10 things to do at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Mar 16, 2020; Bay Lake, Florida, USA;  A general view of Mickey Mouse at Disney's Contemporary
Mar 16, 2020; Bay Lake, Florida, USA; A general view of Mickey Mouse at Disney's Contemporary / Kim Klement-USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Contemporary Resort is the oldest hotel in all of Walt Disney World, having opened in 1971. Over 50 years later, it’s still hailed as among the best of the WDW deluxe resorts, and for good reason. The WDW souvenir picture books always include a photo of the Monorail exiting the A-shaped frame that’s notable for the rooms built separately before being installed inside. 

The Contemporary is a large place with 655 rooms spread from the main complex to the Bay Lake Towers. There’s plenty to do with a tennis court, basketball court, walking trails and more. But there are a few experiences exclusive only to the Contemporary, from some great dining to seeing some unique spectacles. From its shopping to gaming to character meeting, here are ten things that are must-do exploits for the Contemporary Resort and why it’s one of the best places to stay in all of Orlando, not just Walt Disney World. 

10. Tour the Concourse

The heart of the Contemporary is the Concourse, found on the fourth floor but dominating the rest of the tower. The massive open space is marked by the colossal tiled mural covering ten floors and was designed by Disney legend Mary Blair. There’s also the great Fantasia shop offering both a marketplace and terrific souvenirs. It’s easy to see guests exiting their rooms to lean on the balcony and take photos of the space as the monorail whisks by, and the huge A-shaped area remains a wonder. 

9. Dine at the California Grill

WDW_Disney's Contemporary Resort_California Grill_Plant-Based Cashew Cheesecake
Photo: Plant-Based Cashew Cheesecake / Disney's Contemporary Resort California Grill.. Image /

This mainstay of Disney hotel dining is still one of the most exclusive spots in WDW to get into. The fabulous three-course dinner meals vary in the menu but are hailed for their terrific taste that hits the spot for guests. Aiding is its place near the top of the main Contemporary tower that offers gorgeous viewpoints of Walt Disney World. It’s much busier for dinner, especially as guests hope to get a look at the fireworks displays. This makes the Grill a tough place to get into but worth it for the experience.