In February there were a lot of exciting things to look forward to about our Disney trip – but one of the biggest ones was the location where we were staying! A group of 8 of us were sharing a 2 bedroom suite in Bay Lake Tower, part of the Contemporary resort. We had a great time here and I’m happy to share our experience with this lovely resort!
There are a lot of really nice things about the Contemporary, but most likely the best is the location. It is walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, and no other resort has that ability. If you’re a big fan of Magic Kingdom that can be a huge advantage. It’s also on the monorail loop, which means you can access Magic Kingdom that way, or take the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center and switch to the Epcot monorail over there to get to Epcot. Buses are still offered for Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and the water parks. If you pay for a theme park view room you can actually see Magic Kingdom, and the fireworks, right from your balcony.
The themeing in the Contemporary is what I would call more subdued than many of the others. The themeing is basically in the name – it’s “contemporary” with Disney woven in. They are going for a modern look, which can feel a little stark at first, but it’s actually quite nice and well done. There are some fun Disney art pieces around the resort, including a gorgeous tapestry by Mary Blair. Our room featured some really neat modern style artwork of Space Mountain as well.
There are lots of food options at the Contemporary. Get your quick service meals at Contempo Cafe, or consider one of the three sit down restaurants. Chef Mickey’s is a buffet that features Mickey and friends with a typical American buffet for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Wave… of American Flavors has dishes that feature locally harvested items. The breakfast we had there was especially impressive and I would highly recommend it. And finally, you have California Grill, a signature restaurant with an amazing location. On the top floor of the Contemporary, it’s mostly windows with fine dining food and views of the fireworks. You can get an excellent brunch there as well on Sunday mornings.
Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower is the DVC portion of the hotel, and where we stayed. It’s smaller and more compact than the main building. The Tower is actually closer to Magic Kingdom, so your walk is a little less, but everything else is a bit further of a walk (the monorail, restaurants, shops, etc.). If you are an actual DVC member and not renting or buying points, you can also visit Top of the World lounge, which is on the top floor and has great views and drinks.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite, and it was quite large and impressive. It has one master bedroom with a King bed, a second bedroom with 2 queens, and a living area that has a sofa bed and a sofa chair, so that the room can technically sleep up to 9. There were some complaints that the sofa bed was “unsleepable,” but Jason and I traded for 2 nights and while it wasn’t the most comfortable ever, I did all right with it, even before the 10k when I needed good rest for the race. So if you’re planning to use the sofa bed, take into account if any of your party is particularly picky or troublesome sleepers – what works for one person might not work for another.
There are 3 bathrooms, and all 3 had showers, which is a huge deal when you’ve got 8 people together! There was also a full kitchen area and a dining area which were attached to the living room (another thing to consider if someone will be using the sofa bed). Both the master bedroom and the second bedroom each had a balcony attached so you could sit outside – ours overlooked the pool area.
The Contemporary has three pools (two at the main building, one at Bay Lake Tower) and a kids area. At the main building there is a large water slide. Though I personally didn’t use the pools, a few people from my group did one night. They look gorgeous – our room looked down right onto the Bay Lake pool.
So all in all, I’d say you want to stay at the Contemporary if you like visiting Magic Kingdom and love the ease of transportation. I’d also recommend it to anyone who wants good food options right in their resort or who likes the feel of a deluxe resort without some of the over the top themeing.
If you liked this post, make sure to check out my Boardwalk resort review and Art of Animation resort review!
Would you be interested in staying at the Contemporary resort? What’s your favorite place in Disney to stay?