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 Contemporaryâ€™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 weâ€™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. The studioâ€™s layout also puts the bathroom sink and vanity in the same small area as the kitchen, but on opposite walls. Negative reactions from guests prompted change. Disney plans upcoming refurbishments to move one of the sinks into the bathroom and add a full-length mirror to the kitchenette.
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 roomâ€™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 theyâ€™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 Towerâ€™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 Kingdomâ€”and unparalleled prices to match.
Unofficial Guide reader opinions of Bay Lake Tower have been mostly positive. A mother of two from Kitchener, Ontario, writes:
We chose the beautiful new Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary. Although we paid for a bay-view room, we could look right out at Space Mountain and watch Wishes from our room every night. The rooms were very quiet, and a one-bedroom suite provided more than enough space for four of us.
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, â€œWeâ€™re always going to stay here.â€
But an Atlanta dad is lukewarm:
Iâ€™m not sure I can recommend Bay Lake Tower to nonâ€“Disney Vacation Club members. The lack of a lobby and other amenities was a drag. Also, we had a studio (regular view) and it was very small. For the money, the Polynesian is far better.
Bay Lake Tower has a pool and pool bar for its own private use. Plans are also in place to add a jogging path as well as a fire pit specifically for Bay Lake Tower guests; however, dining, transportation, and other recreational activities are shared with the Contemporary Resort.
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since 2010)|
|Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort||65% (-18%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||74% (+3%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (+10%)|
|Average for vacation homes & condos||95% (N/A)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since 2010)|
|Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort||100% (0%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||90% (+1%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||94% (+5%)|
|Average for vacation homes & condos||100% (N/A)|
|On Magic Kingdom Monorail||Sterility of theme and decor in public areas|
|10-minute walk to Magic Kingdom|
|Interesting A-frame architecture|
|Nicest guest rooms at WDW|
|Great views of the Magic Kingdom or Bay Lake|
|Excellent children's pool|
|Recreational options, including super games arcade|
|Restaurant selection via monorail|
|On-site child care|
|Animal Kingdom||17 minutes|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios||14 minutes|
|Quietness of Room||A|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|