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  • Author
    • WDWDad1974

      Registered: May 2014
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Tue May 13, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, Location, Location--even for the Garden Wing
      Cons: moving through the resort

       
      We stayed in the Garden Wing, which I was a bit nervous about; I mean, the Contemporary is beautiful, a great hotel that looks like a spaceport and a marvel of modern architecture--why stay in the Garden Wing? It turned out to be a great experience, and the savings were well worth it.


      First of all, you cannot beat the Contemporary for location. We walked to the MK several times, despite having cranky kids (and one in a stroller), because it was just so close. The walk isn't "magical," per se, but you get to walk under the Monorail and get a good look at Space Mountain on the way. Of course the Monorail is extra cool--my kids liked it as much as any other ride. Quick trip to Epcot, and even a quick trip via bus to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom (they told us to plan 40 minutes, but it was probably more like 15). From what I could tell, everything stopped at the Contemporary first on the way home, although on the way in you go through the Polynesian and Grand Floridian first. But that's actually a bonus--first off at the end of a long day, first on ahead of the other riders at the start of the day. For my money, staying at a Monorail resort is well worth it.


      And the contemporary is cool--I think the coolest resort aesthetically. It does not get enough love as a Disney resort, in my mind, but that's mainly because the others are so lavishly themed, and the charm of the Contemporary is so subtle. Yes, it is somewhat dated in terms of the conception of what is "contemporary." But it does not feel stuck in 1971 in any way, just always someone's idea of futuristic. The concourse with the Monorail coming through makes the whole thing feel like it is perfectly conceived and planned. And as an adult, I think that many of the other resorts leave one feeling a bit silly. This is a hotel you're proud to come home to.


      The Garden Wing is off to the side and the worst thing that can be said is that it is a bit of a hike to and from transportation, restaurants, etc. It is on the opposite side of the resort as the MK walkway, those hallways start to seem pretty long, and the elevators are not incredibly conveniently placed. To get to the restaurants or the Monorail you walk across the property, then take an elevator or escalator to the 4th and 5th floors. This could be a bit of a pain--it was especially so when I wanted to go get coffee from the Contempo Cafe in the morning and bring it back to the room. If you think this is a problem, however, I would be sure to check out cross-resort walks at other resorts--I remember staying at Port Orleans once, and the walk was probably comparable. And when I was waiting for the elevator, I figured that anyone in the tower would also have to wait for the same elevator--they just would not have to walk that far to get to it! On the whole, however, I found it that the walk was not that bad--and that's dragging two elementary-aged kids and a pre-schooler.


      So about the Garden Wing itself: I worried that we would feel like we were in the low class wing, but we never felt like we were going cheap. In sum, you get all the benefits of the Contemporary's location and amenities, for a little cheaper, and as a bonus you're close to the pool. One major benefit that I was not expecting--and that even the bellhop did not know about--is that we could see the fireworks from our beds. Not the full show, mind you, but the "top part" of the fireworks, just enough to thrill my kids as they were going to bed, and enough to make the room feel extra cool. You should note two things: 1.) this only will work in Garden View rooms, and probably not all (my sense is that the closer you are to the lagoon, the better your view would be--and you probably have to be on the third floor, which is what we wanted anyway); and 2.) to see fireworks in the Tower requires a Magic Kingdom View room, which I think may be as much as $200 more--compare prices for yourself. While I'm on the topic of fireworks: there is an observation deck on the 4th floor from which you can watch the MK fireworks (with the Monorail coming in just above your head), and I was told (on the last night, when it was too late for me to check out) that you can see the fireworks and get the music from the show at the California Grille restaurant.


      The Garden Wing is just outside of the pool/beach area, and the pool is really nice. They have a water slide and a little splash area. You can't swim at the beach, but my kids really liked playing in the sand after their swim. The lifeguards are fantastic. Also, they have lots of activities around the pool area, including a nightly movie. I believe that the pools at some of the resorts are more elaborate--the Beach Club areas, especially. But from what I can tell from the pics of the Art of Animation, etc., resorts, the pools are not better, just more themed.


      The decor is really cool. One of the things that led us to choose the Contemporary is that it is not drenched in Disney decor, so my wife and I felt like we were staying in a place that was partly for us. If you want to feel like you're in a really nice, well-designed, modern hotel, this is a great place. It was not standard hotel decor by any means--it feels like an upscale boutique hotel in New York or LA; the rooms are sleek and modern, with some cool lighting features. The bathroom is encased in marble, which felt really luxurious. I know some people want to be totally enmeshed in Disney, and if you want mouse ear lamps and Lion King bedspreads, you should go someplace else--although my kids loved the deconstructed hidden Mickeys in the hallway artwork and carpet. This was their first trip; maybe if they had been in one of the over-the-top themed resorts before, they would have missed the characters. As it was, however, they loved it too; when we wanted extra Disney magic, we turned on the TV and played Donald Duck cartoons.


      Before I booked, I wanted a good, thorough review that took account of the Garden Wing, and I couldn't find it. Hopefully this suffices for the next guy. Take the walking and the theming into account, compare with the other resorts, but I do not think you'll be disappointed.
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      Ladies4Disney

      Registered: May 2012
      Location: Pennsylvania
      Posts: 20
      Review Date: Wed April 16, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Rennovations, Good Food
      Cons: Noisy

       
      We had a bad dining experience the last time we ate at this restaurant. This time was much better. The rennovations are a big improvement. Our food was very good (ordered the chicken). Dessert was creme brulee, and it was excellent. The restaurant is very noisy, and unfortunately, we were also seated in a high traffic area, but we still enjoyed our meal and would return.
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      trapolito

      Registered: March 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sat March 22, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Walking distance to Magic Kingdom, room size
      Cons: nothing

       
      We just got back from our visit to Disney world and our stay at the Contemporary and we LOVED it!! so impressed with this resort. I had a few doubts about it from reading some negative reviews but I have to say I am totally impressed with it. We had a Deluxe room in the garden view wing, I could not afford to stay in the Tower due to the rates during spring break but I wanted to try this resort and I opted for the Garden Wing, orig wanted just a standard room but they were all booked so I took the deluxe room. I requested a lower level room and close to the tower with a pool view and I was granted all of my request. The room was actually to big for the 3 of us but my kids loved it and we didn't want to leave the room. The bathroom was huge and the beds were very comfortable. Mousekeeping was awesome!! the room was very sound proof, never heard anything next to us or above us and the traffic outside our room was also quiet. We have stayed at the value resorts, Wilderness and the Yacht CLub and I have to say this was my favorite resort/room. The walk over to Magic Kingdom was a breeze and then we took the monorail back at night.


      Kids loved the pool and the pool party/games/and of course the prizes. We also enjoyed the movie on the beach and night and was able to have a perfect view of the fire works without the massive park crowds. and the electric water parade each night was a great treat.


      Love this location and would stay again if given the chance.
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      cchurch74

      Registered: June 2006
      Location: Glen Burnie, MD
      Posts: 19
      Review Date: Wed February 12, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, Convenience, Theme Park View
      Cons:

       
      Hubby and I stayed at the Contemporary for the first time from 2/3 - 2/10/14. We loved it! The staff were all friendly and helpful and mousekeeping was great. We had stayed at POR and the Poly before but this is our new favorite. Its true that it doesn't have the theming that the other resorts do, but it makes up for that in other ways.


      First, location, location, location! Being able to go downstairs and take the monorail was awesome, even with the closures for monorail rehab. And the walk to the Magic Kingdom was a great alternative. Second, it was very convenient being able to just go downstairs and get what we wanted (refilling our mugs, shopping, monorail, etc) instead of walking 5-10 minutes to a main building. Don't get me wrong, we love POR and the Poly and we don't mind walking....but it was nice and convenient.


      The rooms are large and we had plenty of room for the 2 of us. And the view - INCREDIBLE! We had a theme park view room in the main tower and I highly recommend it! To me, it was worth every penny being able to wake up and go to sleep with the view of Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain. We even got take out from Contempo Cafe a few nights and ate on the balcony (with the help of the small table near the desk) while watching the fireworks. Talk about magical! One tip about the theme park view....try to request a higher floor.


      We were very happy with our stay at the Contemporary and would definitely stay here again!
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      dandnmom

      Registered: February 2013
      Location: Cincinnati OH
      Posts: 9
      Review Date: Thu December 26, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): location, staff,
      Cons: bit of a "conference hotel" feeling

       
      Just returned from "bucket list" visit - Christmas at Disney and staying in the Contemporary- yeah! Lovely stay.....


      Resort is just beautiful at night - decorations tastefully done, lots to see and do, rooms very quiet. Everything was very tasteful, clean, excellent service by staff. Since I took my kids, I do wish they had done the "Disney animal towel characters" but the kids survived just fine - loved the resort and want to go back now; resort was "kid friendly" enough (have stayed at all Disney price points). I've read complaints about the bathroom sinks and doors not locking, etc- get over it folks.... it's a great resort and wouldn't hesitate to return.
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      arparkes78

      Registered: December 2013
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Mon December 23, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, Location, Location
      Cons: Mousekeeping

       
      We booked the Contemporary for our latest visit to WDW DEC 15-21st What a great place to stay for getting around to the parks. Our room was ready when we got there and the bell hop sevice was fantastic.


      While the Christmas decorating is not what it is at some of the other resorts on Disney it was still done very well.


      I was expecting it to be noisey with the monorail running through but we were on the 9th floor with a lake view and we never heard it once.


      The only downside was mouse keeping. We had 4 people in our room and every day I had to ask for towels or washcloths because only 2 or 3 were left each day. We also had some ants in our bathroom but this was quickly resolved by calling the front desk.
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      Imjustababyduck

      Registered: May 2007
      Posts: 50
      Review Date: Mon November 25, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, Location, Location
      Cons: None

       
      We often stay at the Contemporary Resort when we go to Disney. We love being able to walk to MK and travel via monorail to EPCOT. The room size is nice and the hotel kindly accommodated all of my requests. Check in was a breeze (too much of a breeze, actually since they forgot to give me my photo pass plus card). Nonetheless, with online check in, you don't even have to go inside the hotel to check in. We checked in early and left immediately to our reservation at The Hollywood Brown Derby. The quick check in process was a life saver since we were running short on time.


      We did do the in-room celebration for my nephew's birthday (which, normally would not be worth the price IMO, but this was a special circumstance). While this was not done completely to my specifications, no one knew that but me, and the kids were very excited with everything.


      We did not use room service or cleaning service so I cannot comment on either of those aspects.


      Again, what we love is the Location, Location, Location and the Contemporary would have to really go downhill for us to give that up.
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      pt4kids28

      Registered: September 2009
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Sun September 1, 2013 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 6 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): location
      Cons: price, overall quality, cleanliness, mousekeeping

       
      We stayed in garden view room 5336 during the last week of August. I am a huge Disney fan and have stayed at almost every resort property more than once and this experience was below average. The Contemporary is not a deluxe hotel, it is only priced as a deluxe hotel. I had several issues during my stay:
      1- On 3 different occasions I found dried stains on my sheets. I have never in 35 years seen anything like this on hotel sheets, not even in a Motel 6. This was gross.
      2- We did not get a single towel animal during our 7 nights, despite the fact that it was obvious we were traveling with small children.
      3- The room and hallways seemed tired and old. Many paint chips and dings.
      4-The pool area is boring. Compared to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian the pool is awful. They seem to be upgrading all the other resort pools but not the this one. How about a theme of some sort?
      5- Mousekeeping did not clean my room well. We found papers and garbage on the floor that was not cleaned up for several days.
      6- For almost 500 dollars per night this was a ripoff.
      7- The bus service to other parks was terrible. Why do the buses need to make 2-3 stops before going to the park when the budget hotels have only one stop. In order to go to the Animal Kingdom, we made stops at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian first. However, the All Star and other resorts have direct service.
      8-The viewing area for the fireworks lacked music. Would it kill them to pipe the music in like the Poly or GF.
      9-The hotel lacked little perks seen at the Deluxe hotels. For example, when we stayed at the Poly and GF for our anniversary, the hotel sent us chocolates and flowers. At the contemporary we only received a card.


      On the positive side:
      1-The monorail was efficient.
      2-The staff was nice.


      I would not stay here again. My 8 year old even stated he preferred the All Start Movies better.
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      castle

      Registered: August 2013
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Mon August 12, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): location to monorail, appearance of rooms
      Cons: magicbands and room key

       
      We stayed from 8/2-8/8 in two garden wing rooms. We arrived to the resort around 12:30. Only one of our rooms was ready and were told that when the other was ready they would text us. Upon entering the room we noticed there no refrigerators. I called the front desk and was told that we should have received a letter prior to our arrival explaining that we would not have a refrigerator. I explained that I never received a letter and that we were having groceries delivered later that day. We eventually had two refrigerators delivered to our rooms. Interesting enough upon delivery of the refrigerators to our room we were given a different explanation of why the refrigerators were removed-they were updating the refrigerators. Where as the front desk told us they were no longer going to have them in the rooms. So if you are checking into the Garden Wing you may want to call ahead of time to verify you will have a refrigerator.


      The only negative aspect of the resort were the magic bands. Disney asked us to try them out prior to arrival. We agreed and they were sent ahead of time and we brought them with us. Some members of our party could not access their room with the bands. We all had to make sure we brought the key card with us in addition to our magic bands. We spent about an hour with guest services trying to fix the magic bands only to find out that two members of our party's magic bands were deactivated by the business office for no reason (at least that is what we were told). We were never informed. It was a little irritating that we had to spend an hour trying to get them fixed especially when time is precious at Disney World.
      Overall we had a great time.
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      jdalby

      Registered: July 2013
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Tue July 16, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Updated Room, Convenient, great views
      Cons: still needs some more updating

       
      This resort was great, AMAZING. Our room was completely updated. Workers were very friendly and accommodating. Wish the Contempo Cafe had a bigger selection of food.


      One thing I have to mention. We arrived at 10:30 or so and our room wasn't ready yet. We hung around and about 30 minutes later, we were able to got into the room. During those 30 minutes, we were near the pool. After getting situated with our stuff (about a hour) we headed to MK we noticed that there was water coming from the ground under the pavers leading to the pool, like a water main had busted. By 11:30 pm, they had a full crew working on it and by the next morning it was fixed and all put back together. In NY, where I'm from, that would take 6 months to fix. Just Sayin'
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      onejasper

      Registered: January 2010
      Location: Canada
      Posts: 22
      Review Date: Sun July 14, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location is amazing! Fireworks WOW!
      Cons: The Wave lunch/dinner menu

       
      We stayed at the Contemporary from June 30th to July 6th. We were treated like royalty for the most part from towel animals to very courteous service throughout. The concierge and hotel managers could not have been more helpful. Were there a few issues? Yes, but they were taken care of immediately.


      We stayed in adjoining rooms on the 10th floor facing the Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian. It was truly a breath-taking view. Fireworks line up was different every night and the two nights of July 3rd and 4th were outstanding with twin fireworks over both the castle and GF. It was wonderful to watch them from the balconies instead of fighting shoulder to shoulder with the crowds.


      Beds were great, we had no issues with the sinks...they didn't drain fast but then I wasn't in a hurry. I had taken a little folding unit for the wardrobe and kept most toiletries in there. The safe is a nice size as are the wardrobes with plenty of drawer space. Nice 27" tv...very clean. There are bound to be a few issues with any hotel but overall we felt surrounded by luxury.


      The monorail is very cool and you cannot hear a thing inside the rooms nor could we hear Chef Mickeys. I know we were on the 10th floor but you didn't really hear the monorail much anyways as there is a lot of noise from the Contempo cafe which has a decent menu.
      The Wave does an amazing breakfast...didn't care for lunch/dinner menu at all..see separate review. Chef Mickeys was a hoot!


      The beach is quite lovely, very simple and nice and quiet since I guess most were in the parks during this busy time.


      We would stay again for sure. Loved it from start to finish!
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      beccab

      Registered: December 2010
      Location: Champaign, IL
      Posts: 24
      Review Date: Fri April 12, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, beds
      Cons:

       
      We checked in on April 3rd, 2013. Arrived via Magical Express at about 10:30pm, were met right off the bus by a hotel cast member, greeted by name and immediately escorted into hotel for check in. Check in was quick, luggage was delivered to our room at about 1:30am at our request (with our late arrival time we had a choice for luggage delivery as soon as it arrived or to wait until morning).


      Our room, 5143, was on the first floor of the South Garden Wing with a nice walk out patio and a view of the lake. It was very clean and spacious. Easy walk to main lobby, pool. Beds were very comfortable, rooms were quiet.


      Staff friendly and courteous. Only had one issue with housekeeping, in that one day our room was somehow skipped. We called the front desk to notify around 7pm and when we returned to our room at about 10pm, the room had been cleaned, towels replenished.


      Did note that the room was in need of a bit of refurbishment, particularly the bathroom which had a few tiles falling off the wall and the shower head needed to be replaced (the only reason I rated the hotel a 9 instead of a 10). On that note, however, 3 days into our trip the first building of the Garden Wing (closest to the main tower) closed for reburbishment. During the rest of our 8 night stay, we witnessed new mattresses, carpets, desk chairs, shower heads and ottomans being brought in to the new rooms.


      Location was fantastic. Walked into Magic Kingdom everyday (maybe an 8 minute walk). Found the Contempo Cafe to be efficient and the food decent (although not great). Bus transportation was also efficient, never waited for more than 10 minutes although once picked up we did have to travel to the Polynesian for guest pick up there before traveling to final destination.


      Pools were fine, with music and dancing in the afternoons. Adults wished the poolside Sand Bar had later hours and the kids wished the pool slide was a little more exciting Smile


      Overall, we had a very magical stay. Would absolutely recommend and will definitely stay here again very soon.
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      docdebbi

      Registered: January 2013
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Fri January 18, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): location location location
      Cons: elevator delays

       
      We stayed here in December 2012 and thoroughly enjoyed this resort. We have stayed at many WDW resorts, this is up there, although mostly for location. It is exciting to know you are staying in one of the original hotels, and I enjoy the "contemporary' theming, although it is not nearly as overwhelming as with Polynesian or Grand Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge. They just don't have as much of a theme to work with, it is nicely done for what it is.


      The place is clean, well maintained, and the service is excellent. The restaurant choices are great. Nothing better than rolling out of bed and stepping right into Chef Mickey's. The Contempo Cafe has very nice food selections, and is quick and convenient. Cali Grill is a must do for us every trip, enough said.


      The view of the Magic Kingdom exceeded our expectations. We just opened the curtains, and sometimes the door, and just enjoyed and enjoyed, truly Magical.


      But the main reason we stayed here? Walking to the park. The only resort where you can do this. With three kids in strollers, (yeah, we went with a 3 year old, 2 year old and 4 month old !), there is nothing better than walking out the door and being in the park. No bus, monorail, boat, etc. We know we could take these, but walking was actually quicker.We sometimes took the boat home, but the monorail goes around the entire loop before hitting MK, and we decided the walk over to the monorail station to get home and up that lovely incline with strollers was even more effort than just walking.


      The elevators have always been and remain an issue. The wait is seriously an issue. I know there is no where else to add more elevators, but the number of folks waiting on each floor, and the number of times full elevators stop and you can't get on is truly a problem. And having to get off the elevator on one floor and wait for an elevator to get to the monorail level- again, having to wait for several full elevators before it's your turn- really made it untenable. Imagineers- come up with something!


      Otherwise, it was a wonderful trip, truly enjoyed our stay- recommend it to everyone.
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      JerseyShoregirl13

      Registered: November 2012
      Location: NJ
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Sun November 25, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): close proximity to monorail from room, concourse level outside your door, walk to MK
      Cons: Pool complex nothing special

       
      Having a room with view of Castle is awesome. If possible request room#4343-Best view! Great view of other MK resorts. Walk to MK is so convenient to enjoy last day of trip before going to airport. Can hear the sounds from Magic Kingdom. Feel like you are always right inside the "Magic".
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      tink1970

      Registered: October 2012
      Posts: 9
      Review Date: Sat October 20, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): location!!!!
      Cons: sterile atmosphere

       
      This was a nice place for my husband and I to stay in Sept 2011.


      The location can't be beat-enjoyed walking to the Magic Kingdom and drove to the other parks.


      While the rooms have been updated, they still aren't as "themed" as some of the other resorts, but the location, dining and shopping easily makes up for that.
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