(CLOSED) Disney's CONTEMPORARY RESORT and BAY LAKE TOWER INFORMATION THREAD

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by WDWKOOK, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. Georgi Zhukov

    Georgi Zhukov Earning My Ears

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    OK, back in Connecticut with most of our unpacking done. As promised, here is a complete set of my CR room photos. I'll follow this post with a separate one containing my thoughts about my CR stay in general. Enjoy!

    Beds[​IMG]

    Bed Closeup[​IMG]

    Desk[​IMG]

    Entryway[​IMG]

    TV[​IMG]

    Seating[​IMG]

    Theme Park View[​IMG]

    New DVC Hotel[​IMG]

    MK Bus Stop Expansion[​IMG]

    Bathroom[​IMG]

    Toiletries[​IMG]

    View Outside Room - CM[​IMG]

    View Outside Room - CC[​IMG]
     
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  3. Georgi Zhukov

    Georgi Zhukov Earning My Ears

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    Back from a 6 night stay at the CR. We had a theme park view room, #4428 on the 8th floor. I had requested a room on as high a floor as possible. This request was met but when we arrived at the hotel around 2:30 p.m. our 11th floor room was not ready. We were offered a room that was ready on the 8th floor and took it. Overall we had a great trip and enjoyed staying at the CR. My kids love the hotel, as do my wife and I. I've been staying there since I was a young boy back in the mid-1970's (annual family vacations to WDW) so I have a special place in my heart for the CR - my brother passed away when he was 19 and I have always been comforted by all of the great memories of our CR and WDW visits.

    Having said all of that though, here are some thoughts/lessons learned about our recent stay:

    1) This was our 5th visit to the CR with the kids since 2008 - they were 8 and 4 then. We have always stayed in a TPV room because we love watching Wishes from our room after a long day in the parks. Well, that changed this year. My boys are 12 and 9 now and they wanted to do "late night runs" to the MK every night. Our daily routine was to go to the parks (rope drops of course), come back to the room for an afternoon rest/nap, go to dinner, and then hit the MK until it closed (on 11 p.m. closing nights). Soooo, we ended up seeing Wishes from our room only ONCE. Since we paid a pretty good premium for the TPV room, my wife and I are likely going to book at BLV room the next time we return.

    2) I've posted many times in the past that my only complaint about the CR (aside from the cost) is the age of the hotel. Every year we have experienced issues with the hotel infrastructure. This year was no exception. We had electrical outlet issues - one didn't work (when trying to charge electronics) and others seemed loose and temperamental. During my first shower I noticed the shower head wouldn't adjust properly AND the shower drain was either clogged or wouldn't open all the way - was standing in a foot of water by the time I was done. The sliding glass door leading to the toilet in the bathroom had a large crack at the bottom (see photo below). Finally, the elevator buttons were not functioning correctly. Nearly every time we hit the down button on our floor, it would light up for a second or two and then go out (this would indeed prevent the elevator from coming). You usually would have to hold the button down for 10 seconds or so in order for it to stay lit and call the elevator. We spoke to a woman staying on another floor and she said she had the same problem on her floor and heard the problem existed on all floors.

    [​IMG]

    3) I want to be clear that I am a pretty laid back guy. I am not a snob who looks to nitpick and who is never satisfied. The above issues have always been outweighed by the fabulous location, charm, amenities, and service of the CR. But given the amount of money we pay to stay at this Deluxe Disney Resort, these problems have always stuck in my craw a bit. To those who haven't stayed at the CR, just know it's an aging hotel and you'll probably have an issue or two similar to the above. BUT, we still love staying there and I'm confident you'll fall in love with the place as many of us have. No hotel is perfect and at least the service has always been outstanding - every time we have reported an issue with our room, it has been promptly addressed.

    4) We had free WiFi in our room (and throughout WDW) - which was much appreciated.

    5) Chef Mickey's - I know this is a bit of a controversial subject but I had to report on the CM noise level. The last time I commented, I stated the noise levels seemed a lot more tolerable in recent years - to the point where we stopped requesting a room on the opposite end from CM. However, our room was right in the middle of CM territory, and I must say that we'll again be requesting a room as far from CM as possible the next time we return. While we didn't notice the noise at night (because we were usually out late) and weren't bothered most mornings (because we were up early to hit the rope drops), I really noticed the noise on the morning of our planned sleep in day. The Celebrate song and cheering crowd did wake me up earlier than desired. I would say that those people staying out late and waking up eary probably won't be bothered by the noise. But those people who like to sleep in or go to bed early MAY be bothered by CM. So, I would recommend always requesting a room away from CM. BUT, if you end up getting a room near CM, it's not the end of the world. That's my two cents anyway.

    6) We rented a Boston Whaler at the CR marina and had a great time cruising around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. We've rented the Sea Raycers before and were always a little intimidated by the bigger boats. We felt more comfortable in the Boston Whaler, and we were able to all go in one boat, which saved us some money. I had the chance to buzz by many sights, including the remains of my beloved childhood water park River Country. We had a great time on the water and I would highly recommend trying to get out for a cruise during your stay.

    7) I named this post "Mini Trip Report" when I started. It turned out to be not so mini - I had way more to say than I originally thought.

    I think that's it. Again, we had another great stay at the CR and we'll most definitely be back - if not next year then in the next few years. Cheers!
     
  4. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    Thank You so very much for shareing the pics and for the great review. CR is on my bucket list maybe for next year:)
     
  5. Music City Mama

    Music City Mama DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for your review and photos. It sounds like you had a great time despite some inconveniences (I'm laid back, too, but the shower not draining properly would have really bothered me).

    Can you tell me more about your Boston Whaler experience? We were initially thinking about renting sea raycers, but have been leaning towards having us all in one boat. Do you have any photos?
     
  6. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    Tables in Wonderland
    The Wave . . . of American Flavors Discovery Dinner

    At Disney’s Contemporary Resort
    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    6:30 p.m. Reception; 7:00 p.m. Dinner
    Meet at The Wave… of American Flavors Main Podium
    Dress Code - Casual Evening Attire

    $110 per person, includes tax and gratuity




    The Wave heralds the end of Florida’s Spring Season with the finest Triple Sweet Corn from Long & Scott Farm in Zellwood. Hank Scott and family recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of their farm with the Central Florida community. Long & Scott’s agri-tainment division, Scott’s Maze Adventures, hosts over 30,000 guests each fall. The farm also boasts Scott’s Country Market, an on-site farmer’s market that features produce grown on the farm, as well as local produce. Long & Scott’s newest venture – Scott’s Country Café, features the Scott family recipes, most of which are made from the café’s own garden. The Scotts remain proud of their farm and are looking forward to celebrating their 51st anniversary in 2014.


    Our wine speaker, Scott Jenkins was working in residential real estate when he met Lisa, the daughter of the Duck Pond wine maker. Lisa had recently graduated from college and was helping her family market and distribute Duck Pond wines. Scott utilized his sales and marketing background by consulting Lisa to help her in sales, marketing and distribution. When Scott and Lisa married in 1996, Scott joined the family enterprise full-time, taking charge of all sales and marketing. Lisa shifted her role to manage day-to-day activities as Operations Manager.


    Through extensive traveling Scott has built up a loyal, worldwide network of distributors and retailers who promote the wines enthusiastically. Scott has chosen to keep the wines affordably priced even though they continually win awards and critical praise. This value-priced approach and Scott’s near constant traveling has increased sales from 20,000 cases to more than 125,000 cases of wine annually in 43 states and 22 countries.






    Reception-
    Miniature Tamales with Carnitas and Queso Blanco
    Lump Crab and Corn Hush Puppies with Bourbon Drizzle
    Zellwood Corn and Serrano Ham Lollipop Beignets with a Cayenne Pepper Aioli
    Duck Pond Pinot Noir- Willamette Valley, Oregon


    First Course
    Temaki Roll with Jumbo Lump Crab, Saku Tuna, Wasabi Sour Cream and Ginger Air, Corn Caviar
    Desert Wind Ruah – Columbia Valley, Washington


    Second Course
    Sweet Corn Agnolotti with Carbonara Cream, Sous Vide Quail Eggs, Parmigianino Foam
    Duck Pond Pinot Gris- Willamette Valley, Oregon


    Entrée
    Frank-Smoked Sea Salt Crusted Buffalo Tenderloin, Corn and Lobster Flan, Roasted Local Red Beets, Vidalia Onion
    Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon– Columbia Valley, Washington


    Cheese Course
    Thomasville Tomme
    Midnight Moon Goat Cheese
    Black Diamond Cheddar
    “Candy Corn” Croutons and Florida Peach Marmalade
    Duck Pond Red Blend- Willamette Valley, Oregon


    DESSERT-
    Sweet Corn Brown Butter Napoleon, Chocolate Caramel Corn
    Duck Pond Gewurztraminer- Columbia Valley, Washington


    For reservations, please visit the following website www.disneyurl.com/TIWTheWaveMay for self-booking and instant confirmation. The website will go live and begin taking reservations on May 2, 2013 at 10:00am.


    Please have the following information ready:
    Tables in Wonderland Ticket Number starting with the “W”
    First and Last Name of everyone in your party (maximum is Party of 8)
    Home address
    Phone number
    Credit Card Number
    Billing Address of the Credit Card (Your credit card will be charged at the time of booking, and you will receive an immediate confirmation email.)
    Personal Email Address (Please use a personal email address as many work email addresses think the confirmation email is spam.)
    Special Dietary Needs (if any)


    Guest Policies
    The event is limited to 46 Guests, and is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.
    You must show your valid Tables in Wonderland ticket to gain entrance into the event.
     
  7. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    Thank you for posting some photos while you were there and yes, there is nothing sadder than getting the bill:sad2:

    Really appreciate you asking about CG - my head is spinning! June? July? September? Well, as we get closer to summer, they should have a better idea. I can contact the IPO and ask them to make a reservation for us if it opens up during our stay or before.



    It's all up to you now that you're our remaining onsite CR POC! (No pressure:rolleyes1)

    I have no experience requesting a GW ground floor, but just make sure it's in your reservation at least 5 days prior to arrival then ask again at check-in. The odds are in your favor that your request will be granted.

    Found this on themouseforless site:

    Guests staying on or off Disney property can make Advance Dining Reservations. Those staying at a Disney owned-resort can book their reservations 180 days in advance, plus up to 10 days of their vacation stay, giving them an advantage over other potential diners to book all of their dining reservations at once. Guests staying at non-Disney owned hotels or resorts may book dining reservations 180 days in advance of their preferred dining dates, which means they will need to reserve dining for each day of their vacations, one day at a time if beginning 180 days out. When calculating ADR dates, WDW guests should use their check-in dates (up to 190 days out) rather than their preferred dining date...



    Have you gotten the bands yet? Would love to see your view. Have a great vacation!

    What a great TR and photos - thank you for taking the time to post! I'm so sorry about your brother, but happy to read that the CR holds special memories for you.

    Your TPV photo will be helpful for all who might be on the fence about booking TPV since the bus stop expansion construction is ongoing. Thanks for including it.

    The infrastructure issues you mentioned are worth noting and ITA that while they don't ruin a vacation, they are a distraction and taken in their totality do decrease the value you feel you're getting for your money. Just curious, but did you mention any of your observations to a GM or CM? IMHO, the age of the hotel should have nothing to do with its upkeep. The Greenbrier in WV, for example, is very old, but maintained impeccably. I recall that when BLT was brand new, there were already reports of damaged furniture due presumably to careless movers. Disney Resorts needs to pay closer attention to the details of their resort's condition, whether brand new or "vintage." Guests DO care and DO notice the little things, which do add up to the big picture.

    My DD14 is now the same way as your boys and enjoys being in the park during PM EMH (she's also sun averse:upsidedow), so walking back and forth to the MK or monorailing to Epcot from CR/BLT makes this so easy.

    Do you have plans to return? Will you stay at the CR on your next vacation?

    Thanks again for all the photos and TR, Marshal;)
     
  8. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    Have a great trip :cool1:.

    Love the pics.....the room looks so clean and crisp....thanks for posting :goodvibes.

    I first want to say that I'm sorry about your brother, but I'm glad the CR gives you comfort.

    Thanks for posting your review. We are trying the CR for the first time in December and while it's never been a resort that has appealed to us as far as theme/decor, we are looking forward to giving it a try. Seeing pics and reading lots of recent reviews makes me think we made a good choice in choosing the CR. Glad you had another great stay and will be returning :).

    Just wanted to say "hi" KOOK :wave2:
     
  9. stink

    stink Mouseketeer

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    In exactly :hourglass two weeks from today :hourglass I will be ME going to BLT :cool1::cool1::cool1: , can't wait !
     
  10. MrsBlovesDisney

    MrsBlovesDisney DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for your review Georgi!! :thumbsup2

    We are here until Tuesday.....and I can add/agree with your experience. (As I am currently doing laundry in the GW) lol! ( or should I say boohoo)!!;)

    First off.....thx for the reminder.....I need to make sure I either call Housekeeping or let the staff on our floor know that our tub is not draining ;)

    Love, love, love the view!! Can't beat it (really don't think there's a bad TP view....whether ur on the lowest floor or the highest floor)!:cool1:

    Elevators......grrrrr! Yup.....not great, not horrible....just not great at the moment. They are indeed working on elevators at this time (must be a long intense rehab);). Just a bit of an inconvenience is all. :)

    We also take advantage of the Marina. We typically take out a pontoon each day of our visit (keep in mind that our Autistic DS15 isn't much for rides.....EXCEPT for the monorail which we are ON more than we are not :( ). Today DS would like to take out a Whaler....so that's what we'll be doing IF the weather cooperates!! :confused3. I prefer the pontoons only because they're more comfortable to lounge on. :)

    Now please keep in mind that "The CR will always be our first love".....HOWEVER ( lol).....since we have had the opportunity of staying at the BLT in a 1BDRM, 2BDRM, and the Grand Villa.....it is quite difficult to stay in a "one room":rotfl2:!
    My son didn't understand where the fridge was, and kept searching for another room....poor kid! :sad2:

    I "MISS" the convenience of doing laundry in the privacy of my own room (although I SO appreciate this site which is REALLY passing the time...only 22 more minutes on the dryers ;))!! Thx folks!!!

    Also.....really like having more than one bathroom haha! :goodvibes

    We will likely stay at the BLT on future visits (UNLESS it's by miracle just Hubby and me)!! ;)

    We talk all the time about trying another resort. But from past experience (Many of you KNOW what I'm talking about):rolleyes1, we are so afraid we won't "feel the magic"....and then will have to beg and plead for a last minute room! :rotfl2: not even the Poly nor the GF will do it for us!:confused3. Oh well....stick with what you love I guess!!

    FYI....the GF construction is coming along nicely, once it's done it'll look like it was always there! Food for thought tho....it's gonna be one heck of a schlep to get to the monorail / main building. :confused3. The GF is beautiful, just not my cup of aftn tea. ;)

    Ok....so my peaceful morning was interrupted by a visit from DH and DS. Had to hand over the ipad so DS could play Temple Run!

    (Just got back on to say.....heading out! Have a magical day all!!):thumbsup2
     
  11. jdcthree

    jdcthree DIS Veteran

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    Georgi - I'm sorry about your brother. Thanks for the review!
     
  12. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    :wave: Hope you're having a great weekend. Lots of rain in your area?

    :yay:

    So great hearing form you LIVE:thumbsup2. Hope you didn't overload your dryer and don't forget that you can change the TV channel;)

    What is with those elevators? It seems to be a perpetual problem at the CR. Even back in 2010 when we last stayed there CL, one set would not go to the 12th and you would have to take a different elevator. I recall our Bellman could not get to the 12th floor so we instead had to go to the 14th, get off and go back down to the 12th in a different elevator. How hard can it be to fix them:confused3

    So cute your DS couldn't find the fridge and I'm sure he's still looking for that bathroom (and Mom might just be looking for that whirlpool tub;)). Do I see a BLT BB in your future?
     
  13. DemonLlama

    DemonLlama DIS Veteran

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    We just returned from our stay at the Contemporary April 12-18.

    We were there for a conference and had been on the phone asking if the conference rate was available in the Tower. The other option was the Poly, which we've also always wanted to stay at. We couldn't believe they'd gotten the lower conference rate to include the Tower, but after four people confirmed it, we booked. (Reminder to self: if it sounds too good to be true...)

    Surprise! No Tower.

    And, of course, all the rooms were booked at the Poly by the time we checked in and were told we were in the Garden Wing.

    To say we were disappointed would be understatement city.

    I think the girl checking us in did the best she could, though, after calling everyone she could and getting the "no" answer, and gave us room 5150, first floor in the far corner, along the waterfront with a private patio. It was incredibly quiet and secluded, with a few ferries passing by.

    It was a lovely room, spacious and private, although twice as far from the MK as the Tower (and .3 miles isn't that far except when you're dog tired)

    Part of the wing is undergoing refurb now, so you couldn't walk through the end closest to the Tower in the AC, but had to go around and in the center lobby area.

    We did have to turn on the tub to get hot water going in the sinks each time, and I'm guessing this may have been due to the farthest reaches from the water heaters.

    The only thing that frustrated me about the room (other than it wasn't in the Tower) was the AC's insistence on turning off. There seems to be a motion sensor that activates only when someone is upright and moving. When you're sleeping, it will not continue to run and warms back up. You have to get up out of bed to make it start again. Literally, not cool.

    But you cannot beat that walkway to the MK at night, when the throngs are pressed like cattle waiting for the buses and the monorail and the ferries, and you're just sauntering along, usually alone, on that little walkway with your hotel right across the street. Since we are MK junkies, this feature trumps pretty much everything else, making old, less "themed" hotel still very attractive.

    A few pictures

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    The carpet mystery. From pictures I've seen, the one section here is the update?

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    From around the corner, walking to the MK from the far end of the Garden Wing:
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    The bus expansion at the MK, and flags at half-staff for Boston:

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    The marsh rabbit near the lobby:
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    Overview, our room is on the far right end, smallest rectangle:
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  14. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    :yay:

    Sorry you're missing the extra bathroom and washer/dryer, but sounds like you're having a great trip otherwise :goodvibes. Have a great day today and enjoy the next few days before heading home.

    Thanks....hope you're having a great weekend as well :goodvibes. We had a lot of rain last week with more on the way this week :sad2:. It's also been pretty cold, but hopefully the temps will start to warm up soon so we have a little bit of spring weather and not get hit with summer temps right away.

    I'm sorry you weren't able to get a tower room, but I hope you had a great time staying in the GW :). We've never stayed at the CR, but have walked there from the MK and it is a nice perk (especially at the end of the night). The pics are great.....thanks for posting them and also for your review :goodvibes.
     
  15. Georgi Zhukov

    Georgi Zhukov Earning My Ears

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    You're welcome Mrs. B! Ha, I took most of the pictures when we first walked through the door after check-in. You don't want to see what the room looked like after my boys got hold of it!

    No problem sjs. Hope you get to cross the CR off of your bucket list soon!

    Yeah Mama, I called that one in right away - as soon as I got out of the bathroom!

    Unfortunately, no photos of the Boston Whaler trip. I was driving and wasn't able/allowed to take any pics. We've done the Raycers a couple of times in the past. They are fun as well but my boys were too young to go on themselves so my wife and I had to take one boy each. My wife wasn't crazy about driving out on the lake so she didn't want to do it again. I originally thought about taking one kid out at a time but that would have taken too long. When I realized we could all go in one boat, I decided to give it a try. I used the 15% off voucher received with my Magic Your Way package so it wasn't that bad.

    No problem Kook - was the least I could do considering all of the helpful info you and my fellow DIS'ers have given me over the years. And thanks for saying sorry about my brother - that was very nice of you.

    A little more context on the CG renovation. My wife went down to the Concierge Desk to print off our boarding passes Friday morning - I gave her instructions to ask again about the CG for you. My wife says the woman printing out our boarding passes said "July." There were two other CM's at the Concierge and when they heard July they immediately jumped in with a firm "no" and said they believed it won't be ready until September. My wife said they seemed very confident. Let's hope they are wrong and that it opens sooner.

    Of course you are right about the CR infrastructure issues. Many hotels around the country are as old or older and seem to be more well maintained. So I think Disney is taking advantage of its loyal customers by not correcting the many reoccurring problems reported on this board. You're also right about reporting these issues. Other than the bathroom issue, we let everything slide and didn't report anything. I am going to follow up with an email to a GM outlining all of the issues experienced this trip and past trips. It can't hurt.

    No plans as yet to return. We're still considering a non-WDW vacation in 2014 but we won't be deciding on that for a while. If we do return I think we'll definitely be back at the CR. It's just the right hotel for us and is the place where we "feel the magic" as Mrs. B so wisely put it. As you may recall, we had originally booked this trip at the Boardwalk and then had second thoughts and switched back to the CR.

    Anytime Nut and thanks for the kind words about my brother. That was very much appreciated. :goodvibes

    I think you definitely made a good choice and hope you have a great first trip to the CR!

    No problem Mrs. B! You said it all very well. You now have me thinking about a BLT stay the next time we return!

    Thanks jdc, much appreciated! :goodvibes
     
  16. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks.....I hope we like the CR as much as you and others on these boards do :).
     
  17. inky dinky doo

    inky dinky doo <font color=FF6699>I've got the best cure for the

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    I got back one week ago tomorrow morning from a terrific conference/vacation stay at the Contemporary Resort/Bay Lake Tower. I intended to attempt a live report, but life (work) interrupted, and I just couldnt find the time. The next best thing is pictures, right? Here are a few to get us started. I'll continue to post as I load them to Photobucket. Enjoy!!

    The conference came first, so I started off my stay in garden view, room 5360.

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    Here are a couple of pictures of the lobby on my floor. As somone else said, the shortcut was closed during the renovation, hence the blue sign you see in the background. It was reminder that you needed to use the main entrance.

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    Looking down the hallway, toward my room.

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    More to come . . .
     
  18. inky dinky doo

    inky dinky doo <font color=FF6699>I've got the best cure for the

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    The Contemporary has always been one of my favorite resorts, probably because it's the first resort we ever stayed in. This trip was no exception. I just loved this room.

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    I wish I taken a better picture of the little switches built into the frame at the head of the bed. I thought that was the neatest little touch and made it so easy to turn the reading light off, without getting out of bed. (You can kind see one of the switches, if you look at the frame on the second bed, above the pillow.

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    I took this picture to show how the bottom part of the TV 'credenza' lights up. I hadn't noticed this in any of the pictures I saw beforehand, so it was pleasant surprise. Also, note the opaque panels in the closets in the hallway and how they're lit up inside. They seem to shed just the right amount of light and lend a cozy feeling to the room.


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  19. inky dinky doo

    inky dinky doo <font color=FF6699>I've got the best cure for the

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    The "coffee nook" in the hallway . . .

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    A look into the bathroom. . .

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    Double sinks. . .

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    Mirrors . . .

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    The tub . . .

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    and the shower . . .

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    I loved this little marble shelf in the shower!

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    The towels, to the left of the door . . .

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    A peek into the separate toilet area . . .

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  20. inky dinky doo

    inky dinky doo <font color=FF6699>I've got the best cure for the

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    Here's the view from the window of room 5360. The parking lot was straight ahead, but this was just slightly to the right . . . and I LOVED it!!

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    A walk "home" from the Magic Kingdom . . .

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    Looking back at the Magic Kingdom. The picture was a little blurry, so I applied a special filter. ;)

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    Home sweet home, the entrance to Garden View (West, I think) . . .

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  21. MrsBlovesDisney

    MrsBlovesDisney DIS Veteran

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    Well I'll be dipped in snowflakes!! Thx for sharing that bit about the light under the TV!! I just found the switch!! How cute is that?!?! :thumbsup2
     
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