8. Disney’s Contemporary Resort
You’re in for a timeless, forever modern experience at this Deluxe Resort, which despite its name is actually one of the two original Walt Disney World Resorts to have opened on Oct. 1, 1971 in conjunction with the grand opening of Magic Kingdom Park. In fact, this is the closest resort in proximity to the park and is the only one from which you can actually walk along a path directly leading to the park entrance. Of course you can also ride along the trusty monorail system, which runs directly through the lobby in the resort’s recognizable A-frame tower. This is unique in comparison to other Magic Kingdom Area resorts also located on the monorail line, as they have their pickup stops just outside, along the second story. And that’s just the start of the many things that make Disney’s Contemporary Resort unique.
The resort’s two main accommodation areas are the aforementioned A-frame tower, which spans an impressive 15 stories high, and the adjacent garden wing. The newer Bay Lake Tower construction is a part of Disney Vacation Club. Each and every room at Disney’s Contemporary comes with all the modern conveniences and magical touches Disney is known for. Then, as you step outside of your room you’ll discover all the other resort-wide attributes along with an array of recreational activities to enjoy. Get wonderfully wet with pools and beaches, a 17-foot-high waterslide, a whirlpool spa, and other waterworks. For dryer pursuits there are jogging trails, tennis courts, beach volleyball nets, an arcade, yoga on the lawn, campfire activities, movies under the stars, and plenty of other pastimes to pursue.
Those staying at the resort as guests, as well as those who are just visiting the premises to delight in one of its many delectable dining options, can feast their eyes on various awe-inspiring views. First there’s the stunning 90-foot tall mural by Mary Blair (renowned for her work on the “it’s a small world” attraction) depicting the Grand Canyon and the great American Southwest in the lobby. Then enjoy stunning aerial views of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon while indulging in the award-winning tastes of the Pacific Coast at the resort’s famed rooftop restaurant—California Grill. From enticing entrée selections to stellar sights, California Grill makes for a wonderful dinner experience (or Sunday brunch option) at any time that it is open, but it’s an especially popular pursuit for the Magic Kingdom’s Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular, as diners here get to enjoy optimal viewing as the theme music for the event circulates through the dining room. Additionally, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to a vast selection of other great restaurants. Chef Mickey’s is a family-favorite, all-you-can-eat buffet pick featuring character dining for breakfast, brunch, and dinnertime. Other highlights include the Wave, Contempo Café, and various bars and lounges.