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“Close to the Magic, but that's it!” 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
France
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
297 helpful votes 297 helpful votes
“Close to the Magic, but that's it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

Exceptional location as most reviews keep saying but for us no restaurant, no shop, no community hall...everything is at Contempory.

The good..
Location Magic Kingdom
Fireworks view
DVC lounge bar viewing platform
Monorail transport
Links to Polynesian and Floridian
Usual high std rooms
Washer dryer
Well equipped kitchen
Clean pool

Poor...
Restaurants at Contempory inadequate
Contempo cafe below par service
Mickeys overpriced and so noisy
Waves okay, just okay
Contempory lots of vacant souless space
No meeting space, bar or lobby

Not one of our favourites and yet sat snuggled in a blanket, drink and snacks watching the Wishes Fireworks will stay a memorable favourite.

Tips...

Book park view
DVC lounge bar is excellent, all the hype about booking is nonsense. Just go, must be the real peak times that it is oversubscribed.we were amongst only 10 others whilst there.....
Catch the monorail and go to the restaurants at Polynesian kona Cafe was excellent, the beef noodle amazing...and Floridian has some upscale choices.
Access to Contempory is on 5th floor walkway


Not much else really, we will not likely go back.

Room Tip: Park View, without question.
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  • Stayed April 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,066 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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English first
Worcester, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

My in-laws are DVC members and my husband really wanted to stay here so for our most recent trip, this is where we booked. We had a studio on the 12th floor with a Magic Kingdom view and as far as we were concerned, that was only good thing we enjoyed about our stay here. Watching the fireworks from our balcony (while our baby was sleeping peacefully) was quite amazing.

Here is a list of the short-comings of this resort which are the main reasons that we will not be booking there again:
--There are no restaurants in the building....you have to go to the Contemporary for everything. We were completely unaware of this. The first day, after we got settled into our room, my husband and I were starving from our long day of travels and our 6 month old needed a bottle and a nap. So we decided to try room service....but there wasn't a room service menu. So we called down and they were going to bring one up for us. So we waited.....finally my husband decided to walk over to the Contemporary and pick up a couple things from the Contempo Café. He was able to walk over to the Contempo Café, order lunch, bring it back and we ate it all before the room service menu was brought to our room. Thanks........

--The food options (once you get to the Contemporary) aren't anything that great. Contempo Café...quick serve. Chef Mickey's....BARF! The Wave....decent food, but weird atmosphere and strange location. When you have 2 resorts using these restaurants you would hope for some decent options.

--There are no shops in the building.....just a little gift shop would be nice. Maybe sell some BLT souvenirs, maybe something that says DVC, maybe just some sunscreen and water. Had to trek over to the contemporary for everything. With the baby, it was just added steps to everything that we did.

--When we arrived in our room, there was still popcorn on the floor under the table from the previous guests.

--The room was rundown looking. You could clearly see the traffic pattern worn in the carpet, the toilet paper holder in the bathroom was broken and we had to keep our toilet paper on the edge of the sink, there was paint chipped and dings in the entertainment center and walls. (It might not seem like a big deal but DVC members pay annual fees to cover this kind of maintenance).

--They make it seem like the resort is secure and you need your key to access the building but on our 2nd day there were 2 people walking thru the halls slipping take-out menus under the doors...but they want you to wear wristbands in the pool? So the pool is more secure than the rooms........

Overall it was just a logistical nightmare....it might not have been so bad if we weren't bringing a stroller everywhere....but it's Disney so I feel like that should have been considered in the design.

The next time we'll be going back to our all time favorite: Old Key West
It's low-key, comfortable and it feels like a home away from home.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in a one bedroom villa with a lake view. Watching the sunrise from our balcony was priceless. The proximity to Magic Kingdom is unbeatable. We are DVC members, but this was our first stay at Bay Lake Tower. I read the reviews prior to our arrival, most of them positive. I can't even imagine someone complaining about this place. I would absolutely stay here again. Can't even imagine staying elsewhere if you are planning on visiting Magic Kingdom more than once.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort McMurray, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

This is our 4th time staying at Bay Lake Towers and my family loves the hotel. I have stayed at the studios and the 1 bedroom. This last stay, we had a studio with lake view. The room is on the small size but we only use the room to sleep. The beds were very comfortable and the sofa couch was big enough to sleep both my teenage kids who are 6'.
We love the pool area which the family used every afternoon after going the parks every morning. The lifeguard does come around to check id's because there are people who sneak in this area from the Contemporary. The only problem about the pool area is people will place towels on seats and then take off to the parks which leaves people not being able to get a spot.
The Magic Kingdom is only a 5 minute walk away. I have read a lot of complaints about how you have to walk to the Contemporary Hotel for restaurants, etc. but it is a two minute walk at the most. Your at Disney World, people should be used to walking a little bit.
I would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: I prefer the standard view (most have partial view of water or garden area) or lake view. I find th...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lake placid
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

I have to say there were a few bad trip advisor reviews so I had my doubts .Boy was I mistaken place is great we were on the 15th floor for 4 days no problem on early check in view was great pool was great, rooms clean and service was great . 1 problem was at the pool a guard kept coming around asking for ID and even though he had seen our ID several times he kept asking for it and for us to put bands on . My friend said " If you have to put on bands then post it at the entrance to the pool" ,after all you need you key to get into the building need your key to get to the pool and there were only 2 gates I didn't see anyone jumping it . When we asked the front desk their policy they did not know anything about it and gave us complementary passes to Blizzard Beach so something must have been up with the pool guy other than that we should have stayed there the 8 days instead of breaking up with 4 days at the Tree houses but that another review

Room Tip: be above the 5th floor for a room and don't stay facing the parking lot on floors 1-5 very noisy
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

This hotel is amazing!! My husband and I booked this hotel for our 10th wedding anniversay and vow renewal. We were upgraded to a MK view with the 2 br suite for a party of 3 adults and 2 kids and it didn't disappoint! We stayed on the 10th floor (room 8022). We saw the fireworks every night from the balcony. I've read the reviews from this site but we never had a problem with our room or staff. The pool was small but the kids had a ball. The room was expensive but well worth it. The furniture was a little worn but I had a MK vieww so who cares? If you ever have a chance, please stay at this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to get a room not near the pool. It can be very noisy.
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  • Stayed April 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

The room here was one of the nicest rooms I had ever stayed in, 2 bedrooms, 3 bath, with a kitchen and living room. The view from the room was amazing the nice bay, space mountain, the castle, and even the fire works. Staying at a place with a monorail was defiantly a plus. But when I'm staying in Disney I want a theme, something I can't get anywhere else. The walkway to the contemporary is located on the 5th floor and because we had a stroller we needed to use the extremely slow out of sync elevators. It was literally a half mile walk from our room to the food court then back to the room. I wouldn't stay here again, next time I would try the Polynesian or I would go back to Coronado.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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