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“One of my Favorite Disney Properties” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #38 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Arlington Heights
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“One of my Favorite Disney Properties”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This was a Disney trip with grandparents, parents, and grandchildren over the Disney Marathon Weekend. Bay Lake Towerat the Contemporary Hotel suited our needs perfectly. The 2 bedroom villa is very spacious, family friendly, and the kitchen and laundry room have everything you can possibly need. The tower is calm and quiet unlike some of the other properties, and the Contemporary Hotel is so close for dining, shopping needs, and the monorail. Bay Lake Tower has a family friendly pool with water slides for bigones and little ones, as well as a fun shower splash area. I was truly impressed with the cast members who provided activities all day in the pool area, and built a bonfire for toasting marshmallows in the evening. Parking is very close to the building. The staff in the Tower are friendly and very accommodating. You can get rooms with a view of the Magic Kingdom, but if you choose not to pay extra for that, there are Bay Lake views where you can see the fireworks at EPCOT. I would happily return to this magical Disney property. The extra bonus is that you can walk to and from the Magic Kingdom.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (358)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed here from 12/28-1/2 precisely because I wanted to be able to walk back from the Magic Kingdom after New Year's Eve, without having to deal with Disney transportation.

The rooms are nice. We had a one bedroom lake view room. It was great having a separate living room, kitchen, bedroom. I loved the washer and dryer in the unit and the two bathrooms.

Our room was in good condition except one lamp did not work, and we were missing a blanket for the sleeper chair in the living room. That was the first problem. We called and requested a blanket. It did not arrive. After about 45 minutes, we called again. We were told that no one had noted the request but that they would bring us a blanket. After about 20 more minutes of no blanket, I walked down to the front desk and asked for a blanket. Finally, one of the front desk clerks brought the blanket about 15 minutes later. I'm not sure why getting a blanket requires such begging, but it was disappointing.

The location is great. It's easy enough to walk over to the Contemporary for restaurants and shops and then to walk to the Magic Kingdom.

The pool area is okay but not spectacular. It was not crowded when we were there.

The one thing we did not like much was that the rooms were not themed at all. To me, the hotel could have been any large, modern hotel in any big city.

I am glad we stayed here once. I am not sure if we will stay again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver, BC
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

During this trip, we stayed both at Bay Lake Tower and Animal Kingdom Lodge (separate review), back-to-back. Honestly, this is the first DVC I have stayed at that measures up to other hotel brands in the 4* or more category. Great, contemporary room in excellent condition.

Housekeeping was a tiny bit sloppy, the chrome accents were full of fingerprints and could have been removed with a quick wipe down (so why didn't they?!). As much as I liked the room, like with most of the DVC's I've stayed in, the kitchen did not actually make you want to cook (which is probably what Disney wants... you, on property, eating in their restaurants), and the dining area is very small.

The master bedroom and bathroom were spacious and comfortable, and the views towards the lake were great to have during the special water show.

Being a DVC owner staying at this property on points has a perk -- take the special elevator up to the lounge on the roof, and watch the fireworks over magic kingdom each evening. This is VERY popular, so if you're there during a high-occupancy time, get up to the roof at least 20 minutes or more early to secure a spot near the railing. Unfortunately, the guy beside me during the fireworks was snapping pictures continually, and had one of those 'fake' camera shutter sounds turned on -- he managed to turn off his flash at some point, but that annoying sound went on and on. He killed the Disney magic for me as I stood there fantasizing about launching his camera off the rooftop. I digress....

The pool is a bit of a let down design-wise and the slide was deemed BORING from my girls (ages 7 and 15). Other than my home resort (Beach Club Villas), I do not think Disney has it 'going on' for pools. Marriott and Starwood are paying much more attention to those features in their timeshare units.

Having this resort on the monorail, makes it quite fun even if you aren't spending time in the parks. It's great to see the other resorts and to have so many dining options. We didn't leave the resort at all, possibly because we didn't want to return to the car. I'm not sure why they have such a horribly huge parking lot (instead of a multi-level parkade), as your car gets to bake in the sun all day.

All-in-all, its welcomely contemporary design and location with multiple dining options accessible by monorail, gives it a definite edge over AKL for me. I would gladly return again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Oswego, IL
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

We are currently staying in a studio at Disney's Bay Lake Tower (BLT). We moved here after spending three nights in a studio at Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL),so, I want to make note of some of the differences in the rooms in this review while it is still fresh in my mind. Overall, I really like BLT. The location is GREAT with spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom (MK) resort area all around. Also, BLT is a relatively new resort and the overall appearance of the property is quite nice. Right now I am sitting on my balcony using the free, but spotty, WIFI overlooking Bay Lake with Space Mountain just off to my left. We booked a Lake View room, which is fine, but, given the views I have seen from other parts of the building, I would probably opt for a MK view next time. There are no restaurants at BLT, but, it is a short walk over the sky bridge to the Contemporary Resort which has several dining options.

The studio at the BLT is smaller than a studio at AKL. For example, we put an air mattress on the floor between the sofa and the sliding glass door at AKL. Could not do that at BLT as the sofa almost touches the glass door. Also, the night stands are very skinny, meaning the queen bed is only about a foot from the sofa. It is fairly tight, but, not terrible. The bathroom is fairly small, too, with a single sink. In comparison, there are two sinks and a large countertop outside the shower/toilet area at AKL. Also, the sliding door on the bathroom at BLT is somewhat less than optimal. I will leave it at that.

On the plus side, the kitchen (microwave, fridge, sink, utensils, etc.) area at BLT is WAY better than the AKL studio. It is actually a separate little "room" ( remember, this is a studio, not a 1BR suite, so, think small. Lots of storage space in the kitchen and just enough room to meet your needs.

All things considered, I would stay at BLT again. It has a fresh, clean, modern appearance and the location cannot be beat if you are visiting Mickey. Enjoy!

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I took out 3 year old and 16 month old to Disney. Since naps are still a part of our day and the Magic Kingdom was where we would be going most of the time, we chose to stay at Bay Lake. Best choice we made.

We had a 1br suite on the 5th floor. So no elavators for the walk to Contemporary. What a convenience.

Wish we could have stayed longer since you can really save some dough by cooking in your own.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My Family loved Bay Lake Towers. We have been to Disney once before and stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Everyone in the family agreed that if we were to return to Disney, we would stay at BLT again. At Animal Kingdom Lodge, we paid handsomely for bunk beds and for a view of the animals. The AKL room was fine, but so small that unless you were sleeping, you really could not be in the room. At BLT we stayed in a one bedroom villa with a lake view and there was plenty of space.

Our BLT room was clean, spacious, and well stocked with towels and kitchen amenities. The kids (ages 10 & 12) had their own bathroom but invaded ours several times to use the whirlpool bath. I am not one to take a bath in a hotel. However, the bathtub was so large and clean that even I took a bath one evening to soak my aching back.

We had two issues during our stay and both were immediately addressed. On our first night, we returned late and opened up the fold out couch and the fold out chair to find that there was only one pillow and one blanket. The next night we realized that the TV in our bedroom did not work. Both times the problem was solved in under 10 minutes.

The ability to walk to the Magic Kingdom is a huge bonus. It really is only 10 minutes from door-to-door. The walkway on the fifth floor between Bay Lake Towers and The Contemporary was a perfect place to watch the fireworks in Magic Kingdom.

I should include the disclaimer that we made a point to visit Disney during a slow time (right after New Years). During the fireworks, there were maybe 10 other people on the entire walkway. The pool/hot tub/fire pit/pool chairs were extremely unpopulated. We never had to wait in line to check in our out, or wait for a second bus or tram. It is also worth mentioning that the extra bathroom and fold out sleeping was perfect for our kids, but might not be as desirable for adults. The master bathroom is very large while the extra bathroom is quite small and the bedding the the pull outs is simply a set of sheets and blanket.

CONS:
* The front desk staff were professional but lacked the Disney charm. No smiles. However, the doormen and pool staff were very friendly.
* We paid extra for a lake view but could not see any of the Electric Parade. If this is important to you, be sure to request it. It is difficult to NOT want to see it because the music that accompanies it is so loud.
* The overhead shower in the master bathroom has no water pressure so that renders it useless. The wall mount shower is great.
* You have to walk The Contemporary to catch the bus or tram - but I assume you would already know this when researching where to stay, so not really worth complaining about...

My husband and I do not consider Disney a "vacation". It is a hurry-up-and-stand-in-line, over stimulating, exhausting family experience. But the kids LOVE it and that makes it worth the money and effort. BLT was better than we were expecting, and the full frig and in-room washer and dryer made the hotel stay fabulous.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

LOVED Bay Lake Tower. We've stayed on Disney property several times and while the Wilderness Lodge is my favorite regular hotel, the experience of staying so close ot the Magic Kingdom is fantastic and the modern rooms are great. We were in a 2-bedroom suite, facing the pool and Bay Lake (which had three full bathrooms!). I liked that it's set up like a hotel, versus a resort because everything was close (parking, front desk, pool) instead of spread out and in some of the other properties we had to drive to the pool.

Because this is a newer DVC property, it's in good repair. And, when it's not, they are very attentive to fixing things that need it in the room. While we weren't their in prime pool season, the pool was open and well-taken care of. There is a play area for kids/water slide and zero-depth entry (great for kids).

There are always a lot of activities going on and you can check out DVDs to watch in your room, for free. The hotel is within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, you can also take the bridge to the Contemporary and take the monorail. They have family movies playing on a blow up screen in the lawn between BLT and Contemporary.

This is a great place to see every fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom, including special events. There are a lot of choices, if you don't have a room with a MK view, you can go up to the lounge on the roof (need to go to the first floor and check in first, but it's free to go up and there's a cash bar and bar food). You can also see the fireworks from the bridge to the Contemporary, the patio outdoors at the Contemporary and many more areas.

Full size fridge, toaster, oven, microwave, stove, everything you need if you are staying and cooking for yourself at all. DVD players in the living room and bedrooms. Lots of drawers and closets, ask for extra hangers. Loved having balconies for each bedroom. There was also a washer/dryer in the suite.

Hallways were quiet, the worst noise came from our own suite because the door slams, no matter what you do.

Try to check in at off hours because the line can get LONG and there are usually only 2 desk clerks at the incredibly small front desk. Don't forget to check into your airline using the bag check center at Contemporary on the way out.

Restaurants and convenience stores/shops are all at the Contemporary, however BLT has 24 hour room service.

Early December is the BEST time to visit - less traffic but all the Christmas decorations are up. Won't come at any other time.

Room Tip: If you can get/afford a Magic Kingdom view, go for it, otherwise the views of the Bay are really nic...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Address: 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#22 Family Hotel in Orlando
#92 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 428
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort—balances a modern and luxurious experience with warm and innovative features and delivers some of the most dramatic views available anywhere at Walt Disney World Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bay Lake Tower At Disney`s Contemporary Hotel Orlando

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