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Disney's Contemporary Resort Overview
This 655-room Deluxe Resort on Bay Lake is unique in that its A-frame design permits the Magic Kingdom monorail to pass through the structure’s cavernous atrium. The only real source of color in the atrium is a 90-foot mosaic depicting American Indian children and nature. The off-white central tower is augmented by a three-story Garden Building fronting Bay Lake to the south and by Bay Lake Tower, a 295-room, 15-story Disney Deluxe Villa development, to the north.
Standard rooms in the A-frame afford fantastic views of Bay Lake or the Magic Kingdom, and all have balconies. At 394 square feet each, they’re only slightly smaller than equivalent rooms at the Grand Floridian Resort.
Though the rooms are beautiful, there’s a hitch, as a Towson, Maryland, woman relates:
My vacation was fabulous except for one issue: The air-conditioning in the Contemporary has a motion sensor that’s great for saving energy, but at night when one is trying to sleep, it doesn’t work well. As soon as you get in bed, the AC turns off and the room gets hot. That wakes you up—my husband and I spent all night getting in and out of bed to set off the motion sensor to get the air back on. It wasn’t conducive to a restful night’s sleep.
How Disney's Contemporary Resort Compares to Other Disney Deluxe Resorts
The major advantage of Contemporary is that is a short walk to Walt Disney World's flagship theme park, Magic Kingdom. If you don't want to make the 10 minute walk you can also take a Monorail, which has a station in the Contemporary's lobby. The same Monorail can be also be used to ride to the Transportation And Ticket Center, here guests can tranfer to another Monorail and ride to the front gate of Epcot. In terms of room size, Contemporary's rooms are in the upper end of Disney's other deluxe resorts. At 394 square feet they are smaller than Grand Floridian's 440 sf, and Polynesian's 415 sf, but larger than rooms in every other resort. These factors come at the cost of a high nightly price. Rooms at Contemporary fall in to the upper end of all the other WDW deluxe resorts.
Where To Check-In, Get Theme Park Tickets, and Make Dining Reservations
A security gate guards the entrance to Contemporary's grounds. If you arrive by car, you'll need to provide photo ID at the gate; it's not necessary to provide your reservation number or paperwork. A dedicated parking lot across from the lobby serves as temporary parking for those who need it while checking in.
Check-in time at Contemporary is 3:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM. Contemporary participates in Disney's Online Check-In program, which allows you to you provide name, address, and credit card information up to 60 days before your arrival. If you've done this, look for an Online Check-In sign near the Registration Desk. You'll be routed to one of the Online Check-in staff and should be on the way to your room in a few minutes.
If you have checked-in online and already have your MagicBand, the resort will simply send you a text with your room number when it is ready. Then you can go straight to the room and use your MagicBand to open the door, skipping the lobby altogether.
If you've not registered online, look for signs pointing you to the Registration/Check-In area. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and credit/debit card when you register. While parents are completing the paperwork, kids can unwind in a nearby play area decorated with child-sized furniture, and a television showing classic Disney animated films.
Disney's Contemporary Resort's registration staff can provide MagicBands for your stay, if you don't already have them. Get theme park tickets and dining reservations at the Concierge Desk, to the right of the Registration Desk. If you need to check in and obtain theme park tickets, you can save some time in line if one adult gets in line for tickets just after another adult starts the registration process. The Concierge Desk can also make Disney dining reservations, and you can avoid a wait there by making them online prior to arrival.
Disney's Contemporary Resort's Rooms
The Contemporary’s rooms are, in our opinion, among the nicest of any Disney resort. Rooms were refurbished in 2013, and the decor still lives up to the resort’s name. Amenities include flat-panel LCD TVs, built-in closets, stylish soft goods, and comfortable beds. Wood accents in warm tones are a welcome relief from the bland beige that dominates so many hotel palettes. Orange and yellow accent pieces add just the right splash of color. The flat-panel TV is surrounded by a modern interpretation of the traditional family hearth: Two expansive curved shelves (perfect for storing small items) serve as the hearth’s mantel, while a colorful tiled display underneath simulates the fireplace. Functional, attractive, and clever, it’s the furniture equivalent of George Clooney.
The work area has ample surface space provided by an L-shaped, glass-topped desk; it looks high-tech, but rounded corners perfectly soften the piece. Lighting is superb, with top scores in the bathroom grooming, reading, and work areas. Small, stylish overhead lights are more than ample for reading in bed.
The Contemporary’s beds are topped with 250-thread-count sheets and down-filled pillows. The air-conditioning system is a little louder than most. If you like to sleep with a bit of white noise in the background, however, you’ll be in heaven.
Most of the Contemporary rooms are 394 square feet, which makes them some of the largest standard rooms in Walt Disney World.
Each Disney's Contemporary Resort room is furnished with the following:
- Two queen beds
- Dresser with medium-size drawers
- Table with 2 chairs
- Nightstand digital alarm clock
- Full-length mirror (on bath door)
- WiFi wireless Internet access
- Flat-panel TV
- Mini fridge
- Coffee Maker
- Ironing board and iron
- Hair dryer
- Digital thermostat
- In-room safe
- Tiny bottle of H2O-brand shampoo, and bar soap
The mini-fridge is a dorm-style unit that sits under a counter or desk. It's more like a beverage chiller than a refrigerator in that it'll keep drinks cool, but you're not going to freeze popsicles or make ice cubes in it.
A lot of thought went into the bathroom design, too. You enter the bath through a sliding pocket door instead of a traditional hinged model. The pocket door provides plenty of room and makes it easy to move around inside. (It’s such a great idea that Len has adopted it in his own home.) A curved shower-curtain rod provides extra room. Combined with the pocket door, the curtain rod makes the bathroom feel much bigger than it is. Another thoughtful touch: A small motion sensor detects when you’re up and moving at night, and it triggers a dimmed bathroom light to help you find your way.
Bathroom sinks have an avant-garde flat-bottom design. If you can name a single Belgian architect or you own shoes made in Scandinavia, you’ll probably love them; other folks think they look like lab equipment. When brushing your teeth, spit directly over the drain; otherwise, the toothpaste glob doesn’t move. One minor gripe: You have to scoot around one of the sinks to get in the shower. (We’re sure George Clooney has his quirks, too.)
Water pressure in the shower is average - probably less than what you get at home, but still enough to get your hair clean. Eventually.
A separate dressing area next to the bathroom includes two sinks, and enough counter space to fit most of the toiletries you would need. There are also two shelves under the sink that provide a small amount of storage. A 1500-watt, wall-mounted hair dryer is provided, but it's not very powerful; bring your own if you've got lots of hair. The dressing area includes a sliding door that separates it from the sleeping area. Combined with the bathroom, this means that 3 people can get dressed at the same time.
Contemporary Concierge Level Rooms
The concierge level of a deluxe resort can also be referred to as club level. Each one throughout the property has a name for their concierge level. At the Contemporary it is called the Atrium Club and it’s located on the twelfth floor. Here guests willing to pay a premium are treated to special services including a lounge, complimentary food and drink, and personalized service. There are about 60 Atrium Club rooms most of which are similar to regular rooms throughout the resort, but there are also suites available. Club level prices can be over $100 more than standard rooms at the Contemporary
Upon arriving to Contemporary, concierge guests are taken to an exclusive area to be checked in and taken care of. Once guests are brought to the club level they will be introduced to the cast members on hand at two desks set up to be the resource for any special services they may need. These CMs are there to help folks with whatever they might need including ADRs, park tickets, and transportation options.
Another special service provided to concierge level guests is a nightly turn down. Housekeeping cast members come to your room in the evening to prepare your bed for you to fall into it after a long day in the parks and leave chocolates.
A more exciting benefit to staying in the Atrium Club is access to free food for most of the day. The breakfast offerings are relatively light so don’t expect to fuel up for a full day here. Later in the day snacks are available along with an assortment of drinks including soda, hot drinks like coffee, and beer. In the late afternoon/early evening the menu changes but appetizers are put out for guests to enjoy before they begin their evening. Wine and liqueurs along with desserts area served throughout the evening as well.
The selection of food and drink is laid out in the lounge only accessible to club level guests. There are several tables and chairs set up for folks to you use throughout the day. The area is busy a breakfast time, but can be a quiet place to relax and maybe even get some work done if guests happen to be business travelers. There are also a few couches in the mix where friends can gather to chat. Kids have their own area here with child sized table and chairs and a TV running cartoons and other Disney favorites.
Handicap-Accessible Room Options
Disney's Contemporary Resort have around 31 handicap-accessible rooms. Some feature roll-in showers, while others include assistive hearing devices. A subset of these rooms have been converted to comply with Florida's Accessibility Code, with changes to everything from bed, counter-top, and dresser drawer height, to door widths, wheelchair ramps, and more.
Some accessible rooms have the standard setup of 2 queen beds; all rooms with roll-in showers have 1 king bed, and a small number of roll-in shower rooms have both 1 king bed. Use our hotel room finder to see which rooms have which feature
Bay Lake Views and Theme Park Views
Disney knows that some hotel rooms are better than others. Most people want something pretty to look at from their hotel room window. To capitalize on this, Disney categorizes all of Contemporary's hotel rooms based on what you see from inside the room. Luckily both sides of the main Contemporary tower offer great views.
Here's the system Disney uses:
- Theme Park View: The view
from your window for the most part includes spectacular views of Magic Kingdom. But some rooms look on to
the the top of the hotel's convention center.
- Bay Lake View: At the Contemporary, any rooms facing the
Bay Lake are tagged with the Bay Lake View. Most rooms have a great view of
the lake. Some rooms face the Bay Lake Tower section of the resort.
- Garden Wing: The Garden Wing section of the Contemporary
Resort doesn't have the great views of the main tower, but it still offers some
nice scenery. Most rooms have view of landscaping. Rooms facing West look on to
Bay Lake. Some rooms face a parking lot.
Contemporary has two pools. The largest, The Feature Pool, sits sits in the middle of the Contemporary tower and the Garden Wing. There is also a hot tub, kiddie pool and water player area.
The other smaller pool, the Bay Pool is located near the Feature. This pool is considered a "quiet pool," meaning that loud play and splashing around are discouraged.
Contemporary's pools range in depth from around 3 feet 6 inches/1.1m to 4 feet 9 inches/1.4m. Pool are open every day, including during winter. The pools are heated to 82°F/28°C throughout the year. We've swum in temperatures as cold as 40°F/4°C; the water was fine, but getting out was a shock. Contemporary also has a hot tub located near Silver Creek Springs Pool.
Feature Pool has one water slide that all ages are free to use. Guests can find showers, storage lockers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. Pool hours are at least 10AM to 10 PM, extending to as much as 8 AM to 12 AM during busy times. Feature Pool will have lifeguards during the pools' operating hours.
Infants and children in diapers are welcome in all of Contemporary's pools, as long as they're wearing swim diapers. Water wings are allowed at all Disney pools, and every pool has free life vests in a variety of sizes:
- Infant/child: Weight less than 30 lbs.
- Child: Weight 30-50 lbs.
- Youth: Weight 50-90 lbs.
- Adult XS: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 31-34 in.
- Adult S: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 34-37 in.
- Adult M: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 37-40 in.
- Adult L: Weight more than 90 lbs. Chest size 40-43 in.
- Adult XL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 43-46 in.
- Adult XXL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 46-48 in.
- Additionally, there may be a small supply of even larger vests. Inquire at your resort.
You may need to bring your towels from your room to use at the pool - Disney sometimes stocks extra towels poolside, and sometimes they don't. Our advice is to send someone down to the pool to check the towel situation before you go. If you end up using your room towels at the pool, just call Housekeeping when you get back and request more.
Pool toys are permitted in Contemporary's pools, including "pool noodles," and basic toys that would be appropriate for water use such as rubber duckies and bucket & shovel sets. Some of us will occasionally bring something like a whiffle ball for playing catch in the pool. As long as you’re not disturbing other guests, you’ll be fine. Also note that kids with pool toys become very popular with other kids in the pool who want to play too. If you’re traveling with an only child and want him to have some age cohort interaction during your vacation, a nice strategy is to bring some extra toys. Chances are he’ll make a buddy.
Wheelchair Accessibility at Contemporary's Pool
Contemporary's Feature Pool has a chair-lift device that can lower guests in wheelchairs into the shallow end of the pool. Check with any lifeguard for assistance on using the lift.
Restaurants and Dining
Dining options abound. On the first floor is The Wave . . . of American Flavors, a 220-seat “health-conscious 21st-century” restaurant. What does health-conscious mean in Disney-speak? You can still get bacon for breakfast, but the coffee it comes with is certified organic and bird-friendly. The Contempo Cafe, a counter-service restaurant on the fourth floor’s Grand Canyon Concourse, serves upscale sandwiches, salads, and flatbread pizzas. Chef Mickey’s, also on the fourth floor, hosts a popular character buffet at breakfast, brunch, and dinner. On the 15th floor, the award-winning California Grill serves contemporary American cuisine.
High atop the Contemporary Resort, the award-winning California Grill sets the standard for Disney dining. But expect a boisterous crowd-the noise level makes quiet conversation difficult. Still, the view from the 15th floor is stellar, one of the best spots for watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks. It's so popular that the Grill no longer allows just anyone on the elevator for a ride to the top - you must have a dinner reservation. A show kitchen is the centerpiece of the airy dining room.
The California Grill still is one of Disney's top dining experiences, more like a hot spot in L.A. or New York City than Disney World. We like the seats at the bar in front of the kitchen, or a coveted window seat. Though it's a sophisticated dining experience, be warned that you'll see plenty of kids in the dining room.
Chef Brian Piasecki takes advantage of seasonal produce, fish, and meats. Sushi chef Yoshie has been there for more than 16 years, creating sublime, artful sushi that's a meal in itself. Oven-fired flatbreads are always on the menu, as well as grilled pork tenderloin with creamy polenta and Zinfandel glaze, a favorite since day one.
Chef Mickey's is a all-you-can-eat buffet with that features a colorful, open dining room with the monorail running overhead, this is one of the most popular Disney-character restaurants-mostly because you're guaranteed an audience with Mickey Mouse, who dons a chef's toque and visits every single table for photos. (Goofy, Minnie, Donald, and Pluto are on hand, too.) The buffet circles the center of the room. It's loud, crowded, busy, and fun for families. We rarely see anyone here without kids in tow.
Go hungry, and this all-you-can-eat buffet is a good value for families; there's plenty for picky eaters, and you can start or end the day with a full tummy and photos of the top Disney characters already checked off your to-do list. Selections at both breakfast and dinner are freshly prepared and served in casseroles and platters on special heated countertops - a small step up from chafing dishes.
The Wave...of American Flavors
On the first floor of the Contemporary just past the front desk, The Wave has one of the coolest lounges at Disney World, adjoining a dining room with the feel of an upscale coffee shop - wooden tables, white-linen napkins.
The kitchen continues to create healthful dining options and source local products, setting a good example for other Disney restaurants. Organic beers, organic coffees, hip cocktails, and all-screw-cap wines focusing on New World wines from Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa are part of the forward-thinking menu.
The Wave serves unusual drinks like the Antioxidant Cocktail and the strawberry-lychee margarita; For breakfast, a new buffet, Supercharged Tropical Smoothie, multigrain pancakes, make-your-own muesli; for lunch, avocado-and-citrus salad, Italian chef salad, Reuben; For dinner, sustainable fish, braised lamb shank.
Contempo Cafe is the resort's counter service restaurant. It has faster service and is less expensive than The Wave, but still has its quirks. For one, you place your order on an ATM-like touch-screen kiosk, leaving one to wonder whether dining at a $300 per night resort is supposed to feel like the self-checkout aisle at the grocery store. If you want to modify your order in any way - say, hold the onions on the flatbread - you have to walk to the pick-up window and instruct the staff. The food is fresh and tasty, but the ordering process is a bit convoluted. Noise from the nearby Chef Mickeys can drown out all but the most enthusiastic conversationalist.
Contempo Cafe participates in Disney's Rapid Fill refillable mug program, where you purchase a souvenir plastic mug once, and get free refills for the remainder of your stay. The cost varies depending on how long you're staying at the resort:
- $8.99 for 1 day
- $11.99 for 2 days
- $14.99 for 3 days
- $17.99 for length of stay (4 or more days)
The break-even point for the refillable mug program seems to be around 3 visits on the 1-day plan; 4 visits on the 2-day plan; 5 on the 3- day plan; and 6 visits for stays of 4 or more days. Keep in mind that if you buy a regular $3 fountain soda at any meal, you get unlimited refills during that meal. So for the refillable mug program to make sense, you'll need to drink soda with at least 3 separate meals on the 1-day plan, or 5 separate meals on the 2-day plan. In those cases, it would be hard to get too far from a bathroom, let alone all the way to the parks.
Restaurants at Contemporary participate in the Disney Dining Plan; meals cost 1 credit at The Wave, Chef Mickey's and Contempo Cafe, and 2 credits at California Grill. Tables in Wonderland cardholders are eligible for a 20% discount at most resort restaurants.
Pizza delivery is available to your room from Disney's own delivery service. Besides pizza, chicken wings, desserts, beer, wine, and sodas are also available. However, delivery can take up to 90 minutes, and the food quality is often below average. You're probably better off either walking to the food court or calling Domino's. Pizza delivery hours are 4 PM to midnight daily. A medium (16") cheese pizza costs around $14 and a pepperoni around $16. Minimum order is $15, and Disney will tack on an 18% tip, $3 delivery charge, and 7% sales tax. Thus, a $30 pizza order will cost you $40.50 delivered.
Outer Rim Lounge is located amid the busy dining and shopping on the 4th Floor of the main tower at the Contemporary. Outer Rim Lounge has indoor seating and a full drink menu, with several beers, wines, and a selection of spirits. The lounge is usually open 4 PM to 12 AM daily. The The Sand Bar is located adjacent to the Feature Pool at the Contemporary. It also has a selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. Plus a small menu of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and desserts is available.
Transportation to and from Disney's Contemporary Resort
Driving Your Own Car Disney's Contemporary Resort is just off of I-4 in Lake Buena Vista. Take I-4 Exit 67 - Epcot Center Dr. and you'll end up on World Drive. Take World Dr. for about 5.6 miles, and Contemporary will be on your right.
Disney's Contemporary Resort's GPS address and location are:
Disney's Contemporary Resort
4600 North World Drive
Orlando, FL 32830
Latitude: 28.415 North, Longitude: 81.574 West
From Orlando International Airport If you're arriving at Orlando International Airport, Disney's free Magical Express bus service will take you and your luggage directly from the airport to Disney's Contemporary Resort, then back to the airport when it's time for your flight home.
From Sanford International Airport It's about a 40-minute drive from Sanford to Disney's Contemporary Resort. If you're not renting a car, be aware that Sanford's airport offers fewer transportation options than Orlando's, and Sanford's options are generally much more expensive. A taxi from Sanford International Airport to Disney's Contemporary Resort will cost between $120 and $150, depending on traffic. Mears Transportation offers 3-passenger towncar service to Disney's Contemporary Resort for around $140 each way, plus tip; 5-passenger SUV service or 10-passenger van is around $190 each way. That means round-trip transportation will run you somewhere between $240 and $380, plus tip, between Sanford and Disney's Contemporary Resort. At those prices, it may be less expensive to rent a car and park it at the hotel.
Getting to the theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs Disney provides free bus service from Disney's Contemporary Resort to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and Disney Springs. Disney's Contemporary Resort's bus stops sit along the front wall of the lobby, between the lobby and check-in parking lot. Each theme park has its own bus stop somewhere along the wall. Animal Kingdom's bus service is shared with Blizzard Beach, while Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon also share a stop and service.
Magic Kingdom is accessed via Monorail via the station inside the resort's Grand Canyon Concourse. Monorail service may be suspended at any time. Monorail service is not available during Extra Magic Hours.
Epcot is accessed by taking the Monorail via the station inside the resort's Grand Canyon Concourse to the Transportation And Ticket Center. There guests travel to Epcot via the Epcot Monorail.
Disney's Contemporary Resort's Bus Schedule
Ask a Disney Cast Member about Contemporary's bus schedule, and they'll tell you that buses run about every 20 minutes. In reality, Contemporary's bus schedule varies considerably depending on the time of day and where you're headed.
For example, if you're headed to the Animal Kingdom between 8 AM and 11 AM, you'll wait around 13 minutes, on average, for a bus to arrive. The bus schedules for Disney's Hollywood Studios are about the same early in the day, with a bus arriving every 8-17 minutes, on average. Bus schedules to the water parks and Disney Springs are a little less frequent, and you could wait anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for a ride.
Buses run a little slower from around 11 AM to around 4 PM, when most people are already in a park. Disney's evening buses are scheduled around the theme parks' closing times, where most of the fleet is deployed to get guests back to their hotels. Your waits to return to your hotel from a theme park should average out to around 30 minutes under most circumstances.
If you've got your own car, it's faster to drive yourself to Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks, and Disney Springs. Disney's bus service is faster to Disney's Hollywood Studios. We evaluate Disney's Contemporary Resort's bus service annually, and the latest transportation times can be found below.
Getting to another hotel from Disney's Contemporary Resort If you've got dining plans at another Disney hotel, the cheapest option is to take a Disney bus from Disney's Contemporary Resort to Disney Springs (or an open theme park), then take another bus from there to your destination hotel. Do the reverse to get back to Disney's Contemporary Resort. While that's free, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours each way. If your destination is one of the other Magic Kingdom monorail resorts, and the Magic Kingdom is still open hop on the monorail (to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian), or take a boat (to Fort Wilderness, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian). We suggest you still allow at least an hour for that.
The fastest option, however, is almost always a taxi from Contemporary to wherever you're going; it's generally not more than a $20, 15-minute cab ride to get to most Disney hotels from Contemporary, and often less. Taxis are available outside the lobby; if a taxi is not already sitting out front, the bell services desk also serves as a taxi stand, and they'll call one for you.
You can also take a boat in Bay Lake to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort, Fort wilderness, and the Magic Kingdom. This option can also take some time depending on where you are going and how frequent the boats are running.
To Universal Orlando If you're staying at Walt Disney World and don't have a car, Mears Transportation will shuttle you from your hotel to Universal and back for $18 per person. Pickup and return times are at your convenience. A one-way taxi ride is around $36, and may be the cheapest option if you have three to five people.
Shopping, Recreation and Things to Do
Olympiad Health Club is Contemporary's fitness center and spa. It is open 24 hours a day but attendants are only available from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Swedish, Aromatherapy, and Firm Pressure massage treatment services are available.
Watercraft Rentals are available for use in Bay Lake 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, and Sea Raycers can be rented. Prices vary. All rentals can be purchased in a booth near the Feature Pool.
Contemporary's gift shop is Fantasia Market. It is located on the fourth floor. As you'd expect from a Disney gift shop, Fantasia has a decent collection of souvenirs ranging from small trinkets such as keychains and pens, to embroidered jackets and Disney princess dresses. Prices for these items are about what you'd pay in the theme parks or Disney Springs.
Fantasia Market also sells basic pharmacy items such as sunscreen, aspirin, allergy and cold medicine, baby diapers and formula, shampoo, and the like. And Fantasia Market has Disney-branded cookies, chocolate, coffee tins, and similar items, if that's what you're looking for. Prices for these items are considerably higher - about double - than what you'd probably pay at home.
Also located near Fantasia Market is the The Game Station Arcade, which has a decent collection of relatively recent video and arcade games. Most games cost $0.50 to $2.00 per play, which can add up quickly. It's helpful to set a budget with your kids before they go in.
Walkers, joggers and runners can find a jogging trail. The trail is a 0.89-mile jogging trail. The trail is located on the northern end of the resort between Bay Lake Tower and the Garden Wing.
Disney's Contemporary Resort Babysitting and In-Room Child Care
Disney doesn't offer on-site child care atContemporary Resort, but you've got some options. If you've got a car and you're headed to the theme parks, you can drop off your little ones at one of the child-care clubs at a resort nearby Services vary, but children generally can be left between 4:30 PM and midnight. Milk and cookies and blankets and pillows are provided at all centers, and dinner is provided at most. Play is supervised but not organized, and toys, videos, and games are plentiful. Guests at any Disney resort or campground may use the services.
The most elaborate of the child-care centers (variously called "clubs" or "camps") is Lilo's Playhouse at the Polynesian Resort. The rate for ages 3-12 is $15 per hour, per child (2-hour minimum).
All the clubs accept reservations (some six months in advance!) with a credit card guarantee. Call the club directly, or reserve through Disney at 407-WDW-DINE. (If you call before 4 PM, call the club directly using the number shown below.) Most clubs require a 24-hour cancellation notice and levy a hefty penalty of 2 hours' time or $22.50 per call for no- shows. A limited number of walk-ins are usually accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
|Hotel||Name of Program||Ages||Phone|
|Animal Kingdom Lodge||Simba's Clubhouse||3-12||407-938-4785|
|Dolphin and Swan||Camp Dolphin||4-12||407-934-4241|
|Polynesian Resort||Lilo's Playhouse||3-12||407-824-1639|
|Yacht and Beach Club Resorts||Sandcastle Club||3-12||407-934-3750|
|Contemporary and Villas||Cub's Den||3-12||407-824-1083|
Two companies provide in-room sitting in Walt Disney World and surrounding areas. They're Kid's Nite Out and Fairy Godmothers (no kidding). Both provide sitters older than age 18 who are insured, bonded, screened, reference-checked, police-checked, and trained in CPR. In addition to caring for your kids in your room, the sitters will, if you direct (and pay), take your children to the theme parks or other venues. Neither service will transport your children in private vehicles or give baths. Both offer bilingual sitters.
|Kid's Nite Out||Fairy Godmothers|
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
Men and women
Mothers and grandmothers, female college students
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $18
2 children, $21
3 children, $24
4 children, $26
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $16
2 children, $16
3 children, $16
4 children, $18
Transportation fee, $10; starting before 6:30 AM
or after 9 PM, +$2 per hour; additional fee for holidays
Transportation fee, $14; starting after 10 PM,
+$2 per hour
24 hours before service when reservation is made
3 hours before service
Form of Payment
AE, D, MC, V; gratuity in cash
Form of Payment
Cash or traveler's check for actual payment; gratuity in cash
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children in private vehicles,
take children swimming, give baths
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children, give baths; swimming
is at sitter's discretion
Washers and dryers are in laundry facilities located in the Garden Wing section of the resort. Cost is $3 per wash, and another $3 per dry cycle. The machines take credit cards. A small selection of soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets are also sold, for around $1 each. A typical wash cycle takes 20 to 30 minutes, and a typical dry cycle takes 40 to 50.
Laundry room cards can be purchased for $7 (using cash or credit) at the hotel's front desk. These cards get you one wash and one dry cycle, plus text messages letting you know when your laundry has been completed. Walt Disney World laundry rooms now make use of a technology called "LaundryView" which displays washer and dryer availability on their website.
If you lose something during your stay, contact Disney's Contemporary Resort's Lost and Found department by calling (407) 824-1000.
Blog Posts About Disney's Contemporary Resort
- SATURDAY SIX: The Best Resort Specific Merchandise at Walt Disney World
- SATURDAY SIX: Walt Disney World locations in Hulk Hogan's THUNDER IN PARADISE
- A Review of Disney World’s Top of the World Lounge
- Menu Monday: How to Order the Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert
- PHOTO REPORT: Atrium Club Level at Disney's Contemporary Resort
- Get to Know the Disney World Pools, Part Four: The Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort Pools
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Contemporary Resort||86% (+25%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Contemporary Resort||97% (+16%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's Contemporary Resort
there are two guest-room buildings at the contemporary: the a-frame tower and the garden building. rooms in the a-frame overlook either bay lake and the marina and swimming complex on one side, or the parking lot with seven seas lagoon and the magic kingdom in the background on the other. except for most second- and third-floor rooms in the garden wing, each guest room has a balcony with two chairs and a table. if you stay on the magic kingdom side of the a-frame, ask for a room on the ninth floor or higher. the parking lot and connecting roads are less distracting there. on the bay lake side, the view is fine from all floors, though higher floors are preferable.
in the garden building, all ground-floor rooms have patios. only end rooms on the second and third floors facing bay lake have full balconies; all other rooms have balconies only a foot deep. also, note that the garden building is a fair walk from the restaurants, shops, front desk, guest services, and monorail station in the a-frame.
on a recent visit, swarms of florida love bugs circled the garden building’s entrances at night, apparently attracted to the yellow lighting inside—you’ll need to step over thousands of bug bodies if you leave through those doors in the morning. if you’re grossed out at the prospect, try the westernmost entrance nearest the main building, and avoid the north-facing doors nearest the marina. insects aside, the garden rooms’ isolation is a plus when it comes to scenery and tranquility.
there’s a lot of boat traffic in the lake and canal alongside the garden building. nearest the lake and quietest are rooms 6116–6123, 6216–6223, and 6316–6323. at the water’s edge but noisier are rooms 6107–6115, 6207–6215, and 6307–6315. flanking the canal connecting bay lake and seven seas lagoon are rooms 5128–5151, 5228– 5251, and 5328–5351. all these have nice canal and lake views, but they’re subjected to a lot of noise from passing watercraft.
the garden building also has rooms facing the marina, pool, and playground; these work well for families with young children. the view isn’t comparable to views from the rooms previously listed, but groundfloor rooms 5105–5125 provide easy access to the pool.
in addition to offering some of the most scenic and tranquil guest rooms in Disney World, the garden building likewise contains some of the most undesirable ones. avoid rooms ending with numbers 52 through 70—almost all of these look directly onto a parking lot.
|10-minute walk to Magic Kingdom||Long walk from parking to Garden Building|
|Great views of the Magic Kingdom or Bay Lake||Pricey theme park view has big parking lot in foreground|
|Nicest guest rooms at WDW||Sterility of theme and decor in public areas|
|Interesting A-frame architecture|
|On Magic Kingdom monorail|
|Excellent children's pool|
|Recreational options, including super games arcade|
|Restaurant selection via monorail|
Contemporary Resort 2017 Rack Rates
Disney's Contemporary Resort Dining
- Bay View Gifts (Counter Service)
- California Grill (Table Service)
- Chef Mickey's (Table Service)
- Contempo Cafe (Counter Service)
- Contemporary Grounds (Bar or Lounge)
- Contemporary Market (Counter Service)
- Cove Bar (Bar or Lounge)
- Outer Rim Lounge (Bar or Lounge)
- The Sand Bar (Bar or Lounge)
- The Wave... of American Flavors (Table Service)
- Top of the World Lounge (Bar or Lounge)
|Park||Commuting Times||Resort Transportation|
|Magic Kingdom||12 min|
|Hollywood Studios||29 min|
|Animal Kingdom||25 min|
Future as perceived by past, present generations
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|