Top Five Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Contemporary

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is Still One of the Best Places to Stay at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has many great visual icons: Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth at Epcot and the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park are three in particular that come to mind.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is another icon that many people immediately relate to Walt Disney World. As the original Walt Disney World Resort hotel, the impressive A-frame tower of Disney’s Contemporary Resort sits proudly in place between Bay Lake on one side and Seven Seas Lagoon on the other and represents an important part of the history of Walt Disney World.

Retro Disney's Contemporary Resort, circa 1979

The view from atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort in 1979. I took this photo on my trusty Kodak 110 Instamatic. Looking out over Bay Lake.

The Original Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Hotel

Disney’s Contemporary Resort was the very first hotel to open at Walt Disney World in 1971 and it doesn’t get much more authentic than that. Its futuristic design in the shadow of Tomorrowland still stands as a unique and iconic image even 45+ years after its creation.

This property is a powerful contender to be one of the most desirable Deluxe Resort properties at Walt Disney World.

Here are five great reasons to stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Walkway To Disney's Contemporary Resort, Sign

The ability to walk to and from Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is one of the many benefits of staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

1. Location, Location, Location

As the only resort property from which you can walk to Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort (along with its sister property, Bay Lake Tower, next door) offers an unbeatable location unequalled by any other hotel. The convenience of being able to walk to and from the gates of the Magic Kingdom means you can avoid the Disney transportation system altogether for Magic Kingdom visits. This is most beneficial at the end of the day when tens of thousands of Magic Kingdom guests are exiting the park at the same time (for example after the fireworks). The line-ups for boats, buses and monorails at this time are ridiculously long and slow. If you’re staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can breathe easy and stroll casually past the long lines of weary guests as you walk back to your gleaming tower nearby. This convenience is a definite bonus that should not be undervalued.

Bay Lake Room View, Disney's Contemporary Resort

Bay Lake View from Disney’s Contemporary Resort. There really isn’t a bad view here, particularly from the upper floors.

2. Unparalleled Views

The majority of rooms from the main tower of Disney’s Contemporary Resort offer exceptional views of either Bay Lake on one side or Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom on the other. When it comes to the Contemporary Resort tower, you really can’t go wrong as far as the view is concerned no matter which side you get. In fact, many people (me included) prefer the Bay Lake view to the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom side. The only caveats are to request a high floor to get the most enjoyment (more applicable to the Seven Seas Lagoon side).

Chef Mickey's, Disney's Contemporary Resort

An early morning breakfast at Chef Mickey’s is a great way to beat the rush and to get a head start on your day.

3. Great Dining Options Onsite

Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers some excellent options right onsite when it comes to upscale and recommended dining. From the highly recommended California Grill with its amazing rooftop views and first-class menu, to the under-rated fare of The Wave…of American Flavors, dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is better than what you will find at many other onsite resorts.

Speaking of dining, Disney’s Contemporary Resort hosts the most popular Mickey Mouse character breakfast of all — right in the lobby of the hotel. Chef Mickey’s is a highly recommended character dining experience where you can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and more of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse friends. When you stay at this resort you have no excuse not to attend this all-you-care-to-enjoy character dining experience. A Walt Disney World Classic.

Disney's Contemporary Resort Guest Room

The standard guest rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are among the most spacious you will find at Walt Disney World Resort.

4. Big Guest Rooms

If having a good-sized room is important to you, Disney’s Contemporary Resort has some of the largest standard rooms at Walt Disney World. Back in the early ’70s when this hotel opened, it wasn’t all about cramming in as many rooms as possible. The cool thing about the Contemporary’s rooms is also that this hotel was quite unique in how it came together. The concrete shell of the A-frame main building was completed and the guest rooms were actually built off-site in a modular fashion and then basically slipped into place into the main structure — like drawers in a bedroom dresser — pretty cool indeed (Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort was constructed in a similar manner, around the same time).

That aside, if you’re looking for a property with relatively big guest rooms for your family, the Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the best you will find at Walt Disney World. As an added bonus, it is also one of the quietest Walt Disney World hotels in terms of noise traveling through the walls from rooms next door.

Disney's Contemporary Monorail Station

The lobby monorail station at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is as cool today as it was over 45 years ago.

5. Lobby Monorail Coolness Factor

Just as the hotel design has stood the test of time, the cool factor of the Walt Disney World monorail line whooshing right through the hotel lobby is as awesome today as it was in the early ’70s. You won’t get this experience anywhere else (Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort both have outdoor monorail stations). Not only is it cool and convenient to have the monorail right inside your lobby, but it will also take you one stop to the Transportation and Ticket Center where you can transfer to the Epcot monorail line to get to that park relatively quickly as well.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the most underrated of the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts in my opinion. However, for these five reasons (and many more), once you stay here there’s a good chance that it will quickly shoot to the top of your list as one of your favorite Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort hotels.

Planning a Walt Disney World Deluxe Vacation?

Be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.

Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel