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“Bay Lake Towers December 23-29, 2012”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #28 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Bay Lake Towers December 23-29, 2012”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We loved our stay at Bay Lake Towers. Our room was on the 12th floor Room Number 8204. I booked a lakeview room asking for rooms ending at 04, 10 or 12. This allowed me and my family to have not only the lake view but also a view of the Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle also at night the fireworks display. We were spoiled each and every night with the 10 minute firework show.

The room was spacious, kitchen great, and washing machine a god send. The staff in the lobby were very helpful and accomidating. Though checking in got a bit confusing since the bus did take us over to the Contemporary to check in and not to Bay Lake Towers.

On the days we wanted off Disney property we were able to rent a car through the National/Alamo location onsite. Not only was it helpful but convinent.

Disney bus transporatation and Monorail located at the Contemporary Hotel were great, clean and friendly.

Though the parks were full of people the Disney staff were still helpful and happy.

Room Tip: If you get a lakeview room ask for a higher floor room ending at 04, 10 or 12 you will not only get...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank Paveena G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Franklin, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Just a simply fantastic resort. We loved the location, can't stress enough you get exactly what you pay for at Disney. The fact you can walk to the park and the monorail at the Contemporary is such a great time saver. My family and I really felt the amount of time we saved was well worth the extra money we spent.

The room/suite itself was beautiful. We have stayed at a few Disney Resorts over the years and this one was one of the best. Disney does everything so well to prepare the room for a family to enjoy their vacation. We always feel at home while staying at a Disney property. I can't specifically say it was the television, the kitchen, or the bed but the luxury it obvious. The entire suite was very clean. We always like to make sure everything is top notch before we un-pack and this place was above top notch. Sometimes we let small things go because at the time it has no impact on us like dirt in the corner. If we find just a little dirt we normal think, hey it's cleaner than our house. This suite was spotless, nothing in the corner, nothing anywhere just clean.

The bed was very comfortable but the best part of the suite was the bathroom. Extremely clean and extremely luxurious. The glass shower was large and had great water pressure. The tub was a whirlpool that the kids loved. They thought it was fantastic. We had bought some bubble bath for fun and I have never seen so many suds. If it was for the fact we were right next to the park I'm not sure we could have gotten the kids at of the tub.

We would all highly recommend this resort for anybody who wants to enjoy the Disney Parks. I would recommend this resort to everybody but I wouldn't stay here if you are going to the Disney Parks.

Room Tip: You have to pay even more for the best view and we didn't feel like it was worth the extra cost...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank goodliving4us2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
97 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

We purchased DVC, with Bay Lake as our home resort, after spending 1 week there in October of 2009.

Had I had the experience then that I had this week, I would not have purchased into DVC.

First, let me say this resort does have a good location. Its close enough to walk to Magic Kingdom and its on the monorail system. It also shares the good restaurants of Contemporary Resort (see my review of The Wave, Contempo Cafe, and California Grill.) The facilities themselves are well maintained, well layed out, etc. The only facility related issue is that our bed was very, very uncomfortable. Given what we pay in annual dues, the upkeep of the facility is expected.

However, the arrival and departure I experienced on this trip was disastrous and enough for me to just put my points up for sale.

We arrived 12/22 at about 11 AM. We had received an email that we should check in at BLT instead of Contemporary. When we arrived, it was a zoo. A woman names Tracey told us to leave our bags on the street and we waited and waited and no bell man arrived, no one offered to help us, etc. Tracey then came over and started weirdly rubbing on my arm saying everything was fine. It was one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. My wife and I decided to go to Contemporary and check in. Check in was great, they took our bags, we went off to the park, and had a good time.

When we returned for our grand villa about 4, we checked in and then went to get provisions from the marketplace. When we attempted to return to the BLT, our key would not open the door to the pedway. 3 other couples had the same problem so it was clear it was not our key, it was a mechanical malfunction.

When we finally came back to the villa, I called to inform the front desk as a courtesy. They kept saying it was my key and I had to go back down and get it changed. I told them they should send someone up with new keys but it was my opinion it was not my key since other families had the same problem. They finally agreed to send me the keys and of course, the next day, the physical plant guys told me that it was a malfunction. My main complaint is I was doing them a favor reporting this malfunction and their response is I should be further inconvenienced by having to go get a new key. A simple thank you, "we're on it", would have sufficed.

Later in the trip, I called for information from concierge and on 2 occasions I was told by the operator - who is not in the hotel - "The Concierge has decided not to take additional calls today." What a strange response - especially for an alleged 4 diamond hotel.

Finally, my departure today was also a disaster. I called for a bellman 15 minutes before we needed to leave. Jack came and was great. The fellow who sent the bellman up also said he would send a taxi to BLT.

When we came downstairs, the taxi was driving off. Jack, our bellman, called Roy, who heads valet at Contemporary and asked him to send the taxi back. Roy refused. Jack then asked Holly at BLT to call a taxi and she also refused. No reasons were given. So, here we go with all our luggage to Contemporary to try and chase a taxi. Roy could not have been more rude. He was a 20 something prep who was more interested in fraternizing with his colleagues than helping us. I actually caught him smirking behind my back and then he ran over to smooth things over. I refused. I went inside and sought out someone to get the name of the GM and gave them my card. Of course, I haven't heard from the GM so I'll give the world the same report I would have given him.

This property desperately needs an overhaul on arrival and departure.

Beware, the Roy at Contemporary Resort is not anything like Roy Disney.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank KeithAHall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shreveport, LA
Level Contributor
92 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

We have been Disney Vacation Club members since 1997 when there was only Old Key West and the Boardwalk Villas at Walt Disney World. We've stayed at several of the WDW resorts, some many times. Our college aged son had been dying to stay at Bay Lake Tower so we booked a stay in October during Food & Wine Festival (and his fall break). We stayed in a one bedroom villa (I've seen several reviews call these suites, but they are not suites. BLT has no suites, only villas). I've also read that so many guests were disappointed in the studio which is the smallest DVC studio on the property (other than the Animal Kingdom Value Villa Studio). The studio is very tight and really is only suitable for a couple. A family of four would be very tight. Our one bedroom was a lake view (inside the C), so we got a lot of the pool noise during the day. The pool was nice, but small. We could have gone to either of the Contemporary Resort pools as well, but we were busy going to Epcot for lots of Food (and some wine).

We had the king bed in the master bedroom and it was very comfortable. But I'm not a big fan of duvets and this one was so so. I've heard DVC is going to change to triple sheeted beds instead of comforters or duvets, so that could be a nice change. Our son and his friend slept on the sleeper chair and sleeper sofa and they said they were pretty good for sleeping. The sleeper sofa wasn't very comfortable for sitting during the day, though. It was a bit hard. The sleeper chair was very comfortable for sitting and the little wooden side chair was very awkward for sitting. The cushion on the back was not adjustable and you just didn't fit in the chair.

The two bathrooms was also a nice perk. Most one bedroom villas at WDW have a single bathroom. But BLT and AKV (Kidani Village only) have an extra bathroom at the entrance to the one and two bedroom villas. That meant my husband and I could keep the master bathroom to ourselves and our son and his friend could use the other one. And the master bath shower was really, really nice. Just like I'd like to have at home (had to take lots of pictures of the shower in case we decide to redo our bathroom at home and that is a real possibility). My husband used the jacuzzi tub a few times.

The fuil kitchen was nice and the refrigerator did have an ice maker in the freezer section. Old Key West is the only other DVC villa with an ice maker that I know of.

The washer and dryer is one main reason we prefer the one bedroom villa for our stays. It's so nice to go home with a suitcase full of clean clothes. I have no problems putting in a load when we head to the parks and putting it in the dryer when we return.

The ability to walk to the Magic Kingdom is a great perk. And taking the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center to catch the monorail to Epcot was excellent. We drove to the other parks and offsite. We found parking to be excellent. Most times we could park close up to the building.

Check in was efficient and quick. We had not checked in on line, so we had to check in when we arrived. If you arrive via Magical Express from the airport, you check in at the Contemporary. If you drive or take a cab or towncar, you can check in directly at BLT. Our villa wasn't ready, so we left our stuff in the car and took the monorails to Epcot for Food & Wine. We received a text message around 4PM saying our villa was ready and they gave us the room number. Check in for DVC resorts is an hour later than regular WDW resorts because the villa take longer to get ready. Check out is still the same at 11AM and they seldom offer late check outs because of the time it takes DVC villas to be cleaned. Plus the DVC resorts are usually 95-100% occupied because they are Disney's version of a timeshare.

Since we are DVC members and we were staying at BLT, we did go up to the Top of the World Lounge to watch the fireworks from the Not So Scary Halloween party at the MK. The Castmember checking DVC membership and Keys to the World had seen us so many times already that week, that we didn't have to show our KTTW or blue member card. We didn't partake of the refreshments in the lounge because we had been really enjoying F&W so much during the week.

We found the Castmembers to be friendly, the villa clean and we would stay here again. It just takes so many more points to stay at BLT than our home resorts of Old Key West. The only drawbacks were the noise from the pool during the day and uncomfortable seating during the day. It would be nice if they could tone it down a bit and let the "party" only run for an hour or two during the middle of the day. The living room is much smaller than the OKW living room (well, every living room at DVC resorts are smaller than OKW living rooms - they reduced the space in the villas once they found OKW and DVC to be winner).

While the one bedroom villa would hold five adults, I would think it might feel crowded with five. A family of five with three smaller kids would be more comfortable. Five adults would feel more comfortable in a two bedroom villa.

All in all, a very nice stay at a very nice resort.

One more thing. Since DVC is a timeshare and members pay for everything they get, you can't request extra towels, extra shampoo, extra laundry detergent without paying for it. Plus as DVC members, housekeeping services are limited. If you stay seven nights or less, you get your trash removed and towels replaced on day four (day one is check in day). If you stay eight nights or more, you get a full cleaning on day four and trash removed and towels replaced on day eight. Then the cycle repeats. We really like not having to worry about the housekeepers coming in just when we have decided to take a quick nap or watch a little afternoon television. If you book directly from Disney for cash, you will get daily full cleaning. Members can pay for extra housekeeping or extra trash and towel service if they want to. And they can purchase an extra towel pack if they need more towels.

Room Tip: If you can book a lake view room on the outside of the C (even number room), you might get a view of...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Minnie25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mission, Texas
Level Contributor
139 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

The best thing about this hotel is its close proximity to Magic Kingdom. It is nice to be able to see the Castle from your hotel window. It is one of the stops of the Monorail making it easy to access the monorail. The hotel is pretty basic and similar to most of the hotels for the Disney vacation club collection- nice pool, play area, good dining area etc. The studio room is really small and tight, reminds me of the small cabin at the Disney Cruise. A great hotel especially if Magic Kingdom is the highlight of your visit.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PalanggaTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Level Contributor
85 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

BL Towers is stunning, very contemporary, and upscale, yet like any resort it has it's upsides & downsides - mostly up. The pros: It's location is at the very heart of Disney World. It's about a 10 min. walk (400 yards or so) from the Magic Kingdom (on a designated path), which is also accessable by launch or monorail. Walking is faster. There is no bad view - either Bay Lake, the Magic Kingdom, or both. Parking is very convenient in an adjacent lot, which is close. You can unload at the front doors & staff is there to load a cart (they don't accept tips), then a bellman brings to your villa (he does accept tips). Villas are very contemporary, pleasantly decorated, and comfortable. Even the halls are stunning to walk. Square footage is at a premium here, so units are slightly tight, but very adequate & efficiently arranged. I toured a 2 BR which has 1 king, 2 queens, a sleeper sofa, & a sleeper chair (& 3 TVs). I stayed in a 3 BR, which has 1 king, 4 queens, and 2 sleeper sofas - on 2 floors (& 6 TVs). The 3 BR also has 4 balconies (2 BR has 2) and 2 story floor-to-ceiling glass, with power shades. The 3 BR 'Grand Villa' is far more spacious, if you don't mind 88 pts. ($1,900) a night (mid-Dec.). This is one very elite piece of real estate. There's a 5th floor walkway to the adjacent Contemporary Resort's 4th floor concourse, with a host of restaurants (from $10 for dinner, up ...WAY up). The pool is very nice, with slide & hot tub, but nothing particularly special for a Disney Pool. There's an exceptional BBQ pavillion and a pool bar with limited menu items.
The cons: While it's hard to find fault here, I'll point out a few just so you know what to expect. It's relatively new but units already show signs of heavy family use & many surfaces/furnishings are quite perishable, as if designed for style not heavy use. BR carpets are already crushed & worn, LR carpet had pulls, and leather chair edges were worn. Steps in 3 BR had many chips, scratches, & scraps. Lighting in BRs & baths was horrible - you can barely see your face in mirror & desk light was only marginally brighter than a night-light. LR & kit lighting was fine. Water pressure is very low - a Disney trademark. To compensate, shower head (except master BR) used pin size holes to put a high pressure spray that actually hurts & nearly injects you with water - ouch! There are no soap disher in shower - inconvenient. Master bath has an upscale Kohler dual head (one in ceiling & one on wall), but not enough water pressure to work well. Beds were a disappointment - too firm for my taste. They are sealy, but I was happy to get home to my standard Beautyrest which has less pressure points. The bath fan is a rediculous motion sensor controlled & turns on for a few minutes, then off. So, if you walk by it goes on and wastes elec., but in the shower it turns off (with no motion below it). So it spends much time on when not needed & much time off when needed. The pool bar food (at both BL Towers & the Contemp) was mediocre & limited. The menu has changes 4 times in the past 6 months due to complaints (according to the server). My son refused to order the politically correct lean turkey sandwich (on wheat of course) with carrot sticks & applesauce. This is vacation, could we please have a burger & fries (which we don't serve at home, but this is vacation). Carrots/applesause are nice, but maybe as an option, not the only choice. The Top-of-the-World Lounge is worse. No comfort food here - sushi anyone? ....bring your wallet. Their menu has also changed radically for the worse. The resort was full, but the lounge had but 2 patrons - I suspect it would be full with the right menu. Villa furnishings are of black paint - too persihable & already scratched up. Kitchen cabinates look cheap (but I bet they weren't) and of thin laminate over flakeboard which I suspect will not stand the test of time. Security was surprising lax. Last yr. it required a key to enter the building. This yr. I made several late night trips to car on pack-up evening (12:00 midnight) & walked it & out an unsecured building with no attendant in sight.
Overall we had a great stay & would rec this resort. I gave it an excellent rating & would call it 4 stars. I only point out cons to be helpful, not necessarily critical.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank cruisedoc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
122 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at Bay Lake Tower. The concierge all went our of their way to be helpful and kind. We got there early afternoon when our room wasn't ready yet. The concierge suggested we take the monorail to the Polynesian to have Dole pineapple whip at Captain Cook's. Great idea. We walked around the Polynesian then the Contemporary and then received a text that our room was ready. Perfect. It's so nice to be able to walk to the Magic Kingdom. It's also very easy to take the monorail to Epcot and also make connections to every where on property. The room was pleasant and comfortable. It does not have the Disney theme of something special but it was still nice. I would definitely stay there again ... though I enjoy trying all the different properties.

Room Tip: We stayed in the north tower. Even though we just had a 'lake room' - room 8008, a studio...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank QTandToots
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

Property: Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Address: 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8413
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:
#36 Family Hotel in Orlando
#61 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):
Warm luxury meets modern elegance at this lakeside Resort hotel just walking distance to Magic Kingdom park. Delight in Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, kitchens or kitchenettes and dramatic views that may include old-growth cypress trees, the shimmering Bay Lake, the lush courtyard or Cinderella Castle. Enjoy white-sand beaches, enchanting pools and award-winning dining-plus the extensive offerings of Disney's Contemporary Resort, connected by the convenient Sky Way Bridge, with access to transportation including the Resort Monorail. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bay Lake Tower At Disney`s Contemporary Hotel Orlando

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