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“Great Disney Experience try it at least once”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #23 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
florida
Level 6 Contributor
212 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Great Disney Experience try it at least once”
Reviewed 28 October 2011

The one bedroom condo was a bit worn, especially sine the place is so new. Fabrics on couch and kitchen table stained with who know what. We had major issues with a shower that would not work, (they did come fix though and the mr. fix it was better than mickey, the wonderful nature of this man was delightful.) The door would not secure to the balcony, not comforting with little ones able to access the door handle, piled furniture in front of it at night. Great location though and the use of both pools was a nice way to break up "pool" time. Would stay again, just expected a little more from a newer Disney resort.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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3 Thank lifeisaj0urney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Shan3034
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2011

I loved this place. It was so quiet, and the decor was modern, clean and Disney, without being over the top. Yes, the walk to the Contemporary for food/beverage can be an annoyance, but I didn't mind the exercise. However the walk to the MK was great, especially after a late-night special event when transportation is limited. It takes a looooong time to get the Downtown Disney by bus, but that's pretty standard for most resorts. I would return here in a second.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Shan3034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HUNTLEY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2011

Have stayed at Bay Lake twice and each time it has been a great stay. We are DVC members and with children still having the Magic Kingdom as their number one target, Bay Lake is the most convenient and quality choice.

It's an 8 1/2 minute walk to and from the Magic Kingdom and after a long day and the late fireworks, its a great feeling to be able to walk home knowing the bus lines are quite longer a wait.

Room quality is great and the views are awesome, especially if you get a MK view. The monorail at the Contemporary is a short walk through the bridge-way where you have the game room, shops (we buy a Disney pin each night for the kids here as a tradition) and of course Chef Mickey's.

Our stay was in a one bedroom (three kids, mom and dad). Mom and the two girls got to sleep in the private bedroom with their own bathroom while my son and I took the pull out sofa bed (we had the kitchen all to ourselves each night for a snack)!

Convenience of the washer/dryer is great and we used it on our 7-night trip.

I highly encourage anyone looking at the Deluxe level for your next WDW trip to look into Bay Lake, especially if you plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom a few times on your trip.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank WILLIAM M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, Mississippi
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2011

We stayed here for 8 days in october. The room was a lake view studio. It had plenty of room for my wife and I and our 3 and 5 yr old girls. Nice place. very clean. did lack some of the disney magic that other hotels have, but the location is great. Only took us 8 min. to walk home from MK instead of waiting in that crowded line at the monorails when it closed at night. The staff was very accomodating and welcome you home as soon as you arrive.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank BigshotOtown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Lansing, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2011

We have stayed here a couple of times, as Disney Vacation Club members. My most recent stay was July 15, 2011. I stayed in both a studio and one bedroom. The studio layout is the best of any DVC properties. Spacious room with a nice kitchen area off to the side, instead of in the entrance hallway. I love the one bedrooms at this resort because they include 2 full baths. My mother travels with us, so it's great to have separate bathrooms.

Pros of the resort:
10 minute walk to Magic Kingdom.
View of Fireworks from the top-floor lounge or possibly your room (tune to channel 20 on the TV for the music).
Rooms have a beautiful modern decor.
Nice community hall with lots of craft activities and video games for the kids.
Fun water slide and daily pool activities for kids.
Very comfortable mattresses!

Cons:
The walk over to the Contemporary for the monorail is almost as long as walking directly to Magic Kingdom.
Very poor bus service for a deluxe hotel. You have to go over to the Contemporary and then it stops at a couple other hotels. I would definitely rent a car at this resort.
If you're planning to spend a lot of time off Disney property, this resort is not convenient to I-4. You'll spend a lot of time driving.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank nifferearly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
heart of it all
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2011

We are DVC owners and made our last stay at Bay Lake Towers. There are many things that are great about this resort and a few not so good.

The negatives first: bus service was horribly slow compared to any other resort we've stayed at. The monorail service is hit or miss as well. We had broken down monorails that caused us over an hour trip to Epcot. Nearly every day there was a delay of some sort with a few having us arrive very late.

The rooms are relatively new but already show some wear. nothing horrible but I was shocked with how worn some of the furnishings looked given the age. The lighting in the master bedroom (dedicated 2 bedroom) was not all that great. No good place to do make up really due to lack of lighting.

The good: The location is wonderful. The ability to walk up to Magic Kingdom is wonderful. The service is great in general at the Contemporary and the food options are pretty good.

We loved the pool for our 3 year old son. It was perfect for his age. A bit small for older kids though. The programs for the children were wonderful too. Took great advantage of it.

Having 3 bathrooms was wonderful Everyone had plenty of space to get ready in the morning.

My family did like it, but I found the slow service to everywhere but MK a negative for it. I would stay again but I find other resorts to be a better value for the points used.

Room Tip: upper floors are very quiet
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank helenabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Georgetown, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2011

Bay Lake Tower (BLT) was one of the only WDW resorts we had yet to stay in, including all the Home Away from Home villas as DVC members. We stayed at BLT for 3 nights/4 days before moving over to Beach Club Villas (BCV) for a week. While we were glad we stayed there, we were happy to transfer at the end of our BLT stay.

The resort is new, which is always a plus. Check-in is at the Contemporary, not at the tower, which is consistent with other DVC resorts. The lobby decor is nice - a modern theme. The hallways are clean and curved, since the building is circular. In the hallways and elevators, you feel like you're in a high-rise apartment building in a city, so if you're looking for a vacation-like or homey feel, you won't get it here.

The room was nice. We stayed in a studio, and one of the best things about it was the different layout than other DVC studios. Other studios have a microwave, refridgerator, etc. in the entrance hallway, whereas BLT has a separate galley kitchen with quite a bit of food storage space. We didn't have any food to store, but we liked that we could! Also, after member complaints of no sink in the bath, they moved it from the galley area (still has a kitchen sink) to the bath where it belongs. An extra counter with a mirror in the kitchen gives another place for hair/makeup in the AM, although if we were using the kitchen, I'm not sure that's a sanitary option.

The bathroom had the two most negative complaints of the unit. It was clean and appointed as any other bath, except a) it lacked hooks to hang towels and other items; it only had shelves, which you don't want to put wet handtowels and facecloths there, and b) the tile floor was the most slippery surface I have ever encountered in my life, including ice skates on a freshly Zamboni-ed rink! We had to remember to hold onto things as we walked in there. If you fall it's small, so the risk of coming down on the tub, toilet, or sink is high. We found it really dangerous.

My husband thought the bed and pillows were comfortable, and he's really picky about them.

Despite our early request and confirmation of that request a couple weeks before of being on a high floor, we were only on the second. Disappointing, but we realize requests aren't guaranteed. So although the view off of our balcony wasn't high, we overlooked other parts of the resort, beach area, and marina - not bad.

We went to the Top of the World lounge our first evening there, and although it was nice, we were disappointed with the VERY limited food options and the sizes of what we did order vs. what we paid. I would go again for drinks but would make sure I ate first. Going out on the balcony to view the fireworks is nice, and although it was a Friday night and one that a Halloween party was going on at the Magic Kingdom (MK) - meaning less people were at the park since it was a special ticketed event, thus more people could've been at the resort - it wasn't crowded on the roof deck. It's a bit of a pain to get up to the lounge since you have to go to the first floor lobby to be let up by the concierge. OK, I guess that's one bonus to only being on the second floor.

The pool area was fine; nothing all that special - a small waterslide and the pool is a decent size. The bar has some limited food that is convenient, and the food court isn't far at the Contemporary (or for a fee they will bring an order to you).

As a runner, outdoor options are limited if you want variety. The path around the resort is short, so it's easy to get bored if you want to run more than a couple miles. For one stretch, I tried running out to MK and past it as far as you can go. It was getting congested with park guests, so I'd only recommend that if you run early before the park opens.

The theming of all other WDW resorts (except for Pop Century) is based on places - e.g., New Orleans (POFQ, POR), Africa (AKL, AKV), New Jersey Shore (BW, BWV), Cape Cod (BC, BCV), the Northwest (WL, VWL), etc., wherewas BLT and the Contemporary are based on a time period - and one that only exists for awhile (the future) until you reach it, then it's outdated. Because of that, I think the little theming touches of other resorts are missing here, which is something most WDW guests enjoy.

Being walking distance to MK was definitely nice - no bus, boat, or monorail needed. Since we don't have children, we'll would probably only stay here for a couple nights for the MK advantage, then move over to the Epcot area where we spend more time and like those resorts (Boadwalk, Beach Club, and Yacht Club) much better.

Room Tip: You need to specifically book Magic Kingdom view if you want to overlook the park. The Bay Lake view...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DLCote
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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