Introduction and background
We stayed at the Contemporary Resort for 6 days/5 nights from June 11-16. The main reason for the trip was for a work conference I was attending at the Contemporary. The best part was that not only was my job paying for 4 of the nights, the mileage there and back, and a food per diem, but the room rate was so phenomenal, that we had to take advantage and stay an extra night. $179 per night and no tax…yes, please!
Oh and Brett and Trent tagged along. One would think that it was torture sitting in a conference all day while at the Happiest Place on Earth, especially since it was an accounting conference…us CPAs aren’t known for our party-hard skills…but it wasn’t bad since it was so unbearably hot during the day that we wouldn’t have wanted to even go to a park anyway.
I did not do any type of pre-trip report for this trip. Why? Because when I tediously put together a pre-trip report for our April trip and shared it all over the interwebs, it got completely rearranged the second we arrived on property. Oops.
Since this was our first time staying in a monorail resort (ballers!), our main goal was to maximize the convenience factor…so the plan was to do either Epcot or Magic Kingdom each day, but we didn’t have any specific plans on which one we did on each day. We kinda winged it and it ended up working out so well.
Day 1 – Tuesday
For this trip, our plan of attack for the drive down was to leave early enough that Trent would continue sleeping for a good portion of it, so we wanted to leave around 5am. As per usual, we left around 6am, and he woke up as soon as we put him in the car seat. He fell back asleep not long after, and woke up again just in time for us to eat breakfast at Krystal’s. Trent enjoyed the heck out of the pancakes…after all, I think there was more butter than pancake in those things.
We arrived at WDW around 10am and proceeded right to Animal Kingdom. We had to stand in line at Guest Relations to get our passes before we could go in and of course there was about 6 people in line already. Here is where we quickly remembered why we don’t go during June…or the summer. We hadn’t even been standing there for 10 minutes and we were sweating and almost miserable.
We got our passes and started walking towards Rafiki’s Planet Watch train, since we didn’t get to do that last time and we thought Trent would like seeing the goats.
We passed by Kilimanjaro Safaris and the line was outside past the entrance. Holy wait time Batman! MUCH different than when we were here the last time in April. Luckily, there was no wait for the train, so we headed out to pet some goats.
But first, we ran into this guy.
Almost all of the goats were laying down in the shade. Only us humans were the dummies walking around in the hot sun. Trent seemed to really enjoy petting the goats.
“These goats are Hi-LARIOUS!”
The photo below is called “Hey ma, can we get a goat now?”
We washed our hands and then took the train back.
As soon as we stepped off, we looked at each other and knew…”Let’s get out of here!” It was H-O-T!
So we decided to go check in at the hotel in hopes that our room was ready. There was a lot of construction going on in the area, but it was still pretty easy to get where we needed to go. I was a bit disappointed to learn that our room was in the garden wing, which I guess is where they stuck a good portion of the conference attendees. I asked if there were any rooms in the main building since we were checking in early and we are passholders that come all the time (yep, I said it! Just a smidge shy of “Don’t you know who I am?” on the proud-meter) but they said no. I think they were lying, and I guess I don’t blame them since I’m sure they’d rather give a better experience to the people that paid full price.
The lady that was checking in next to me had me shaking my head the entire time. I didn’t catch all of it, but she was apparently pissed because she wasn’t in the main building, so she was complaining and crossing her arms and shaking her head…so they got a manager who called around and said she was able to open up a room that was just recently closed for repairs and therefore wasn’t open for booking. Of course, the lady was like “What kind of repairs?” and yet she was still not satisfied. Some people just can’t be pleased, ya know? I wonder if I would have done the same thing, got all mad and stomped my feet like a child, if I would have gotten upgraded. But I can’t do that and I was just happy I was staying there for mostly free.
For the first time ever, we paid the porter to take our bags to our room.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Since Brett and Trent were going to be staying in the hotel all day while I was at the conference, we brought food, a bunch of toys and more baggage than we normally do and I was so very happy I didn’t have to move any of it. We were on the 3rd floor too, so we would have had to use the tiny elevator each time…which took forever. All of the elevators at the Contemporary Resort seemed extremely slow, especially the one in the garden wing closest to the main building. I opted for the stairs when it was just me going to and from the conference because it was much faster to do so.
Before we took over the room with our luggage, toys, food, etc. we took some photos of the room. There was so much more room than we were used to…nice!
Now, our tour guide, Trent, will lead you on a tour of our room at the Contemporary.
“This is the entrance as you are walking though the door. The carpet is much nicer on my knees as I crawl, but this tile here is cold and hard.”
“Immediately to the left is the bar and closet area. There is a coffeemaker, which I’m surprised Mommy didn’t use this entire trip. She must not have liked the creamer they gave us to use.”
“There are 2 closets. This one here has the safe in it where mommy and daddy put our valuable stuff in it, like my bottles, cheesy puffs and cookies. Wait? We left those out in the open? They could have been stolen!”
“To the right is the bathroom. Mommy and Daddy both had their own sinks. The bath was perfect for me.”
“You want to see what? The toilet? Ok, but you’re own your own for that one.”
“There was a separate room for the toilet that had a sliding door. There was also extra room in there, so this is where we put our pop-up hamper for dirty clothes.”
“Ok, let’s head into the main room. Here is a couch that I tried to climb a bunch of times. Mommy and Daddy sure like to say “no” a lot. I wonder what that means….”
“Look at all this room I have to crawl around!”
“Here is our big comfy bed. We need to finish up our tour so I can take a nap soon!”
“But first, it’s time to play!”
“There is a tv to watch cartoons on and a ledge around the entire entertainment center to put my snacks and diapers on.”
“Over here by the bed was a long desk. Mommy and Daddy put a bunch of computers, cameras and wires up here. I wasn’t allowed up there other than for purposes of this tour.”
“Our favorite part of the room was this big window! We could look out and see the monorail zipping by through the main building…it was so cool!”
Not long after we got to our room, Trent took his nap and it started storming. This was how we were welcomed on our last trip. Thanks mother nature, do you not like the house of mouse?
At this point, it was past lunch time, but we knew we had to eat or else our dinner would be ruined. So Brett walked to the Contempo Cafe while I went online and booked an ‘Ohana ADR for that night.
Brett brought our lunch back to the room…we both got Turkey BLT sandwiches with fries and a refillable mug (because I don’t have enough of them at home…said no one ever).
Then the most unusual thing happened…we all took a nap! Trent was still sleeping once we finished eating so we fell asleep next to him. Brett never naps…but the Disney bug got him and he couldn’t resist. It could have also been because we woke up at 4 am…
After our nap, I gave Trent a bath around 7pm, since we didn’t know what time we’d get back to the room. Then it was time to head to the Polynesian for our dinner at ‘Ohana. On our way to the monorail, we took a pit stop to see if we could find the fireworks viewing spot at the Contemporary. I knew about it, but forgot to look up it’s exact location prior to our arrival. There are no signs leading to it, but I just decided to go out one of the exit doors and there it was!
Bret immediately got excited and busted out his camera. The sun was setting and the sky was so gorgeous and filled with pink, orange and purple…combine that with the changing castle colors and he was like a kid in a candy store. Or more like him in a candy store because he gets just as excited about candy as any kid would.
We wanted to stay longer, but the delicious food at ‘Ohana was calling our names.
Wow – how convenient it was to just hop on the monorail over to the Polynesian! We aren’t ballers in real life yet, so the full price of the Contemporary is a little out of our price range, but man, I can see why people pay extra for this. It sure was nice.
A few days before our trip, I read on Disney Food Blog that the Polynesian had added a flavored iced coffee station that could be used with a refillable mug…so I had to get on that asap. I purchased at least 2 of the iced vanilla coffees during our last trip, so I was ready to recoup my costs. It’s located in Captain Hooks on the beverage station next to the soda and coffee. Mmm…delicious.
Since we had a little bit of time before our reservation at ‘Ohana, we took a stroll to the beach to catch some of the Electrical Water Pageant. Then we checked in a little early, hoping to be seated early, but that didn’t happen.
Even though we were there around the fireworks time, our table was in a terrible spot by the door to the kitchen and we could only see small glimpses of fireworks, but we had a good view of the fire pit.
Trent enjoyed the bread (this kid is a carbohydrate addict), the passionfruit from the salad, some pieces of chicken wings, noodles, chicken from the skewer….and of course, the bread pudding and ice cream.
The past couple of times we’ve been to ‘Ohana, we were pretty disappointed in the service. The food took forever and we often wondered if we had been forgotten about. This time was much much better.
Their salad is so simple, yet tasty, but I always have to make myself stop eating it because I want to save room for the rest of the food.
None of us eat the potstickers/dumplings and I always feel bad as if I should have told them they don’t have to give us any so we don’t have to waste them. 100% of the wings were devoured, though.
We L-O-V-E the noodles. Trent thought they were good too.
Time for the stars of the show…the meat, baby!
Oh wait, I spoke too soon….THIS is the star of the show.
I was THISCLOSE to ordering a second helping. One day you will be mine, second helping of delicious bread pudding, one day.
Overall, Trent did really well at a 9:45pm dinner. We took the monorail back to the Contemporary, but not before noticing the CRAZY line at Magic Kingdom to get on the monorail. I was so happy to not be dealing with that.
Getting back to the room was much easier than if we were staying at a non-monorail resort and not dealing with driving, parking and more walking.
I gathered up my materials for the conference the next day and we called it a night.