We have stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort three times now, but unfortunately have not eaten at every restaurant, stayed in every room or experienced everything that the resort has to offer. However, I have lots of photos to share and even a video of some of the areas around and in the resort. I already did a little bit of a run-through of our room during our June Trip Report from last year, but I wanted to share a separate full review of the resort itself.
The Contemporary Resort is located right next to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida. It is a Deluxe Resort and is on the monorail loop and is known for how the monorail travels directly through the center of the main building!
The Magic Kingdom is within walking distance, and there is a nice trail to take between the two. The walk takes about 10-15 minutes at a normal pace. The check-in area is moderately large, but nothing compared to the Value resorts. However, I have never seen it very busy and there is also a little waiting area with a tv.
There are 3 restaurants and 1 counter service location. The California Grill is located on the 15th floor. We’ve never eaten there, but the menu looks fantastic and the views of the Magic Kingdom and fireworks even more so. There is a viewing deck located outside for anyone eating at the restaurant to step out onto and enjoy the view.
The Wave is located next to the check-in desks on the main floor. We haven’t eat here yet either.
Rounding out the trio of restaurants is Chef Mickey’s. It is a character buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have eaten here twice and while we think the food is pretty standard, the character interaction is always fun and is a great way to meet the Big 4 characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald.
The quick service location is called Contempo Cafe. It is located to the right just before you reach the Chef Mickey check-in counter on the 4th floor. There are several ordering stations equipped with a touch screen and photos of all the menu items. You order on the screen and receive a number. There are beverages and dessert cases for you to choose from. Once you order and pick up any additional items, you check out with the cashier and either wait for your food, or you can get a number to have them bring it out to your table. You can also get your items to-go. The small seating area can get pretty full during peak hours. The Refillable Mug stations are located in this area, as well.
This area also contains a few shops and an arcade. I love that there are windows everywhere you look so you can have a nice view everywhere you turn. Also on this floor is a fireworks viewing deck. There are a few rows of benches and the music from Wishes will play during the show. The view is a bit off-center, but it’s definitely a great way to relax and see Wishes without the park crowds.
All three times we’ve stayed here, we had a room in a parking lot/main building view in the Garden Wing. The location may not have been great compared to a Theme Park view in the main tower, but the price was decent (the first time was free from a work conference and the other two times there were nice Florida Resident or AP discounts). In fact, depending on where your room is, you may even be able to catch a bit of Wishes and the Castle…a fireworks view for 1/3rd of the price!
We definitely enjoyed the extra space compared to our usual Value rooms…as did Trent!
When you first enter the room, there are two closets on the left with a little bar area in the middle…this is where the coffee machine, refrigerator and some extra drawers are.
There is a couch, cushioned chair, side table and dresser. There will either be one King bed or two Queen beds.
The TV area has a small ledge that wraps around and is great for setting small items on.
There is a large desk on one side of the room…which always turned into our “command center” with cameras, laptops, tablets and plenty of wires!
The bathroom has two nice large sinks, but they are very shallow. They look nice, but don’t leave much room for counter space to set your stuff on. We used the space below the sinks and then even put stuff in the one sink and kept the other one for both of us to use.
This may be totally random, but every time we use the shower or bath, the water is so fickle. You spend a minute getting the right temperature, then a minute later it’s too cold, then 2 minutes later it’s too hot…I spend half the shower adjusting the water temperature!
The toilet is located in a separate room with a sliding door. There is extra space in this room where we placed our hamper for dirty clothes.
Our view was also nice, as we were able to see the monorail zipping by throughout the day. Twice we were able to see parts of Wishes from our window! I’ll definitely take a fireworks view without having to pay for one!
As far as activities go, there definitely is no shortage. There is one pool with a water slide and a small “splash” zone. This splash zone is laughable compared to the one at Art of Animation, but at least they offer one. In that same area is the Sand Bar, where you can grab a bite to eat or a frosty drink.
There is a small beach located directly behind the pool that goes into Bay Lake. Next to that is the boat dock that has some seats at the end. There is a motor launch that runs in Bay Lake and services the Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness to and from the Magic Kingdom. You can also see the nightly Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake.
With the monorail, we have enjoyed numerous days of not even using our car (we drive to WDW and use our car instead of the buses). Not only can you take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, which saves a ton of time, but you can also go to the other resorts on the loop (great for meal reservations) and hop over to the EPCOT monorail. Since we are still in the stroller phase (and about to go to the double-stroller stage – yikes!) the convenience of being able to hop on and off the monorail without folding/unfolding a stroller was phenomenal…especially when I was by myself and Brett was already at a park. Dealing with the stroller can be a pain on trams. I also like the convenience of being able to walk, which is always helpful when you see the astronomically long line for the monorail to leave after the fireworks and you can choose to avoid it.
With all that being said, perhaps my favorite part of the Contemporary is being so close to the action. From the fireworks viewing decks to the monorail access to the short walking distance, being so close to the Magic Kingdom definitely makes the vacation a bit more magical. While the resort isn’t overly Disney-themed, which many, including me at first, might think takes away from the Disney feel, the close proximity to the park of all parks more than makes up for it.
During one of our trips, I took a stroll around the resort and filmed a bit of it to create a video for y’all. Enjoy!
While I won’t give The Contemporary Resort an overall rating, I will say that whether you like it depends on your preferences. Honestly, before we ever stayed here, Brett and I used to say we probably wouldn’t ever stay at this resort because it looked too plain…it lacked the Disney ambience. But then we stayed here once and have been hooked mostly because of one thing…convenience. So if you like being close to the Magic Kingdom and on the monorail loop, but want a bit of a better price than other monorail loop resorts, then choose the Contemporary.
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