The weekend is usually busy at the parks and this includes Fridays. At night everyone is leaving at the same time and it’s a headache to go in against the wave as well as get home with the crowds. Vehicle traffic is also heavy throughout Disney property at this time. The other night my fiance, Kim and I needed a little escape after work but wanted to avoid these crowds. We wanted to get a low-stress dinner with some fun scenery. We decided to head to the Contemporary Resort to check out some food that I had been excited about.
We started out the trip by parking at Disney Springs because you can’t park directly at the resort. Another option would have been to go to the Transportation and Ticket Center and take the monorail to the hotel. Since I knew it would be a busy time, we avoided the Monorail. We hopped on a bus from the Springs and headed over to the resort. The bus was full of people heading to walk from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks before the park closed. The bus ride was about 25 minutes and stopped at the Fort Wilderness Lodge, which was neat to see as its kind of hidden away, before dropping us at the Contemporary.
There was activity at the Contemporary, but not very much. It was the laid back atmosphere we were looking for. The hotel guests that were there looked tired out from being at the parks all day. We headed up the Contempo Cafe for dinner. The Contempo Cafe is right below the large mural in the center of the hotel as well as right under the monorail track. It is a neat spot and although not the most intimate spot, it wasn’t overcrowded or crazy either. I heard about the Peanut Butter Pie at Contempo recently and had been excited to try it out ever since. I had previously heard about the Italian Beef Sub, but never made it over to the hotel to try it out and kind of forgot about it. The Contempo Cafe has various sandwiches, pizza, and salads for entrees, and a small bakery counter for desserts. There are premade cold options in a refrigerated section that be grabbed quickly and the baked goods are also self serve. There is a full kids menu here, so it’s good for pretty much any dining party. When ordering an entree off the menu, you get a buzzer when you pay and wait for the food in the dining area.
We grabbed a Peanut Butter Pie from the Bakery Counter and ordered the “Chicago Style” Italian Beef Sub. The Sub came with the choice of fries, slaw or chips, but I knew the sandwich and pie would be more than enough for the two of us. Contempo does not have any Annual Passholder discounts so the bill came to $19. The Sandwich took about 10 minutes and was delivered warm to the table. It was hard to not eat the Peanut Butter Pie while we waited, but I can confirm that it was still good after sitting out of the cool bakery counter.
The Sandwich is bigger and better packed than you would expect. It comes with a side of au jus and a little container with a pepper relish mixture. We spread the peppers on and dipped the sandwich as we ate. The “Chicago Style” Italian Beef Sandwich is basically thick sliced roast beef and a lot of melted cheese. The sandwich was very satisfying and filling and the cheese was perfectly melty. I think the au jus is necessary though and helps keep the sandwich and its large crispy roll from being too dry. The Peanut Butter Pie did not disappoint either. All I had to hear was peanut butter and I was already excited, but this dessert went above and beyond. There is a creamy Peanut Butter top almost like a thick icing or cheesecake and a pastry tart shell bottom. Inside of the pastry shell is a gooey Boston Cream type filling. On top of it all, there is a little bit of chocolate drizzle and some crunchy candy pearls for texture. The pie was a wonderful combination of creamy, chewie, sweet and salty.
After eating we needed to walk a little, so we took a stroll through the uncrowded hotel. We walked through the two Disney shops, Fantasia Market and Bayview Gifts, on the same floor as Contempo Cafe. As we headed down to make our way out, we noticed lots of quiet areas with empty couches to stop and rest away from everything. The bus back to the Springs was less crowded and was a direct trip. It took about 15-20 minutes for us to get there. All in all the night out took us a couple of hours and $19. It was low stress and the food was worth the trip. We had to leave because of early morning plans the next day, but we could have easily spent longer in the shops and moseying around the hotel. I recommend a trip to Contemporary and the Contempo Cafe for an awesome baked treat and low stress, but fulfilling adventure out for those with or without a park ticket.