Disney Resort Hopping? Our Best Tip to Watch a Sunset

Disney’s Contemporary Resort opened on October 1, 1971, one of only two original properties located at the Disney World complex alongside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  With an A-frame main building and located adjacent to Magic Kingdom park, it’s one of the most iconic buildings on WDW property. Visiting the Contemporary Resort is a must do.

You don’t have to pay for a room at the Contemporary Resort to look around, however, because you can resort hop.

Resort Hopping at most resorts is fairly simple; you can take a bus or a monorail to the different Disney resorts, or you can drive your own vehicle. If you drive your car to the guard gate, just tell the Cast Member you are going on property to look around. If you plan to eat something, tell the Cast Member you are going to grab a bite to eat. Have your driver’s license ready to show the guard, or if you have a MagicBand, they will ask to scan this. Several resorts have signs indicating you need to have your identification ready. If and when they start charging to park at all Disney Resorts, Resort Hopping may have a price, but for now, it remains free.

The Contemporary is different in that parking is very limited, and they don’t have space for paying resort guests plus a ton of park hoppers and individuals looking to park within walking distance of Magic Kingdom. Trying to drive onto Contemporary property to look around will likely have you turned around at the gate. So we have several alternate ideas.

We suggest making a dining reservation for Chef Mickey’s, which grants you access to parking, but be sure to actually eat the meal, because you will be charged $10 per person for missed reservations. You get a meal and a look around the resort.

You could also take a bus or monorail over from another resort. You can park in the Ticket and Transportation Center parking lot and ride the monorail around to the Contemporary. Riding the monorail is free.

We have an entire guide to resort hopping:

Disney World Resort Hopping: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

The main part of the resort, the Contemporary Tower, houses most of the resort’s key facilities, including resort registration and the guest service concierge. The main hall is named the Grand Canyon Concourse, which houses restaurants and gift shops. Here you are surrounded by 383 guest rooms lining the outer walls of the Contemporary Tower.

Walk through the Grand Canyon Concourse level of the Contemporary to the side closest to Magic Kingdom.

There is a door to an outside balcony area over by the walkway that goes to Bay Lake Tower. There is outdoor seating available, which is obviously limited, not only in the number of seats but also first come, first served.

The balcony area offers a one of a kind viewpoint of the Contemporary Resort, which actually had two previous names, the Tempo Bay Hotel and  the Contemporary Resort Hotel.

You have a fantastic view of Bay Lake Tower next door.

Monorails travel in and out of the Contemporary Resort, and you’ll have a front seat.

And the sunsets…

 

If you have time, take stairs outside to walk around the property.

If you don’t make a reservation at the more pricey Contemporary Resort, prices are much more reasonable at the Contempt Cafe, and you don’t need a reservation for this counter service restaurant.

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

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