When we booked our 2014 Disney holiday to Old Key West, we had a small problem trying to tie in our flights with our holiday dates. However, we discovered that booking our flights to arrive a day earlier than planned and leave a day later, and booking into hotels for the extra nights, would work out cheaper than the flight that would coincide with our arrival & departure date at Old Key West. We decided to go with the cheaper option and lengthen our holiday stay (who doesn’t want the opportunity of a longer holiday!). Walt Disney World Travel Company were fantastic at adding on a night to the end of our stay at our chosen resort, and we took the opportunity to stay at a different Walt Disney World Resort hotel for the first night.
After some research, we decided to stay in a Magic Kingdom View Room in the Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Arriving in the evening after a 9 hour flight, we knew it wouldn’t make sense to go directly into the parks, but the thought of arriving at our room and being able to relax and watch the fireworks was very enticing! These rooms are at the pricier end of the scale when it comes to Disney Resort Hotels, but because it was only for one evening, we decided to give it a go. We also used the size of the rooms and the size of our travel party to ease this cost a little more. The rooms in Disney’s Contemporary Resort sleep up to 5 people, and with 10 in our travel party, we opted for 2 rooms between the 10 of us. While not a viable choice for a full 2 week holiday, there was sufficient space to fit us all in for the one night and allow us the spectacular experience of watching Wishes from your bed!
We arrived at the resort in the early evening, and check-in was very quick and prompt. We were expecting check-in to take a little longer than previous stays due to the MagicBand roll-out, but the cast members quickly and efficiently got us checked in and acquainted with our new MagicBands. With 10 members in our party, we used the bell-hop to bring our bags up to our rooms; it is worth noting here that a tip is generally given to whoever brings your bags up to your room. Our room was easy to locate, and very well appointed and furnished. They seemed very spacious and there was definitely enough space for the 4 Adults, 1 Child & 1 infant who shared our room for the night (maybe not enough for a full 2 weeks, but certainly enough for a night or two!). Some of the white goods in the bathroom seemed a little dated, but not to the point were a complaint would have been necessary. The rooms stayed true to the Contemporary Resorts sleek, modern theme, which I was pleased with, and most importantly, they were clean!
Once in and settled, we went down to the resort’s Food Court, the Contempo Cafe to have some dinner. I was a little surprised at how small the seating area here was for the size of the Contemporary Resort; but with 3 other restaurants and 2 other quick service areas, a lot of seating is possibly not necessary. The food here was quick, fresh, tasty and filling – and there were plenty of options to suit everyone in our group. The most notable part of Contempo Cafe was the new ordering system – a touch screen allows you to choose your meal electronically. This definitely made ordering more quick and efficient, and there were plenty of screens to ensure no long queues developed. Our 3 year old loved being able to sit and eat dinner while watching the “train” (monorail) come through the hotel. A novelty for him, I was surprised at how much vibration the entering and departing monorail created. It is not something that ruined my stay here, and it certainly didn’t impact our rooms, but it did take a little getting used to.
We had a look in the shops, which offered a wide range of merchandise. As a Disney Shop-aholic, I was pleased to see more than one shop for me to stroll around and enjoy! After, we went back to our rooms to put our kids to bed and get comfortable on the balcony for the fireworks. For me, these fireworks-view rooms are one of the main selling points of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The view from our room was incredible and it felt very special to be able to sit on the balcony of our room in our pyjamas, kids asleep, and enjoy Wishes.
We were due to check-out in the morning, but we had also booked Chef Mickeys for breakfast. A character breakfast with Mickey Mouse is a very exciting way to begin your first day in Walt Disney World, especially if, like us, you are travelling with young children who are looking forward to meeting the characters! A buffet breakfast, Chef Mickeys offered a wide variety of choices for breakfast; from cereals and pastries to hot offerings, and it is all-you-care-to-enjoy. Most importantly, the characters arrived promptly and they all gave our party plenty of time for autographs and pictures. Our server was also very attentive and didn’t rush us from our table too quickly; we were able to enjoy a last cup of coffee to help waken us after we had finished eating. Obviously how much time you can have will depend on how busy the restaurant is, but I was pleased that there was no rushed atmosphere to our meal.
Overall, we really enjoyed our night at the Contemporary Resort. It was most certainly made by the view from our rooms, but the hotel in general is definitely worth a visit. Being one of the original resorts on property I almost feel as if that sense of history impacts the atmosphere of the Contemporary, giving it a unique vibe and setting. However, it is a Deluxe Disney Resort with a prime location close to the Magic Kingdom and this may mean it is an unaffordable choice for many for a longer stay. If it is too costly to stay in the Contemporary Resort for your entire holiday, I would recommend looking into doing a night or two there during your trip – it is a truly magical experience.
Our stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort came about over an issue getting flights at an affordable price for our holiday at Disney’s Old Key West. It turned out we could stay longer, and get better value flights, than booking the flights for the original 2 week holiday! I call that a big win!
This review is a little short because stayed for one night. We arrive late afternoon, and were away first thing in the morning.
We arrived in the evening after getting through the madness of Orlando airport. We experienced some delays because there was a delay in the baggage being transferred between the arrive terminal and the building where you get your car.
Some time later, we’re driving up World Drive, through the purple gates and towards Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It’s safe to say that the resort building is huge! It’s fun to see the monorail running through as you pull up at valet!
We checked in to the resort and soon went to our rooms. We’d split our group (8 adults, 1 child and 1 infant) into 2 rooms; 4 adults with the kids, and 4 adults. We’d also paid out for the view of the Magic Kingdom.
Our room was a good size for the 6 of us, featuring 2 queen beds, and a sofa bed for our son. The room also had a travel cot for our younger son. The decor is modern, and much to my taste. The bathroom has 2 shallow sinks, a bath/shower, and separate toilet.
In spite of us having all our baggage dumped on the floor of the room, there was still sufficient space for us to walk around without tripping over it, or each other!
The view, however, is incredible. We were on the 5th floor, on the corner room nearest the ticket centre. The view was directly over the Seven Seas Lagoon, which made for a very picturesque sunset. To the right was Magic Kingdom.
When we arrived we’d worked up a great appetite, and hit the Contempo Cafe for some food. Because our original booking wasn’t until the next day, we didn’t benefit from our Dining Plan. However, the cost of food in the Contempo Cafe is very reasonable, so we were happy to pay cash. The restaurant is situated under the monorail track, which is definitely a novelty! It’s a bit like sitting in a train station and watching the world go by, albeit, more comfortable and certainly quieter!
We follow dinner with a tour around the shops. Each had a good variety, notably, the deluxe resorts appear to have better shopping outlets than the moderate resorts, offering a wider variety of merchandise.
Retail browsing complete, and obligatory autograph books bought for the boys we went back to our rooms to settle the boys for bed, and enjoy the fireworks. After a long flight, and being very tired, it was great to be able to watch the fireworks and just crawl into bed!
The next morning we had booked into Chef Mickeys, now a firm favourite with our older son. Here Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy make their way around guests, signing autographs and getting pictures taken. The boys loved it! The buffet offers a wide variety of foods – I’m a big fan of the breakfast potatoes!
Shortly after breakfast we checked out to go to Disney’s Old Key West Resort.
I enjoyed the stay in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, although would have preferred longer. It has been a favourite of mine since I originally visited Disney in 1997. I’d definitely go back to try and get a true stay at this resort and really assess the benefit of a Seven Seas Lagoon resort, as well as using the amenities of this resort, such as the pool and watercraft rentals.