Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort Guide

There aren’t many hotels in the world that have a monorail running through the lobby – but Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of them! This deluxe Disney resort hotel is within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom – and gives you some of the very best views of the Disney fireworks from anywhere in the World. The Contemporary Resort along with the Polynesian is one of the two original Disney World hotels. Walt Disney’s vision was that the Contemporary should be a vision of the hotel of the future.

There really is nothing to compare to the convenience of staying at a Disney World resort hotel – particularly one located on the Disney monorail system. This gives you very easy access to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. A Disney World hotel stay will also give you the benefits which only Disney resort guests enjoy, such as early and late park entry hours and the Disney Dining Plan.

monorail Disney Contemporary-Resort
monorail passing through the Disney Contemporary Resort

But what is the Disney Contemporary Resort really like? Take a tour around the hotel to find out which are the best rooms, the finest restaurants, and just what is there to do in the hotel.

Disney Contemporary Resort Hotel Rooms

What are the rooms like at Disney’s Contemporary Resort?

The Contemporary resort underwent an extensive refurbishment and now the rooms look amazing again. This is one of my favorite room designs of all the deluxe Disney resorts as I love the contemporary style. Standard rooms are a generous 394 square feet.

You will find standard rooms, concierge-level rooms, and suites in the Contemporary. The standard rooms sleep up to 5 guests and a child under 3 in a crib. This makes it a great value for larger families wanting to stay at a Disney resort.

Each room has 2 Queen beds and a day bed, or a King, and a day bed.

king room Disney Contemporary Resort

The hotel underwent a complete renovation which was completed in 2008 and now the rooms look fantastic. Each room has a wall-mounted flat-screen television and a computer with internet access and Contemporary Concierge which is free to use. There is wireless internet available for your own laptop for which there is a charge.

How much does a room cost at the Contemporary Resort? The price varies according to room type and the season starting at $280 a night for a standard room in low season, up to over $450 a night in Holiday Season. If money is no object then you can book the Presidential Suite which starts at around $2000 a night.

The Contemporary Resort is split into two sections. The Tower, which is the main building with the monorail and restaurants, and the smaller Garden Wing.

The views from The Tower can be of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon, or Bay Lake. Many people prefer The Tower rooms, not only for the views but also because of their close proximity to the monorail and the restaurants. The Tower rooms all have a balcony with two chairs and a table.

The Garden View rooms have a view of the parking lot, the water, or the garden. They don’t have balconies which as you are paying for a deluxe Disney hotel I think is a bit of a downside. The first floor rooms do have patios though so you may want to opt for one of those. The Garden View rooms at the Contemporary are offered at a lower rate than the Tower View so you may decide this gives you better value.

Which are the best rooms in The Tower? Well, my suggestion is to ask for a Magic Kingdom view room on the 9th floor or higher. These of course command a higher rate but if you want the best view then you may be prepared to pay the extra. The only downside to some of the lower floor Tower rooms is that they can be a little noisy as they are located directly above the Grand Canyon Concourse with the restaurants, shops, and monorail.

In the Tower on the Bay Lake side all of the rooms have good views but of course the higher up you go the better it gets.

Disney Contemporary Resort Bathroom Design

I really love this design and want one at home! During the redesign of the rooms, the bathrooms were given special attention too. The modern design gives a very clean contemporary look. Nice touches are the sliding door to give more room, the curved shower curtain to give extra room, and the contemporary double sinks.

bathroom Disney Contemporary Resort

In my opinion, the redesign gives the Contemporary Resort the nicest rooms of the deluxe category hotels in Disney World. But whilst I love the contemporary design some people complain that the sinks do not drain very well and also there is no counter space for storage. So perhaps design has ignored practicality a little.

Is Concierge Level at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Worth the Extra Cost?

The Concierge rooms are located on the 12th and 14th floor of the Tower building. Standard rooms on the 12th floor are exactly the same as any other standard room so you are not getting anything different there. Suites and standard rooms are on the 14th floor. You will have a view either of the Magic Kingdom or Bay Lake depending on which side of the Tower you are assigned. You can request a particular view but of course, this is not guaranteed.

There are 2 concierge club lounges at the Contemporary – both offer the same service. On the 12th floor it is the Atrium Club Concierge and on the 14th the Tower Club Concierge. Both lounges have a great view of the Magic Kingdom and of course, you can use the Disney concierge service to help you plan your stay.

The Concierge lounge also offers complimentary food and drinks. Depending upon how much you use this it can save you a significant amount of money. Breakfast offerings include tea, coffee, juice, pastries, hot and cold cereal, croissants, and fruit. Afternoon snacks include cookies, Goldfish crackers, brownies, pretzels, rice crispy treats, and beverages.

concierge level Disney-Contemporary-Resort

In the evening there is wine and cheese, beer, hot appetizers, crudites with dips. Then there is the wonderful dessert buffet where the selection changes every day.

Concierge includes nightly turndown service too.

Is concierge-level worth the extra money at the Contemporary Resort? Guests’ opinions do differ quite a lot about this. I have stayed in many Disney resorts both in standard and concierge levels and I always check the price difference between the two very carefully. Sometimes the difference in rate can just be made up by eating some of the family meals in the lounge. Breakfast is a quick and easy option. But to be honest, when you are using the Disney Dining Plan this tends not to be quite so much of a saving anyway as you have already prepaid for meals.

The view from the concierge lounges of the Magic Kingdom fireworks is one of the best in the whole of Disney World – so some will say it is worth the upgrade just for that.

Disney World Contemporary Resort Amenities

I really like this workspace area and think it is the best of any Disney resort and perhaps the best of any hotel I have stayed in. Yes, there really is a computer in there with limited internet access and Contemporary Concierge which you can use for free. If you want unlimited access then you do still need to bring your laptop with you to the hotel and there is a daily charge for wireless internet access.

Disney Contemporary Resort Restaurants

If you want one of the finest restaurants with perhaps the best view in the whole of Disney World then head to the California Grill on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort. This is consistently one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Disney World and the view of the fireworks is spectacular.

Head to Chef Mickey’s for one of the most popular Disney character meals. This is one of my favorite character dining locations as not only is the food of good quality for a buffet, but the easy access to the Magic Kingdom on the monorail makes it a great place to start or end the day after a visit to the park. The all you can eat breakfast buffet is $22.99 for adults and $12.99 for children. It has all the usual breakfast offerings, cereals, pancakes, Minnie’s breakfast pizza, Mickey waffles, Goofy’s corned beef hash. Dinner is served from 5.30 to 9.00. There is a great selection here at the buffet including prime rib, tamarind glazed salmon, salad bar, specials for the kids including Mickey’s mac and cheese, and of course some very tempting desserts. The price for dinner is $29.99 for adults and $14.99 for children. Tax and tip not included.

The new Wave restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here you will find breakfast entrees starting at around $10, lunch at $12 and up for an entree and dinner at around $20 to $29 for an entree.

There is another counter service restaurant named the Contempo Cafe. This is located where the Concourse Steakhouse used to be, This is an exciting new idea for Disney – you order from touch screen menus. The food on offer is items such as salads, sandwiches, and hamburgers. There is also a Disney Cast Member on hand just in case the technology is too much for you – but guests are reporting that it is easy to use. There is also a bakery counter where you can order pastries and cakes.

In-room dining is also available at the Contemporary.

View From Disney’s California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

The view from the 15th floor California Grill restaurant is one of the best in the whole of Walt Disney World. It used to be that anyone could go and take a look but now access is limited to diners only. You get a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks as this wonderful photograph shows. The perfect place for a romantic meal at Disney World.

Disney Contemporary Resort Transportation

A monorail Disney Deluxe Resort

One of the biggest attractions of the Contemporary Resort is that not only is it on the monorail system, the monorail actually runs through the lobby. This gives you very easy access to Magic Kingdom and the Transport and Ticket Center TTC.

Another big plus of the hotel is that you can walk to the Magic Kingdom. There are only 2 hotels from which you can walk to Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian and The Contemporary.

Access to EPCOT is also on the monorail system. You take the monorail to the TTC and then change to the EPCOT monorail from there.

Buses are also available to take Contemporary guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. You can take a bus to Downtown Disney after 4 pm.

To get to other Disney resorts you would get the bus to Downtown Disney and then catch another bus to your chosen resort. Or are alternative ways is to catch the monorail to the TTC and then catch a resort bus from there?

Access to the Grand Floridian and Disney’s Polynesian Resort is easy as these hotels are both on the monorail system too, so they are just minutes away.

If you are going to the Hoop De Doo Revue then you can catch a boat to Fort Wilderness from the Bay Lake marina.

If you are looking for the perfect location for the Magic Kingdom then they don’t come any better than the Contemporary Resort.

Disney Contemporary Recreation Facilities

There are 2 swimming pools at the Contemporary resort, one with a water slide. I have to say that whilst the view of Bay Lake from the pool area is good, this is one of the least interesting pools that Disney offers in almost any resort due to the almost complete lack of theming. Aside from the view, there is nothing particularly ‘Disney’ about this pool.

There are plenty of other things to do at the hotel though. There is a health club, video arcade, basketball hoops, beach volleyball, playground, and a sandbox. Usually, there are tennis courts but these are out of action while the new Disney Vacation Club building is being constructed.

If water sports are your thing then you will be well catered for at the Contemporary. You can rent watercraft from the marina and even try out water skiing.

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