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“Exceeded Our Expectations - Perfect for Families with Small Children!”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #28 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Exceeded Our Expectations - Perfect for Families with Small Children!”
Reviewed January 9, 2011

We just returned from a week-long stay in a two-bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort. Our party included four adults (husband, wife, and two grandmothers) and two children (ages 2 years old and 3 months old). Generally, the hotel room was amazing, and exceeded our expectations! The layout was perfect because a living area separated the two separate bedrooms, which afforded everyone a little privacy. Was also great to have three full bathrooms, which we used. Washer/dryer was awesome for those baby blowouts (hotel provided Tide detergent). The room had two balconies and wall-to-wall/floor to ceiling windows in the living room, for breathtaking views and lots of natural light. We also loved the large jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom, which was great for Mom and Dad to enjoy after a long day of walking.

We were in room 8002. Our room had a gorgeous view of the Lake with a family of hawks which provided a lot of entertainment for our little ones to watch. The week we visited WDW there were record cold/freezing temps, so it was nice to have such a lovely room to come back to, since we spent more time there than we had hoped. Unfortunately we couldn't use the hotel pool because it was so cold. However, we could see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom right from the room, which saved us from venturing out in cold temps.

Room was clean, convenient, and super close to everything, e.g., a 7-min walk to the Magic Kingdom.

Now for the pros and cons:

Pros:
- Luxurious suite.

- Large sized rooms,

- Plenty of room for large parties.

- Comfortable beds.

- Even the pull outs in the living room were VERY comfortable (which was surprising).

- Great view.

- Nice kitchen facilities - all new and modern.

- Layout of suite was nice and afforded privacy for everyone, e.g., separate bathrooms, etc.

- Hotel was new and clean and fresh looking.

- Lots of places to watch fireworks and water parades from in the hotel, e.g., elevator lobbies, walkways, etc.

- Pool area looked nice, even though we didn't use it.

- 7-min walk to Magic Kingdom!

- Easy access to busses and monorail.

- Kitchen facilities to save money on meals (we ordered from Garden Grocer, and our food delivery was waiting for us at the hotel when we checked in. Super convenient!).

Cons:

- Walls were very thin. E.g., You could hear toilets flushing in other suites above and below, and the flushes were even louder in your own room. We found ourselves leaving #1s in the toilet at night because the flush was so loud it would wake the kids up!

- Doors on bathrooms are sliders and do not close all the way or lock (a little weird).

- The hotel does not have any restaurants or food on-side, so you have to walk over to the Contemporary to find anything. This is a bit inconvenient, especially when it's freezing out and you have to walk through the uncovered walkway just to get fresh coffee or a snack. It can be a long trek to the Contemporary depending on where your room is located, like ours...far from elevators and walkway. We found ourselves using room service often, to avoid having to make the trek to the contemporary.

- Another small con for us was the shower in the Master Bath - it was a nice shower with a double shower option of either a rain shower or normal shower. However, the door didn't close all the way so water kept leaking out all over the floor, which made things dangerously slippery.

- Monorail lines were long and trains kept having mechanical problems. We were told it was because of the low temperatures, so things were malfunctioning. So, we found it easier to just walk to the Magic Kingdom.

We hadn't been to WDW in 20-some years, so a lot of things had changed and were new to us. For example, we are used to being able to get restaurant preferences at the hotel you stay at. Not the case here. We were guests at the Contemporary, but had a difficult time getting reservations at the hotels there, even the more basic restaurants like Chef Mickey's. We did eat at the California Grill, and the food was quite good (and fantastic wine list). But the prices are incredibly high and perhaps not quite worth it. E.g., $20 for a basic sushi roll. Not somewhere for kids.

All in all, we were very pleased with Bay Lake Tower and would most definitely stay there again. It was worth the premium price for us because we had two little ones and preferred a nicer room since we spent more time there for naps, etc. Also because the weather was so cold, it was nice to have more luxurious accommodations.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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1 Thank crickette24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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United States
Level Contributor
49 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2011

The location is literally the best in all of Walt Disney World. You simply cannot stay in a Disney resort with better views and with this kind of access to the Magic Kingdom (by foot.)

Bay Lake Tower could be better. For such a new property, the furniture was rather scuffed and worn looking. The sound insulation is so-so. I wouldn't call it especially luxurious--I think cheap materials were used whereever possibly. The price is out of whack with the level of luxury and service.

But, if you are traveling with a family, it is still THE best to stay. We were a bit crammed with four adults and 2 children in a one-bedroom. We knew that going on, and I don't fault BLT for it. It is worth paying for a Magic Kingdom View--we had two separate rooms during our rather lengthly stay and the MK view room was nicer, slightly bigger, and the view was magical. Our kids were so excited to be watching the monorail right in front of them that they could have never moved and be happy.

The bed was comfortable--on the softer side which I like with high end threads and fabrics.

The pool area is well designed and kept up, and less crowded than many other WDW resorts. BLT as you likely know is connected by walkway to the Contemporary, where there is dining, shopping and the monorail connection. The Contempo Cafe--essentially a fast casual restaurant--was more than respectable for food quality and offerings. And you can watch the monorails come and go--which, like I said, kids love. Chef Mickey's is the big character place, we've done it twice for breakfast and its a chaotic mess. The food, however, is better than you might expect for such a large buffet. The Wave is sort of an afterthought--overpriced, and dark. For breakfast, it can't hold a candle to Kona at Polynesian or the Grand Flordian Cafe (which actually is even better than Kona.) Fortunately, you are a quick monoral or drive away from those two.

I rented a minivan which is essential for getting around the World easily--except for MK. The parking situation is excellent--you can park right out front and be at your car in seconds.

I received a heavily discounted rate on my one bedroom which was tough to get but worth searcihng for. I would return to BLT--I wish Disney had done a better job at some things, but overally my experience was positive. Disney is a magical place, and so is BLT. One can certainly nitpick, but...at the end of the day, your kids will be happy, and as a result, so will you.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
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2 Thank IADTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richboro, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
192 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

Very nice New Year's stay at Bay Lake Tower. Our garden-view room was a large corner unit on the ground floor facing both the lake and the beach - surprisingly quiet despite crowds in the parks. It was an easy walk to Magic Kingdom. The Quick-service meal plan with 2 full meals and 2 snacks per day was more than enough food, and we only wanted a regular dinner one night. The Epcot meal choices were much more imaginative than those at the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom, but no one went hungry. We have been to Disney many times in and out of the park, and this was particularly enjoyable. The fireworks were fun to watch.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nan5049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 4, 2011

We were lucky enough to stay in a studio, which was perfect for my husband and I and our five yr old daughter.
You absolutely cannot beat the location..... Fantastic....
The resort is fabulous, clean, new and could not fault it.
Eating is very limited , the pool has a bar close by and limited food is available.
But the Contemporay Reosrt is so close, you can purchase most things there.
We had a lake view studio and at night would watch the fireworks from the elevator area.
The studios do not have laundry facilities but on the ground floor there is a complimentary laundry with TV and all !!
The pool is great, the kids love it....
So good we have already booked for November again !!
WE LOVED IT !

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank karajayne9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level Contributor
70 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

We stayed here over the Christmas and New Year holiday.
It is our first visit as DVC members and feel our purchase was wll worth it.
We had a studio, which for 2 of us was perfect, I do not think it would be big enough for a small family. We had a lake view room on the 14th floor, however from our balcony you could see Magic Kingdom and we watched the fireworks from there on a few occasions.
We usually walked to Magic Kingdom, as it was quite busy during our stay and felt it took longer to walk over to the Contempory to catch the monorail. Walking at a quite a slow rate took us 7 mins.
The only thing I missed about not staying in a Disney Hotel was the 'have a magical day' said over and over again. 'Welcome home, just felt more corporate, but hey if that is my only negative then what is there to worry about!
We did have a problem with our dining plan while we were out there. We booked Narcoosee for New Years Eve online 180 days before our stay, but there was no information regarding a special new year dinner. We had a phone call 2 days before asking us to confirm it, telling us that the meal would cost $181 per person and $70 tip. I was cross with disney for not letting us book this night and not mention it at the time. It left us with nowhere to eat for new year as everywhere was busy. The hotel were wonderful, they got us in to Chef Mickey for dinner one night and the wave the other. We were also given a bottle of Champagne and $100 off our bill at the ends. They did not need to do this, it was not the hotels fault, but do be careful when booking any meals at special times.
I also think it is time Disney offered internet free to rooms, although DVC members can get free wifi in the lobby.
All in all I could not fault the hotel and can not wait for my next visit.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank asty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McHenry, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 20, 2010

My husband and I stayed here in November and this was the hotel with best location. I would suggest to stay on Disney property due to the transportation between all the resorts and park. Overall this was a truly magical trip for my husband and I.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank thompson2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shoreham, NY
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2010

We stayed at the Bay Lake Tower in a 1-bedroom accomodation. We are DVC members and recently bought points for this resort. We were eager to stay here since it was new, we own here now, and it was within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom.

We were very impressed, but to be honest, when haven't we been impressed with a DVC resort?? The check-in process is streamlined with the online check-in now, and you check in at the Contemporary and then walk over to Bay Lake.

We had a lagoon view. Our room was gorgeous. Not exactly my style in decor, but very stylish and hip. The floor to ceiling windows are beautiful. At night, at 10:10 p.m., there is a lighted pageant across Bay Lake, complete with music. The walk to Magic Kingdom is short, maybe a 5 minute walk. There is easy access to the Contemporary for the monorail, if you wish, through a skywalk. We watched the fireworks one night from the skywalk. The pool area is beautiful and and overlooks Bay Lake!

Everything was perfect. The only thing I didn't like, but it wasn't terrible, and this is common with a few resorts, is that you need to walk over to the Contemporary for any food, drinks and mug refills. This isn't terrible, like I said, but can be annoying if you forgot to buy extra milk for baby bottles and realize at night you need milk. It would be nice if there was a little convenience area in Bay Lake Tower, with some snacks, drinks and toiletries.

Overall, we were very pleased and will definitley stay here again!!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beachgirls77
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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