Bay Lake Tower - Disney Vacation Club Villas
Bay Lake Tower, has to be one of the coolest of the Disney Vacation Club resorts. Just look at it. It's just cool.
Dad liked the looks (and the idea of a Magic Kingdom view) so much he tried it out this fall on during the Palooza 2012. It's a pretty hotel ...
Bay Lake Tower
Photo by Mike Billick
This resort takes the place of the aging North Garden Wing of the Contemporary Resort. It's located just a little behind the Contemporary (that's the hotel that the monorail runs through). From the Tower, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom in just a couple of minutes. (Maybe more than a couple of minutes.)
On August 4, 2009, the Bay Lake Tower officially opened for business. The hotel has 16 floors and 428 rooms (villas). An enclosed walkway bridge connects the villas with the Contemporary Resort. This is necessary because there aren't any restaurants, shops or many amenities in the new resort including a front desk. Guests must check in at the Contemporary.
On the 16th floor of the Tower there is a lounge called (strangely enough) the Top of the World Lounge. The lounge is open from 5 pm to 11 pm for members of the Disney Vacation Club. It serves cocktails and light snacks. It even has a deck which may be the best place in all of Walt Disney World to watch Wishes.
A lot of the rooms have a Magic Kingdom view. The Magic Kingdom view rooms have large windows and in some of the rooms you can see the fireworks show from the bathtub. (Hey, it's a big selling point. Not sure I want to watch Wishes from the bathtub.)
Disney Vacation Club
The Disney Vacation Club is the timeshare arm of the Disney Company. Yes, timeshare. You can prepay for your Disney World vacations by investing in the Disney Vacation Club (no, I'm not quoting a brochure). Disney will even buy your timeshare points back (Disney uses a point system) for the going rate.
Disney has been expanding vacation club resorts at a remarkable rate over the last few years. The Bay Lake Tower and the Treehouse Villas, which opened in 2009, are the latest additions. In 2013, a Disney Vacation Club property will open at the Grand Floridian and there are even rumors that the Polynesian is going to get one soon.
Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Villas, Rooms, Suites and what's in them
The Bay Lake Tower, like other Disney Vacation Club resorts has several different kinds of villas. In the Tower they are -
- Studio - a fairly standard Disney hotel room with a mini-fridge and microwave so it can be called a villa or suite. The room comes with one queen bed and a double sized sleeper sofa.
- One Bedroom - the one bedroom villas say they sleep 4. They have a king bed a queen sleeper sofa and a sleeper chair. (This is probably not a great option for 4 adults unless you like sleeping on sleeper sofas.) The room includes a full kitchen and a whirlpool tub.
- Dedicated Two Bedroom - (layout shown) there are 2 different types of 2 bedroom villas. One is a dedicated 2 bedroom, which means it is always a 2 bedroom. It has a king sized bed, 2 queens a sleeper sofa and a sleeper chair and sleeps 9.
- Two Bedroom Lockoff - (layout not shown) the two bedroom lockoffs are combinations of a one bedroom and a studio. When you put the two together you have a two bedroom lockoff. (There is a connecting door just inside the entrance to both units.) These units have one king bed, one queen bed, a queen sleeper sofa a double sized sleeper sofa and a sleeper chair. Disney claims it will sleep 9. (Dad claims it will only sleep 4 comfortably.)
- Grand Villa - the Grand Villa is something special. It has over 2,000 square feet of space with 2 living areas, 3 bedrooms and 4, yes, count em 4 bathrooms. There is one king bed (for the king and queen) and 4 full queen beds. There are also 2 sleeper sofas (one upstairs and one downstairs). A total of 12 guests can sleep in the villa.
All Disney rooms allow and infant under 3 in a crib to stay in the room as an addition.
Each suite comes with the standard Disney amenities like ...
- Telephone service
- Whirlpool tub (except in the studios)
- An alarm clock
- A safe
- Soap, shampoo, bath products (in great Disney wrappers)
- A HAIR DRYER
- A kitchen complete with serving dishes, griddle, toaster
- Clock Radio
- DVD Player
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Free Wi-Fi
You might be wondering why a hotel room would have a vacuum cleaner. Disney Vacation Club members only get Mousekeeping services 2 days a week. One day for a full cleaning and one day for trash service and light cleaning. (Extra services are available for an additional charge.) If you rent the room from Disney, you will get daily Mousekeeping.
Looks good even during the day time
Photo by Daily Disney Snapshots
Bay Lake Tower shares services with the Contemporary Resort, but it does have it's own pool, and BBQ area, shuffleboard court, bocce ball and a separate beach area. There are also tennis courts for Tower guests.
In the Contemporary you have a variety of entertainment and some really good restaurants.
Bay Lake Tower is located next to the Contemporary Resort. In fact it is connected by a bridge between the two hotels.
View Disney's Bay Lake Tower Resort in a larger map
Address and Phone Number
Bay Lake Tower
14600 North World Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
Photo by Jeff_B.
Dad and Mrs. Mom spent 4 nights in a studio suite that overlooked the Magic Kingdom. What to say about out suite? It was OK. We weren't thrilled with the little bitty bathroom (we has a more comfortable bathroom on the Disney Dream) but overall the room was pretty comfortable.
We were a little confused by the lobby. You don't check in or out at the Bay Lake Tower lobby. You do that over in the Contemporary Resort basment which is sad because the lobby at BLT is pretty nice. And the basement at the Contemporary ... not so much. (I think that has changed now, but at the time it wasn't a lot of fun.)
One thing we did notice is that it's a long walk from the hotel to the monorail or the bus. As long as any walk from a room at the Pop Century.
A great place to watch Wishes
Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Make a Reservation
There are a couple of ways to get a reservation for Bay Lake Tower. First, you can buy Disney Vacation Club points. Second, you can "rent" points from a Disney Vacation Club member. And then you can always make a normal reservation. For a normal reservation give Dad's partners over at Destinations to Travel a shout and let them give you a hand.
Dad's Bottom Line
The Bay Lake Tower gives the Disney Vacation Club a presence on the monorail. It's something even Dad has been salivating over for years, but I'm not sure I'd go back. It's just not our cup of tea. (Our friends love it.)