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Bay Lake Tower - Opening Day

Bay Lake Tower " Opening Day

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I need to give you a little background. When I covered the Kidani Village, I was given a private, VIP tour about a week before the resort opened. Because of this, I was able to get a lot of pictures beforehand and obtain answers to the questions I knew you were going to ask. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Bay Lake Tower. So you need to bear with me.

I checked in this morning (August 4) at 7:30. I rushed around like crazy taking pictures and videos for this blog. Since my laptop isn't as powerful as I'd like, I returned home to create this blog. I'm heading back to Disney later this afternoon.

I know you're going to have dozens of questions. But at the moment, I don't have the answers. I usually try to answer my comments within 24 hours, but that's not going to be the case over the next three days. Please feel free to send your questions via the comments section of this blog, but understand, it's going to take me some time to get back to you with an answer.

Also, this blog will be heavy on pictures and short on commentary.

Okay, let's begin.

To start, you check-in at the Contemporary. Bay Lake Tower does not have a “front desk.”


Contemporary Check-in


Here are some pictures of the front of the resort.


Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake Tower Entrance

Bay Lake Tower Entrance


Just inside the front door are modernistic paintings of the Magic Kingdom castle.


Magic Kingdom Castle Are

Magic Kingdom Castle Art


Here are some pictures of the lobby.


BLT Lobby

BLT Lobby

BLT Lobby

BLT Lobby

BLT Lobby


You can also gain entrance to BLT via a walkway connecting it to the Contemporary. Okay, here comes the confusing part. The walkway at the Contemporary is on the fourth floor. It connects to the fifth floor of BLT.


BLT Skyway to the Contemporary

Contemporary Entrance to Skyway

View from BLT Skyway


You cannot gain access to any part of Bay Lake Tower without a room key. You can't enter the lobby doors. You can't walk across the skyway, and you can't enter the pool without a key.


Key Access Point


These next three pictures were taken just outside the lobby as you walk toward the pool area.


Outside Poolside Lobby

Outside Poolside Lobby

Outside Poolside Lobby


Here are some pictures of the pool.


BLT Pool

BLT Pool

BLT Pool

BLT Pool

BLT Pool


Next we see three pictures of the slide.


BLT Pool Slide

Pool Slide

BLT Pool Slide


There is a pool-side bar that also serves light meals. These include: Caesar Salad w/Chicken, Club Sandwich, Five Spice Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and Vegetable Summer Rolls.


Pool Bar Area


Here is the hot tub.


BLT Hot Tub


Adjacent to the pool is a lovely beach with lounge chairs. To me, this might become the most romantic spot at all of Disney. Being early morning, the chairs were not yet set up.


Beach Chairs


There are a limited number of lockers at the pool.


Pool Lockers


Next we see pictures of the two elevator lobbies. Notice the Contemporary and Space Mountain in the background.


Elevator Lobby

Elevator Lobby


Here is a picture of a typical hallway and room-door exterior. Also, notice the Hidden Mickey in the carpet.


BLT Hallway

BLT Room Door

Hidden Mickey In Carpet


The first thing I noticed when I entered my room was the lamp positioned squarely in front of the window. What were the designers thinking? I'm paying for a view. I didn't want a lamp in my way, so I immediately moved it.


View Obstructed by Lamp

Lamp Moved


Here are some pictures of the living and eating areas. Take a look at the Andy Warhol-esque picture of Space Mountain over the dining table.


Dining Area

Dining Area

Television

Sofa

Island Bar

Island Bar

Kitchen


There is a full bathroom off of the living room.


Guest Bath


I was staying in a one-bedroom unit. Here are pictures of the sleeping area.


Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom


Next we see the balcony off of the bedroom. There are two chairs and a small table. As you can see, there is plenty of room for several people to stand here and watch the fireworks. This is the view from the seventh floor.


Balcony

Magic Kingdom View

Magic Kingdom View


The master bath is separated from the bedroom by sliding doors.


Master Bedroom / Bath


Here we see photos of the master bath.


Master Bath

Master Bath

Master Bath

Master Bath


Also found in the one, two, and three bedroom units is a washer and dryer. For those of you staying in a studio, a laundry facility is located on the first floor off of the lobby.


Washer and Drywer

Laundry Room


Okay, that's all I've got for now. I hope to visit the lounge this afternoon and hopefully have more pictures and information for you tomorrow. Below is a quick video I put together to try and give you a better idea of what the resort is all about. Enjoy.

The previous post in this blog was Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama.

The next post in this blog is Bay Lake Tower – Part Two.

Comments (95)

I Love Disney:

Thanks for all the photos and the video. Your room is MK view? Any chance you can take a photo of a lake view? Thanks.

Mark D:

We purchased Bay Tower based points 2 months ago. I can't wait to see for myself in Septmeber.

Mike Nance:

At first when I seen the model pixs of Bay Lake Tower, I didn't like it one bit. But seeing everything (in perspective) in all the pixs provided it definitely does look like a first class resort hotel. The colors used in the room kinda gives you a retro 70s feel of what the other tower looked like from the inside. I imagine one may feel differently about that once you actually spend the night there. If Disney really wanted to DVC to work they should've created a secret walkway for DVC guests to go straight to MK. From the pix it looks like you have a pretty good walk to get to MK. I imagine it probably isn't that far.

Mike

Debbie Kondyra:

Thank you so much for the great pictures and video. The resort looks beautiful, and I am looking forward to a well deserved 3 night stay with my husband (our 4 children are staying home) the end of August. We cannot wait!!!

Kathy G:

My husband, sister, friend and I are staying in a 1 bedroom next month. So excited for the new resort. Thanks for taking such great pix!

Tim:

Thanks so much! Looking forward to my September trip.

It looks like the windows in the bridge have been removed. Does that mean that people will be allowed to watch fireworks from there?

And I see there is a desk in the bedroom. Is their and Ethernet/HSIA port there or only in the living area?

Jack's Answer:

I don't know if the Skyway will be "patrolled" during the fireworks, but if not, this area should provide a decent view of the show. But I can see this as a safety issue if too many people congregated in this confined area. I'll try to find out more in the next couple of days.

The desk in the master bedroom does have an Ethernet/HSIA port.

Penny:

Jack,
Is you villa a Magic Kingdom view?

Jack's Answer:

I'm staying on the seventh floor in a one bedroom unit with a Magic Kingdom view. It's fantastic.

Mike Venere:

Keep em coming....thanks so much.

Question.....the pics of the balconty, I see a second door heading onto the balcony besides the main sliding one.
Does that come from the master bedroom?

Jack's Answer:

The balcony has sliding doors from the master bedroom and a standard door off of the living room.

Cheri P:

Great review, Jack! I must say, seeing the pictures of the bathroom with the folding door makes me want to stay there so I can take a bath while watching the fireworks display out of the window. LOL
(though I'm not sure that's feasible...? bet you never thought you'd get a question like that did you!)

mamaprincess:

Thanks so much Jack for being so prompt with your report!!! I am so excited about our upcoming trip in December!!! Our family can't wait to stay at BLT. Your pictures are absolutely stunning! I am looking forward to hearing more about your stay at BLT.

Anne Heriot:

OK I'm going to be really picky here. Don't you think it would have been really great if they had covered the parking lot in some sort of structure that would have allowed them to create a grassed area on top to enhance the views. I just think that if you are paying all that money and the views of MK and ultimately the fire works are so stunning that it would be nice to have a picturesque foreground and not one of rows of cars. Maybe I could make a suggestion to management. LOL.

Jack's Comment:

I agree that the parking lot is a little too intrusive. Actually, I prefer the view from the Contemporary because the foreground is more pleasant.

Lori:

Thanks Jack for the pictures...they're awesome. Makes me want to visit right now!

Connie La Tempa:

I have to say, the only & yes important feature of this resort is location. It is the least themed resort. I personally do not think I would want to spend the $ for this DVC. I prefer the main building. The pool complex has no WOW effect. Having said that, I have stayed at the Contemporary 4x, Polynesian 2x, Yacht & Beach 2x (1 each) & Caribbean Beach 1x. Nice hotel but too big. Oh & Grand Floridian 1x. For service I loved Grand Floridian, for theme tie between Poly & Beach Club & for location, Contemporary.

Joey:

This is as almost beautiful as the Grand Floridian!!! I am on a waiting list for Bay Lake Tower in October... Hope I get it!!! Nice video... Enjoy it!

Fred Thomas:

Fascinating, Jack... Thanks for bringing this to us.

Charlene Morgheim:

Thanks for the AWESOME report Jack - great pics! Can't wait to be there in October.

When you checked in at the Contemporary was there a line dedicated to DVC or are the CMs checking in both BLT guests and Contemporary guests?

Jack's Answer:

There is no dedicated line for the BLT. Guest staying at both resorts use one line and any cast member can help them.

Aryn:

Thank you!

I'm really hoping we can squeeze three days in at BLT in January for the marathon. Darn system needs to get our resale in the system. I'm itching to make the reservations!

Jo:

Thanks SOOOO much for this!!! What great coverage/pictures/everything....So excited for our upcoming trip there.

A.M. Bartak:

Thank you so much for posting all this prompt info and awesome photos/video! We were there on the 22nd of July. Arranged for a tour of BLT - talked briefly with a sales gal. (We've been Vacation Club member since '05). Left on a 3 night Disney cruise; stayed @Vero Beach Resort upon our return for an overnight... got home to St. Louis, and contacted DVC immediately about buying points @BLT. It's SO beautiful and the location couldn't be better! The views are breathtaking - no matter which way you look! I have my photo of the amazing pool as my computer wallpaper background. I'm praying we have a chance to book a trip there this fall! Thanks, again!

Brandy White:

It's beautiful, Jack. Thank you for the very fast posting of pictures. I've been looking forward to seeing some for months.

Chrissy:

Thank you so much for the blog and the photos! I am not a DVC member, so I really appreciate being able to see inside since you mentioned I would not be allowed to walk over there.
I LOVE WDW and try to go once each year, unfortunately in this Economy, I could not go this year. I miss it alot, your blog and photos help....thanks again!

Chrissy

Does the door for the bathroom in the living room have a lock on it now?

When we toured it last month it didn't.

Thanks!
Cindy_K

Jack's Answer:

Neither bathroom door has a lock. This is bad. I'll have more to say on this subject in my next blog.

Maureen:

Thanks for the pics and video. We are headed to BLT in November and you just made us more excited!!

Thanks and Enjoy your trip

David Santo:

Hi Jack,

This is a beautifully presented blog.

And no room key no access - period?

Ouch.

I guess that takes care of the flipflop crowd gawking at the place.

I can't wait to see more.

Dave

Rob:

Great Report! I check in on Saturday! I would love to hear what the "light snacks" are that the lounge will be serving. Thanks!

Jenni:

Thanks for posting the pictures, expecially of the communal areas. It all looks fab.

WOuld you be able to watch the fireworks from the pool and hot tub?

Jack's Answer:

Some rooms, depending on how they are situated, would allow guests to see the fireworks while soaking in the hot tub. I don't know yet if my room offers this extra perk.

Molly LaSpada:

Hi Jack!!

I love your posts - they are so informative and entertaining!!! I have been waiting for BLT to open and looking forward to your blog!

We're staying at BLT at the end of the month. We just bought into DVC and this is our home resort. YAY!

Your blog and pictures make me wish we were leaving tomorrow!!

I thought one of the cast members said there was no check-in desk at the BLT. He was at the "OpenMouse" last week and sent something to "allears" that was in last week's edition of the newsletter. Is that a check-in desk in your photos? Or do we have to check-in at the Contemporary?

Does the monorail connect to BLT or do we have to walk to the Contemporary to get on?

Thanks for all the great info!!
I can't wait to check back and see what else you post throughout the week!!
Molly

Jack's Answer:

You must check-in at the Contemporary. There are two desks in the lobby of the BLT. One is manned the majority of the time and provides general information. The second is the check-in for the Top of the World Lounge.

The monorail only stops at the Contemporary. Guests staying at the BLT would take the Skyway bridge over to the Grand Canyon Concourse to catch the monorail.

Robin:

Thank you so much. The pictures are beautiful and I'm sure they are even more spectacular in person. Look forward to seeing more info on the BLT,

Julia:

Great photos! BLT is now on my list of 'resorts I would like to stay in some day.'

One quick question--is the walkway between The Contemporary and BLT covered on the sides? I was thinking of the rainstorms in Orlando and how if the walkway was not covered, it could get wet and slippery and pose a hazard to guests.

I hope you enjoy your stay!

Jack's Answer:

One small section has frosted glass panels, but overall, the sides of the Skyway are open. When Florida has a downpour, any wind at all will drive the rain onto those on this walkway.

Sara:

Awesome Pix and Video. I noticed the Hidden Mickeys on the bedspread and the Piano Headboard. I would love to stay there, but alas that will have to wait until the future. Nice job on the Video!

John Pforr:

This definitely THE PLACE to stay.
I liked the Contemp but never wanted to stay there. I'LL REALLY TRY TO STAY HERE.

John

Margie:

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This was a terrific introduction to the Bay Lake Tower - I especially enjoyed the lovely video.

Lisa Cubbon:

Thanks, Jack. I do like that you CAN'T get into BLT unless you are a guest there. Very private. Jack did you notice if there is a HSIA access point in the living room area? Only one in the bedroom?

Lisa Cubbon:

one more question. What is the wonderful music you set the video to? I recognize it as incidental music I have heard at Epcot and on TTA but I would love to have it. Thanks.

Jack's Answer:

The music I used on the video is called "Behind the Waterfall." I wasn't aware that it is/was played in Epcot, but it is definitely played in Tomorrowland.

Karen Nelson:

Thanks Jack. You always do a terrific job. I hope that in the midst of completing this blog that you don't forget to enjoy your stay. As anxious as we all are, I suspect that we can wait a day (or two or three) for you to get all the rest of the information together. Thanks again for all you do.

felicia staub:

We absolutely loved the pictures and video of the BLT. Thanks for giving us a preview of what we can expect on our next vacation this Sept. Can't wait to visit the mouse and the BLT.

Thanks again.
Felicia & Tom Staub
DVC Members

Heather:

Thank you so much! We will be staying in a two-bedroom lake view suite September 12-19. I am happy to see that there are food options at the pool bar. The choices will be great for us adults, but not so much for the kids. Do you know if the pool bar will accept the DDP and if they have kids options? I hope they have kids meals in a pail like they have at Hurricane Hannah's at the Beach Club.

Jack's Answer:

The pool bar does NOT accept the Disney Dining Plan. Children options include a PB&J and turkey sandwich. There are no kid-pails offered here.

Jen Auberzinsky:

Hi Jack! Love your reviews and photos. I stayed at the Contemporary Resort in May and had a great time. The only complaint I had were the long lines to get on a monorail. Now that Bay Lake is open, I am sure the lines will be longer. Do you think they will finally offer boat launch transportation to MGK from Contemporary and Bay Lake? How are the wait times to get on monorail now that 2 resorts are at one station? It has to be crowded or has Disney allowed the monorail express lane to make stops at resorts too? Let me know planning on booking for our next trip in May. Might go with Poly because of boat launch to MGK. Thanks, Jen

Jack's Answer:


Bay Lake Tower is only half full at the moment. Disney is giving the resort a "break in" period. So any assessment about the monorails on my part would be premature.

I can't imagine Disney ever stopping the express monorail at the Contemporary. The monorails are already full when they pass through this resort.

As for a boat. I also doubt that this will happen. Disney feels that the Contemporary and especially the BLT are within easy walking distance of the Magic Kingdom.

Ron:

We are staying there Aug 15-21st in a one bedroom. It looks like another fantastic viewing area for the fireworks is the windowed areas by the elevators. Can you confirm this for me? Also, since you are there, what other areas would you recommend if you do not have a MK view in order to see the fireworks?

Thanks,
Ron

Jack's Answer:

I think you've come up with the best alternative to see the fireworks if you don't have a Magic Kingdom facing room. The elevator lobbies have nice, large windows. Other than that, my only other suggestion is the balcony on the fourth floor at the north end of the Contemporary.

Theresa Wong:

Will be heading to BLT for 5 nights 8/10...that's next Monday. We got a 1 bedroom MK view room.

Thanks for the preview. We've stayed only at the Polynesian during our last 10 visits...so this is a big change for us being first time DVC members.

Kim:

Thanks for the great pictures Jack. I'm taking my nieces for the week before Christmas and seeing your pictures makes me even more exicited for the trip. One question though. Are the lounge and viewing area on the roof for DVC members only or for all guests staying at the resort?

Adam August:

Very nice camera work. Not sure I agree with the interior decorators. The furniture looks a little hard-edged and uncomfortable. How did you find it? I think we'll see when DVC gives us the tour soon.

Jack's Answer:

The barstools were fine, but the sleeper sofa and chair were stiff and I did not find them comfortable. This might simply be because they're new. I'm hoping that after they're "broken in" they will be okay.

Eric Bouchet:

Jack,

Once again you have outdone yourself!!!!
Thank you so much for this awesome blog!!
Hopefully one day soon We will be able to buy into the DVC!!!!
Until then....I can always count on you with your pictures and video blogs to make it feel as if I am there.
Thanks Again,

ERIC

Angie:

Thanks so much for the fabulous review, Jack!!! Your video brought me to tears! Bay Lake Tower is much more beautiful than I imagined it would be, and as a new DVC owner, I'm eagarly anticipating my 1st trip 'home' in October!

My questions ~

Are there any age/height/weight restrictions on the waterslide?

Any cost for the lockers by the pool?

Is that a full-sized or reduced capacity washer/dryer within your unit?

Can the partition between the bathroom/master bedroom be locked?

Jack's Answer:

I checked the pool area for restrictions when using the slide. I found none other than the general safety rules. I did see adults using the slide.

The lockers cost 25 cents.

The washer and dryer seem to be of adequate size for a standard load of clothes.

No, you cannot lock the partition between the bath and bedroom.

Paul:

Thanks Jack, will be able to see this in person in 21 sleeps time. How is the car parking. Has the contemporay car park been extended? it was never easy to get a spot before BLT's

Joe Brewer:

Jack! Great job as always my friend....I loved your use of "Behind the Waterfall" for the video (only used in Tomorrowland as far as I know.) It made me think about something: is there any music played in the lobby or hallway of this resort?

Thanks!

John:

Great pictures! You mentioned that you had a Magic Kingdom view on the seventh floor. Do Magic Kingdom view rooms start at a certain floor level? It seems like those on lower level floors facing the Magic Kingdom would have a parking lot and tree view instead of a Magic Kingdom view.

Thanks again for the great pictures.

Jack's Answer:

Rooms start on the second floor. They do NOT have good views of the Magic Kingdom, yet members are charged the same amount of points as those staying on a higher floor. I'm sure Disney is going to get complaints about this. I was originally put in a third floor room. After seeing it, I returned to the check-in desk and requested a higher floor.

John:

Thank you for the great photos. The entire theme is both very unique and nice.

Do all of the units have balconies?

What is the lowest floor that units are on? Are there ground floor units?

I cannot handle a balcony in rooms above the third floor. Too tense for me. I stayed at the JW Marriott and was glad to find that they have some rooms without balconies on every floor. A nice alternative for a 26 story building.

Jack's Answer:

All of the rooms have a balcony (or two).

Those rooms on the first floor have a small patio.

Cory:

Thanks for the pictures and the info. I agree that the lamp is in a weird place. Also, there's only one sink in the bathrooms? I find that odd, considering that the regular rooms at the Contemporary have two sinks in their bathrooms.

My question is, are they still doing construction on BLT, or is the building completely finished?

Jack's Answer:

Construction on Bay Lake Tower is complete. Of course, being new, there are bound to be a few things here and there that require attention. But if you're worried about hearing jackhammers, that's not going to be a problem.

JulFromMD:

Thanks so much for the pictures. The style reminds me a lot of some of the private condo units on Hollywood (FL) Beach that I got to visit some when I was growing up.

RE: "Behind the Waterfall", in addition to being played in Tomorrowland, I'm pretty sure it was part of the BGM loop for Wonders of Life (which would explain where someone heard it in Epcot).

And my question... is room service available, and if so, do they also have some of the "special options" (i.e., cookies and milk packages) that they do over at Jambo House?

Keep up the great work!

Jack's Answer:

You are absolutely right. Behind the Waterfall was played in the Wonders of Life Pavilion. Thank you for jogging my memory.

Room service is available. The Contemporary kitchens provide the food for the BLT and the menus should be identical for the two resorts. I'll have more information about this in a later blog.


Jul From MD (DVC AKL '07, BLT '09)

Kelley :

How are you so blessed to do the job you do? I have just begun reading your blogs, the most recent ones on Disneyland Paris and DLT. I have enjoyed all of them and you have lit the fire to head overseas. Am also envious of your job! Thanks for all your work :D

stephanie:

How long will it be before they book at capacity? I will be there Sept 26 -
Great coverage!!

Jack's Answer:


Unfortunately, I have no idea what Disney's time schedule is when it comes to bringing this resort fully online. I only know it was half-full last night because a cast member told me (and the parking lot was empty). But rest assured, you're going to have a fantastic time this September.

Hi Jack,

I know you mentioned this but, the full bathroom off of the living room in the suites is a great addition.

I guess Disney realized a lot of people cram as many guests as they can in the 1 and 2 bedroom units because of the costs, that the full bathroom off of the living room is huge.

Great Pics!!!

I think we are going to try to go to Bay Lake Tower over our 24th Anniversary in October.

Here we come "Food & Wine Festival"

Allison:

I was able to see Bay Lake this weekend b4 it was open to the public we kinda walked in with the Cast Members that were staying for the trial run. It is a beautiful resort. I have to brag we have a tile around the fountain, I bought points the day the email came out to DVC members that Bay Lake was going to be a DVC resort. I was dying to see our tile. My 10 year old was so excited about the slide at the pool she wanted to try it out. Thanks for your great pics they were wonderful! We are headed back for Halloween weekend with a MK view and also the week of Thanksgiving with a MK view...

Lori Rienhardt:

Wonderful! Loved every picture and the video was great. Can't wait until my Oct/Nov trip as a BLT owner.

Kristi Z.:

As always, thanks Jack for the great blog.

It doesn't look like the Magic Kingdom is far, but could you tell me roughly how long it would take to walk from BLT to MK?

Jack's answer:

I think an average walker could be to the MK from BLT in about 10 minutes.

Connie:

Fantastic Jack! I wish I were there. Here is my question: Can you also get the music for the parade on Channel 20? A little mood setting before the fireworks.

Thanks Jack,
The pic's are outstanding. We'll be there for TNSSHP in October. The decor seems like Andy Worhol meets Frank LLoyd Wright in a form follows function sort of way. I like it!
Truly,
Susan

Randy Houle:

Great review and pics Jack!

One question: Are there speakers on the balconies that have MK view, which they pipe in the fireworks audio and the same question about the viewing areas you mention where the elevators are?

Thanks again for the great report!

Jack's answer:

There are no speakers on the room balconies. The music comes through on channel 20 of your TV. I asked a cast member about the elevator lounges. I was told that they do not have speakers. However, the Skywalk does.

Donna:

We are staying in a 1 BR in October and plan on eating most meals in our room. What type of cooking utensils/pots and pans are in the kitchen?

Jack's Answer:

There is a full set of pots and pans, casserole dishes, knives, tableware. You name it, it's here. You will have no problem preparing meals in this kitchen.

Amy:

Hi Jack. I just stayed on the 7th floor MK view studio--we probably were neighbors. I had a very nice stay and great view. BLT does have some drawbacks as some people I saw found out when they arrived--No Check-In Desk at BLT need to go to Main Contemporary Check-in Desk. Need Room Key to access pretty much every door or pool area--good/bad thing--make sure if you let the kids wander to pool or over to the 4th floor of The Contemporary they have their room key. I saw people who did not have their keys with them trying to get back in or out to the pool. No real snack bar by the pool--it is set-up like at Kidani AKV--call room service--can be expensive so grab snacks or something from the Grab and Go place at the Contemporary plus you can refill the refillable mugs here they have a soda station in the pool bar area. They do have Daily Activity lists available at the Community Hall--make sure you get the one for BLT as some people received one from the main Contemporary Resort and could not find those activities. I was disappointed that I could not access the 16th floor lounge/observation deck because I was paying cash for the room and not staying on points--only members staying on points and their guests. I asked if I could go up just to take a look--I was going to the MK anyways for parade and fireworks but was told no. I am not sure if it filled up or not but did hear someone from DVC say come early as it gets busy from people who want to go up for fireworks but they don't know for sure how many people will go up. The lounge itself does not hold many people but the decks do. I had an MK view anyways from my room. Well if you get to stay here have fun. It was nice being on the Monorail Line and the walk to the main building was not too bad.

realhawker:

Question to all - do you think the Monorail (or just the Contemporary stop) becomes too crowded now? Or is this just replacing a similar amount of people that were in the old north wing?

Jack's Answer:

The North Tower that was razed to make room for the BLT had approximately the same amount of rooms. The monorail shouldn't be any more crowded than it ever was.

Kat:

Ugh. I have to say that I am VERY disappointed that I won't be able to wander around and check this place out. One of our favorite things to do at WDW is check out the other resorts to see if we'd like to stay there. I think it's a little ridiculous that this is the ONLY resort you can't walk around. If you want a tour, can you just show up, or do you have to have an appointment with DVC?

Marilyn Kane:

Hey Jack! We will be staying for one week the first of October and as I was scanning your fabulous pictures I did not see a hair dryer anywhere in the bathrooms. Please tell me they are hidden somewhere, and I do not have to bring my own. Thank you and keep spreading the pixie dust!!!

Jack's Answer:

You're in luck. The hair dryer is in one of the master bathroom drawers.

mark d.:

Love the pics and video. The music is great. What is it from. Thanks.

Julie S.:

Thanks for all of the info - this place looks amazing! We joined DVC earlier this year, and we are so excited this is our home resort. We are counting down to next Feb. when we have a week with a MK view! I do have a question - when going to the other WDW destinations (besides Epcot and MK on the monorail), are there bus stops at the Contemporary, or do you need to go to the TTS to catch them?

Liz:

Jack, thank you so much for posting these photos. I am super excited for our Sept. trip. Just curious if happened to see the crib/pack n play and highchair in each room? I was wondering if they are brand spanking new and in good shape. Thanks!

Jack's Answer:

I need to learn to be a better reporter. I opened one closet and saw a highchair -- then closed the door. I don't have kids so it never occurred to me to check any further. I'm assuming the crib/pack-n-play was there too (whatever that is). So to answer your question, I have no idea if they are "brand spanking new." Sorry.

Carrie:

Jack, you're amazing. What alot of work you must have put into that video - shooting and editing. Thanks so much, it makes me feel like I'm right there.

BLT fan:

Great info! Staying there in November and I'm glad to find out beforehand that you have to check-in at the Contemporary.

question:
How long is the walk on the connecting skyway? If you have a lot of luggage, will a porter bring it from Contemporary to your BLT room?

Jack's Answer:

I think you can make it from the first floor Contemporary check-in area to the BLT side of the Skyway in about five minutes. But don't schlep your luggage. The bellmen at the Contemporary will deliver it to your room. Just remember to tip him or her.

sue and jerry ziolkowski:

What a beautiful resort! Disney did such a great job of fitting this in with the contemporary. The views look amazing, and to think the price for a studio is no more than the boardwalk or yacht club where we stayed last year. The amenities are great. You have a monorial here and friendship transportation over there, and of course, you can begin your day with a walk to the park if your up to it!

Mickey:

Thanks for the great video! We have a 2BR MKV for JULY 4, 2010! What a spot to see the fireworks! Looking forward to another awesome DVC vacation!

cyndy:

Jack,

Thank you so much for your selfless work for the rest of us.Your generosity of time and effort are very much appreciated.

We are staying at a 2 bdrm 7 nights Aug 16th. We have 7 people. Our children are 3, 5,8, They are very excited about the pool and slide.We have a Bay Lake view. Can you recommend any particular rooms? We will spend a fair amount of time at the pool in the afternoons to get a break from the sun. We also understand that some rooms have a pull out couch in the second bedroom. I'm not sure I consider a couch a decent bed. Did you sleep on the pull out couch?
An earlier blog mentioned a soda fountain in the pool area. Is that at the BLT pool area? Is the fountain only open during certain times to fill mugs? We want to try to make a room request so we would really appreciate an insight.
Thanks so much!!

Jack's Answer:

If I was staying at BLT with a Bay Lake view, I would request either dead center so I was looking straight out, or if I was in a wing, I'd request as close to the end as possible. By requesting a wing end, you will be able to see more of the lake.

I did not sleep in one of the convertible sofas so I can't speak to their comfort.

The drink refill station that I spoke of was for the BLT pool and is open the same hours as the Cove Bar which is 11am to dusk.

zgore:

Just stayed in the studio for two nights at the BLT.

Very nice and well appointed.
A bit 'cold' for me as I prefer the Wilderness Lodge.

Great location as is the CR.

One big item in the studio is the bathroom door. It slides, which is very cool, but does not 'seal' as a regular pocket slider of swing door. So, sounds are very 'noticeable' if you get my drift.

They do look smaller than other DVCR, probably because of the kitchette location.

Kathy:

Guess I'm in the minority.... but while I think the resort looks beautiful, the decorating does NOTHING for me. Until I scrolled down, I thought the first picture of the dining room table was a picture of a table in a food court/cafeteria!

As a previous poster said, it is not a very "themed" resort. My husband and I own at OKW (for about 14 years now) and love it. Have stayed at or toured all the other DVC resorts (except AK) and like them all much better than what I'm seeing in these pictures. The room just does not look relaxing/cozy/comfy at all. The view is probably great at night, but the view during the day would be a parking lot view at any other resort! Also, compared to OKW, it looks very small.

Thats just me....I know lots of people will love it and buy BLT as their DVC home resort or as an add-on. I know they won't be disappointed. Becoming DVC owners is one of the best decisions my husband and I ever made!

Jay:

Jack:

Nice article, and very informative. One question...Can you see the Electric Water Pageant from either the Beach or from the Bay Lake View rooms at the BLT? Is there a "prime" spot for viewing the pageant at the BLT?

Thanks and I look forward to your response.

Jack's Answer:

Take a look at the video on my third BLT blog. At the end is a section with the Electric Water Pageant.

Many of the room have good views of this nightly show, but the best spot would be from the beach behind the pool.

Jenn:

Just stayed at Bay Lake over the weekend 8/7-8/9, is a really great place. Does anyone know were i can buy the tiles in the kitchen, would love this in my kitchen at home. Email me: ligi24@aol.com

Kim:

Incredible! Disney did an EXCELLENT job!

Does anyone know what the rates are? I tried to check on disney.com, but they aren't listed.

Vicki:

Can you suggest a good location to request for a standard 2 bedroom?

Thanks, Vicki

Jack's Answer:

My room was 7720 and I had a fantastic view of the Magic Kingdom. The second digit represents the floor number. The "20" was my room number.

I think any room from the sixth floor up would be good within a range of 14-26 (all even numbers).

However, I don't know how many of these rooms are 2-bedroom units. Mine was a one-bedroom with an adjacent studio that could be opened up to create a 2-bedroom.

Cathy:

Hi Jack,

Is the pool heated? Do they have towel service? Thanks!

Jack's Answer:

All of the pools at Disney World are heated. I think they try to keep the temperature around 82 degrees. And yes, towels are available poolside at no cost.

richard:

Just came back from BLT checked in on Aug 4 and had a one bedroom lake view we loved it. I must say the view was excellent except at firework time. An alternative was to simply go to the top of the world lounge or the walkway, which was not very crowded. Only complaint was no bathroom locks, my 12 year old noticed it the first day. Also kids enjoyed the Contemporary pool area as opposed to BLT. Sorry one more complaint pool bar did not except the ddp. I would have liked having lunch at my resort as opposed to walking to the Contempoary.

miriam:

hi jack,
we are thinking of switching upcoming ressie from akv to blt would you recommend this? also, would you know what a standard view room studio is like? what is the view likely to be?

Jack's Answer:

You're comparing apples and oranges here. There is no objective way to answer this question.

For me, Bay Lake Tower offers convenience to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot; both are just a monorail ride away. Also, you can use the Top of the World Lounge to watch the fireworks.

On the other hand, Kidani Village offers a truly unique experience. Where else can you step out onto your balcony and see animals.

BLT is "cold" to some people's tastes. Kidani Village is warm.

Kidani Village can include long walks to your room while BLT is more compact.

The studio units at Kidani Village are superior to those at BLT.

I'm sorry; I don't know what a "standard" view room at the BLT overlooks. You'll have to contact your DVC representative.

WOW, it looks amazing. I can't wait to stay there. I'll be at WDW for the EPCOT Food and Wine Fest so think I'll stop by to look around myself.

Thanks for the pics

Robin:

Hi! We stayed at Bay Lake this past weekend (August 15 - 16 ) with a terrific Passholder rate! We had a standard view studio on the 3rd floor(room 77306) and we were able to see the the castle and the fireworks show just at treetop level. We had a lovely view of Bay Lake. My daughter slept on the pull out sofa which was comfy and the room was very comfortable for the 3 of us. One suggestion I would make to Disney is the sink countertop is too tall for little ones to reach the sink to wash hands and brush teeth. They should have a stool for the kids! My 5 yr old daugher is 46" tall and she had a tough time. for The pool is small, but with access being limited to the Bay Lake guests (you must swipe your room key to get into the pool and pool bathrooms), maybe it won't get as crowded as the other resort pools! I loved the fact that walking to the maingate of MK was so easy. No waiting for monorails, buses or boats. You are in control.

John Torre:

Hi, Jack...
Although the MK is easily accessible by walking or monorail from BLT, do they also offer boat access to MK from the Contemporary boat dock?

Also, thanks for all your great work for our benefit! Nice job!

John

Jack's Answer:

No. You cannot take a boat from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom. The boats from this resort only go to the Fort Wilderness Campground and Wilderness Lodge.

Dawn Saviano-Kahn:

Thanks for the pictures and info this is definitely my next stay. Been to Disney over 20 times and you can not beat the convenience of monorail hotels. Keep up the good work love your site.

Nichole:

Jack: Any recommendations you can make on what would make the SHORTEST walk from a room at the Bay Towers to the Contemporary transportation would be excellent. We just booked a two bedroom villa for October and I'd like to be on a floor that would make getting to transportation options the fastest. THANKS!

Jack's Answer:

Unless you or someone in your party has mobility issues, it simply is not a problem getting from BLT to the Contemporary. But hears the answer to your question.

The bridge that connects the two buildings terminates on the 5th floor of the BLT. At this same spot is the south bank of elevators. You would want to get a room as close to these elevators as possible.

To get to the monorail, you must cross the bridge and navigate to the elevator/escalator in the middle of the Contemporary. To get to the buses, you would proceed to the main lobby and cross the parking lot to the bus stop.

Cathy:

Hi Jack,

We are staying at the BLT in October. We have a villa facing Bay Lake. Do you have a recommendation regarding the best location/floor? Thanks!

Jack's Answer:


I'm not an expert, so I hope I don't steer you in the wrong direction.

If I was staying at BLT with a Bay Lake view, I would first request to be in the dead center of the building so I was looking between the two wings. Given that this wasn't an option, I would ask to be at the far end of the north wing, looking south. By being at the end of the wing, it would allow you to look past the south wing and you would have good views of the old Discovery Island and Wilderness Lodge.

I would also request as high a floor as possible, but everyone does this so it's the luck of the draw.

Joe:

Jack,

Excellent pics.
We were there a week before it opened and just missed out on the tours that were given to DVC members (we showed up late). Question - is there a store in the Towers to buy amenities such as milk as such, or have the stores in the Contemporary been changed to meet the needs of DVC members? Also, did you notice any exclusive DVC merchandise pertaining to the Towers?
Thanks!

Jack's Answer:

There are no stores or restaurants at BLT. All facilities of this nature are at the Contemporary, including a store where you can buy food to take back to your kitchen.

I saw a few people with BLT T-shirts, but I have no idea if they were limited or their price.

Leslie Flory:

Thanks for all the great pics/video, appreciate all the info as this is our first time back to Disney in 26 years.

Although someone did mention MK looked close, and is only a 10 minute walk, it looked far away to me and alot of parking lot...Is MK really as far away as it looks in your pics/video? Trying to decide if the extra expense is worth the view?

Thank you for your time!

Jack's Answer:

When I stayed at BLT, I walked to the Magic Kingdom. It only took me 10 minutes, however, I do tend to walk fast. But I'm sure it's no more than 15 at the most. And it's definitely faster to walk to the Magic Kingdom than to catch the monorail at the Contemporary then ride all the way around.

HotRod:

I will be staying at the Bay Lake Resort in December. I have a studio room overlooking the Park. I was looking to upgrade to a one bedroom but there is only Bay Lake Views. Someone told me that you can still see the firework show and some of the park from some of the Bay lake view rooms, Can you help me out on this before I make a decision.

Jack's Answer:

I'm very hesitant to give advice in this area because I don't know exactly which rooms Disney had designated as having a particular view. However, I can tell you that some of the rooms on the north side of the building can see part of the Magic Kingdom and the fireworks if you stand on your balcony and look toward the west. But like I said, I don't know what category these rooms fall into. Also, I don't think Disney will guarantee any particular area of the building. If you book a "Bay Lake Room" they will note your preference, but there is no assurance you'll get what you ask for.

If you're a DVC member, the best bet for watching the fireworks is to go up to the Top of the World Lounge and watch them from there. I did this again just last week. This is a fantastic spot to see the show.

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Brian & Terri :

The place is absolutely gorgeous! Although we are not DVC members, we visit Disney every year with our family.
One of the comments, above, hits a very raw nerve with us - "I guess that takes care of the flipflop crowd gawking at the place."
I'm sure Disney's intent was not to distinquish poor and rich guests! Although everyone's income allows them to stay at different places, everyone is there to enjoy the Magic of the experience and the time to be with family and friends. If someone wanted to walk over to the resort to admire it's beauty, it shouldn't be thought of as "gawking"! It's a shame how some people think. We will be there in May and October, enjoying all it's magic and beauty with all the park goers of all ages, nationalities and incomes!

scott:

I hope those that have stayed at BLT have a better experience than we did. We stayed there July 4-8th and while the room view, appearance and pool are nice that is where the magic ends! Our room was dirty, with food still in fridge, and dusty. One thing we love about DVC is the customer care, good luck at BLT. Friends called the desk and asked for a pillow and were told that there were enough in the room! Does that sound like DVC magic, no way! Once you check in the only cm you will see is the one at the desk that you will have to inconvenience to get to the lounge on the 16th floor. Stay away from the hottub as they have standing water between the beach and the bay and the bugs are horrible. Maybe the MK view rooms are worth it but we will not be back and that is a shame because it is one of our home resorts. We plan on trying to sell our interest in BLT and purchasing at AKL.
Good luck I hope it gets better because it could have the magic that the other resorts have but needs a lot of work and pixy dust!

Michele:

First of all, thank you for using my FAVORITE Tomorrowland piece of music! I love "Behind the Waterfall!" I am hoping to stay here for our next jaunt to WDW; I have stayed at the Contemporary once and it did take a day to get accustomed to the very modern decor which isn't really my style. Your video really showed BLT off so well - I just wanted to jump in that sparkling pool. The best part? The 10 minute walk to MK =)

Jane Yerger:

Is there a place to buy staple type groceries?

Jack's Answer:


At the Contemporary, their is a small shop called Fantasia Sundries. It has a small collection of prepackages food items. But you will not find fresh fruits and vegetables or things like flour and sugar.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 4, 2009 11:33 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama.

The next post in this blog is Bay Lake Tower – Part Two.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.