The Complete Guide To Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

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As one of the most recognizable resorts in Walt Disney World, the Contemporary Resort is also one of the most popular. With large, modern rooms, a variety of restaurants and close proximity to the Magic Kingdom, it’s no wonder everyone loves staying at this luxury resort!

Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World

Thanks to Disney for inviting us to experience a night at this awesome hotel. All opinions are 100% my own.

Opened in 1971, the Contemporary Resort was originally one of only two resorts at Walt Disney World (the other being Disney’s Polynesian Resort). With a futuristic style and modern design, not to mention a monorail running right through the center, staying here was an attraction in it’s own right.

Monorail at the Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

There are so many magical Disney resorts that it can be hard to decide which one to choose. Honestly, I love all the Disney resorts but each one is different and special in it’s own way. If you’re considering a stay at the Contemporary, here’s everything you need to know…

Location

One of the main draws of this resort is that it’s crazy close to the Magic Kingdom. You can literally walk out the front door and be at the park in minutes.

View of the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary

This came in super handy when we hit the park for Disney’s Halloween activities. After about an hour, we realized that our thick costumes were no match for the hot Florida sun! We went back to the hotel, changed into shorts and were back at the park before you could say Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!

Family in Star Wars Costumes

It was also pretty awesome when everyone left the park that night. Instead of waiting for the monorail or ferry with the rest of the crowds, it took us less than 10 minutes to just walk back.

All the other times, we took the monorail. I mean, when it comes right inside the hotel, why wouldn’t you! You can’t beat the convenience and like my kids said, it’s just really “cool”. It also makes it super easy to get to Epcot…just hop on the monorail to Magic Kingdom, then transfer to the Epcot monorail.

The Rooms

There are plenty of options when it comes to the rooms at The Contemporary. First, there are two buildings to choose from, the Main Tower and the Garden Wing. The Main Tower has all the shops, restaurants and the monorail. The Garden Wing still has the same access and amenities and the shops and restaurants are just a short walk away.

Contemporary Hotel at Disney World Orlando

The rooms include everything from standard rooms that sleep 4 to a three bedroom grand villa that sleeps 12 adults. Some also feature amenities like kitchenettes, kitchens, and washer/dryer sets, which are great for when you’re traveling with a large group or family. You can see all the room options here.

UPDATE: The Contemporary is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and all rooms are being redesigned with an Incredibles theme and more.

Incredibles themed room at the Contemporary Resort
Photo Credit: Kent Phillips

From Disney:

As part of the ongoing evolution of the Disney Resorts Collection at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., all nine floors of guest rooms in the A-frame tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are being completely reimagined.

Remodeled room at the Contemporary Resort
Photo Credit: Kent Phillips

These rooms will blend a sleek Monorail motif with some favorite characters from Pixar Animation Studios’ Incredibles films, including Jack-Jack, Frozone and Edna Mode.

Incredibles Themed Closet
Photo Credit: Kent Phillips

New custom artwork in guest rooms and along guest corridors will be modern, futuristic and oh so stylish, dahling, complementing the resort’s architecture while putting the Supers’ powers on display. 

Restaurants

One thing we loved about the Contemporary Resort was that there were so many dining options to choose from. Whether you want something quick and easy or you’re looking for a more upscale experience, there are some some great options to choose from.

Chef Mickeys

Chef Mickey's Restaurant at the Contemporary Resort

Chef Mickey’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but the biggest draw is that you can dine with the characters. Mickey and his friends Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto make “surprise” appearances and will even leave behind a special autographed card at each table.

Breakfast at this buffet style restaurant includes everything from Mickey waffles to scrambled eggs. Dinner choices include prime rib, salmon and more.

Mickey Mouse Waffle

You’ll need reservations and the sooner you can make them, the better. This restaurant is one of the hottest tickets in town. If it’s booked during the time you’d like to go, don’t give up. I’ve managed to score reservations at popular Disney restaurants through perseverance (or what my husband refers to as stubbornness!)

Contempo Cafe

Since we got back to the resort so late, we were in the mood for something quick and easy that the kids could eat before they crashed. This casual dining restaurant offers easy choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It’s perfect for when you want to grab and go and our food was all really good (I highly recommend the hot turkey sandwish…SO delish!). It was nice to just be able to pick up the food and have a mini picnic in the room while we were winding down.

California Grill

If you want take things up a notch, plan to dine at least once at the California Grill. Located on the 15th floor of the contemporary, you can enjoy dinner with views overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon and Cinderella’s Castle.

This is fine dining at it’s best and the menu includes seafood, sushi and steak. It’s still Disney though so there’s a kid’s menu for the little ones as well. This restaurant is also very popular so be sure to make reservations in advance.

NOTE: California Grill will be temporarily serving breakfast while The Wave undergoes a major transformation.

The Wave

The Wave entrance at the Contemporary Resort

As I mentioned above, The Wave was closed in July for a refurbishment. It’s set to reopen on September 10th as Steakhouse 71, a new casual dining concept taking it’s name from the year that the Contemporary first opened.

Picture of cake from Steakhouse 71
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This is all Disney has shared with us at the moment but I’ll be sure to update this post as I learn more!

The Sand Bar

The Sand Bar at the Contemporary Hotel

If you’re hanging poolside, The Sand Bar is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and for the parents, a cocktail too. The menu is basic, things like burgers and hot dogs, but we had no problem finding something we liked. Plus, who wants a big meal when you’re laying by the pool anyway, right?

Shopping

My girls couldn’t wait to wander through the souvenir shops at the Contemporary. There were so many toys, Disney clothes and of course Minnie ears and they couldn’t get enough!

Souvenir shop at the Contemporary

My favorite was the shop with all the kitchen items. Shouldn’t everybody have a Minnie Mouse rolling pin? You can also find jewelry, Disney art and much more. It’s a good thing we drove because we never wouldn’t been able to get everything back home in our suitcases!

If you forgot anything back home, there’s a convenience store where you can pick up little things like aspirin and sunscreen or just get stocked up on snacks and drinks for the room.

Pools

The pools at Contemporary Resort are the perfect way to chill in between visits to the parks. My girls had a blast in the main pool and spent much of the day sliding down the 17 foot waterslide!

Sliding down the waterslide

When they weren’t going down the waterslide, they were hanging in the hot tub.

Two girls sitting in a hot tub

Smaller kids will have a blast running around the splash zone.

Splash zone at Disney's Contemporary Resort pool area

They were more than happy to stay in the pool all day while I lounged poolside!

Lounging poolside

If you left the kids behind to enjoy an adults only vacay, you may want to head to the Bay Lake Pool instead. While it’s all ages, the kids typically play in the bigger pool so this is a more relaxing, and quiet, option. Since I couldn’t drag my girls away from the waterslide, I’ll have to check that one out next time!

Overall, we had an amazing time at the Contemporary Resort! From the convenience of being so close to the Magic Kingdom, the selection of restaurants, the shops and of course, the pool, I totally get why everyone loves this resort so much! Now you can add us to that list too!

Planning your next magical getaway to Disney? You may want to check out these posts too…

If you’re planning the ultimate vacation and adding in a Disney cruise too, check out Disney’s newest ship, the Disney Wish…it’s going to be beyond amazing! You’ll want to print this Disney Cruise Packing List too!

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