Why We Love Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

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Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a beautiful deluxe Resort central to Walt Disney World. The iconic modern structure is located on the shores of Bay Lake, right next to Magic Kingdom Park and Bay Lake Tower. The central location is of crucial importance to many Resort Guests. But Disney World Resort history buffs love this opening day spot for the fun Disney history, views, and dining opportunities. You will not go hungry while visiting this Walt Disney World Resort spot.

Contemporary Resort Exterior Night

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If you plan a stop at Contemporary Resort during your Disney vacation, you have plenty of yummy dining options. This is why we love dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Enjoy A Disney Buffet at Chef Mickey’s


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Chef Mickey’s is a hit with families of all ages. Enjoying delicious food like prime rib, shrimp cocktail, Parmesan potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and delectable dessert keeps Guests returning to eat with Mickey during every Walt Disney World vacation. Seeing characters while enjoying a yummy buffet on the Disney Property is a great way to spend an evening at the Contemporary.

Budget Options

Five-Legged Goat Sugar Cookie from Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Regardless of budget, Guests will always be able to find dining options to fit their budget and tempt their taste buds at the Contemporary. Restaurants range from the low-cost, quick service options that Guests can grab quickly on their way out the door to Disney Park to fine dining and character dining.


Culinary Excellence at California Grill

California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort

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California Grill is one of the most delicious dining options on the Walt Disney property. Fresh cooking, world-class wine pairings, and a breathtaking view of the Magic Kingdom keep this restaurant full of Guests. Use an advance dining reservation to snag a dinner spot at California Grill several weeks before your vacation to ensure you have a chance to eat at this spot. Do not forget to try the sushi, Sanoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, and phenomenal California wines.


Savory Meat and Cocktails at Steakhouse 71

Steak 71 Appetizer Features

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In October 2021, an exciting new addition came to Contemporary Resort – Steakhouse 71. Located in the spot that previously housed The Wave, Steakhouse 71 serves up fresh American cuisine executed well. Creamy spiral macaroni and cheese, juicy prime rib, and fluffy baked potatoes are the stuff of dreams.


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Seasonal local favorites like fresh fish and meat and local fruit and vegetables make dishes flavorful and fresh. Visit at different times of the year to enjoy other dishes as products come in season.


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♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) [2018 Remaster] – Kate Bush

Quick Casual Dining at The Sand Bar

Cove Bar Contemporary Resort

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The Sand Bar is a fun poolside eatery that offers quick service dining options for Guests in a lovely setup overlooking Bay Lake. Salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, and other favorite snacks like cupcakes and breakfast items are available for Guests to pick up on the move or enjoy a light dinner at the Resort.

Salads, hot dogs, fries, and frozen drinks are perfect for a relaxing pool day at the Contemporary. Guests returning from fishing or parasailing excursions can enjoy grabbing a bite to eat without the need to get dressed and head into the main atrium.


Credit: Conde Nast

If you are staying at a Disney Resort and using a refillable Resort mug, this is a spot you can visit to snag a refill. The Sand Bar and Contempo Cafe are the two spots at this deluxe Resort you can stop to refill your mug.

Contempo Café Is Perfect for a Quick Lunch


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Contempo Café is located near Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary’s main atrium A-frame building. This restaurant is an easy and delicious stop for Guests looking to eat near the monorail line during a quick stint out of the Park on a busy day.

Savory flatbreads are a favorite in my family and are available at Contempo Café. Fresh chicken caesar salad and hot chicken sandwiches are other menu highlights at this quick service spot. Quick service, hearty portions, and unique foods are the hallmarks of the Contempo Café.

The Cove Bar Provides Poolside Eats

The Cove Bar is great near the pool and gorgeous Bay Lake at the Contemporary. Poolside sipping in flip-flops and swimsuits is no sweat at The Cove. Snag a Sunshine Margarita, Frosé, Banana Cabana, or Bourbon Breeze to enjoy between dips in the pool.


Tempting Drinks at Outer Rim

Outer Rim Contemporary

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Outer Rim is a bar known for gorgeous views and bright, fun mixed drinks. A glowing martini that lights up the bar is among Guest favorites on the drink menu. Beer, wine, and a full menu of mixed drinks are available for Guests to enjoy. For those completing the monorail bar crawl, a trip to Outer Rim is a must-do.


Close Proximity to the Magic


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Contemporary dining tops my list mainly due to convenience and proximity to the magic. I love enjoying delicious dining at the end of a Park day or quickly returning to the Magic Kingdom after dinner at a Contemporary restaurant. Arriving at a dining reservation at the Contemporary is low-stress due to the excellent monorail access to the Resort.

Playing in the Parks until the last possible second before a dining reservation or dashing back to the Park to view fireworks after dinner is a breeze. Not to mention you are a quick monorail ride away from Polynesian Village Resort of Grand Floridian Resort if you decide to go on a shopping spree, buy a themed cocktail, or enjoy snacks at a different spot.


A Stunning View of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom from Several Restaurants

California Grill

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Bay Lake and Magic Kingdom views are a winning component of almost any meal at a Contemporary restaurant. Viewing the water parade on Bay Lake, fireworks above Cinderella Castle, or enjoying a bright sunset as you eat dinner make any day more magical.


Credit: V Mills

Contemporary Resort is a Disney dining spot worth a visit if eating is high on your Disney World vacation list. Happy dining!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.