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April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

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  • April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Is it true that Disney's Contemporary Resort was designed so that the rooms would be updated periodically by sliding them in and out like dresser drawers?
    Link to An Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary
    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  • #2
    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    This urban myth has always been of great interest to me, just because so many people seem to believe it. I've even read that each module included a section of the hallway floor and railing. Can you imagine the problems inside the working hotel if every once in a while sections of the hallway disappeared? Very interesting article - thanks!

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    • #3
      Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

      Excellent article. I have never believed this myth for the very reason suggested at the end of the article. But I always liked the IDEA of it, and the construction method always sounded like a great idea. This article really points out the flaws of the whole plan. Really fascinating stuff with great pics!

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      • #4
        Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

        Werner, this is just the kind of informative and entertaining pieces for which MiceAge is justly known. Thanks.

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        • #5
          Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

          Another great article! And I do indeed have The Story of Walt Disney World, Commemorative Edition, book, along with a few other pre-opening publications (including the preview editon in the Disney magazine that was produced by Gulf Oil and sold at their gas stations in the late 1960's).

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          • #6
            Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

            Great article.

            Recently I had the need to look deeply into the history and design of the Contemporary. One of the major benefits of this type of construction was the reduction of weight. Each unit weighed less than typical construction thereby reducing the amount of steel needed for the 13 150-foot trussed A-Frames. It was the American Bridge Division in charge after all. The hotel was inspired by the lobby in John Portman's Hyatt Regency Atlanta (1967).

            Great stuff. Keep it coming.

            Sam
            SamLand's Disney Adventures

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            • #7
              Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

              On my first visit to Walt Disney World I stayed in the Contemporary hotel before it was complete. We stayed in the second floor of the North extension. The first floor was all construction offices and the tower only had the first 6 floors open including 2 floors of rooms. My question is. wasn't the polynesian built with the same modular factory rooms?

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              • #8
                Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                The Polynesian was built the same way. A number of years ago they had to do a major rehab to fill in the gaps between the modular units.

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                • #9
                  Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                  Oh wow... I have never heard this rumor before or even known they made all of the rooms off site. Very informative! Thanks so much
                  Good morning, son
                  In twenty years from now
                  Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                  And I can tell you 'bout today
                  And how I picked you up and everything changed
                  It was pain
                  Sunny days and rain
                  I knew you'd feel the same things...


                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                    Great article, Werner!

                    I grew up just outside of San Antonio, Texas. There's a hotel there which was built by this same method for the 1968 World's Fair ("HemisFair"). If anyone's interested, here's an article about the construction of that one:

                    21-story modular hotel raised the roof for Texas World Fair in 1968 | modular.org

                    The construction process in San Antonio might have been a bit easier, since they weren't using the slanting A-frame design of the Contemporary, and didn't need to create the huge interior space for the lobby. Still, it's an ingenious way to quickly put up a large hotel!

                    -Jon
                    Cleverly disguised as a grown-up
                    Did someone say pictures?!? http://triesch.smugmug.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                      Great article Werner. I knew about the modular construction and had heard about but never believed the urban myth of removing the rooms periodically. That part never made any sense.

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                      • #12
                        Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                        Originally posted by triesch View Post
                        I grew up just outside of San Antonio, Texas. There's a hotel there which was built by this same method for the 1968 World's Fair ("HemisFair"). If anyone's interested, here's an article about the construction of that one:

                        21-story modular hotel raised the roof for Texas World Fair in 1968 | modular.org
                        It's impressive that, according to the article, "the 500-room deluxe hotel was designed, completed and occupied in an unprecedented period of 202 working days."

                        It's amazing that the 202 days even included the design time!

                        When I took the boat ride in San Antonio a few years, the tour guide pointed out the hotel and told of its rapid construction.
                        Werner Weiss
                        Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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                        • #13
                          Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                          Originally posted by wec View Post
                          I knew about the modular construction and had heard about but never believed the urban myth of removing the rooms periodically.
                          When I did some Google searches, it was amazing how many sites repeat the urban myth as being true.
                          Werner Weiss
                          Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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                          • #14
                            Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                            Very intriguing article Werner! Thank you so much! We always look forward to your posts. Informative!

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                            • #15
                              Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

                              [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIF6mc9SQA0]YouTube - Construction of WDW Contemporary Resort by U.S. Steel[/ame]

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