Incredibles Injection Coming to Contemporary Resort at Disney World
Walt Disney World has shared a sneak peek at the newly reimagined guest rooms at Contemporary Resort and other changes coming to the hotel. This post features photos of the “Incredibles Injection,” first impressions on how these compare to other refurbished rooms in WDW hotels, and more. (Updated August 20, 2021.)
Let’s start by quickly recapping what’s happening with Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This was actually the first Deluxe Resort (non-DVC) to reopen at Walt Disney World last summer, with many guests being relocated to it since their chosen hotels were closed. We did a stay around then, and shared thoughts in Contemporary Resort Report: Good Garden, Terrible Tower?
As other Deluxe Resorts came back online, Walt Disney World flipped the script and quietly began moving guests from the Contemporary to other resorts for stays early this year through Fall 2021. Then came the official announcement from Walt Disney World that the A-Frame Tower of Disney’s Contemporary Resort would take its guest rooms out of commission in phases for room overhauls. Now, we have official details about what’s being done, plus confirmation that it’s the long-rumored Incredibles Injection. Here’s the update from Walt Disney World…
Per Disney, “Imagineering is continuing to build on the optimistic spirit of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, enhancing the retro-modern aesthetic evoking Tomorrowland…with a dash of something Incredible.”
With Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary is only months away in October, all nine floors of guest rooms in the Contemporary’s tower are being completely refurbished. Here’s a first look at the new décor debuting this fall.
These guest rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will feature a Monorail motif and characters from Pixar’s Incredibles films, including Jack-Jack, Frozone, and Edna Mode.
New artwork in guest rooms and along guest corridors will be incorporate the aforementioned characters in modern designs, putting the Supers’ powers on display.
In the lobby, you’ll soon see a collection of modern art pieces as well as historical, behind-the-scenes photographs of Disney’s Contemporary Resort in development and under construction.
Editorializing a bit, our hope is that Imagineering leans heavily into the history of the Vacation Kingdom of the World. Send a team to Disneyland Hotel to see how it’s done there, as that resort’s use of nostalgia is pitch-perfect and could be replicated to great success at the Contemporary.
Additionally, the Wave of American Flavors is making way for a reimagined dining experience in time for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration. While the Wave is underrated from a culinary perspective, it’s design is dull and the restaurant is unpopular, so we’re on board with whatever is being done to refresh that dining option.
Given that this is in the lobby, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this draw on Walt Disney World history, a la Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel. (Eh, it’ll probably be Incredibles-inspired, but we can dream!)
AUGUST 20, 2021 UPDATE: Walt Disney World just announced the following and released the above graphic: “We’re cooking up new experiences at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration!” Steakhouse 71 will be a casual dining concept that gets its name from the resort’s opening year, plus, a new dining experience is coming to California Grill.”
Once the A-Frame tower guest rooms are complete, work will begin on the rooms inside the Garden Wing out on the shore of Bay Lake.
Those are the only details shared thus far, but Walt Disney World indicates that they’ll have more to share on this project in the months to come while getting ready for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” beginning October 1, 2021.
Now let’s offer some commentary. For those who are new to the blog, Imagineering’s spotty track record with room redesigns has been an area of acute interest for us. We do dozens of Disney hotel stays every year, and have previously reviewed and scored all of the past room redesigns. Notable posts on the subject include the following:
- All Star Movies (B)
- Animal Kingdom Lodge (A-)
- Beach Club (D)
- Old Key West (C)
- Pop Century (B)
- Riviera Resort (A)
- Saratoga Springs Resort (A-)
- Wilderness Lodge (B)
- Yacht Club (B+)
(For other resorts, see our regularly-updated Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page.)
We’ll withhold final judgment until completing an actual stay, but our first impression of the new Incredibles-inspired rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is relatively positive. Honestly, they aren’t my favorite rooms ever, but they feel like a Disney-meets-contemporary room design, which was undoubtedly the goal.
These new rooms are bright and airy, and balance an array of colors without looking overly busy. The swooping lines and stylization are clean and evoke a mid-century modern aesthetic. The integration of characters is a bit more than I’d like to see, but it’s fairly tasteful and at least some of those details are “hidden.”
These designs aren’t to my tastes, but I like the idea of bed throw pillows. If Walt Disney World is going to forever do away with bed runners (a hospitality industry trend they should not have followed, in my opinion) these should be the alternative so the rooms look a little less sterile.
Likewise, the patterned carpet directly under the beds is a solid improvement that makes the flooring less boring. We hope to see this style make its way to more resorts, as replacing carpeting with laminate floors has left something to be desired. This would appear to remedy that.
As with new room designs before it, the Incredibles rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort appear to have a number of “quality of stay” improvements.
From added storage space for luggage to lighting and outlets, the features have been plussed in a variety of ways. For anyone valuing function over form (or even in addition to it), these new rooms will be an unequivocal upgrade over the old ones.
@disneyparksWe’re unmasking the new Incredibles themed rooms at Disney’s ##ContemporaryResort ✨ ##Disney ##DisneyParks ##DisneyWorld ##Incredibles ##RoomTourâ™¬ original sound – Disney Parks
Above is video of the new Incredibles-inspired rooms that Disney shared on TikTok.
These seem okay enough, but I cannot say I thought the guest rooms were previously the biggest problem point at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. To the contrary, I actually liked the “old” rooms. More than these, to be honest.
With that said, I can recognize that they were dark, a bit dated, and probably in need of a refresh. This isn’t the direction I would’ve gone, but to each their own.
As discussed at great length in our Contemporary Resort Construction Update, which features extensive photos of what the work-in-progress overhaul looks like, the biggest issue with the hotel is its atrium.
As encapsulated in the photo above, the Grand Canyon Concourse at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is an absolute visual hodgepodge. In this shot, there are 5 different styles of carpet and 4 different types of tiles (that’s not counting the deliberate pattern choices around the buffet at Chef Mickey’s).
These are not part of a coherent aesthetic. They’re the result of Disney’s Contemporary Resort having visual clutter added over the course of several years, with more and more stuff (PG term) added over the years without any cohesive vision. It has been literal decades since the Contemporary has had a top to bottom overhaul. Instead, junk has been added in a piecemeal approach over the years.
If you were to stand in the center of the hallway above Grand Canyon Concourse, you could count even more disparate styles, as the various gift shops on the other side have their own styles, as does the center of the atrium. I’m a big fan of patterns and textures, but not like this.
It all looks garish, dated, and most certainly not Contemporary. More like a dying mall from the late 1990s. If I were paying $700 per night (and up!) to stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, I’d be disappointed by this. Heck, I’m disappointed by it even when visiting, as I know this is supposed to be an iconic and historic hotel lobby/atrium. The only thing “incredible” about the Grand Canyon Concourse is how far it has fallen over the years.
Ultimately, my opinion on this project are complicated. It’s nice to see Disney’s Contemporary Resort seeing long overdue love. I’m not bothered by the character integration, which I find mostly tasteful. I don’t love or hate these rooms–I prefer the old ones while being more or less indifferent to the new designs.
With that said, I’m cognizant that these lighter, brighter, and more fun new rooms will appeal to a broader range of guests, so that’s a plus. I’m also heartened by the idea of historic photos in the lobby–we’ve long suggested that Contemporary Resort should take a page out of the Disneyland Hotel playbook and become a “love letter to Walt Disney World.”
However, it appears to me that the priorities of this project are out of whack. The guest rooms could’ve used some upgrades, no doubt. But on a list of things that needed improvement at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, they wouldn’t have cracked my top 10. The far greater problem points were in the lobby, atrium, restaurants, and retail.
At present, it sounds like only some of those issues will be addressed. If Disney’s Contemporary Resort emerges from this reimagining without a decluttered and modernized Grand Canyon Concourse, it’ll be a fail–no matter how good (or bad) the guest rooms.
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What do you think of the new Incredibles-inspired rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort? Disappointed that nothing was announced for the Grand Canyon Concourse, or do you think we’re overstating its faults? Think this reimagining will work with the hotel theme, or is it an unnecessary character addition? Have you stayed at the Contemporary in the last few years? Do you think the resort is dated and tired, or still has a contemporary atmosphere? Think the Grand Canyon Concourse, guest rooms, or both need an overhaul? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Other thoughts or concerns? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Personal taste and design aesthetics aside, one of the main issues with Disney using the Incredibles for this remodel is the fact that a lot of Disney fans don’t realize the movies are supposed to be set in the 1950s-1960s. No matter how many times Pixar tells us this, the truth is Pixar failed at clearly establishing the time period in the movies themselves. Sure, there are plenty of tells in the movies for people who grew up then, but if you didn’t live through that time period, the cultural references go over the viewers’ heads. When most people think of the Incredibles, they don’t think of the mid 20th century – they think of the time period the movies actually came out in, the 2000s. That’s why there’s so much confusion over Disney’s decision to “slap” the Incredibles into a mid-century modern setting.
I love the Incredibles and i think the room is an improvement from the darker rooms before. I’ve only stayed once at the contemporary and it was the garden building and it was $75 a night i think my Dad told me…a LONG time ago. I don’t think i’ll ever be able to stay here for $700 a night as much as i’d love to. The couch is fun, but would be better facing the television and i’d love to see a sputnik light in there.
Great articles Tom. I love reading them.
Will the couch convert to a bed? Lots of people like sleeping space for 5. Or, like our family, have kids that are restless sleepers and wake each other up if they have to share a bed.
Hi Tom, although I love the new rooms, our reservations were made at the contemporary Way before they decided to work on the rooms and they relocated us. I’m disappointed because they offered us the tower and I like staying at the A-frame, but there are no other amenities that we would be enjoying at the contemporary. From my understanding the restaurants are going to be closed we had free dining at the time and they took that away so I am in a debate whether to cancel or not at this time. We are very disappointed.
We have never stayed in the A-frame, but have stayed in BLT and enjoyed it. At least for the location. The rooms there are nothing special, but the view (MK) was wonderful!! While I LOVE the Incredibles, I agree that the rendering in the rooms you showed isn’t what I would have hoped for. I agree that more red and less white would have made the rooms a lot more inviting – a pediatric ward as mentioned above is apt. What I am really worried about, however, is what will be done to The Wave. It’s a go-to for us 3 or 4 times a year (every time we visit), whether it is just two of us (wife and me) or all 8, kids and grandkids. When I mention The Wave to the family, EVERYONE gets excited. It is contemporary. Some may find it a little “dull,” but we think it’s “comfortable.” The big draw, however, is the menu. The food is excellent. The Wave could easily be THE MOST underrated restaurant at WDW. I could, I suppose, live with a theme change, but I’ll be a much less frequent diner if it goes “steak-house.” There are a lot of pretty good steak houses off property, but no place close by has the great eclectic, contemporary American fare found in this wonderful secret(?) place.
(Because someone asked, my wife and I are in our early 70s and still working, SSR is our home resort, but we branch out a lot.)
Oh yeah, once again, Tom – I love your photography, and I try to emulate your “style” in a lot of my own work. Try is the operative word here. Keep those fine pics coming, please
Deb C – you would be correct about the age of people making comments. As one of the older people, I’m not averse to change. And as an older person, I make comparisons from what was then to what is now because I experienced all those changes.
While I vacation without children now, the child in me still exists. If it didn’t, I’d be vacationing on a lovely tropical island every year instead of at Disney.
I have stayed at almost all of the Disney Resorts, including deludes, but I have never been able to drum up the enthusiasm to stay at the Contemporary. I had been optimistic about the pairing of The Incredibles with the Contemporary, but I feel unmoved by this design. I feel like I will still be able to get all I need from this resort by taking the monorail over to eat dinner at the Cali Grill.
Awful is how I would describe all the new updates to the rooms. The ones I have seen and stayed in recently are cold and sterile and except for the lack of shag carpeting they remind me of ugly 50’s-60’s “modern”. Of course saying that I have stayed in nearly all the resorts over the years just reveals my age. Yup, I am old and my kids are grown.
Being in the hotel line of work, I noticed in your bedroom picture, the beds are no longer platform beds. What will amaze you is what will accumulate under there. Hotel cleaning staff, especially now, almost never checks or cleans under those none platform beds.
I’m “older” and I look the new look. I’ve never stayed at the Contemporary Resort before, mainly because I couldn’t stand the decor/theme. I might actually stay there now.
I’m with you! Can’t beat the location or the awesome balcony to see the fireworks…everynight.
AWESOME!!!! Stayed there a couple years ago and the location rocks but the hotel was pretty boring and outdated. Staying there again in January 2022 and so excited to see the rooms make over.
It would be interesting to hear posters’ ages and usual resort hotel along with the comments. I was thinking those posters who aren’t so fond of the renovation might be a bit older and the ones who like it might be younger or bringing smaller kids. Prove me wrong.
Add first-time and less-frequent guests to the latter column, and you are correct. At least, that was the case the last I had the rationale for these room redesigns explained to me, which was/is based upon Disney’s surveys. Can’t imagine things have changed since then.
I haven’t liked many of the recent room refurbishments, but I really like these. And I think I know why.
My biggest complaint abut previous room designs is that it was very standardized, sterile and not warm enough. That is true of these rooms as well. The difference is that going with the mid-century modern, Incredibles theme, this is the ONE place that actually works for me.
I still think this could have used more of the Incredibles red color, and more warmth, with a ben runner. But to me, is you want to go sleek and sterile-modern, this is THE resort to do it. It fits with the outside aesthetic of the resort and monorail. I love the shaping around the window and the diagonal line on the back wall.
The only part that is really meh is the bathroom, but I guess that’s par for the course at this point.
Anyway, this could have been a heck of a lot worse, and overall I like it. The old rooms fit my personal aesthetic better, but this is objectively *more* theming in this case, whereas so many refurbs have led to less overt theming. Anything more heavily themed gets a thumbs up from me.
Personally, I like the new rooms. That carpet is amazing and I love how they have incorporated the monorail, and the more hidden elements in the closet and drawer. My thought is that this is Disney, so let’s have some fun with it. On the other hand, that lobby is a HOT MESS!!!!! When I think of the lobbies in other resorts at this level (Animal Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, etc.) there is absolutely no comparison. I mean COME ONE! It’s just very sad and I am also baffled as to why they haven’t fixed this most glaring mistake.
Tom, I enjoy your reviews but why do you not date your posts? If I go to a review of another hotel, it’s hard to tell if it was written recently or years ago. Yes, I can pore through the review and find clues as to when it was posted, but it would be much easier if you just included a posting date at the top.
We have stayed at all the Disney hotels and we were actually married at the Wedding Pavillon. Having said that we are Florida residents so we don’t have a need to stay on property. I feel that even the most expensive Disney Resort Hotels do not measure up in decor and amenities. I have mostly been disappointed with the accommodations even at the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. We choose to stay at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes which is 15 minutes away but ions above Disney World hotels in room, amenities and customer service and many times it is cheaper than Disney Hotels.
I love the new rooms.
Sorry to say, but the refurbished room reminds me of a hospital pediatric floor. People say the Contemporary is the least Disneyfied hotel. I disagree. It was the hotel we stayed in on our first trip in 1973, and many trips after. There were only three hotels at the time – the Contemporary, the Poly and the Golf Resort (now Shades of Green).
I thought the Contemporary was the perfect respite after a day at Magic Kingdom, WDW’s only park at the time. With its laid-back atmosphere, the monorail quietly passing through, Mary Blair’s grand mural and its fine restaurants, it was (I thought) perfect. But then again, it was practically the only game in town as it was difficult to get rooms at the Poly and no one wanted to stay off the monorail loop at the Golf Resort.
Maybe I’m being nostalgic, but I think the Contemporary is Disney World’s most iconic hotel and its rooms should continue to have the class and elegance they once had. Even the Poly, as beautiful and tropical as it is, cannot compare to the historic tower of cement (with modular rooms) that is the Contemporary. Update the rooms but keep them historically Contemporary (an oxymoron, if I ever I saw one). Disney should should put their efforts into updating the Grand Canyon Concourse. On another note, sad to hear The Wave is going. Had a many a fine meal there. Even at the bar.
This is awful. I love the newer designs in CBR and Polynesian. But this totally misses the goal of updating the rooms.
In fact, the rooms look older somehow- like an All Stars feel to it.
The addition of Incredibles cheapens the room in my opinion.