This review is a little long, but comprehensive. We stayed at the Bay Lake Tower for 8 days (July 28-Aug 4) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our accomodations included a 2 bedroom/3 bath villa on the 9th floor with full view of the Magic Kingdom. The room included a full kitchen (oven, range, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and tableware), table seating for 6, and a living room with a flat screen TV, sleeper sofa and sleeper chair. Also included in the room is a washer/dryer combo, which is extremely useful during an extended stay. Dish detergent, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent are provided.
The master bedroom contains a king size bed, flat screen TV, jacuzzi tub, oversized vanity and a well appointed shower. The drawer and closet space is adequate. The room also includes a keypad safe. The balcony is large and provided a great viewing location for the Wishes Fireworks show.
The second bedroom contains 2 queen beds, flat screen TV, tub/shower, and separate vanity. The drawer and closet space are also adequate. The balcony is large and offer seating and a small table.
The third bathroom is separate from the bedrooms and is smaller, but useful. It contains a tub.shower and vanity. You run into an issue if you need to use the mirror after a hot shower, but that ranks very low on the list of potential complaints one could have with a bathroom.
The pool is excellent. It requires room key access as only Bay Lake Tower guests are permitted to use it. Bay Lake Tower guests may use the Contemporary pool, however. The water slide is fun (my 5yr old daughter and I both really enjoyed it). The pool varies in depth which gives everyone space and younger swimmers a chance to find solid footing. The pool was well-staffed with lifeguards. Also, Disney provides activites by the pool throughout the afternoon. There is a bar at the pool, which offers salads, light snacks, and all beverages. There is no hot food offered there, but the cafe at the Contemporary pool does.
There are no restaurants at the Bay Lake Tower. You must venture away from the building for any type of food, though room service is available.
Parking at the Bay Lake Tower is adequate and complimentary for hotel guests.
Unlike the other resorts, room keys are required at each point of entry. There are fewer employees in the lobby area as all check-in/check-out, concierge, bellman, and valet services are handled at the Contemporary.
This is the main selling point for the hotel. The property is technically located on the monorail, which is accessed via the Contemporary. Bay Lake Tower guests must cross to the Contemporary via covered walkway (which doubles as a great spot for fireworks viewing should you not opt for a room with a view of the park). Upon entering the monorail, you will make 3 stops prior to arriving at the Magic Kingdom. Allow 10-15 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom. The flipside is that you are the first stop when you leave the Magic Kingdom, which can be a HUGE bonus if traveling with tired and/or cranky kids/adults. The Bay Lake Tower is just a short walk (10 minutes at a mild pace) to the Magic Kingdom. The walkway is well-lit, clearly marked, and very convenient. We took advantage of both means of travel.
One tip: we used a service called Garden Grocer during our stay. They are a web-based grocery delivery service. You simply order the products you want, pre-pay for them and schedule a delivery. The company sorts them into bags identifying which must be refrigerated or frozen. The bellman stores the groceries in freezers or refrigerators should they be delivered prior to your arrival or if you're not around. They will deliver to any Disney property, save the Swan & Dolphin, for $12. I had an excellent experience with this company and would use them again. There are others should you choose to do research of your own.
In all, we had a great all-around experience at both the resort and the theme parks. Disney understands customer service and delivers a consistently strong product.
I have also posted restaurant reviews for the following:
Chef Mickey's (Contemporary)
The Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club Villas)
1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian)
The Plaza (Magic Kingdom)
Teppan Edo (Epcot)
Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom)
Pinnochio's Village Haus (Magic Kingdom)
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (Polynesian)
Rain Forest Cafe (Animal Kingdom)
Cinderella's Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)
Hollywood Brown Derby (Hollywood Studios)
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Epcot)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.