One of the biggest bucket list items for a Walt Disney World vacation is the Theme Park View room. Specifically, a big wish is for a Theme Park View room with a view of Magic Kingdom from one of the three monorail resorts—Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary.
In this post, we show examples of Theme Park View rooms at all three of these hotels, as well as explaining some things to know about each.
Seven Seas Lagoon Layout
The monorail resorts sit around the Seven Seas Lagoon, a man-made lake that is also home to Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Magic Kingdom sits on the north end of the Seven Seas Lagoon, and Main Street U.S.A. is itself oriented more or less perfectly north/south. That means the “best” views of any fireworks at Magic Kingdom will come from the south.
On the eastern side of Seven Seas Lagoon—more like northeast corner—is Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This is the only resort you can walk to Magic Kingdom from. It’s about a ten-minute walk. Contemporary is also the first stop on the monorail departing Magic Kingdom.
On the southeast edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon is the second monorail stop, the Transportation and Ticket Center. Next door, on the south / southwest edge is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Polynesian is the third stop on the monorail departing Magic Kingdom.
Finally, on the west side of the Seven Seas Lagoon is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. It is the last stop on monorails departing Magic Kingdom, but only one stop away when going to the Magic Kingdom.
Theme Park View Room at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Theme Park View rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are located in the Main Tower—the large, A-Frame building that the monorail passes through (note: no need to worry about noise from the monorail, it’s quite quiet). The first thing to note about the Theme Park View from Contemporary is that it is close—really close.
Pictures can’t quite do the view justice, unfortunately, but you honestly can spend all day spotting different features of the park and trying to mentally map out exactly what buildings you’re looking at.
From Contemporary, we were able to see globs of people moving about. You couldn’t spot an individual, but you could see, for example, the bridge into Liberty Square.
You’ll get a similar view from the Contemporary Resort Atrium Club Level Lounge, which from the 12th Floor offers some of the best views.
The only downside to the Contemporary Theme Park View rooms is the angle. The view from the Contemporary Theme Park View rooms is represented by the blue arrow on the below picture. The short green arrow is the view directly down Main Street U.S.A.
As you can see, Contemporary offers the most skewed angle of the park, which means the fireworks aren’t positioned properly at all, but they are close and stunning.
Honestly, we didn’t consider this a big deal, especially when you factor in that you’re close enough to see the projections on the castle (though definitely not in their full detail).
A final note about these rooms—a bigger deal in our minds—is that the only way to hear the music for the fireworks is through your television. This is terribly insufficient, as you have to pump up the television to full volume, at which point the music becomes a terrible, garbled mess.
Theme Park View Rooms at Polynesian Village Resort
The Theme Park View Rooms at Polynesian Village are located in the Tuvalu and Hawaii buildings. Some suites in the Tonga building have views of the Magic Kingdom, but they’re not comparable because they’re set back and look over the marina.
While they are the farthest from Magic Kingdom, the views from Polynesian are the most direct. They’re almost perfectly aligned with the view down Main Street U.S.A. In the picture below, views from Polynesian are represented by the purple area (Main Street U.S.A. is the green arrow).
From Polynesian, you’ll be able to identify Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Cinderella Castle, the Main Street U.S.A. railroad station, Astro Orbiter, and Space Mountain.
While there’s nothing quite like the views from Contemporary, there is a lot to love about the views from Polynesian. There’s a real—to use a made up term—”panoramic balance” to these views. You have Grand Floridian to the left, Contemporary to the right, and Magic Kingdom square in the middle, all across the beautiful lagoon.
Guests with access to Polynesian’s King Kamehameha Club Level Lounge will have similar views from that lounge:
Because they look nearly directly north at Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian Theme Park View rooms offer a more traditional view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
Because the beach at Polynesian is a popular firework-watching spot, the firework music is played across the waterfront, allowing you to properly enjoy the fireworks from your balcony.
Now, if there’s a downside here, it’s that anyone can save the money and just watch the fireworks from the beach to get the same view and music. That picture above is the view over the beach from the area open to anyone—not too bad for a free view.
Theme Park View Rooms at Grand Floridian
There are two distinct Theme Park View room categories at Grand Floridian. The more common view is the Outer Building Theme Park View.
Outer Building Theme Park View rooms have an angled, but wide look at Magic Kingdom (yellow arrow below). Unfortunately, we haven’t (yet) stayed in these rooms. You can find video walkthroughs here (daytime) and here (nighttime), but note that the rooms in those videos may not be the newest, I’m linking to them purely to show you the views.
Because they don’t share a view with any public spaces, you’ll have to rely on your own television for fireworks music.
Guests who want to pay the premium for Grand Floridian’s Royal Palm Club Level can stay in the Grand Floridian Main Building Theme Park View rooms. Despite being in the main building, having Club Level access, and being quite expensive, the theme park views from these rooms are worse than the theme park views from the Outer Building rooms.
You’ll be looking over the marina at Magic Kingdom, with Cinderella Castle the only notable structure you’ll have a view of. On the plus side, the firework music is played over the marina, which means—angle aside—you’re set up for a great firework experience.
Which Theme Park View Room To Pick?
For a true “wow” experience, nothing beats the Theme Park View rooms from Contemporary. They offer a unique view that you really can’t get anywhere else on property.
The Theme Park View rooms at Polynesian are a good alternative, the big caveat being that you have to decide how much you want to pay for a view you can mostly get for free. That said, the panoramic view and firework music make these fantastic rooms.
The Grand Floridian Outer Building rooms are also a good option. You’ll lose the firework music and direct angle, but you’re closer to Magic Kingdom. This is maybe a wash, but we still think Polynesian is better.
In last place would be the Grand Floridian Main Building Theme Park View rooms. Unfortunately, these are really just “Cinderella Castle” view. Is that still an amazing view? Yes. But does it compare to the other views you can get around Seven Seas Lagoon? Definitely not.
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