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“First family disney vacation” 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 #36 of 327 Hotels in Orlando
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“First family disney vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

This was our first family disney trip and I would highly recommend the bay lake tower!!!! It was a dream vacation!!!

I loved the meal plan and the character meals!!! Food and service was excellent!!!

It was so convenient to stay on the monorail!!!

  • 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.
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1,104 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 (370)
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Worksop, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

This was our second stay at this hotel and this time we were in a one bed villa.


We booked a high room with lake view - what we got was 11th floor with lake and magic kingdom view it was amazing.

Top of the World Lounge was fantastic too - amazing views, friendly staff, good food and amazing cocktails!

We used the pool at the Contemporary Hotel as we prefer relaxing during the day after the hectic park life.

The room was simply amazing and the views over the lake unbelieveable, we did not want to leave.

I would ask for a lake view in future because yes the fireworks are breathtaking but the views in the day are better than the car park.

Love it, love it and love it.

Room Tip: Lake View as high as possible with a room ending 04.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

I will start with the positives first. The staff here is very friendly and personable in typical Disney fashion. The room was spacious enough and clean... we stayed in a One Bedroom Lake View Villa. We were provided with coffee, splenda, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc. The view was the best part. I came here with a 5 year old and 1 year old. After the baby was tucked in for the night, it was nice being able to watch the amazing fireworks from my balcony while my older kid was still at MK with dad. I could also see the astro orbiter in motion. The other half of the view was of the lake. We were on the tenth floor and couldn't have asked for a better spot. The pool was great. There is a zero entry area as well as a splash pad for the kids. There are two slides, a "thrill" slide as well as a tamer kid slide. There were a lot of activities like Bingo, sand art, stacking cups, etc. pool side for the kids. These were hosted by the DJs, all of which were fantastic.

Now the negatives. The biggest reason we stayed here was the convenience of the monorail and the close proximity to the MK. When the monorail was functioning it was awesome! We could get back from the MK to our hotel in mere minutes, which is nice when you are exhausted and hot and everyone needs a breather asap. Also, for some reason, the monorail was one of my daughter's favorite rides. The problem is that it only functioned half of the time we were there. At least once a day we could not use the monorail because it "was down." The very first thing my daughter wanted to do when we arrived after a 7 hour drive was to ride the monorail. This was her first visit and she was beyond excited. Imagine our disappointment when we got the gate and discovered it was not running. Oh well, crap happens, right?? But it just kept happening. The next day was pouring rain so we decided to go to Epcot. Guess what? Monorail is down! They ended up sending buses over, which was at least a 25 minute wait. In the rain. This, we soon realized, was the norm during our stay. On our last night my daughter wanted to ride the monorail one last time. You can guess what I am going to say next. It was down. After paying such a high premium for this convenience, I felt totally ripped off and upset.

The other negatives, which are just little things but when you pay 600 a night are irritating. There were two electrical outlets which did not work, so it was a bummer having to use the only one in the living area for baby monitor, phone, laptop, camera, etc. Me and my husband played tug of war with our chargers all week. On vacation, you just want to lay on your bed in your down time, maybe upload some pics on your computer, text your family back home, check the weather or email on your laptop. Most of the time I would have to sit at the table so I could use the only working plug. The other thing, the lighting is horrid in both bathrooms. I am not vain, nor did I even wear makeup or really fix my hair half of the time, but on a couple of nights we went to a table service dinner or out on the town and I had a hard time trying to do hair and makeup in those bathrooms. They really need some better lighting.

Overall we had a nice time, but I would likely try a different hotel-maybe another monorail hotel hahahah in the future.

Room Tip: If you would like to be close to the breezeway to the Contemporary ask for a room on level 5 I belie...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 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.
Seattle, Washington
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We loved our stay in the Bay Lake Tower three bedroom unit! We were told it would be a Lake View, but to our pleasure we could see the lake AND the Magic Kingdom. We could watch the fireworks right from our room. The room was very spacious and had great amenities. (Coffee pot, washer, dryer, utensils, cooking pans and pots, etc.) We had seven adults and three children in the unit and it was plenty big enough for our group. From the unit it is only about a ten minute walk to the Magic Kingdom entrance, or a four minute walk to the monorail where you can get service to all of Disneyworld. We are not DVC members, so we received the benefit of daily maid service. This way we could save money by eating a few meals in the unit, but not have to clean up afterwards! Perfect!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Camberley, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

I was really excited when we arrived at Bay Lake. There was 4 of us staying there including a 6 year old, we had a 2 bedroom villa with a Lake View. The check in gentleman was lovely and welcoming and told us about all the changes that had been made to Disney since we had been a year ago. Upon arrival to our room we weren't provided with a guest services manual (the blue folder full of info). I called the front desk to try and get one and I was palmed off with "We'll have that right with you ma'am" Needless to say I didn't get one until the THIRD DAY. There was some really useful info in there as well which would have been helpful on the first day!

I was quite shocked that the hotel was really intended just for Disney Vacation Club members, the California Grill (located in the contemporary resort) was closed as a surprise to us - the only place in the hotel to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks unless you had a MK facing room. We were not told about CG being closed for refurb before our arrival which was VERY disappointing and really shrunk the amount of places there were to eat. The other place you could view the fireworks was at the Bay Lake Towers 'Top of the World' lounge which was located right at the very top of our hotel - also directly above our room as we were on the 14th floor. Sounds great doesn't it? No. Because only DVC members were allowed. Considering the CG was closed and we didn't have a MK facing room we were really upset by this as we are a family who are big fans of the fireworks, we did however have the booming music coming into our room whilst the fireworks were going off as the music from the fireworks is played directly into and onto the balcony of the top of the world lounge, felt a bit rubbed in our face!

Housekeeping - upon arrival the room was very clean, no complaints. However, after our first day of adventure we came back and only one room had the bed made, we had our towels taken away and none replaced. I went straight down to the front desk and the staff were very apologetic and sent someone to rectify this quite promptly. It just seemed very strange! For the rest of the holiday it was fine, but a little tip... don't leave ANYTHING on the beds as the housekeeping staff are not allowed to change the bed if any personal belongings are left on the beds... we discovered this after the second day. Its a good rule but its also good to know if you're a guest! The actual bed sheets are changed every few days but are made properly every day which is fine.

Food - there is actually no where to eat in Bay Lake Tower apart from the appetisers you can have at the top of the world lounge - not proper food. You have to walk across the bridge to the Contemporary Resort which has 3 places to eat at the moment, Chef Mickeys, The Contempo Cafe and The Wave. Some more advice for you all, if you want to eat at Chef Mickeys it is a character dining so you HAVE to make reservations - i'd recommend doing this before you go! We were lucky to get reservations when we were actually there but I'm sure this wouldn't normally be the case. Food was great and you get to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck. We had breakfast and dinner there, both are buffets with a great selection of food. The Contempo cafe is primarily a 'Quick Service' where you order through a computer, take it to the till and you wait for your food to be cooked, go up and get it and sit down or take away. The staff on the tills were so exhausting I had a few complaints when I was there - there was no quick service about it. The staff was incompetent on the tills and didn't seem to know how to work the computers? They went so slow and generally held up a big queue and it was a VERY exhausting experience - but its the ONLY place to eat there without reservations! The Wave - we went here on our first night because we couldn't get food anywhere else and after an 8 hour flight thats the last thing you need! We couldn't get a table at the Wave so we were ushered to the bar area (little bit inappropriate with a tired and hungry 6 year old and 3 grumpy adults) where the bar man was very helpful, we didn't like anything on the menu, it was primarily seafood dishes so they made us up some normal american style stuff like burgers and pizzas. We learnt our lesson after that and made reservations for other places or went out of Disney to eat!

Access to the parks - The monorail goes right through the Contemporary hotel which was really cool! It goes above the restaurants. The monorail is the easiest way to get to the Magic Kingdom, although it didn't make much sense that it went the opposite way.. it goes to the Transportation and Ticket Center, The Polynesian and the Grand Floridian before making its stop at MK. Felt a bit long considering MK is literally right next to the Contemporary/Bay Lake. However when you get back on the monorail to go back the Contemporary is the first stop. We booked a Princess breakfast at Epcot and we strolled on down to the bus station assuming the bus would take us there, little did we know that ONLY the monorail goes there, you have to change at the Transportation and Ticket Center! We were sat there like lemons for half an hour and I walked over to the Contemporary to find a sign saying MONORAIL ACCESS TO EPCOT -> I couldn't believe it! This was NOT displayed in Bay Lake or close to the bus station! I was so angry! We were nearly an HOUR late for our reservations we were so lucky to get let in! I didn't realise you were already meant to know that... but I guess it was probably in the guest services manual WHICH WE DIDN'T HAVE! Unbelievable. However, the rest of the parks including Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are accessible through bus transportation. We actually drove to Typhoon Lagoon and parked right out front as it was quicker than the lengthy bus ride round the resorts.

The resort is really far into the Magic Kingdom and it takes forever to get anywhere - so if you plan on staying here and going out in Orlando to shop or whatever - i'd stay somewhere like Saratoga Springs where it is much more accessible. We had to drive at least 10-15mins just to get out of Disneyworld. But its great if you are just going to do Disney as its closer to most things.

There isn't too much to say about Bay Lake in terms of the hotel, the staff seemed not that knowledgable... the pool area was fine with a bar which serves food and drinks. The weather was rainy whilst we were there so we only got two days of sunshine with pool time. We were refused a late check out and normal check out time is 11am! WHO has that ridiculous check out time?? I was really upset about that. We were offered a room in the Contemporary resort until 2pm but we didn't end up using it as we stayed in the Magic Kingdom until we had to leave for our flight.

When we came back to Bay Lake to collect our luggage they had already sent it over to the Contemporary hotel and MADE us get it ourselves! The cheek of it! We had parked in the Bay Lake parking lot so it would have made sense for them to bring it back for us? But no. We had to go over to the Contemporary and wait for our luggage - I had to then bring the car around and the bell man loaded the car with our luggage luckily. I was quite happy to get out of the resort - the staff were just so dumb and didn't help like we expected them to. Not the Disney service we were used to as we had a lovely time at Saratoga Springs last year.

Last part of the story - I ended up joining the DVC so we got access to the top of the world which was great, really worth it! The view was fantastic!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 2 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.
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
256 helpful votes 256 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Like previous reviewers noted, we loved the extra room for our family of five. It was nice to be able to put two kids on the sleeper sofa, one in the pull-out chair, and then shut the door to the master bedroom. After hours and hours in Magic Kingdom, the uninterrupted sleep was nice.

As for location, five minutes to walk to the park. Great!! The pool is also great, but can get a bit crowded during the evening hours. We also enjoyed our view of the fireworks at night from our balcony.

However, in our next trip, we are going to request a room that overlooks the lake, so as to experience another view Bay Lake offers.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

This hotel is very modern, which makes it seem more like a hotel in manhattan rather than in Orlando. The location can't be beat, 5-10 minute walk to Magic Kingdom. You can hop on the monorail and take it to Epcot right from inside the hotel. The pool is just okay for me, not much going on. The views from the room are spectacular, we could see the castle and space mountain right from our balcony. We could watch the fireworks from the room. Overall, very good stay. Just not as "classic disney" as the boardwalk or beach club for me.

Stayed March 2013
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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
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:
#27 Family Hotel in Orlando
#87 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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