Looking back from Bay Lake at the newest addition to the Contemporary, Bay Lake Tower.
We were lucky enough, despite having reserved a Bay Lake view room to get one that also overlooked the Magic Kingdom, although admittedly it wasn't a central view. Having seen the model rooms at DVC's sales center at Saratoga Springs Resort, we knew that the studios here were some of the smallest on offer by the DVC, but we were pleasantly surprised by how much space we had. Admittedly, there were only the two of us and I wouldn't like to cram four people in here, but it was fine for our needs.
We also found the decor to be less garish than we were expecting. The bright colors worked together more than I expected. I also found no problem whatsoever with the innovative idea of putting the "bathroom" sink and vanity countertop in the kitchenette area (the vanity occupies one wall, and the kitchenette the opposite wall) and actually quite liked this approach. The area still had more than enough room in it.
Although getting to the Top of the World Lounge can be tricky – and the night we went, we had a Cast Member scrutinize the room keys of every single person who boarded the elevator – the lounge is well worth a visit. Of course, it's most popular around the time of Wishes fireworks each night, just like the California Grill in the main building. The view from here is spectacular and well worth seeing, especially if you're not lucky enough to have a room with a prized view of the Magic Kingdom.
They have a full service bar up there and there is very much an adult feel to the place. When we were there, we were impressed by the quiet, yet upscale, atmosphere. It's a very nice to head for to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. We sampled some of the flat breads on offer up there and they were excellent, although they were much bigger than we'd expected. If you're thinking, like we were, that you'll just get a snack there, think again. The flat breads were exceptionally filling and, hungry as we were, we struggled to finish them.
The other area I was looking forward to seeing was Bay Cove pool. I'd been lucky enough to catch glimpses of this, as we took the boat over to the Wilderness Lodge in May and it looks like an intriguing design. It certainly is, and just like the rooms, it's got some bright and bold colors, but again they work together. It makes for one of the most creative and unusual water slides ever seen on Disney property. As you'd expect from the new pools at Disney, this one is zero-entry and there's a separate interactive water-play area for youngsters, who also have their own shallow pool. For the adults, there's a hot tub and we were lucky enough to watch a stunning sunrise from there during our stay.
Also outside in the recreation area are two shuffleboard courts and table tennis and, of course, like all DVC resorts, there's Community Hall, where you can head for a variety of activities. While we were staying there, these included bead art, build-a-button, pin trading, and the chance to try your hand at Toy Story Mania on the Wii, before you hit the attraction of the same name in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
All the resort's other facilities - shops, restaurants, front desk (as already noted), spa, pools, marina and watersports - are located in or near the main Contemporary Resort tower.
Overall, we were more impressed with Bay Lake Tower than we expected to be. We thought the rooms would be a little too small for us, but they weren't. We loved the pool area and Top of the World Lounge, as well as the easy access to the Magic Kingdom. If only Disney would introduce check-in downstairs at Bay Lake Tower, then our stay would have been perfect from start to finish. If you're a Disney Vacation Club owner – or even if you're not – it's worth your while to give Bay Lake Tower a try. I doubt you'll be disappointed by it.
Evening time in the Top of the World lounge, overlooking the Magic Kingdom from Bay Lake Tower with a stunning view of Wishes every night.
|About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!|
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AllisonG on February 11, 2010 @ 11:21 pm
I am staying at BLT next month. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am even more excited now!
574.wilky16166 on February 12, 2010 @ 9:39 am
I would have liked to have seen pricing information for those who do not belong to DVC.
jenjen1127 on February 12, 2010 @ 10:31 am
Thank you for your report. We are staying at our home resort for the first time in August for nine days and I am very excited.
Maris908 on February 12, 2010 @ 11:07 am
Having stayed at BayLake Tower over Christmas vacation, I must point out there is a definate safty hazzard with the railings on the balcony. It did not take 5 minutes for our grandchildren to figure out that they could easily put their feet on the low ledge and then scale that railing. We had to permanately block the doors to the balcony so no one could go out. The kids are 4,6 8 and 10. Of Course they all know better but it only takes a second for a horrible tragedy to occur. We have stayed in all the other vacation club properties and have never encountered this problem. I did report it to management and was told I was the only one to mention it. If you are staying there with young children be constantly aware of where they are at all times.
dizfan on February 12, 2010 @ 2:01 pm
Very nice report.
When going to MK from this area, it's faster to walk because the monorail will stop at TTS, Poly, and GF before finally stopping at MK.
When returning, the monorail stops at the Contemporary first so it's about even timewise.
Also for those unfamiliar with the Contemporary, they have outdoor movies, a fire by the lake, beach volleyball, and lake side cabanas. When we stayed at BLT, we weren't aware of most of this until the final night. (They did hand out documentation about this, but we spent were amazed with being that close to MK and the monorail that we didn't realize it).
Can't wait to see MNSSHP fireworks from the Top of the World Lounge.
jenperich on March 7, 2010 @ 5:08 pm
Thank you Cheryl! We are staying at our home resort, BLT, for the first time in October, and we can't wait! Thanks for the great article about it. :-)
home4us123 on March 8, 2010 @ 7:40 am
Thanks for the great review Cheryl. I would love to stay there sometime
View all 8 comments in forum thread Teresa on March 5, 2011 @ 8:12 pm
I love Cheryl's review of BLT, but she missed one thing, and I'm thrilled she did!
BLT is WDW's first resort with Universal Design. This is the name given to interior design that is handicapped accessible and yet usable to all! Interior Design is not decorating, interior design is the way the room is configured, where items are, how the traffic pattern flows, etc.
We stayed at BLT in August of 2009, with my DD Samantha (a BLT DVC member). Samantha is in an electric wheelchair and we found BLT to be the BEST resort at WDW we've ever encountered for accessibility.
The best thing of BLT is that unless you know what you're looking for, you will completely miss the accessibility!
So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!
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Updated 02/11/2010 - Article #423
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