The three hotels on the monorail at Disney World in Orlando are the Contemporary, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian. They also happen to be three of the more highly priced hotels that Disney offers. The Grand Floridian is the most expensive of all Disney hotels. There are some other high end hotels offered by Disney that are pricey as well but the monorail usually commands premium rates. The reason for this is the convenience of staying on the monorail.
I have personally stayed at the Grand Floridian, on my honeymoon. Do not get me wrong, it is a beautiful hotel with exceptional service. That week was the best service I have received anywhere for anything. But, the fact is, unless you are planning to only spend your time at the Magic Kingdom and the Epcot Center, the hotels on the monorail are no more convenient than any of the others.
It is no secret that Disney World is huge. In addition to the two parks mentioned in the previous paragraph, Disney offers MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, multiple water parks, Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island, and the ESPN Sports Complex. If you plan to visit most of the parks you will need to either drive a car or utilize Disney’s transportation anyway, so it does not really matter where you stay.
Also, if you think about it, you are not spending much time in the hotel because you are at the parks, or by the pool, or out eating someplace. You can save a lot of money on the trip by going with a cheaper hotel.
There are some advantages to staying on the monorail. If you are an older couple on a vacation, not bringing any kids, you may prefer to stay on the monorail. You may be looking for a more relaxing vacation spent by the pool, or on the beach, where you have access to the park as well as the spas and other luxuries that come with the higher end hotels. The Grand Floridian does offer many of these luxury features. They also have a very relaxing lobby where you can sit and listen to piano music being played. But, you also have quick and easy access to the main parks should you want to see the Main Street Parade or fireworks.
All Disney hotels are clean and give good service. You cannot go wrong with any of them. If you are older and have the money, or if you are younger and splurging on a nice vacation then the hotels on the monorail are a nice treat. If you are looking for the best value for your family vacation I feel the moderate or value level hotels are the best option.