once you’ve tasted the menu, you’ll swear that Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto must be enchanted by island magic!
Located not too far from Trader Sam’s is Tambu Lounge, the perfect location for guests to experience the flavors of the South Seas. Attendees can tiki their fancy at this enchanting watering hole where they’ll find tropical drinks and Hawaiian-inspired appetizers– from exotic wings and pulled pork nachos to island themed cocktails and a full bar menu. The drinks are refreshing and delicious but nothing will help attendees relax after a day of meetings like a Lapu Lapu, Tambu Lounge’s signature cocktail. Served in a hollowed-out pineapple, Lapu Lapu is a delicious blend of rum and tropical fruit juices topped with a teeny-tiny umbrella and a few cherries for good measure.
At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, luxury is an understatement and Cítricos Lounge is no exception. Located inside of Cítricos Restaurant, attendees can unwind with the Mediterranean ambiance where they’ll enjoy international wines, cocktails, artisanal beers and seasonal tapas. This high-end lounge also offers unique specialty cocktails including Cítricos Golden Margarita made with Don Julio Tequila 1942, Grand Marnier and lime juice and the Purity Champagne Martini made with Purity Vodka and Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne.
Just a short walk from Cítricos attendees can then stop at Mizner’s Lounge, located on the second floor of the main lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Enjoy live jazz standards by the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra from this upstairs location tucked behind the bandstand. High-end liquors are poured into classic cocktails like Manhattans and sidecars, while attendees enjoy a beautiful view of the courtyard garden. Port, cognac, scotch and snacks are also available.
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