Contemporary or Polynesian?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by FordFam, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. monica9

    monica9 DIS Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    I stayed Contemporary every year as a kid and loved seeing the monorail and have chef mickey there. We used to visit Poly and I always said one day I would stay there. This year we are and I can't wait. I know it's dated but I don't mind that since I went in the early 90's and remember it that way. We visit contemporary every year we go now and it just doesn't have enough themeing for me. I am one of those that thinks it feels like a conference center. It used to have a much stronger themeing back in the 80's/90's. But everyone is different so you have to consider not only the themeing but other aspects of it. The only pro Contemporary has over Poly in my opinion is their food court. It's great!
  2. EllNat11

    EllNat11 Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2010
    When I go with just adults, I prefer the Poly - i love walking the grounds and don't mind the QS, etc being farther from my room. When I had my kiddo, I much preferred the contemporary and the ability to walk to the MK and have all the amenities closer. I like the Poly theme more, but from a practical standpoint I preferred the Contemporary (although we always have a car, and it could be a pain at times getting to and from the contemporary). Full disclosure - we stayed in BLT when we stayed at the Contemporary. Truth told - I don't think you can go wrong with either. Have a great trip!
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  4. fairygagamother

    fairygagamother Mouseketeer

    Mar 27, 2012
    Nothing beats being at the poly to watch the fireworks from the beach (or the lounge, which you should price; with a family of five, just having free breakfast there could save you $) & then just going straight to your room without any transportation hassles.
    I’ve never stayed at the Contemporary , so I may be a bit prejudiced!
    Poly is my gkids absolute favorite!
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  5. Babsy

    Babsy DIS Veteran

    Oct 30, 2001
    we have chosen both at different times for different trips. both have their advantages. the theming is very different - does either one appeal to you over the other? Theming seems to be a huge factor when choosing a Disney resort for most people. The Poly has a wonderful ambience and gorgeous grounds with Tiki lights and lots of tropical foliage. There is a special feeling when you walk around this resort, greeting everyone with a happy 'Aloha'. Watching the fireworks from the beach at the Poly is a magical experience, with a front on view of the castle.

    Is swimming important to you? If so, you need to consider that the two Poly pools are much better themed than the plain concrete pool with a slide at the CR. On the flip side the pools are rarely crowded at the CR, but often busy at a the Poly. But you can see fireworks from the Poly volcano pool!

    Going to Epcot is easier from the poly than from the CR - you just walk to the ttc and get on the Epcot monorail. You have to change monorails at the TTC if going to Epcot from the CR.

    do you have plans to eat at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue? or plan to go to WL? If so, easier from the CR.

    Are you considering the tower at the CR? or garden wing? If you want a balcony and you are planning the CR tower then you will have a balcony. If planning the garden wing the n you have a 1/3 chance of a patio, whereas at the Poly you have a 1/3 chance patio and a 1/3 chance of a balcony.

    There are lots of things that can factor into your choice, but at the end of the day, either resort is a wonderful, magical experience. FWIW< may vote would probably be for the Poly as your children probably don't need strollers and they would probably en joy the pools and splash areas at the poly more than at the CR.

    Enjoy whichever you choose!
    PollyannaMom and mickeynut1 like this.
  6. clapton

    clapton DIS Veteran

    May 1, 2010
    Another vote for CR. My kids grew up going to the CR so for me it's iconic Disney and holds a lot of memories. We now own DVC there. We have stayed at Poly also and my daughter owns DVC there. Sorry but I just don't like the Poly, not a fan of the Polynesian vibe or Captain Cook's. Love the Contempo cafe at the CR and the walk to MK. They are two completely different resorts and no matter which you choose you can hop on the monorail and experience the other resort. Enjoy and have a great trip!!
    Monorail_Man_NJ likes this.
  7. Silvermist999

    Silvermist999 DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2010
    We’ve stayed three times at the Contemporary and twice at the Poly. I agree with everything positive that has been said about each resort, but I actually do not have anything negative about either resort! We love both, we only stay at the monorail resorts. With Contemporary you can walk to MK, with the Poly you can walk to the TTC to take the monorail to Epcot - love that little walking path!
  8. Anniefrances

    Anniefrances Mouseketeer

    May 15, 2010
    The modern, minimalist design of the room decor feels more upscale to me, as do the dining options. Compare The Wave with 'Ohana (relaxed vs noisy), California Grill vs. no signature, and Contempo Cafe vs. Captain Cook's (Contempo has more varied and healthier offerings, which feels more upscale to me). Also the espresso bar in the lobby of CR. I guess for me, it's in the details. And I have tried to find love for Poly - it's one of my kid's favorite resorts - but I just can't. In general, I prefer the Epcot resorts, but if choosing a MK resort, I would go with CR or even WL before Poly.
  9. Starwind

    Starwind DIS Veteran

    May 7, 2014
    In addition to the points above to consider for each, I would suggest you watch some videos of each online. There are some excellent ones that do room tours of rooms at each resort, that take you on a walking tour around each resort, that take you on a walk from contemporary to magic kingdom, from TTC to poly, from poly to grand floridian. In real time. You'll get a solid feel for each resort, its rooms, its atmosphere, etc.

    When we were first considering where to stay at WDW, pictures and videos of the resorts we were considering helped us rule in and rule out resorts and ultimately made clear where we wanted to stay.

    Also, you can always visit the other resort during your stay. One thing we like to do is a "resort hop" and visit certain other resorts during our stay [e.g. the Magic Kingdom resorts; or the monorail resorts].

  10. FordFam

    FordFam Earning My Ears

    Feb 22, 2018
    Thanks for all of your help everyone! We ended up going with the Contemporary! I am beyond excited & am having so much fun making dining reservations. Thanks for all of your input. Can’t wait!
  11. SharonZ

    SharonZ DIS Veteran

    Jan 2, 2002
    Loved the Contemporary, Poly - not so much.
  12. disney4us2002

    disney4us2002 Tagless by choice!!

    Jun 16, 2001
    My kids were 5, 8, and almost 12 when we were luckily transferred to the Contemporary because of the construction at Shades of Green. We probably would've never afforded it otherwise. My kids are now grown with many trips under their belts and their hands down favorite and best trip memories was the year we stayed at the Contemporary. I think you'll be very pleased.
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  13. monica9

    monica9 DIS Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    can you do a dvc club level?
  14. grannyminnie

    grannyminnie DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2007
    Hi Mickeynut. I always enjoy your positive responses and reading your Poly comments. I am beginning to understand more your love for the place. I recently did a spur of the moment solo trip to Disney the week before Christmas, and stayed at the Poly for a couple of nights. The coziness of the resort coupled with the Christmas decorations and just the general vibe of it has given me a love of it too. I might still have to say that the GF is my favorite, with WL coming in third, but I've chosen the Poly for my first ever birthday stay in March and am very happy to be going back!
    Summer2018, mickeynut1 and dansdad like this.
  15. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    Hi grannyminnie :wave:.....thanks so much for your kind words :).

    I'm glad you had a nice time and loved the Poly. The atmosphere/vibe of the resort and grounds is so beautiful and relaxing to me that it's always sad to leave. The Poly will always be my favorite overall, but the GF runs a close second. Enjoy planning your March trip. I hope you have a another great Poly stay :wizard:.
    Summer2018 likes this.
  16. lala5176

    lala5176 DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2014
    I have stayed at both but hands down prefer Polynesian. Theming is important to me and the Contemporary is really lacking in this department. IMO
    It’s a very nice resort but just not my favorite for that reason. Poly is very themed on the other hand.
    They are both very convenient to MK or Epcot and have lots of shopping and restaurants. We definitely enjoy the pools more at Poly. Although they seem a little less crowded at Contemporary. I think both are a great choice for a first stay on property! Poly just has the edge on Contemporary for my family. Have a great time deciding! Watch you tube videos and read trip reports here on Disboards!
  17. cinnaminny

    cinnaminny DIS Veteran

    Oct 18, 2017
    I think you made the right choice! I loved the Contemporary so much. I personally love the modern style. Being able to walk home in the evening if the monorail lines are out of control is splendid. And getting on the monorail is a breeze. In 10 days we hardly ever waited more than a few minutes to get our bags checked and it was all inside. The one time I visited the Poly it took over 10 min to get on the monorail. bleh.

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