Sunday, April 6, 2014

Atrium Club at Disney's Contemporary Resort

We've explored the King Kamehameha Club Level at the Polynesian and the Kilimanjaro Club at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I thought that next we'd turn our attention to a very contemporary Walt Disney World resort club level...


There are so many lovely things about the Atrium Club Level on the twelfth floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort....not least of them is this view:


The vista of the Magic Kingdom is spread out before you as you have your morning club breakfast or relax in the lounge after a busy day in the parks.

 

There are not one but two club levels at the Contemporary!  The Tower Club is on the fourteenth floor and is for the guests staying in the suites (click here to read all about it!).  (IS there a 13th floor?  I don't know!)  The Atrium Club has the standard club concierge rooms and is the one we're looking at today - it's on the 12th floor, the highest floor that looks out over the atrium and Grand Canyon Concourse.


So when you're walking down the hallway from your room to the lounge, you'll look down on views like that.  And this...


The monorail adds so much pixie dust to the Contemporary!!


When you check in, you'll want to talk to one of the curbside or front desk cast members in the lobby.  They'll take you up in the elevator, and the Atrium's concierge desks are right there!  Just beyond them is the lounge:


I just love this club level area- it's so unique!  There's a funky slat wall dividing the lounge into two separate relaxing spaces.  On one side you have the bar where the food service happens, some tables, and the kid's area...


With Disney cartoons playing 24-7, naturally!


Also on this side of the wall are the drinks station and fridge.  On the other side are more tables and a tv lounge...

 

The way this lounge is divided up makes it feel more cozy and less crowded that other lounges.  Part of the open, airy feel probably also comes from the long wall of windows:


...complete with that castle view!


It is SO much fun to stand on that balcony and watch the many moods of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon.  There are some benches on the balcony, but no tables or chairs.  You can see the daytime fireworks going off during the castle show.  You can spot your other favorite resorts off in the distance...


Hey Poly!  Don't worry, I still love you too!!


I do adore the Polynesian, but it's hard to want to be anywhere else when you're in the Atrium Club, whether its seeing the sunshine shine on the spires or watching the rain clouds pass over a shadowy castle silhouette.  And the SUNSET - but we'll get to that in a minute.  First let's check out some of the FOOD...


Your club level dining schedule starts bright and early at 7 - the coffee is out earlier, but the croissants come out at seven, so you know that's the time that counts.  When staying club level, my family loves to check in as early as possible - your room might not be ready yet, but you'll get to enjoy the lounge and have a delicious club breakfast!  Breakfast hours are 7:00 to 10:30


Croissants AND toast.  This is vacation.  Carbs don't exist.


You NEED to have toast or a bagel at the Atrium Club because you NEED to use this toaster.  It is the fanciest toaster I have ever seen.  You put your bread in and it slowly, automatically lowers into the heating chamber - it's so futuristic!  PERFECT for the Contemporary!  (I know...I'm easily amused...)

 

The Atrium Club has one of the fancy nespresso machines with a hot and frothy milk dispenser for making chococcinos.  Or cappucinos.  Whichever you prefer.  There's also a lovely tea selection.

 

Who knew a coffee station could be so photogenic?  I love the pyramid of mugs!


The fridge is filled with cold pop and drinks all day long.  And can we just appreciate the resort logo on the fridge?  WITH a monorail?  It's the little things, guys.

In the afternoon you'll find light snacks - chips, gold fish, crackers, cookies - out from noon to 4.  But the real deliciousness comes out in the evening...


Dusk gathers over the Contemporary, and the evening offerings arrive in the Atrium Club.  They're out from 5pm to 7pm.


Time for dinner!  We really enjoyed the selection of appetizers.


I could've made a meal off of these rolls alone.  They were so light and fluffy and melted in your mouth - yum!

 

Once again the Contemporary impresses with labels and logos - not all of the club levels label their food offerings, but it's so nice when they do.  You don't have to sheepishly go up to the cast members and say, "What exactly is that tasty-looking thing??"  But, of course, if you did, they would nicely reply, "Why it's rock shrimp with hummus and lavosh."  Or, "Those are pot stickers and conch fritters."  Or, "That's sugar cane skewered chipotle chicken."  The selection changes every night!


There's peanut butter and jelly for the kids.

 

You'll also find crunchy crudite and gourmet cheeses, and as far as drinks go, there are various beers and wines.

 

Somehow I didn't get any photos of the alcohol, but I did snap a pic of the highball glasses they had out, I thought they were fun. ;)  We had the grounds of the Contemporary and the hidden Mickey watch shrubberies to look out over while we waited for desserts and Wishes...


We'll start with desserts - they're out from 8 to 10, and the selection changes every night for these as well.  One evening we found fruit tarts, blueberry squares, cannolis, and mini cheesecakes...


Another night there was a strawberry shortcake cup (which was wonderfully light and delicious!), a red velvet cake square, and rice krispie treats!


Chocolate chip cookies are a staple of Disney World resort club levels (usually they have oatmeal raisin and sugar varieties as well).  But at the contemporary they have whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (pictured above), and they are absolutely amazing.  Way better than the ordinary choc chip  - I wouldn't have guessed it!

Now that we've had our sweets we're ready for a nighttime spectacular.  As an Atrium Club guest, you'll have a room in the main tower of the resort - it might have a Magic Kingdom view, and it might have a Bay Lake view.

 

Our room was a Bay Lake view, which I actually really enjoyed.  We had a view of the castle right down in the lounge, so it was really fun to have a different vista in the room.  You could look out over the DVC Bay Lake Tower and scan the horizon for Disney landmarks - if you look closely, you can spot the Epcot ball and Everest!  But once sunset time comes, you'll want to be back in the lounge...


This was one of my favorite memories from our club stay, just sitting and enjoying the sunset.  The golden blaze of the setting sun poured into the lounge and suffused the whole space in its glorious light.


THAT LIGHT!  Looking out the window, you could watching the sun slowly sinking between the clouds and below the horizon.

 

Slowly the sky lit up...


...lovely blues and pinks and purples spread across the horizon...


...until even the castle was glowing with the beautiful light!


Watching a sunset from the Contemporary (you can see it beautifully from the stairwells as well!) is a show in and of itself - pure magic.


But there are other shows to see too - the Electrical Water Pageant makes its rounds on the Seven Seas Lagoon starting at 9 - first at the Polynesian then at the Grand Floridian.  You can see it off in the distance from the lounge.


The EWP moves to Bay Lake and plays off the Contemporary dock at 10:05 if you want a more up-close view!.  If the park is open late, it often does an encore performance in front of the Magic Kingdom.


And then of course there's Wishes!  They do pump in the music on the Atrium Club balcony, and although the castle is pretty tiny, it's still a magical view - and you don't have to fight the crowds afterwards!  You can just head back to your cozy Contemporary room. :)

5 comments:

  1. Well this looks pretty fantastic! I've never given much thought to staying at a club level...but after reading this, I'll have to give it some definite consideration for my next trip to Disney.

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  2. Do you have to be a Disney Vacation Club member to be able to enjoy this or can you just book a room on the floor? :3

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    1. Club Level is completely separate from the Disney Vacation Club - in fact, there are no club levels in the DVC sections of the resort.

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  3. So all of this is complimentary if you have an atrium club level room? Seems like you could save a lot in food costs.

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  4. I love club level at the Contemporary. We will be staying for a 2nd time next year and cannot wait. So I just have a questions about the check in process. At other resorts, someone usually meets you in the front of the lobby, however the last time we stayed at the Contemporary (2014) this didn't happen, and it seems like they may have a different process. Do you know where and with who we will be checking in with?

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