Disney’s Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review

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Check out Disney’s Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review before you go on your magical vacation to Disney World. This resort is so much fun and has lots to offer!

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort ReviewAhhhh…Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  Everyone who has ever taken a turn on the monorail or stuffed their face at Chef Mickey’s can spot this A-frame in a heartbeat.  Disney’s Contemporary Resort, fondly known only as The Contemporary, has been a guest favoriteDisney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review since it opened it’s doors. It is one of only two flagship resorts at Walt Disney World on October 1, 1971. For those who are curious, the Polynesian Village is the other flagship resort.

Guests love that the monorail runs right through the middle of the resort and they love to boast about the variety of restaurant choices, the short walk to the Magic Kingdom, the plethora of transportation options, and some of the largest standard rooms on property (the standard tower rooms have 394 square feet of space!).  With numerous amenities and some of the best room views you can find in all of Walt Disney World, it’s no wonder that numerous celebrities and other famous people frequent this resort.  In fact, one of the most famous was Richard Nixon, who delivered his infamous “I am not a crook” speech from the ballroom of The Contemporary.

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort ReviewAccommodations and Room Types

What may surprise guests is that although Disney’s Contemporary Resort has many famous clients, it also has the most versatile room types and price points of any deluxe property. The Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Reviewrooms are very well themed and were recently refurbished in 2013 and include flat panel LCD televisions, comfortable beds with bright bedding and 250 thread count sheets, a spacious desk, and built in closets.  A mini fridge, hairdryer, coffee maker, and safe are all included in each room as well.  There are no less than five room types at the Contemporary, as well as numerous room options at Bay Lake Towers, the DVC counterpart on the Contemporary Resort.  However, since we are focusing on Disney’s Contemporary Resort, we will leave the DVC options for another post.  

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort ReviewDisney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the three monorail resorts in the Magic Kingdom area. There are 633 total guest rooms in the resort, 388 of which are located in the trademark A-frame tower section of the hotel and the other 250 are located in the garden wing, which is a section that is separate from the main building.  There are Standard and Deluxe Garden Wing rooms as well as suites in the garden wing section. The tower boasts Bay Lake View and Theme Park View standard rooms, plus Club Level rooms and suites.  The Bay Lake View rooms have a view of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Electric WaterDisney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review Parade.  The Theme Park View rooms have a view of the Magic Kingdom and the Wishes Fireworks Extravaganza each night.  Most rooms will sleep up to five people with two queens and a daybed, but some sleep more than five.  There are also a few King bed options in this resort, but they are not plentiful.  Other than the rooms with king beds, the Deluxe Garden View room are the only ones that sleep less than five; there is one king bed and one queen sleeper sofa in these rooms, thus only sleep a total of four.  Each room boasts an average of 435 square feet, which is quite spacious in comparison to the other resorts on property.  Check in is at 3 p.m. each day and check out is at 11 a.m.   However, guests who arrive at 7 a.m. or later may leave their bags with the front desk if they would like to enjoy the parks before their room is available.  Online check-in is available starting 60 days before arrival through the My Disney Experience app and this does speed the check-in process up considerably.  

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort ReviewDining Options

If dining is your thing, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the place to be. There are 9 different eateries on property and the variety is sure to please everyone in your family.  

California Grill

California Grill is one of Walt Disney World’s finest restaurants and is located on the 15th floor of the hotel.  It offers majestic, panoramic views of both the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom. California cuisine is the speciality here and their focus is on seasonal ingredients and specialties such as sushi, flatbreads, and a rotating menu of items such as steamed mussels and oak grilled filet.  There are also over 300 wines available and a sommelier is at your service, should you need one. The California Grill is most well known for being the best spot outside of Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes, but if you aren’t able to score a reservation during the fireworks you can bring your receipt back to the check in desk and they will escort you to the lounge area or observation deck. California Grill is of the few signature restaurants on property, which means it will require two dining credits for those on the Disney Dining Plan. There is a dress code that is enforced, so please note that men should wear khakis, dress pants or dress shorts and a collared shirt.  Women should wear capris pants, skirts, dresses, or jeans and a dressy shirt. Click HERE for our dining review of California Grill.

Chef Mickey’s

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort ReviewChef Mickey’s is one of the biggest family favorites out of all the character meals available at Walt Disney World.  So many people love this restaurant because you can dine and meet the Fab Five, which will save you some time since you won’t need to stand in line to meet all of the characters in the parks too.  Chef Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, Minnie and Donald are all there on a regular basis and meet at breakfast, brunch, and dinner.  Expect to find standard buffet style food; omelets, bacon, Mickey waffles and the famous breakfast pizza can be found at breakfast and brunch and prime rib, peel and eat shrimp, chicken, pasta and seafood are all available.  This restaurant also has some of the best kid choices on the buffet, so no one will leave hungry.  Advance dining reservations are highly recommended and go quickly, so plan to schedule this one at exactly 180 days.

The Wave

The Wave serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a focus on sustainable, organic, locally sourced foods.  This restaurant is located on the first floor, just past the front desk.  Expect Columbian press-pot coffee and multigrain french toast for breakfast and fresh seafood, sustainable fish, and beef burgers for lunch.  For dinner, the focus is on lamb, sustainable fish, seasonal vegetables, and a delicious no-sugar added creme brulee.

Quick Service

Disney’s Contemporary Resort also has 2 quick service locations if you are in a hurry.  The Contempo Cafe is located just outside of Chef Mickey’s and has some great, quick options like burgers, sandwiches and salads. Contemporary Grounds is the coffee shop at this resort and offers up gourmet coffees, smoothies, teas, and freshly baked goods if you need a caffeine fix and a snack before hitting the parks or enjoying the scenery.  

If you are looking for a drink to get you through, there are 2 bars at the Contemporary Resort.  The Outer Rim has cocktails and appetizers, plus a spectacular view of the Seven Seas Lagoon.  If you find yourself catching some rays out by the pool and are in need of some refreshments, head over to Sand Bar for your pick from plenty of yummy snacks and beverages.


If you can take your mind off of food or the theme parks, you will find that Disney’s Contemporary Resort has so much to keep you occupied. Take aDisney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review swim at the “bullseye pool” out near Bay Lake or take a swim at the main pool with the 17 foot slide or rent a cabana and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather.  While you can’t swim in the lake, you can head over to the marina and rent sailboats, pontoon boats, water-skis, and other water sport items.

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review

And of course, don’t forget about the splash pad convenient to the lobby and the lake. Don’t be afraid to watch the kiddos at the splash pad and have a poolside snack and adult beverage! (Check out Mandi’s article, The Magic Is Still Alive Through The Cast Members At Disney World, to see how much her kids enjoyed the Splash pad at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. 

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review

If you feel the need to burn off those calories from the delicious Disney delicacies, you can play tennis or find the fitness center for a small daily fee.  There is also a walking trail or you can simply walk over to Magic Kingdom and run up the miles on your pedometer.  Don’t forget the arcade and a playground for the kids and the children at heart.

Disney's Contemporary Resort: A Disney World Resort Review

Whether you want to walk over to Magic Kingdom, chow down at Chef Mickey’s, enjoy the fireworks from the California Grill Lounge or take a boat for a spin around the Seven Seas Lagoon, a stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will put you in the middle of the magic.

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Mandi is a wife, Mom of 3, writer, creator of WaltExpress.com, and self-proclaimed Disney nerd. She loves to travel to Disney Destinations and blog about her magical experiences so she can share all the tips, tricks and tidbits she picks up during her travel. She and her family visit Disney World several times a year and she is always in the know when something new is happening and she shares it here first! Mandi also works as an online consultant by empowering women to be all they can be in all aspects of their life. You can find her at www.AmandaMiddleton.me

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