In a resort filled with beautiful, well-themed hotels, it’s difficult to decide which one is perfect for your family vacation. Guests who aren’t Disney Vacation Club members (DVC) sometimes overlook the DVC properties. While they are offered to those guests on points, rooms can also be booked without them.
DVC properties can be a great option if you plan to spend time in the room. Many of them offer multiple bedrooms and extra space, as well as laundry facilities and kitchens. If you do opt to stay in one of these rooms, I definitely recommend making sure you take advantage of everything available to you.
Bay Lake Tower (BLT) is relatively new in the Walt Disney World resort area, opening in 2009. It’s the second of the Disney Vacation Club resorts in the Magic Kingdom Resort area (after the original Wilderness Lodge DVC property). BLT is a single tower, which replaced one of the original garden wings of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Considering a stay at Walt Disney World resort? Read our guide to Bay Lake Tower to learn more.
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Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Location of Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower, part of the Disney Contemporary Resort, is located in the Magic Kingdom Resort area. It shares a parking lot and Disney transportation with the main Contemporary Resort property.
If you are planning to spend a lot of time at the Magic Kingdom park, Bay Lake Tower is an excellent, convenient option. It’s a quick walk right to the front entrance of the park. You’ll also be able to take the monorail from the main Contemporary tower to the Transportation and Ticket Center (to transfer to Epcot), to the other monorail resorts, and to the Magic Kingdom (if you’d prefer not to walk). If you are visiting the other theme parks – Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, the water parks, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, bus service is available.
Getting to the main tower of the Contemporary Resort is easy. You can either choose to walk out the front door and go past the bus stop, or there is a covered sky bridge on the 5th floor. Either option is just a short walk. I think that the easy walking distance to the Magic Kingdom really makes Bay Lake Tower a compelling option.
Rooms and Villas at Bay Lake Tower
Bay Lake Tower is exclusively a DVC property. If you want a regular hotel room, you’re able to book a guest room at the Contemporary Resort, which is just as convenient a location.
There are three view types to choose from when you are selecting your accommodations at Bay Lake Tower. A standard view is typically the most affordable and is best when you aren’t planning on spending too much time in the room. Expect to have an obstructed view, or a view of the parking lot when staying in a standard view room.
A theme park view is typically on a higher floor where you’ll be able to see the Magic Kingdom, with a great view of Cinderella Castle through large windows that go from the floor to the ceiling. These rooms are a great option if you want to see the fireworks in the evening. You can even tune your in-room television into the music so you’ll have a full fireworks experience.
There are also Bay Lake view rooms. These generally have a nice view of the pool, and you are likely to be able to see the Electrical Water Pageant from your room and/or balcony.
Guests at Bay Lake Village have several villa options to choose from. The studio is closest to the regular Walt Disney World hotel room. These deluxe studios offer a queen size bed and a pull-out sofa bed (double-size) as well as a kitchenette. You won’t be able to prepare full meals in your room, but there is a small fridge and microwave. These rooms also have balconies.
One-bedroom villas offer a king-size bed, as well as a queen sleeper sofa, and a twin sleeper chair. These rooms accommodate up to five adults and are a great option if you want a little extra space. They offer two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, a balcony, and a washer and dryer.
The two-bedroom villas and three-bedroom grand villas are great for larger family gatherings, or if you are traveling with more than one family. The two-bedroom villa has one master bedroom with a king bed and one room with two queen beds, as well as a one queen bed sleeper sofa and a twin sleeper chair. It also has a washer and dryer, as well as a full kitchen, and a balcony.
The three-bedroom grand villas are very impressive. These are two-story suites – one bedroom has a king bed, two bedrooms have two queen beds, and there’s also a queen bed sleeper sofa. A full kitchen, a laundry room, four bedrooms, a living room, a dining area, and a balcony complete these amazing accommodations. There are multiple flat-panel TVs throughout the villa.
Amenities at Bay Lake Tower
There is a separate front desk at Bay Lake Tower, as well as a separate concierge and bell services cast members. You can usually skip the in-person check-in, however, if you sign up for online check-in. You’ll receive a text and the app will update with your room number when your room is ready.
Bay Lake Tower has some great amenities when you aren’t at a theme park, so it’s a great idea to plan at least one free day to explore. The zero-entry Bay Cove Pool area is located right at Bay Lake Tower and includes a 148-foot water slide. Bay Lake Tower guests can also use the two pools at the Contemporary Resort – the Main Pool, and Bay Lake Pool.
Other amenities include several gift shops, a fitness center, tennis, volleyball, and basketball. Motorized boat rentals are available for an additional fee. There’s an arcade on the fourth floor of the Contemporary, and there’s a community hall offering ping pong, foosball, games, and more. Paid activities, like tie-dye, are also offered.
The Contemporary Resort also hosts activities – a schedule can be seen in the lobby or by the elevator banks. These include movies under the stars (typically held in a conference room if the weather isn’t cooperating), campfires, and more.
Restaurants at Bay Lake Tower
If you’d like to dine at your resort, there are lots of options right at the Contemporary. Of course, since you’ll be close to a monorail station, you can also ride over to the other resorts to try their restaurants.
Restaurants and other dining options at the Contemporary include:
- Steakhouse 71, a new steakhouse celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Steakhouse 71 is located in the former home of the Wave, offering steak specialties and a great wine menu.
- California Grill, located on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, offers delicious California-inspired food along with great views. It’s a fantastic option for a special occasion.
- Chef Mickey, a character dining experience with all you care to eat breakfast or dinner. You’ll get to see some of the most popular characters.
- Contempo Cafe – a quick service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch or dinner, with views of the monorail. Be sure to download the My Disney Experience app before headed that way, however, because it’s currently mobile order only.
- Contemporary Grounds – looking for a quick pastry for breakfast, or a premium coffee? This coffee bar in the Contemporary lobby is a great option.
- Villains Lair at the Top of the World Lounge (at the top of Bay Lake Tower) is open to eligible DVC members only.
- Other quick-service dining options and bars include the Cove Bar pool bar, the Outer Rim, the Sand Bar, and the California Grill Lounge.
Booking Bay Lake Tower
Are you interested in booking Disney’s Bay Lake Tower? If you are a Disney Vacation Club member, you’ll book directly through the DVC process, using your points.
However, there is also the option to book without having DVC, for a cash price. These rooms are limited, but if they are available, you’ll see them on the Disney World website.