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Guide to Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Guide to Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Hey there! So, let me tell you about Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It’s one of the coolest places to stay if you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando. This resort is like a dream come true for Disney fans and anyone who loves a touch of modern luxury.

First things first, the name “Contemporary” isn’t just for show. This place is literally a contemporary masterpiece! Imagine a sleek and stylish high-rise hotel that’s part of the magic of Disney. This is an opening day hotel, opening on October 1, 1971, so to pay homage to that era, the resort has been completely updated in a sleek mid-century modern cool vibe. 

One of the most unique features of this resort is that the monorail actually glides right through the building. Yeah, you heard that right! How cool is that? It’s like living in the future while being surrounded by Disney magic. And speaking of magic, the monorail can whisk you away to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, making it super convenient to explore the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

Overall, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the perfect blend of modern luxury and Disney magic. It’s a place where dreams come true, and where you can create memories that will last a lifetime. So, if you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World and you want to stay in style, this resort should definitely be at the top of your list. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

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What is Disney’s Contemporary Resort?

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a deluxe hotel located within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is one of the original resorts that opened with the Magic Kingdom theme park in 1971 and has since become an iconic symbol of Disney hospitality.

The resort is known for its distinctive modern design and unique architecture. The main building is a sleek A-frame structure with a monorail track passing through it, offering convenient transportation to Magic Kingdom and other nearby attractions. This design feature makes Disney’s Contemporary Resort a truly one-of-a-kind destination, but does anyone else get toaster vibes from it? 

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Mural by Mary Blair

As you enter the resort from the monorail you will be greeted by a massive mural. The mural created by Mary Blair at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a breathtaking masterpiece that immediately captivates guests with its vibrant colors and whimsical design. Spanning multiple stories, the mural showcases Blair’s distinctive artistic style, featuring a playful interpretation of a grand canyon landscape. The use of bold shapes and vibrant hues creates a visually striking composition that transports viewers to a world of imagination and wonder. With cleverly integrated Disney characters adding an element of surprise, Mary Blair’s mural at Disney’s Contemporary Resort stands as a testament to the resort’s commitment to celebrating art and storytelling, leaving a lasting impression on all who have the pleasure of admiring it.

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Have fun searching for the famous 5 legged goat in the iconic mural!

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Who is Mary Blair?

Mary Blair had a profound influence on the Disney company, leaving an indelible mark on its artistic and storytelling legacy. As an artist and Imagineer, Blair’s unique style and vibrant imagination brought a fresh and innovative perspective to Disney’s animated films and theme park designs. Her use of bold colors, geometric shapes, and whimsical patterns injected a sense of joy and playfulness into Disney’s visual narratives. Blair’s iconic work on films like “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” and “Alice in Wonderland” introduced a distinct visual language that resonated with audiences and continues to be celebrated today. Her contributions extended beyond animation, as she played a key role in the development of iconic attractions like “It’s a Small World” and the murals at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Mary Blair’s artistic vision and her ability to create enchanting worlds filled with wonder have left an enduring legacy within the Disney company, inspiring generations of artists and ensuring her impact will be felt for years to come.

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Story Behind the Design

The history of Disney’s Contemporary Resort dates back to the early planning stages of Walt Disney World in the late 1960s. The resort was envisioned as a modern and futuristic hotel that would reflect the contemporary design trends of the time.

The resort’s unique architecture was the brainchild of architect Welton Becket and Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr. They conceived the idea of a hotel with a monorail track passing directly through it, creating a groundbreaking and visually striking design. The monorail system was an essential part of Walt Disney’s original vision for Disney World, providing futuristic transportation for guests.

What is even more unique than the monorail running straight through is how the Imagineers designed the structure to plug in the rooms… Instead of building the full building and then having to go through and design the rooms, the Contemporary Resort was designed to have the rooms built and created off-site and then using a crane “plugging” them into place. They learned that this was not as convenient as they once thought and don’t use this method for updates today. 

Where is the Contemporary Resort?

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is closest to the Magic Kingdom, with views of Cinderella Castle from its large windows. This resort also shares a monorail line with Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. 

What Types of Rooms are Available at Disney’s Contemporary Resort?

At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can find a range of room options to suit your needs and preferences. Back in 2021 the rooms even received a refresh with light Incredibles themeing. Overall, accomodations feature modern and stylish accommodations with a touch of Disney magic.

 Here are some of the room types available:

Standard Rooms

 These rooms offer a comfortable and contemporary design with either a garden or theme park view. They typically come with two queen beds or one king bed, along with amenities such as a flat-screen TV, mini-refrigerator, and a private bathroom.

Deluxe Rooms

 The resort offers Deluxe Rooms with a variety of views, including Magic Kingdom views, Bay Lake views, and Standard views. These rooms provide additional space and amenities, such as a separate sitting area and a larger bathroom.

Club Level Rooms

 Disney’s Contemporary Resort also features Club Level accommodations, which provide access to an exclusive lounge. Guests staying in Club Level rooms enjoy additional benefits such as personalized concierge service, complimentary refreshments throughout the day, and access to the lounge’s complimentary evening appetizers and beverages.

What Do You Get When You Stay in a Club Level Room?

  1. Access to the Club Level Lounge
    One of the primary benefits of staying in a Concierge Level room is access to the exclusive Club Level Lounge. This private lounge is located on the 12th floor of the main building and offers a tranquil retreat for guests. You can relax in a comfortable setting while enjoying complimentary refreshments and snacks throughout the day.
  2. Personalized Concierge Services
    The Club Level rooms come with personalized concierge services. A dedicated team of Cast Members is available to assist you with various needs, including making dining reservations, arranging transportation, and providing recommendations and information to enhance your Disney experience.
  3. Complimentary Food and Beverage Offerings
    The Club Level Lounge provides a selection of complimentary food and beverage offerings throughout the day. You can enjoy continental breakfast in the mornings, light snacks and refreshments during the day, afternoon tea, and hors d’oeuvres and beverages in the evenings. It’s a convenient way to grab a quick bite or relax with a drink without leaving the resort.
  4. Exclusive Views and Seating for Fireworks
    Another fantastic perk of the Concierge Level rooms is the opportunity to enjoy exclusive views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. You can access a private observation deck within the Club Level Lounge, where you can watch the spectacular fireworks display over Cinderella’s Castle. It offers a prime viewing location without having to jostle with the crowds.


 If you’re looking for more space and luxury, the resort offers a selection of suites. These suites feature separate living areas, additional bedrooms, and expansive views of either Bay Lake or Magic Kingdom. Suites can vary in size and configuration, providing options for families or larger groups.

Pricing at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The pricing at Disney’s Contemporary Resort varies depending on several factors, including the room type, seasonality, and any special offers or promotions available. It’s important to note that prices are subject to change, so it’s best to check the official Disney website or consult with a travel agent for the most up-to-date information.

As a deluxe resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort typically offers higher-end accommodations and amenities, which can be reflected in the pricing compared to other resort categories within Walt Disney World. The resort’s convenient location near the Magic Kingdom and its iconic design contribute to its popularity and may impact the pricing as well.

Room rates at Disney’s Contemporary Resort can range from a few hundred dollars per night for a standard room during value seasons, to several hundred or even over a thousand dollars per night for suites or higher-tier accommodations during peak seasons. Prices tend to be higher during holidays, school breaks, and other peak travel periods.

It’s worth mentioning that Disney often offers various discounts and packages throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any available promotions that can help make your stay more affordable. Additionally, guests can take advantage of Disney’s dining plans, which provide a pre-paid option for meals and snacks available starting January 2024.

For specific pricing details and to explore the available options, it’s best to consult the official Disney website, reach out to Disney reservations, or connect with a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations.

Disney’s Contemporary vs. Bay Lake Tower

Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Bay Lake Tower are two separate but interconnected resorts located near the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Here are some key differences between the two:

  1. Architecture and Design: Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a standalone hotel with its iconic A-frame structure and modern design. It has a distinct retro-futuristic style that has become an iconic symbol of Walt Disney World. On the other hand, Disney’s Bay Lake Tower is a separate resort that is connected to the Contemporary Resort through a walkway and sky bridge. Bay Lake Tower has a more contemporary and sleek design, with a focus on modern luxury.
  2. Accommodations: Both resorts offer a range of accommodations, but they have different room types and configurations. Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers standard rooms, deluxe rooms, and suites with various views, including garden, theme park, or lake views. Disney’s Bay Lake Tower, on the other hand, primarily consists of villas. These villas are spacious and feature kitchenettes or full kitchens, making them ideal for larger families or groups.
  3. Amenities and Facilities: While guests staying at Disney’s Bay Lake Tower have access to all the amenities and facilities of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower itself has a few exclusive features. It has its own pool area, the Bay Cove Pool, which offers a waterslide and a children’s splash area. Additionally, Bay Lake Tower has a rooftop lounge called the Top of the World Lounge, providing stunning views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a culinary delight that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences. The resort offers a range of dining options, from casual and family-friendly to upscale and fine dining experiences. With its diverse array of dining choices, Disney’s Contemporary Resort ensures that guests can savor memorable culinary experiences throughout their stay.

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Contempo Cafe

Contempo Café, located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is a vibrant and convenient quick-service dining option that offers delicious and diverse cuisine. Nestled on the Grand Canyon Concourse, this bustling food court-style restaurant provides a lively atmosphere with modern decor and floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the monorail passing through the resort.

The menu at Contempo Café features an array of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. From breakfast to dinner, guests can enjoy a variety of flavorful options. Start your day with classics like Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, and pastries. For lunch and dinner, the menu offers a range of choices including sandwiches, burgers, and salads.. Vegetarian and allergy-friendly options are also available, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Plus, they have great cupcakes, so be sure to save room for dessert!

The restaurant’s quick-service format ensures efficiency and convenience, allowing guests to grab a quick bite or sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal. Mobile ordering is available through the My Disney Experience app, allowing guests to place their orders in advance and pick them up at a designated time, saving valuable park time.

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Chef Mickey’s 

Chef Mickey’s, located within Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is a beloved and iconic dining experience that combines delicious food with character-filled fun. This vibrant buffet-style restaurant allows guests to indulge in a bountiful spread while mingling with classic Disney characters.

The star of Chef Mickey’s is, of course, Mickey Mouse himself, along with his friends Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto, all dressed in their chef’s attire. The characters make their way around the dining room, stopping at each table to greet guests, pose for photos, and sign autographs. It’s a magical opportunity for both kids and adults to interact with their favorite Disney characters up close.

The buffet at Chef Mickey’s is brimming with a variety of delectable options to suit every palate. The offerings span from classic American favorites to international cuisine, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Remember, breakfast is always slightly cheaper than dinner in Disney World, so consider this when you are planning reservations around your budget.

Chef Mickey’s is a popular dining destination, so advance reservations are highly recommended. It’s a perfect choice for families, offering a memorable and entertaining dining experience that combines great food, beloved characters, and the enchantment of Disney. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for a fun and delicious meal, Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort promises a delightful and magical dining experience that will create cherished memories for years to come.

See a full review of Chef Mickey’s here.

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California Grill

Perched atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill is a premier dining destination that offers a sophisticated and unforgettable culinary experience. Known for its exquisite cuisine and breathtaking views, this upscale restaurant provides a perfect blend of flavors, ambiance, and exceptional service.

The highlight of the California Grill is undoubtedly its panoramic vistas of the Magic Kingdom Park, Seven Seas Lagoon, and the surrounding Disney property. The restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows that allow guests to enjoy stunning vistas, especially during the evening when the fireworks light up the sky above Cinderella’s Castle. It’s a truly magical setting that creates an enchanting backdrop for an extraordinary dining experience.

The elegant yet relaxed ambiance of California Grill is accentuated by its sleek and contemporary decor. The modern design, warm lighting, and artistic touches create an intimate and inviting atmosphere. The open kitchen concept allows guests to witness the culinary team’s expertise as they create culinary masterpieces.

See our full review of California Grill here.

Fireworks Party at California Grill

The Fireworks Party at California Grill is an exclusive and unforgettable experience that combines exquisite dining with unparalleled views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. This special event allows guests to savor a delectable meal while enjoying the spectacular fireworks display over Cinderella’s Castle. Held in the private Sonoma Room, this intimate gathering offers a prime location to witness the magic unfold in the night sky. Guests are treated to a prix fixe menu featuring a delightful selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts, all prepared with the culinary expertise of the California Grill’s talented chefs. The ticket also includes access to an open bar! 

As the fireworks ignite, the atmosphere becomes even more enchanting, and guests can revel in the awe-inspiring display while sipping on fine wines and specialty cocktails. The combination of gourmet cuisine, breathtaking views, and the dazzling fireworks creates a truly unforgettable and magical evening at California Grill.

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Steakhouse 71

Steakhouse 71 is a newly reimagined dining destination located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Celebrating the classic American steakhouse, this restaurant pays homage to the year when Walt Disney World first opened its doors. With its sleek and modern design, warm and inviting ambiance, and mouthwatering menu, Steakhouse 71 offers a memorable dining experience for guests.

The menu at Steakhouse 71 showcases the finest cuts of meat, prepared with expertise and cooked to perfection. What is truly unique about this location is the price point! In this restaurant you can get a steak meal for around $36!

The menu also features enticing appetizers, flavorful side dishes, and decadent desserts, all crafted with the highest quality ingredients. The culinary team at Steakhouse 71 takes pride in creating dishes that highlight the natural flavors and quality of the ingredients, ensuring a memorable and satisfying meal.

The ambiance of Steakhouse 71 is warm and inviting, with a blend of contemporary style and nostalgic touches. The decor pays tribute to the classic 1970s era, with sleek wood finishes, vintage artwork, and subtle nods to Disney history. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, enjoying a romantic dinner, or simply seeking a memorable dining experience, Steakhouse 71 provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that sets the stage for an exceptional meal.

As with all dining experiences at Walt Disney World, it is recommended to make reservations in advance to secure a table at Steakhouse 71, especially during peak times. Whether you’re a steak aficionado or simply looking to indulge in a high-quality meal, Steakhouse 71 promises a delightful culinary journey that combines classic flavors, exceptional service, and a touch of Disney magic.

See our full review of Steakhouse 71 here.

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Steakhouse 71 Lounge

Not able to snag a reservation for Steakhouse 71? Check out the Steakhouse 71 Lounge near the bar where the seating is first come first serve. Enjoy comfortable couches and lounge chair seating with a limited menu from the main restaurant. 

Pssst… that decadent chocolate cake is available to order from the lounge even though it is not on the menu!

Transportation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers a variety of convenient transportation options to help guests navigate the Walt Disney World Resort and its surrounding areas. Here are some of the transportation options available:


 One of the iconic features of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the monorail station conveniently located on the fourth floor of the resort. The monorail provides direct transportation to Magic Kingdom Park, making it a quick and easy way to reach the park without needing to use other modes of transportation.

Bus Transportation

 Complimentary bus transportation is available from Disney’s Contemporary Resort to other Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Buses operate regularly and provide a convenient way to explore the various attractions throughout the resort. Check the bus times through the My Disney Experience app!

Water Transportation

 Another delightful transportation option is water transportation, which includes boats and ferries. Guests can board watercraft from the marina located near Disney’s Contemporary Resort and enjoy a scenic ride to Magic Kingdom Park or other nearby destinations, such as Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Minnie Van Service and Rideshare

Guests staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort can also utilize the Minnie Van Service, which is a private transportation service operated by Disney for a fee. The Minnie Van Service offers point-to-point transportation within the Walt Disney World Resort and provides a convenient and efficient way to get around. Additionally, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are also available for those who prefer private transportation.

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Pools at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort boasts two stunning pools, offering guests the perfect oasis to relax and have fun during their stay. Here’s a closer look at the pools at Disney’s Contemporary Resort:

  1. The Main Pool:
    The main pool, located on the shores of Bay Lake, is a vibrant and inviting destination for guests of all ages. Featuring a sleek and modern design, the pool offers a large swimming area surrounded by a spacious sun deck with lounge chairs and umbrellas. The pool’s water slide, shaped like a curving water tube, provides endless fun for kids and kids at heart. There’s also a splash area for little ones to enjoy, complete with water jets and fountains. The poolside bar, aptly named The Sand Bar, offers refreshing beverages and snacks, allowing guests to stay hydrated and energized while enjoying the poolside atmosphere.
  2. The Bay Pool:
    Situated adjacent to Bay Lake Tower, the Bay Pool provides a tranquil and serene environment for guests seeking a quieter swimming experience. This leisure pool is surrounded by lush landscaping, creating a peaceful retreat where guests can unwind and soak up the sun. It offers a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the main pool and is an ideal spot for relaxation and unwinding.

Both pools at Disney’s Contemporary Resort provide complimentary towels, poolside loungers, and are attended by lifeguards for guest safety. Additionally, guests can enjoy other amenities such as whirlpool spas, children’s water play areas, and private cabanas (available for an additional fee).

It’s important to note that pool availability and operating hours may vary, so it’s recommended to check with the resort or consult the provided information upon arrival.

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Shopping at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Fantasia Gift Shop greets guests on the floor where the monorail station is. You can find a wide selection of toys, clothing, Loungefly bags, Minnie ears, pins, magic bands, and more! 

Don’t forget pin trading at Disney Resorts! We find that most people forget about the pin boards in Disney resorts and they have the best, most unique pins available to trade. 

Electrical Water Pageant

Watching the Electrical Water Pageant from Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a magical experience that combines the beauty of the nighttime sky with a captivating water show. The Electrical Water Pageant is a long-standing Walt Disney World tradition that has been delighting guests since 1971.

From the observation decks and balconies of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, guests can enjoy a prime viewing spot to witness this enchanting spectacle. The pageant takes place on Bay Lake, just steps away from the resort, creating a captivating display of lights, music, and floating barges.

As night falls, the Electrical Water Pageant begins with a mesmerizing array of illuminated sea creatures, whimsical designs, and classic Disney characters. The floats glide gracefully across the water, showcasing vibrant colors and synchronized movements that are accompanied by a lively soundtrack.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime fan of the Electrical Water Pageant, watching it from Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers a front-row seat to this whimsical and timeless spectacle. It’s a memorable way to end the day and create lasting memories of your magical stay at the resort.