Grand Floridian vs. Contemporary

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Brad's picture
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Grand Floridian vs. Contemporary

This is one of our Resort Comparisons. Check the main thread to see more.

In the Coronado Springs thread, we were discussing Edward's conventions and why anyone would pay more to stay at the Grand Floridian instead of the Contemporary. I've never stayed in either, but my impression from visiting each is that the Contemporary tends to appeal to people who dig really love Disney and want to stay in the original resort, while the Grand Floridian appeals to people who just want to stay in what seems like the nicest (most expensive) place. That's a snap judgment, so take it with a grain of salt. What do you guys think?

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I just get a thrill out of the monorail going thru my living room!!!!!

clapping

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mousetraveler,

can you tell us more about the contemporary? i have always wanted to stay there.

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Never stayed in either, but the contemporary just seems downright cool! I'm a big Jetson's fan, and I love the Tomorrowland/Contemporary vision of "the future from the standpoint of the 50's." I really hope that Disney will be able to hold onto that vision, which was originally Walt's, and which has really been a fun one to continue to experience.

GF has never been a draw for me, but the more I look around the resort (and see pics of the Alice in Wonderland rooms), the more I want to just try it out once or twice. Smile

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The Contemporary is just so "Walt Disney World" to me. Probably because it's one of the originals and has been there everytime I've ever gone to WDW. Along with The Poly, Ft. Wilderness Campground, and The Asian, which was panned but never realized, it was planned and built in the very early stages of WDW.

I love the Contemporary because of of what it symbolizes; the early days of WDW. Just the architecture of it..it's A-Frame design is an icon in itself. Those huge murals inside the main lobby and the monorail tracks that go right through it are all images that have stood the test of time in an ever changing WDW.

The GF is beautiful, there is no doubt about that, however the iconography and the inseparable imagery of it to WDW just isn't there for me.

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greebil wrote:
mousetraveler,

can you tell us more about the contemporary? i have always wanted to stay there.



Hey, I'll bore ya to death with this stuff! laugh

I love the Contemporary, as it was the first Disney Hotel I stayed in 35 years ago. Cost thirty bucks a night back then! At that time it was the main tower and two wings. Of course, one wing was torn down to make room for the Bay Lake Tower for DVC. To be honest, if I was booking I probably wouldn't stay in the wings, but thats just personal preference. The 'Contemporary Experience' is best felt within the tower when you can walk out and hear the hustle-bustle of everything going on beneath you, and to hear that Whoooooooosh as the monorail flies through.

I agree with all that was said by others. It is original, and is in remarkable shape to have the mileage on it that it does. I've had some great memories there. Years ago at the old 'Top Of The World' Club (now California Grill), I saw Della Reese in concert. Back in those days, the Club featured noted acts like Ms. Reese.

Years later, I was lucky enough to have a Concierge room, which was the closest to the Magic Kingdom. Being able to watch the fireworks with a group of guests from there was fabulous.

I'm really not sure that a non-Disney fan will get the Contemporary, but the fact that it IS indeed "cool", and the history behind it make it a favorite in MY book. If you get a chance, try it out!

OK, well known trivia here. The Contemporary was built as a "modular hotel". The framework was put up, then the rooms assembled elsewhere and slit into their slots by crane. The plan was to then be able to update the rooms in the same manner. The soft soil in Florida ended that dream, as the building shifted making the sliding in and out of rooms impossible.

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Imagineer wrote:

The GF is beautiful, there is no doubt about that, however the iconography and the inseparable imagery of it to WDW just isn't there for me.



I really agree with this. The GF was built to look like an icon (Hotel del Coronado), but it's an icon of California--not WDW. It's beautiful, but seems somewhat "removed" from other Disney properties.

That's not to say that I won't ever stay there; I'd love to see what it's like.

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MouseTraveler wrote:
OK, well known trivia here. The Contemporary was built as a "modular hotel". The framework was put up, then the rooms assembled elsewhere and slit into their slots by crane. The plan was to then be able to update the rooms in the same manner. The soft soil in Florida ended that dream, as the building shifted making the sliding in and out of rooms impossible.


I had no idea that was the case! I hope they put out an "Imagineering Guide" to the resorts like they have for the parks.

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I would say that overall you have better dining options at GF than at the Contemporary. California Grill is good, but I think both Narcoossee's and Citricos as well as V&A are all worthwhile.

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Of course all those options are just a Monorail trip away from the Contemporary. I think I'm going to have to stay at a Monorail resort one of these days.