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“Location, Location, Location” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #97 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
United States
Level Contributor
49 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Location, Location, Location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

If I wasn't visiting Disney with three small children, this resort wouldn't be my first choice. The Polynesian would be. But...I was. It really comes down to priorities.

Having "done Disney" a number of times, I place a higher priority on convenience than some other factors like ambience and theming. The reality is that this the ONLY resort within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom. If you have young children, this is where you want to be. If some of them are boys, than they WILL like monorails. The Contemporary features the monorail unlike anyplace else. So, combining those things is a winning combo.

The check in process went relatively smoothly--we arrived at a slow time. The staff was outstanding--very friendly, very welcoming. A nice change of pace after some difficult travel, as traveling with kids always is.

We elected to say in the Garden Wing to save some money, utilizing the 35% promo being run at the time. Overall, I can't really complain about cost--I've paid more for rooms that were not as nice in any number of big cities across America on business trips. We asked for two rooms adjoining--they were not able to get us connected rooms but they did honor the request. They also honored the request for first floor rooms, which I wanted so we could get the little patio. I can't emphasis enough how nice this was. The tower rooms have balconies, but the Garden wing rooms don't. Our rooms were located at the very end of the complex, directly across from the beach at Bay Lake.

Those complaining about the distance between the Garden Wing and the Tower are in my view exaggerating. Yes, its a little bit of a walk. Its still less of a walk than staying at any moderate resort or even most deluxe resorts from the lobby to the room. The added bonus of these rooms is basically having direct beach access--which the kids LOVED.

The downside to that is that like clockwork, at 9:15 and 10:00 pm, the water pageant comes rolling by. The first couple of nights it was nice. But night 4 it was getting old, but night 7 it was downright annoying. (And I have fond memories of this thing as a kid). However our munchkins knew it was coming and wouldn't sleep until it came. Not so good when you have to get up early to hit the parks the next morning.

The rooms themselves are extremely well designed. The quality of the materials is excellent, the space is very efficient and there are a lot of nice touches. One of our two rooms had a smoky kind of smell--had we been able to get two other rooms together, we may have made an issue out of it, but...again, priorities and we wanted the two rooms next to each other. The other room smelled fresh, at least until one of our kids got sick and threw up at night. (That's another story.)

The Contempo Café is a good option--great monorail views! But it does get old after a while. I found the service to be more uneven than our last visit (when we stayed in Bay Lake Tower). I ended up complaining to the manager several times about how long food was taking. The food quality was fairly solid. Also...if Port Orleans Riverside can bake fresh cakes and desserts every night, Contempo should do better than those cupcakes.

We also ate at Chef Mickey's--at the end of the day its the best mix of characters for our crew. We had a better experience here than the last two times. I'm biased, but I think our kids being so cute had something to do with it--the characters really lingered and spent a ton of time with them--several even came back around just to say goodbye. My 3 year old princess lit up like a light bulb when Minnie went out of her way to come back and give her a hug. At the end of the day, that's how Disney gets otherwise rationale people like me to part with thousands of dollars.

The pool area is laid back, some nice oldies music plays during the afternoon, but nothing too noisy. Its a good size. There's some activities out there for kids--we didn't do too much of that because it was a little cold for it when we were there.

The resort monorail service was very good--we never had to wait long when going to TTC or back from MK. We ran into one instance where the monorail was shut down while we were at Epcot, and we had to take the bus to the TTC and changed to the resort loop. I thought Disney should have provided direct service at least to the three deluxe resorts in that situation. Also, be warned--in a cost cutting move, the monorail does NOT run until park closing when it is extra magic hours. That's totally ridiculous and one of a couple of things that really made me upset. Its great that the Contemporary is in walking distance, but that's mainly a benefit on the way to MK--because the resort loop goes the other way around. On the way back from MK, unless there's a big crowd is easier and faster to take the Monorail. At midnight the last thing you feel like is not having that option. Shame on Disney for nickel and diming that--people pay a premium to stay at a monorail resort for a reason.

We rented a minivan to get around the World and parking was easy. We ran into some traffic congestion getting out of the resort a few times--once really badly--but overall I find it worthwhile.

Disney's a lot of work. Contemporary makes it a little bit easier. It isn't something we can afford to do every year, but while the kids are little, it will always be a very strong option.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank IADTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Cleveland, OH
Level Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

I just got back from a conference at the convention center at the Contemporary. I do not recommend it for a business meeting. I think the organizers thought that lots of people would bring their kids-- they did not. Putting up with tons of crying children and the inconvenience of a resort not used to dealing with business travelers was a problem. The Disney bus to and from the airport took forever. The front desk staff was mediocre at best (took forever for them to stop talking to each other and start checking people in-- I had the same problem at check out). They kept changing the rules as to who took luggage for storage. In the beginning it was the valet staff (while I waited for my room) then it was the bellman who had to get it out. When I went to store my luggage on the day of departure, they couldn't decide who would store it. When I asked the front desk person if a late checkout might be possible, he gave me a curt "no" without offering any options (I thought they were supposed to be known for their customer service-- clearly not).

My room on the third floor of the South tower was clean and nice. Not sure why no full length mirror but it was fine. The best part of the trip was the food and people in the Wave restaurant. I had two meals there and the waitresses (I think their names were Jo Ann and Jodi-- sorry I can't remember) were fabulous. The food was terrific. The rest of the meals were eaten with the conference and were not good. Vegetarian options were disgusting.

Overall, you can definitely tell that they don't know how to handle a business meeting.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BeachLover36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013 via mobile

Chose the hotel because of location and because our family fit in a 2 bedroom suite in the adjacent building. We were 3 couples with 3 children. My husband and I used the very comfortable sofa bed and had a full bathroom to ourselves. The bedrooms were used by our daughters with their families. Definitely a very nice full kitchen in the units. We were unaware that the facilities are part of Disney vacation club- we were constantly asked if we were members since there were services offered only to them. The lounge was open not to us - only members. As a time share, the units are definitely more rundown- lots of stained furniture. Door to balcony did not lock- definitely dangerous since the balconies have a concrete step on the railings!
I really feel that these units should be treated separate from the Contemporary Resort.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lulanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

We have just returned to the UK from a 14 day trip to wdw. We stayed at the contemporary. The location was fantastic. We don't drive, but could walk to magic kingdom. We could see the fireworks from the room. The monorail was a great way of getting to some other resorts, Epcot & the ticket & transport centre, from where we could get the Lynx bus to Seaworld. We liked The Wave restaurant on the ground floor. The food was nice and it was a bit quieter than other disney restaurants. We also all enjoyed the character buffet breakfast at Chef Mickeys, although this was expensive and you have to book months in advance. The counter service contempo cafe was also very good. The pool was big, with a water slide and 2 hot tubs. It was also right by the lake with a beach and a view of the electrical water parade at night. We really enjoyed our stay and on the face of it we couldn't fault anything. The service was great and staff were quick to help with any of our requests. We just felt that for the amount of money we paid a few details could have been improved. We felt the pool area was a vast amount of concrete and could have done with a bit more landscaping / greenery. Also it would have been nice to have had the odd bit of disney magic during our 14 day stay, such as a towel animal or 2! We stayed at contemporary as location is the main factor for us in choosing a hotel, which means we miss out on some of the better themed hotels, but it would be nice if they could add a few magical extras for the money. Having said this we would recomend the hotel to anyone who wants the convenience of a good hotel in a great location

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Claire B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

Our family has visited this hotel for the last 13 yrs... stayed on the club level and loved it! They are the most amazing staff of people and very friendly and helpful for everything you need! They love kids! Some of the staff know our family from staying there so many times! The remembered us! Very sweet and lovely rooms and food outstanding! If you want a great experience stay here!

Room Tip: Stay magic kingdom side so you can watch fireworks if you are too tired to be in the park! ! 10 pm e...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mamab6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

I just returned from a 3 night work related stay at the Contemporary resort. I stayed in a tower room with a theme park view. During the day the view was more construction and parking lot but at night it was beautiful with a full view of the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. This was ok for me as I was "at work" all day anyway. The rooms were quiet, clean and well appointed. If you get a water view on the other side of the tower that is ok because at night there is a light show over the lake that is really beautiful.

Yes the hotel was noisy but is is a hotel filled with kids and families who are having fun. It was fun hearing and seeing the families at Chef Mickey's dancing and singing with Mickey. However once you were in your room it was quiet. Heck some adults in our group where a bit noisy as they were having fun too!

I used the free Disney Magic Express to and from the airport. This is a great feature. Once you check out of the hotel your bags are tagged for your destination at the hotel and you don't see them again until you return to your home airport. The only thing I suggest is check the time they say you will be picked up and make sure there is enough time to get to the airport. Our pick up time was 4:50 for a 7:30 flight. We didn't think that was enought time so we had it changed to 3:50 and were glad we did. After stopping at several other resorts we didn't leave Disney property for an hour so it took us over 1.5 hours to get to the airport. It was ok becasue we had enough time to get through security and have dinner before our flight. If we had left at 4:50 it would have been a mad dash to the gate. Also when you take the Disney Express to your hotel when you arrive you can get you bags at baggage and bring them with you on the bus. No need to wait to have them delivered to your room.

My co-worker forgot to bring her medication that she needs to take everyday. In a panic she called the front desk to see if they had any suggestions for a pharmancy in the area and how she could get there as we didn't rent a car. My co-worker was told all she needed to do was have her doctor fax a Rx to the Disney pharmacy and the Rx would be delivered to her room. Through the "magic of Disney" her Rx was delivered to her room that day. Kudos to Disney for thinking of everything!

Other than having to work (smile) I had a "magical" stay at the Contemporary.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mamasheep2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
119 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

Arriving at Orlando airport, we had pre-booked the Magical Express transfer coach. I had seen that they will pick your luggage up and deliver it 3 hours later. Big Mistake. See further down.
The check in desk was sooo exciting - it really did build up the excitement of our arrival to Disney.
Unfortunately the 30 minute wait for other guests who went to pick up their baggage themselves dampened the excitement somewhat. Especially after 12 hours of travelling due to indirect flights!

Finally on the move. We arrived at the Contemporary 35 mins later.
The check in process - just awful I'm afraid to say. We were queuing for 5 mins when we were called over to a different desk. The guy was very sweet but unfortunately for us he wasn't really suitable for the check in process. It took 45 minutes! By this time the kids were running around like loons and we just wanted to get our room.
Having finally been given 2 keys and a room number we went to look for our room. After 10 mins walking around thank goodness we bumped into a guy delivering luggage. We obviously had that lost look on our face because he asks us if we needed help. We showed him the room number. It didn't exist he said...! We then had to wait whilst he radio'd to the front desk to get us our real room number.
Having finally got the correct details we quickly found our room. It was a garden room on the first floor with 2 large king sized beds, well furnished with bathroom. The bathroom had 2 large shallow sinks, a bath with shower and a separate w.c.
There was an empty fridge, coffee making facilities and 2 wardrobes. I was pleased with the room but then it had cost us nearly £300 a night room only (and this had been a cheap deal!)

Having no bags, we put the kids straight to bed, rang room service for us - just a burger and waited. And waited. The burger finally turned up. An hour after calling. Unfortunately it was stone cold as were the fries. We called room service and another burger arrived 20 mins later. This was good however it was 11pm and we were not happy.
We also called front desk to chase our luggage. We were informed that we shouldn't expect the luggage until 3 hours after check in... We asked what time we had checked in. They said 8.05. We had landed at 6pm.
At 11.30 my husband called again to be told they had left a message on our phone to say the luggage was in but the ringer hadn't rung as it was so late they didn't want to disturb us...
My husband requested the luggage be brought up immediately and it arrived 10 mins later.
This was not the great start we were expecting from a deluxe Disney resort.
My husband wrote an email of complaint that night.
To be fair to the hotel they called the next day and sent an email to respond.
My husband went to see a duty manager who comp'd our evening meal (food only) at the Wave and extended our 2 day ticket to 3 days free of charge. (We didn't need the 3rd day but nice to have the option)

Next morning we were awake at 5am off so got washed and dressed and headed for breakfast.
The hot breakfasts don't start until 7am so we made do with bagels which you could toast yourself . They were huge! There was also cereals, fruit, Danish pastries and donuts. There were drinks available on self serve also. Perfect to start an early trip to the park.
The monorail in the hotel was quite frankly awesome! And was the reason we chose this hotel. It comes right into the hotel. One floor above the breakfast cafe reached by a small escalator or lift.
The mono rail seems to run every 10 mins or so.
The ride in took around 10 min. And stopped at the Polynesian and grand Floridian on the way to the Magic Kingdom.

Evening drinks - a bar opens early evening to grab a drink upstairs or there is a bar behind the wave that is better for a quieter drink.

Amenities:
The shops in the hotel open at 8am. They charge more than the park on the items I was looking at but handy for last minute gifts.

We ate at the Wave that evening. The waitress was wonderful telling us this was her 38th year of service. The food I'll review separately.

The pool. Unfortunately for us the weather wasn't on our side it was cold however the pool was heated which kept the kids happy! There were life guards everywhere. I counted 8! There was a slide which was great fun, a hot tub that was hot! And two pools. Perfect.

There was a beach area with volleyball net, free loungers and towels and a pool bar which we didn't use.
We did rent 2 Mini speed boats. The guys were very friendly and knowledgeable. Hubby and son loved the boats. Me not so much!

On our second night we were able to walk from the Magic Kingdom to the resort in under 15 mins. This is a fabulous option and was a major factor in us picking the hotel. With a 4 and 6 year old with no buggies to fall back on we needed to have a short and fast journey. The queues for the coaches to other resorts looked awful and we guessed the mono rail would have queues too. To have the flexibility to walk back really was great and the reason the resort is so pricey I guess.

Overall. We were very happy we had chosen the Contemporary. It isn't the prettiest hotel - that had to be the Grand Floridian however it matched our needs perfectly. It is just a shame the first impressions let the hotel down.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fi33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Contemporary Resort

Property: Disney's Contemporary Resort
Address: 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8413
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#36 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#102 Business Hotel in Orlando
#110 Family Hotel in Orlando
#134 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Contemporary Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 655
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

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