5 Reasons I love Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Contemporary Resort from the waterDisney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the two original Walt Disney World resorts that opened in 1971 (Fort Wilderness Campground was there too!).  It was the first place we stayed as a family on our very first visit in 1974, so I guess that’s why it feels like home to me.   I have always had a soft spot for this resort, and that hasn’t changed since my first visit.

Here are the 5 reasons I love Disney’s Contemporary Resort

1. Proximity to the Magic Kingdom

Not only can you see the fireworks from the Contemporary resort, but you can WALK to the Magic Kingdom!  It’s an amazing feeling at the end of the night, the fireworks end and swarms of people are leaving to get on a bus, boat or monorail and you get to avoid the crowd and just walk back to the resort.  It’s a quick walk that completely removes the stress of that ‘commute’ after a busy day in the Magic Kingdom.  It also makes it SO much easier for afternoon breaks to spend a few hours mid day at the resort and not spend time travelling and waiting for buses.

Fireworks from the Contemporary Resort

It’s fun to watch the fireworks from outside of the park. Then you realize they aren’t right behind the castle!

2. Food and Drinks

I don’t know what it is about the Contempo Cafe, but I love it.  Maybe it’s sitting in there watching the monorails go by, or hearing the kids at Chef Mickey’s having a fabulous time, but this quick service is one of my favorites.  From breakfast to dinner – there is always something tasty to eat here, and of course they have some good treats too!

The Outer Rim Lounge is a great place to relax and have a drink.  Here you can get some light snacks with a full bar menu while looking out over Bay Lake.  It’s not big, there is limited seating at this cute lounge next to the Contempo Cafe.

California Grill View

You can beat this view from the California Grill!

California Grill is a convenient dinner option when staying at the Contemporary.  It’s a signature dining experience located on the top floor of the resort.  It’s nice to have a great meal up there, watch the fireworks and then just take the elevator back to your room.  The perfect evening all contained in one building!

Of course I couldn’t talk food and drink at the Contemporary without mentioning Chef Mickey’s!  This fan favorite is always fun and it is much easier to get to that early breakfast reservation when you’re staying right there!

3. The Monorail

Being on the monorail line is amazing.  Going to Magic Kingdom (if you don’t want to walk) or a quick ride over to the Polynesian for a Dole Whip is something we do quite frequently!  Being able to jump on the Monorail and go to the Polynesian or Grand Floridian to shop or grab a bite to eat is so convenient.  Although, I think my most favorite thing is watching the Monorail go through the resort.  All these years later I am still in awe, I could watch it for hours!

Monorail in the contemporary

See – it’s RIGHT INSIDE the resort. It’s so cool – even now!

4. The stores

Bayview Gifts shop in the Contemporary is where I have bought Alex and Ani bracelets, t-shirts, luggage, souvenirs, bags and the H2O products that we love!  The pins available at the Fantasia shop are extensive and there is some great stuff to customize your magic bands, phone cases etc.  I must admit that there are multiple visits to these two stores each trip, even when we’re not staying at the Contemporary!  There is a sundries shop too – so when you’re staying there you can buy wine, beer, snacks, cough syrup and wet bandaids – really anything you might need.

5. The rooms

The standard tower rooms at the Contemporary Resort are inviting, modern, and among the largest at Walt Disney World.  With updated theming to include the Incredibles, it really makes for an incredible stay!  If you have a theme park view you can sit in your jammies and watch the fireworks at night right from your balcony!   It doesn’t get any better than that!

I remember as a kid when we didn’t have a theme park view, my Mum would take me down to the outside stair well at the end of the hall to watch the fireworks from there.  It’s quite a view!

Have you stayed at Disney’s Contemporary Resort?

Did you love it?

California Grill Brunch Review

Charcutterie at California GrillBunch at Disney’s California Grill was on my wish list of new things to do. On a recent trip I had the opportunity to book reservations, so I knew I had to try it.

Dinner at California Grill is one of my favorites. Since I had such a good experience having brunch at Narcoosee’s – I figured this one had to be equally as good.

When we arrived, there was an entire section of the bar with mimosas waiting. Little did we know that these were bottomless and soon found out that our waiter would be bringing us new ones before the first one was done.

Mimosa at California Grill

There was a bloody mary bar available for an additional cost if that was your choice of drink. While they looked delicious, we decided to stick with our mimosas.

Bloody Mary Bar at California Grill Brunch

Bloody Mary Bar

We reviewed the menu to make our entree selections.  My sister Becky selected the Chef’s Frittata and I chose the Grilled Hanger Steak.

Once our entrée order was placed, we were able to visit the self-serve stations. There was real variety of things to choose from.

Becky’s self-serve selections

I’m not a fan of seafood, so I tasted everything that I thought I might like. The food was good, really flavorful and visually appealing.

California Grill Self Serve Plate

My first plate from the self-serve options

When our entrees arrived, I was regretting having the second helping of bread and mimosas, but I powered through. My steak was delicious, cooked exactly as I had asked with no pink in it.

Grilled Hanger Steak at California Grill

Grilled Hanger Steak – Two Eggs-Any Style, Chimichurri, Marble Potato Hash, Charred Red Onion

Becky enjoyed her frittata and said the potatoes were exceptional.

Frittata at California Grill

Frittata – Three Lake Meadow Farms Eggs, Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Poblanos, Chorizo, creamy Goat Cheese, and Marble Potato Hash

We took a small break before ordering tea and waited for our dessert plate to come. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m a huge fan of dessert – but I have to admit, I was underwhelmed.

Brunch Dessert at California Grill

The plate didn’t look as yummy as the dinner dessert does. While I tasted everything on the plate, there was nothing that made me say “wow, I need to have that again”.

When the bill arrived our total for brunch was $165 USD including our Tables in Wonderland discount.

Since I’m a gal who is all about dessert, Narcoosee’s was my favorite of the two, based solely on the desserts.  I think on my next trip I’ll save California Grill for dinner so that I can enjoy the Chocolate Pudding Cake.

Check out the video below for a walk through of Brunch at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort


Have you tried brunch at California Grill?  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought!


Contempo Cafe Review – Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Contempo Cafe Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary Resort is one of my favorites, the atmosphere, the location, the theming, the restaraunts – everything is just perfect.

One of the hidden gems that doesn’t seem to get much credit though is the quick service!  Everyone is so busy trying to get reservations at Chef Mickey or California Grill that they overlook the fact that the Contempo Café is a great quick service option!

Here are my top 3 reasons I love the Contempo Café:

  1. Location

Being in the Contemporary resort you are on the monorail line.  It’s a great place to stop in on your way in or out of the Magic Kingdom.  Sometimes in the afternoon during the hustle and bustle, we jump on the monorail or walk over for a quick snack.

  1. The View

Contemporary Resort Mary Blair MuralWho doesn’t want to sit and watch monorails go by?  I could sit there for hours watching them come and go.  The other benefit is to stare in awe at the 90 foot mural that is a tribute to the Grand Canyon.  The mural was created by Disney legend Mary Blair who was also responsible for many different creative projects including It’s a Small World.   Legend has it that Mary Blair put a 5 legged goat in the mural because nothing is perfect.  See if you can spot it!  It took me years to find it!

  1. The Food!

The ordering system is fairly quick at the Contempo Café.  You select your desserts, bottled drinks and premade salads and take them with you to the counter.  You order your meal and are given a small pager to put on your table (or a big A shaped thing if they run out of the pagers).   When your food is ready, it is brought to your table.  The seating area is always clean with cast members tidying up as people leave.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, we have always been happy with the food here.  It’s reasonably priced, decent variety and quite yummy!    We have done both dine in and take out and never been disappointed.  They have great desserts and adult beverages (beer and wine) if you fancied.

It’s a terrific spot to cool down and relax a little outside of the parks.  You can check out the menu here for a full list of what’s available.

Have you eaten at the Contempo Cafe?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!