Let’s Escape to Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Maria SalernoBlog, Resorts

Contemporary Resort Laurie

You’ve just boarded the monorail en route to Magic Kingdom. Before you catch a glimpse of the castle, you notice your monorail heading straight towards a modern-style structure that looks like it rose from the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Don’t worry, you won’t crash… you’re about to see one of the most awe-inspiring views on at Walt Disney World World as the track travels directly through Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Monorail through Contemporary Resort

Ride through the Contemporary Resort on the monorail! Photo by Brett Svenson

History and Architecture

As one of the resorts Walt himself conceptualized, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a breathtaking piece of architecture. Meant to awe and pamper its guests, the resort was built using an A-frame design. 

Look familiar? That’s because Walt and his team built the resort based on the specs of cruise ship architecture.

A-Frame Contemporary

The unique A-Frame design on the Contemporary Resort makes it an interesting structure to view. Photo by Cliff Wang

Just like an ocean liner cruise ship, the guest rooms are located along the outside of the hotel, leaving the center open and available for the many incredible offerings the Contemporary is known for.

Your journey to Magic Kingdom is an attraction in and of itself, and that monorail passing directly through the heart of the Contemporary Resort remains one of the most jaw-dropping effects ever created by Disney.

Dining at the Contemporary Resort

It is my personal opinion that the Contemporary is home to some of the best restaurants in WDW, and I know I’m not alone here!

The Wave… of American Flavors

One of the best spots to sit down to a filling breakfast before a Park day is The Wave… of American Flavors

The Wave... of American Flavors

The Wave… of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort has some delectable choices! Photo by Cliff Wang

In addition to a sprawling buffet, The Wave also features fantastic a la carte menu items… you will not be disappointed by the glazed donut French toast with banana caramel sauce!

The Contempo Café

Our next stop is located on the monorail level, my favorite spot to sit back, relax, and take a break from Magic Kingdom Park. 

The Contempo Café is the resort’s quick-service dining spot, but the food here is table-service quality served in half the time and for a fraction of the price. Your meal is even paired with views of the monorail passing overhead.

Bacon Cheeseburger Contempo Cafe

Try the bacon cheeseburger at the Contemporary Resort’s Contempo Café! Photo by Laurie Sapp

If you like to enjoy full bar service with your dinner, I’ve got the ultimate hack for you: Contempo Café delivered straight to your table at Outer Rim Lounge!

Just steps from Contempo Café, Outer Rim Lounge is a super sleek bar serving fantastic signature cocktails like the glowing Magical Star.

Simply place your order at Contempo Café and let the Cast Member know you’d like your food brought to you at Outer Rim Lounge. You’ll have the most relaxing meal that’s sure to help you recharge for the rest of your Magic Kingdom day.

California Grill

I can’t count the number of times I’ve marveled as Tinker Bell flew above me and the Magic Kingdom as she makes her nightly flight during Happily Ever After. I wonder: How would it feel to see the fireworks from her perspective? 

Disney can do you one better: Watch the fireworks spectacular while dining at one of WDW’s most acclaimed dining experiences, California Grill.

Happily Ever After

Watch Happily Ever After from a unique view at the Contemporary Resort. Photo by Brett Svenson

Bring along whoever you love to spend time with most because you’ll want the best company when you’re tasting their famous, made-to-order sushi!

Plus, you’ll want your closest pals right by your side when you step out onto the open-air fireworks deck and drink in Happily Ever After from the tallest point of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Facts And Secrets

Boats, buses, monorails… and feet?

The Contemporary Resort boasts the most transportation options on property. Take a 5-minute stroll to Magic Kingdom or access MK’s entrance via boat and monorail.

Boat from Contemporary

Take a boat from the Contemporary Resort! Photo by Laurie Sapp

You can also hop onto a bus for access to WDW’s other Parks and Disney Springs.

In addition to being the one and only Resort that allows guests to walk to the gates of Magic Kingdom, it also offers a slew of transportation options.

You can access four other Disney Resorts directly from the Contemporary including Wilderness Lodge and Campsites at Ft. Wilderness by boat and Disney’s Polynesian and Grand Floridian resorts by monorail.

Tip: Be sure to utilize these complimentary transportation options during your stay, there is so much to discover at WDW’s other Resorts that you surely won’t want to miss!

It’s a Small World After All

The iconic animatronics in it’s a small world have an artistic connection to The Contemporary Resort.

After her work on the famous attraction, artist Mary Blair’s style was so significant and interwoven into Disney’s culture that she was brought on to create multiple murals inside the Contemporary Resort lobby. 

Mary Blair and Monorail

Mary Blair had a big influence on the artistry inside the Contemporary. This mural is by Mary Blair! Photo by Judd Helms

Look for her “Grand Canyon Concourse” mural as your monorail passes through the resort. 

And her legacy lives on: every holiday season, pastry chefs create a giant gingerbread display at the Contemporary in the style of Mary Blair.

Complimentary Activities

Contemporary Resort

The Contemporary Resort is a beautiful place to stay, plus, it is full of great amenities! Photo by Laurie Sapp

In addition to the Olympiad Fitness Center, Lakeside Yoga and Water Aerobics are offered Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. Fitness-savvy guests love the fully-stocked gym.

Challenge a family member to a game of tennis, volleyball, or a friendly lap around the running trail! And, don’t forget to make the most of your non-Park day by taking part in the daily kid-geared pool party and complimentary marshmallow roasting!

Whether you’re visiting for the fine dining at California Grill, looking to take a reprieve from Magic Kingdom at Outer Rim, or are like me and want to stick to your fitness schedule while on vacation, Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers all of these amenities and more, and all it takes to experience it all is a quick ride on the monorail!

Did you know that we highlight a different resort every month in our print magazine? Subscribe today to learn even more about Disney World’s resorts!

About the Author

Maria Salerno

Maria is a proud WDW Magazine columnist and blog contributor. After holding a WDW Annual Pass in the Northeast USA for 4 years, she recently moved just 5 minutes from Walt Disney World to be as close as possible to her favorite place on earth! Maria is a Certified Disney Travel Agent and private music instructor. Next time you visit WDW, keep your ears open, you just might catch Maria singing and playing guitar at Epcot or Disney Springs!