Thinking about staying at Disney’s Contemporary resort? Here’s everything you need to know!
Posts about the Contemporary
Resort category: Deluxe
Opening date: October 1, 1971
Last major refurbishment: Started April 2021 (in progress)
Room types: main tower, garden wing, standard, lake view, theme park view, 1 bedroom suite, 2 bedroom suite, club level rooms, presidential suite
Room capacity: up to 5 adults in standard rooms, 5-10 in suites
Number of rooms: 655
DVC: yes – Bay Lake Tower
Price range: $475-2,000/night
Transportation: monorail, bus, walking path to Magic Kingdom
Location: Magic Kingdom resort area
Address: 4600 North World DriveLake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8413
Phone number: (407) 824-1000
Contemporary resort map
Location of the Contemporary
Disney’s Contemporary resort is in a wonderful location, right next to Magic Kingdom. There is a walking path from the Contemporary to the park and it’s the easiest resort to get to Magic Kingdom. It’s on the monorail loop, with the monorail passing through the lobby of the Contemporary, and is along the edge of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.
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Rooms at the Contemporary
There are a number of different room types at Disney’s Contemporary resort in terms of size and suites, as well as different buildings and locations. The Contemporary also offers the ability to book rooms with a specific view (standard view, lake view, garden view, or theme park view). They also have club level rooms with a variety of extra amenities and services. In addition the Contemporary has a DVC portion of the resort called Bay Lake Tower with a variety of rooms.
- Main Tower
- standard room – Lake view
- standard room – Theme park view
- standard room – club level
- standard room – atrium club level
- standard room – theme park view club level
- 1 bedroom suite – lake view
- 1 bedroom suite – theme park view
- 2 bedroom suite – lake view
- 2 bedroom suite – theme park view
- presidential suite – theme park view
- Garden Wing
- Standard room – standard view
- Standard room – Garden view
- Deluxe room
- king bed
- 1 bedroom suite
- 1 bedroom hospitality suite
- Bay Lake Tower
- Deluxe studio – standard view
- Deluxe studio – lake view
- Deluxe studio – theme park view
- 1 bedroom villa – standard view
- 1 bedroom villa – lake view
- 1 bedroom villa – theme park view
- 2 bedroom villa – standard view
- 2 bedroom villa – lake view
- 2 bedroom villa – theme park view
- 3 bedroom Grand Villa – lake view
- 3 bedroom Grand Villa – theme park view
Contemporary resort dining
Signature table service meal
Signature dining experience on the top floor of the Contemporary’s main tower with an amazing view of Magic Kingdom (and fireworks)
Fan favorites: Sushi, oak-fired filet of beef, Grand Marnier Soufflé
Table service meal, character dining
Join Mickey and friends for an all you care to enjoy meal with typical American fare.
Fan favorites: Mickey waffles, bananas foster French toast
The Wave… of American Flavors
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
American cuisine using locally sourced and farm fresh ingredients.
Fan favorites: Sweet potato pancakes, fish of the day, creme brulee
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Standard American fare in a quick service location.
Breakfast, early afternoon
Coffee stand with coffee, tea, smoothies, and assorted baked goods.
pool bar/quick service
A poolside bar at Bay Lake Tower that offers drinks, a wrap, salad, and hot dog.
The Outer Rim
Lounge near Contempo Cafe and Chef Mickey’s with cocktails, wine, beer
The Sand Bar
pool bar/quick service
A poolside bar at the main pool that offers drinks, burgers, fries, hot dogs, etc.
Top of the World Lounge
Accessible for DVC members only – lounge at the top of Bay Lake Tower.
Price of the Contemporary resort
Pricing varies based on the season. Disney’s Contemporary resort is considered a deluxe resort, but can range anywhere from $450-850/night at the rack rate for a standard room in the Garden wing.. Rooms in the main Tower are higher priced than the garden wing. Lower prices may be found is a discount is available. Here is some sample pricing for 2021 and 2022 for a garden wing standard room:
- Early September 2021: $479/night
- Late December 2021: $867/night
- Early February 2022: $477/night
- Early May 2022: $572/night
- Late July 2022: $560/night
- Early September 2022: $493/night
- Late December 2022: $893/night
Pools, recreation, and activities
The pool at the main tower is the feature pool and has a 17 foot high water slide, play area, and hot tubs. You can also rent a cabana there for a private area with amenities to relax. At Bay Lake Tower you have the Bay Lake pool, which has another water slide and a hot tub.
Basketball – there is a full size basketball court near Bay Lake Tower available to all resort guests. You can get free basketballs to borrow from the Community Hall.
Yoga – on select mornings gusts can sign up for a free early morning yoga class by the lake. Space is limited so enquire about sign ups at the front desk. Mats and towels are provided.
Fishing – From the Contemporary you can also take part in a guided catch and release bass fishing tour. Additional fees apply and advance reservations are recommended.
Volleyball – There is a volleyball court located lake-side and volleyballs can be borrowed for free from the Boat Nook Marina with a valid guest ID.
Tennis – If you’d like to partake in a game of tennis there are courts by Bay Lake Tower. Complimentary tennis racquets and balls are available at the Community Hall at Bay Lake Tower.
Jogging trails – If you’d like to go for a run, the Contemporary has a jogging trail that loops around the resort and around the garden wing for just under a mile (about 0.9 miles). With the new pathway between Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian you could also potentially run from the Contemporary to the Polynesian and back (close to 3 miles one way) but keep in mind you may have to pass through security if you do this.
Olympiad Fitness center – there is a full service fitness center located in the main tower.
Things to do
The Game Station – on the 4th floor of the Contemporary you’ll find this arcade with a variety of video games to play.
Cabana rentals – relax at the pool with a cabana rental. Cabanas include basic beverages, some snacks, a private, covered area, and a TV. Reservations should be made in advance.
Motorized boat rentals – a few different types of boats are available to rent, including pontoon boats, mini speed boats, and larger boats. Reservations are not required and are first come first serve. Price is per half-hour.
Contemporary resort campfire – head to a campfire happening most nights. Bring your own s’mores ingredients or purchase a s’mores making kit there.
Movies under the Stars – almost every evening a different Disney movie is shown on a large screen on the lawn behind the main tower. An activity schedule is provided at the resort to let you know what movies will be playing and what other activities may be happening.
Trivia and pool activities – head poolside for some fun trivia games, scavenger hunts, dance parties, and more!
Specialty cruises – nighttime cruises are offered for fireworks viewing. Private boats can be chartered for a variety of group sizes. Previously the Contemporary has also offered the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage aimed at kids for fireworks viewing.
Electrical Water Pageant – this illuminated water parade occurs most evenings and can be seen (and heard!) from the Contemporary.
Transportation options from the Contemporary
The Contemporary is an ideal location for getting to Magic Kingdom. You can walk there or take the monorail. The monorail also makes it easy to access the Polynesian and Grand Floridian, and (when it’s running) you can switch at the Ticket and Transportation center to the Epcot monorail to get to that park. Bus transportation is available to the other theme parks and Disney Springs.
Pros and Cons of the Contemporary Resort
- Location, especially to Magic Kingdom
- Rooms are currently being refurbished
- Fireworks views and ability to see the Electrical Water Pageant
- Great restaurants
- Not as themed as some of the other resorts
- The pools are not as exciting as some other deluxe resorts
- Further from Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom
Benefits to staying at the Contemporary resort
- Theme park early entry
- Magical Express (in 2021)
- included Disney transportation to/from the parks
- Magic bands available at discounted prices
- Disney dining plan can be added (not currently available)
- 60 day Fastpass+ booking (not currently available)
- More park pass reservation availability for Disney resort guests
- Large fitness center
- Numerous dining options
- Club level rooms available
Is the Contemporary a good resort?
Everyone’s definition of good is different, but there’s a reason why Disney’s Contemporary resort is a popular deluxe resort option and people are willing to pay for it. You really can’t compete with the location if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in Magic Kingdom (and once the Epcot monorail is running that’s a huge benefit too). I was originally not a huge fan of the Contemporary because I found the themeing to be a bit dull. Then I got a theme park view room and even without fireworks happening I was blown away by how beautiful it was there – I could have spent most of my trip just sitting on the balcony! The amenities are great, there are some wonderful restaurant options, and so much is nearby thanks to the monorail.
Who is the Contemporary resort best for?
If you have the budget, I highly recommend this resort to families with young children who know they will be focusing a lot of their trip on Magic Kingdom. Especially if you have a stroller with you, being able to walk over or take the monorail and not have to pack everything up to get on a bus is a huge advantage. Plus you save a lot of time being so close by. I also like the Contemporary for shorter trips to maximize your transportation time or for slower, relaxing vacations to take advantage of all the resort has to offer.
The Contemporary may not be the best choice if you’re not going to spend much time in Magic Kingdom, or if you’re on more of a budget and would prefer more basic accommodations.
Compared to other Disney resorts
As a deluxe resort, the Contemporary has a very different feel to it than the moderate or value resorts. The themeing is a bit more understated, though they’ve started incorporating more Disney elements like giving the rooms some Incredibles touches. It has more amenities than the values or the moderates, with bigger rooms, a number of table service restaurants including a signature dining experience, and two pools.
Compared to the other deluxe resorts, Contemporary stands out mostly due to its location. If you are just looking at the three Magic Kingdom area resorts on the monorail loop (Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian), the Contemporary often prices a little less than the other two. However, there can often be a big price difference between their garden wing rooms and main tower rooms (especially if you want a theme park view). It is the closest resort to Magic Kingdom. The convenience and the amenities is typically better here than most other non-Magic Kingdom area deluxe hotels (and pricing will typically reflect that). Sometimes Beach Club/Yacht Club can price higher given the time of year though.
If you’re looking at a time period where Contemporary costs around $500/night for a standard garden wing room, a theme park view in the main tower could be around $700/night. In contrast, a value like Pop Century costs around $150/night and moderate such as Caribbean Beach might be $280/night. To compare to other deluxes, a place like Saratoga Springs is showing around $400/night, Wilderness Lodge is pricing at $450/night, and the Polynesian is at $650/night.
Best room numbers to request
Keep in mind that the Contemporary has a number of room types, so typically if you want something specific (like a rom in the main tower) you need to pay for that room type. When you book your room you can make all sorts of requests, including which floor you’d prefer to be on, what sort of view you might like, if you want to be near the elevators, etc. These requests are not guaranteed but Disney will do their best to honor them if possible. We recommend requesting a higher floor at this resort for the best views.
A few suggestions:
- If you want to be up high for the views, the highest floor with rooms that aren’t concierge is the 11th floor.
- If you have a lake view room you might opt to request to be further away from the pool to reduce noise.
- For garden wing rooms, consider requesting either rooms closest to the main tower for easy access, or request rooms closest to the lake for the best views.
Free price quote
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Have you stayed at the Disney’s Contemporary resort? How do you like it?