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“Sleek, convenient but pricey”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #23 of 338 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
St. Pete Beach, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Sleek, convenient but pricey”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

My husband and I chose to stay in a studio at Bay Lake Tower for a quick weekend stay because we were told the studios also had laundry machines. They don't, and the kitchens aren't the same as the 1bdrm villas so keep that in mind while booking. We really loved the location. Would have preferred a theme park view but the lake views were fine. The room was quite small and unexceptional for the price, but we're going to try for a 3bdrm with theme park view next time (with the whole family). The staff were all friendly and accommodating. Although Old Key West and Saratoga are much, much better bang for your buck, as a family with young children we cannot deny the lure of being so close to the Magic Kingdom.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank BeachyBumsRWe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Florence, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Bay Lake Tower was the only one left at the time of booking other than Saratoga Springs (which we've already been too many a time) so we decided to come on over to a new resort in the Magic Kingdom area. That would probably be its best quality - the monorail to Epcot and the short walk to Magic Kingdom are quick, easy, and rather painless, unlike the busses which rarely come and are always jam packed full of people, yet still stop at the other two hotels even though we are already way past capacity, but I rant. Anyway, if you are staying here, GET THE PARK HOPPER!! I can not stress this enough, because when it's ten o'clock and you are back in your hotel room, walk over to the Magic Kingdom and ride Peter Pan or something. I did this multiple times and it was amazingly fun. I can't tell you much about the busses but I know that they only stop at Contemporary, the only bus stop is over there. I drove to the rest of the parks.

Downsides. The rooms are small compared to the other hotels in this category. Sure, they are probably the same square footage but the kitchen is huge, making the bathroom area shrink inwards. Also, the door to the bathroom is a sliding door, which while looks super modern, it also results in either slamming it against the opposite wall or leaving it halfway open unintentionally.

The pool is nice, just a normal pool though. The slide is one of the major highlights as is the zero depth entry, which makes it easy for every member of your party to enter instead of just jumping into the water.

Take notice that most of the amenities are shared with the Contemporary though. Only one take out restaurant is located on site at the pool and closes early. Gift shops and the market are also located at the Contemporary, as well as the stops for the monorail and bus. The only things the BLT has for itself are check-in, community hall, and the pool which is only accessible by BLT guests. This however is not that bad because of the sky bridge, which also offers amazing views of the Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom, great for fireworks viewing and pictures. This is on the fifth floor of BLT and puts you on the 4th of the Contemporary, which is where everything is located within that hotel. If you are a DVC member, don't miss the 16th floor lounge. It offers an amazing view of the Wishes fireworks without the crowd of viewing them on Main Street in the park.

All in all, this hotel has some major bonuses and some major downsides. I suggest this to you if you are a family that is very interested in the get up and go parts of WDW.

Room Tip: Try to get on the fifth floor as it is close to the bridge to the Contemporary and therefore the mon...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Katie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Having stayed at the All Stars Movies and Music, Port Orleans, Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas (x3) and the Grand Floridian, it was time to try something different. Granted, I had to use a few extra Vacation Club Points to stay here, but it was worth a shot.

I hadn't booked here before because it looked a bit clinical and I was worried it might lack the Disney touch. Well, what a distant memory those thoughts are!

Pros:

-Top notch hotel; a little bit of luxury
-2 bedroom villa was beautiful; spacious, clean, tasteful, excellent facilities, wonderful view of the theme park and large balconies
-within very easy reach of the Contemporary and its restaurants, bars and pools, and the monorail
-10 minute walk to the Magic Kingdom door to door (yes, I did time it!)
-lovely private roof top bar and excellent views of the night time show
-beautiful location on the lake, a small stretch of beach, lovely pool / slides and a reasonable snack bar with access to all you can get drinks
-convenient for boat rentals
-good transportation to all parks
-outdoor films in the evening
-monorail connects the other Magic Kingdom hotels; great to have a nose and to book into different restaurants. Also easy access to the ticket and transportation centre and the EPCOT resort.

Cons;
-could do with its own restaurant / cafe, but it's a 5 minute walk across a footbridge to the contemporary
-there aren't any more cons!

I really do recommend this resort; it's very different to the other Disney hotels, but in a good way. Just beautiful and will be going back in 2014!

Room Tip: Whilst a theme park view is lovely, and of course you can watch Wishes from your balcony if you want...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank j1m3bo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We moved from Saratoga Springs to Bay Lake Towers as our home resort even before the buildings were completed. We knew as Disney purists this new phase of DVC development would represent Walt Disney's original vision for guest lodging along Bay Lake. We've stayed approximately six times in a Grand Villa MK view and twice in a 1 BR looking at the pool. The decor is minimalistic yet funtional. I've stayed at all DVC properties and feel BLT offers more for me and my family with location and ability to sprawl out onto Contemporary grounds.

The only problem I've seen more than once was in public areas, mainly the pool at BLT. Chair hogs seem to be more numerous regardless if what time of year it is. If I don't see anyone at their chairs in the standard 30 minutes, I usually tell an attendant that if the people aren't back in 20 additional minutes I'm removing their belongings and need their help getting the stuff to Lost and Found. Always work with an attendant when relocating "seemingly abandoned" personal items.

Sometimes we don't even go into the parks but when we do this property is excellent because it's so close to Magic Kingdom and the monorail. I love the non uber Disneyness of this property.

The Top of the World Lounge is a must see. They've got a white chocolate martini to die for! California Grill is an institution. It's closed for renovations (again) this summer but the very best chefs of Disney get this very coveted location. Food is fresh, unique and one star Michelin rated.

I remember staying in the A frame Contemporary the first year Disney opened and in the 2 story housing along Bay Lake in 1973. It's nostaglic to come back to this property for us.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Sana P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We are an avid Disney traveling family. I have personally been over 50 times in my life (I'm only in my mid 30's :) ). We usually stay at Animal Kingdom (2 bedroom villa) or Beach Club, both of which we adore. We decided to book BLT because of it's "newness" and close proximity to Magic Kingdom, perfect for our then 2 year old. The villas are much smaller than others on property (Animal Kingdom, Saratoga, etc...). The resort just felt sterile. As silly as it sounds, it didn't have the Disney "magic", the one I've come to expect when I walk into Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani or Jambo House!). Though we had the villa for our entire week long stay, I convinced my dear husband to book us a villa at Animal Kingdom because I did not want to stay there. Great location, misses the mark otherwise in my opinion. Also, the lobby had such a strong fragrance (floral??) that our allergies were uncontrollable when there.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank CAGW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

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
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Helpful?
2 Thank Shoppe77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worksop, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

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

WOW!

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
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Helpful?
4 Thank ChesterfieldJayne
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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