Disney’s Contemporary Resort unveiled its gorgeous new lobby design full of history and artwork yesterday and we stopped by to check it out. The lobby has been updated just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, The World’s Most Magical Celebration.
50th Anniversary banners line the walkway.
50th Anniversary mats are at the doorways for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”.
Before the interior photos, here is our video tour of the lobby.
In the main entrance to the lobby, this large column is inspired by the iconic Mary Blair mural that can be seen on the fourth floor Grand Canyon Concourse. According to the new 50th Anniversary coffee table book A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of The Most Magical Place on Earth, the mural was recently titled The Spirit of Peace Among Children. The famous five-legged goat can be seen here.
There is a hidden Mickey on this side.
Some of the other animals that are in the mural are part of the design.
There is ample seating now around the lobby along with artwork.
There are fewer check-in desks now and they are more open. Artwork can be found behind each desk and the whole lobby has a mid-century modern aesthetic.
Artwork of a Disney monorail is behind this desk.
The first two pieces of art were on old pre-opening postcards, when the resort – at that time, the upcoming resort – was referred to as the Tempo Bay Resort. Check out Brian’s postcard scans here. Looking at a book by Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon, it shows that the art is from Imagineer George McGinnis in 1969.
This artwork looks very similar to the resort except with a structure in back. Again, you can find this on Brian’s postcard scans. It is from artist Ken Chapman in 1969.
This Grand Canyon Concourse artwork has a different look for the monorail.
On the other side of the lobby, there is a mural with the monorail running through the resort. I thought we might have artwork of The Incredibles, but I’m really glad that they went more with history. And since The Incredibles is set in a mid-century modern world, it should work well with the themed rooms.
Seating with pillows runs longer than the width of the mural. There are also tables and chairs.
When I was a kid in the 1970s, one of the coolest things at Walt Disney World was getting on the monorail and going to and through Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We usually stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort but I was over here a lot for the game room.
Here are a few more photos of the mural and seating.
Around the corner, there is a children’s seating area with a Mary Blair tribute. I think it is quite fitting that it is in the children’s area.
There is a television with Disney animation on it.
A photo of Mary Blair in front of the iconic mural is on the wall, along with artwork from inside the rooms as they were in 1971.
I assume there will be small plaques to let guests know about the photos and artwork at some point.
Here is a look at the artwork. My first stay in Disney’s Contemporary Resort was around 1980.
This piece is still here.
There is more art and seating on the other side of the lobby with a couple of seating areas.
New chandeliers hang from the ceilings.
Mid-century room artwork is in one of the seating areas.
The monorail here reminds me so much of the Café Hyperion entrance at Disneyland Paris.
Here is more of the artwork.
Tomorrowland concept art is in another area.
According to the book “The Art of Walt Disney World” by Jeff Kurtti and and Bruce Gordon, this is a concept for the “new version of Tomorrowland” that was based on Disneyland including the WEDway People Mover.
There are a couple of other concept art pieces I haven’t found anywhere else yet.
Steakhouse 71 replaced The Wave restaurant and will open on October 1st.
Outside of Steakhouse 71 is a photo of Disney’s Contemporary Resort being built. Seven Seas Lagoon is in the background.
There are other historic photos in the entrance leading to the seating area. After we dine here, I’ll share all the photos and talk about them.
There is also a display of abstract art. Much of it I believe was on the 14th floor previously.
This past month, the elevators received a monorail through Disney’s Contemporary design. There is a lot of this motif running through the lobby.
Outside of the elevators is this pattern.
I will add to the article as I find more out about artwork or any other information. The lobby is beautiful and there is a lot to discover here. A few of my photos of artwork had too much glare so I’ll try to photograph them again this week.
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