This letter comes from the heart, from a couple who first resisted you and then came to love you. At first, your being a transportation hub—and a big convention draw—put us off. But gradually, we began appreciating the merits of having the monorail only an elevator ride away, and eventually, the energy of being at a “hub” hotel became an exciting prospect and we committed.
The instant we walked into our room that very first time, the views of the Magic Kingdom and the iconic Grand Floridian across the bay had us at “Hello.” And then, later that night, being able to experience the fireworks spectacular from our balcony, with the in-room Disney channel broadcasting the audio, was the show-stopping deciding factor that had us swooning over you until our next visit when you’d meet all our hopes and expectations all over again.
It’s not us, it’s you.
At the time, your modernity was such a departure from the Disney “norm” that we were able to look past your functional shortcomings, of which there were many; but gradually, the years took their toll. And while “modern” often comes at the expense of “functional,” there eventually comes a time when modern is no longer modern, but dated, and the lack of functionality is no longer forgivable. So, we’re sorry, Contemporary, but the relationship clearly wasn’t growing and your shortcomings were becoming more glaring, to the extent that our discontent finally reached a critical level. In truth, not all our complaints were limited to the room, but let’s start there:
- There’s one good set of drawers—three, to be exact—but the “modern” office chair blocks any access to them because the drawers are an adjunct of the “modern” desk.
- Moving the office chair would solve problem #1, but the oval-shaped, semi-nested desk extension blocks it from sliding over; and the oval desk slideout can’t be moved out of the way because there’s nowhere to move it to.
- What’s a room without a full-length mirror? Exactly! Unfortunately, not only is there no full-length mirror anywhere in or near the bathroom—because all the doors are sliding doors that have frosted-glass insets—but the one full-length mirror, which is in the main room, is interrupted by the etagere (or, entertainment center) that juts across it. Moreover, the bottom half winds up being mostly blocked by our carryons and daypacks that can’t fit in the closet and which we didn’t want to place directly beneath the mantle, which would obscure the glass-tiled, rear-illuminated panel that’s not only attractive, but which provides a nice golden ambiance in the room at night.
- Speaking of lighting…: The bathroom, surprisingly, does not provide adequate illumination for “putting on a face.” The primary light source comes from the wall-mounted mirrors above the sink basins, which is attractive, but not very useful; and the overheads are so contrasty that even the magnifying side of the vanity mirror doesn’t much help for seeing what you’re really doing. The mirrors in the main room are actually better for putting on makeup, even at night.
And then there’s the bathroom…
- The towels are at the farthest point from the shower/tub, which wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the fact that the only place to have one at the ready when exiting the shower is in the sink, which therefore needs to be dry.
The sink basins. Sigh, the sink basins. Although there are two of them, which is a plus, they dominate the counter, leaving only a very narrow strip in between on which to put all the small items we want in easy reach
- But far more annoying is that they’re shallow and flat so they don’t drain unless you physically push the water, suds, and toothpaste spittle toward the drain (so, ick!). We finally relegated one basin for additional counter space, which worked fine until one of us turned on the tap.
- It’s always nice when the toilet is a separate room from the bathroom proper, but the sliding door of frosted glass does not a sense of privacy make, so again, “modern” negated the functional.
- The shower/tub provides only a short and narrow ledge on which to place all your in-shower needs, and worse, it’s right in the line of the shower spray, so you can literally watch the expensive bar of soap you specifically bought for your vacation dissolve before your very eyes. And because there’s not even a flat corner or edge to the tub, you can forget about safely resting your foot while you shave your legs. And no, there’s no “handicap” bar on the wall for added balance. That would’ve detracted from the visual integrity of the marble wall.
Granted, we accepted all these limitations knowingly and willingly. But then, circumstances elevated the negatives to a whole new level that made us realize we needed to take a break, and it started with being given the very last room on the floor that clearly hadn’t been given any love or attendance in a while. We subsequently changed rooms the following day, but the damage had been done:
- There was used soap, conditioner, shampoo and lotion in the bathroom! Ewwwww!
- The bathtub had hairs in it! You can’t unsee that!
- One of the chairs on the balcony was too ripped to sit in, and having cocktails on our balcony at sunset while looking out at the Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian is one of our most favorite times (besides all those other favorite times). Moreover, our request to have it replaced was not met until the following day when we were getting ready to leave.
And then there were all the missing things, like:
- No bag in the ice bucket
- No hotel guide
- No room service menu
- No notepad and pen
- No privacy tag for door
- No bed runners (which, it turned out, have been removed from all the rooms, which leave the beds looking bare and a bit grungy)
This isn’t what we expect from a Disney resort experience, and while we understand only too well that every place, person, restaurant and attraction has its bad days, and you’re no exception, Dear Contemporary, you can surely appreciate that this was too much all at once. Logging even the most minor complaint is hard enough when you want to just be happy and thrilled to be at a WDW resort, but this just showed us a dark side of you that belies a deeper problem: it’s time to up your game and reimagine your definition of “contemporary.”