No other hotel at Walt Disney World offers what Disney’s Contemporary Resort does. The monorail runs through it, the iconic shape of it is unmistakable, and the Magic Kingdom is literally right next door. In some ways the Contemporary may not feel all that magical compared to the themes of other Disney resorts. But, there is magic here, just a more modern form of magic.
You cannot get any closer to the Magic Kingdom than this. Disney’s Contemporary Resort has its own walkway to the Magic Kingdom. Plus you can hop on board the monorail, then transfer at the next stop to head to Epcot. What’s more, there are two other resorts on the monorail loop so you can easily visit Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. There is also boat transportation to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. There is so much within reach!
There are lots of different rooms here. The main thing to remember is there are three buildings: the main tower (the one with the monorail running through it), the garden wing, and Bay Lake Tower (which is Disney Vacation Club, and we will get to later). These are some of the largest single hotel rooms on property. The decor is very modern and can sometimes be perceived as having a cold look, but there are a few Disney touches. The bathroom is large and contains two sinks, but that means there is no separate vanity area. This can be blamed on being one of the first hotels to open at Walt Disney World.
Two queen beds with a day bed is standard, but certain rooms do have a king bed with a daybed. The garden wing, for example, has a dedicated room category for king bed rooms. Like the other Deluxe resorts, each room has a balcony.
The main tower has theme park view rooms on one side – which includes the Seven Seas Lagoon and the parking lot in those views, and lake view rooms on the other side. The theme park views are exciting, but don’t overlook the rooms with views of Bay Lake. There is a sense of tranquility on this lake even though Magic Kingdom is right around the bend. It is good to know that some of the theme park view rooms have partial views of the convention center’s roof.
The garden wing is located to the right when you’re facing the main tower from the parking lot. This means there is extra walking involved to get the Magic Kingdom, bus stop, or monorail station. It is not a terrible walk, but something to be aware of. There are standard views and garden views in this wing.
Speaking of views, you can use the awesome Touring Plans Room Finder to help you narrow down the exact room location you would like. You can plug in your preferences and find rooms that match your needs. Then when you make your reservations and check in you can request your desired rooms. This tool is free to use.
Also, this resort also offers a variety of suites, many with Atrium Club access.
Come and tour a theme park view room in the main tower:
The Atrium Club is a unique club level lounge located on the 12th floor of the main tower. Some of the most spectacular views offered at any concierge lounge are found here. This lounge faces Magic Kingdom and is one of the few club lounges that has balconies. It also overlooks the atrium. All club level rooms include evening turndown, secured key access to the club level lounge (serving refreshments 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily), access to Concierge service at the Atrium Club, complimentary health club access, complimentary newspapers in club level lounge, personalized Front Desk and Guest Services, and DVD players in the rooms.
Disney Vacation Club
The silhouette of Disney’s Contemporary was changed with the addition of Bay Lake Tower, a Disney Vacation Club resort. This building doesn’t have a monorail running through it, nor a Grand Canyon Concourse, but it does have fun modern Disney touches throughout, and a skyway-style bridge that connects to the atrium level of the Contemporary’s main tower.
Studios all the way to 3-bedroom grand villas are offered here. The studios have a modern design that is reminiscent of accommodations in urban cities. The bathroom has a frosted glass sliding barn-style door. This style of DVC villas is the most sleek of all the Disney Vacation Club deluxe villas, but for some guests lacks that feeling of home that other DVC resorts evoke.
Come tour a one-bedroom villa with a lake view at Bay Lake Tower:
Like other Deluxe category resorts, Disney’s Contemporary Resort has a large selection of dining options. There are three full service options, California Grill, The Wave… of American Flavors, and Chef Mickey’s – a favorite character dining experience. California Grill is one of the most popular restaurant in Walt Disney World, thanks to its great food and incredible views of Magic Kingdom. The Wave is a popular place for many WDW fans with its fresh food and breakfast buffet.
Three quick service options are available. The Contempo Cafe is one of the most elevated counter service options on property with creative dishes, signature desserts, and impressive views of the Grand Canyon Concourse, and the monorail zooming by. The other two quick service options are both poolside, one at the Contemporary’s feature pool and the other at Bay Lake Tower’s pool. Both offer poolside beverages and light fare like sandwiches, wraps, and salads. It is important to note that Disney lists these poolside counter service locations as operating seasonally.
Another offering that is unique to Disney’s Contemporary is the coffee bar in the lobby, Contemporary Grounds, with specialty coffee beverages. You can enjoy a round a cocktails at Outer Rim Lounge near the Grand Canyon Concourse / atrium, or at the sleek lounge inside The Wave. Many Disney fans love heading to the California Grill lounge for drinks or even a complete meal, with a view of Magic Kingdom. Finally, you can enjoy dining from the comfort of your room with in-room dining.
Securing dining reservations at popular full service restaurants like California Grill and Chef Mickey’s can be frustrating and time consuming. You can use the TouringPlans Reservation Finder to help you secure dining reservations and save time. Simply select your desired restaurant, then plug in your desired date and time or meal period, then select to be notified either via email or text message and viola! This incredible tool is available with or without a TouringPlans paid subscription, but you do need to create, or have, a TouringPlans login.
You can splash around in two pools. The feature pool includes a 17-foot-long waterslide and hot tubs, with great views of Bay Lake. For a luxurious retreat, you can rent private poolside cabanas. A quieter pool closer to the lake includes a water playground for little tykes who are still earning their fins. Bay Lake Tower has its own pool, with a waterslide as well.
Being so close to the Magic Kingdom and easy access to other entertaining areas, it is a big bonus that there are so many recreational activities at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Have fun playing basketball, volleyball, or tennis. Get your video games fix at one of the largest arcades on property. Book a fishing excursion. Rent a motorboat and head out to Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Go for a jog on the 0.89 mile jogging trail. Start your morning with yoga on the lawn. End your day with a campfire and movies under the stars.
There are multiple ways to get around from Disney’s Contemporary Resort, including your own feet. You can walk to Magic Kingdom in just about 10 minutes. The monorail does head to the Magic Kingdom from this hotel, but it is the last stop. You can also take the monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and then transfer to the Epcot monorail. Bus transportation will take you to all the other theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.
This resort is home to a large convention center and does host plenty of conventions and events throughout the year. During those times the resort may feel busy and hectic. Parking is already a bit of a challenge here and can become more of one during certain events.
There is so much to cover about the Contemporary we have two overview videos:
We sure ran through a lot of information about Disney’s Contemporary Resort, so here’s a handy-dandy infographic that sums it all up: