Disney Recipe (and Happy Hour!): Monorail Drinks from Top of the World Restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

I have an old souvenir book from my first trip to Disney in the late seventies. And while it’s super fun to look through the whole thing, some of my favorite images are from Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

It’s here that I first learned about Top of the World, the restaurant that once occupied the spot that California Grill calls home these days.

Well, the seventies glamour that epitomized the Contemporary may have given way to a sleek mix that is both modern and retro at once, but we don’t have to look too far to bring some of those fun days back. Thanks to Disney cookbooks, their cocktails live on!

That’s right! I’m talking about those famous and delicious Monorail Drinks!

If you love retro Disney cocktails like we do (hellooooo, Kungaloosh!), then you’re going to really love this post. Because we’re not giving you just one recipe, but three! Seriously — how much cooler will your next party be?? Very. You’re welcome.

Can't You Just Feel Monorail Red Swooshing By??

Can’t You Just Feel Monorail Red Swooshing By??

So Please Stand Clear of the Doors (Por Favor Mantengase Alejado de las Puertas) — get those blenders ready — and, GO!

Monorail Cocktails

Top of the World

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Monorail Pink

Serves 1

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Review: Top of the World Lounge at Disney World’s Bay Lake Tower

Join us as we visit one of the most exclusive spots in all of Walt Disney World, Top of the World!

This classy lounge is located high atop (natch) Bay Lake Tower, the Disney Vacation Club property that’s adjacent to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Because of its great vantage point, Top of the World boasts incredible views of its surroundings; and it’s a muy popular viewing area for Magic Kingdom’s fireworks displays.

Menu Cover

With an extensive bar and some signature light snacks and desserts, Top of the World makes for a great place to relax and grab a bite and a drink in the evening. I recently had the opportunity to visit the exclusive spot with a friend who is a DVC member (that’s right; you can’t get in unless you’re a DVC member). We thought you’d enjoy tagging along for the fun.


Yup — top of the World Lounge is an exclusive perk, available only to Disney Vacation Club members. When it first opened, only DVC Members who were staying at Bay Lake Tower could access the lounge. But later, DVC members staying anywhere at Walt Disney World were invited to enjoy the lounge. For the last few years, access to Top of the World has been determined on a year-by-year basis.

Gaining access is a snap (provided that you qualify to enter, that is). Simply show your room key to the check in desk in the Bay Lake Tower lobby, and you’re escorted to an express elevator that will whisk you to the top floor.

Once there, step into the splendor that is Top of the World.

Comfortable Seating Area

Much like Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the decor reminds you of something modern and retro all at once. You get the feeling that you’re envisioning the future from forty years ago.

And check out this completely fabulous chandelier! Far out! I swear, it’s like the Jetsons are going to walk in any minute. (Speaking of the Jetsons, don’t you wish you had one of those conveyor belt taking-a-shower-and-getting-dressed-all-at-once things? No? Just me?)


The lounge is intimate — there’s seating for only 77 people. There’s all of this sorta mixed, comfy-couch seating in the middle, and tables with chairs around the outside.

Seating Area from Another Angle

In true luxurious, super-exclusive fashion, there’s even this sweet little [Read more…]

News! Update on Disney’s New Rapid Fill Refillable Mug

According to sources, Disney World will soon be bringing the new Disney Rapid Fill Refillable Mug program to Disney resort hotels.

Tested at All-Star Sports Resort a while back, and much like the process currently in use at Disney’s Water Parks, the new system would use an RFID bar code on each mug to give Disney guests access to refills for a pre-purchased period of time. The mug will then deactivate itself at the end of the purchased time frame.

But as of today, it’s looking more and more like the rumors may be true. Although at this time the Rapid Fill Refillable Program has not been confirmed by Disney, we have news today that the fountain machines at some beverage refilling stations at Walt Disney World resorts have been replaced with new machines that resemble those in a demo video by the company ValidFill.

The first set of photos are from the Beach Club Marketplace, where the machines were installed earlier this week.

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

Newly Installed Beverage Refill Station at Beach Club Marketplace

In this photo, you can see the small screen that provides the customer detailed information about their refill as it dispenses, as well as the trays below the fountain taps that reads the cup’s sensor.

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station -- Up Close

New Beach Club Marketplace Refill Station — Up Close

The same set up is in place at All-Star Music Resort’s beverage refill station. The screens here are [Read more…]

Disney World Cheese Plate Gallery


After several years…and lots of cheese…we’ve finally put together a list of many of the cheese plates found in Walt Disney World restaurants!

Cheese from Tutto Gusto in Epcot's Italy

For those who have never had a cheese plate in a Disney World restaurant, here’s a little Disney cheese plate primer:

  • Cheese plates are often offered as both an appetizer and a dessert
  • They usually provide small samples of three, four, or five cheeses
  • Cheese plates are served with accompaniments like dried fruits, nuts, compotes, honey, and small pieces of toast or crackers
  • The samples are usually arranged from mild to strong, with a veined blue cheese almost always at the end of the line

You’ll find goat milk, cow milk, and sheep milk cheeses with varied aging processes and preparations. If you’re dining in a themed restaurant, the cheeses may be themed as well (e.g. Cheeses from California).

I can highly recommend pairing just about anything with honey or dried raisins on the vine. ;-) In fact, I usually ask my server to bring an extra side of honeycomb since I nearly always run out.

Another tip: always ask for more little toasts. Even if you’re NOT sharing with a dining partner, you’ll still run out.

We’ve had many requests for this type of post — there are a lot of cheese lovers out there — so I hope this is helpful. Note that plates change often, so you may find different cheeses and accompaniments on your visit. Please share your reviews and experiences in the comments section below!


Les Chefs de France
Plateau de fromages de France
My very favorite cheese plate in all of Disney World is found here, at Chefs de France. The creamy, delicious cheeses in large portions could probably be a meal in themselves!

Imported cheese board $14.50. Available at lunch and dinner.

Cheese Plate

Le Cellier
Assortment of Artisanal Cheese
accompanied with Chef’s Selection of Dried Fruits and Preserves $14.00. See our review!

Cheese Plate

Boulangerie Patisserie
Cheese Plate
Get a similar plate to the one in Chefs de France over here at the [Read more…]

Grand Launch Sale: The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book

We’re excited to announce the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book! It’s now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2012 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 310 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2012 to get a $4 discount this week only!

If you purchased the 2011 Guide last year, scroll down for details on repeat purchase discounts. Also, scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on the 6-word Restaurant Review winner, Vicky B!

What’s In The Guide?

As you know, the Guide includes:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from budgeting and booking to kids’ meals and fireworks.
  • A comprehensive and in-depth look at Disney World dining, including tips and tricks to ensure a positive and stress-free dining experience.
  • The ability to be read on your mobile device or computer!

While our 2011 Guide was very extensive, Disney World is always updating menus, prices, and other dining info. And we’re always finding new things to tell you about! So we’ve updated our 2012 edition with over 60 new pages of details along with more photos, coverage of new Disney dining experiences, exclusive games, and more!

In addition to these updates, our 2012 Guide adds:

  • Over 60 new pages of Disney Dining information
  • More Disney food and restaurant photos, and NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An entire chapter focused on Snacks in the theme parks and resorts, one of the most popular Disney dining topics
  • Disney Dining Trivia to play while you’re waiting in line (or waiting for a table!)
  • Exclusive Disney food-themed scavenger hunts for each Disney World theme park
  • A comprehensive section of Disney Food news and updates from the past year, including new restaurants, new menus, and more
  • Brand new “Top 5” lists to help you make quick dining decisions
  • A brand new At-A-Glance section featuring quick facts such as how to locate your lost dining reservations, where to dine with the princesses, or where to pick up a six-pack of beer
  • New Snack Crawls through the parks and resorts
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

And the best part is: the price hasn’t changed! Our extensive Disney Dining information, updated and added to with 60+ extra pages and countless new details, will cost you the same amount that it did in 2011.

But, of course we’re offering a [Read more…]

News! Complimentary Beer Sampling at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

UPDATE: Since posting this, we have gotten word that this beer tasting is only for guest staying at the Contemporary Resort or Bay Lake Towers. We’d heard differently from a Contemporary CM before printing, but this word is directly from the manager at the restaurant. Sorry folks!

In a recent comment, reader Bill M. (thanks, Bill!!) told us about a Beer Tasting that happens every Saturday at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! I made some phone calls to find out the deets, and we’ve got ‘em right here!

Visit The Wave’s lounge to sample complimentary beer each Saturday, from 3-4 p.m.. Three certified organic beers by Orlando Brewing Company are provided, making this a great stop on your monorail crawl.

Don’t like beer? While your friends are sipping complimentary brew, order a screw-top wine (ya gotta pay for it, though).

Beer Sampling

While this activity is advertised in the Disney’s Contemporary Resort (and Bay Lake Tower) Recreation Activities Guide, you do not need to be a guest of the resort to participate. Of course, the beer tasting is only open to [Read more…]