You know the Contemporary Resort, even if you don't realize it. It's one of WDW's original resorts, the big, hulking A frame structure sitting between Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. The ugly one. See it in the distance under the rainbow?
For years, CR was saddled in some odd interpretation of futuristic contemporary. Orange and purple abounded in the rooms. But a few years ago, CR underwent a much needed transformation. Rooms now are sleek and modern - square sinks in the bathroom! - and decorated in earth tones. A flat screen TV hangs above a faux mantle and glass mosaic tiles that are backlit to give the impression of a flameless fireplace (this also doubles as a nightlight!). Rooms are quite large, which is always nice. Here's some shots of our room:
Even after I swore I'd never stay here, I relented. The S Man is offering to take me to WDW yet again. I wasn't going to fight him on our resort! And Little W Man wanted to stay here so we could catch the monorail inside so he wouldn't get so sweaty (he just decided to ignore that he would be sweaty the rest of the day).
I must say, all four of us enjoyed CR! You just can't beat the location when you have little ones. It's the only resort from where you can walk to the MK. How nice it was not to have to stand in the long line for the resort monorail during nighttime Extra Magic Hours. While some detractors consider the new CR decor sterile and devoid of character, we loved it. We found it very soothing after spending long days in a very stimulating environment. Plus, the S Man wanted to stay on the monorail, and the CR is the cheapest of the three monorail resorts.
There are two choices for room location - the garden wing, which is close to the pool, and the tower. Below is an aerial shot of the garden wing (and you can see the Wilderness Lodge in the distance).
We chose to stay in the tower so as to be in the same building with the resort's amenities. In the tower, you have a choice of two views - Bay Lake and MK views. The MK view is more expensive than the other. We opted for the Bay Lake view, and we were not disappointed. Here's daybreak from our room:
It doesn't matter if you choose to stay in the tower or the garden wing, you will have to come in to the tower to catch the monorail, eat at quick service, go to the front desk, dine at Chef Mickey's, the Wave or the California Grill, shop, etc. The tower is a huge, well lit atrium.
The main atrium level is level 4, and it's called the Grand Concourse. This is where almost everything except the front desk can be found. And of course, it's the home of the famous mural.
Of course, you've got to have the pool! There's two pools - one is quiet, the other is heavily populated with kids. While not as visually stimulating as pools at other resorts - there's no volcano, dragon or sandbottom here - there's still a large slide. Little W Man loved it.
This view shows both pools, the garden wing and some of the water sprayers outside the pool.
Although we've loved our stays at other Disney resorts, the CR is now our new go-to resort!