Please see our description of the Contemporary for more information about the amenities shared with that resort.
Opened in 2009, Bay Lake Tower is a 15-story, 295- unit Disney Deluxe Villa resort featuring studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas, as well as two-story, three-bedroom Grand Villas with spectacular views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom. Laid out in a semicircle, Bay Lake Tower is connected to the Contemporary Resort by an elevated, covered walkway and shares the Contemporary's monorail service.
Rooms at Bay Lake Tower are well appointed, with flat-panel TVs, DVD players, minifridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers. Brightly colored accessories and paintings complement a neutral gray color scheme. Wood tables and granite countertops add a natural touch to the surroundings. Each room features a private balcony or patio. The rooms we've stayed in tested as the quietest on Disney property, and average for lighting and bedding.
Studios sleep up to four people and include one queen-size bed and one double sleeper sofa. The part of the studio with the bed, sofa, and television measures about 170 square feet and feels small with just two people; four would be an adventure. A recent refurbishment of all studio rooms moved the bath’s sink from the kitchen to the bathroom.
The 1-bedroom villa sleeps 5 and provides a formal kitchen, a second bathroom and a living room in addition to the studio bedroom. The living room's chair and sofa fold out to provide beds for 3 more people.
Two-bedroom villas sleep nine and include all of the kitchen amenities found in a one-bedroom, plus an extra bathroom. One of the baths is attached to a second bedroom with two queen beds or a queen bed plus a sleeper-sized sofa. As with the one-bedrooms, a sofa bed and sleeper chair in the living room provide extra places to snooze, though they're best suited to small children. Bathrooms in the two-bedroom villas are laid out a bit better than those in the one-bedrooms, with more room to move about. One odd feature in these (also found at other DVC resorts) is a folding door separating the tub from the master bedroom. Nevertheless, we think the two-bedroom villas are the best of Bay Lake Tower's standard offerings.
The two-story Grand Villas sleep 12 and include four bathrooms, the same master-bedroom layout, and two bedrooms with two queen beds apiece. An upstairs seating area overlooking the main floor provides a sleeper sofa and chair. These rooms have two-story windows offering unparalleled views of the Magic Kingdom - and unparalleled prices to match.
Unofficial Guide reader opinions of Bay Lake Tower have been mostly positive. A Minnesota family of four loved Bay Lake Tower as well:
We had a studio with a Magic Kingdom view. The balcony was a private oasis where my husband and I would relax and watch the fireworks together after the kids were asleep. O n our second night he looked at me and said, "We're always going to stay here."
A Tennessee family wasn’t in love with Bay Lake Tower’s views:
The Magic Kingdom view isn’t as magical as Disney wants you to believe. Sure, you can see the fireworks from your room, but they’re off-center over Space Mountain. During the day, your view is the Bay Lake Tower parking lot. The lake view, on the other hand, may be the most peaceful view at Walt Disney World, and is a far better use of your money or points.
Bay Lake Tower has its own check-in desk as well as its own private pool and pool bar, plus a small fire pit on the beach. Its Top of the World lounge is the best bar on Disney property; unfortunately, it’s only for DVC owners. If you’re not one, offer to buy the first round of drinks in exchange for an invite.
A 1-mile jogging path loops around Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary’s garden wing. Dining, transportation, and other recreational activities are shared with the Contemporary Resort.
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort||87% (+22%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort||97% (-3%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
|On Magic Kingdom Monorail||Sterility of theme and decor in hallways|
|10-minute walk to Magic Kingdom||Shared bus service with other Magic Kingdom resorts to Animal Kingdom park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, water parks, and Downtown Disney|
|Extremely nice 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom villas||Tiny studios|
|Beautiful views of Bay Lake from upper floors||Not so great views of your neighbors' decks from some rooms inside the C-shaped building|
|Fireworks view from upper floor theme park view villas||Views from lower floor theme park view villas are underwhelming given the premium charged for those rooms|
|Fantastic mid-century modern decor in lobby|
|Best lounge on Walt Disney World property|
|Marina and recreational options, including super games arcade, shared with the Contemporary|
|Restaurant selection via monorail|
|Magic Kingdom||10 minutes|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios||29 minutes|
|Disney's Animal Kingdom||25 minutes|
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|