Beginner’s Guide | Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Beginner's Guide | Disney's Contemporary Resort & Bay Lake Tower

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of three Magic Kingdom deluxe resorts. It offers Walt Disney World Resort guests the convenience of staying “next door” to Magic Kingdom as well as many great dining options, recreation, and, of course, access to the Walt Disney World monorail.

Contemporary Resort - Dad for Disney

Photo Credit: Dad for Disney

“Rising 14 stories from the shores of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon with its familiar A-frame design, the resort is a 655-room modernistic marvel complete with a 90,000-square-foot convention center, three full-service restaurants, tennis center, marina and three swimming pools. The Walt Disney World monorail makes a stop inside the resort thanks to the monorail beam that extends through the center of the A-frame.

One of two Disney resort hotels that opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971, Disney’s Contemporary Resort was built on a 55-acre site adjacent to Magic Kingdom. Living up to its modern style, the hotel was constructed by methods that were ahead of their time.”


Disney’s Contemporary Resort two areas for resort rooms. The Garden Wing is located outside of the main resort area. Standard view rooms look out at the parking area or have an obstructed view. Garden view rooms have views of the gardens, pool, marina , or bay lake. Both standard and garden view Garden Wing rooms sleep up to five adults and have 2 Queen Beds and 1 Day Bed or 1 King Bed and 1 Day Bed. The Garden Wing also has deluxe view rooms that sleep 4 adults, have 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa, and views of gardens, pools, the marina, or bay lake.

The tower is the part of the resort where you will find the lobby, restaurants, and access to the monorail. Bay Lake view rooms will look out over Bay Lake and Theme Park view rooms will give you views of the parking area and the Magic Kingdom. Both sleep up to 5 adults and will have either 2 Queen Beds and 1 Day Bed or 1 King Bed and 1 Day Bed.

Contemporary-Room-Disney Mamas

Photo Credit: Disney Mamas

There are also Club Level rooms and suites available in both parts of the resort. The Atrium Club is located on the 12th floor of the tower and has rooms with views of Bay Lake or the Magic Kingdom. Both views have rooms that sleep up to 5 adults and have either 2 Queen Beds and 1 Day Bed or 1 King Bed and 1 Day Bed. The 14th floor is the home of the Tower Club the Tower’s suites with views of Bay Lake or the Magic Kingdom. The one bedroom sleeps up to 6 adults and has 2 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa. The two bedroom sleeps up to 8 adults and has 4 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa or 2 Queen Beds and 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa.

The Garden Wing features hospitality suites that have access to the club level lounge in the Tower. The Garden Wing – 1 Bedroom Suite sleeps up to five adults, has views of gardens and Bay Lake, and 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair. The Garden Wing – Hospitality Suite sleeps up to 7 adults, has views of parking area or an obstructed view, and 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa and 1 Day Bed or 2 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa and 1 Day Bed.

Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake Tower Disney Vacation Club property at the Contemporary Resort. You can book a room here even if you aren’t a DVC member. There are three room types, standard rooms have views of the parking area or an obstructed view, Lake view looks out over Bay Lake, and Theme Park view rooms where you can see the Magic Kingdom.

Bay Lake Tower One Bedroom

Deluxe studios sleep up to 4 adults and have 1 Queen Bed and 1 Double-Size Sleeper Sofa, one bedroom villas sleep up to 5 adults and have 1 King Bed and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair, and two bedroom villas sleep up to 9 adults and have 1 King Bed and 2 Queen Beds and 1 Queen-Size Sleeper Sofa and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair.

View from the Top of the World Lounge - The Disney Mamas

Photo Credit: Disney Mamas


California Grill

California Grill Sushi

Experience the flavors of the Pacific Coast at this award-winning restaurant.Via private elevator, ascend to the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where you’ll discover exquisite panoramic views of the shimmering lagoon, Floridian woodland and Cinderella Castle. Inside, enjoy the vibrant sights and sounds of the lively onstage kitchen, where chefs combine global flavors in deliciously inventive new ways.

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey's

Chef Mickey’s is open for breakfast (7:00 am – 11:30 am) and dinner (5:00 pm – 9:30 pm) with characters (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Pluto) appearing at both. Prices range from $30 to $59.99 for adults and begin at $19 for children. Breakfast is typically the cheapest time to dine and prices can vary during holidays and peak times of year. Chef Mickey’s is also on the Disney Dining Plan and is one credit per person. Since this is such a popular spot advanced dining reservations are highly recommended.

The Wave of American Flavors

The Wave Steak

With drinks like the Antioxidant Cocktail, entrées such as linguine with clams, rock shrimp and fresh thyme in chunky tomato broth, and crispy almond-pineapple-raisin “baklava” for dessert, The Wave…of American Flavors brings a surge of new dining ideas to Walt Disney World Resort. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the 220-seat restaurant takes casual dining into the health-conscious 21st century. The classic American breakfast menu includes plenty of egg creations, but guests also can make their own Wave muesli or sip a berry smoothie with raspberry puree and non-fat yogurt blended with Odwalla Berries GoMega (a great source of Omega-3). The Pure Sunshine breakfast cocktail features organic vodka and orange juice topped with Vitamin Energy Drink. Coffee is organic Colombian (fair trade and “Smithsonian-certified bird-friendly”) and teas are whole leaf Pyramid bags in flavors from chamomile blossoms to monsoon chai. At lunch, light eaters might enjoy pepper-seared tuna with Napa cabbage slaw and summer rolls, or watermelon and arugula salad with balsamic drizzle. Entrées include oversized salads and a vegetarian sandwich with grilled tofu, roasted veggies and herb goat cheese on multi-grain bread, but guests also can chow down on an Angus chuck burger with cheese and Applewood smoked bacon, or a classic grilled Reuben. The dinner menu offers a delicious spin on comfort classics such as pan-seared Alaskan black cod with corn and edamame (soybean) stew with cilantro chutney; braised lamb shank with bulgur lentil stew and red wine sauce, and a nouvelle chicken pot pie with thyme pastry. Sides at both lunch and dinner include wilted greens and roasted potatoes and carrots.

Contempo Cafe

The Contempo Cafe is the counter service restaurant for the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower. Open from 6:00 am until 12:00 am. You can grab Mickey waffles, a breakfast burrito , or a bounty platter before you head to the parks in the morning. Lunch and dinner feature flatbreads, salads, sushi, and sandwiches like the Spice-crusted Mahi Sandwich and Lobster Roll.

You can also grab coffee and snacks at Contemporary Grounds. The Sand Bar offers poolside burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and more. Tropical cocktails, draft beer, sangria. Other bars at the resort include the Outer Rim, Cove Bar at Bay Cove Pool, and the lounge at The Wave. And if you are a DVC member staying at Bay Lake Tower, make sure to stop by the Top of the World Lounge.

Top of the World Lounge


There are two pools at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The main pool has a 17-foot high curving waterslide, kids water play area, views of the marina, and two whirlpool spas. The Bay Lake or “Bulleye” pool is the resorts quiet pool. Cabanas are also available for rental.

Contemporary Pool - DISTherapy

Photo Credit: DISTherapy

Bay Lake Tower has its own pool as well. Bay Cove Pool has a 148-foot-long waterslide and entry. There is also a whirlpool spa and kids water play area.

Bay Lake Tower - WDW News

Photo Credit: WDW News

Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre is located in the marina at the Contemporary Resort. You can go parasailing, tubing, water ski, or wake board and rent personal water craft.

The resort also features many other recreational activities. Buttons and Bells Arcade, a beach playground, campfire activities, movies under the stars, fishing, volleyball and tennis courts, jogging trails, and the Game Station Arcade.

The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise leaves from the Contemporary Resort marina. The adventure starts at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where your crew will be presented with a spread of seafaring party snacks like popcorn and ice cream novelties. A variety of refreshing hot and cold beverages—such as lemonade and Pirate Punch—is also available to quench even the most parched privateer’s thirst before hitting the high seas. Then, get your camera and your best pirate voice ready—Captain Hook and Mr. Smee want to meet the new recruits before you set off! Join the pirate parade to the dock and set sail on an unforgettable voyage with your captain, the roguish pirate Patch. Breathe in the salty sea air as you and your crew test your knowledge of Disney trivia, sing sea chanteys and brush up on all things nautical. For reservations call 407-939-7529

The Electrical Water Pageant passes by at night.


You can take Disney’s Monorail to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and the Transportation & Center where you can switch monorail’s and travel to Epcot. Bus transportation is available to all four theme parks and Downtown Disney. You can also get to the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground via water taxi.

Contemporary Resort Monorail

What Our Pilot’s Say

Tim - Dad for DisneyTim from Dad for Disney – “Nothing makes a Disney Day complete, in my opinion, than spending some time at the Contempo Cafe and waving to guests as they ride the monorail to their destination. The wave could mean, “I’ll see you in the Magic Kingdom soon.” or “Enjoy your time at the Magic Kingdom/EPCOT/resort.” or just a simple, “Hello!” wave..”

Heidi - Heidi's HeadJennifer from Heidi’s Head – “My daughter Ashley and I had opportunity to stay at Bay Lake Towers with friends a few years ago. What’s not to love? The rooms are spacious and nicely decorated with all the comforts of home. But, better than home . . . being able to look out your window or stand on your balcony and see this during the day (or the fireworks at night). Honestly, I can’t think of a better location!”

Lin - Disney MamasLin from Disney Mamas – “We recently stayed in a studio at Bay Lake Tower over Spring Break and we loved the location of the resort. The ease of walking to Magic Kingdom was perfect for our family! Do be aware, however, that while the 1-bedroom & 2-bedroom villas are nicely sized the studios are among the smallest that DVC offers.”

Bay Lake Tower Fireworks View

For More Information

By | 2017-05-12T08:35:18+00:00 June 24th, 2015|Beginner Guide, Resort Guide, Walt Disney World Resorts|


  1. Elaine Massey July 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    This was a great comprehensive guide. It should be helpful to anyone wanting more information about The Contemporary or Bay Lake Tower.

  2. Jerusha July 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Ok, I’m officially adding this to my “one day!” list. I never gave the Contempo much thought before. – Jerusha,

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