PassPorter Online
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
Articles Menu
PassPorter Articles
Disney Dreaming
What Keeps Us Coming Back
Disney for Veteran Visitors
Rumor Round-Up
Finding Answers
Best Disney Trip Advice
Getting Your Disney Fix
How Young Is Too Young?
Top Ten Disney Questions
Tipping (Gratuities)
Timeshare Vacation Offers
Disney World on a Budget
Credit Cards 101
Money-Saving Strategies
Preparing Kids For Disney
Taking Toddlers to Disney
Planning Trips for Others
Convincing Others To Go
Importance of Being Lazy

Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
Ten "Must Pack" Items
Touring With A Group
Chaperoning A Group Trip
Ten Travel Tips
Luggage Tips
iPhone, I Travel
Driving to Disney
Driving With Kids
Child Safety Seats
CARES Harness Review
Rental Cars
Amtrak Auto Train
Airline Security
Flying With Kids
Surviving Long Flights
Surviving Bumpy Flights
Surviving Bad Vacations
Surviving Long Airport Waits
Staying Healthy
First Aid on Vacation
Solo Travel
Pregnant at Disney
Dress For Travel
Traveling With Pets
International Travel
Taking A 'Greener' Trip to WDW

Orlando Sanford Airport
Choosing a Resort
On-Site Lodging vs. Off-Site Lodging
Disney Resort Primer
Reserving a Room
Key to the World Card
Fun at Resort Hotels
Disney Vacation Club
All-Star Movies
All-Star Music
All-Star Sports
All-Star Vacation Homes
Animal Kingdom Lodge: Perfect for Teens
Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club
BoardWalk Inn & Villas
Contemporary Resort
Ft. Wilderness Camping
Old Key West
Wilderness Lodge
Home Sweet Home
Grand Californian #1
Grand Californian #2
Grosvenor Resort
Hilton Resort
Orlando Airport Marriott
Radisson Resort Parkway
Shades of Green
Westin Century Plaza
Making The Most of Bell Services at Disney's Deluxe Resorts
DVC's Old Key West Resort
Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
New Ships!
Cruise Security
International Port Security
Convincing a Husband to Cruise
Palo Dinner Review
Vow Renewals Onboard
Cruising With Special Diets
Cruising St. Martin
One in a Million Cruise
Zip-A-Dee-Zip-Line: A Canopy Adventure
A 'Magic' Time In The Mediterranean
A Wrap-Up From DCL's Inaugural Mediterranean Cruise
DCL: Not Just for Kids!
Spa Villas Review
Laugh Floor Comedy Club
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Fantasyland For Adults
Mission: SPACE
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Star Wars Weekends
Animal Kingdom
Expedition EVEREST
Surviving the Parks as First Time Parents
Surviving the Holidays
Overcoming Kids Fears
Planning Park Days
Four Parks in One Day
Touring with Toddlers
A Kid's Perspective
A Teen's Take
Educational Epcot
Flower & Garden Festival
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Scary Places (Halloween)
Playing "Millionaire"
Winning "Millionaire"
A Day With Allie
Past Attractions at Magic Kingdom
Meeting Mickey
Disneyland at 50
Future of Disneyland
Beyond the Disney Parks
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Monorail System
California Adventure
Expanding Disney's California Adventure
10 Reasons to Love Disneyland
A WDW Veteran's First Trip to Disneyland
A Disneyland Veteran's First Trip to Walt Disney World
Disneyland Homecoming
Walt Disney World With Pre-Teen Boys
Keys To The Kingdom Backstage Tour
Pirates & Princess Party
WDW with Teens? Absolutely!
Disney Dining Plan
More Dining Plan Tips
Dining Plan Revisited
Dining Plan Answers
Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) Strategies
Artist Point Review
California Grill Review
Nine Dragons Review
Spoodles Review
The Turf Club Review
Crystal Palace Review
Yak & Yeti Review
Tutto Italia Review
Character Dinners
Dine With A Disney Imagineer
Eating Healthy at Disney
Food Allergies
White Water Snacks
MurderWatch Mystery Theatre
Disneyland Dining: Yamabuki
Disneyland Area Dining: Pirate's Dinner Adventure
Party For The Senses
Artist Point
1900 Park Fare Dinner Review
Making Magic
Romance At Disney World
Beating The Post Trip Blues
Discovering the Magic
Magic of Slowing Down
Unexpected Treasures
Wishes Fireworks Cruise
Backstage Tours
Epcot's Segway Tour
Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival
Taking Great Photos
Taking Great Fireworks Photos
Digital Photo Q & A
Souvenirs on a Budget
Pal Mickey
Birthdays at Disney
Reunions and Gatherings
Holidays (Christmas)
More Holidays
Disney Intimate Weddings
Disney Vow Renewals
Custom Events
Preserving Memories
Scrapbooking Supplies
Finding Scrapbook Supplies at WDW
Memories and Milestones
Scavenger Hunts
Hidden Mickeys
Hidden Mickeys Book Review
Richard Petty Experience
More Richard Petty Rides
Ft. Wilderness Trail Ride
Disney Podcasts
MouseFest 2006
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
Making of PassPorter
Rest of the World
United States:
Big Apple Greeter
City Pass Cards
Hilton Head Island #1
Hilton Head Island #2
Celebration, Florida
Key Largo & Islamorada
Miami, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
Space Coast, Florida
Tampa-St. Petersburg
WonderWorks (Orlando)
Knoebels, Pennsylvania
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Anza-Borrego Desert
Grand Canyon
The Poconos
New York City
New York Splash Tours
New York City Dining
New York: Antiques
New England
New Orleans
Nashville, Tennessee
Adventures by Disney: Wyoming
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Zoos of the World
Universal Studios Orlando
New Attractions at Universal Orlando
Seuss Trolley Train Ride at Universal Orlando
Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Universal: For Non-Thrill Seekers?
Madison County, Iowa
The Great Smoky Mountains
Discovery Cove (Orlando)
Busch Gardens Africa: SheiKra Coaster Review
NASCAR AllState 400
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Niagara Falls, New York
Blue Horizons at SeaWorld Orlando
International Travel:
London Museums
London's Globe Theatre
Kent, England
Bath, England
Great Britain via Harry Potter
Stockholm, Sweden
Helsinki, Finland
Quebec City, Canada
Prince Edward Island
South Africa
Leeds Castle
Windsor Castle
Dover Castle
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Disney's Contemporary Resort: Promise of the Future

by Jacque Boyle, Guest Columnist

With few exceptions, Disney's Contemporary Resort is described as being the least "themed" of the Walt Disney World resorts. But I love the Contemporary because as a "Jetsons" fan I've always been fascinated by the idea of space travel and the promise of the future. So in November 1971 when I saw a monorail disappear into the Contemporary Tower like a space ship docking in a magnificent, gleaming white space station, I was hooked. I could hardly wait to take my first monorail trip into that tower, and when I finally did, it was everything I had imagined and more.

When I step off the monorail onto the platform in the Grand Canyon Concourse, it's like stepping into a vibrant city of the future, with the sweeping expanse of the atrium windows, soaring tiers of walkways and the swoosh of the monorails. I love feeling the energy of Chef Mickey's, walking the wide Concourse with its gleaming shops, the view of Bay Lake and the sight of that incredible mosaic mural. It may sound like a contradiction, but it makes me feel simultaneously relaxed and energized.

Although taking the monorail into the Tower is what I like best, driving up to the Contemporary is fun too, with the whimsical designs of the trees lined up in front of the portico and the colorful stones paving the drive. The varied lines and colors of the convention center buildings fit the theme and the curving roof lines make it seem as though the building is in motion, again adding to that aura of a futuristic city. And on every trip, my first sight of the lobby with the clean lines, teak wood and open spaces, combined with quiet, comfortable seating areas, makes me feel like I'm in the Art Deco lobby of an elegant cruise ship, perhaps a space cruise ship.

I'm partial to the Tower rooms, not just for the location, but more importantly for the views. For peaceful, natural surroundings, the Bay Lake side of the Tower has wonderful views. During the day it can get a little noisy from the pools area and marina, but mornings and evenings are quiet. But my favorite rooms have a view of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon. These rooms can have a little more noise coming from the parking lot but seeing those sleek monorails gliding around the lagoon only adds to the feeling that I'm at the center of a city of the future. I can immerse myself in the magic and fantasy by taking my coffee out on the balcony early in the morning. The futuristic landscape in front of the resort is gleaming with dew and to my right the spires of Cinderella Castle are tinted a soft golden pink by the rising sun. At night I'll take a glass of wine out there to relax while the "Wishes" fireworks appear to be bursting right over my head. And I love the Tomorrowland lights, shining like the midway at a futuristic fair. There's not a better way to start and end my days at the Walt Disney World.

The Contemporary rooms are some of the largest on Disney property and can comfortably accommodate five people, with two queens or one king along with a daybed. The bathrooms are family friendly with a separate room for the toilet, allowing for personal hygiene multi-tasking. I wasn't crazy about the previous redecoration with the abstract designs in bright, primary colors on the bedding and drapes, although I did like the funky shapes of the wall lamps and tables (it's probably that "Jetsons" thing) and I love the ceiling fan. I'm looking forward to my next stay when I can experience the new furnishings. I've seen the pictures and they look incredible, more in keeping with the elegant, clean lines and futuristic theme of the resort.

I always feel so connected to all of Walt Disney World when I'm at the Contemporary, as though I'm at the center of that vibrant future city. The Tower rooms are the most convenient to Walt Disney World transportation, with the monorail offering transportation to the Magic Kingdom/Ticket & Transportation Center and connecting service to Epcot or the bus for service to the other parks and Downtown Disney. The short walk to and from the Magic Kingdom comes in handy at closing time when the monorails are running full.

The Contemporary has some of the best dining options in the "World", from fast food to fine dining. The selection of breakfast items, salads, sandwiches and beverages at the Food and Fun Center are perfect for quick snacks or meals on the run. For me, the best character dining in the "World" is at Chef Mickey's. It's reasonably priced, I get to interact with Mickey, Minnie, and pals, and choose from an amazing selection of delicious foods, like scrumptious Mickey waffles at breakfast to carved-to-order roast beef at dinner. For quieter meals, I enjoy the Concourse Steakhouse with the monorail overhead for atmosphere to accompany their moderately priced food and attentive service. After a hectic day in the parts, I like to sit back in the one of the comfortable chairs at the Outer Rim Lounge, relax with an exotic cocktail and maybe a light appetizer, and enjoy the panoramic view of the sunset on Bay Lake.

But I really love the California Grill with its incredible view from the 15th floor, amazing food and adventurous wine selection. The sushi bar has fresh, inventive sushi and the open kitchen turns out California-inspired dishes from flat bread pizza to unbelievable desserts. The menu changes weekly, in order to use the freshest ingredients available, so there's something different to try every time I'm there. I usually time my meal so I can watch "Wishes" from my table or the outside observation deck. And for a dining change of pace, the Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian and Grand Floridian are a short ride on a boat or the monorail.

For a break from the parks, the marina has boat rentals, fishing expeditions and parasailing with unbelievable views of the "World"! The pools at the Contemporary are much improved since the last rehab and I especially like the quiet pool area closer to Bay Lake for relaxing.

Shopping on the Grand Canyon Concourse is an experience in itself - Bayview Gifts with its wide variety of house wares, candy and upscale Disney clothing and jewelry for men and women; the Pin Station that always has a selection of pins not found in other locations, and Fantasia is the place to pick up a Disney plush animal, models of the Contemporary and monorail, scrap-booking supplies, a bottle of wine for watching the fireworks or a new book.

Although I've stayed at other deluxe Disney resorts, the Contemporary will always be my first love and first choice. So, the next time your monorail glides into the Tower, get off at the Grand Canyon Concourse and step into the promise of the future at my pick for the most magically themed resort at Walt Disney World -- Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Author Profile: Jacque is "54 years-young" and fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first trip in November 1971. She has been back 16 times, 12 of those as a solo traveler. She describes herself as a "major planner" and says, "Since I made my first trip with PassPorter in 2001, I couldn't go without it."

This article appeared in our March 1, 2006 newsletter -- subscribe to our popular newsletter today for free!

Related Articles:

Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campground
BoardWalk Inn & Villas Resort

Return to | Chat on the PassPorter Message Boards

Updated 04/06/07 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks

PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

PassPorter's Sidekick for the Walt Disney World Guidebook e-book

PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide

PassPorter's Disney 500: Fast Tips for Walt Disney World Trips e-book

PassPorter's Disney Speed Planner: The Easy Ten Step Program to a Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation e-book

PassPorter's Disney Weddings & Honeymoons

PassPorter's Festivals and Celebrations at Walt Disney World e-book

PassPorter's Treasure Hunts at Walt Disney World

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Clues: First-Class Tips for Disney Cruise Trips

PassPorter Disneyland Resort and Southern California Attractions guidebook

PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line guidebook