Top Pros & Cons for Staying at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World

From exciting water recreation, convenient monorail access, first-class restaurants, and a stunning view of the Magic Kingdom, this resort has it all! Almost as iconic as the Space Mountain dome, the Main Street Train Station, and Cinderella Castle, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is instantly recognizable. Opening its doors in 1971, the hotel was directly influenced by Walt Disney’s vision of the future. The Contemporary Resort is connected to its sister resort, Bay Lake Tower, with a covered skywalk, offering gorgeous views of the Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake. But with more than 30 onsite accommodations to choose from, is the Contemporary right for you? Take a look at my pros and cons and decide for yourself!


1. Pro: Great Restaurants

When it’s time to find a great place to eat, the Contemporary can’t be beat. Choose from the upscale California Grill with its spectacular view, the priceless character interaction at Chef Mickeys, local flavors at the Wave, quick bites at the Contempo Café or two pool bars, and several stylish lounges, including the Outer Rim. Disney Vacation Club members can enjoy the Top of the World Lounge, serving small bites and beverages on the top floor of Bay Lake Tower.

2. Pro: Location

Start the morning with an easy 10-minute walk to the Magic Kingdom from the resort. There is a separate and convenient security checkpoint here, allowing guests to bypass the busy security locations in front of the park. At the end of the day, it’s just as easy to stroll back and avoid the monorail crowds. If you’re not up for a walk, the monorail will swiftly whisk quests in air-conditioned comfort to the front of the Magic Kingdom.

3. Pro: Uniqueness

There is nothing like the Contemporary, with its gleaming A-frame rising up, offering a stunning view of the Magic Kingdom, Bay Lake, and the Seven Seas Lagoon. One of the original Walt Disney World hotels, this resort is truly a classic gem. Where else in Walt Disney World can you watch the monorail zipping through the hotel while you eat dinner on the floor below?


4. Con: Transportation

Staying at the Contemporary makes it very easy to get to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Polynesian Village, and Disney’ Grand Floridan Resort. Traveling to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom means using only one central bus queue that can sometimes get very crowded. A ferry offers a relaxing way to transport guests to the nearby Wilderness Lodge.

5. Con: Décor

Guests looking for over-the-top Disney character theming will most likely be disappointed. The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower are tastefully decorated with modern furnishings, but they might not appeal to guests looking for more noticeable touches of Mickey.

6. Con: Activity Level

With its popular restaurants, convention guests, proximity to the Magic Kingdom, and monorail activity, the Contemporary Resort is a busy place. Guests looking to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the parks probably won’t find a relaxing atmosphere here.

7. Pro: Fabulous Fireworks

Get ready for a fantastic show from the terrace at the California Grill, your private balcony, or from the top of Bay Lake Tower. Both restaurants add to the magic by piping in the fireworks music. There’s no better way to enjoy the thrilling fireworks spectacular without the crowds!

About Melissa Fegely

I have been a professional writer for over 18 years with degrees in Biology and English. I am a lifelong Disney fan and a Disney Vacation Club member of over nine years. Having visited Walt Disney World several times growing up, I really caught the Disney bug after many trips with my husband. Now I am happily addicted to taking our son to Walt Disney World as often as possible and watching him experience the magic and Mickey Bars as he grows up. Traveling to Walt Disney World twice a year, I enjoy attending the Flower and Garden festival held in the spring and strolling around the World Showcase, as well as exploring all of the hidden gems that all four parks have to offer. I love helping my family and friends plan their next Disney trips based on my experiences. I also enjoy reading, swimming, traveling, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, attended Shippensburg University, and current live in suburban Philadelphia with my husband, son, and two cats.