Since 1971, the Contemporary has been the resort many associate with Disney World. The sight of the monorail vanishing into the massive A-shaped frame is as iconic as Cinderella Castle or Spaceship Earth. The Contemporary may have lost a few things over the years, like the fantastic Fiesta Fun Center arcade. But it still has a great concourse of shops, and Chef Mickey’s is one of the best character meals around.
There’s plenty to do, from swimming to boat rentals, the beach, and within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom. Another great bit is being able to access the 15th floor to see the fireworks displays. The newly refurbished rooms add to the appeal, especially those designed after the Incredibles. The history of the Contemporary is its biggest selling point and makes this a classic of WDW resorts.
1. Polynesian Village
A recent renovation (including a fantastic upgrade for the entranceway) boosts the Polynesian to the top of the list. It’s always been a favorite, thanks to the island setting, which extends from the lobby to the pool area and the beachside luaus. Ohana is one of the top restaurants in Disney World, and that’s without the recreation of the beach, boat rentals, and more.
While there’s still a bit of construction going around, the Polynesian’s laid-back vibe, excellently designed rooms and scores of amenities make it a true winner. The mix of Disney magic and an island setting combine into a stunning resort that, 50 years after opening, remains one of the best in the world, not just Disney World.