Disney's Contemporary Resort
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (November 2011)|
|Disney's Contemporary Resort|
|Location||Magic Kingdom Resort Area|
|Resort type||Deluxe Resort|
|Opened||October 1, 1971|
South Garden Rooms
Bay Lake Tower (Disney Vacation Club)
|Suites||Vice Presidential Suite
Disney's Contemporary Resort, originally to be named Tempo Bay Hotel and previously the Contemporary Resort Hotel, is a resort located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, opened on October 1, 1971. It is one of two original properties located at the complex, joining Disney's Polynesian Resort, and is currently listed as a deluxe-priced resort. It is adjacent to the Magic Kingdom theme park, and is identified by its A-frame main building.
The Contemporary Resort is one of two resorts located on property when Walt Disney World opened in 1971. Before the construction of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, it was considered the complex's flagship resort.
The Contemporary Tower, the most prominent of the resort's four stand-alone buildings, was built as an A-frame with outer walls which slope inwards around an inner atrium. This design was a collaboration by Disney, the United States Steel Corporation, and Los Angeles architect Welton Becket. To construct the building, steel frames were erected on-site and modular pre-constructed rooms, designed by California architect Donald Wexler, were lifted into place by crane. Most of Disney's Polynesian Resort and the Court of Flags Resort were built the same way, except rooms were stacked instead of slid in.
On November 17, 1973, President Richard Nixon delivered his famous "I am not a crook" speech in a ballroom at the Contemporary in front of reporters from the Associated Press during the 'Annual Convention of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association'.
In 2005, Disney began an extensive renovation of Disney's Contemporary Resort, and was completed in 2009. The project saw the updating of the main lobby and all guest rooms, the addition of several restaurants and gift shops, and the demolition of the hotel's north wing to make way for the Bay Lake Tower, which opened in 2009.
The Contemporary Tower houses most of the resort's key facilities, including resort registration and the guest service concierge. The main hall, named the Grand Canyon Concourse, is located in the main tower and houses restaurants and shops. 383 guest rooms line the outer walls of the Contemporary Tower. The Walt Disney World Monorail System runs through the inside of this building and a monorail station is located here for resort guests. Adorning the concourse walls is a multi-story mosaic designed by Mary Blair. One three-story wing flanks the south side of the tower and houses an additional 250 rooms. A convention center was added to the resort and opened on November 11, 1991, with more than 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) of convention space. In October 2007, the resort received designation in the Florida Green Lodging Program.
Tower rooms are located in the original A-frame building, through which the monorail runs. The south garden rooms are detached from the A-frame as a separate wing. Some sections of the tower have views of the Magic Kingdom, others of Bay Lake. As one of the original resorts on property, the Contemporary Resort has some of the largest guest rooms in Walt Disney World, matched only by Disney's Polynesian Resort, which also opened in 1971. Disney announced that the entire fourteenth floor was to be converted to a health-and-wellness theme, with a private yoga studio, custom-designed menus, and concierge services, to attract health-conscious travelers. Guest rooms were to be outfitted with bamboo floors, low-allergen pillows and mattresses, exercise equipment, and massage tables. These plans were eventually scrapped and the renovation did not take place.
The California Grill is a full-service dining restaurant located at the top (15th floor) of the Contemporary Resort's tower, formerly the Top of the World restaurant. The California Grill offers views of the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, and Disney's Polynesian Resort. In addition, it offers a view of the Magic Kingdom's fireworks shows. The Wave is the resort's newest dining facility, located on the main lobby level. It offers casual table-service dining featuring American cuisine. It replaced the Concourse Steakhouse, which was originally located on the Grand Canyon Concourse. Chef Mickey's is a buffet located on the Grand Canyon Concourse that features appearances from Disney characters. Chef Mickey's is open for breakfast and dinner, and offers views of the monorail entering the resort. Children's items include Goofy's pizza, "Mickeyroni" and cheese, and other novelties. An adult buffet includes pot roast, steak, potatoes, and more. Breakfast items include eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, Mickey shaped waffles, and more. A dessert bar is available to all. Contempo Cafe is a quick-service eatery serving lighter fare and snacks, located on the Grand Canyon Concourse, in the location formerly occupied by the Concourse Steakhouse. Contempo Cafe is often open late into the evening. This is the permanent replacement for the Food & Fun Center, previously located on the main lobby level, which has since been converted to The Wave restaurant. The Sand Bar is located alongside the main pool. A cocktail bar serves alcoholic beverages.
Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort is a 15-story addition that officially opened on August 4, 2009. It is located on the former location of the demolished north garden wing rooms. The tower shares design features with the original resort. The front desk, concierge, valet, bell services and transportation are shared services provided through the main resort. Bay Lake Tower does have a concierge desk and an online check-in desk of their own for guests who wish to check into Bay Lake Tower directly. Its fifth floor is connected by a skyway from the main tower's fourth floor.
The monorail runs through the interior of the resort.
Among the stylized denizens of the mosaic (designed by Disney artist Mary Blair) is a five-legged goat, located on the monorail side of the mosaic.
- Walt Disney World, The First Decade. Walt Disney Productions. 1982. p. 86. ASIN B000UV4K46.
- See video at 0:54: A day at the Magic Kingdom
- "Walt Disney World News for the week of Oct. 21". Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- Heather McPherson (September 6, 2013). "Disney's iconic California Grill reopens Monday". orlandosentinel.com. Tribune Newspapers. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Jason Garcia (2009-02-03). "Disney to open Contemporary addition on August 4". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- Disney's Contemporary Resort
- Complete Contemporary Resort Photo Gallery and Architectural Critique
- AllEarsNet's photos of the Contemporary Resort (includes photos of the newly refurbished rooms)
- U.S. Steel Movie clip of the Contemporary Resort Construction, compliments of BigFloridaCountry.com
- Contemporary references by BigFloridaCountry.com
- Bay Lake Tower images by BigFloridaCountry.com
- Construction video of Contemporary
- Construction video of Bay Lake tower