Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Disney Vacation Club Resort
Bay Lake Tower has its own Check-In desk in the lobby.
The desk is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Guests arriving via Magical Express will be dropped off at the main Contemporary Resort entrance and will check-in at the Contemporary front desk.
What is the Bay Lake Tower?
Bay Lake Tower is the Disney’s Vacation Club’s seventh offering of home-away-from-home accommodations available to Members and guests of the Walt Disney World Resort. It stands in the place of the Contemporary Resort’s North Garden Wing, which was demolished to make room for the new resort.
Having opened to guests on August 4, 2009 the Tower is home to 295 two-bedroom equivalent villas.
What is the difference between the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower?
The main difference between the rooms at Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary are the amenities. Stylistically they are similar however the 1, 2 and 3 bedroom Villas are outfitted with kitchens, in-room laundry, multiple bathrooms, pull-out sleepers, and all the comforts of home. The rooms at the Contemporary are more geared to full-service and luxury, a traditional hotel.
Bay Lake Tower boasts an exterior private Observation Deck to watch fireworks at the Magic Kingdom on the 16th floor. Inside the viewing area is the 77-seat Top of the World lounge, offers a full service bar and light appetizers. (Scroll down for more information about access to the Observation Deck and Lounge.)
Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and is the first Disney World resort with secured access. Only persons staying in Bay Lake Tower with a Magic Band are able to enter the Bay Lake Tower area.
I hear that there are no more room key cards at Disney resort hotels. How do I get into my room?
Walt Disney World has converted their room keys and admission tickets from plastic cards to MagicBands, flexible plastic wristbands, resembling a watch or bracelet, that use Radio Frequency (RF) technology. Your MagicBand is linked to your My Disney Experience (MDE) account and acts as your Disney resort room key. Simply touch the Mickey symbol on your MagicBand to the RFID reader near your room door to gain entry. Read about using MagicBands for park admission, FastPass+ and more here.
When is check-in/check-out time? What if I arrive early?
Online Check-in is available 10 days prior to your stay. Look for the special Online Check-in line at the resort’s front desk.
Check in for the Bay Lake Tower is located in the lobby from 7:00am to 10:00pm. Guests arriving by Magical Express will still be dropped off at the main Contemporary Resort entrance and will use that check-in location.
All entrances and recreational areas of Bay Lake Tower require Magic Band access. This includes the Lobby, Courtyard, and Pool area.
Check-in time is 4pm. Early check-in allows you to leave luggage with bell services, get your Magic Band (if you don’t already have them) and head off to the parks or relax around the resort. Text alerts are also available, just provide a cell phone number to the front desk cast member. Or request a phone number to call periodically to see if your room is ready. When you call in, answer a few questions. You will then be given your room number and your Magic Band will open your door!
Check-out time is 11am. Express Check-out is available to all guests paying with a credit card, arrange for this service at check-in. A detailed hotel bill is delivered to your door by 7am. NOTE: Some resorts are now emailing you your bill. If the bill is correct you simply leave. YourMagic Band serves as a Disney souvenir. Late Check-out of noon can be requested without additional cost (very limited availability). If you need Late Check-out, request it at Check-In and as soon as possible the morning of check out (the number of eligible rooms are limited).
Resort Airline Check-In Service at your Disney resort is only available if you are flying domestically (includes Puerto Rico) on specific airlines It is a complimentary (free) service and allows you to check your luggage.
How can I access the Bay Lake Tower from the Contemporary?
Guests of Bay Lake Tower can either walk across the way to enter on the lobby floor or access the Sky Bridge from the 4th Floor concourse of the Contemporary. This actually connects to the 5th floor of Bay Lake Tower.
What are the different room types?
Room types include Studios, One-, Two-, and Three-Bedroom Grand Villas.
The kitchens have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Studio – Sleeps up to four, Queen Size bed, plus full-size sleeper sofa, Flat-panel TV and DVD player, small refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker. Square footage measuring in at about 300 feet. Laundry facilities are located on the first floor off the lobby area.
One-Bedroom Villa – Sleeps five, Master bedroom suite with king-sized bed, Master bathroom with walk-in shower, whirlpool tub and a second bathroom just off of the living area, Queen-size sleeper sofa in living room, Sleeper chair in living room, Flat-panel TV and DVD player in living room, and flat panel TV in master bedroom. Full kitchen includes: coffee maker, dinnerware, glassware, flatware, cookware, microwave, toaster, stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Laundry area contains a stacked washer and dryer, private balcony.
Two-Bedroom Villa – Provide an additional bedroom with a private bath, one queen-size bed, and a double sleeper sofa. The 2 Bedroom villas accommodate eight adults plus one child under age three in a crib. The Master suite has a king-size bed and private bath with a whirlpool tub. There is a fully equipped kitchen, ceiling fans in living room and each bedroom, stack-style washer and dryer, flat panel television with DVD player in living room and flat panel TV in each bedroom, queen-size sleeper sofa in living room and a private balcony or porch.
3-Bedroom Grand Villa – Sleeps up to twelve and are 2 levels. Master bedroom suite with king-size bed, four bathrooms: one is a Master bathroom with whirlpool tub. Two additional bedrooms, each with two queen-size beds, Queen-size sleeper sofa in living room. Flat-panel TV and DVD player in living room, and flat-panel TV in master bedroom and both additional bedrooms. Full kitchen includes: coffee maker, dinnerware, glassware, flatware, pots and pans, microwave, toaster, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher. Dining room with dining table and chairs (seats 10 and can be expanded to 12). Laundry area contains stacked washer and dryer. The Grand Villas has 4 balconies, one off the kitchen, and one off of each of the 3 bedrooms.
What are the rooms like?
Guest rooms are ultramodern and stylish. In keeping with this motif, abstract art depicting classic Disneyanna is on display and helps to soften the décor. Similar artwork is scattered throughout common areas. These decorative pieces nicely accent the subdued pastel colors and dark furniture found in the main living area.
What types of views are available?
Three views are available at booking: Standard, Bay Lake, and Magic Kingdom.
What are the room prices?
Room Rack Rates generally run from $478 to $3,034. Holiday runs $681 – $3,509.
Is there a fee to park at Bay Lake Tower?
Disney Vacation Club Members – will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they use vacation points or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
Click HERE for current pricing and other parking-related information.
How does the Housekeeping work in Disney Vacation Club resorts?
Housekeeping is different using Disney Vacation Club points than when you pay nightly for a hotel room.
Trash & Towel Service – For stays of seven or less nights, Trash & Towel Service is provided on day four. With Trash & Towel service, Housekeeping will: Empty trash and replace liners in trash bins, provide fresh bathroom linens, replace shampoo, facial soap and bath soap, replenish facial tissues, paper towels and toilet paper, replenish coffee, sugar, cream and sweeteners, replenish dishwashing liquid, dishwashing detergent, sponges and laundry detergent as needed in one-, two- and three-bedroom Vacation Homes.
Full Cleaning Service – For stays of eight or more nights, Full-Cleaning Service is provided on day four and Trash & Towel Service is provided on day eight. After that, the cycle begins again on day 12. With Full-Cleaning service, Housekeeping will provide everything included with the Trash & Towel Service, plus: Change the bed linens, vacuum and dust, clean the bathroom(s), clean the kitchen/kitchenette and wash the dishes.
You may also choose to pay for daily housekeeping or have additional towels etc. Check with the front desk for information and pricing.
If you are not using Disney Vacation Club points and paying “cash” you will have daily housekeeping.
What are the dining options?
The only dining options at Bay Lake Tower are the Top of the World Lounge and the Cove Pool Bar.
Just next door, The Contemporary Resort offers three full-service restaurants.
California Grill – This is the premiere restaurant of the Contemporary Resort. It is located on the 15th floor of the Tower building and offers California-style cuisine and sushi. The views of the Magic Kingdom and surrounding areas are breathtaking and the lounge or outer balcony are perfect spots from which to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. California Grill serves dinner only. Check-in for the California Grill is located on the second floor next to the escalators. Reservations are a must.
The Wave – This restaurant is located on the first floor just past the check-in counter on your left as you enter and offers a variety of upscale dishes including Braised Lamb Shank, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and Seasonal Vegetable Stew. The Wave offers full service breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chef Mickey’s – This is the spot for character meals at the Contemporary. A buffet breakfast with Mickey and the gang is offered every morning. In the evening a buffet featuring prime rib, seafood, and a variety of other dishes is offered, also with Mickey and Co.
The Contempo Café is located on the fourth floor and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with an assortment of snacks and drinks. You can purchase Rapid Fill Mugs at the Cafe.
Room service is available for guests staying in Bay Lake Tower.
What are Rapid Fill Mugs?
The Rapid Fill beverage program allows Disney Resort guests to buy (or receive as part of the Disney Dining Plan) a resort mug that can be refilled for a certain period of time as designated at time of purchase. These mugs are enhanced by an RFID bar code that enables the mug to deactivate when the designated time is complete. For complete details visit: /din/mugs.htm
Tell me about the pool area.
The pool at Bay Lake Tower offers zero-entry. The pool slide is enclosed within a shimmering cobalt tower that overlooks the recreational area. A Mickey-shaped children’s water fountain play area is adjacent to the pool. A hot tub overlooks Bay Lake. Ping-Pong tables are available near the pool bar. Picnic tables are also located nearby. There are a limited number of lockers at the pool.
What other recreational facilities are available?
At check-in be sure to ask for a Recreation Activities flyer! Movies under the stars, pool fun and crafts may be offered during your stay.
Community Hall (located in Bay Lake Tower) offers a variety of recreational activities – board games, coloring, video games, foosball tables, Wii, computer terminals, and DVD rentals (free for members otherwise $5 charge).
Bocce ball and Shuffleboard courts can be found in the courtyard area.
Tennis courts are located just to the left of the main entrance of the lobby.
Sammy Duval Water Sports is located at the marina of the Contemporary! AllEars.Net Readers get a discount — be sure to mention AllEars when you make your reservation!
How do I make reservations for Top of the World Lounge?
Advanced reservations can not be made for Top of the World Lounge. Space is offered on a first-come-first-served basis on any given day. Check-in takes place at a podium in the lobby of Bay Lake Tower. Be sure to have your Magic Band with you! From here, you will be escorted to the 16th floor. Currently it is only open to Disney Vacation Club members.
In addition to serving alcohol, the lounge serves limited appetizers such as a flatbread and cheese tray as well as other light snacks.
Where is the best place to view the Wishes fireworks show?
Breathtaking views can be had of the Wishes fireworks show from the 16th floor Fireworks Viewing Area adjacent to the Top of the World lounge. They can also be seen from rooms overlooking the Magic Kingdom. The Sky Bridge also boasts spectacular views of the festivities.
If you have a Magic Kingdom View room, you can listen to the music on your TV (currently Channel 20).
How do I get to the parks?
For all Disney transportation you must go to the Contemporary Resort. The covered bus depot is just outside the lobby of the Contemporary. The Monorail station is accessible via the 4th floor escalator in the Contemporary.
Magic Kingdom – The Magic Kingdom is the closest park to the Bay Lake Tower. Simply board the monorail at the station above the Contemporary’s Grand Canyon Concourse for the ride to the park. You can also walk the short distance to the Magic Kingdom — simply cross the street (near the guard’s entrance gate) and walk along the pathway. Careful, though, this is a busy intersection. At park closing time, walking will usually be your quickest and easiest way back to the resort.
Epcot – To get to Epcot take the monorail from the Contemporary to the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC). At the TTC transfer to the Epcot monorail for the trip to the park. Bus transportation is also available at the Contemporary bus stop beginning 1 hour prior to park opening to one hour after the park closes. There is no separate bus stop for Bay Lake Tower, use the Contemporary’s bus depot.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – There is a bus stop at the Contemporary where you can catch a bus to the Studios.
Animal Kingdom – There is a bus stop at the Contemporary where you can catch a bus to the Animal Kingdom.
Disney Springs – Marketplace and Westside – Bus transportation to The Marketplace begins 30 minutes prior to opening (usually 9am) and the last bus returning to the Contemporary leaves at 12 midnight. There is no direct bus service to Westside. Take the bus to The Landing then walk the remaining distance.
How do I get everywhere else?
Grand Floridian Resort and the Polynesian Resort: The Resort Monorail circles Seven Seas Lagoon, stopping at the Transportation and Ticket Center, the Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, the Magic Kingdom, and returning to the Contemporary. It takes approximately 20 minutes to make the circle.
Fort Wilderness (for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue) & Wilderness Lodge/Villas: These resorts can be reached by taking a boat launch from the Contemporary’s marina, which is located on the Bay Lake side of the resort. The small watercraft makes a circle between the three locations. Seasonally, a boat also runs between the Wilderness Lodge/Villas and the Contemporary Resort, ask at the front desk for hours of operation.
Other Disney resorts can be reached by taking a bus to Disney Springs and then transferring to the bus for the resort you wish to visit. You can also walk to the Magic Kingdom bus station and select your desired resort.
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach: The water parks can all be reached by bus which leaves the resort approximately 30 minutes prior to Water Park opening and run until the Water Park clears.
Is there anything else that I might want to know?
The clock radios have an IPod docking station.
The bathrooms have sliding doors and do not lock.
Ice – is not located on every floor so check to see where your closest ice maching resides.
Hidden Mickeys – these are found throughout the resort and make for a great rainy-day activity! Hint: when crossing the lobby bridge, look down.
Groceries – The Fantasia Market located in the Contemporary sells frozen foods, wine, chips and baked goods. Candy, magazines, souvenirs, and other consumables are also available.
Arcade – The game area is located in the Contemporary resort on the 4th floor.
Health Club – is located in the Contemporary on the 3rd floor.
Beauty Shop – is located in the Contemporary on the 3rd floor.
Taxis – Cabs are readily available in front of the Contemporary.
Internet Service – Walt Disney World Resort made complimentary Wi-Fi service available in all of its hotels as of March 2012. See our Internet Access page for details.
Beer Tasting – On some saturday afternoons from 3-4pm, the Wave offers complimentary beer taking for Bay Lake Tower guests. Check with the restaurant earlier on Saturday to reserve a spot.
Electrical Water Pageant – is a nightly display that makes its circuit around Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake for the Magic Kingdom area resorts. It arrives in the vicinity of the Contemporary around 10pm. Check with the front desk for exact times during your stay.
Other interesting tidbits…
There are 167 miles of post-tensioning cable running through the concrete slabs. These cables could stretch from Bay Lake Tower to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and back.
There are 1,398 tons of reinforcing steel, known as rebar, within the structure. This is equal to the weight of 254 full-grown elephants.
Bay Lake Tower rests on a foundation of more than 800 concrete piles that are 16” in diameter and extend 70’ into the ground. Stacked on top of one another, these would reach more than 10 miles into the sky.
Although demolition of the North Garden Wing of the Contemporary began in the spring of 2007 and construction began in the summer of 2007; it wasn’t until September 16, 2008, that the Disney Vacation Club officially announced Bay Lake Tower!
Owners of Bay Lake Tower were able to begin making reservations on February 8, 2009. All other Disney Vacation Club members began making reservations on February 22, 2009.