Review: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Continued
By Dave Shute
MORE ON DISNEY’S CONTEMPORARY RESORT
There are currently 8 official Disney owned and operated deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.
In their recommended order for first time family visitors, they are
Many of these also offer Disney Vacation Club (“DVC”) studios and villas, all for rent to the general public–see this for more on the Disney Vacation Club resorts.
For more on the Contemporary’s DVC offering, Bay Lake Tower, click here.
ROOMS AT DISNEY’S CONTEMPORARY RESORT
All Disney deluxe resorts have standard rooms; concierge rooms, which Disney calls “club” rooms; and suites. (See this for more on suites at Walt Disney World.)
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, standard and club/concierge rooms sleep five, in two queen beds and a fold-down day-bed.
King rooms that sleep three (the third on the day-bed) are also available.
As noted on the first page of this review, I don’t recommend South Garden rooms, so the rest of this material focuses on the Contemporary’s Tower Rooms.
Tower rooms are sold with “Standard” (i.e. parking lot), “Bay Lake”, and “Magic Kingdom” views.
While not essential, Magic Kingdom view rooms are hard to beat if you can afford them. Bay Lake views are also lovely.
On the other is the door to the bath.
The two original Walt Disney World resort hotels–the Contemporary and the Polynesian–each have an unusual approach to bath design.
While the baths are split, they are not split in the most useful of ways for a family…
The rooms in the Contemporary were completely refurbished at the end of the last decade.
In general, the refurb was very nicely done, and the rooms live up to the “Contemporary” name for the first time in decades.
However, at the moment of design, stand-alone bowl sinks were fashionable.
While the Contemporary’s sinks aren’t so odd as many such sinks, they were influenced by them, and share the characteristic of having no place to put your comb, toothbrush or other toiletries other than in one of the sinks themselves. (See photo above.)
This is awkward if more than one person is staying in the room…as is not uncommon.
One side of the bedroom space contains two nicely spaced and decorated queen beds, separated by a small bedside table.
Between the beds and the bath, there’s an interesting L-shaped desk and storage area.
Part of this desk area is a small wheeled glass-topped oval table, which can be moved elsewhere in the room.
Thus it can be used by the couch as a small dining table.
I rolled it in front of my windows and used it as a desk to work on this site while Wishes unfolded outside my window.
The long side of the desk is excellent, and supports the Contemporary’s role as a convention hotel. Any traveler at the hotel on business will find the desk very usable.
The issue is the short side–the area between the bed and the desk.
This side is oddly proportioned and too large for its space, creating a corner that seems cramped and badly designed.
Inserting this side allows for additional storage drawers here.
This was unnecessary.
These rooms are both quite long and quite wide, and there’s plenty of floor space for the armoire to have been deeper and fitted with drawers, eliminating the need for the cramped corner.
Also on this side of the room is a 6’10” couch that flips down to a bed long enough for an adult.
The final space in a standard room is a balcony with two chairs and a table.
Overall, these rooms, despite the oddities noted, are quite spectacular. There is little “Disney” to them–other than the Magic Kingdom views–but as deluxe hotel rooms big enough for a family of five they work quite nicely, and largely elegantly.
See the image for the concierge lounge.
They are not worth the extra cost for most first time family visitors.
However, they may be well worth it for families intending to spend more time at the Contemporary Resort than implied by this site’s itineraries.
TikimanPages.com has a great discussion of the value of concierge rooms here. Though focused on the Polynesian, it applies to any deluxe resort.
One and Two-bedroom Suites sleeping 2 to 10 people in two to five bays ( a “bay” is the space a standard room takes) are available for families seeking a particularly comfortable visit–see this for more on suites at Walt Disney World.
The five bay Presidential Suite sleeps 8 in more than 2000 square feet overlooking the Magic Kingdom; the four bay Vice Presidential Suite overlooks Bay Lake. Other two and one bedroom suites are also available.
(To each of the capacity figures above, you can add one more kid under 3 at time of check in who sleeps in a crib.)
THE THEMING OF DISNEY’S CONTEMPORARY RESORT
This review continues here.