So many choices when planning a Disney vacation, so little time. Price is generally a deciding factor in many decisions during the planning process. Our Twins TravelingMom and her family recently stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Hotel while on Disney property for a conference. Because of frequent visits, deluxe hotels had not previously been on her radar while planning a Walt Disney World vacation. See why her family may rethink their accommodation strategy after upgrading their lodging.
Why You Should Stay at Disney’s Contemporary Hotel
My family recently stayed a few night’s at Disney’s Contemporary Hotel. On a typical family vacation, this resort isn’t even on our radar because of one big factor: price. Our excuse for not upgrading from a value or moderate resort is that we “are never in the room” on our Walt Disney World vacation. After our recent stay in deluxe accommodations, I can see why this is worth the upgrade.
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One of the Original Hotels
Disney’s Contemporary Hotel is one of the original hotels when Magic Kingdom park opened in 1971 (the other hotel was the Polynesian Village Resort). While the rooms have been upgraded to remain current with the times, the exterior and some interior areas still maintain the same look and feel of the original hotel. The modern structure and angular design of the resort are appealing to type-A personalities like me!
Contemporary Hotel Rooms
As would be expected in deluxe Disney accommodations, the standard rooms are larger than standard value and moderate rooms. My family is only a family of 4, but it was nice to take advantage of the space. With 2 queen sized beds, a full bathroom, and a couch/desk area, we comfortably fit all of our suitcases. For reference, the value rooms are 260 square feet, moderate rooms are 314 square feet, and the Contemporary standard hotel rooms are 437 square feet. Having almost 200 extra square feet in our room made quite a difference in terms of personal space (which is
For reference, the value rooms are 260 square feet, moderate rooms are 314 square feet, and the Contemporary standard hotel rooms are 437 square feet. Having almost 200 extra square feet in our room made quite a difference in terms of personal space (which is very important when traveling with kids under 5)!
Contemporary Hotel Amenities
From values to moderates to deluxe hotels, I have had an experience consistent with each level of lodging. I do not expect the same level of amenities at a value that I do at a deluxe. A few of the amenities that my family loved at the Disney’s Contemporary Hotel are:
- Monorail service to and from the Magic Kingdom (and Epcot with a quick changeover in the Transportation and Ticket Center)
- On site character meals for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Chef Mickey’s
- Expansive pool area, complete with a splash pad for kids and a hot tub for adults
- Great views of the Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake
- Walking distance to the Magic Kingdom
- Signature dining and a great view of nighttime fireworks from the California Grill
When it comes to my family’s Disney vacations, ease is the name of our game. I often dreaded the end of the night when we hauled our twins up and out of their stroller, folded it up, and hung on to sleeping children and a stroller until we made it back to our resort. I never dreaded returning to Disney’s Contemporary Hotel, especially not from the Magic Kingdom. One evening, when it appeared as though the monorail wait would be a long one, we decided to walk. My girls were able to continue sleeping in the stroller while we leisurely wandered back to our room. My husband and I exchanged glances at one point during our walk and said, “
One evening, when it appeared as though the monorail wait would be a long one, we decided to walk. My girls continued sleeping in the stroller while we leisurely wandered back to our room. My husband and I exchanged glances at one point during our walk and said, “THIS is why people pay to upgrade!”
Dining at the Disney’s Contemporary Hotel
None of the deluxe resorts have a food court, but, honestly, we didn’t miss it. Here is what you can choose from when dining at the Disney’s Contemporary Hotel:
Contempo Cafe: The Contempo Cafe is the Contemporary’s only quick service restaurant. This was our go-to option when we needed something fast. They have a great selection of healthy options. We indulged in the Contempo Smokehouse Burger with smoked bacon marmalade and a fried onion ring to top it all off.
California Grill: One of our family’s favorite dining spots in all of Walt Disney World. The food is an upgrade from regular Disney fare. The kid’s menu is presented in a fun, friendly manner too. My girls loved their “dessert sushi!” Best of all, the view of the Magic Kingdom nighttime fireworks just can’t be beat.
The Wave of American Flavors: A casually elegant buffet serving American classics like eggs Benedict for breakfast, signature bison burgers for lunch, and grilled rib-eye for dinner.
Chef Mickey’s: Family-friendly buffet style food, with character! At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, enjoy favorite culinary standbys as well as up close meets with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto.
TravelingMom Tip: Reservations are accepted for California Grill, The Wave of American Flavors, and Chef Mickey’s. I highly recommend them!
Is it Worth the Upgrade?
I won’t sugarcoat it. Disney’s deluxe resorts are expensive. As someone who frequents Walt Disney World for vacations, it is not personally feasible to stay deluxe every visit. However, if you can upgrade your accommodations, do it!
Take advantage of discounts that are available, either by working with a travel agent or using discounts known to you (military, AAA, and other organizations you may be part of). Even if you can only manage one stay at a deluxe resort, it would be worth it, especially if that stay included Disney’s Contemporary Hotel.