As you make the journey by boat or monorail from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom, your eye can't help but be drawn to the Contemporary Resort, gleaming white in the Florida sun. It's been an icon ever since Walt Disney World opened and I think every kid has thought it would be the neatest thing to stay there (the monorail runs right through it, how cool is that?). I know I dreamed of staying there when I was a kid but it seemed as unattainable as a sleepover at Mount Olympus (we were lucky if our parents sprang for a motel with a pool).
These days Disney World boasts many more hotels, several of which could be said to sport a lot more character than the Contemporary Resort. But even though I have stayed at almost every hotel on property, including the now defunct Contemporary North Garden Wing and a Bay Lake Tower Magic Kingdom view room, I have to admit a certain satisfaction in finally getting around to scoring the Holy Grail of a Contemporary Tower room with a Magic Kingdom view.
I had done online check in and I arrived via Magic Express. I was checked in by Jennifer who was everything a Cast Member should be; patient, helpful, polite, professional. Even though this was about 10am the rooms were ready (check in time is 3:00pm). Our adjoining rooms were 4441 and 4442 on the 8th floor.
The room decor is, well, Contemporary, in brown. cream, and beige. Little or no reference to Disney and it could be a room in any upscale hotel anywhere. In some ways the emphasis is more on design than function. The sinks are large, flat squares with no counter space (there is shelf space under the sinks). The sliding bathroom doors don't lock so if you are traveling with children you may want to have a discussion about privacy and knocking. The shower head is adjustable, H20 Plus toiletries are provided and the bed is comfortable. I had expected some noise from the atrium or the monorail but I think it was one of the quietest rooms I have stayed in in Disney World. I didn't even hear my parents snoring in the next room thorugh the adjoining door.
The Magic Kindgom view room affords a nice panorama of the park and Bay Lake. Off in the distance I could make out Everest at Animal Kingdom. You can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks (tune your TV to the "Wishes" soundtrack) and the Electrical Water Pagent from your balcony.
Best of all, the Contemporary Resort is the only hotel from which you can walk to the Magic Kingdom. If you have ever been in the mass exodus leaving the Magic Kingdom at closing and had to wait for monorails, boats, and buses to get back to your hotel room, you can easily appreciate this convenience factor.
There is a free form pool that is supposed to open at 7:00am but they were still in the process of cleaning it at that time every morning when I was there. So the early morning lap swimmers are regulated to the small round pool that has been there since the hotel opened.
The gym is open 24 hours with room key access and is fairly well appointed for a hotel facility. There are 4 treadmills, 4 elipticals, 4 stationary bikes, 2 sets of weights, and an assortment of machines, balls, bands, etc. There are showers, toilets, lockers, and a sauna. Towels are plentiful and there is a water cooler. You can use the walkway to the Magic Kingdom as a jogging path.
Elevators are a bit on the slow side and the set up to reach the monorail is a little odd (you have to take an escalator or specific elevator to get to the monorail station). The are several dining options with everything from the chic California Grill, to the Wave, to the Contempo Grab and Go, to a pool snack bar. There are 3 shops located in the atrium. There are movies on the lawn at night and various other activiites (you'll get a program at check in)
In all, the Contemporary's cool factor and it's convenient location make for a magical stay at Walt Disney World.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Retreat to this ultra-modern Resort hotel and discover award-winning dining, white-sand beaches, spectacular views and dazzling pools. Walk to Magic Kingdom park, or catch the Resort Monorail as it breezes through the iconic A-frame Contemporary Tower. Inside, a 90-foot-tall mural by Disney Legend Mary Blair-responsible for the distinct look and feel of the "it's a small world" attraction-celebrates the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Disney`s Contemporary Hotel Orlando
- Disney Contemporary Hotel
- Contemporary Disney Resort
- Disneys Contemporary Resort
- Contemporary Hotel Disney
- Contemporary Resort
- Disney Contemporary Resort
- Disneys Contemporary Hotel