My “Opening Day” blog about Bay Lake Tower has generated a slew of questions. At the moment, some of them are answered within the comments section of my first blog. After I return home, I’ll publish all of the answers in a final Bay Lake Tower article.
I’m going to start this blog discussing the “Top of the World” lounge on the 16th floor of the resort.
For those of you who don’t remember, the restaurant/lounge that is now the California Grill at the Contemporary use to be named Top of the World. Here guests could be entertained by celebrities and in later years see a show called “Broadway at the Top” while they enjoyed a meal. The new BLT lounge pays homage to the Contemporary by reusing this name.
First, let me give you the current policy as to who may use the Top of the World. Only DVC members staying on points and staying at the Bay Lake Tower, and those staying in the room with them, may use this lounge.
I know this policy delights some and infuriates others. At the moment, Disney does not know what the actual demand for this venue will be, and until that can be ascertained, they’re taking a conservative approach and limiting access. I’m certain that this policy is in flux and we will probably see it change several times before a permanent procedure is settled upon.
Check-in for the Top of the World lounge takes place at a podium in the lobby of BLT. From there, a cast member escorts your party to a special elevator that only stops at the 16th floor. Once there, it’s just a short walk to the lounge.
These first few pictures are of the bar. The mural is an artist concept drawing that John Hench drew when the Disneyland monorails were in the planning stages. This mural is transparent with a solid backing that can be lowered behind it.
These next pictures are of the lounge area.
Here is a picture of Mike and Brucie, two of the full-time bartenders. Both of these fine people will take good care of you when you visit.
To each side of the lounge are large outdoor viewing areas. This is where you’ll want to be in order to get the best view of the fireworks.
Being a long day, I tuckered out at 8 p.m., and have no pyrotechnic photos for you. Until I get some, enjoy the spectacular view.
The music from the fireworks show is played both in the lounge and out on the viewing area. Take a look at the speaker covers. The music is also available in your room on TV channel 20.
Although I missed out on the fireworks, take a look at the full arch rainbow we saw over Bay Lake. Believe me, my photo doesn’t do it justice.
While at the Top of the World, we sampled three of the flatbreads offered. One is appropriately called a BLT – Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato. Another contained beef, mushrooms, and onions. And the third had mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Deb and Donald both thought the BLT was the best. I preferred the beef.
The restrooms that service the lounge have the cutest sinks for children. I hope we see more of this in future locations.
Now I’m going to move back to my room and fill you in on some details – good and bad.
Let’s start in the living room. This room is designed to sleep three. The sofa and chair both fold out into beds. I have to say, I didn’t find either very comfortable to sit on. However, I’m hoping that they just need to be “broken in,” as my main complaint was that they were “stiff.” The bar stools, on the other hand, were fine.
There is no portable luggage rack in the unit. This could be a problem for guests sleeping and unpacking in the living room. However, there is ample drawer space underneath the TV console.
The drapes have no sheers behind the blackout curtains. I have stayed in a tower room at the Contemporary many times. Believe me, in the late afternoon, you need sheers to defuse the harsh sunlight.
Since the DVC units are basically apartments, the kitchens come completely stocked with cooking utensils and tableware. I love how the dishes have a “modern” look.
All TVs have a connection box that allows you to hook up your camera directly. The living room TV also has a DVD player.
Both bathrooms have sliding doors. Neither one can be locked. Additionally, the doors do not close tightly. For instance, the bathroom off of the living quarters has a quarter inch gap running from floor to ceiling where the door meets the wall. This allows “private” sounds to easily be heard by those in the unit. This is something that Disney MUST address immediately.
The utility closet is located off of the master bedroom. Here you’ll find an iron and ironing board, vacuum and safe. The safe allows you to enter a personal code rather than swiping a credit card.
The luggage rack in the master bedroom is built into the furniture and a drawer can be found underneath. Additional drawers are located under the TV console.
High speed internet access is available at the desk in the bedroom. I will check today to see if it is also available in the living quarters. Access is free to members staying on points. All others are charged $9.95 for each 24 hour period.
The clock radio has an iPod docking station.
The duvet cover has Mickey stitched into the design.
The shower head also has a space-age look.
Okay, that’s it for today. I’ll have another installment sometime tomorrow.