A new counter service restaurant, the Contempo CafÃ©, opened yesterday (November 15) on the fourth floor of the Contemporary Resort.
Occupying the space that once was the Concourse Steakhouse, this eatery is designed for those guests who want to grab a quick bite rather than enjoy a full service meal.
When you enter the restaurant, the first thing you encounter are two electronic menu boards. Note, the prices are NOT posted here. After you get an idea of what’s offered, you proceed to one of the five kiosks where you place your order by using a touch-sensitive screen. It’s here that you’ll find the menu prices. The touch-sensitive screens give you the option of English or Spanish.
Disney has tried to anticipate every possible option a guest might request. For example, if you order a Caesar Salad, the screen will give you the choice of having the dressing mixed into the greens, served on the side, or omitted completely. If you order a hamburger, you’re given the choice of four cheeses. Depending on the choices you make, the price of an item may change and this is reflected in a running total on the right side of the screen. Once you’ve finished making your selections, a receipt is printed for you to take to the cashier. Currently, a host or hostess is on hand to help you figure out the system – but I found it easy to navigate.
If you don’t want something that requires kitchen preparation, you can bypass these kiosks and proceed to the self-service bakery, “The Market” area for refrigerated items or to one of the shelves where fruit and prepackaged items are available.
When you have everything you want, you take your receipt and other goodies to the cashier. It’s here that you order fountain drinks. If you have ordered anything that is being prepared by the kitchen, you will be given a pager and told it will buzz when your food is ready. After paying you proceed to the dining area and get settled.
The dining room is large and spacious. The tables have a “contemporary” look and the chairs feature a cut-out Mickey Mouse. It’s in the dining room that you’ll find the condiment and drink station. A microwave oven and bagel toaster are also available here.
When your pager buzzes, you return to the “Pick Up Order Here” counter for your food.
I ordered the Stacked Sandwich. It featured smoked ham, dill havarti, and honey-mustard on Ciabatta bread. I had a choice of Green Bean Salad or House Chips. I chose the chips.
I was very pleased with my selection. It was obvious that the chips were fresh as they were still warm when I returned to the table. And the sandwich was large – large enough to share if you don’t have a huge appetite.
My friend Donald ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad and the soup-of-the-day which was Chicken Corn Chowder. He thought both items were quite tasty. We both agreed that we would return in the future.
My overall impression of the menu is favorable. It appears that Disney is trying to offer more upscale choices here. I would compare Contempo CafÃ© to the Sunshine Seasons Restaurant in the Land Pavilion at Epcot – which I like a lot.
A word of caution”¦ Construction (and noise) will be the norm here for several more months. The area that once was the Outer Rim Lounge is being converted into additional seating for Chef Mickey’s. And the area that housed the temporary counter service restaurant will be the home of the new Outer Rim Lounge. So until these projects are complete, be prepared for the sounds of saws, drills, and other electric tools.
Grab & Go only (no kitchen preparation): 6:00am – 12 midnight
Breakfast: 7:00am – 11:00am
Lunch: 11:00am – 10:00pm (lunch items are available thru dinner hours)
Dinner: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
One final comment and opinion. Over the last several years, Disney has been in the process of redecorating the fourth floor of the Contemporary Resort. Their efforts have given it a stylish and updated look – which I like. But there is one glaring contradiction to their redesign. The Mary Blair tiles that grace the elevator shafts are horribly wrong for this new look.
The fourth floor is officially named the Grand Canyon Concourse. And in the early years, Disney had a semi-Southwestern motif here, of which the tiles were a part. But those days are long gone. It’s time to replace these tiles with something more fitting of the rest of the dÃ©cor.