What happened to the observation deck on top of the Contemporary?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Sea-Donkey, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Sea-Donkey

    Sea-Donkey DIS Veteran

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    In 96, we went up there and took awesome pictures. If I remember right, we rode the elevator up and instead of going into the restaurant we went North and there was a walkway with rails with a great view of the Magic Kingdom. This past March, we couldn't even get the elevator to take us up there...I'm assuming now you have to eat a $100 meal to even get to the top?
     
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  3. Sea-Donkey

    Sea-Donkey DIS Veteran

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    This was in 92, to show you where I'm talking about and the view...I don't seam to have the 96 picture scanned.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

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    The walkway is still there. To go to the top, just visit the check in desk for California Grill and say you want to go to the bar. Although I've never encountered this, I've heard that if it gets really busy, they will only let you up if you have a dinner reservation.
     
  5. michvin

    michvin Mouseketeer

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    the fireworks from Contemporary. I believe, although not positive, that about 3 years ago they changed the policy that you had to be eating in the lounge or have a dinner reservation to access the observation deck.

    We have been there with ressies and have just showed up for the lounge (with the kids) and got a table. It is pretty crowded with diners, so I am guessing that in the past they might have had complaints or trouble dealing with crowds in the restaurant. I don't know for sure b/c I have only been there after the change was made.

    If you get there at 5ish, you can ask to be seated in the lounge. It can get pretty competitive getting a table in the lounge for dinner...lots of locals (like us) will just go in for the dinner and fireworks. Some people stay a long time...but ususally are eating/drinking the entire time so if you get there around 5:30/6 and want to see 8pm fireworks, you just need to stretch it out a bit. I don't know if they might let you go back up and watch if you have your reciept?
     
  6. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    That is basically what happened. Instead of just going up the elevator to the 15th floor, guests with ADR's check-in on the 2nd floor and are taken up to the restaurant on a specific elevator. I also think it's the same thing if you just want to have a drink in thier lounge. I guess guests who were eating there must have complained about guests going up there for the fireworks.
     
  7. ducklite

    ducklite <font color=teal>Take the Poly, it's fabulous!<br>

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    Being one of those dining patrons who had my meal disrupted several times by obnoxious people who would crowd into the restaurant to see the fireworks but weren't eating there, kudo's to the CG for bringing some sanity back to the place.

    There is still a public viewing area on the 4th floor that anyone has access to, you will not be allowed to the 15th floor unless you've got a dinner reservation or there is room at the bar and you are dressed appropriately for a signature restaurant.

    And Sea-Donkey, it would be difficult for two to eat there for $100, expect it to run closer to $150 with tax and tip for two adults these days--more if you order alcohol.
     
  8. FirstNo

    FirstNo DIS Veteran

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    Still there. On a Sat in Dec, I went to the MK. When I was done, I rode the monorail over to CR, stepped into an elevator on the 4th floor and rode up to the 15th. Walked out, turned left and went out onto the observation deck in my sweatpants and tshirt. Stayed out for as long as I liked (15-20 min), walked back in, got back on the elevator and left. I'm trying to remember the time.....the parade was close to starting when I left MK and I could see parts of it from the roof. I want to say I got there right before 8 :)
     
  9. SandrainNC

    SandrainNC DIS Veteran

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    One thing I found out when we ate at CG in November is that if you finish dinner early (not around firework time), you can leave and then just show your receipt later to go back up to the observation deck to watch Wishes. We went back to the room, got the camera and jackets and then went back.

    Sandra
     
  10. GQ's Ghost

    GQ's Ghost Mouseketeer

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    FYI...you can go up tp the start of the club floors...10 I think? Go to the observation deck on that side, and use the outside stairs to go up to the top.
     
  11. ducklite

    ducklite <font color=teal>Take the Poly, it's fabulous!<br>

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    Considering that a key is required to get to the club floors or 15th floor, I'm not sure how people are getting on those floors as is being described.
     
  12. Sea-Donkey

    Sea-Donkey DIS Veteran

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    I was actually meaning $100 for one, I never mentioned a second person, nor did I mention jamming in with a huge crowd to see fireworks...I've only been up there during the day. I'm not upset, just clarifying.
     
  13. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    While I admit my family and I have gone up to the California Grill before the check-in process changed, it was only to look around the restaurant for a few minutes and that is what we told the host once we got off the elevator then they said go ahead. So it was not to watch the fireworks and we were not being obnoxious to anyone eating at the time.

    That is impossible and can not be done.
     
  14. GQ's Ghost

    GQ's Ghost Mouseketeer

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    And again, you are wrong. Yes it can. The outside observation decks are tied to the fire escape stairways.
     
  15. deej696

    deej696 They say the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime,

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    A crowded atmosphere is and has always been standard operating procedure at CG, especially during fireworks. Anyone who remembers when it was originally a bar knows that. Given the view and the semi-attraction that it is, its to be expected so I go into any meal at CG with these expectations. I would advise others to do the same, so there is no disappointment or frustration when the "obnoxious" people come to watch the fireworks....
     
  16. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    I realize that, but you can not access the 12th or 14th floors if you are not staying there, since you need to insert a KTTW card for the number to light up in the elevator. So in this case that is not a way to get around the rules of somehow getting into the California Grill without an ADR or going to the 2nd floor check-in and asking to sit at the bar.
     
  17. ducklite

    ducklite <font color=teal>Take the Poly, it's fabulous!<br>

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    It's an award winning restaurant that commands a $150+ price tag for dinner for two. It is absolutely not expected that you'll be disrupted by looky-loo's while dining at an establishment like that. Obviously the CG management realizes that it had become quite a problem, and they took steps to make the dining experience free from unneccesary people being there, therefore more pleasant for those actually dining there by restricting access to the 15th floor.
     
  18. magicmouse2

    magicmouse2 DIS Veteran

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    We had the best meal at WDW at the Cali Grill in September. I am glad they implemented the new policy. There were only 1 or 2 other families/couples who went outside to view the fireworks, and it was magical. I can imagine it being totally opposite if everyone was allowed up there. :goodvibes
    Personally, I would not like someone walking round to check out the restaurant whilst I was having dinner.:sad2:
     
  19. FirstNo

    FirstNo DIS Veteran

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    I agree completely which is why I've never walked through the restaurant to go to the observation deck. I use the one on the side closest to Bay Lake. I couldn't begin to tell you what the restaurant looks like except to say they have a small waiting area (around the elevators), but it looks nice. Not my cup of tea.

    As to exiting out the side of the building and walking up (for another poster), you most certainly can. It's a fire exit and is not locked from the inside.

    As to how I went up, I didn't push any button. People up top wanted to leave. I rode all the way up to the 15th. Living here, I'm not in any hurry. If it didn't go to the top, eventually, I would have taken it up as far as I could and then walked out the fire escape and made my way up.
     
  20. senecabeach

    senecabeach Have a Disney Day !!!

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    Ah...the days it was the "Top of the World Dinner Show" and what a "great" (Broadway type) show it was.:cloud9:
    Then fireworks time..intermission...and a quiet room and observation deck of people really enjoying the Magic!! :dance3:
     
  21. Gillian

    Gillian <marquee><font color=green>I'm the only crazy disn

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    We ate an early dinner there in December, and our server mentioned that we could come back later to watch the fireworks. He also said we could bring our kids. I found that thoughtful of him, as he knew that we were planning to pick them up after dinner. It's good to know that you don't have to plan your meal around Wishes, and that you still get the perk of using the observation deck later in the evening. That must also eliminate the problems of people eating very slowly and just hanging around.
     

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