With over 20 resorts to choose from at Walt Disney World, deciding on your home away from home at the most magical place on earth can be a little overwhelming. To make the decision process a little easier, we cover everything you need to know about the various Disney resort hotels from pools and dining to room size and sound levels.
We recently stayed in one of the new The Incredibles-inspired guest rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; and while you can check out all of those details and our review here, it’s worth noting that this deluxe resort has so much more to offer outside your resort room door!
For Part II of our Contemporary Review, we’re highlighting everything you need to know about the perks of staying at this iconic Walt Disney World resort.
Disclaimer: Since this article is just about the Contemporary, we’re saving details about Bay Lake Tower for another post!
Recreation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary is home to two pools: the Feature Pool and the Bay Lake Pool.
The Feature Pool
The Feature Pool is the resort’s main pool and has a capacity of 178 guests. In addition to being heated, it also features a curving, 17-foot-high waterslide!
Operating hours span from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and lifeguards are on duty.
Nearby the Feature Pool is a kid-friendly splash area. Guests will also find two hot tubs with a capacity for 7 guests each plus a poolside bar.
Bay Lake Pool
The Bay Lake Pool is the Contemporary’s leisure pool and is intended to be a tranquil retreat.
This pool is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and lifeguards are also on duty here during all operating hours.
Guests can rent poolside cabanas at either pool complete with a flat-screen TV, a stocked mini-fridge, fruit tray, safe, and more. To reserve a cabana, please call (407) WDW-PLAY.
Note: The water play area near the Feature Pool will unavailable from January 17 to mid-February. From January 24 to January 28, the Feature Pool waterslide will be closed.
From February 7 to February 10, the Bay Lake Pool will be closed; however, guests are encouraged to use the Feature Pool at that time.
From January 9 through early April, both the Feature Pool and its whirlpool spas will be closed for a refurb.
Bay Lake Beach
Due to the Contemporary’s waterfront location, guests are free to enjoy the soft, white sands of Bay Lake Beach. Sand toys are available, along with a volleyball net and volleyball.
The Contemporary’s marina is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Here guests can book Guided Bass Fishing Excursions, Sun Tracker Pontoon Rentals, and even a special Fireworks Cruise.
Reservations are not required, but rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests must also be 18 years of age or over with a valid ID to rent a boat. Complimentary life jackets must be worn by all guests under 12 years old.
Note: During peak times of the year, only Resort hotel Guests or Guests with dining or recreation reservations may be allowed to enter the resort hotel area to park.
Movies Under the Stars
On select nights, guests can catch free screenings of Disney films on the lawn behind Contemporary Tower.
Contemporary Resort Campfire
Before Movies Under the Stars begins, the resort also offers a campfire where guests can roast marshmallows!
For those looking to walk or run (in addition to what they’re already doing at the parks!), the Contemporary’s jogging path is just under a mile and loops around Bay Lake Tower and the South Garden Wing.
Pool, cornhole, foosball, giant chess, and Connect Four are all on deck for guests to use. There’s also a basketball court and tennis court with equipment available for pick-up at Community Hall.
The Contemporary also offers a complimentary yoga class (limited to 15 guests only!) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. at Lakeside Landing. Mats and towels are provided.
The Game Station Arcade
The Contemporary’s arcade has returned and can be found on the 4th floor of the Contemporary Tower. Tip: For little ones, there are three “play until you win” machines!
Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Steakhouse 71 recently replaced the resort’s former The Wave… of American Flavors restaurant and now pays tribute to the resort’s history amid the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Guests can utilize Steakhouse 71’s walk-up list, make Advance Dining Reservations, and even order their food to-go on the My Disney Experience app.
Steakhouse 71 Lounge
No reservations are required, and walk-up is first-come, first-served.
As the Contemporary’s quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Guests can purchase in-person or mobile order using My Disney Experience. This is also a great spot to find Disney’s seasonal treats
Located at the top of the resort, California Grill specializes in fine dining while also offering roof-top views of the Magic Kingdom, the park’s nightly fireworks display, and the surrounding area.
Sand Bar Pool Bar
While most pool bars aren’t worth writing home about, the Sand Bar Pool Bar is home to one of the biggest burgers on Disney World property that’s not at a table service location.
Currently open for breakfast and dinner, Chef Mickey’s is an iconic character meal located in the atrium of the Contemporary. For many guests with kiddos, it’s a rite of passage.
No, it’s not a Starbucks, but a coffee bar in any form at a Disney resort is never a bad thing. Located on the ground floor of the Contemporary, its posted hours are currently 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. However, in our experience, it stayed open later. In addition to serving Joffrey’s Coffee, guests will also find a selection of pastries. There is limited seating.
This lounge sits in the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary and is open from noon to 11:00 p.m. Expect cocktails, mocktails, gorgeous views, and comfy chairs, but no food or snacks.
Cove Bar – (skipping this one since it belongs to Bay Lake Tower)
Amenities at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary offers a 24-hour self-service laundry room on the 2nd floor, plus dry-cleaning and valet laundry services.
Guests are free to visit the resort’s concierge to purchase tickets, ask questions, make dining reservations, and more.
Olympiad Fitness Center
This full-service facility is complimentary for resort guests from to
Shopping at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Fantasia Market is a sundries store where guests will find basic frozen and packaged goods, as well as an extensive, if not expensive, selection of alcohol.
Marked by giant Mickey ears, this central gift shop is home to toys, clothes, pins, Magic Bands, and plush.
BVG/Bay View Gifts
The Contemporary’s most upscale store, BVG carries a wide selection of 50th Anniversary and resort-specific merchandise, as well as accessories, newly released items, and clothing and swimwear for all members of the family.
There’s also a candy counter where guests can get many of the same items available at the Magic Kingdom’s Confectionary, such as caramel apples, cookies, and cupcakes. They also offer gift basket services during holidays.
Lastly, for those looking for truly unique souvenirs, there’s often a caricature artist just outside BVG.
Fireworks & Electrical Water Pageant Viewing
One of the Contemporary’s biggest perks is its next-door location to the Magic Kingdom and its views of the park, Seven Seas Lagoon, and Bay Lake.
Guests without a Theme Park View guest room are free to sit on the resort’s 4th-floor balcony to catch the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks display. Some guests go up the exterior stairs for a higher view.
Those dining at California Grill (or who dined early that day and kept their receipt) can watch the show from the rooftop viewing area.
Guests can also catch the nightly Electrical Water Pageant as it makes sails around the resort’s shoreline.
Transportation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Parking at Disney Deluxe Resort is $25 per night
- Valet service is $33 per night (sales tax included)
- Complimentary standard self-parking is available while enjoying select dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and the water parks are only accessible from the Contemporary by bus or car. The resort’s bus station is located just outside of its main entrance.
Unlike other monorail resorts, the Contemporary’s monorail station is housed inside of its atrium. Once aboard, guests can travel to the Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, or to the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center).
Guests looking to reach EPCOT via monorail must transfer to the EPCOT monorail line at the TTC.
Another convenience of the Contemporary is its walking path to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom. It usually takes just under 10 minutes and is helpful for those who don’t want to rely on Disney transportation.
Have you ever stayed at the Contemporary? What do you think is this deluxe resort’s biggest perk? Let us know in the comments!