Disney's Contemporary Resort reviews
Disney's famous '60s-mod "A-frame" hotel, where the monorail whizzes through the middle of the main building.
The Contemporary and Polynesian are my favorite two resorts at WDW. Side fact: Nixon gave his "I am not a crook" speech here. - Mitchell Olson
Very good for young children (newborn-preschool) who spend most of their time in Magic Kingdom because you can push your own stroller right back to the hotel without having to fold it up and wait for buses, ferries, monorails etc. Grade-school children might be put-off by the stark decor. This is a very quiet hotel in certain areas (the more remote ones). The restaurants are some of the best with something for everyone - Chef Mickey's is popular for kids and the view after dinner at California Grill is unique. The pool is not as exciting as others with a single waterslide and you can enjoy the "beach" but not swim in the lake. I think their quick service although not amazing is so much faster on a busy day that even guests not staying on property should consider visiting the hotel for a snack after the park has closed. - Emily Brux
If ever a WDW hotel could be called controversial, even decades after its construction, this is the one. Despite its superb location, deluxe amenities, and status as a classic WDW property, it’s still on the receiving end of some harsh criticism. Case in point: I was getting off the monorail in the Grand Canyon Concourse one day, and I heard a woman behind me talking to someone about how she would never stay at the Contemporary. She found it too cold, too large, and too impersonal for her tastes. I’ve heard similar comments from others, including my own parents. They thought the hotel was interesting, and we all have fond memories of the original Top of the World Restaurant and some of the shopping that was once available, but they never felt it held a candle to the Grand Floridian and especially to the Polynesian. My one and only stay (prior to this most recent trip in February 2010) was during my junior high years. My dad and I had a huge suite on the top floor overlooking the MK, so it didn’t really matter where we were! Now, having returned as an adult in a standard size room (though still in the tower), I can understand some of the criticism. The hotel does lack the whimsy and theming of the other deluxe resorts: you won’t find Mickey or Donald on the bedspreads or in the bathroom! It’s undeniably modern and somewhat industrial, even though it’s nearly 40 years old. However, it can be argued that the theming IS modernity, industry, and a vision of the future, albeit an older one. There are plenty of people (myself included) who embrace that theme, and so the Contemporary doesn’t seem cold or forbidding at all to me. I live in a very modern high-rise condo in midtown Atlanta - an ultra-contemporary tower of steel, glass, and concrete. Our hallways, front desk, and public areas are a not-so-distant echo of the style, architecture, and construction of the Contemporary. You also have to take into consideration the perks and amenities of the hotel: its proximity to the Magic Kingdom and TTC, its indoor (and thus temperature controlled) monorail station, the amazing views of Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake that can be had from the tower. The rooms are, by most standards, quite large, making them an ideal choice for families. The elevators are fast, the staff is attentive and well-trained, and the dining options are plentiful. While I will say that I love the theming at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian, I’ll also say that I’d certainly stay at the Contemporary again. IMHO, its pluses far outweigh any perceived minuses. - Winston Chapman
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
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