I have a vivid memory of being on a bus going into the Magic Kingdom and passing the Contemporary Resort on the right. At this point in my life (awkward middle schooler) I had indeed tasted the Disney Kool-aid and wanted more. I knew one day I wanted to stay at this modern looking A frame hotel. Plus I always liked the shape of the trees out front. Since that point, I have stayed there three times and it remains one of my favorite Disney hotel spots. Here are five interesting tidbits about the Contemporary I’ve experienced during my stays.
1. Water, Water, Everywhere
My very first trip to the Contemporary, my mom and I had a room in the main tower facing Bay Lake. It was night when we arrived and everything looked kind of dark from the balcony. When we awoke the next morning (to Chef Mickey, see below) we were blown away by the size of the lake. I know everyone enjoys Google Earthing Disney World like me, so the next time you get around to it, focus on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. You’ll notice that the part of the lake directly outside the Magic Kingdom is only about ⅓ of the actual lake. From the lake facing rooms, you will also get a view of the now retired Discovery Island. This is also the lake in which the long gone River Country resided. RIP you guys. While you can rent boats at many of the other resorts that have water on their property, at the Contemporary, you can actually go Parasailing and get a view of the Magic Kingdom from the sky.
2. Walk it out
I am a sucker for convenient locations. I like staying at Epcot resorts for their proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I love the Contemporary for the fact I could throw a rock and hit Space Mountain. As of yet, the Contemporary is the only hotel on the monorail line that you can walk to the Magic Kingdom from, and if you are fully capable, I would forgo the monorail and stroll on over. Without a doubt, you will get there faster than taking the monorail, since it will then have to stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian before it makes its way to the Magic Kingdom stop. The walkway is only for guests staying at the Contemporary so it is never crowded and it allows you to enter the bag check at your own pace, not being pushed by the mass droves of people off the monorail, ferry, or boat. This walkway also makes it super convenient to head back to the hotel for a midday nap, snack, swim, or all of the above.
3. A Variety of Viewing Locations
Because the Contemporary is in such close proximity to the Magic Kingdom, you have a few ways you can enjoy Wishes from the comfort of your own hotel. If you are eating a late dinner at the California Grill Restaurant, they pipe the music in so you can enjoy the show. If you opted for the concierge level, they have a private room and balcony that has speakers set up and a great view of the show. Guests with a Park view room will be able to enjoy the show from their balconies. Lastly, anyone staying at the hotel can go to a small outdoor patio off the 4th floor and sit on a bench and enjoy the show. Occasionally the monorail might pass by, but I think that makes it even more special.
4. Chef Mickey = Loud
If you have a room in the tower that is on the side with Chef Mickey, you might be both entertained and annoyed. They first couple times I peered over the ledge and saw napkins flying as Mickey made his grand entrance was great. I felt like a kid again. When you hear the music and shouts starting pretty early in the morning for breakfast, it doesn’t seem as great. This might be one of the downfalls to staying in the main tower, it can get noisy at times, since the area is one big open atrium. For those of you that are very early risers, or have a room on the opposite side of the hotel, you might not even notice the noise. And if you have kids that love Mickey, it’s probably worth it.
5. Lights on Parade
For anyone staying at the hotel on Bay Lake, you also get the additional bonus of the Electrical Water Pageant every night. A string of floating rafts covered in lights will pass by the hotel playing music and flashing different scenes as it makes its way across the lake. I’m a sucker for anything Patriotic so that scene is definitely my favorite. It’s an understated bit of Disney magic that is fun for the whole family.
With something for everyone, and little bits of magic at every turn, the Contemporary hasn’t seen the last of me. Stay tuned for more interesting tidbits about the Contemporary and other Disney World Resorts.