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“One of the best locations to visit Magic Kingdom” 4 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
Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“One of the best locations to visit Magic Kingdom”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

My husband, my 3 years old and I stayed in a studio at the Bay Lake Tower hotel for 3 nights and we really enjoyed it.
It’s a very quiet hotel with excellent room service, good size rooms, comfortable beds and a nice kitchenette space.

The only thing I found a bit annoying is the fact that the vast majority of the services (restaurants, market, monorail) are
located in the Contemporary Hotel. A gateway on the fourth floor of the Bay Tower gives access to the Contemporary Hotel.

We loved the Bay Lake Tower but we will most probably try the Contemporary Hotel the next time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,067 reviews from our community

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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 (356)
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Newark, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We booked with davids Disney vacation club rentals. I definitely recommend using this company!!

Check in: We arrived around 10am and was greeted outside but a man with an iPad with all of our info (pretty cool!)
We were escorted to the front desk where there was no line. The woman taking care of us was very kind but sooooooooo slow. We were getting a little annoyed but got over it quickly. Our room was ready right away.

The room: we were on the 8th floor with a partial view of the pool and bay. The room was super clean (I have high expectations for cleanliness). The room is exactly how I see it on the websites and the pics on here. We were close to the elevator and coming and going was never an issue.

Accessibility to the parks: magic kingdom is walking distance! You can also take the monorail as well. You can also take the monorail to Epcot from the hotel!! We took the bus to HS but had no problems with that at all.

Downfall: since it is a vacation club, your room is not serviced by housekeeping daily. You can call down to them to get more towels, etc. one morning we called first thing for towels, when we got back to the room (8-9pm) the towels still weren't there! Another time we needed towels it took over an hr to get them. That is the only major complaint we had but it didn't by any means ruin our fun!

Restaurants on site: chef mickeys is a must do! The food quality is basic but the experience is great! We do it every time we go to Disney. The wave: located on the bottom floor. It is part of the dining plan. The food was great! Service was excellent. I would def eat there again! The cafe located next to chef mickeys: suprisingly for quick service it was not bad. My chopped salad was nothing special but my husbands flatbread steak pizza was good. The kids chicken nuggets were pretty good, too LOL.

Boat rental: we rented a boat for about an hr. you do not need prior experience to ride their boats. This was our second time doing it. The guys are great in the rental area. We took the boat out on the bay and went past all the surrounding hotels and MK!! It's a new family tradition!

The arcade at the contemporary was nice. High quality games and the kids and myself enjoyed it. The man who drew the caricature pictures was cheaper than in the parks! The souvenir stores carry a good amount of goodies!

Check out: we didn't haven't to check out at the front desk. Our luggage went right to the airport BUT our one suitcase wasn't on our flight home. Not sure who is to blame but we got It the next day.

Magical express transfers are great. We have to make 3 stops to the neighboring hotels but it goes by fast. The buses are clean and new looking!

Overall, we were very impressed with the location and with the company we booked through. We will def go back to bay lake but also would like to try the other vacation clubs such as grand Floridian when it's done!

Room Tip: Book your breakfasts inside the park before the park actually opens so once you are done with breakf...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

I travel a lot for business and love staying at Hiltons and Kimptons for their modern decor and ample amenities. When I visit Disney World, I'm used to rooms being a bit more dated and/or themed - after all, Disney isn't going after business travelers, but rather family vacationers. Bay Lake manages to give you Disney themeing while also providing modern decor and ambiance - it's the best of both worlds if you're like me and want a more modern hotel experience.

Our room, while not huge, was well laid-out and offered ample storage space, especially in the kitchenette that felt like a kitchen you'd find in an apartment, not a kitchenette in a hotel room. The bathroom has one of the nicest showers - both in terms of design and water pressure - I've found at Disney. The layout of the room is such that the sleeping area is set back quite a ways from the door, so as a light sleeper I slept better here than I do at most Disney hotels.

The Magic Kingdom is also within walking distance, a huge bonus if you're like me and don't love relying on Disney transportation. Some people may not love having to walk to and from the main Contemporary building for restaurants, shopping, and transportation, but I enjoyed the separation and the serenity I could find at Bay Lake. I can't wait to go back again.

Room Tip: If you're booking a lake view room, you might want to request a room in the center of the U-shap...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

First, we are DVC members. I think that is always important to point out because we have already "paid" for our accommodations. I believe reviews are different based on whether you are outright paying for this hotel stay or whether you are a DVC member and have already paid for it upfront.

With that being said, we were very excited to stay at Bay Lake. The rooms are beautiful, clean, and large with comfy beds. We have a family of five (all three children are 8 and under) and fit perfectly in a 1 bedroom villa. We booked our room for a Lakeview and luckily ended up with a half Lakeview/half Parkview. We could see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom from our balcony each night. We were on the 3rd floor, so we couldn't see the castle, but we still could see the fireworks.

TIP#1: To be perfectly honest, I would not pay the extra (or use the extra points) for the Magic Kingdom view because you can go up to the Observation Deck for the show (which isn't really that long) and watch it all there for FREE.

Bay Lake also has lots of other activities going on for the kids and the pool is much better than the one at the Contemporary (although the slide was closed for refurbishment the week we were there which our kids were not happy about. lol). But, you may use either pool. They have nightly campfires, games by the pool. activities at their own community hall.

As far as convenience, Bay Lake is by far best in comparison to other resorts we have stayed at. You have the walkway to the Magic Kingdom (or the monorail).....

TIP#1: If you don't mind the walk, take the walkway TO the MK, because they make 3 stops on the monorail going to the MK. On the way home though - when you are tired anyway, take the monorail....Contemporary is the first stop.

You also can take the monorail to EPCOT. We did not have any major problems with waiting for busses at all.

The access by covered walkway to the Contemporary was so nice. There you have Chef Mickey's and shops and a market (which is nice to fill up your kitchen with cereal and milk for the kids breakfasts). There is a beauty salon and barber shop on the third floor at the Contemporary as well. The quick service dining at the Contempo Café was great at the Contemporary, too. My husband got the Mahi Mahi sandwich two different times we ate in there because it was so good.

The staff was completely All-Out Disney here. Excellent customer service and always telling us to have a "Magical" day. Or asking the kids if they had a fun day upon our return. My husband played golf and the staff was wonderful to help plan his travels to and from the Disney golf courses.

TIP#3: If you golf, you will have to pick up the cab from the Contemporary, so be prepared to carry your clubs over there. Although, I am sure you could have someone do it for you if you want to pay for it.

All in all, Bay Lake met all of my expectations and then some. In the past, we have stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Villas, Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans, and even the campgrounds. Bay Lake is one of my top picks due to the convenience alone. My husband's favorites are Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge for the ambiance (which are beautiful), not for the convenience and apparently ambiance ranks higher with him. It's close for me, but the convenience gave Bay Lake the top spot in my book! Hope this helps! Enjoy!!!!

  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We are a family of 3 and stayed 6 total nights (we are not DVC members) in a 2 bedroom villa. First trip to Disneyworld as well as first time staying at a Disney hotel in Orlando.

THE GOOD:
1) Convenient 10 minute walk to Magic Kingdom
2) Spacious rooms with everything you need in the kitchenette
3) Room cleanliness
4) Pool area
5) Connected to the contemporary (which is the full service hotel, BLT is not full-service)

THE BAD:
1) Front desk staff/customer service was terrible. Lack of courteousness and professionalism. There were 4-5 specific incidents in which staff members clearly did not make any attempts to provide customer service. Responses to questions such as "I was on break, I have no idea what's going on..."; And "What?" (how about saying "pardon me?" or "excuse me?") They just don't know how to talk to paying guests. DVC members should be upset by this behavior---annual dues go towards paying employees from my understanding. The parking lot guard provided a higher level of service than those in beige suits at the front desk.
2) Inconsistent information and expectations when booking hotel versus what real policies are. I was told late check out was available and it turns out there is none available. Improper expectations were set prior to my arrival.
3) FIRE ALARMS/EVACUATIONS: happened 4 times in 24 hours, the last one was at 4am and I received 3-4 different stories from staff as to why alarms were going off(front desk had no idea what was going on and did not seem at all concerned about safety of guests and there was no direction given to guests when we were all standing outside). ***We came back from Magic Kingdom after the first alarm and I asked a front desk associate "are the alarms fixed?" HIS RESPONSE: "I was on break." WHAT? That is an unacceptable response if you are in customer service. And another person said "Ma'am believe me, I am not doing this (fire alarm/evacuation) on purpose"
4) Inconsistent responsiveness from management. There were 3-4 managers and assistant managers who knew what they were doing and promptly addressed guests' concerns, but was not consistent amongst the management team. This is probably where the true issue lies when it comes to lack of customer service.

I realize that the fire alarm situation was unique to our stay, however, the unprofessionalism of the front desk staff should be unacceptable under Disney's book of customer service. I approached management in regards to our concerns and provided feedback in hopes that the level of service turns around. My impression about Disney (prior to this trip) is that they were supposed to set the bar for customer service around the globe, and if the staff at the BLT has set the standard, then Disney has a long way to go. Don't get me wrong, we had a blast at the parks and everyone at the parks for sure has graduated from the Disney academy of training, but I have no idea where the front desk staff at BLT got their training. I got better hospitality at Magic Kingdom from photographers, character "body guards", ride operators, ticket handlers and custodial staff when I stopped and asked them questions. These individuals at the parks always went out of their way to point us in the right direction and answer all of our questions....this was NOT the case from the front desk staff at BLT. Perhaps, the front desk staff members should spend a week in the life of a Disneyworld park employee to learn a thing or two about working in the hospitality industry. It was not "magical" experience staying at BLT.

I am guessing that management is not surprised by my review posted here on trip advisor.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Top Contributor
296 reviews 296 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

This is mostly a Disney time-share. They do have guests to Disney World, but all services (restaurants, check-in, concierge) are in the Contemporary Resort a three minute walk away. Nonetheless, it is clean, average size rooms, and quiet. Very nice pool.

The 5th floor connects through a walkway to the 4th floor of the Contemporary, where restaurants and mono-rail, entrance is found. Buses to Aninal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios also leave from the Contemporary. Ask for a room on the 5th floor so you don't have to go outside. It's slightly less expensive than the room rate at the Contemporary. We didn't find the distance to be a problem.

Room Tip: *** Get a room on the 5th floor of the Bay Towers so you can take the walk-way to the Contemporary...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Visited first week in January. Check in fast but first room was horrible. As soon as we opened the door of the room we smelled urine. Yes, urine! We are doctors so are very familiar with the smell. As we looked around the room we noticed the huge wet spot on the couch and found that to be the source of the smell. When we called to complain the first persons we spoke to seemed to want to argue with us about what we were smelling. I explained that with many hours working in nursing homes we know what urine smells like. We then called the manager who came to the room and immediately had us switched. I would have appreciated some kind of perk for the inconvenience but that was not offered although we wasted precious park hours. Second room was fine.

Room Tip: Our two bedroom was perfect for us and our three children. Lots of room.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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:
#23 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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