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  1. #1

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    April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Is it true that Disney's Contemporary Resort was designed so that the rooms would be updated periodically by sliding them in and out like dresser drawers?


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    This urban myth has always been of great interest to me, just because so many people seem to believe it. I've even read that each module included a section of the hallway floor and railing. Can you imagine the problems inside the working hotel if every once in a while sections of the hallway disappeared? Very interesting article - thanks!

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Excellent article. I have never believed this myth for the very reason suggested at the end of the article. But I always liked the IDEA of it, and the construction method always sounded like a great idea. This article really points out the flaws of the whole plan. Really fascinating stuff with great pics!

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Werner, this is just the kind of informative and entertaining pieces for which MiceAge is justly known. Thanks.

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Another great article! And I do indeed have The Story of Walt Disney World, Commemorative Edition, book, along with a few other pre-opening publications (including the preview editon in the Disney magazine that was produced by Gulf Oil and sold at their gas stations in the late 1960's).

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Great article.

    Recently I had the need to look deeply into the history and design of the Contemporary. One of the major benefits of this type of construction was the reduction of weight. Each unit weighed less than typical construction thereby reducing the amount of steel needed for the 13 150-foot trussed A-Frames. It was the American Bridge Division in charge after all. The hotel was inspired by the lobby in John Portman's Hyatt Regency Atlanta (1967).

    Great stuff. Keep it coming.

    Sam
    SamLand's Disney Adventures

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    On my first visit to Walt Disney World I stayed in the Contemporary hotel before it was complete. We stayed in the second floor of the North extension. The first floor was all construction offices and the tower only had the first 6 floors open including 2 floors of rooms. My question is. wasn't the polynesian built with the same modular factory rooms?

  8. #8

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    The Polynesian was built the same way. A number of years ago they had to do a major rehab to fill in the gaps between the modular units.

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Oh wow... I have never heard this rumor before or even known they made all of the rooms off site. Very informative! Thanks so much
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  10. #10

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Great article, Werner!

    I grew up just outside of San Antonio, Texas. There's a hotel there which was built by this same method for the 1968 World's Fair ("HemisFair"). If anyone's interested, here's an article about the construction of that one:

    21-story modular hotel raised the roof for Texas World Fair in 1968 | modular.org

    The construction process in San Antonio might have been a bit easier, since they weren't using the slanting A-frame design of the Contemporary, and didn't need to create the huge interior space for the lobby. Still, it's an ingenious way to quickly put up a large hotel!

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Great article Werner. I knew about the modular construction and had heard about but never believed the urban myth of removing the rooms periodically. That part never made any sense.

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Quote Originally Posted by triesch View Post
    I grew up just outside of San Antonio, Texas. There's a hotel there which was built by this same method for the 1968 World's Fair ("HemisFair"). If anyone's interested, here's an article about the construction of that one:

    21-story modular hotel raised the roof for Texas World Fair in 1968 | modular.org
    It's impressive that, according to the article, "the 500-room deluxe hotel was designed, completed and occupied in an unprecedented period of 202 working days."

    It's amazing that the 202 days even included the design time!

    When I took the boat ride in San Antonio a few years, the tour guide pointed out the hotel and told of its rapid construction.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Quote Originally Posted by wec View Post
    I knew about the modular construction and had heard about but never believed the urban myth of removing the rooms periodically.
    When I did some Google searches, it was amazing how many sites repeat the urban myth as being true.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  14. #14

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    Very intriguing article Werner! Thank you so much! We always look forward to your posts. Informative!

  15. #15

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    Re: April 23, 2010: Urban Legend about Disney's Contemporary

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIF6mc9SQA0]YouTube - Construction of WDW Contemporary Resort by U.S. Steel[/ame]

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