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Old 03-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
harleyquinn
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Help me decide if Club Level is worth it for me (Contemporary)!

Hi all!
My family (DH and DD 4) are staying at the Contemporary for the first time in August. I can switch from our standard garden wing room to CL for $900 (7 nights) and I'm trying to decide if it's worth it for us.

We will not be on the dining plan and were planning to just do quick service with a couple of character meals. DH and I are very attracted to being able to have a little libation in the evenings. I'd also love access to the fireworks viewing location as we have a 4 year who I know will prefer them from a distance.

We're already within our 180, so ADRs aren't a factor.

Is there enough food provided to be light meals for the most part?
Will they provide water for us to take to the parks?

I'm in the process of reading through the giant thread, but it seems like each CL is a little different.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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$900 is a significant difference. Have not stayed Atrium Club 12th floor but have stayed Tower Club (14th floor) MK view. There is no difference whatsoever in the rom size, layout or amenities between the wing rooms and the tower rooms. The only benefit is the tower rooms have a full balcony, whereas unless you get ground floor in the wing you will get a patio with table and chairs. The food offerings are light breakfast, think pastries, muffins, cold cereals and maybe oatmeal, snacks like goldfish and maybe nuts from 11-2, then light, and I do mean light appetizers, from like 4-8 and then desserts from like 8-10. There will be beer, wine and some cordials . There is a viewing area at the end of the fourth floor Concourse that's open to everyone, it even has benches for viewing. I reamember way back when our girls were young you used to could actually go up to the roof to watch fireworks and EWP but no more. You could upgrade to theme park view tower level and still have some money left over and then just watch from your balcony too. Years back they provided Dasani bottles and I know our fridge in theTower Club room had them stocked daily but I know when we stayed CL at the WL Water was in full sized glass bottles that you were not allowed to take, could simply pour yourself a glass.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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I find Disney's club level libations to be sorely lacking compared to club levels at non-Disney hotels. I'm not a beer drinker and the wine is generally not the good stuff. There are no mixed drinks. There are, I think, 4 cordials offered later evening but they aren't ones that I'm terribly fond of so I skip those.

For that money, you could buy your own and have it in your room. I usually do that even when staying club level.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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From reading through some things, it seems like the offerings have been paired down over the years (like everything else).

We can't add the dining plan, so I was thinking that this might be a nice alternative, but looking at pictures, it definitely isn't enough for DH.

I honestly looked at it and thought no way immediately, but DH was interested, so I'm trying to find out more info.

We spent under $500 for all of our food and a grocery delivery last year, so I knew it was more expensive, I was just trying to see if I could find more value in those intangibles like the fireworks viewing area and such.

Thanks for the thoughts!
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyquinn View Post
From reading through some things, it seems like the offerings have been paired down over the years (like everything else).

We can't add the dining plan, so I was thinking that this might be a nice alternative, but looking at pictures, it definitely isn't enough for DH.

I honestly looked at it and thought no way immediately, but DH was interested, so I'm trying to find out more info.

We spent under $500 for all of our food and a grocery delivery last year, so I knew it was more expensive, I was just trying to see if I could find more value in those intangibles like the fireworks viewing area and such.

Thanks for the thoughts!
Well, the other thing that they mainly do is the IPO can make your dining reservations, but since you said you already have any made that wouldn't be a real plus. I like to make all my own dining and when I tried to rely on the IPO either before we arrived or after we actually were on property, they were unable to get us anything, contrary to what people used to say about them being able to get you in somewhere that says they're full. When we stayed YC CL they couldn't even get us into the Captains Grille (whatever it used to be called years back) when they clearly had entire sections empty and we were too tired to walk back into EPCOT for an ADR we already had. Same thing at WL, no help at all and they even locked that lounge between the snack time and appetizer times. The others were at least open all day so you could grab a soda. I had to physically track down a CM and get them to open the padlock and get me a drink. Now, the CL at RPR at Universal Studios was another thing altogether. They encouraged yo uto use the lounge as a dining destination, please, go back for seconds, thirds, etc. At ther WDW resorts they would sometimes give you a scolding look if you went back to see if anything new had been added.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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IMO, no, it isn't worth it. Just as an aside and I know it can be different at different times but when we stayed club level at the Contemporary, there was never enough food put out. The guests were like lions on a hamburger. If we arrived 5 minutes after food was put out, oh well. Some was replenished but by no means was all of it. Kids were touching food and putting it back on the serving plates and their parents said nothing.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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We just returned from the WDW Friday. We stayed 6 nights at the Contemporary... me, DH and DS - 4. We were not on the meal plan and the only ADR we scheduled was Chef Mickey's.

We had a garden view room and was able to watch Wishes from the comfort of our room every night. DS is afraid of the noise of the fireworks so we kept the door closed, but it was still a nice treat for DH and I.

Almost every morning, we had a quick breakfast at the Contempo Cafe and then headed to the parks. We brought empty, reuseable water bottles on the trip with us and would fill them up in the mornings from the Cafe. We ate lunch at the parks and would always ask for ice water to refill our bottles.

I'm sure CL offers other perks, but for $900 extra, I would keep the Garden View.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phewms View Post
We just returned from the WDW Friday. We stayed 6 nights at the Contemporary... me, DH and DS - 4. We were not on the meal plan and the only ADR we scheduled was Chef Mickey's.

We had a garden view room and was able to watch Wishes from the comfort of our room every night. DS is afraid of the noise of the fireworks so we kept the door closed, but it was still a nice treat for DH and I.

Almost every morning, we had a quick breakfast at the Contempo Cafe and then headed to the parks. We brought empty, reuseable water bottles on the trip with us and would fill them up in the mornings from the Cafe. We ate lunch at the parks and would always ask for ice water to refill our bottles.

I'm sure CL offers other perks, but for $900 extra, I would keep the Garden View.
When our girls were really little the North garden wing was our home away from home. We could usually get a ground floor room facing the tower and they would play on the playground that used to be where BLT is now. I could sit on the patio andwatch them when they got a little older. In those days I could usually get a room there for $129 a night (oh those were the days!) I agree about the Contempo, my husband and I stayed in the tower in October without the kids (high schoolers now taking AP classes they couldn't miss) and we were pleasantly surprrised by the Contempo Cafe. We ate lunch there after checking out and the food was actually pretty good. We are blessed to live 7 hours away so we always drive and I bring a case of Dasani. It saves a ton when it's $3 a bottle in the parks and hotels. I have also brought a measuring cup and instant oatmeal. Heated the water in the coffeemaker back when it was the old Mr Coffee type. We have one teen that likes breakfast so when we do stay CL (always with a discount, sometimes with a upgrade at check in) she will run to the lounge and get cereal, juice and a danish. Usually that and sodas are the extent of our using the lounge. We usually have an ADR for dinner so we miss the appetizers and usually miss the desserts too as we generally wind up in WS or MK in the evenings.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:25 PM   #9
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CL, a real joke.... Entirely overpriced.... I could go on and on for what your 900.00 doesn't get you.... A grocery/ alcohol or delivery can bring you the same and even more better for 1/3 of that cost.... Set up your room and pocket the rest and have it 24/7....at your convenience!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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We love staying CL. Now we make it a priority during our stays. It's just something that makes our stay more special and a little easier. I love going in and grabbing something between meals when the kids want a snack. We like going up for breakfast every morning instead of eating something in the room or standing in line. And, we love going up to the club in the evening, after a day at the parks, and trying out the desserts and drinks. If that doesn't matter much or appeal to you much it's certainly not worth it. But, we had a great time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:35 PM   #11
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It really varies, but may not be worth it in your case.

We decided to do club level this trip and it comes out to $90 a night more than the standard room we had booked. But considering there are 3 adults, a 4 year old and twin 2 year olds that seems worth it to me once you really add up breakfast, drinks and snacks. Could we do it cheaper, sure, but this is a big trip for us and we are going all out and wanted to try the experience.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:45 PM   #12
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Club level's worth is relative. It depends on the family. You'd be spending $128 and change per night for club level.

What do the three of you spend on breakfast? How many beers/glasses of wine do you typically order while on vacation? Do you enjoy both appetizers and desserts, and will you be around the resort to enjoy them?

For the two of you and a young child, it may not be cost effective, and you could definitely spend a lot less than $128 per day for the food and drinks. You do gain the convenience of a quick and easy breakfast, and you can grab some drinks and relax at the hotel while your little one is asleep.

For me it is a little easier to justify, as I have a family of 5. The convenience factor makes it worth it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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I don't think CL is something that people do because it's cost effective. I think it's something that's considered a luxury that appeals to some - just like most things at Disney.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:36 PM   #14
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I think it's something that's considered a luxury that appeals to some - just like most things at Disney.
I agree!

Walt Disney World itself is a completely unnecessary luxury. The whole nutty place is a silly, fantastical, nonessential, completely expendable (and expensive) extravagance. No one has to go there at all. It is a delightful luxury, not a necessity.

For most people I know, going to WDW is a luxury that is not worth the money. For my family, and most people on the DISboards, it is.

Trying to parse out which parts of a WDW vacation are "worth it" and which are "not worth it" is always 1000% subjective.

As is the "worth" of Walt Disney World itself.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:16 AM   #15
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...Is there enough food provided to be light meals for the most part?
Will they provide water for us to take to the parks?
Thanks for any help!
We have stayed at many of the Disney clubs. In my opinion, CL offerings are more a like then they were 10 years ago. They maintain some differences, since they often get some items off the resorts TS restaurants menu offerings. There are people on these boards who will claim you can make a meal out of the evening appetizers...I am not one of them. Even in the last 5 years the offerings continue to dwindle. Is it to cut cost or make a greater distinction between DDP and Club, as some think it is another form of a dining plan. It is not.

You will not find the bottled water in the club refrigerator anymore. When requested you are typically directed to the bottled water in glass containers provided in the serving area. Other recently stated CMs recently told them you can request it directly from a CM to get a few. Past abuse brought about change and requesting is a method to control utilization levels, since unused bottles in your room are thrown out when you leave.

Overall, worth is something you will need to determine. It offers a lounge (place to hang-out other then your room), club level access, a view, location, convenience, drinks, very basic food offerings during specific times, check-in service and on-sight club level assistance help. You can easily make your own ADRs on-line and know its been done right. IPOs are understaffed and process request based upon your arrival date, so you can easily go into a que if someone books late, but arrives before you. Club expense never validates to be a one for one transaction. You will not eat or drink the amount you pay. For us booking early can result in possibly getting a rate that equate to the cost of a Disney breakfast.
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