Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Heather
We recently stayed at the Contemporary Resort for the first time. We had gone there on other trips to eat or walk around but staying there gave us a new insight into the resort. This great Disney classic was one of two resorts located on property when Walt Disney World opened in 1971. Here are some fun things that I found while staying there.
1. Using the Monorail
This may seem obvious but staying on the Monorail loop is super convenient. We had never stayed on the monorail loop so while we knew it was cool we never knew just how easy it was to hop over to the Magic Kingdom or another resort. Once the Polynesian opens back up and the Epcot Monorail starts back up it will be even easier to get where we want in a flash.
2. Pool Area
The feature pool located right outside of the Contemporary Resort is pretty fantastic. The pool is at most 4ft deep making it perfect for kids and the slide is a ton of fun. The pool is also big enough so that it didn’t seem crowded. In the main pool area, there are also 2 hot tubs for the older crowd to enjoy. My daughter especially enjoyed the fountains in the pool as an added feature. For even litter ones there is a cute little splash area on the outside of the pool gates. We didn’t check out the quiet pool located out near the lake but it looked just as nice as the main pool and also features a hot tub.
3. Mobile Ordering
When mobile ordering first came out we tried it and while it was nice to order ahead it didn’t seem very streamlined. On our last trip, we used it sever times and it was fantastic! I would place our order and say “I’m Here” while still in our room. I would then wait until I got a notification the order was ready (usually around 5 minutes) and head for the elevator. I checked in with the cast member at the entrance to the restaurant and headed to the table to pick up by bag. So quick and easy! As a side note the experience was the same for both the Contempo Café as well as The Wave.
4. Photo Ops
If you want some great photos then you have to check out the grounds of the Contemporary. The Mickey photo op was by far our favorite. It even has a special stand that you can place your camera to get everyone in the picture. You can also get some great shots with the Contemporary and palm trees in the background from the main courtyard area near the pool.
My daughter’s favorite activity while staying at the Contemporary resort was the pool games. Throughout the day cast members come out to the main pool and have the kids partake in some pretty fun pool games. There are also outdoor pool tables, ping pong tables, corn hole and a giant chess board to entertain guests in the courtyard.
6. Electrical Water Pageant
Now that the Electrical Water Pageant is back, the Contemporary resort has a great viewing spot. If you have a lake view room then you can watch it right from your room. If not you can watch it from the marina area. The Contemporary is the last stop on the route for the Electrical Water Pageant so it goes by the resort around 10pm.
7. Fireworks – When they come back
We all know that we miss fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary has some of the best resort viewing spots for them when they return. If you are lucky like we were to have a theme park view room then you can watch them right from your balcony. You can also view them from the balcony located on the 4th floor as well as the roof top area outside of California Grill. When we were there in November we had the thrill of being able to watch fireworks testing from our room.
8. Extra Room
Because the Contemporary was one of the original resorts that opened in 1971 with the Magic Kingdom it has some of the largest standard size rooms in all of Walt Disney World. Most standard rooms range from 260 square feet to 330 square feet. Standard rooms at the Contemporary Resort average around 440 square feet. Even traveling with a family of 3, an extra 100 square feet can make a difference!
The Contemporary Resort also has some wonderful suites that are downright HUGE! We stayed in a 1 bedroom suite and we were told that it was 1,400 square feet. We couldn’t believe how big it was, to be honest, it was larger than our first apartment…lol Below is a video that we took of our room!
9. Butterfly Garden
If you are looking for a quite place to grab a book, cup of coffee or just to relax away from it all I would suggest to go find the ‘butterfly garden’ located in the courtyard between the main building and the marina. It is tucked away beyond the Mickey head photo spot. The gardens are absolutely beautiful and butterflies are found fluttering around most of the year.
10. Dining Options
There are some really great dining options while staying at the Contemporary resort. For quick service the Contempo Café has a lot of great offerings. We found that the Contempo Burger is buy far one of the BEST burger on Disney property! Our friend Michael Kay would agree! They have a nice variety for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Located on the same floor Chef Mickey’s is a fun option for families with little ones. This is a character dining option (currently characters are meeting from afar) and has a nice selection of family style dining options.
If you are looking for something a bit nicer than those two I would head down to the first floor to The Wave. This restaurant has a special take on some classic American dishes. My husband tried the sweet potato pancakes with Pecan Honey Butter and said they were some of the best pancakes he has ever had. Plenty of guests agree! Finally of you are looking for a really nice restaurant with great views then you have to check out the California Grill. Located on the 15th for a top of the Contemporary resort the California Grill is a great spot to celebrate a special occasion. Reservations are required and at times can be tough to come by but the food, atmosphere, and view make it all worth it.
I hope you enjoyed finding out more about the Contemporary resort. It has always been on a bucket list for us to stay there and we were thrilled that we were able to on our last trip. I am sure there will be more things to check out each time that we go back.