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Contemporary is one of the first hotels on the property. So it's old as WDW. It has been
relatively well kept up (from what I have seen and read), but IMHO showing some of
its age. It (and the Grand Floridian) are the most convenient with respect to the Magic
Kingdom since it's physically close and the monorail. However, it is a bit away from
the other attractions. But IMHO, it's not as far as being at All-Star/Sport/Movies.
Overall, Disney does a good job w/ transportation so it's relatively easy to get around
in the property from any Disney hotel.
I've never stayed there (browsed thru twice), so others here might have more insight into this.
What with the Monorail stepping into the lobby and anything, I can't understand how anyone could complain about the Contemporary as far as the original sets of hotels go, unless they had a particularly bad experience with a dirty room or poor staff. I'd stay there over the Grand Floridian just for that convenience.
The Contemporary a very convenient hotel with some fine restaurants and views. (You can walk to the MK) Lots of recreation on site as well (boat rentals, bikes, tennis, the biggest arcade). The pools are kind of bland. The very popular Chef Mickey character meal is here as is the more upscale and popular California Grill. Boat launches to Fort Wilderness for the also popular Hoop De Doo Revue and campfire program. It's a great location and many, many just love the theming and, for those who are into those sorts of things, the conceirge is ranked very highly. To me, it looks like a toaster and seems dated. THere is some talk about updating this hotel to make it truly "contemporary" again, with some very high tech features. Hope that happens... could be very cool then. By the way, it is one of the few resorts with Wireless Internet connections.
When I see the Contemporary I know I am at Disney. To me the Contemporary is as much Disney World as is Cinderella's Castle. The Contemporary does get a lot of flack about being out dated and stuff, but let's face it, by the time any remodeling is done, it's already outdated since things move so quickly.
The Contemporary is slated for a complete overhaul to start later this year. Personally it is my favorite of the. I love the garden wings the most. They are quieter and some of the views of the water or the Tower itself are great.
One of the coolest things about staying at the Contemporary is the view from the tower. I've stayed on the 7th floor, with a MK view, and it was just incredible. There's a small balcony outside each room. It's totally cool to sit out there in the evening and watch the place winding down. Any time you look out your window there's stuff to see - boats crossing the lagoon, monorails cruising, different events going on in the MK. Very cool, and very worth it.
Nice to see you back, Dan. How was your trip? I just arrived in Otown ... spent the afternoon/night at Epcot, with a stop for some great homemade gelato at the new Beach Club Marketplace (at least I think that's what the new combined quick serve food locale/gift shop is called) ... Epcot looked great as it readies for the Flower Fest starting tomorrow. Got no complains yet ... bet that changes when I hit the MK!