When visiting Walt Disney World, just staying on Disney property may not be enough. Some families want to be within walking distance of their favorite park. For those who want to be a stone’s throw from the Magic Kingdom, there’s no better place to stay than Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort, one of original Walt Disney World hotels, is often thought of as “the hotel that the monorail goes through”. Despite the close proximity of the monorail, the resort isn’t overly loud, and is actually very comfortable. As someone who needs a good night sleep every night to function well, I was initially concerned about that, but was pleasantly surprised. Depending on your room location, you will hear the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Water Pageant, but otherwise the rooms are pretty quiet.
Booking a room at the Contemporary can be a little confusing, because there are several room options. The hotel actually has two sections – the tower is the iconic A-frame building that includes all of the restaurants and shops, and the garden wing is a smaller section behind the tower. You’ll find that rooms in the garden wing are cheaper, but if you have your heart set on staying in the main building, make sure that’s what you book. The most expensive rooms offer a Magic Kingdom view and are in the tower – worth it only if you plan on spending lots of time in the room.
Rooms, as you’d expect, are ultra-modern with sort of a “Jetson’s” feel. Many rooms also offer a sleeper sofa, accommodating five in the room. There are lots of outlets, and Disney is now offering free wireless internet access. But I’ll warn you – it constantly disconnects, so if you have a wireless hotspot, bring it along.
The resort itself offers several popular dining options. The California Grill (currently closed for refurbishment) offers fabulous views from atop the tower and delicious food, while the Wave offers fresh, California-style American food. If you are traveling with small children, make sure you book breakfast or dinner at Chef Mickey’s, which is hosted by Mickey and friends. There are also several quick service spots, including a lobby coffee bar.
Transportation around to the parks is offered via monorail, boat, or bus. It’s easiest to walk to the Magic Kingdom – expect for the whole walk to take about 10-15 minutes. You can take a monorail to Epcot, but you’ll need to take a bus to both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
If a theme park isn’t in your plans, the resort also offers a large pool as well as the Sammy Duvall Watersports Center which offers parasailing and other fun water sports. It’s a nice way to take the afternoon off from visiting the parks.
Article and photos by Jodi Grundig of Family Travel Magazine.
Disclosure: My stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort was discounted due to my attendance at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference.