Disney’s Contemporary Resort has always been one of my favorite spaces within the Walt Disney World Resort. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is one of the original hotels that dates back to the opening of the park. Perhaps it is the first impression I received when I visited it as a young boy shortly after it opened. Regardless, it is a wonder of modern architecture and always enthralled me with the way the Imagineers and how they attacked every problem with fresh eyes.
Rising 14 stories from the shores of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon with its familiar A-frame design, the resort is a 655-room modernistic marvel complete with a 90,000-square-foot convention center, three full-service restaurants, tennis center, marina and three swimming pools. The Walt Disney World monorail makes a stop inside the resort thanks to the monorail beam that extends through the center of the A-frame.
One of two Disney resort hotels that opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971, Disney’s Contemporary Resort was built on a 55-acre site adjacent to Magic Kingdom. Living up to its modern style, the hotel was constructed by methods that were ahead of their time.
While the hotel’s steel skeleton was being constructed at the site, individual rooms were being built and finished at Walt Disney World on an “assembly line” with workers completing 15 units per day. As each room passed through the specially constructed building, the electrical, mechanical and plumbing facilities were added piece by piece.
Once furnished, the nine-ton guestrooms were trucked to the site, lifted by crane and slid into the steel structure — much like an oversized set of dresser drawers. The entire structure was then covered by specially designed, sun-resistant glass.
High atop the resort on the 15th floor sits one of the jewels in the Walt Disney World crown — California Grill. Since opening in 1995, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation as one of the best in America with extraordinary cuisine and outstanding wines, and the view is stupendous. It’s hard to decide which is more fun: watching the energetic chefs in the open kitchen, or a sunset over Magic Kingdom.
As of late I have been working on new apps and even newer ways to show off the the familiar icons around the parks and resorts all over Walt Disney World. These are just a few of the latest photographs to showcase the wonders you can find as you enjoy your visit to Central Florida and the Walt Disney World Resort.