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For most people, their “I’m in Disney” Moment happens when they see Cinderella Castle. For me this happens when I see the Grand Canyon Concourse. I have to go to the Contemporary Resort at some point, usually in the beginning, of my visit to Walt Disney World. I don’t know why, it may be because this was the first Disney World Resort I stayed in as a child, or maybe it’s just the view of the Grand Canyon Concourse from the Monorail above, but to me, the Grand Canyon Concourse is as exciting to see as the first view of Cinderella Castle is for many others. This is why it is one of My Favorite things in Disney World.

The Grand Canyon Concourse is located in the Contemporary Resort. It is actually the name given to the fourth floor of the Resort. The fourth floor is actually two floors in one. The upper part of the floor is the Monorail Station. To get there you have to go up an escalator or elevator near the bathrooms and elevator banks that are located in the middle of the floor. This is the only Monorail Station that is located in a building in Walt Disney World. From the Station and actually from the Monorail as you are pulling into the station or just passing through, you can see the lower part of the Fourth Floor, which is the Grand Canyon Concourse. This is always a Magical Experience for me.

The Grand Canyon Concourse is known to many as the home to Chef Mickey’s. Chef Mickey’s is a character meal buffet. They serve breakfast and dinner and Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy come around to your table as you eat. The Food is great; at dinner make sure you try the parmesan mashed potatoes. The Character visits are Fun and at different times throughout the meal they have a sing-along that can lead to Magical Experiences for the kids. I heavily recommend an Advance Dining Reservation, if you are planning on eating there, because the food is good and this character meal is one of the biggest and best!

Another place to eat on the Grand Canyon Concourse is the Contempo Café. The Contempo Café is a quick serve/counter restaurant that is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It is one of the new automated ordering food centers in Walt Disney World. You order your food at a kiosk, without going to the counter. You only go to the counter to pick up your food. The food here is like most of the Quick Serve/Counter meals in Disney World’s Resorts; it is good food that is reasonably priced, but it is nothing really flashy.

These two restaurants are next to a lounge, the Outer Rim, which has windows overlooking the resort’s pool and the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Outer Rim is a full service bar with specialty drinks and light snacks. This is a great place to watch the Electric Water Pageant which is very cool to watch and is another Magical Experience that many people miss.

The Electrical Water Pageant is an electrical parade out on the water. There are 14 floats that travel around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. The floats all have lights on them, which are made into shapes like sea creatures and other aquatic animals. The “parade” is accompanied by music from Disney movies, such as the Little Mermaid and Peter Pan (although sitting inside the Contemporary you cannot hear the music). As the Pageant comes to an end, the lighted shapes change to a Patriotic theme and so does the music.

All three of these food and drink places are to the left of the Grand Canyon Concourse as you are looking at the 90 foot Mosaic that goes from the Floor to the Ceiling. This Mosaic has been in the Contemporary since the Resort opened in 1971 and

features a 5 legged goat among other wonderful things. The Mosaic was made by Mary Blair who is also responsible for the designing of it’s a Small World and has 1,800 1-square-foot tiles and took 18 months to construct.

To the right of the Mosaic, There are four different kinds of shopping experiences, from Disney clothing and gifts to health and beauty items. My favorite store on Grand Canyon Concourse is Definitely Bayview Gifts, which according to Disney’s site “ offers unique Disney-branded souvenirs, chocolates, gifts for the home, collectibles, watches, jewelry, framed art and both men’s and women’s fashions.” In other words it has some cool Disney Stuff, which can make for a Magical Experience.

Another neat thing in the shopping area of the Grand Canyon Concourse is the Mickey Mouse Ear Sculpture that used to be behind the Resort, in an area near the pool. This Sculpture is large enough for two adults to each sit in an ear to have their picture taken. They also have a huge Disney Snow globe in this area. A new addition to the Grand Canyon Concourse is the Sky Bridge that connects the Bay lake Tower (the New Disney Vacation Club Resort) to the Grand Canyon Concourse. To use this bridge you need to have a key card form your room in Bay Lake Tower.

So, now you know about one of my favorite things in Walt Disney World. The Unknown Magics that many people miss the Grand Canyon Concourse. It is a place that brings Magical Experiences in many different ways, from great Character Meals to incredible lagoon views where you can see things only presented in Disney World. So, next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom, take a monorail ride to the Contemporary Resort and see one of my favorite things in Walt Disney World.

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