Close Banner

Both Disney© Resort Theme Parks

more savings
disneyland GET MY TICKETS

Our ~Frogtastic~ Guide to Disney's Contemporary Resort

by Mommy Frog on April 20, 2023
9 Orlando

Inside This Post Inside This Post

If you’re looking to stay as close as possible to Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is just a froggy hop, skip and a jump away. As one of the deluxe Disney Resort hotels along the resort monorail line, the Contemporary’s prime location is a major advantage for guests who prioritize convenience above all. Because it's so close to Magic Kingdom, you may even get the bonus perk of watching the fireworks from your hotel room!



Beyond its optimal location, Disney's Contemporary Resort has newly revamped "Incredibles" themed rooms, frogtastic dining options, fun recreational activities and convenient amenities. Disney hosted our most recent stay at Disney's Contemporary Resort for the #AlltheDisneyThrills media event, so we could experience this amazing resort first-hand. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know before your next stay!

Overview of Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Initially considered to be named the Tempo Bay Hotel, the Contemporary is one of the two original Walt Disney World Resort hotels (the other being Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort) that opened in 1971. Taking after its name, the Contemporary’s sleek, ultramodern design allows the monorail to pass straight through the main A-frame building known as the Tower. We imagine it was toadally impressive back in the day, and it still continues to amaze guests — especially the tadpoles — today!

The front desk, concierge and bell services are located on the first floor of the main building, along with a couple of dining locations. Using the Direct-to-Room service via mobile check-in through the My Disney Experience app is highly encouraged. That way, you do not have to stop at the front desk! Instead, you’ll receive a notification with your room number when your room is ready. Check-in starts at 3 p.m. and checkout is 11 a.m.

The majority of restaurants, gift shops and access to the monorail can all be found on the fourth floor, also known as the Grand Canyon Concourse. Overall, the hotel has a mid-century modern design with a bright and sleek color scheme. Complimentary to the new updates, the 90-foot-tall, colorful mural by Mary Blair (a Disney artist who worked on designing “it’s a small world”) stands out in the Grand Canyon Concourse.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort Rooms

With a total of 655 guest rooms, Disney’s Contemporary Resort hosts the majority of guests in the Tower (the main A-frame building). One side of the Tower has views of Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon, while the other side looks out to Bay Lake. Aside from the Tower rooms, the smaller, three-floor South Garden Wing sits behind the Tower and swimming pools. The Garden Wing’s room views include landscaping, the marina, Bay Lake or the parking lot.

When selecting a room, you’ll have to choose one of the following based on your desired view:

The standard rooms are very spacious — at about 394 square feet! Each room is furnished with two queen beds (or one king bed), a day bed, a single sleeper sofa bed, floating nightstands, an armoire and a flatscreen TV. Other room amenities include a hair dryer, Wi-Fi, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, in-room safe and a mini refrigerator. We especially love the tile flooring and modern design features in the room.

You'll enter the bathroom through a sliding door. While the toilet area can be split by another sliding door, we wish the double sinks were also separate from the shower area to double up on getting ready. But the bathroom itself is very nice and spacious! We appreciate the double sinks, full-size bathtub, dual rain shower heads and the monorail etching on the mirror.

Transportation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

As we mentioned before, the Contemporary Resort is so close to Magic Kingdom that it’s quite literally steps away. You can walk directly to the park entrance if you want to get some extra hops in. The monorail is another quick and easy option! Just be aware that it makes a few quick stops at the Transportation & Ticket Center, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa if you’re traveling to Magic Kingdom. Because of the frequent stops, it’s toadally possible that it may be faster to walk depending on your speed hopping abilities! We like to walk to Magic Kingdom in the morning, but after a long day, taking the monorail is a must-do since the Contemporary is the first stop and everyone is tired!

If traveling to EPCOT, you can take the resort monorail line to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to the EPCOT monorail line. Bus transportation is also available for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. There is also water taxi access to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Amenities, Recreation & Shopping at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

At this time, the biggest perks of staying on-site include the ability to book advance dining reservations for your length of stay 60 days in advance of check-in and easy access to Disney World's complimentary transportation options. Additional benefits to staying on-site include Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours. The Electrical Water Pageant sails by the shoreline of the resort, giving guests spectacular views of the nighttime water parade.

The Contemporary Resort also offers the following amenities:

  • ATMs and banking services (may exchange foreign currencies at the Front Desk or Lobby Concierge)
  • Bell services
  • Business center
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Mail services
  • Arcade (The Game Station)
  • Fitness center
  • Resort airline check-in
  • Self-parking

Guests have a lot of recreational activities to choose from! Soak up the sun at one of the two swimming pools. Splash around and slide down a 17-foot-tall waterslide at the main Feature Pool, or relax at the quiet Bay Lake Pool.

A jogging path loops around the neighboring Bay Lake Tower and the South Garden for a nearly one-mile workout. Reserve a guided fishing excursion or rent out a boat to cruise around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. Play beach volleyball, or head over to the Bay Lake Tower for basketball and tennis courts. At night, come together around the campfire and roast s’mores, or watch a Disney movie under the stars.

If you frogot to pick up a pair of Mickey ears at the parks, don’t fret! There are several gift shops for any last-minute needs. Head to the Grand Canyon Concourse for Bayview Gifts, Fantasia and Fantasia Market.

Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney's Contemporary offers a wide variety of dining options, ranging from pool bars to signature dining.

California Grill

Take a private elevator ride from the second floor to the Contemporary’s award-winning rooftop restaurant that boasts panoramic views of Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom. Its outdoor area provides one of the best places to watch the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular. Pro tip: if your dinner reservation is before the fireworks showing, save your receipt. You're allowed to return to watch from the outdoor terrace of the restaurant. As for its signature dining, California Grill is open for dinner only. Experience the flavors of Californian cuisine, which includes seasonal menu items such as Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli and Oak-fired Filet of Beef. Opt for artisanal oven-fired pizza, hand-rolled sushi or a gourmet entree to pair with your selection of over 300 different wines.

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey’s offers both a buffet breakfast and dinner character dining experience with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy. The Frog Family loves getting our fill of Mickey waffles all while getting a hug from Mickey and his friends!

Steakhouse 71

Located next to the front desk, Steakhouse 71 takes pride in its casual elegance and new American cuisine that sources local and regional organic ingredients. This table-service restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there is a separate lounge area where guests of legal age can enjoy wines and craft beers. Currently, there is also a mobile ordering option that allows you to pick up food to go.

Contempo Cafe

As the hotel’s main quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, including handy grab-and-go options. To start off your day, you’ve got the choice of typical breakfast foods, such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and Mickey waffles, as well as a breakfast tofu bowl and steel-cut oatmeal for plant-based options. Lunch and dinner have similar menus (though dinner has a few additional meal choices) that consist of specialty salads, sandwiches and flatbreads. While you eat, it’s fun to watch the monorail trains pass by overhead!

Outer Rim Lounge

Sip on a refreshing adult beverage while admiring scenic views of Bay Lake at Outer Rim. The lounge is next to Chef Mickey’s and Contempo Cafe and has a full bar menu. Come for the drinks ... stay for the large cushioned chairs and overhead TVs.

The Sand Bar

Swimming can work up an appetite, so this poolside bar provides frog-favorite grub such as cheeseburgers, hot dogs and nachos. Tadpoles can chill out with smoothie selections, while momma and poppa frogs can unwind with a cocktail, wine or beer.

Contemporary Grounds

If you just want a quick cup of gourmet Joe and a pastry, stop by this coffee bar in the main lobby before a fun-filled day at the parks.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney's Contemporary Resort - Bay Lake Tower Bridge

Bay Lake Tower is a standalone Disney Vacation Club Resort that shares the same theming as the Contemporary Resort. Because of its close proximity, Bay Lake Tower guests can take full advantage of the Contemporary’s dining options and easy monorail access. In fact, the Sky Way Bridge connects the fifth-floor south elevator lobby of Bay Lake Tower to the fourth-floor concourse of the Contemporary.

The 295-room Bay Lake Tower offers multi-bedroom Disney Deluxe Villas that feature full-sized kitchens, living and dining areas, private bedrooms and a washer and dryer set — perfect for families or extended stays. For shorter vacations or smaller parties, the Deluxe Studio option includes a kitchenette and a sleeper sofa.

Bay Lake Tower has its own feature pool, poolside bar and a rooftop lounge that’s exclusive for Disney Vacation Club members staying at the hotel.

What to Consider Before Staying at Disney's Contemporary Resort

The Contemporary's location is a major draw for most guests, especially if you're planning multiple days at Magic Kingdom. It may be a great option if you have young tadpoles who still use a stroller or get tired easily. You don't have to fold the stroller while you're on the monorail, or you can opt to use the walkway between Magic Kingdom and the resort. If the tadpoles get tired at the park during the day, you can easily hop back to the resort for a power nap without losing much time.

On the flip side, you do pay the price for convenience. The Contemporary Resort is a Disney Deluxe resort, and rates are certainly more expensive than if you were to stay at a Disney Moderate or Value resort. (If you book through us, we can save you some green!) Also, if you're really into Disney theming, you may want to consider another hotel. While it has a futuristic design with some touches from "The Incredibles," the Contemporary's overall theming is more subtle, which can be seen most clearly by its simple feature pool (you can see our very favorite Disney World Resort hotel pools here). If you would rather take in a piece of Disney World history during your stay, then the Contemporary fits the bill!

The character dining experience at Chef Mickey's and spectacular views of Magic Kingdom's fireworks are also major reasons why we love the Contemporary. If these are must-dos for you,  then this resort might be the perfect place for your next Disney stay!

Have you ever stayed at Disney's Contemporary Resort? If so, share what your experience was like with us! If not, what are you most looking forward to — the location, views, restaurants or all of the above? 

Related: How to Pick the Best Disney Deluxe Resort for Your Family

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments


Apr 25, 2021 at 7:33 p.m.
T Wright Says...

Question for recent visitors. How long on arrival day are you able to leave your bags with bell services at Bay Lake Tower? In other words, does it close or can you pick up your bags late that night? Same for the grocery deliveries. Thanks!

Apr 26, 2021 at 9:55 a.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Bell Services is open 24/7, so you can pick up your bags anytime, and the same applies for grocery deliveries.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Nov 28, 2020 at 5:05 p.m.
Cherise Says...

I heard a tip that you can Uber to Contemporary and use the walking path to get to MK, even if you’re not a guest at the Contemporary. Is this still the case, or are they cracking down on that?

Nov 30, 2020 at 12:18 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cherise!

We've heard mixed experiences; if you have a dining reservation, it shouldn't be an issue, but if you don't, security may ask for your name and information to allow you access to the Contemporary at this time.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Sep 8, 2020 at 6:08 p.m.
Deborah Shaughnessy Says...

Love staying at both resorts!

Sep 8, 2020 at 1:58 p.m.
john Says...

Love your post. However, have to chuckle when you mention the rate for the Main Tower being "as low as $741 per night" (which after all fees and taxes probably comes close to $1000/night). Nothing too "contemporary" about this rate, although your room was comped, so who cares about the rate, right?

Sep 14, 2020 at 12:02 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi John!

Thank you! We toadally get it — We felt very fortunate to be able to check The Contemporary out, given that it’s a Deluxe in both amenities and price point. We aim to be upfront about any compensation that we get, and also the typical price tag so that there are no surprises for guests hoping to visit. We know it’s on a lot of guests’ “wish lists,” so we’re happy to say that, like all Disney World Resort hotels, we offer The Contemporary rooms at a discount (and there’s a big discount on fall rooms going on right now - the higher the resort tier, the more you save)! We also have guides for other resort tiers to explore options at all price points, and are working our way through some other specific hotel guides, too – keep an eye out for our Pop! Century and Caribbean Beach guides very soon!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Sep 8, 2020 at 1:56 p.m.
Candida DePina Says...

Love staying in the Disney resorts and quicker access to the parks.

Sep 4, 2020 at 10:16 p.m.
Cassandra Van Bremen Says...

Thanks for the info! We are avid Disney fans and try to go to WDW as often as possible. We love the work, info and videos (have been watching for literally years)! You help make our planning easier. This is very useful for our upcoming trip in February 2021!


Leave a comment

Search blog articles

About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the inside scoop on theme park news, planning tips, concert and sports announcements, special offers and much more!

Park Plans

Our step-by-step guides will save you up to 4 hours a day.