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Reviewed 21 July 2010

I just got back from a week trip to disney with my family of 8 people. The first 3 days we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Kidani Village(which was amazing!) and the last 4 days we were at Bay Lake Tower. Bay Lake was very disappointing and did not come close to how awesome Kidani was. At both resorts we stayed in a Grand Villa.
1. The staff at Bay Lake was not as friendly as other resort staff. Everyone was uptight and we did not feel as welcomed here.
2. The maid services were not good at all. Our room was missing many of the kitchen utensils such as bowls, a cookie sheet, and kitchen towels. When we called down to get these items, the man who brought it up was unfriendly and acted as though we had inconvenienced him. Our room was not as clean as the other resorts we have stayed in. There were MANY stains on our couch and the TV stands were dusty (it looked like they had not been whipped down in a week or so)
3. Poorly designed rooms. THERE WERE NO LOCKS on any of the doors including bed rooms or bathrooms. In fact, the bathroom door was a sliding door. Not so good for a big family. The rooms were a lot smaller then the rooms at Kidani.
4. Not as secure as they advertise. When we first got there they told us we would have to use our room key to get in and out of the building and the pool area but throughout the 4 days I was there, I only had to use my room key once to get into the building. All the other times the doors were propped open or unlocked. The door on the 5th floor leading to the contemporary was open 24/7.
5. If you want to do anything you have to walk to the Contemporary. There are no shops or real restaurants to eat at in Bay Lake Tower. For example: If you want to get a gift from a park sent to your hotel you have to get it sent to the Contemporary. Another example: The Airport check in is at the Contemporary. Another Example: No fitness center at Bay Lake.. you have to go to the contemporary. Another example: to get to any park you have to walk to the bus stop or the monorail AT the contemporary. If you want to get to the magic kingdom the best thing to do is to walk there (it was about 5 minutes). If you take the monorail you have to go all the way to the Ticket and Transportation office, then to the polynesian and the Grand Floridian and then finally Magic kingdom.

The only thing that makes this place worth staying in is the view! Yes it is very close to the magic kingdom which is nice but it is extremely far away from Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney (Expect at least a 25 minute bus ride). To get to Epcot you have to hop monorails which takes a few minutes.

The last night we were there, we watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks show from the Top of the World Lounge (Which only allows 75 people in and everyone who goes there must be staying at Bay Lake) The view of the show was awesome! They played the music through speakers. It was Magical (and nightastic)!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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5  Thank missmacary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2010

We stayed in a two-bedroom villa with a Magic Kingdom view. The castmember was very helpful with our requests at check-in. Our room was ready ahead of the time they gave us. Our view was spectacular. We were on the 9th floor. (7916) In general, I am not a big fan of contemporary decor, but I loved the decor in these rooms. In the second bedroom in our unit there were two spectacular pictures above the beds. The beds were very very comfortable - even the pullouts in the living room area.
We watched the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from our room and turned the TVs all to the channel that carries the music for the fireworks in sync as it is heard in the park. This was spectacular. We walked to the Magic Kingdom only once but it was a very nice walk and was very doable. The unit was spectacularly clean and we loved all of the space. (There were 6 in our party.) The convenience, the view of the fireworks, and the beauty of this resort were well worth the money we paid.

We enjoyed the remoteness of this resort along with the convenience it offered to the restaurants at the Contemporary and the convenience to the Magic Kingdom.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank mushumulan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2010

We just returned from a fantastic stay at Bay Lake Towers. Could there be a better location in all of Disney? We had a Bay view room on the 11th floor. We could see Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom from out room! Also, could view boats in the bay and Wilderness Lodge. The view of Cinderella's castle from the elevator waiting area was wonderful as was the viewing area for fireworks on the top floor. And soooooo easy to get on the monorail, we were at Magic Kingdom within minutes of leaving our room!
The staff was incredible from the concierge to the front desk to lost and found. We left some jewelry in our room and hadn't noticed it missing until they contacted me several days later to see if I was missing anything! Such honesty and integrity is rare these days and should be commended.
I have a new favorite DVC property and highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank DVCmemberHartfordCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2010

Since I was a kid, I wanted to stay at the Contemporary Resort, and after many....many years, I can say it was worth the wait.

The Contemporary has allot of appeal with its architecture, decor, the monorail in the lobby, the view and so on, but an unexpected highlight for me was the location. With monorail right there in the lobby, access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot is easy and convenient and with the bus stop just outside the main lobby entrance, catching the bus to other Disney Parks and attractions was a breeze. Also with the bus, you're at the beginning of the run to the other parks so we always got a seat, and coming back we were the first ones dropped off. Crowds on the bus and monorail weren't bad at all, far less than I was led to believe they would be. Transportation by boat is also available at this resort. This ease of transportation made staying at the Contemporary well worth the money!

Regarding the room, I have no complaints. The room was tastefully furnished in a kind of a "retro-contemporary" look (make sense?!) and not the Disney theme that we experienced at the Disneyland Hotel in California. The room was comfortable and clean (I found the bed very comfy) and the cast members always made sure we had clean towels and linen and things were in order. The room was quite with the only thing breaking the silence was the occasional over excited child in the hallway trying to get their parents to move a little faster to get to the park (what else would you expect at a Disney hotel) or the nightly fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. These are sounds you would associate with a stay at Disney and so they only add to the "Magic"! The only complaint we did have is that there is no counterpace in the bathroom to put things on. Also it is a long walk from some of the rooms to the main lobby, so if walking is an issue with you, keep this in mind.

As for the restaurants, we ate at the The Contempo Café and The Waves Restaurant. The Contempo Café is a self serve restaurant and was handy when you wanted to grab a quick breakfast before you head off to the parks. The food is ok, actually some of the baked goods were tasty, but it is a bit pricey as with most things at Disney but it is kinda cool to watch the monorail pass by when you're eating at the Contempo! The other restaurant, The Waves, the food and service was very good with the only complaint I had was the food is more adult oriented so sometimes our 12 year old ordered off the child's menu. Unfortunately with the child's menu, the portions were a bit to small for him.

Other things at the Resort include a couple nice gift shops, an arcade, a pool with a slide and lots of activities to keep the kiddies entertained. You can also watch the fireworks from the resort and they pipe in the music for it, so it's a great way to watch the show, and avoid the crowds.

Check-in and check-out was easy and there were no issues. Staying at the Contemporary also allowed us to use the airline check-in service so we checked our bags and got our boarding pass right there at the resort. Not all airlines use this service so check with the resort to see if yours does.

That's it. I hope you have a MAGIC time at Disney!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank BLR-YVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2010

We stayed at the Contemporary Resort in 1998 and 2004 so our expectations were high for the new Bay Lake Tower. Our party of 2 stayed in the not so deluxe Lake View Studio accomodation and felt like we were living in a box for a week. I can't imagine a party of 3 or 4 in this type of room. Who wants their bathroom sink, counter and mirror in the same small space as their kitchen sink and refrigerator? Most families at this resort had small children and the parents didn't seem to care that they were screaming in the hallways and elevators, and running through the concourses. Don't be fooled by the Lake view, we could not see the lake at all from our balcony, all we could see was another wing of the building. Accomodation wise, the old A-frame building had much better accomodations. The resort itself is true Disney with breathtaking views from the observations deck and great views of the fireworks and water parade. Great pool, shopping, laundry, and dining (both quick service and table setting) . Don't count on the monorail as main transportation, it was down two days we wanted to use it and the bus service (including Magical Express) is deplorable sharing the bus route with the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. We used the boat service to Fort Wildersess for the great buffet at Trail's End. I do believe the Contemporary boat dock is the only Disney dock with out permanent fixture shade umbrella's which makes the 20 minute wait in the hot sun almost dangerous. Reasonable walking distance to the Magic Kingdom. Have spent 275 days at Disney Resorts and Bay Lake is not one I would likey choose again.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank singlemom53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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