Tag Archives: Disney’s Contemporary Resort
With blue skies and bright sunny days, a vacation at Walt Disney World during the summer is the stuff picture-perfect postcards are made of. Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t capture the entire reality of those hot, sticky, exhausting days of touring the theme parks with all the summer crowds and in the heat.
Here are some of my favorite tips for helping you keep your cool, literally, while at Disney. Doing so may also help you keep your temper!
Generally, surviving your summer vacation at Walt Disney World means being aware of the risks of too much sun, as well as how the hot weather and crowd level may affect your pace and energy. You’ll want to use common sense when touring during hot weather and peak periods: do early-morning touring, take afternoon breaks, and avoid too much criss-crossing in the parks.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Bring water into the parks – it’s allowed, just no glass bottles. Fill up at water fountains or, if you prefer cooler water, simply ask a Cast Member at a quick-service restaurant for a free cup of water or ice. If you don’t like the taste of water, add Crystal Light to the mix. Avoid over-consumption of soda, caffeine, or alcohol, all of which dehydrate.
Cool tip: Visit Epcot’s Club Cool to sample a sip or two of free Coke products from around the world. It’s not water, but it is refreshing.
Alternate outside and inside attractions. Of course, you want to hit all the most popular attractions early in the morning anyway, before there are lines, as well as use FASTPASS. In addition, try to alternate shady or indoor, air-conditioned attractions – say, a show – with outdoor attractions. And, if you absolutely need to be in the parks all day (for the love of Mickey, no!) try to save longer, indoor attractions for the afternoon.
Cool tip: Visit Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom), The Seas with Nemo and Friends (Epcot), The Voyage of the Little Mermaid (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) or Flights of Wonder (Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
Linger over lunch. Summer months offer a great reason to try table-service for lunch, as a relaxed sit-down meal can rejuvenate and refresh. Lunch meals are cheaper than the restaurants’ dinners, and you can take a much-needed break. If quick-service dining is on the itinerary, pick indoor spots with lots of seating or shady outdoor areas.
Cool tip: For quick-service, try Tomorrowland Terrace (Magic Kingdom), Sunshine Seasons (Epcot, The Land), ABC Commissary (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) or Pizzafari (Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
Time to take a nap. For me, any Disney vacation is made better by an afternoon nap, but especially in the summer. If you balk at the name “nap,” call it a siesta – which, to my mind, offer a touch of vacationing flair. Or call it a mid-afternoon break or free time. But get away from the fun of the sun and crowds, which become less fun as the day grows long. At the very least, go back to your resort for a few hours of air-conditioned comfort and leisure.
Cool tip: If you can’t get away for a nap, check out Nancy’s “Finding Peace and Quiet at Walt Disney World” for some quiet places and down time.
Water Play! Don’t just drink your water, play in it. Summer months are the time to experience Disney’s water rides, like Splash Mountain or the Kali River Rapids. A hot day is a good day to visit one of Disney’s water parks, as long as you also score some seats in the shade. A dip in your hotel pool offers a nice mid-day break. Look for the interactive water play areas in the theme parks, particularly at Epcot.
Cool tip: Disney’s water parks tend to become less crowded from afternoon into evening, making them a relaxed complement to a theme-park morning.
Seek out sun protection. At a minimum, use a high SPF sunscreen applied often and liberally. I also recommend a hat to protect your face and scalp, the latter of which can also get burned. On particularly bright days, I’ll wear a light, long-sleeved shirt to protect my too-fair skin; I’ve seen others carry an umbrella.
Cool tip: If you or anyone in your traveling party does get sunburned, visit the First Aid Station in each theme park (locations identified on park maps). They’re staffed by RNs and can offer you assistance.
Hot-Weather Touring for Guests with Disabilities
If you have, or someone in your party has, a disability, medical condition and/or limited mobility, you may wish to plan on using a wheelchair or ECV (scooter) while at Disney theme park. Indeed, I would recommend renting an ECV from an outside vendor for use throughout all Walt Disney World Resort.
Cool tip: There are several companies that rent ECVs for use at Walt Disney World Resort. The PassPorter Community maintains a thread on ECVs and scooters that offers useful rental information.
Also, make Guest Services your first stop at your first Disney theme park to request a(GAC). Explain your specific concerns – for instance, being in the sun for long period of time, standing or walking too much, wheelchair access, etc. Guest Services will help identify your needs for the GAC, which will, in turn, help Cast Members at attractions provide assistance.
Cool tip: Disney cannot require you – by law – to provide documentation of your medical condition to issue a GAC. So you need not make an extra trip to the doctor’s prior to your trip, although it might not be a bad idea to do so to discuss other strategies for your particular circumstances.
Over the course of the next year, new Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms and suites will open that will allow guests to sleep like visiting Disney royalty or perhaps add a yoga session or two to their Disney vacation. It’s part of an overall lodging strategy at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts that includes the addition of new niche rooms and suites to its guest offerings.
Beginning in fall 2011, guests will be able to experience new health and wellness suites on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In the spring of 2012, new Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will take guests on a vacation getaway to Princess Tiana’s guest house where her friends have also come to visit.
“All Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms and suites are completely renovated on a regular cycle,” said Mark Rucker, vice president of lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Our new Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and the new health and wellness suites at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are examples of how we use our scheduled renovation time to look for new opportunities to ‘plus up’ the guest experience.”
Rucker says health and wellness rooms and amenities are an emerging trend in travel, particularly amongst guests who stay in deluxe accommodations. The health and wellness suites on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort will provide guests who fit that travel profile with the ultimate balanced Disney vacation by including all the magic and fun of Disney theme parks while making healthy and relaxing amenities easier than ever to enjoy.
Inside the new suites, guests will be able to enjoy the benefit of exercising at the own pace and time with cardio equipment right in their suite. They’ll also be able to start and end their days with seasonal and organic fresh foods at the concierge lounge or enjoy a yoga session and spa treatment in the completely renovated wellness studio. Guests staying on the 14th floor can also take advantage of more traditional club level services, like advance itinerary planning.
The new suites are being renovated with new Bamboo flooring, 100% cotton linens on the non-allergenic wrapped mattresses, as well as rain water showers in the bathrooms. Of course, the 23 completely renovated suites on the 14th Floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort also provide sweeping top floor views of Magic Kingdom Park and Bay Lake. Continuing the popular “storybook” room concept launched in 2009 at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort with elaborately themed pirate rooms, 512 rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort are being renovated with a new “Royal Guest Room” theme centered on Disney princes and princesses.
The story behind the Royal Guest Rooms is Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” invited her royal friends for a vacation getaway. Friends like Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and Jasmine from “Aladdin” brought along some of their most treasured possessions. Since “The Princess and the Frog” is set in Princess Tiana’s hometown of New Orleans, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort is a natural fit for the story.
A new royal bed design that includes headboards with special effects above ornately decorated beds and various icons associated with Disney princes and princesses throughout the room will further immerse guests in their favorite stories.
Generally, Walt Disney World Resort rooms are completely renovated on a 12-year cycle. The room’s “soft goods” – including carpets, fabric, and paint – are replaced after six years; and the “hard goods” – including furniture, fixtures, and flooring – are replaced after 12 years, which is in line with industry standards.
All 3,056 rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, including the 512 new Royal Guest Rooms, are undergoing a hard goods renovation that will be compete by June 2012.
Another niche guest lodging offering at Walt Disney World Resort will be available when 1,020 family suites and 864 value rooms open at the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort beginning in May 2012.
- Specialty Rooms Will Give Guests The Royal Treatment (chipandco.com)
If you’ve ever wanted to combine the luxury of a spa retreat with your Disney World vacation, look no further: Disney is converting the entire 14th Floor of the Contemporary Resort into a spa retreat, complete with a private yoga studio, concierge service, and special health-conscious menus. In addition, guests can book one of 23 rooms on that floor, which will be furnished with exercise equipment, low-allergen pillows and mattresses, massage tables, and bamboo floors.
The refurbishment at the Contemporary is part of a pilot project, so if this is a success, expect more changes at your favorite deluxe resorts. Guests should be able to experience these rooms by November of this year. In addition to the Contemporary, Disney is refurbishing dozens of rooms at the moderate resorts into “princess” themed rooms in order to keep guests from moving from the moderates to the Animation Suites when they open.
Lots of big resort changes coming in the next year! We’ll keep you posted.
Chris writes here and at Everything Walt Disney World. She’s also a travel agent with Pixie Vacations and a member of the Mouse Chat Podcast team. Email her at ChrisW@pixievacations. com to find out how you can get a free $25 or $50 gift card when you book a new vacation.
On our most recent DisneyWorld vacation we had the opportunity to experience Chef Mickey’s not once but twice. We ate here for Breakfast and ventured in for Dinner as well. While the food is as different as night and day the experience was not. Like a cool breeze from an ice old AC unit on a hot summers day both meals were quite refreshing and extraordinary in their own individual way. Come with me as we journey to the Contemporary Resort and a little restaurant called Chef Mickey’s.
Chef Mickey’s is a buffet restaurant serving breakfast and dinner flavors—and your favorite Disney Characters!—at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. All the Disney Elite are there. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy. They make their way around the dining room and stop at every table for autographs and photographs for you and your loved ones. The characters are dressed differently that you would see them in the parks which is very cool and as an added bonus you don’t have to wait in line to see them!
The star of the meals by far is the food.
Breakfast includes a premium fruit bar, cereal selections, American classics like pancakes, Mickey Mouse waffles, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, and pastries.
Quick Tip – Eating a big breakfast on a Disney Meal plan will help keep you fueled throughout the day..we always grab a few bananas and apples to take with us to snack on during the day till dinner.
Dinner is a delectable affair with roasted chicken, carved beef, savory sides and kids’ favorites. The make your own sundae bar was a highlight for me and I am not even a big Ice Cream person.
Quick Tip – The same characters are there for both breakfast & dinner so no worries if you are not a big breakfast eater, you can still meat Mickey & Friends.
The Contemporary Resort is one of my favorite resorts it is so huge and very open. Chef Mickey’s takes up a lot of real estate on the main floor. Whenever you get off the tram you can hear a buzzing from the diners and the food service people alike. Depending on the time of day before you even step foot into the open air restaurant you can smell those delectable dishes.
Quick Tip – If you have little children there is a sitting area with a TV running the Disney Channel for your little ones. We had to use this area for a time out and to settle our little one down. It’s off to the left of the enterance.
If you have never been here before of if you are a regular like us this is one Disney Restaurant that will remain a fan favorite for generations. We have never had a bad meal here or bad service so be sure to make an Advanced Dining Reservation as you will need it, and don’t forget to bring your appetite!