15 Reasons Why We Love Disney’s Contemporary Resort
During my most recent Disney visit, I stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
For my next Disney trip later this month, I’m booked at…Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Obviously, I must think highly of this hotel to stay here so regularly. And I’m not alone here, as it’s one of Disney’s most popular resorts in the world.
Here are 15 reasons we love Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Much of the magic at the Contemporary occurs on the fourth floor. This Grand Concourse features several fantastic stores and restaurants.
The largest store, Bayview Gifts, sells everything from candy to luggage. I usually mention this since it’s where I bought my suitcase set.
The remarkable diversity of products available here makes it a must-visit store every time I travel to Walt Disney World.
For generations now, the restaurant at the top of the Contemporary has sat atop the list of velvet rope destinations.
You may only reach the hotel’s top floor when you dine at California Grill, and it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
The plate-glass windows overlook Magic Kingdom’s east side, but other seating shows off EPCOT and other parts of the campus, too.
As for the food, this restaurant serves the best brunch in Orlando, and its wine list rivals anything in town.
There’s a reason why California Grill possesses a reputation as a go-to special occasion restaurant.
Do you love to hear the melodic sounds of children’s laughter? If so, Chef Mickey’s is the place to go.
This character meal features Disney’s Fab Five with Mickey Mouse as the host and resident chef.
Children relish the opportunity to interact with these cartoon characters come to life, and grown-ups turn into big kids when Minnie and Mickey reach the table.
The Concourse Deck
I’ve discussed three favorites already, and you’ll find each one on the Grand Concourse.
Just outside Bayview Gifts, you’ll discover doors that lead to a bridge and some outdoor seating.
The bridge leads to Bay Lake Tower, an adjoining resort.
The seating provides a remarkable view of Magic Kingdom along with a one-of-a-kind monorail visual.
The tracks pass mere feet away from these seats, giving you an up-close view of Disney’s signature form of transportation.
You’ll never feel more home at Disney than when you spend a few minutes sitting on the concourse deck.
The Conference Rooms
Over the years, the Contemporary has earned renown as an ideal conference center.
When Disney isn’t booking events at these second-floor conference rooms, it uses them for tourist events.
Holiday parties, especially the Halloween event, have earned acclaim.
In fact, Disney even set up babysitting options for a while so that parents could hang out in these ballrooms.
The resort operates four conference rooms with the largest, Ballroom of the Americas, the place where Richard Nixon proclaimed, “I am not a crook!”
So, these places provide more than good times. They’re also teeming with history.
Every restaurant at the Contemporary will impress you, but Contempo Café earns points for being the cheapest.
This Quick Service restaurant is a lifesaver when you don’t have firm plans for a meal.
Thanks to Mobile Ordering, you can get a quality meal in a matter of minutes.
I love this place at breakfast for its shareable bounty meals, but its lunch/dinner offerings include decadent cupcake options.
Plus, when you dine at the restaurant here, you can watch the monorail zoom by. The restaurant sits a few feet below the track.
The Daily Quiz
Fantasia Marketplace sells all the sundries you’ll need during your visit.
The cast members here also go the extra mile to enhance your Disney vacation.
Each day, they’ll wipe a dry erase board clean and start over with a new Disney trivia quiz.
On most days, the questions will center on a single Disney animated title. Each quiz will challenge your knowledge of even your favorite tales.
Whenever I’m staying at the Contemporary, I look forward to taking the quiz to prove (or disprove) my Disney trivia knowledge.
Okay, this one may sound silly unless you’ve visited the hotel.
Everyone knows about the famous two-story escalators at the Contemporary.
These transporters reside beside the entrance to The Wave… of American Flavors, just past the hotel lobby.
The escalator leads to the aforementioned conference rooms on the second floor.
However, you can then take another batch to reach the Grand Concourse.
So, you may hop around the resort’s action spots – the lobby, the conference rooms, and the Grand Concourse – via an escalator! It’s pretty cool.
Not be confused with Fantasia Marketplace, this shop slots in the middle between that store and Bayview Gifts.
Fantasia Shop features a walkthrough center spine, with the idea being that you’ll casually stroll through it on your way to other Grand Concourse shops.
As such, much of the merchandise here qualifies as impulse purchases like dolls and stuffed animals.
You’ll find some higher-end tourist gifts, though. For example, I’ve bought a monorail set that’s still on sale here. It sometimes sells lightsabers, too.
For whatever reason, Fantasia Shop feels like a place where you’ll find rare Disney novelties, even though everything’s mass-produced.
The Mary Blair Mural
Disney Legend Mary Blair claims responsibility for the puppets at It’s a Small World. She illustrated several Golden Books as well.
So, we’re talking about one of the iconic Disney animators of all-time.
When Disney readied the Contemporary, park officials asked Blair to create a gigantic mural for the Grand Concourse.
She responded with a 90-foot work of art entitled Mosaic that elevates the space.
In 1970, Imagineers had argued that the feature we’ll discuss next led to the Grand Concourse feeling like an airport hangar.
Blair’s masterpiece connected the dots while creating a homey yet artistic atmosphere for the entire area.
The Monorail Station
Part of the reason why Imagineers worried about the ambiance at the Contemporary involved the resort’s most daring choice.
Disney designed a monorail station inside the resort! Yes, the Grand Concourse features a fully functional monorail boarding location.
Thanks to the resort’s brilliant A-frame design, monorails go straight through the building at a spot just above Contempo Café (and Chef Mickey’s).
You can go through Disney security, board the monorail, and arrive at Magic Kingdom in a matter of minutes!
I consider this monorail station one of the best things about Walt Disney World!
The Contemporary actually operates two pools, and guests may use a third at Bay Lake Tower if so inclined.
Of course, there’s no need since the main Contemporary pool is so spacious and charming. It’s also heated, which isn’t the case with most Florida pools.
Better yet, guests may look at the nearby marina from the pool or enjoy the 17-foot-high waterslide. It’s a really great pool area and ideal for sunbathing.
I’ve incidentally referenced this with California Grill and the Grand Concourse deck.
However, the view at the Contemporary counts as one of the best aspects of the entire resort.
Since you’re staying so close to Magic Kingdom, you’re overlooking Space Mountain, Astro Orbiter, and Cinderella Castle.
Obviously, when you stay on a higher floor, your view will be that much better. Anything over the fourth floor will come with a sort of view, though.
The catch is that you must book a particular room type, Theme Park View, to appreciate the wonders.
When you splurge, you can sit on the patio deck outside your hotel room and gaze in wonder at Magic Kingdom.
To ensure that you book the right room, you should speak to an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at MickeyTravels.
These professionals will provide their services to you free of charge, and they’ll hook you up with the Contemporary resort hotel room of your dreams!
You can walk from the hotel lobby of the Contemporary to Magic Kingdom’s entrance in 12 minutes.
I know this because I’ve done it before. The only fly in the ointment is a street crossing with a fussy light that seems anti-pedestrian.
As soon as the light indicates that you may cross the street safely, you’re only moments away from a theme park security checkpoint.
When things go right, you can leave your hotel room and be walking down Main Street, U.S.A., in less than 20 minutes.
Friends, this amenity is like living on the same block as Magic Kingdom. It’s impossibly addictive.
The Wave… of American Flavors
I think you’ve gotten the point by now that the cuisine at the Contemporary qualifies as mind-blowing.
I’ve already mentioned three other very good restaurants, but The Wave may top them all in terms of bang for the buck.
This Table Service eatery serves cuisine that would seem right at home at California Grill. However, the prices are substantially lower.
Also, the atmosphere here is more laid back, meaning that you can eat at The Wave anytime. California Grill feels like more of a special occasions place.
Plus, the hotel lobby location near the escalators (and elevators) makes it easy to reach.
Best of all, The Wave is one of the best-kept secrets at Walt Disney World. Often, you can book a reservation here the day of your meal.
So, you can eat here whenever you want, and the food’s always exceptional!