*Photo Credit: Walt Disney World
Welcome to Disney Diaries! This is going to be a little bit more of a personal series where you’ll get to hear all about my experiences in the parks. Every time we go to Walt Disney World, we make it our mission to do something new, whether it’s something that just opened or something that’s existed for a while. This time, our new experience came in the form of a Disney resort.
We don’t stay at Disney Resorts quite often, but this time we got to spend our vacation at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, one of the deluxe resorts on Walt Disney World Property. Located right next to Magic Kingdom, The Contemporary Resort was one of the two original hotels that opened with Walt Disney World in 1971.
What I love about the Contemporary is that it’s on the Monorail loop. Anyone who has visited Magic Kingdom before and has ridden the Monorail to get into the park will know that the Monorail passes through the inside of the Contemporary Resort. Guests staying at the Contemporary Resort can use the Monorail not only to get to the park (albeit with a few stops first), but to access other hotels on the Monorail loop too. This includes Disney’s Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort.
The Contemporary has two different views depending on which side your room is on, and we were lucky enough to get a view on the park side. During the day, you get an unforgettable view of Magic Kingdom, and at night, your room becomes your private viewing area for the fireworks.
We stayed at a club-level room, which entitled us to a private concierge, an exclusive lounge within the hotel, and a little add-on perk we took advantage of that I’ll talk about later.
The lounge was one of the best things about staying at club-level. It’s a great place to grab some on-the-go breakfast, a light snack, or a little something to tide you over until dinner. It also features a fridge with free beverages such as juice, lemonade, milk, chocolate milk, soda, plus free select alcohol upon request. As for food, the menu varies from day to day, but you’ll find lots of freshly-made, great-quality options (my favorite was the oatmeal-your-way mini station at breakfast, which included add-ins from dried cranberries to chocolate chips!). Not to mention, the snack buffet offers a kids section including fun foods like chicken nuggets and PB&J sandwiches.
Later on in the evening, you can come back to the lounge for fireworks viewing and dessert every night. The lounge features two balconies opening out onto a view of Magic Kingdom, giving you a great view of Happily Ever After. We didn’t use this perk too much, though, because it is the same view you would get from our room, but for guests staying on the Bay Lake View side, it’s a great opportunity to get an unforgettable view.
If you’re a club-level guest (a room type offered at select Disney resorts), and you’ve paid for a 3-Day ticket or more, you’ll be eligible for Theme Park Extras, an add on service that costs $50 per Guest per day. Through this service, we got 90-day booking windows for FastPasses plus 3 extra FastPasses, bringing you to 6 FastPasses for every day you book it! The best part about this is that restrictions do not apply when you’re booking the FastPasses. Usually, for Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, the FastPasses are split into Tiers. In this system, you usually can only pick one ride from Tier One (which would include the more popular rides) and your other two rides will be picked from Tier Two. With Theme Park Extras, Tiers don’t apply, so you can grab FastPasses for all the Tier One attractions if you’d like!
In short, I would highly recommend staying at the Contemporary Resort and even more so at Club Level. Staying at the resort was an overall amazing experience that I will never forget, and Theme Park Extras has probably spoiled me, seeing as the next couple of times we went into the park without Theme Park Extras it was difficult for us to re-adjust to “the life of the commoners”.
Thanks for reading! Today’s further reading is From Planning to Playing: Best Walt Disney World Apps, where you can learn a little bit about the MyDisneyExperience app and other apps that I used during my trip!