Disney Vacation Planning: Is the Club Level for Me?
View of the Contemporary pool area and Bay Lake from our room on the 12th floor
By: Rebecca Farrell (Follow me on Twitter @RMZFarrell)
So you've decided to plan a trip to Walt Disney World – that’s fantastic! Now come all of the hard decisions…when to go, where to stay, where to eat, the list goes on and on.
I’ve blogged already about my Disney favorites, both resorts and restaurants, so I wanted to dive a bit deeper into one of the rare hotel accommodation experiences at the happiest place on earth – the Club level of the Contemporary Resort.
Hotel categories: A refresher
Disney has three levels of hotels: value, moderate and deluxe. If you want to split hairs, over and above the deluxe level are the Club (or Concierge) level rooms and Deluxe Villas. The Villas are part of the Disney Vacation Club and include kitchens, multiple bedrooms, etc., designed to house large families. The Club level comes complete with a lounge and exclusive access to concierge staff that can help with everything from package delivery to dining reservations and even bottles of water to carry to the parks.
Why Club level?
On our recent “switcheroo trip” to Disney, my husband and I knew that we would be taking frequent breaks from the parks and also have several rest days built into our itinerary. Keeping this in mind, having a dedicated lounge with drinks and snacks was something we would definitely take advantage of during the trip. Our travel agent priced out several of the deluxe resorts and club level rooms for us – and we found the best price was at the Contemporary.
The Contemporary’s Club Level
The Atrium Club level of the Contemporary has rooms on both the 12th and 14th floors of the hotel. As of January 2013, the 14th floor rooms are under total renovation – and we did hear some construction noise during the day. Our room was on the 12th floor and had fantastic views of Bay Lake, both hotel pools and on clear days we could see all the way to Epcot. The lounge, also located on the 12th floor, has sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom, providing an IDEAL vantage point for watching the Wishes fireworks and Electrical Water Pageant each night.
What’s for eats?
Each morning, coffee is set out at 6:30am (there is also an espresso/cappuccino maker), followed by a continental breakfast from 700-10:00am. We took advantage of the coffee EVERY day – using the larger mugs from the coffee maker in our room and often enjoying coffee on our balcony. Later in the day, there are refreshments and snacks available (Goldfish crackers, homemade potato chips, Gummy bears), and the service switches to “wine and cheese” from 5-7pm that includes beer and cordials as well as two rotating hot hors d'oeuvres. From 7-10pm, dessert is available. ALL DAY there are cold sodas and juice, water and iced tea and fresh fruit (apples, bananas and oranges).
As I mentioned above, having dedicated concierge staff available from 7am-10pm each day was a godsend for us. We used them extensively, and they were able to help us with spa reservations, dining reservations, luggage delivery, package delivery and they provided us with bottled water and bagged snacks to take into the parks.
Is it for me?
As you may have guessed, the Club level rooms are expensive. And if I wasn't pregnant, it would not have made sense for us to spend the extra money for this level of service because we’re seasoned Disney travelers who would have spent 12 hours a day at the parks and not in our room or at the pool. But for this trip, with all of the breaks, changes, and much-needed rest, it was exactly what we needed.
View of Cinderella's Castle at night from the Contemporary Club Level Lounge
View of Space Mountain from the Contemporary Club Level Lounge