Poly or Contemporary Tower room?


Hi everyone!

Although I’m a long time lurker, I have only just recently registered so that I can actually post stuff. This is such a great site!

I’m seeking some advice from those of you who have stayed at both the Poly and the CR in a tower room. My DH, DD (who will be a couple of weeks shy of 3 years old), and I will be making a trip to the World the week after Thanksgiving, and are wondering where we should stay. We made a trip at the same time last year and stayed at the GF in the main building, which was absolutely heaven on earth. We would just stay at the same hotel this time, but my husband and I would really like to experience all of the hotels at least once. We also want to be at a monorail resort because, as many of you know, it really does help make things a lot easier when you’re traveling with a toddler!

What I am most concerned about is the quality of the rooms. Hubby and I save all year to go on a great vacation, and we really like to be pampered and stay in gorgeous rooms (I think that, for me, this stems from the fact that I am one of 11 kids, and the best my wonderful parents, bless their hearts, could ever afford was a Motel 6 – and hey, I’m not complaining, we were lucky to get to go anywhere with that many kids in the family!!). What do you all think of the quality of the rooms at both the CR and the Poly? Will we be disappointed in either since we stayed most recently at the GF? Before our daughter was born, we stayed at Port Orleans (didn’t like it) and Dixie Landings (both Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend, and loved both of them – did I get those names right?), before they were merged into one resort.

So what do you think – Poly or CR tower room (I don’t think my daughter would do well with all the walking required to stay in a garden room)? If you think the Poly is the right choice, what building would you recommend we request? Although we loved staying in the main building at the GF, we probably would not want to do concierge again because we really didn’t use the services or the lounge at all, except for breakfast. We really only cared that we were in the main building because it made it easier to get our daughter to the monorail.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!


Wow, this is not an easy question to answer. But that never stopped me in the past.

Personally, I would take the Polynesian over the Contemporary every time. I just have a big problem with the contemporary. The rooms are large, very nice, great location, ok pool, but it is so loud in there that you just can’t block it out with closing your room door. Make sure you like the music they play in Chef Mickey’s, since you will be hearing it starting at 6:30 AM and until about 11:00 PM.

I love the Polynesian, but really, the room quality is laking there. I have not been in any of the rehabed rooms, so my guess is that they are much nicer now. I know the entire concierge building was totally redone, and I have heard it is much better now. I don’t think it would compare with main building concierge in the GF, but not a bad option. The pool there is fantastic, as is the beach area. The other plus about the Poly is the proximity to the Ticket and Transportation Center. You can easily walk over there in a couple of minutes, and hop on either the Magic Kingdom, Resort or EPCOT monorail. Let me see if I can find some updated pictures of the Poly rooms.


Welcome to DC, petecj2!! :biggrin:

I will give you my 2 cents worth on this resort issue. If you are looking for a warm, wonderful resort feeling, I would NEVER go with the Contemporary. It feels very cold and impersonal to me.

Maybe I am slightly biased, because the Polynesian is my absolute favorite resort (see the title under my name? ;)) but I really do believe it is the most welcoming resort atmosphere.

HOWEVER, if you are looking for room quality, I have to agree with Mickey. The Polynesian is old, and it shows most in the rooms. The rooms are somewhat threadbare, they look kind of outdated…but please don’t get me wrong! To me, it doesn’t hinder the overall resort effect. I guess it depends on the person.

In regards to convenience and walking distance for your toddler, the best building I can recommend at the Poly is Samoa. Not only is it directly between both of the pools, but it is the shortest walk to Captain Cook’s and the Great Ceremonial House.

I don’t know how you will feel about the Poly after having stayed at the GF. I know the room quality has got to be quite different. I don’t have an experienced opinion on the tower rooms at the Contemporary, but like I said, the atmosphere is very important to me and this is why I have not stayed there.

Good luck with your decision making! Have a wonderful trip!


I agree, that the Contemporary is just to impersonal. It is just kind of boring, compared to other Disney resorts that have a very unique theme to them. Go for the Poly!!! Do soem research and find the buildings that have gone through some rehab and request that building. What is the worst thing that can happen?? You don’t get a rehabbed room? The rest of the resort is really nice.


I have to agree that the DIsney Magic Feeling is more felt at the Ploy, but that’s not to say the Contemporary is NOT Personal. Its only that it doesnt have a theme like the other resorts do, so the feeling of Disney is not as strong I suppose. I am staying there becoz the little ones in my group absolutely looooove the monorail that goes through the lobby. Just something to think about.


A few years back I strayed from the Poly just to try the Contemporary once. We had a room in the tower facing the Castle. Well…we checked out in under an hour. The room was so not worth it. The staff and entire hotel just had a completely impersonal, cold feeling to it. And luckily, the Poly had a lagoon view room waiting for us with open arms!!!

Hands down…stay at the Poly. We’re taking our 15-month DD in June for her first trip and this will be my 18th trip. As far as I’m concerned, it the BEST place to stay.


i guess I’m the only one who thinks the most of the COntemporary…


Well I like the Contemporary too. :slight_smile:

I’ve stayed in the Tower “lite” coincerege level. There was NO noise problem at all. We had a room on the shop rather than Chef Mickey side of the elevator banks. That means we were one level above the highest regular tower level.

We’ve also stayed in the garden wings, which I would NOT recommend over any building of the Poly.

It’s true that the Contemp isn’t “themed” in the way the Poly or DAKL is. The theme to me is best described as The Eighties! It’s bold primary colors worked into large geometric designs. Remeber those over sized shirts and stirrup pants and curled bangs standing a foot off the forehead? That would all look right here, lol! :slight_smile: The lobby area is a bit bland (especially compared to Poly’s ceremonial house), but once you’re up in your room with a huge guaze curtain to open and see Cinderella’s Castle changing colors and the water pagent go by (and a great view of the GF too :wink: ), who cares what the lobby looks like? Your daughter’s young enough that she’ll need naps and “room time”, but old enough that she’ll love seeing that huge mozaic and the monorail go by (just stand in the hallway outside the room and you can look down on all the people in the shops and at chef mickey’s and see the monorail come and go), and having a view of the castle. There’s a playground at the Contemp as well (although I assume the Poly has one too.)

Now, I haven’t stayed at the Poly to know how they compare, but I thought I’d just jump in with some contemporary defense, lol! :slight_smile: (BTW, the pics of the room decor on the official disney website are out of date.)


thx amneris!


Thank you so much to all of you who have offered your opinions and suggestions – I really appreciate it!

I have a couple more questions based on what some of you have written.

Mickey, how high up have you stayed in the tower? I had heard complaints about the noise before, but I had always assumed (guess I shouldn’t have) that it only affected the lower levels of the tower. If you can hear the noise regardless of what floor you’re on, the CR might not be a good choice for us after all.

Mickey and dznygrl, have either of you stayed in a room at the Poly since last year / this year’s rehab? I thought I had read on wdwig that all of the longhouses were set to have been rehabbed by this month, but I’ve read different things about just exactly what that means. Does it mean new paint & carpet, or new bedding, window treatments, etc?

darthspiderman, my little one also loves watching the monorail, plus it would be really convenient to not have to put her in the stroller and walk outside to catch it. To me, that fact is actually the main draw of the CR. I’m sure you know quite well how distractable 2 year olds are, and the more stuff you have to walk by to get to your destination, the greater chance there is that delays will be made to go “exploring” – which I normally don’t mind, but it can be a problem when you’re trying to arrive in time for a PS!! So it would be great to just push a button on the elevator and be at the monorail station.

darthspiderman and Amneris, did you find the rooms at the CR to be in good condition? That is, did you feel you like they fit the definition of Disney “deluxe”?

Also Amneris, did you find the concierge lite to be worth the extra expense? I had read on wdwig that some people felt that the tower club was worth the extra expense, but that concierge lite was not. Just wondering what you thought of that. We didn’t really use the concierge services much when we stayed at the GF, so we probably wouldn’t pay for that level of service again, unless it guaranteed us a particular building or room and we decided that that alone justified the extra expense.

Perhaps those of you who are parents can relate – it never ceases to amaze me that what I deem “necessary” or “justified” has changed so dramatically since our daughter came along!! It seems nowadays that anything that gets us a few minutes extra sleep or saves our tired feet a few steps is worth almost any price!! lol :slight_smile:

Again, thanks so much for all your help!!


OK I know that none of those questions were directly for me but I think I can give you some anwsers:

  1. Due to the shape of the CR(it slants up as it goes higher) I would imagine that the noise is the same throughout the entire tower. The noises are from people in the lobby, the monorail, and Chef Mickey’s. Also, Chef Mickey’s is a very popular choice so a lot of people come through the CR.

  2. I do not think that the Poly refurb is complete. I was there way back in Febraury (It still feels like just yesterday) there was still a lot of equipment there.

Those are really the only questions that I could truly anwser for you, hope it helps.


We have stayed at both the Poly and the CR tower. I like both for different reasons. It is one of those 6 of one 1/2 dozen of the other sort of things for us.

IMO here are the CR tower benefits

  1. View of MK - Fantastic day or night
  2. More resturaunt choices
  3. Although the rooms are not themed- I think they are in better condition than the Poly.
  4. You can walk to the MK
  5. Easier to get to food court
  6. More convient to get to the monorail
  7. Sittiing on your balcony and watching fireworks or the Water Parade

Negative Aspects

  1. Pool is OK
  2. Non Disney Theme
  3. Feel like you are in the middle of a lot of activity

As far as the noise, as long as your room is closed I really did not notice a lot of noise.

Poly Benefits

  1. Cool themes
  2. Great Pool
  3. View of fireworks from the beach
  4. Neverland Club for kids
  5. Depending on room, can walk to TTC
  6. More families
  7. Very quiet and peaceful


  1. Rooms need updating
  2. Walk to monorail
  3. Walk to food court

We stayed at the Poly 12/01 and 04/04 ( not a rehab room)

                     CR 05/03 and 12/03

My DD who is now 4 was with us on all of these trips.
From a 4YO point of view… she likes both

Room size- They are probably both the same square footage, but to me the CR room seem bigger.

They are both great hotels. I would stay at either one again. We are AP holders so we wait for the AP rates to come out and then decide where to stay.

Just decide what are the most important ammenities to you and make your choice. I think you will be happy at either one.

When we stay at the Poly, there are things I miss about CR
When we stay at CR there are things I miss about the Poly.

Have a great trip


We are staying at the Poly the first week in June. My DD called directly to the Poly to get the scoop on what exactly refurbishment meant. The CM at the Poly told my DD that the A/C were all updated, however, the carpet, bedspreads, interior of the rooms, etc had not been updated. It was more exterior work.

We loved the Tokelau longhouse. It’s between the GCH and the TTC. We’re hoping to get that building again. The Fiji longhouse was also highly recommended.

Good luck with your decision.


the rooms at CR were deluxe by my standards, which are pretty high. Noise wasnt a problem for me, I was so bushed after the day, I just took a shower and collapsed. Chef Mickey was a great convinence as was the short ride to MK and EPCOT. Also, becoz u r basically first in line to ride the monorail, the chances for you to get to sit in the first car with the driver is also increased. Just ask a nearby castmember. My little 2 year old’s eyes really lit up when he saw the monorail, the castle for the first time, and when watching playhouse disney.


petecj2, to answer your question, no…I have not stayed in a recently rehabbed room at the Poly. I didn’t feel the room we were in even needed much of a rehab…maybe just new carpet. It may be not as luxurious as a room at the GF, but it was definitely BIG! I could do cartwheels from the door to the window, no problem!!

I completely forgot to post the link to my pictures of the Poly…includes our room in the Samoa building. Hope this helps your decision!


Hi everyone,

Thanks again for all your replies – they have been so helpful!

I called the Poly directly to find out more about the refurbishment process. disneyluva, you are right, it’s still ongoing, and I was told it’s due to be completed at the end of summer.

tinkerbell0219, I was told the same thing as your husband with regard to what “rehab” means – they said that interior things would only be replaced if they were broken or damaged. So it sounds like condition of the interiors won’t change much, if at all, from what people have described, which still leaves me to wonder how big of a deal that’s going to be to me.

To everyone who posted about the CR, it’s amazing how different people’s opinions have been about the noise. Between this thread and posts and reviews I have read elsewhere, there are as many people who have said that the noise isn’t a problem (with the room door shut) as there have been people who said it is a problem lol.

KarenT, thanks for your wonderful post of the pros and cons of each resort. I am sure that we will eventually stay at both of them, and would be tempted to just split our stay between the two of them, but I don’t think that would be a good idea while my dd is so little.

darthspiderman, it was good to hear that you think the CR rooms are up to “deluxe” standards, as my husband is leaning towards staying there because it will mean less walking for us. I still haven’t decided which I favor – I think I’m going to call the CR directly and ask them a few questions, too.

And dznygrl, the photos are fantastic – thanks so much! And by the way, we are Disneyland annual passholders and were there on Wed. for the official grand opening of the Tower of Terror. Lots of fun, but not quite as good as the original in WDW (no room with all the “twilight zone-ish” props). Crowds were very light when we were there, despite the fact that there were lots of media there and they had the official kickoff for the 50th anniversary celebration. I wish you a wonderful, uncrowded trip as well!!

Thanks again, everyone!!


Well this thread has really changed my opinion of the Poly and CR. I used to think that CR was more on the “run down” side, but sounds like the Poly is in great need of update. If I had to choose a Deluxe sounds like I would either go for CR or AKL. Is OKW considered a Deluxe, Home Away From Home, or Moderate.


OKW is home away from home, because it is also part of the DVC. All of the DVC resorts are home away from home accomodations and are quite pricey, but they are absolutely beautiful and have all of the amenities you could imagine.

I know we are DVC members and have bought into Saratoga Springs. I can’t wait till our first visit at our home resort in Oct. 03. I hear it is breathtaking.


Thanks so much! It’s almost here!!! :tongue: I’m not expecting the original ToT experience…but I’m just thankful that there’s at least some version over here on the West Coast!! Can’t wait. And by the way, I’m really glad you enjoyed the pictures!!! :heart:


I thought the rooms were in fine condition. Nothing looked worn out or anything like that. As I said, the themeing isn’t one of the “way out there” kind of hotels, BUT I felt the rooms were in much better shape than my short-short-short stint at the Carribean Beach Resort. I don’t have any complaints about the quality of the resort. I’ve had a few mousekeepers who weren’t the greatest, but others have been exactly as you’d want. When staying in the Tower section, I felt that it was just as good as any other Disney deluxe resort.

Well, I liked it quite a lot. Although, yes, most people don’t seem to. It depends on what you want to get out of it. For us, it meant grabbing cerael and fruit and pasteries and other goodies like that by only walking a few feet down the hall. We brought the food back to our room, and ate at the table/sofa area (they provide trays if you want them). This beat having to traipse to a fast food counter and back!! As a person who can’t miss breakfast, this was a WONDERFUL convience! The mid day snack was brownies, rice kripsies, fruit etc. We missed this a couple of days, but usually made it. With the huge portions of food Disney provides, this worked out great for us after having a large lunch or when we had PSs for a late dinner. The full coincerege level provides a desert thing at night, that the Tower Club does not; I think they have champagne too – I’m sketchy on these details! So if you want your wine and cheese reception in the evening, then you would be unhappy at the Tower Club. BUT if you want the coincerege desk service, private elevator, room with a great view, conveyance of breakfast take care of, plus the opporunity to pop back for a snack to get you through they day when coming back for pool time or a nap or whatever, it works out great! We just loved the conveince of the food right THERE, and the selection of several healthy and un-healthy things to choose from.

Unfortunately I can’t comment much on the room, not having stayed anywhere else in the tower building to compare. But we had an MK view and didn’t notice any noise. The Tower Club exclusively occupies the 12th floor, and you put your key card in a slot in the elevators to be able to access it.