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Living the Life... at the Contemporary: A September 2008 Trip Report (with photos)!

Sometime in the past month or two I found this section of the forums and I’ve been enjoying everyone’s trip reports ever since. So I thought I would add mine to the mix. I want to thank you all for such great reports; they’ve inspired me to write my own.

A little background info to set the wheels in motion: I’m 26 years old and usually visit WDW 3-4 times a year. My first visit was as an adult when the guy I had been dating for about a month (enter: Brett, 27) was filled with shock and awe that I had never experienced his beloved Disney. So he immediately planned our first trip and now… 4 1/2 years later we’ve just returned from our 14th. Needless to say-I’m hooked (on both the mouse and Brett)!

It’s all great, but our favorite things about the world would have to be… the characters, dining, resorts and overall ambience and magic that we feel when we’re there! We are attempting to stay at every resort on property and so far we’ve been able to check off Pop, All-Stars (all three), Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Saratoga Springs and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Now that this trip is complete we can add our very first monorail resort to the list: The Contemporary. Yay!

Our stay at the Contemporary was made possible by my wonderful boss who said yes to my suggestion that we attend a conference at the resort! Shhh… don’t tell anyone, but the room rate for conference attendees was only $157 per night!!! Now, that’s the way to go. We stayed for 4 nights and even though I only spent one day in conference sessions the rate applied to the whole stay. Woo Woo!!

*so now I suggest you all go in search of some kind of conference relevant to your work that will be taking place there, if only to get the room rate for the rest of your stay*

And now... on with the report (and pics)!
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1, Wednesday Sept. 24: Travel/Check-in/Downtown Disney

The trip down usually takes us about 8 hours and this one was no different. After a nice, but boring drive down I-75 (nothing to see here, kids) we arrived at the World and became giddy over the familiar sights. As we pulled in to the Contemporary I was anxious to find out whether we would receive a Garden Wing or Tower/Bay Lake view room. When I made the reservations, I put in a request for the Tower, but was told that since it was the same price point as the garden wing it couldn't be guaranteed. Looks like all that wishing I did was granted and the Fairy Godmother must be on my side, because the receptionist checked us in to a 9th floor Tower room looking out over Bay Lake. When we walked into the room, the curtains were open and the view was beautiful!

Our view:

P9270424.jpg


A view of the pool (with what appears to be a very teeny SSE on the horizon):

P9240001.jpg


Now, Brett’s parents are members of DVC, and after this stay we have been dropping not-so-subtle hints about how wonderful it would be if they choose to buy into BLT! This place is going to be amazing. View of Bay Lake Tower from our room:

P9240002.jpg


I must say, of all the deluxe resorts the Contemporary was not at the top of my “must stay” list, it was nestled somewhere below the Polynesian, Beach Club and Boardwalk. However, it won me over immediately. The room was simple but sophisticated and I loved all the different lighting fixtures throughout. It even had a computer set up with complimentary internet access for guests. At first I thought it might be because of the conference center but the bell services gentleman told me WDW is testing the service to see if it would be beneficial to include across the resorts. And I should note that the home page afforded users immediate access to their Photopass account. Very smart, Disney, very smart.

A picture of the bedding (I just noticed the reading light for one side of the bed was on, but not the other...oops, kinda looks funny):

P9270423.jpg


As soon as we got settled in we hopped on the monorail and we were off in a flash. No, really… it was that fast, so quick you couldn’t even see us! It might have been at this point in the trip, the very beginning, when I fell in love with the Contemporary.


We’re annual passholders and this is usually the time of year we have to buy our tickets, so two minutes later we were at the TTC (I’m still uncertain of why AP holders can’t buy tickets at the resorts… I’m curious though, anyone know?) in hopes that a ticket window would still be open so we could get our passes and get to the Magic Kingdom for the remainder of the evening. We weren’t so lucky this time, but no big deal, we just headed over to Guest Relations at DTD to pick them up.

Once we purchased our tickets at Guest Relations (which took us all of 2 minutes to spend $1,000!!) we snagged some seats (or shall I say, animal bottoms) at the Rainforest Café bar where we split the Flying Dragon pizza and had a couple beers. Afterwards we perused a few DTD shops and then took our last stroll through PI. The Adventurer’s Club was already at capacity at 8pm, with a line of 30-40 people waiting patiently for someone to leave. Sorry folks, don’t think you’ll be getting in those doors anytime soon.

PI Signage:

P9240033.jpg


8Trax:

P9240036.jpg


Motion:

P9240035.jpg


Rock’n’Roll Beach Club:

P9240034.jpg


Comedy Warehouse:

P9240039.jpg


And the Adventurer’s Club:

P9240038copy.jpg


After we mourned the loss of Pleasure Island (over Wetzel’s pretzels), we headed back to the Contemporary to enjoy the resort and get some rest before the busy day ahead! Oh and I don’t know if you’ve caught on to this yet, but I HEART THE CONTEMPORARY!
 
Thanks for your posts and pics! I have always wondered about the Contemporary, especially since the room re-decoration. Looks great! MORE, PLEASE!
 

sissa216

Well-Known Member
ooh beautiful view. I'm in the category of 'not so much' caring about the Contemporary, but from visiting it is at the top of DH's list.
Maybe your pics can win me over....:ROFLOL:

Can't wait to read more
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the compliments everyone. I'm just glad you're enjoying it thus far.

Sissa216, I always had similar thoughts, but one thing that stuck with me once we stayed there is that (with the exception of maybe the garden wing), you truly can't get a bad view. Bay Lake facing room, or Seven Seas... either way it's a great view. Whereas, with the other deluxe resorts that I had preferred to stay at over the Contemporary, I believe you can get stuck with parking lot and not so scenic views.

Also, We were on the end of the tower closer to BLT. I thought that this might distract from the view... it didn't!
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2, Thursday September 25, 2008: Conference day for Holly/Epcot and resort relaxing for Brett/Together: MK & Spirit of Aloha Luau

The view just before sunrise:

P9240042.jpg


My Conference:
Okay, so hearing about my conference day… probably not too exciting. I will say that even though the conference facilities at the Contemporary are stellar, it didn’t help hold my attention. Talk about being in a session when you’re longing to be somewhere else! Focusing wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, my thoughts kept drifting to margaritas at the Mexico pavilion, a relaxing flight on Soarin, and whatever else Brett might be getting into over at Epcot.

But don’t feel too sorry for me, my conference time spanned 7:30 am-3:30 pm and included an enjoyable monorail ride (to pick up Luau tickets at the Poly) and a relaxing boat ride over to the Wilderness Lodge. Hey, it’s not our fault the presenter for the session we chose to attend didn’t show up… leaving us (myself and my 3 colleagues) to find something to do with our time!

A little note about our trip over to the Wilderness Lodge. None of the guys I work with had ever been there and each of them fell in love with the larger than life lodge immediately. We kicked back in some of the oversized and extremely comfy chairs in the lobby and it took only minutes for one of us to fall asleep (this guy has a knack for falling asleep upright so it was no shock to the rest of us). Being the great friends that we are, we decided to mosey over to another group of chairs to lie in wait for his awakening. We knew he wouldn't see us when he arose and that was enough to keep us entertained for awhile. But it got better... a lovely cast member started talking with us and offered us blankets... we didn't need any, but sent him over to adorn our colleague with one. The look on his face was priceless when he awoke and couldn't find us. Just another reason why I love the cast members at Disney... they never disappoint. This CM was game for anything and indulged our silliness. Conference, schmonference... we're at Disney World!

Okay, now back on track...

Between sessions I spoke with Brett (who was enjoying a refreshing beer with his lunch @ Sunshine Seasons) and he told me he’d had a bit of a celebrity encounter, to which he wouldn’t elaborate on until I saw him. He’s such a tease! Needless to say I was curious, knowing that this was opening weekend of the Food & Wine Festival I had suspicions of the type of celebrity it just might be!

Brett’s Day:
Brett’s morning went a little something like this: monorail trip to the Grand Floridian Café for breakfast, followed by a quick stop in the MK (early EMH) to take some pictures of the Halloween decorations, and then on to Epcot, via monorail of course.

Some MK Halloween decorations:

P9240046.jpg



P9240047.jpg



P9240049.jpg



P9240050.jpg


Brett and his first character meet and greet this trip, Daisy Duck in Town Square:

P9240053.jpg


Brett then headed over to the best park ever (!) and strolled around what was a very empty Epcot, taking pictures of all the F&W banners/structures (so that I can make a scrapbook page!) and riding a few rides. He also ran into some characters along the way.

This year’s F&W setup, Cities in Wonderland:

P9240071.jpg


Donald Duck giving a flower to the girl at the Mexico pavilion (I wonder what Daisy would do if she saw this):

P9240101.jpg


Brett and Mary confusing one another:

P9240096.jpg


She asked him his name, to which he responded “Why, Mary Poppins, of course” clearly thinking she’d asked him what her name was. She went on to exclaim how very exciting yet confusing it was to meet another Mary Poppins and it continued from there. This is the second time we've happened upon Mary in Norway... I wonder what the Banks children think of her going on holiday without them!!

And Goofy trying to teach Brett a handshake while Brett smiled for the photo:

P9240064.jpg
 

Disneyfalcon

Well-Known Member
Holly what a great report! I love the Contemporary too. The convenience of it is just amazing. I don't think the Air Force every holds conferences there, but that would be awesome!!:lol:

Can't wait for more!
 

DormaNesbit

Member
Keep it coming with the trip report and pictures! BTW Brett is very handsome, maybe you should keep him away from Mary Poppins?!:animwink:
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh! This is great! Can't wait to read more!!! :sohappy:

Great report thus far; can't wait to read/see more!

Thanks!

Keep it coming with the trip report and pictures! BTW Brett is very handsome, maybe you should keep him away from Mary Poppins?!:animwink:

Thanks, Dorma. I certainly think he's handsome; although I don't think I'll have to worry too much about Mary, she's rather upstanding. Now, Daisy Duck... that might be another story!
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A few photos Brett took while touring World Showcase:


P9240106.jpg


P9240111.jpg


P9240112.jpg





P9240119.jpg


Now, for the celebrity encounter!

As Brett was meandering through England he just about stumbled right into Chef Hung Huynh!!! Those of you Top Chef fans know exactly who I’m talking about-the arrogant but talented winner of Season 3! If you’re not a fan of the hit Bravo show, you’re probably thinking “What’s the big deal? This guy's no celebrity.” However, he’s on our long list of chef’s whose food we want to try. So Brett, of course, was very excited.

*The only other Top Chef we’ve had the pleasure of meeting and eating at his restaurant was Chef Richard Blais of Atlanta… whose food I most definitely recommend!*

So Brett shook Hung’s hand and told him what a fan he was, Hung thanked him and they both went on their way. After which Brett turned around to snap a shot... to use as proof when he told me about the encounter. Hmmm…someone must have thought I wouldn’t believe him:

P9240093.jpg


Notice the suitcase, assistant and segway escort? All three giveaways that he must be cooking somewhere for the festival-Yay! We were so excited to get to Epcot the next day to get a hold of a program and find out what type of demonstration he would be doing.

So after Brett’s cheftestant sighting he headed back to the Contemporary for a quick dip in the pool and a nap in the hammock. At 3:30 pm we reconvened in the room to share stories, of which his were much more exciting, get dressed and get out the door to the MK.
 

sissa216

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the compliments everyone. I'm just glad you're enjoying it thus far.

Sissa216, I always had similar thoughts, but one thing that stuck with me once we stayed there is that (with the exception of maybe the garden wing), you truly can't get a bad view. Bay Lake facing room, or Seven Seas... either way it's a great view. Whereas, with the other deluxe resorts that I had preferred to stay at over the Contemporary, I believe you can get stuck with parking lot and not so scenic views.

Also, We were on the end of the tower closer to BLT. I thought that this might distract from the view... it didn't!


Ah, that is true. I never did think of that; there really can't be a bad view, can there!
Still loving the report :wave:
 

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