There are so many options when it comes to hotel accommodations at Walt Disney World- everything from camping at Fort Wilderness to staying inside Cinderella’s Castle. We’ve been to Disney World three times, and each time we’ve stayed at a different level resort. On our second trip a few years ago, we splurged and stayed at the Contemporary Resort, considered a deluxe resort because of its amenities and proximity to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Parks. While we were there, we found so many fun things to do. Here are our top ten favorite things:
1. Have a dance Party at Chef Mickey’s: It’s considered one of the most coveted reservations in the whole Disney complex and for good reason; it’s the only restaurant where you can see the five “original” character: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy. The characters host a fun dance party every hour, too.. Get your napkins ready!
2. Dine at California Grill: it’s definitely more upscale than Chef Mickey’s, and you’ll order off a menu instead of a buffet. There is an extensive wine list for the adults and plenty of options for children. Note: If you’re dining on the Disney Dining Plan, California Grill counts as two meals.
3. Watch nightly fireworks from the roof over Magic Kingdom. California Grill has a an outdoor viewing area. The restaurant pipes synchronized music both inside the restaurant and to outdoor viewing area. You can also see fireworks from the 4th floor balconies located behind the gift shops.
4. Watch the Electric Water Pageant in Bay Lake. Each night the water parade, set to patriotic music, passes by several resorts. Usually, the parade reaches the Contemporary Resort around 10:10pm but check with resort staff to confirm.
5. Swim in the Feature Pool– it has a 17 foot high water slide, water playground, hot tub, and cabanas available for rental. Bonus: it’s heated and open all year!
6. Watch a Movie Under the Stars– Offered outside each night, most resorts showcase family friendly Disney movies. Bonus: often, a camp fire with treats is offered about an hour before the movie starts.
8. Ride the monorail from INSIDE the resort (enter on the fourth floor) to the Transportation Center for Epcot, the Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian Resorts, and the Magic Kingdom Park. Note: You will have to take an elevator to the second floor and then a separate elevator back up to your hotel room floor. The #1 reason we like the Contemporary is for its proximity to so many places, as well as the convenience of having the monorail literally “in house.”
9. Walk to the Magic Kingdom– The Contemporary is the only resort offering direct access to Magic Kingdom. This is especially helpful after the nightly fireworks show- you’ll avoid the massive lines for the monorail, buses, and boat launches.
10. Drop the kids off for a night of fun at the Pixar Play Zone. Hosted by characters from Toy Story and The Incredibles, there is Space Ranger training, race car building, dance party, and a yummy dinner with dessert. Note: There is an additional charge for this event. My family has not attended this event, but it’s on our list for our next visit!