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Disney's Contemporary Resort
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Dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

One of the most recognizable Deluxe Disney Resorts is Disney’s Contemporary Resort on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. The iconic structure features an A-frame design that was very modular and modern when it was constructed and opened with the Walt Disney World Resort in 1971.

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Guests love to spend time at Disney’s Contemporary Resort enjoying the beautiful grounds with views of both Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake as well as the main concourse area with a massive atrium featuring towering windows, monorail beams, and a stunning mural crafted by the famous Mary Blair.

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Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also home to plenty of wonderful dining options for Guests to enjoy that feature everything from grab-and-go snacks and small bites to signature dining at table service locations. Each restaurant at the Disney Resort features its own unique theming, atmosphere, and menu, and Guests will be sure to want to try them all! Here are the dining options offered at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

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California Grill

The most iconic dining option at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is California Grill, an upscale table service location situated at the very top of the Disney Resort. The restaurant features a modern interior with modular chandeliers, bright carpeting, and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Seven Seas Lagoon, the Magic Kingdom, and nearby Disney Resorts. There are also two outdoor observation decks where Guests can soak in the views as well as Disney Enchantment — Disney’s 50th fireworks show — each evening.

California Grill

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The menu at California Grill focuses on contemporary American cuisine with a blend of Californian flavors that are served for dinner only each day. Currently, the restaurant is featuring a limited-time 50th Anniversary Celebration Menu that features one set price for an appetizer, entrée, and dessert all of which celebrate the history of the Walt Disney World Resort as well as its future.

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The appetizer options at California Grill include sushi options such as the Cascade Roll with tuna, salmon, and Hamachi poke and the California Grill Sushi Classics Trio featuring a blue crab California roll, shrimp tempura roll, and spicy Kazan roll. Guests who want a lighter option can try the plant-based Heirloom Apple Salad with roasted honeynut squash, radicchio, almond feta “cheese,” pepita granola, and verjus vinaigrette.

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More indulgent appetizer options are the Lobster and Parsnip Bisque with lobster, champagne, crème Fraiche, and parsnip crisp as well as the Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons which feature doenjang miso-cola-onion sauce, crispy garlic-chili oil, radish, and pickled lotus root. The final appetizer option is the indulgent House-made Artisanal-style Duck A L’Orange Pizza which takes the French classic and updates it as a flatbread pizza with pickled shallots, orange-black mission fig jam, aged blue cheese, and arugula.

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The entrees are the real stars of dinner at California Grill and Guests can indulge in seafood options such as the Florida Coast Black Grouper or the Monterey Bay Cioppino with pink shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, butterfish, uni butter and crab sourdough, tomato broth, and handmade fregola.

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Steak lovers have several options to choose from at California Grill including the restaurant’s signature Oak-fired Filet of Beef which is served with black truffle-brown butter chateau potatoes, golden raisin vinaigrette, cauliflower, and roasted tomato butter. Steak lovers looking to share can enjoy the 35oz Beef Rib-Eye Tomahawk Steak for Two which is prepared to Guests’ liking and is served with two year-aged gouda macaroni and cheese, honey-glazed heirloom carrots, and black garlic butter.

California Grill

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The other dinner options at California Grill include a Cast Iron-grilled Pork Tenderloin with creamy goat cheese polenta, Free-range Plancha-seared Chicken, and plant-based Handcrafted Wild Mushroom Ravioli. There is really no wrong entrée entrée choice at California Grill as every single option is masterfully done!

To wrap up dinner at California Grill, Guests can enjoy one of several desserts that offer an array of flavors. Guests who enjoy sweet options can try the Valrhona Chocolate Torte, Lavender Sugar Doughnuts, EARidescent Grand Marnier Souffle, or Five Magical Bites 50 Years in the making with a sampling of small bites. Savory fans will love the Chef’s Selection of California Cheeses as the perfect way to end a meal at California Grill.

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Chef Mickey’s

Another popular table service restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is Chef Mickey’s, a classic character dining experience that is open daily for breakfast and dinner. Chef Mickey’s is an open-air dining room with brightly colored accents that allows Guests to enjoy family-style American favorites while waving to beloved characters like Mickey and the gang and watching monorails glide by high above.

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Breakfast at Chef Mickey’s features family-style platters of classic American breakfast foods including Mickey Waffles, scrambled eggs, pork sausage links, smoked bacon, slow-roasted beef brisket, fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, sweet rolls, “loaded” potato-cheese casserole, and banana bread French toast.

Chef Mickey’s continues family-style dining with its dinner menu featuring first course items such as a selection of pastry breads, Chef Mickey’s Caesar, and Citrus-poached Baby Shrimp with cilantro-lime broccoli slaw, greens, avocado, and tomato. A plant-based seasonal salad is also available for Guests with dietary restrictions.

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The indulgent family-style entrée platters then include potato gnocchi, roasted garlic gratin potatoes, faro wheat fried rice, baby carrots, and asparagus. The protein options are all delicious and include prime rib with mushroom ragout and roasted onions, roasted salmon with a sweet mustard glaze and southern-style braised kale, roasted breast of turkey with summer succotash and gravy, and a plant-based tofu bowl.

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Guests who dine at Chef Mickey’s for dinner also have to make sure that they leave room for dessert with indulgent options including the Mickey Mousse Dome, strawberry cream cake, a plant-based chocolate-raspberry tart, and an apple crumble tart. Guests can also pair a specialty cocktail, beer, wine, or non-alcoholic drink with their meal to make any dinner at Chef Mickey’s absolutely perfect!

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Steakhouse 71

The newest dining addition to Disney’s Contemporary Resort is Steakhouse 71, a traditional steakhouse that honors and celebrates the history and cuisine from the year that the Walt Disney Resort first opened. The interior features nod to the modern style found throughout Disney’s Contemporary Resort with colorful abstract murals and graphic carpeting and beams, all of which pair perfectly with the menu inspired by some of Walt Disney’s favorite meals.

Breakfast at Steakhouse 71 can begin with one of several appetizers including fresh fruit, breakfast pastries, and oatmeal, as well as sides such as bacon and cheddar grits, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, and chicken sausage. There is also a selection of specialty beverages and cocktails to pair with any menu item including some wonderful coffee-based choices to begin any morning on the right foot.

Egg lovers will delight in the breakfast entrée options at Steakhouse 71 with choices including a Western Omelette, Ham and Cheddar Omelette, Veggie Omelette, and the American which comes with two eggs any style, breakfast potatoes, and a side. The Eggs Benedict also offers up a classic take on the breakfast favorite and the Floridian Eggs Benedict adds in crab cake for an indulgent start to the morning.

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Heartier options for breakfast at Steakhouse 71 include Walt’s Prime Rib Hash, Steak and Eggs, Steakhouse 71 Seasonal Pancakes, and Avocado Toast. The most indulgent choice by far is The Steakhouse 71 Feast which is served with eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, Mickey Waffles, bacon-cheddar grits, breakfast potatoes, and fresh fruit.

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Lunch at Steakhouse 71 begins with appetizers including Shrimp Cocktail, Lump Crab Cakes, Baby Iceberg Wedge Salad, French Onion Soup, Steakhouse 71 Onion Rings, and a Fork & Knife Caesar Salad. There is also a Bacon & Eggs option with maple-lacquered pork belly, smoked cheese grits, and a perfect egg lending a brunch feel at lunchtime.

Some lunch options offered at Steakhouse 71 include sandwiches or burgers like the Prime Rib Sandwich, Turkey Club, Fish Sandwich, Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger, Gourmet Grilled Cheese, or Crab Cake Sliders. More indulgent options are the Steak “Frites” featuring a hanger steak, garlic-parmesan waffle fries, chimichurri, and truffle aioli, and the Salisbury Steak with garlic-mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and fried onions.

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The true steakhouse menu comes out for dinner at Steakhouse 71 with the same appetizer options offered as lunch in addition to steakhouse cuts like the 6-oz Filet Mignon, 10-oz New York Strip, 8-oz Beef Tenderloin Medallions, and 14-oz Dry-aged Pork Bone-in Rib Chop. All steaks come with the choice of a side such as macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach, or seared broccolini as well as a sauce such as wild mushroom, chimichurri, au Poivre, or bearnaise.

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There are also several non-steak entrée options for dinner at Steakhouse 71 including the Florida Sustainable Fish en Papillote, Vegetable “Wellington,” and Chicken Chasseur. Guests should also be sure to save room for indulgent desserts including Crème Brulee, Ambrosia, Apple Tart Tatin, and Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake with whiskey-infused chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and raspberries.

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Steakhouse 71 Lounge

Guests who are looking to enjoy the ambiance of Steakhouse 71 without the full table service experience can stop by the Steakhouse 71 Lounge which is found just inside the main entrance of the restaurant on the lower level of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The menu at Steakhouse 71 Lounge is limited and features small bites and delicious specialty beverages that Guests can enjoy each afternoon.

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The small bites serves up at Steakhouse 71 Lounge include the Steakhouse 71 Onion Rings, Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger, Lump Crab Cakes, Shrimp Cocktail, and Bacon & Eggs appetizers that are served in the main restaurant as well as two unique options. The Loaded Macaroni & Cheese features applewood-smoked bacon and jalapeno for a smoky and spicy flavor profile and the PB&J Chicken Wings feature a sweet peanut glaze and jelly powder for a modern and unique combination of an American favorite and bar snack.

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The specialty cocktails served at Steakhouse 71 Lounge are also worth indulging in as they take classic cocktails from the 1970s and give them updated twists that Guests are sure to love. Some options to choose from include a Raspberry Gin Sour, Citrus Grove Cocktail, Amaro Highball, Vodka Gimlet, Bourbon Cold Brew, and Fig Manhattan.

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Contempo Café

The main quick service dining option at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is Contempo Café located in the Grand Canyon Concourse in the shadow of the beautiful mural by Mary Blair. Contempo Café is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up an array of freshly made items as well as grab-and-go snacks that Guests can enjoy in an open-air dining area with beautiful views of the surrounding area.

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Breakfast at Contempo Café features a limited menu of delicious options including Mickey Waffles, Breakfast Tofu Bowl, Grilled Breakfast Sandwich with egg, ham, and a three-cheese blend on griddled toasted Challah, and the Bounty Platter which features scrambled eggs, bacon, pork sausage, breakfast potatoes seasonal fruit, and a mini Mickey Waffle. Guests can also order sides like bacon and breakfast potatoes as well as choose from a variety of fresh pastries including bagels, muffins, croissants, and cinnamon buns.

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The lunch and dinner menus at Contempo Café are identical and feature light and fresh options including the Contempo Caesar Salad with Chicken, Hot Turkey Sandwich, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and Contempo Burger which is a grilled 7-oz Angus patty topped with bacon, cheddar, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun served with a side of fries. Guests who are looking for plant-based options can choose between the Grilled Tofu Bowl or the Kale Power Greens Salad, both of which are hearty and filling.

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Contempo Café also offers grab-and-go snacks like fresh fruit, granola bars, individual bags of chips and pretzels, candy, and desserts such as a sugar cookie, chocolate chip cookie, and the beloved Peanut Butter Pie. This decadent dessert includes a vanilla tart shell with creamy custard and peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache drizzle, and crispy chocolate pearls and it is worth the stop at Contempo Café alone!

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Contemporary Grounds

A great quick service option for Guests who are looking for a lighter bite and some great coffee can be found on the lower level of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Contemporary Grounds is open throughout each day and serves up an array of coffee goodies, all from Joffrey’s Coffee, the official specialty coffee of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Contemporary Grounds features an array of pastries that are freshly made each day including bagels, muffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, Danishes, cookies, and more. Guests can also enjoy smoothies such as the Flamingo Frost with pineapple juice, strawberries, bananas, and yogurt, the Tropical Sunset with orange juice, strawberries, bananas, and yogurt, or the Mango Tango with passion fruit juice, pineapple, mango, peaches, coconut cream, and yogurt.

The main offerings at Contemporary Grounds are obviously coffee beverages and in addition to regular and decaf options, they can also enjoy a variety of specialty beverages that will perk them up for a day in the Disney Parks. Some of the options offered throughout each day include Double Espresso, Chai Latter, Nitro Cold Brew, Matcha Latte, Cappuccino, Shakin Jamaican Cold Brew, and Vanilla Latte.

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Cove Bar

Guests who are Disney Vacation Club members or those staying at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort have exclusive access to the Cove Bar, a poolside bar that serves up some delicious specialty cocktails as well as light bites throughout each day. Located on the backside of Bay Lake Tower, Guests who stop by Cove Bar can enjoy their menu choices with beautiful views of Bay Lake, making it a great spot to stop by and relax throughout any day.

The food menu at Cove Bar is very limited and Guests can choose entrees like the Turkey BLT Wrap, Caesar Salad with Chicken, or All-Beef Hot Dog. There are also several small sides offered such as fresh fruit, Nachos with Cheese, Mickey Pretzel, and Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade Cup. While there are limited options, each bite at Cove Bar is worth trying as they are all flavorful!

The specialty cocktails are what Cove Bar really focuses on, and Guests can enjoy options like Blueberry Lemonade, Captain’s Mai Tai, Bourbon Breeze, Cucumber & Mint Vojito, and Poolside Iced Tea in addition to beer, wine, and sangria. Cove Bar also features some frozen alcoholic options including a Strawberry Margarita and the popular Frose with Meiomi Rose and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

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The Sand Bar

All Guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort have access to The Sand Bar, a poolside spot that features both outdoor and air-conditioned indoor areas for Guests to relax at. Open throughout each day, Guests can stop by and enjoy a very limited menu of food offerings in addition to a full bar menu and specialty cocktails.

The food options available at The Sand Bar include sides such as a Mickey Pretzel, fresh fruit, Nachos with Chili and Cheese, and French Fries. Full meals are also available and Guests can enjoy a Foot-long All-beef Hot Dog, 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger, or fresh Garden Salad with romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers.

The beverage menu at The Sand Bar is much lengthier and features beer, wine, sangria, and many of the same cocktails as the Cove Bar in addition to non-alcoholic options like fresh smoothies, soda, water, and juice. A stop at The Sand Bar is a great way to relax during any Disney day plus Guests can enjoy poolside views and air conditioning!

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About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.