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“Justification of Excellence”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #29 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 June 2012

For many, the experience at a hotel is generally standard. A simple room with a king or two doubles that is primarily used as a bathing and sleeping station during a vacation. However, hotel owners have chances to give their properties personality and uniqueness. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in my opinion is truly the best hotel operator for developing properties that offer a truly unique experience. Staying at a Walt Disney World property is an absolute must for those vacationing to the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, FL. Extra magic hours, free transportation, & free parking are among the obvious reasons for staying but for me there is no bigger reason for staying than to be simply engulfed in the Disney atmosphere. I recently stayed at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort and once again, Disney amazed me.
Bay Lake Tower is a relatively new property opened in the late summer of 2009. It is considered a Disney Vacation Club property and is catered more towards families wishing to have "home away from home" amenities. I stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with my family and another family of close friends. Total, we had 8 people and one infant and I tell you what, we never once felt cramped or overcrowded. The suite was set-up with a central living area that featured a tv room, kitchen, & dining area. A master bedroom with full bathroom was accessible through one door on one side and an additional bedroom with two queen beds on the other. The living or TV room had a pull-out couch as well as a single reclining chair that can be modified into a twin bed. Needless to say, this suite was sizeably large and definitely served its purpose as far as accomodations go,
The jewel of this property is the proximity to the Magic Kingdom. Being able to wake-up, walk out to the balcony and watch the monorails pull into the Magic Kingdom is priceless. A view that you can get from no other location which is what seperates this property and Disney's Contemporary resort from other properties. This is what being engulfed in the Disney magic is all about. An added treat for Disney Vacation Club members is the ability to go up to the "top of the world lounge" and enjoy cocktails, appetizers, and an up close view of Magic Kingdom's "Wishes" fireworks display.
An interesting notation of this property is that there are no restaurants inside the building. Although the rooms have a full room service menu and a poolside bar, the closest restaurants are located across the courtyard in the Contemporary's main building. Conveniently, a walkway connecting Bay Lake Tower and the main Contemporary building was constructed. While this may pose as an inconvenience for those that may need to run to the gift shops for a quart of milk or some other necessity, it also keeps down on congestion areas in the event of full capacity.
Now, I have a little girl age 2 that is sometimes difficult to keep entertained. Yes, you are just a short walk from the most popular theme park in the world, but sometimes you want to be able to find simpler activities that don't require being out in the Florida heat. Bay Lake Tower features its own Community Center of sorts that has video games, foosball, and numerous activities for the little ones. The wonderful Disney staff sat and helped my daughter make her own bracelet and color her own page of the Disney Princesses. Disney always amazes me with the little touches that add so much enjoyment to any experience.
Bay Lake Tower is truly a location that brings the Disney spirit with fantastic perks and uniqueness. Unfortunately, the experience is on the expensive side and may not be able to be enjoyed as easily. Of course Disney does its best to accomadate many budgets with different levels of accomodations. However, understand that the price is justified. You won't have experiences like this at any other location in the world. It is what makes Disney Parks and Resorts stand apart from all competitors.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank jocar23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 June 2012

We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with 7 people, including a 2 and 4 year old. Let me first say, it was awesome!! It had 3 full bathrooms and a full kitchen. The main bedroom went to the grandparents. The 4 year old slept in one of the beds in the other bedroom, with the two year old in a pack n play. The other grandma slept in the other bed in that bedroom. My wife and I got the pull out. I was overly impressed with the pull out couch. This ain't your "old time, bar in the back, 1 inch mattress, never gonna get sleep" pullout. This thing is built for stability and firmness. It has to be the first pull out I would never complain about. I've slept in other hotel beds that were more uncomfortable than this pullout. The only thing that is a drawback is it's in the family room, so you're up with the first risers in your suite. We used the room every day for breakfast (mostly cereal/yogurt) and lunch (sandwiches/left overs). We did make two dinners there as well. Pizza (with the help of Pillsbury for the crust) and steak. We were going to grill, but the weather didn't cooperate. Both meals turned out excellent and you have a full compliment of kitchenware to accomplish this task (minus a prepping knife - see the negatives section). We had a lake view, and we were able to watch the fireworks from our balcony. This was great for the kids, since they could see the fireworks every night. Also, my son loved the waterslide in the pool. As a nice surprise, they also have life jackets available (for free) for any beginnining swimmers/sliders. The proximity to the Contemporary really helps. First, you have the monorail for easy riding to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. Also, being so close to the Contemporary allows you to hang out in the game room or partake in the activities as a distraction for kids. The other thing that was nice was the proximity to the Magic Kingdom. The one night the Electrical Parade was cancelled we didn't have to head to the monorail and wait 30 minutes just to get on, we were able to just walk back to the hotel. Another time after a little over indulgence of food in the park my wife and I decided to walk back with the kids while the grandparents rode the monorail, and we actually beat them to the room.

Now a little bad, but this wouldn't change my opinion of the room at all, just some caveats to plan for. First, the cutlery in the room is severely lacking. You get one knife that's barely larger than a paring knife to do all your food prep. There are butter knives and steak knives, but no real prepping knives. Second, and this is just a me thing, but they only have soup spoons, no teaspoons. Also, they don't stock salt or pepper. You can just grab some from the Contempo Cafe, but still worth noting. The final thing was no bed set up for the pull out. Again, you can call housekeeping, but it stinks when you realize this at 11 PM after a long day of traveling and you just want to crash. The bathroom doors have locks, albeit a little bit of a pain to use since they don't always line up for ease of use, but the bedroom doors do not. Finally, if staying on DVC points you only get one quick garbage/linen exchange mid week. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but it's amazing how much of a mess two kids and goldfish crackers can generate in a weeks time. Again, these are all minor gripes and would not deter me in the slightest to stay again. We loved this room and would highly recommend for anyone with small children.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank BrewmeisterB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2012

DVC member stayed at Bay Lake Tower June 1-9th in a 2 bedroom standard view. AWESOME STAY!!! Out room was on the 2nd floor facing the pool/courtyard area great room location! Love the 2bdr as it gives everyone the space they need and there are 3 full bathrooms. THERE ARE LOCKS on the bathroom doors...you push in this silver thing and it locks the door. I guess you could overlook this but with everyone complaining about no locks...just want to clear this up!!! Our place was very clean and the mattress was the most COMFORTABLE that I have slept on! Lots of cabinet space in the kitchen, which is good if you want to eat in. The fridge I would say is an apartment size...so watch out if you food shop. Also bought some extra plastic containers for storage while there. The top of the world lounge is awesome for viewing fireworks and just chilling after a long day at the park. I loved the Pina CoLava and the pretzel breadstick app.... the Rum Runner was good as well ; ) You can also view the water light parade from the viewing deck behind the bar. We had 2 balconies, which was nice to sit and relax with a book or adult beverage during the day. The walk to the MK ... nice not having to cram into a bus, monorail or ferry, about a 10 min walk max. the only so so thing...Elevators...super slow, was just easier to use the steps to go to the pool. To be fair they were ok during the day it was night that they were slow. Not lots of Disney theming but that is ok. Its kind of swanky upscale which I also like. Kids loved the pool, so did I. Plenty of lounge chairs and tables. Saw lots of kids, including mine...lol, but it was not noisy. Excellent stay will return.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lala31864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2012

Just came back from vacation at Walt Disney World as a Disney vacation club member we stayed at the Contemporary BayLake Resort at the Magic Kingdom resort area. We booked the Grand Villa and it was grand! We had heard that check in was not very convenient and bell service was non existent, but that was not the case with our check in. We were greeted outside while unloaded the car at the Contemporary Resort right next door and walked to our check in. We were early, so our Villa was not ready when we asked what to do with our groceries, the wonderful staff assisted us in placing our groceries in their refrigerator as we waited. The bell service was great accommodating us and a quick delivery of our luggage and groceries. The Villa was beautiful, with three bedrooms, four full baths, living room and kitchen in a very modern setting. The Villa also has a laundry room inside, which is great for washing towels and other things especially when you have kids with you. The floor to ceiling windows had a great view of the Magic Kingdom and the nightly fireworks. No complaints about the service or the accommodations at this resort. This resort also has a wonderful pool with a slide, a concierge service where you can purchase your tickets to the parks and they were very helpful at all times.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank TValls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

We are members of the Disney Vacation Club, and this was our first time staying at Bay lake towers, and were very impressed. We had a one bedroom, but it had 2 full baths. The full kitchen was sleek and spacious and well equipped. The sleeper sofa was comfortable enough, and the bed was very comfortable. We booked a Magic Kingdom view, and we were treated to the fireworks show every night. (if however you don't want to hear the noise every night, make that consideration) The walk to the Contemporary was very, very easy, via a raised passageway. It was so very easy to get to the monorail station at the contemporary, as well as making our way to the Contempo Cafe to refill mugs and/or eat. We used the boat for Wilderness Lodge, and despite some wait, this was a nice alternative. We also used the bus to get to Animal Kindgom, and the bus stop is right out front and didn't wait long. One of the BEST perks is the very easy walk to Magic Kingdom, 10-15 minutes, and you are at the entrance. Very much enjoyed the pool. It is zero entry, so our youngest was so excited he could touch the bottom. I found many good options for a quick service at the Contempo Cafe. You order at a kiosk, pay, and are given a beeper to alert you when food is ready. I really liked that just about everything in the cases, drinks, desserts, snacks, whatever, counted as a snack on the dining plan, and there were MANY drink options. One was not limited, and things were readily labeled. Refilling resort mugs was very easy. We did wait on occasion for an elevator in BLT, especially on our day of checkout, we probably waited about 10 minutes, but otherwise, we found getting around the resort and getting to the contemporary very, very easy. We hope to book many more vacations at the Bay Lake Towers

Room Tip: Upper floor, Magic Kingdom view
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank BRMom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012 via mobile

We had a two bedroom lake view for a week. Such a fun location. Just a short walk to the Magic Kingdom and a monorail trip to EPCOT. Room was very clean, modern, and quiet. View was amazing! Able to see both fireworks and lake light show at night. Music from fireworks piped in on TV. Very sweet!
Took boys to top of the world lounge for drink. Service great!
Tween boys played video games in kids club during rainy period. Little guy did arts and crafts.
All in all a great family place!!

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank PMFANDME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2012

Dvc members stayed 1bedroom villa 5 days with 2 kids and infant. 2nd stay at BLT.
Room- clean , spacious, roomy. Showers spacious and 2 bathrooms always good, but still no locks in bathroom doors?
this visit our room was close to the community center and kids loved it.
Location- excellent 10 min walk to MK!!
Wish they had a back entrance like beach club to Epcot! I do miss taking the ferry to MK but with an infant you have to stay away from the crowds and get home as soon as possible.
Pool - medium size, fun with lots of activities for the kids.
Top of world lounge- nice to see at least once
Bay lake is our home resort and still love it for room size, contemporary feel, proximity to MK.
Bad - housekeeping knocks at 8am on last day even if you tell them 11am. They will try to kick you out as quick as possible.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank Bfett
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

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: £413 - £816 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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