Contemporary Resort Deluxe Resort
Contemporary Resort Highlights:
- Located a short walk away from Magic Kingdom
- Home to California Grill, a signature restaurant on the top floor which boasts in incredible view of fireworks
- The monorail drives right through it — easily get to Epcot (or Magic Kingdom) via the legendary Monorail.
The Contemporary Resort is one of the two original WDW hotels. It is located between Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon on the monorail loop that services the Magic Kingdom. It consists of a large A-frame section (the Tower) and one Garden Wing (South). The fourth floor of the Tower is known as the Grand Canyon Concourse, where you will find a variety of shops and restaurants as well as the monorail station. There is also walkway (MagicBand needed) to Bay Lake Tower, a Disney Vacation Club resort. The Contemporary offers many recreation options and also houses large convention facilities.
What are the advantages to staying at the Contemporary Resort?
Location, location, location! As one of the Monorail hotels the Contemporary Resort is very well located. The Magic Kingdom is only a short walk or monorail ride away and getting to Epcot simply requires transferring from one monorail to another one at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC).
In addition, the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts are easily accessed by the monorail and the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness are just a boat ride away.
The rooms at the Contemporary Resort are among the largest at WDW.
There are several dining options within the resort itself such as the popular Chef Mickey’s and the California Grill.
One of the largest selections of recreational activities can be found here.
What room options are there at the Contemporary?
The Contemporary has standard rooms and suites. Standard rooms have two queen beds and a day bed or a king-size bed and a day bed. They can accommodate up to five people plus a child under 3 who would use a crib. Suites, in various configurations and price ranges, are also available.
Where are the rooms located?
The Contemporary Resort has two sections. The Tower is 14 stories tall and has approximately 500 guest rooms. The Tower rooms have 2 views, Bay Lake or Magic Kingdom/Parking Lot. The South Garden Wing is located to the south of the Tower has approximately 250 rooms. The Garden rooms have either a water, garden or parking lot view.
So which is better, the Tower or the Garden Wing?
That depends on your taste and budget. The Tower rooms are much more convenient to the shops, restaurants, front desk and monorail station. These rooms also boast fabulous views of either Bay Lake or the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. In 2008, the Contemporary began charging more for Magic Kingdom view rooms than those with a Bay Lake View.
The rooms in the South Wing are closer to the marina and swimming pools. The views from the rooms in the wing vary. On the downside, some find the Tower rooms noisy as they are located directly above the Grand Canyon Concourse and the rooms in the Wings are a hike from the Monorail station and other facilities. The Tower Rooms are more expensive, so if you want to take advantage of the location for the lowest price, inquire about the Garden Wing. (AllEars Review: Stayed on the sixth floor, directly above the monorail. Once inside the room, I NEVER heard a bit of noise from the Grand Canyon Concourse. The rooms are soundproofed well.)
Are there balconies on the Garden Wing rooms?
No, there are no balconies in the Garden Wing rooms. If you are on the first floor, there is a small patio with two chairs and a table (beware of bird droppings). These patios are not private, you will share them with your neighbor. However, if you are in a room at the end of the wing, you will get a private patio overlooking the bay or pool area on the first floor.
Can we get adjoining rooms?
Most of the rooms at the Contemporary have doors connecting them with a room next door. If an adjoining room is warranted, be sure to request it when booking your room. Your request will be noted and Disney will do their best to accommodate your needs, but adjoining rooms cannot be guaranteed.
Are there smoking and nonsmoking rooms?
All Disney resorts and guest rooms are now smoke free. There are designated outdoor smoking areas. Check the resort map or with a Cast Member for locations.
What are the Concierge rooms like?
The Concierge Floors – 12 and 14. Concierge services are idential on the two floors, the only difference is the 14th floor has suites.
The 12th floor Atrium Club Concierge and the 14th floor Tower Club Concierge offer the same services and food items. There is a nightly turndown service, and they leave a little chocolate Mickey (solid chocolate) on your pillow every night. The concierge is available from 7am to 10pm to make dining reservations, plan outings, answer questions, everything
Use the Concierge! They can assist in making your reservations before you arrive at WDW. Remember you are paying for their services so utilize them.
What are the room prices?
The Contemporary Resort is considered a “Deluxe” resort hotel, and its prices are among the more expensive offered at Disney. These are regular rate prices and do not include the Florida Sales Tax nor the county resort tax. Standard rooms have a maximum four-person occupancy per room. No charge for children under 17 years old when in the same room as the adults. If you have more than two adults in the room, there will be a $25 per night charge for each extra adult. Maximum of five per regular room, six per suite, plus a child under 3 in a crib.
Walt Disney World Resort rates vary by season (there are nine seasons now), and also by day of the week. The holiday season is the most expensive time of the year. It runs from mid-December to early January as well as during Easter Week.
The rates for a:
— Garden Wing Standard View Room range from $454 – $759
— Garden Wing Garden View Room range from $461 – $819
— Garden Wing King Room range from $540 – $826
— Garden Wing Deluxe Room range from $546 – $867
— Tower Bay Lake View Room range from $638 – $929
— Tower Magic Kingdom View Room range from $697 – $1,029
— Atrium Club Level Standard View Room range from $802 – $1,184
— Atrium Club Level Magic Kingdom View room range from $875 – $1,376
— Wide range of Deluxe rooms and suites range from $1,297 – ,$4,067
Is there a fee to park at the Contemporary Resort?
There is a fee for overnight self-parking at Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Click HERE for current pricing and other parking-related information.
A small, in-room refrigerator.
A small safe that is activated by a four-digit code of your choice.
A coffee maker (with coffee)
An ironing board
Flat screen television
Walt Disney World Resort made complimentary Wi-Fi service available in all of its hotels as of March 2012. See our Internet Access page for details.
I hear that there are no more room key cards at Disney resort hotels. How do I get into my room?
Walt Disney World has converted their room keys and admission tickets from plastic cards to MagicBands, flexible plastic wristbands, resembling a watch or bracelet, that use Radio Frequency (RF) technology. Your MagicBand is linked to your My Disney Experience (MDE) account and acts as your Disney resort room key. Simply touch the Mickey symbol on your MagicBand to the RFID reader near your room door to gain entry. Read about using MagicBands for park admission, FastPass+ and more HERE.
How do Check-in and Check-Out work?
Online Check-in is available through the My Disney Experience App. Look for the special Online Check-in line at the resort’s front desk.
Check-in is at 3pm. Upon arrival head to the front desk to check-in. Rooms are not guaranteed to be available until 3pm, but you can request Early Check-in when you do Online Check-in.
Early check-in allows you to leave luggage with bell services, get your Magic Bands (if you don’t already have them) and head off to the parks or relax around the resort. You will be get a notification on My Disney Experience when you Room is ready. You will then be given your room number and your Magic Band will open your door! You can also use the app on your phone to open your door.
Check-out time is 11am. Express Check-out is available to all guests paying with a credit card, arrange for this service at check-in. A detailed hotel bill is delivered to your door by 7am. If the bill is correct you simply leave. Your Magic Band serves as a Disney souvenir. Late Check-out of noon can be requested without additional cost (very limited availability). If you need Late Check-out, request it at Check-In and as soon as possible the morning of check out (the number of eligible rooms are limited).
Resort Airline Check-In Service at your Disney resort is only available if you are flying domestically (includes Puerto Rico) on specific airlines It is a complimentary (free) service and allows you to check your luggage.
Are laundry services available?
There are coin operated laundry machines located in the Garden Wing. Additionally, dry cleaning services are available for a fee. The washing machine costs $2.00, as does the dryer. There is a small TV in the Laundry Room.
How do I get to the parks?
Magic Kingdom – The Magic Kingdom is the closest park to the Contemporary Resort. Simply board the monorail at the station above the Grand Canyon Concourse for the ride to the park. Keep in mind it could take upwards of 30-45 minutes to Magic Kingdom via the Monorail, as the Magic Kingdom is the last of 4 stops.
You can also walk the short distance to the Magic Kingdom — simply cross the street (near the guard’s entrance gate) and walk along the pathway. Walking is the fastest and easiest way to get to the park — around 10 minutes. Careful, though, this is a busy intersection. At park closing time, walking will usually be your quickest and easiest way back to the resort.
Epcot – To get to Epcot take the monorail from the Contemporary to the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC). At the TTC transfer to the Epcot monorail for the trip to the park.
Bus transportation is available at the bus stop beginning 1-hour prior to park opening to one hour after the park closes.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – There is a bus stop in the front of the hotel, just off of the main lobby. From here catch a bus to the Studios.
Animal Kingdom – There is a bus stop in the front of the hotel, just off of the main lobby. From here catch a bus to the Animal Kingdom.
Disney Springs – Bus transportation begins 30 minutes prior to opening (usually 9am) and the last bus returning to the Contemporary leaves at midnight.
How do I get everywhere else?
Grand Floridian Resort and the Polynesian Resort: The Resort Monorail circles Seven Seas Lagoon, stopping at the Transportation and Ticket Center, the Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, the Magic Kingdom, and returning to the Contemporary. It takes approximately 30 minutes to make the circle.
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach: The water parks can all be reached by bus, which leaves the resort approximately 30 minutes prior to Water Park opening and run until the Water Park clears.
Other Disney Resorts: Other resorts can be reached by taking a bus to Disney Springs and then transferring to the bus for the resort you wish to visit. You can also walk to the Magic Kingdom bus station and select your desired resort. You can also use a Rideshare, such as Minnie Vans, Uber, or Lyft.
Fort Wilderness (for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue) & Wilderness Lodge/Villas: These resorts can be reached by taking a launch from the Contemporary’s marina, which is located on the Bay Lake side of the resort. The small watercraft makes a circle between the three locations. Seasonally, a boat also runs between the Wilderness Lodge/Villas and the Contemporary Resort, ask at the front desk for hours of operation.
Where can I get early morning coffee or a late night snack?
Contempo Cafe, located on the Grand Canyon Concourse (fourth floor) offers beverages, snacks and a few hot items. Limited service is available from 6:00am – midnight. Full service is available from 7am – 10pm.
A coffee shop, Contemporary Grounds, is on the lobby level to the right of the main entrance.
The Contemporary Resort also offers a somewhat limited room-service menu. Items from room-service are, of course, at a premium.
What is the guard at the front gate all about?
Each Disney resort has a Guard Shack at the entrance. Hotel Guests are able to enter the gate on the right side by using their Magic Band . Other guests wishing to visit or dine at the Contemporary need to check in with the guard as to your destination.
What are the restaurants at the Contemporary like?
The Contemporary Resort offers three full-service restaurants.
California Grill – This is the premiere restaurant of the Contemporary Resort. It is located on the 15th floor of the Tower building and offers California-style cuisine and sushi. The views of the Magic Kingdom and surrounding areas are breathtaking and the lounge or outer balcony are perfect spots from which to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. California Grill serves dinner only. Check-in for the California Grill is located on the second floor next to the escalators. Reservations are a must.
The Wave – This restaurant is located on the first floor just past the check-in desks as you enter and offers a variety of upscale dishes including Braised Lamb Shank, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and Seasonal Vegetable Stew. The Wave offers full service breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Wave Lounge – A lounge connected to the Wave, featuring cocktails, wine, and small plates. You can also order off the full Wave menu!
Chef Mickey’s– This is the spot for character meals at the Contemporary. A buffet breakfast with Mickey and the gang is offered every morning. In the evening a buffet featuring prime rib, seafood, and a variety of other dishes is offered, also with Mickey and Co.
There are two counter service areas:
The Contempo Café is located on the fourth floor and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with an assortment of snacks and drinks.
Across from Contempo Cafe, is the Outer Rim. This cocktail lounge serves wine, beer, and cocktails. There isn’t any food on the menu, but you’re welcome to bring over food from Contempo Cafe.
The Sand Bar is located by the pool and is open with seasonal hours. It serves mainly burgers, deli sandwiches, and ice cream. The Bar serves beer, wine and cocktails.
Additionally, The Rapid Fill beverage program allows Disney Resort guests to buy (or receive as part of the Disney Dining Plan) a resort mug that can be refilled for a certain period of time as designated at time of purchase. These mugs are enhanced by an RFID bar code that enables the mug to deactivate when the designated time is complete.
Is there a pool at the Contemporary Resort?
There are actually two pools at the Contemporary. The large pool is a freeform pool complete with a 17-foot high curving slide. There is also a round, quiet pool which is shallow around the edges and deeper in the center. Cabanas are available nearby for daily or hourly rental. They include a flatscreen TV, ipod docking station, resort phone, and a mini refrigerator. Two whirlpools have also been added, one of which is located on a peninsula which juts out into the freeform pool area. In 2009, a brand new Children’s water play area opened. Futuristic in design, kids can run and play through fountains and waterspouts.
Can guests swim in the lake?
Signs are posted stating NO swimming is allowed in the lake.
What else is there to do at the Contemporary?
The Contemporary offers a wide variety of recreational activities. Be sure to ask for a Recreation Activities Flyer at check-in.
Guests can rent a number of different water craft from the Contemporary’s marina. These include Sea Racers, pontoon boats, and bass fishing excursions.
The Contemporary also offers the following:
- Olympiad Fitness Center (located on the third floor – Phone: 407-824-3410)
- A large video arcade
- Two basketball hoops (located near the pool – get a ball from the marina shop – resort ID required)
- Beach volleyball (located near the pool – get a ball from the marina shop – resort ID required)
I’ve heard of a pirate adventure, can you explain?
Most nights, kids of all ages (adults too!) can set sail on the high seas during the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage! This adventure begins at the Contemporary Ballrooms, where you’ll enjoy treats and meeting of real pirates! Shortly before fireworks you’ll board a vessel and sail onto the Seven Seas Lagoon for a prime viewing of the fireworks. Upon return, a surprise guest is waiting for you!
For more information, check out our Specialty Cruises page.
Are there any shops at the Contemporary?
Bayview Gifts – The front section, just off the escalator, offers refrigerated chocolates and fudge, homewares and photo collectibles. The middle section offers Ladies casual fashions, watches, jewelry and framed art collectibles. The end section offers men’s fashions.
Fantasia Gifts – Offers Disney character merchandise and clothing. A wide selection of pins is located in the center of this shop.
Fantasia Market – Offers a variety of reading material (newspapers, magazines, etc.), liquor and refrigerated items. This shop also stocks health and beauty items guests may need.
Can you see the fireworks from the Contemporary?
The Magic Kingdom Fireworks can be easily viewed from the resort. One of the best spots for this is the 15th floor California Grill Lounge (you must be dining there to view the Fireworks from at location). The music which accompanies the fireworks is piped into the lounge so guests don’t miss a thing. Guests with Tower Rooms facing the Magic Kingdom can also view the show from their terraces. If you are a guest on the 14th floor Concierge, you can watch the fireworks from the balcony off the lounge.
There is another viewing spot located on the north side of the tower just outside the fourth floor. The area out here is larger and several benches have been placed in facing the Magic Kingdom. However, the monorail tracks can obscure the view in some places.
Can you see the Electrical Water Pageant from the Contemporary?
Yes, the Pageant circles the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake so guests at the Contemporary have ample opportunity to see the show. Again, the California Grill Lounge offers a good view, if somewhat high up. The beach on the Bay Lake side of the resort is also a good bet. Check with Guest Services for the approximate time the pageant will pass by the Contemporary.
Is there a children’s program at the Contemporary?
The Contemporary Resort is currently offering a new, interactive experience for children ages 4–12 called the Pixar Play Zone. For details and other child care alternatives around Walt Disney World, visit our Child Care FAQ.
Okay, so how do I get to the Contemporary Resort?
Take Exit 64 off Route I-4. As you approach the toll booths at the Magic Kingdom entrance stay to the right. Show the attendant your confirmation slip and they will not charge you. Once on the other side of the toll booths follow the signs to the Contemporary. It will be straight ahead and on your right.
What happened to the North Garden Wing?
The North Garden wing was completely torn down in early 2007. A new DVC property, Bay Lake Tower, was built on that land and opened August 4, 2009.
To learn more about Disney’s Contemporary Resort, check out this AllEars TV Video!