Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review: Part II

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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.

NoteThe 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 Marina

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!

Jogging Trail

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.

Extras

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

Steakhouse 71

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.

Contempo Cafe 

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

California Grill

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.

Chef Mickey’s 

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.

Contemporary Grounds 

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.

Outer Rim

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

Laundry Facilities

The Contemporary offers a 24-hour self-service laundry room on the 2nd floor, plus dry-cleaning and valet laundry services.

Lobby Concierge

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

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.

Fantasia

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.

California Grill Sunset Natalie Reinert
Sunset over the Seven Seas Lagoon from California Grill — perhaps just as impressive as the Magic Kingdom fireworks view.

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

Guests looking to drive themselves should know that standard overnight self-parking is available to registered guests, but it’s no longer free. Instead, a fee will be applied to a guest’s hotel folio upon check-out and includes tax.
  • 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.

Buses

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.

Monorail

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.

Walking Path

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!

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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

4 thoughts on “Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review: Part II

  • January 27, 2022 at 3:16 pm
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    Great article! Staying there in mid-May and can’t wait. One suggestion though you may want to clarify in your pool refurb note that says: “From January 9 through early April, both the Feature Pool and its whirlpool spas will be closed for a refurb.” that this refers to 2023 not 2022…

    Reply
  • January 27, 2022 at 3:56 pm
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    I would point out that the Contemporary Splash Pad for kids is NOT within the main feature pool fence. It is outside the fence and hidden out of sight. This can make it difficult for parents who would need to devote attention to a kid in the splash area and one in the feature pool area.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 1:52 am
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    Does the steakhouse lounge offer nibbles, or a menu? For solo guests or others like grabbing a bite at the bar.
    Please include this info plus menu (if any.)

    Reply
  • February 6, 2022 at 8:49 pm
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    After my stay in Savannah and it’s hotels this month, I’ll definitely pay this place a visit! Thanks to sites like https://www.visitsavannah.com/hotels-motels and yours, I am easily able to fin accommodations and fun stuff to do and great places to visit!

    Reply

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