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!

Podcast Episode 123: We Gave It A Try

We make it a point to try new things at Disney each time we visit so we can report back to our readers and listeners about our findings.  Join us this week as we talk about the most recent new experiences we’ve had for the first time while at Disney!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 110: Shannon’s Disneyland Trip Report

A few weeks ago, Shannon attended an agent education program at Disneyland in California.  She’s back to tell us all about what she learned and how Disneyland differs from Walt Disney World in Florida!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 107: Disney FAQs

In this week’s episode, we tackle the most common questions we get about Disney vacation planning.  We answer all your questions about when is the best time to visit, tickets, resorts, the Disney Dining Plan, and more!

Happy listening!

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Current and Upcoming Walt Disney World Refurbishments

No reason for this picture other than it is CUTE!

No reason for this picture other than it is CUTE! Actually no reason for any of these pics, other than they are all of our loved ones and Disney!

 

Refurbishments are always a good and bad thing – good to spruce and fix up but sad when a favorite ride or attraction is not open when you are there.

Below are some upcoming refurbishments to be aware of while you are planning your next Walt Disney World vacation! Stay tuned for more refurbishments on the resort side coming soon!

Magic Kingdom Park

Monorail
The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes. If Guests plan to use this form of transportation during their visit they should check to be sure of the best option available on their day of travel, as alternative transportation options will be available.          Through Summer 2016

Swiss Family Treehouse                                                            Jul. 6 – Sep. 24, 2016
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress                                               Jul. 25 – 28, 2016
Liberty Square Riverboat                                                                   Aug. 1 – 7, 2016
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad                                             Aug. 8 – Nov. 18, 2016
“it’s a small world”                                                                 Aug. 22 – Sep. 15, 2016

EPCOT

NONE!

Hollywood Studios

 

Pizza Planet                                                                                    Jan. 19 – Late 2016
Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream                                                       Jul. 16 – 19, 2016
Voyage of the Little Mermaid                                                           Jul. 24 – 27, 2016
MuppetVision 3D                                                                             Aug. 15 – 22, 2016

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

DINOSAUR                                                                                 Jul. 25 – Oct. 16, 2016
Dino Institute Shop                                                                    Jul. 25 – Oct. 16, 2016             

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

NONE!

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

NONE!

 Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood                                                                       Jan. 6 – Summer 2016
Fulton’s Crab House – reopening as Paddlefish                            Apr. 4 – Fall 2016

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Refurbishments! Just out!!

Yes, it is always nerve-wracking to check refurbishment lists as you get closer and closer to your magical vacation. Will you favorite rides be running smooth or getting a paint job (or an extra track!) Though it can be disappointing to see it is a good thing. Disney keeps on top of all of their attractions to make sure they are in good, safe, and beautiful working condition. All it means to see your favorite ride is down is to start planning a future trip.

Magic Kingdom Park

Best Ride of All –

Monorail –                                                                                              Now to April 2016

According to Disney: “The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes. If Guests plan to use this form of transportation during their visit they should check to be sure of the best option available on their day of travel, as alternative transportation options will be available.”

Epcot

Soarin’ –                                                                                    Jan. 4, 2016 – Summer 2016

Circle of Life –                                                                                       Feb. 7 – Apr. 2, 2016

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Pizza Planet –                                                                                       Feb. 7 – Apr. 2, 2016

Toy Story Midway Mania –  1 Day Only                                                         Mar. 15, 2016

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure –  Closing Permanently    Apr. 3, 2016

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show –  Closing Permanently       Apr. 3, 2016

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Flights of Wonder –                                                                          Jan. 25 – Mar. 31, 2016

Warung Outpost –                                                                            Jan. 25 – Mar. 17, 2016

Boneyard –                                                                                        Feb. 22 – Mar. 19, 2016

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Annual Refurbishment –                                                                    Jan. 4 – Mar. 19, 2016

 Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

None

Resorts

Bay Lake Tower at The Contemporary Resort

Bay Cove Pool  –                                                                               Feb. 1-March 18, 2016

Soft goods refurbishment –                                                        April 2-October 14, 2016

 

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Concierge Lounge –                                                                                      May 7-22, 2016

AKL- Jambo House (Soft goods rehab) –                                  January 1- May 20, 2016

 

Art of Animation

Schoolyard Sprayground-                                                               Jan. 4-March 11, 2016

 

Beach Club Villas

Soft goods and bath rehab-                                                                Jan. 1-May 20, 2016

 

Boardwalk Inn

Exterior Painting and Repair-                                                                           May 5, 2016

Flying Fish Restaurant-                                                           Feb. 1-September 30, 2016

Seashore Sweets-                                                                               Closed Permanently

 

Caribbean Beach Resort

Aruba Pool–                                                                                       Feb. 22-April 15, 2016

 

Polynesian Village Resort

General Construction through Spring 2016

East Pool-                                                                                                        Through 2016

 

Pop Century

Bowling Pool-                                                                                   Feb. 15-March 1, 2016

 

Port Orleans Riverside

Ol’ Man Island Pool-                                                                         Jan. 11-March 4, 2016

 

Saratoga Springs

Soft goods rehab-                                                                               Feb. 7-June 22, 2016

 

Wilderness Lodge

General Resort refurbishment through 2017

Cub’s Den-                                                                                           closed through 2017

Sturdy Branches Health Club-                                                             July- October 2016

 

Hilton Head Island

Beach Renourishment-                                                                            May 1-June 4, 2016

Dolphin Hotel

Guest room Renovations-                                                      June 2016-September 2016

 

Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood-                                                                              Jan. 6-Summer 2016

Mickey’s Pantry/The Spice and Tea Exchange-                          Feb. 29-March 14, 2016

Walt Disney World Fall 2015 Refurbishments

Here is the latest list of refurbishments and closures at Walt Disney World for Fall 2015. This is subject to change at any time so check back.

Magic Kingdom

Monorail: the Resort Monorail System is undergoing refurbishment and alternative transportation will be available – until December 2015

Pirates of the Caribbean: June 8- September 25

Peter Pan’s Flight: November 2-7

Walt Disney World Railroad: October 12-November 20

Disney’s the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour: October 12-November 20

Liberty Tree Tavern: July 6-November 19

The Diamond Horseshoe: August 2-November 19

Animal Kingdom

Primeval Whirl: August 17-November 12

Flights of Wonder: October 5-November 5

Pizzafari: August 23- November 14

Epcot

Living with the Land: September 8-17

Re-Imagination of Maelstrom (Frozen Ever After): April 20, 2016

Blizzard Beach Water Park

Annual Refurbishment: October 4-January 2, 2016

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Annual Refubishment: January 3-March 12

All Star Sports Resort

Grand Slam Pool: October 26-December 18

Boardwalk Inn

Exterior Repair and Painting: August 17-May 5, 2016

Caribbean Beach Resort

Bridge Closure from Aruba and Jamaica to Old Port Royale: August 3-November 26

Coronado Springs Resort

Fitness Center, Salon, and Casitas Leisure Pool: July 5-October 30

Port Orleans French Quarter

French Quarter Kiddie Pool: September 8-December 23

Polynesian Village Resort

General Construction: Through early 2016

Wilderness Lodge Resort

General Room Refurbishments, certain pathways: October 2-2017

Hidden Springs Pool: October 26-2017

Dolphin Resort

Guest Room Renovations: October-Mid December and June 2016-September 2016

Swan Resort

Guest Room Renovations: Until September 2015

Downtown Disney

Fulton’s Crab House: January 1-April 1, 2016

Planet Hollywood: January 1- June 1, 2016

Tomorrowland- Movie Review

I recently watched Tomorrowland and I will say out of the gate that I really enjoyed this movie! It wasn’t exactly what I expected but it a great way. The previews that you see on TV just don’t do it justice. This was a truly original movie with a great cast and was visually stunning.

Tomorrowland

I won’t be spoiling the moving for anyone because I think as a Disney fan you all should probably get out and see it. But I will say there are plenty of Disney references for you to find and enjoy. It starts out strong with a look back at the 1964 World’s Fair where we hear “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, take a quick ride on “it’s a small world”, and see a dress that will remind you of Spaceship Earth, all this in the first few minutes!

The characters spend a lot of time trying to get to Tomorrowland and so much of the film is about the journey not the destination. But when they do get there it is just stunning to look at. If this were are real place we would all be clamoring to live there! These sections of the film also have nods to the Disney parks, like Space Mountain or the hover rails.

The thing I love most about this movie is it is pretty quick moving with lots of action and adventure. It may not be suitable for most young children since it does have some violence and death as well as end of the world themes.

I didn’t know Walt Disney personally but I feel as if he would have been so proud of this film. The story and lessons to be learned from it where all part of his personal philosophy of always moving forward, creating and inventing new and exciting things and ideas. Bottom line: I would very much see this again I give it two thumbs up!

Walt Disney World Refurbishments June 2015

Here is your monthly updated list of refurbishments for Walt Disney World in June.

Magic Kingdom
Pirates of the Caribbean June 8 – Sep 25, 2015

Liberty Square Riverboat- Aug- 4-10, 2015

Walt Disney World Railroad Sept 28-Nov 5, 2015

Dream Along with Mickey- July 19 – Aug 22, 2015

Liberty Tree Tavern- Jul 6 – Nov 19, 2015

Hollywood Studios
Voyage of the Little Mermaid- Sep 7 – Sep 10, 2015

Animal Kingdom
Flame Tree BBQ- Jan 5 – June 3 2015

Creature Comforts- Jan 5 – June 17, 2015

Transportation
Monorail Now to December 2015 is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes. If you plan to use this please be sure to check the best options for available for travel.

Resorts
Contemporary Feature Pool Sep 8-10, 2015

Beach Club Resort- Guest Room Renovations-Guests will not be accommodated in the affected areas but it is possible that some noise could travel while work is in progress (between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily). Oct 13, 2014 – Aug 22, 2015

Polynesian Village Resort- General Construction through early 2016

East Pool construction-late spring through early 2016

Disney’s Swan Hotel- Guest Room Renovations- Work is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. No guests will be accommodated in the renovation area as to minimize impact on the guest experience. Aug. 20, 2014 – TBD

As always this is subject to change so check back for the most up to date information!

Walt Disney World Refurbishment May 2015

Here is your monthly updated list of refurbishments for Walt Disney World.  As always it is subject to change.

Magic Kingdom
Pirates of the Caribbean June 8 – Sep 25, 2015

Jungle Cruise- Apr 13 – May 8, 2015

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- Apr 27 – 30, 2015

Liberty Square Riverboat- Aug- 4-10, 2015

Dream Along with Mickey- July 19 – Aug 22, 2015

Liberty Tree Tavern- Jul 6 – Nov 19, 2015

Hollywood Studios
Lights, Motors, Action- Apr 20 – Apr 24, 2015

Voyage of the Little Mermaid- Sep 7 – Sep 10, 2015

Animal Kingdom
Flame Tree BBQ- Jan 5 – Apr 22, 2015

Creature Comforts- Jan 5 – June 14, 2015

Transportation
Monorail March 10- Summer 2015 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:30am-6pm

The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System will undergo refurbishment that will impact the Express monorail beam, which runs between the Ticket & Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom. The Resort beam will continue to run during downtimes. Guests arriving at the Ticket & Transportation Center during downtimes will be directed to the ferry boats.

Resorts
Contemporary Feature Pool Sep 8-10, 2015

Beach Club Resort- Guest Room Renovations-Guests will not be accommodated in the affected areas but it is possible that some noise could travel while work is in progress (between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily). Oct 13, 2014 – Aug 22, 2015

Polynesian Village Resort- General Construction through early 2016

East Pool construction-late spring through early 2016

Disney’s Swan Hotel- Guest Room Renovations- Work is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. No guests will be accommodated in the renovation area as to minimize impact on the guest experience. Aug. 20, 2014 – TBD