Podcast Episode 205: Unique Features of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

If you know us, you know we love Disney resort hotels.  For this week’s episode, we’ve chosen to highlight the one feature of each resort that we feel shouldn’t be missed!

Happy listening!

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Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review

On our last vacation we booked as part of our split stay a night at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  We had booked a standard room in the Atrium (the main building).  Our room was 4722 located on the tenth floor with a gorgeous view of Bay Lake!

The room is 394 square feet, and we felt we had plenty of room to move around and contain all of our items.  Upon entering, to the right there is a small bar with the coffee maker, cups and ice bucket.  There are two closets in this area as well.  The closets contain a luggage rack, ironing board, iron, safe, and two drawers and of course plenty of space to hang up your clothing.

To the left is the bathroom. This features a separate room with a toilet and hamper, as well as double sinks, and a full shower/tub.  The best features in here are the awesome shower head, double sinks and clean lines.  The bathroom has really great lighting too if you need to see to get ready.  Included are towels that are a bit nicer and some really nice and decent sized toiletries, including lotion and body wash.


Walking further into the room to the left is a long desk with a chair and a small rolling table.  There are two queen sized beds that are very comfortable.  You can really tell the difference from the Moderates and Values in the beds at the Deluxe resorts.  The mattresses are more comfortable, the sheets, pillows and blankets are much nicer here as well.  To round out the sleeping area on the opposite wall there is a couch that folds down into a bed.  It did take us some time to figure out how to turn the couch into the bed (you pull top part down towards you) but we managed!  On the same wall as the couch was a large screen television.

The icing on the cake is the amazing balcony with two chairs and a small table.  This view was just beautiful and I could have sat all day overlooking the pool, grounds and Bay Lake.  Going back to the entrance you could look out your “front door” and get an amazing view of the Magic Kingdom!

Jillian: I was so excited to stay here!  This is the one resort that I had always wanted to stay at growing up.  It did not disappoint.  I thought the room was spacious and clean and I love a modern look, so this was perfect for me.  I also think this is a great option for someone who isn’t into Disney because this resort does feel grown up.  I thought the beds and furniture were comfortable, the views were spectacular.  We had a great experience with bell services so no complaints there.

The not so good: I did find check in to be slow but maybe because we were so excited to see our room. We also found that there were issues with food trays being left in the halls for hours, over 12 hours to be exact!  That is pretty bad for a Deluxe resort.  Next was our issue with the monorail.  This did not run for more than 30 minutes after park closing and the only other option is to walk.  I can handle the walk, but I can see families with little ones or those with disabilities having issues with this.  Literally the only option to get to the Contemporary is the monorail or to walk.  The walk is probably 12 minutes when you are going at a decent clip.

I really enjoyed using the monorail services (when they were running) and even the walk to the Magic Kingdom.  I think this resort offers great dining options from quick snacks to extra fancy meals!  I loved exploring the shops and amazing views from the decks.  The layout of the resort can be a little tricky, just trying to figure out which floor you have to go to get on the monorail or different restaurants took a little work, but mostly we had Tara as our guide since she is most familiar with the resort.

Tara: I had not stayed at Contemporary since I was a wee lass and really have no memory of it. I was thrilled to check it off the list since had recently stayed in Bay Lake Tower it was nice to compare. I love how convenient staying in the Tower is to everything. It is such a quick trip to stores, restaurants, and the monorail. You can not beat the convenience of everything. The room was nice but not Disney enough for many people. It is not “special” but more like an upscale Hilton or Marriott. I LOVED the bathroom though and found it more than special and comfortable. One thing that was nice is at night when you walk into the bathroom it has a sensor and a dim light comes on to help you maneuver. This was a great perk since I did not want to wake up the other girls! The beds were very comfortable and the view was great. I enjoyed it and would stay again, but it is at the bottom of the three monorail resorts for me with Polynesian and Grand Floridian taking the top spots.

Jamie: Walking into the Contemporary for our stay felt so much different from the previous visits I’d made to the resort. We took the elevator up to our room and when we stepped out there was a huge glass wall… and Space Mountain. How cool, to open the door to your hotel room every morning and there is Space Mountain! It’s an experience I’m glad I was able to have. The room was very nice. I especially loved the balcony and our view of Bay Lake. My main “cons” are the ones that Jillian has already mentioned, from the food in the hallway to the lack of transportation at the end of the night. Overall I think the resort is pretty great, but it still wasn’t able to knock the Polynesian off of my top monorail resort spot!

If you haven’t yet given the Contemporary Resort a try you may want to add it to your list of resorts.  You can’t beat the location, views, and dining at the Contemporary!

4 Free Things to do at Disney World

You don’t need to tell me it’s expensive to go to Walt Disney World. Have you ever had a day where you did not buy park tickets, or have a trip without visiting one of the four theme parks? Perhaps prior to a cruise, you would like to spend a day or two in Disney World but not have to have the added expense of park tickets.

The following four activities are FREE to enjoy at the Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Park at one of the resorts at the Magic Kingdom or take the bus to the Magic Kingdom and take a monorail ride stopping at each of the three resorts: Contemporary, Grand Floridian or Polynesian. You can enjoy the views, take pictures, or have lunch at one of the hotels.
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  • Stop at the Contemporary and take a boat to Wilderness Lodge there is a beach there with a nice playground.
  • From Downtown Disney you can take a boat ride to the Port Orleans Resorts and back it’s a nice river ride. Each resort has a playground open for anyone to use.
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  • Campfire and Movie Under the Stars with Chip and Dale at Fort Wilderness usually around 8 PM, arrive around 7-7:30 (You can either bring your own S’mores ingredients or buy kits there, but the actual campfire and movie is free.) Check with your travel agent for the exact time for your trip.