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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
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Reviewed January 15, 2011

I am a DVC member and my girlfriend, also a DVC member, and I stayed at this resort in a studio for 4 nights. I have stayed in other DVC studios and this was by far the smallest. There was literally a foot between the bed and the pull out sofa. The galley kitchen / bathroom sink setup is also a little weird. I was worried about getting hair in the kitchen area while drying my hair. The floor in the bathroom was exceptionally slippery, although we managed. I would have been scared that a small child could easily fall because the bath mat just slid across the floor when when either of us stepped on it. I also think there is a weird, dark area of wasted space near the entry door. We stored my friend's owner locker and our suitcases there. As others have said, the furniture is already starting to chip and show signs of weird and tear. Its a modern, Ikea-esque, style.

So - despite the not so good, this was a fabulous place to stay because of LOCATION. Plus we were fortunate enough to have a room that faced the lake AND the Magic Kingdom. Watching fireworks from the balcony was the best. We loved walking to the MK and I really enjoyed the path that runs from BLT to MK and then along the lagoon. I felt like I had my own private running path. The balcony was huge, so whatever size they sacrificed in the room went into the balcony. Walking to and from the Halloween party can't be beat.

As DVC members staying on point, we had the luxury of being allowed to pool hop. While the BLT pool looks cool when standing 9 floors above it, it was a little under whelming up close. Plus it was very shallow. It's just an averaged themed pool, as far as Disney pools go. However, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Poly and the Grand Floridian pools. We also enjoyed the dining options at the adjacent Contemporary. The Wave is very good and so is the counter service option.

My friend and I both own at Saratoga Springs, so we are the type who love the sprawled out layout. I would say in terms of room appeal and size, Saratoga Springs and the Animal Kingdom appeal to me a lot more. But still, BLT is a great place to stay and if I had the points for a splurge I would definitely go back to stay in a one bedroom.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mekopp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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1  Thank Nan5049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank karajayne9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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