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“Bay Lake Towers, Fantastic Location, Nice accomidations”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #23 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Bay Lake Towers, Fantastic Location, Nice accomidations”
Reviewed 17 January 2011

As DVC members we have a home resort of Animal Kingdom and Bay towers, and have stayed at both a few times. AK is a better hotel as far as ammenities, HOWEVER the location requires a bus ride to go anywhere, there is no problem in getting a bus BUT it adds as much as an hour to get to some locations. For example getting from AK to another resort hotel for a dinner reservation (Hoop-De-Doo at Fort Wilderness Resort).

BLT through the contemporary has connection to the Mono Rail and buses. Not that the buses are any quicker but one can visit all the locations on the Mono Rail which takes only few minutes.

Room for room (1 BR) we no no issues with either, although we do like the more contemporary settings of BT.

When traveling with grandchildren we prefer BLT However when without we prefer the AK as commute time not as critical.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
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Thank DnAnCl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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dekopps@aol.com
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 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, travelled with friends
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1 Thank mekopp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 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, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank crickette24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 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, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank IADTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richboro, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 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, travelled with family
    • Value
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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 5 January 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, travelled 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 6 Contributor
70 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 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, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank asty
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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