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“not worth the money”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #31 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
NW New Jersey
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“not worth the money”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2011

Thought the location would be SO convenient for a short visit to Epcot & the Magic Kingdom. First we went around in circles trying to find the place (give us directions already!) Then I forgot how much of a pain it was to switch trains for the Epcot trip. At least they ran frequently and were not full. the monorail to MK runs in only one direction, so it can be a long trip TO MK, but just one stop back. Should have tried to walk, but it was 90 degrees already!
Surprised at how many problems we had with the rooms. With Disney marketing to parents with young children I thought they would be focused on safety, but wow! were we surprised! First of all, all 3 doors to the balconies were unlocked when we checked into our room on the 11th floor! So glad I was a paranoid grandma and checked them. And yes, the football shaped table in the bedroom was as unstable as previously noted - I pressed on the top and it started to fall over! We kept it shoved up against the wall and never let the children near it! there is also a tall floor lamp in the living room that they could have easily pulled over on top of themselves! Who designed this??????? The clock radio in one bedroom couldn't be reset, there was an annoying beeping in the kitchen that I couldn't track down - it was the dishwasher (that's a new one on me!).
And of course, everything except the rooms is across in the original Contemporary building. It's also noisy from the fireworks and the electrical pagent - not nice if you are a toddler (or a tired grandparent) and 10 PM is WAY past your bedtime!
But what really got me was that I asked about a late checkout (so we could give the baby a nap) when I moved our reservation to the tower and was told it was noted on the reservation, but to ask again at check-in, where I was told it was noted and sent to houskeeping, but the next morning were were told that "there is never late check out at the villas!" We really felt snookered. So we won't be staying there again.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank njretiree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (549)
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2011

Stayed five nights in mid-March and was very, very satisfied. Haven’t stayed anywhere else, so can’t compare Bay Lake Tower to other places. It does have a bit of a sterile feel; it certainly lacks the majesty found in the lobby of the Grand Floridian, for example.

One of the real selling points is the convenience – being able to walk to the Magic Kingdom is a big, big benefit – particularly if you with little ones. Also you can be at the hotel pool within about two minutes of exiting your room, which is to say, everything is in relatively close proximity.

Don’t be put off by a “standard” view. Yes, you have a parking lot below, but off in the distance is Cinderella’s Castle, and you can actually watch each night’s fireworks from your balcony. And the parking lot doesn’t seem to involve much activity.

The pool is great – particularly the waterslide – and you also have access to the pool at the Contemporary.

Bay Lake tower rooms have kitchenette. So there’s a microwave and refrigerator, but not a mini-bar (a great relief). There’s a little convenience store in the adjoining Contemporary, where the prices are a bit high but not outrageous.

Bay Lake Tower doesn’t have restaurants of its own, but Contemporary next door does. If you have kids, Chef Mickey’s is great.

Minimal contact with staff, but universally friendly and helpful.

Quiet room

Room itself is a bit cramped for three (or more) people. But the couch pulls out to a bed, which is nice. And I got my best night of sleep on it in months, though this may have had something to do with being completely exhausted after a full-day at the Magic Kingdom. The room was also extremely quiet – I don’t recall much of any noise from the outside, except for the gardeners and their very loud blowers in the late morning.

No big complaints. I spent some time in the lobby of the Bay Lake, working on my computer, and it has the worst kind of pop-Muzak playing (also in the pool area). It escapes me how anyone could think this is pleasant to listen to. Silence would be much better.

Note that if you’re going to places that rely on bus transportation, the buses are on no set schedule, and sometimes they may only run every 15-25 minutes (and then make other stops before getting to their destination). It seemed to take us forever to get to Downtown Disney, and even longer to get back. And it wasn’t worth the trip. It’s a glorified strip mall that you can find anywhere else in the United States. And the bus ride back from Hollywood Studios was a big of a nightmare – standing the whole way, and temperature at least 90 degrees inside.

All in all, very happy with Bay Lake Tower and will almost certainly stay there again.

Room Tip: Standard view rooms are great
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lancerodman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maine
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2011

We stay at Bay Lake last week and it was the least favorite of Disney's deluxe resorts -- we much preferred Beach Club or Animal Kingdom Lodge. You'll end up spending most of your time (eating, shopping, concierge, catching buses/boats, etc) at next door's Contemporary, so I'd say that you may as well stay there. Also, as I mentioned above, Bay Lake just doesn't have the Disney feel, like other resorts. The big, big, big plus, of course, is that it's an easy walk to the Magic Kingdom, but it's the same walk from the Contemporary.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank davedmaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2011

I am going to keep this short. ( by my standards!!! LOL ) I will start by saying that we love Disney! Period! We love it so much we became DVC owners in 2009 because we knew we would want to come back yearly, if possible, for life. We vacation in other places..we take cruises and love to explore new destinations...but still Disney is our favorite place.

Last December we stayed for our 3rd time at BLT, and our first time with family. We stayed in a 2 bedroom Villa with my daughter and her family ( 5 grandchildren) and then we got my parents a studio across the hall. The rooms were great. Studios are a little small. But the views we have had each time are beautiful.
Here are the issues we had:
1. My mother got locked in her bathroom when we arrived. This was just an engineering problem and it was taken care of. But be careful!!! There are no locks on the bathroom but she still got locked in..and I mean she could not get out!
2. Our room was dirty! And not just a little......food under and behind the sofa bed! Dirt so big you could see it when you looked behind the sofa. Ok....we called housekeeping to please clean it and the next day we were told if housekeeping came they would not charge us THIS TIME....like they were doing us a favor. Really? And I was told that was what the manager said to tell me. DVC does not get daily housekeeping which is why they mentioned charging me.
3. and this is the BIG one...pay attention to this please.... The tables in the rooms are football shaped with a wood top....IF YOUR ROOM HAS THIS TABLE EITHER HAVE IT REMOVED OR BE VERY CAREFUL! My 4 year old grandson was getting up from the floor and put his hand on the table to pull up and it fell over on top of him. It is HEAVY! My granddaughter tried to get it off of him but it was too heavy.
After my daughter got the table off of him and checked him out the paramedics had to be called just to be safe. It was scary and terrible.....an engineer came up to look at the table and took one look at my grandsons head and said to get a manager up there ASAP. I had already called the manager at that time and she was on the way up. The engineer said they had had problems with these tables and stability before. The manager was very nice and called the paramedics for us. My grandson was OK. Even scarier was the fact that my 7 month old granddaughter had been crawling under that table minutes earlier....I don't even want to think about that. Of note is the fact that my 70 year old mother had been getting up from her table and she and the table began to topple over but my dad was there in a flash to stop it from happening. We did not hear about that until this happened with the grandson.
These table are dangerous....just be careful! Please!
I know you want to know if they did anything about this...like tell us they would remove the tables from the rooms....no..they did not and I do not think they plan to. I have talked to them a few times and they will not say anything about it. They just say I have to talk to someone about a claim regarding my grandsons head/injury .....we do not have/want a claim about his head. They are so concerned about a law suit ( which we never said or suggested or anything) that they will not address anything else.

**Hotel amenities at Contemporary...connected.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank Indychristine62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2011

This trip to Disney was with my wife and four children. We had my parents come along. We stayed at BLT for thefirst time since we purchased DVC back in 2009. I have to say that we loved it. We have stayed in 4 Disney resorts now and have loved all of them. This is by far our favorite. My family and I stayed in a 2 bedroom lake view and we got a studio lake view for my parents. We checked in early on Sunday. The rooms were not ready as we expected. I think it was like 9:30 in the morning. So they told us they would text us when the rooms were ready. We took this time to do some shopping and eating in Downtown Disney. By about 3:00 they texted to say the rooms were ready. They promised us the rooms would be very close and they were. They were right across the hall from the other. I can see that the room numbers could be confusing to some people. We were in room 7541 on the south side of the tower. This was the fifth floor. At some point the first number changes to an eight. I think it may be like the sixth floor and up. I am not sure why they do this but I had not problem remembering my room. I had some reservations about being on the fifth floor because i knew this was where the sky walk was that connected to the Contemporary resort. I just thought it would make the hall very busy. I realized quickly that it would not be a factor the way the hotel was designed. The hotel is very quiet and it turned out to be a bonus to have the skywalk so close. We used the monorail a lot and it was nice to have it so close.

Our 2 bedroom overlooked the pool and the lake. It was a great view. The rooms felt very spacious. More spacious than any other rooms we stayed in. There was also a third Bathroom in the front of the villa. It was nice to have the extra shower. The locks were not an issue for me. The bathroom in the front of the villa had a lock. The two bedroom bathrooms had locks as you enter the bathroom. The door that led to the toilet and shower did not. Who cares though because the slider as you enter does. People are making to big a deal i think. The villa is well equiped with plate settings for 8 people. The wash/dryer is in like a large walk in closet that had shelves and a vacuum and broom. The beds are super comfortable. I would put them up there with marriott beds and the linens are far better than any Disney hotel i have ever stayed at. The master bathroom is sensational and i loved the shower. The balconies are off the bedrooms in this resort. There were two. The livingroom had a door that led to the balcony off the master. I was concerned about the way the balcony is designed having small children. I think they are a bit unsafe but the doors are heavy and difficult for young children to unlock and move. This turned out to be a non factor for us, the kids never even tried to go out on the balcony.

The living room has floor to ceiling windows. We loved this. My kids would move the small furnitur over to the windows so they could look out over the pool and lake. Itested the pull out sofa and chair beds. They are amazingly comfortable. The matress is super thick and the bar is at the feet so you dont feel it. The same could be sed for the chair. The couch would sleep 2 and the chair 1. The only complaint I had about the room was that the carpet was very worn and there were some small stains on some of the furniture. This was slightly disappointing when you consider how new the resort is. I feel like the resort needs some more cast memebers in the lobby area. There is a desk for the DVC that was manned every time i walked by it until 6 pm and there is anotherr desk that is supposed to be manned all the time from 09:00 until midnight. There were a few times i walked by in the morning and early afternoon and there was nobody at the desk. They are also the check in person for the top of the world lounge. The lounge is only to be used by DVC members who are staying on site and their guests. This is an awesome place to see the MK fireworks. My parents were up there almost every night as our guests. I did make it up there two times. The bar staff up there is awesome.

I feel like being in a high rise resort like this kind of removes you from your vehicle a bit. It is a lot when you are unloading and loading your car at the start and end of your trip. Also there is not a luggage cart in sight. You have to request one which took 20 minutes to arrive and then there is a bellman attached. I am not that comfortable with people handling my bags and stuff but i got over it. They are just doing their jobs. I can see the appeal of having a MK view at this resort but it cost extra. Quite frankly the view sucks during the day. You are looking at the parking lot. At nice i suppose it would be nice to sit on the balcony and have the fireworks right in front of you. On that note, the resort is so close to the MK that every room you have comes with the noise of the fireworks. Our kids were so wiped by the end of the day that they never noticed. The pool is very nice and was never over crowded. You also have access to the Contemporary pool. The monorail ended up being a huge plus. We never even got on a bus until the 4th day of our trip. The walk to the MK was less than ten minutes and very safe. Overall this resort was amazing. It comes at a high price for DVC members as well as non members, but well worth it in my opinion. Also no WIFI. The cable hook up is in master which was disappointing. Internet is free to members but a daily cost to all others. That all being said, we look forward to many more years of vacations at this resort.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MJ525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartselle, Alabama
Level Contributor
180 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2011

Our family of four made the mistake of renting a studio. I thought it would be about the same size as a standard hotel room. But it was probably a little smaller. It was too cramped. It had a wonderful shower. The views of Magic Kingdom were good (but not great because we were on the right side bowing away from MK.

There is NO WIRELESS internet in the room. Wired internet is available.

We are DVC members. We will not stay here again. We prefer the more open spaces at Old Key West and Saratoga Springs.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bmc-hartselle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hammonton, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2011

we always travel with our two boys and they loved the pool the water slide and the arcade. Our boys said out of all the disney property this was there favorite arcade becaus for every point, they earned a prize. the more you play the bigger your prize can become. We stayed in a studio with a lake/pool view the view was gorgeous. if you are looking to be near the magic kingdom you may want to consider this resort We will be visiting bay lake in late may and can not wait. Our boys are in there tween years and they enjoy disney as much as when they first viisted when they were only toddlers. Our best family memories are always made at disney. .

Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank ruiz93
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
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
Bay Lake Tower At Disney's Contemporary Resort Orlando, Florida

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