Is the Contemporary worth the splurge for one day in WDW?

We are planning to head back to Orlando early Dec 2018. DH thought MNSSHP was the highlight of our WDW trip last October and so is on board for MVMCP. Otherwise everyone wants to go to UOR (we have never beeen before and kids are big HP fans). But with trying to minimize time away from school and also knowing we can’t handle too many park days in one trip, that leaves us with just the one day in the world!
So my tentative plan is for us to arrive MVMCP party day, hopefully by late morning. If time allows take monorail to see resort holiday decorations (Contemporary, Poly, GF) and end up at Whispering Pines Cafe to eat before taking boat or shuttle to MK for 3:30 arrival to que for the party.
The next day, considering breakfast at Ohanas and see any resorts we missed the day before. Then DS to go to the Void. Then off to UOR to relax before hitting parks the next day.

Originally I thought we may try staying at s DS hotel and save money but now I am wondering if the Contemporary would be a lot more enjoyable. I had booked a night at B resort but when I consider the points I used, the resort fee, and airport transportation, I will end up paying about $150 more for a room at the contemporary. Worth it? It seems like a completely cool place (I have never been in it)

I do also keep trying to reconfigure our trip to allow another day in the world to maybe park hop between HS (see TSL) then over to Epcot for candlelight processional and we never saw illuminations. If I did put that day in, then it would likely take the place of our kind of relaxing day after the party. We would stay a second night at WDW and plan to leave early for UOR the early the next morning. Doable but more hectic and a second night at WDW would be even more of a splurge (I found a really good deal on Portfino Bay resort for our stay st UOR).

As an aside, I am thinking my Star Wars loving family should plan a proper trip to WDW once Star Wars land opens!

Any thought to staying at WL instead? If you are going to the party you will not have much time in the room and WL should save you some money. The boat to MK is fast and easy!

I think because we are a party of 5 I am finding no availablity. If I put in for 4 people rooms pop up but they are more expensive (by abut $50) than the standard room at the Contemporary that allows for 5.
I thought I was looking early this time but things are booming up quickly.
Because we won’t be in the room but to sleep and do want to go for a quick trip to DS I thought of staying at B resort. But now I am unsure about the shuttle service and not reading consistent reviews. Maybe staying in the bubble and complete convenience is worth it for one night?

Oh, is a garden view room cheaper than Poly too? Yes, Inmiat likely would do it.

Do Boulder Ridge studios sleep 5?

We did a cruise last year and on our disembarking day we went over to Contemporary for the one night. Airfares home on the Sat were just too high, so I said ‘what the heck’. I really splurged and got a theme park room and we watched the fireworks from our balcony. Very nice, although, probably not quite as nice as being in the park. My younger DS enjoyed the pool all day and we did Narcossee’s for dinner. It was especially nice to check out, put the luggage in the car and then walk to MK the next morning. And… walk to our car that evening instead of up a monorail ramp and out to the parking lot.

The hotel was very nice. Maybe it was dated, I don’t know or care. I enjoyed it. The rooms were spacious and the beds very comfortable. The bathroom wasn’t a split, but it was very big and spacious as well, so it didn’t bother us.

I don’t regret the stay, but I don’t think I could justify that cost if it were more than one night. Especially after a DCL cruise.

I’d go for the Contemporary. Just being able to walk to your room after the party will make things so much more pleasant.

It’a really a matter of personal preference. The main atrium with the monorail going through is pretty cool, but I find the whole resort to be rather cold and corporate; truth be told, it would probably be my last choice of a deluxe resort.

As for Christmas decorations, I found the Poly and the CR pretty disappointing; WL and GF are the two must-sees in the MK area - and AKL is also beautiful.

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I completely agree with you on the decorations. I also enjoy the Epcot resorts.

Contemporary is a nice resort, not my favorite by any means, but it has several things going for it:

  • Ability to walk to MK
  • On the monorail

If you’re comparing it to a DS resort, I’d say it’s worth it just for those two things. You’re not going to get the ambiance you get at the Poly or GF, or any of the Epcot resorts, but those two facts alone will make your short stay a lot more enjoyable (don’t need to wait for transportation after MVMCP, etc.)

If you can swing the second day, I strongly recommend an evening visit to Epcot. The Candlelight Processional is a must-see, and Illuminations with the Peace on Earth ending is just incredible.

Good to know. I thought WPC is a good choice to eat before the party because it is supposed to look onto the giant tree at WL.

Thanks for the great response. I am rethinking cutting Disney short to get to UOR. I really would love to spend the evening in Epcot. Good to know that Candlelight Processional is a must see. The fireworks too.

I briefly toyed with spending a single night at the Contemporary, motivated by an early start for the Ultimate Day of Thrills tour. I liked the idea of getting out of bed and just walking over to MK — a huge time-saver compared with driving from my off-site accommodation.

But in the end I couldn’t justify the cost. I think an MK-view room was over £500 for the night, yet I’d barely be in it except for sleeping. If I’m staying at the Contemporary, I’d at least want a few hours of day time and night time in my room — and I’d like to watch HEA from my room.

(In fact I cancelled the tour and that solved the problem!)

I have booked a one-night stay at Beach Club to make my departure day simpler. But I have gone out of my way to schedule hotel time — especially Stormalong Bay — so that I get value for the money I’m paying for the room. (Around £380, I think.)

I don’t want to be unhelpful, but personally I think UOR is awesome! The rides are incredible. Like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Nothing’s quite as good as FOP, but they are certainly close.

WWOHP is visually incredible — at one point at King’s Cross station I honestly thought I was in London for a second: it’s that accurate. The attention to detail is amazing.

That being said, I didn’t particularly enjoy either of the HP rides.

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It definitely made me feel like I was home when the sign said the train to Doncaster (my closest hub) was delayed. Like I was right back at the station :joy:

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That is exactly why I keep flip flopping back and forth! Never having been to UOR, in your opinion do you think we should stick with our 3 day in the parks plan for there? It sounds like 2 days maybe too short. Like I said I could squeeze in a day for HS/Epcot. I was trying, however, not to make it quite the whirlwind I made our trip last year. We ended up having to cut out portions of our days to create more down time. I guess I will just have to make the call!

Personally, I think three days at UOR is too many. Two is fine. BUT (a) I tour alone, which is obviously less complicated than going with a family, and (b) I always buy Express Passes so that my queuing time is minimal.

That being said, as awesome as UOR is, there is an extent to which a lot of the rides are essentially the same. I did a VIP tour on my first visit — I think it ran for seven hours, front of the line access on every ride — and by the end of the tour I was getting a little bored.

Express Passes are expensive — especially for families! — but you get them for free if you stay on-property at some of the hotels, which almost makes the room pay for itself.

Except for the rides, there are no queues at WWOHP and you can take as long as you like there with no Express Pass worries.

I think it’s about researching what’s available at UOR and choosing your must-do activities. Two days is plenty, I think.

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I think 2 days at UOR is plenty, especially if onsite with the express pass. We go most years during spring break and find we can do everything we want multiple times in 2 days, and still have time for afternoon breaks and pool time. Last April we were there all day Thursday and Friday before heading to WDW for 8 days. We left Universal by 6pm on our second day as we were just done and wanted to get over to WDW. Now if you don’t have express passes, my answer would be different. We get so much accomplished not having to wait in much of a line.
I have stayed at the CR and loved it. Walking to/from MK is wonderful and worth the splurge.

Thanks for the input everyone! I am going to add in that Disney day of HS and Epcot hopping. We are staying at Portfino Bay at UOR so will have EP and they are low CL days. We will still have 2 full days there and maybe a third if we plan to get an early start, we may even make that a Volcsno Bay day.

I have been in touch with Magic Vacations and they have early Dec rates for 2 nights at WL. I think we may go for that! Is it easy to get from WL over to Epcot or HS? I am presuming a fairly quick shuttle ride?


Yes, direct buses.

Curious what the WL rate was?

It was $625 for 2 nights. But we are unable to stay there because the room only fits 4 people :confused:

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