1. Use the online check-in service
Online check-in is a convenient way to save some time during your arrival to your Walt Disney World Resort. While this service is available at any Disney resort, using it at the Contemporary may be particularly helpful if you’d like to request certain areas of the resort. Though no requests, especially upgrades, are guaranteed, it doesn’t hurt to request a room either on the theme park side, lake side, or even just in the main building!
2. Make advanced dining reservations
Disney’s Contemporary Resort features a number of restaurants that you will most likely need advanced dining reservations for. The most popular restaurants at the resort, Chef Mickey’s and California Grill, will often become booked up months in advance, so if dining at either of these locations are at the top of your must-do list, be sure to make reservations early. The other table service restaurant at the resort, The Wave, is not as likely to need reservations, but it can still be a good idea to do so just to be on the safe side.
3. Try to catch Happily Ever After from California Grill
If you can, I always suggest trying to score dinner reservations at California Grill during Happily Ever After. While this time slot will obviously be very popular, it is an excellent spot to watch the fireworks, and this meal combined with Happily Ever After is definitely one of my favorite Disney dining experiences. Just note that if you are not dining at California Grill, you will not be able to view the fireworks from the top of the resort, however there are other spots where you are able to see the fireworks from the main building.
4. Walk to/from the Magic Kingdom
I know, I know… no one wants to be told to walk some more on their trip to Walt Disney World. If you don’t mind the extra, very quick walk from the resort however, you can easily make it to the Magic Kingdom much quicker than the monorail will get you there. Walking is also a good idea on your way out of the park, especially if you are leaving during the post-fireworks rush and the line for the monorail is super long.
5. Check for special offers
Anytime you book a Disney resort, especially a higher priced deluxe resort, you should keep an eye out for special offers. They’re easy to find on the official Disney website by simply scrolling to the bottom of the main page and clicking special offers. Depending on the time of year and availability, you may be able to find offers for up to 25 or 30% off the cost of your resort stay– which can really add up while staying in deluxe accommodations.
6. Take advantage of recreational offerings
The Contemporary has a lot to offer in terms of recreation at the resort, including beautiful pools, fishing excursions, tennis, volleyball, pirate themed cruises, parasailing and more! Some of these offerings are complimentary with your resort stay, such as Movies Under the Stars, but others do come with an additional charge. Be sure to check out the schedule of events given to you during check in, or ask a cast member at the resort if there is anything specific you’d like to do during your trip.
7. Don’t forget about quick service dining
For many guests who stay at deluxe resorts with multiple table service restaurants, the quick service dining gets sort of pushed aside. The Contemporary’s quick service location, Contempo Cafe, is one of the best resort quick service restaurants in Walt Disney World, and is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a bite while on the go.
8. Take a spin on the monorail
One of the biggest perks of staying at the Contemporary Resort, is having the monorail system right at your doorstep. Be sure to take advantage of the highway in the sky by visiting the other monorail resorts. The monorail makes it easy to explore different resorts, and dine at restaurants that are located at the other monorail resorts. Cutting out the extra stop and bus switch you would often have to do at a park to travel between resorts makes shopping and dining at the two other monorail resorts much more convenient!