Bay Lake Tower, connected to Disney’s Contemporary Resort by a covered Sky Way Bridge, opened in 2009, making it one of the newest DVC and Disney Deluxe Villa resorts on the Walt Disney World property. From a studio to a three-bedroom unit spanning two floors, Bay Lake Tower is the newest in the line of upper-end Disney accommodations. But whew, it’s pricey! Is Bay Lake Tower right for your next vacation?
Here’s three reasons you would love to stay at Bay Lake.
1. Location, location, location. When you can walk to the Magic Kingdom in less than 15 minutes, strolling down a sidewalk that overlooks Space Mountain, you are paying for location, and you’ll pay big bucks for this luxury. You can also hop a monorail that comes zipping through the Contemporary Resort next door to whisk you to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and there’s the usual bus service to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, and the Disney water parks. Boat service will take you to the Wilderness Lodge if you have time for an afternoon field trip and perhaps a bite to eat. You are right in the middle of all things Disney at Bay Lake Tower, with a spectacular vantage point for Magic Kingdom fireworks and sidewalks for tranquil strolls by Bay Lake.
2. The Pools, and other amenities. The Bay Lake pool is fabulous, with a glass-block modern water slide, water features, a (rather small) hot tub, and a pool bar. While Bay Lake vacationers can use the Contemporary Pool and their hot tubs, only those staying at Bay Lake can use the Bay Lake Tower pool, so it feels exclusive. There are tennis courts, shuffleboard, BBQ grills, and you have access to the Olympiad Fitness Center at the Contemporary, offering spa, salon, and massage services. Boat rentals at available the Contemporary, and you can join a marshmallow roast every evening at sunset. Chef Mickey’s character dining, the California Grill, and The Wave restaurants are next door at the Contemporary Resort, as well as room service, the Contempo Cafe for faster dining, plus three gift shops for all your Disney souvenir needs.
3. The room with a view. Every unit has a balcony overlooking either Bay Lake, the Magic Kingdom, or the Contemporary Resort with a nice view over the Seven Seas Lagoon. Flat-screen TVs, DVD players, microwaves, coffeemakers, and min-fridges come standard even in the studios that sleep up to four. One bedroom/2 bath units sleep five, two bedroom/3 bath units sleep up to nine with a full size, fully equipped kitchen. The piste de resistance of Bay Lake lodgings, the three-bedroom/four bathroom, two-story Grand Villa sleeps 14 and features two-story windows for incredible views of Bay Lake the Magic Kingdom. There are 295 rooms at Bay Lake, which is a far cry from the 867 rooms at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa . There is a smaller feel to this resort, and you may not do as much walking as you would on some other Disney properties.
The downside for your average Disney vacationer. The Price. I almost feel the need to put that in all caps: THE PRICE! Assuming a standard view for all rooms, a studio starts at $415 per night, the one-bedroom starts at $515, and the two-bedroom starts at $700. Three-bedroom Grand Villas lake view start at $1700 and $1900 gets you a Magic Kingdom view. And these prices are for Value Season…imagining the prices for the Christmas holidays may cause some of you to break out in hives.
The Bay Lake lobby is not a place you can hang out and enjoy, like you could at say the Wilderness Lodge. There is not gift shop or a “real” restaurant in the building, unless you count the pool bar, but it’s just a short walk over to the Contemporary to share their dining and shopping options. Some people like the Bay Lake Tower’s “contemporary” design, and some feel it’s not as themed as Wilderness Lodge or the Polynesian Resort. It’s definitely not, but fans of clean lines and modern-looking furnishings will be in heaven. There’s not a lot of landscaping or eye-catching decorations, but the architecture and luxury accommodations speak for themselves.
Amanda M. is the Imagineer of photo blog mouzekateerz.com and a staff writer for Meet the Magic. If you like Disney World photography, visit her at Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.
Disney World is the Most Magical Place On Earth. Be sure to learn how to make the most of your trip by reading the Disney World Training series. You can also browse all the articles I have written in an easy to use outline. And if you are ready to book your trip, be sure to read about the perks of using an authorized Disney vacation planner (plus it’s FREE!).