Sunday, April 21, 2013

4/15/13 back to the room, and a few thoughts on the Contemporary Resort

When I got back to the room by 12:30, it had been serviced and a Mickey towel had been left. This was the last day we had the room done, as they didn't come until much later in the afternoons on Tuesday and Wednesday while we were there and only asked for fresh towels and coffee.

An overview of the Contemporary layout. The center, where we expected to stay, is the original Tower, which opened October 1, 1971 along with the Magic Kingdom. Only the Polynesian can lay that claim. It's ballroom hosted Richard Nixon's famous "I am not a crook" speech. It remained the flagship of WDW until the Grand Floridian was built in 1988.

As such, it is an older hotel and does not benefit much from the theming so prominent among the other resorts. They could do so much more with a vision of the Past Tomorrow, replete with googie accents, but instead, they have opted to go for a very sterile modern take.

The South Garden Wing, also built at the same time as the Tower and with identical rooms, is in the map photo below on the left. The smallest recatngle, farthest to the left, was our building, and our room was at the very end (farrrrrthest left) adjacent to the water. The North Garden Wing was demolished in 2009 to build the Bay Lake Tower Vacation Club villas (the semi-circle, bottom right).

Our room, because it was on the end corner, was a bit different and more spacious than most of the rooms (including, as it turned out, the ones in the tower) which is really saying something, since the Contemporary and Polynesian boast the largest rooms available in any Disney resort property. The only one larger are those two spots you see in the elbow of the longer building across from our small rectangle. This building is currently undergoing refurbishment, so neither of them are currently available.  Because it was closed, we were unable to walk straight through (in the air conditioning) and had to go around and in the center lobby you see, marked in red. 

This also meant we ended up with a private patio, which is pretty much unheard of in the Garden Wing.  And the view, while not of the Magic Kingdom, was pretty sweet. 

Around the corner of the building would be the least desirable -- the parking lot view.

Dawn usually had several boats full of fishermen. And ducks.

Lunch on the patio -- the flatbread chicken, artichoke, goat cheese, and spinach pizza was amazing. Yum.

Which can be picked up for take-out (in the Tower, of course) at the Contempo Cafe.

The restaurants are all in the fourth floor Grand Concourse of the Tower, originally designed as the Grand Canyon. Only the center mural around the elecavtors remains of this themeing, however, and I'm not too sure how the Grand Canyon wandered its way inside what was supposed to be a Contemporary / Modern hotel. It's still a lot of fun to study. It's an 18,000 foot mural made of clay in 1x1 foot tiles hand painted by Mary Blair called The Pueblo Village.

A few pictures of the grounds, from the 4th floor monorail, the Mickey garden in the front of the hotel.

On Bay Lake, near the pool and marina

We did have one mystery. From photos I've seen, the gray carpet with squiggly flower shapes is the new stuff they are putting in the building next to ours (and have already completed in the Tower) and the circles are the old. How this one small section near our room at the far end of the hall ended up with it is anybody's guess.

Our last morning, we had a lovely sunrise as we were packing up and taking our bags to Magical Express services (yet another blog forthcoming.)

The area across the street is being bulldozed into MK bus expansion area. The flags are at half-staff for Boston.

The lobby

More than anything else, it's location and walkway across the street to the MK make it absolutely wonderful. As you depart the parks at night, there are throngs of humanity in never ending lines, for the buses, for the ferries, for the monorail. Only Contemporary guests can saunter a third of a mile down a quiet brick walkway without delay. 


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