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  • Author
    • girldrgn8

      Registered: April 2011
      Posts: 30
      Review Date: Sat April 6, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great location, nice rooms
      Cons: Check in, Contempo Cafe

      My family stayed here March 28 through April 3. We loved our room. It was a little small but still a great view of the pool and the lake. I really like the kitchenette set up. My check in went great but my mothers did not. The cast member that checked her in was short and rude.

      We only went to the pool once and it was nice. The Top of the world lounge was a great place to view the fireworks. The prices are high but nothing any different then anywhere else.

      Overall, we loved our stay and will definitely return.
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      Registered: March 2013
      Location: Northern VA
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Mon March 18, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, Views, 2 in 1 resort amenities
      Cons: security not always so secure.

      I am a DVC member, and I am basing my review on my last trip to BLT, which was 12/2011. My apologies for the untimliness of this review.

      BLT is my home resort and I absolutely love it. First, let me say that, while I am a dedicated Disney fan and I am always expecting that "Disney Magic" at all times, I am also a realist. I realize that Disney, while they are top notch when it comes to service, is still just a vacation resort. They have normal human beings working there, and, I'm sure, they have their fair share company/personnel problems. That said, I go into every Disney vacation with the expecation that, while I wish it to be the most magical experience ever, I accept that there will always be certain vacation resort related issues. As long as these issues are handled properly and in a timely manner, I am Ok with it.

      We stayed in 2br dedicated lake view room for 8 nights. We were very lucky and got a room on the 12th floor, in the corner. From our living room we had one of the best views of Bay Lake, but we could also see the Magic Kingdom and the fireworks. It was definitely a nice treat for us, as we were a party of 4 adults and 3 young children.

      As for space, we were not cramped. My wife and I had the master and our son (1 1/2 at the time) slept in the pack 'n play in our room. Our guests and their 2 daughters shared the second bedroom. Each room had it's own full bath, plus the third full bath in the common area. Each bedroom had it's own private balcony.

      The common area was very nice. It was clean and the living room area was spacious enough to comfortably fit all of us, with the kids running around playing, of course. The kitchen was properly stocked, everything was in order. I didn't notice any excessive wear or dirt/stains on any of the furniture or appliances. The carpets appeared to be clean, and everything worked as expected.

      A few days into the trip, we experienced an issue within the room. Since it was over a year ago, the exact issue escapes me, so take this for what it's worth. However, I do recall notifying the front desk in the morning, going out for the day, and returning to the room with the issued fixed. Along the same line, we could not access the free wifi when we first arrived in the room. My friend called the front desk, who transferred him to a service representative. The service rep walked us through the settings on our laptop and got us connected with no further issue.

      I've read some reviews on here that mentioned rooms not being fully stocked, rooms being dirty, elevators either dirty or unpleasant looking, leaks, etc. While I can't comment on the personal experiences of those individuals, I can only say that we did not experience any those issues. Perhaps certain things have changed or been neglected since December of 2011, but at that time the Bay Lake Tower was a beautiful, well kept resort.

      The pool area was nice. We had some cool weather during our stay, and only got to the pool once. It was cloudy and little breezy that day, so we didn't stay too long, but my son loved the little slide. I took a few trips down the big slide, myself. It was fun.

      The rooftop lounge was never busy, except during the fireworks. I do admit that it was a bit of a pain to have to take the elevator all the way to the ground floor just to show my room key and be escorted back to the elevator. I am quite pleased that DVC decided to ease the rules of entry back somewhat for the Top of the World Lounge.

      Contemporary staff never made us feel like unwanted guests, however, there were a couple of times where it seemed like nobody was, "manning the fort", so to speak, in the BLT lobby.

      If you are on the far end of BLT (the NE corner) you have to walk 2/3rds of the way around the building to get to the covered walkway. Not a huge deal, but a little more than a short walk.

      Instead of seeing myself as a BLT guest, I look at it as having 2 resorts in 1. See, staying at BLT gives you full access to the amenities of The Contemporary, including the pool, however, a Contemporary guest does not (well, isn't supposed to) have any access to BLT or any of its amenities. Hmmm, that's a great segue into my "Con".

      One of BLTs big features is its exclusive access. The rule is that if you are not staying in BLT, you can't physically get inside the building and you can't use the pool. The biggest flaw I found was that the door on the Contemporary side of the covered walkway was unsecured on more than a few occassions. I never found it propped open, but on several occassions it was resting against the door frame and did not fully close. This bothered me. Not because I was concerned for my own safety, but because DVC thought highly enough of this feature that they promote it as a highlight of the BLT. Now, I never reported this issue to anyone, so I can only complain so much. The other entrances on the ground floor did not have this issue. The issue on the ground floors was piggybacking, and that is a human error issue, not mechanical. To that end, I am guilty as charged. While I did not hold the door open, or unlock the door for anyone, I forgot my card once and waited for someone to open the door for me. I admit that BLT isn't a U.S. Embassy or the CIA building. I don't fear that someone is going to enter the BLT and do harm, however, if DVC is going to use this security feature as a selling point, and I'm paying annual dues to this resort, I expect everything I am paying for to be in proper working order.

      I've never ever had an issue with Magic Express or luggage delivery. If you plan ahead and read up on the services, they tell you to pack whatever you may need upon arrival, including an extra set of clothes, in your carry-on just in case. Same for curbside check-in at the resort. No issues. Well, except for the one time my wife packed her license in her suitcase and it left for the airport!! That's a story for another time.

      I will just say that if you are going to Disney you are going to have a good time. If you stay at BLT, you are going to enjoy it. You just have to be reasonable and accept that while Walt Disney World (and the BLT) were built on the vision of some of the most innovative minds in the world (and a little magic), they are run by regular people. Mistakes happen, sometimes certain details get overlooked, sometimes it takes a little longer for your luggage to arrive. As long as you can accept that, prepare for it, and the staff respond to and correct the issue in a timely manner, what is there really to complain about?

      One last thing, I promise. This comes from 13 years of planning WDW vacations- If you are going on a WDW vacation, not just a DVC resort, but any WDW resort, and you either fail to begin your planning as far out as they allow you (resort reservation, dining, tours, etc), or you simply don't plan for anything, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A MISERABLE TRIP. Believe me, I've seen it happen. the first 3 things you need to know about a Disney trip is Plan, Plan, Plan. Trust me.
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      Registered: November 2008
      Location: Maryland
      Posts: 18
      Review Date: Fri January 25, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location to Magic Kingdom
      Cons: A few

      We stayed at Bay Lake from 1/20/13 - 1/24/13 in room 7206. After reading some of the other reviews, we weren't expecting much. However, the resort was beautiful, the room was clean, it's a great location, and we watched the Ravens playoff game at the Top of the World Lounge. We also loved watching Wishes from the Lounge. It's quite an experience. It was a great week and we loved the resort.

      Some of the cons. I'm quite disappointed with Bay Lake/Contemporary because a cast member was caught opening our luggage and when we spoke to management, we were told they would look into it. So far, I'm not aware that anything has been done because management has not made further contact with us. It was an invasion of privacy and management should have taken immediate action.

      Another strange issue we had was using the stairwell. Instead of waiting for the elevator, we used the stairs. Unfortunately, the door on the first floor was locked on several occasions. When we spoke to a cast member about this, she said was locked for fire hazard reasons. It forces you to use the emergency exit. However, that didn't explain why some days it was unlocked and some days it was locked. It made no sense.

      Lastly, we went to the Contemporary Grounds at 6:45 one morning and they were closed. A coffee house that is closed early in the morning. Go figure.

      I gave this resort a 7 only because of the issue with our luggage. Had there not been an issue, I would have rated this resort a 10.
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      Registered: October 2008
      Location: Pennsylvania
      Posts: 39
      Review Date: Tue January 22, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): EVERYTHING!
      Cons: Leak in room/hallway that wasn't fixed during our stay

      I would love to give BLT a 10 but we did have one minor problem. Even with LEAK in our room and into the hall in front of our room, I love this resort and can't wait to stay here again. Our 2nd visit here was from 1/3-1/11/13. Amazing view even though I didn't request a MK view. Clean, friendly staff, good food, nice merchandise choices. I never experienced anyone trying to "get it" behind me anywhere in the resort. The new check in was amazing - I pulled up in front and the CM said my name! The leak was weird - not sure if it was the shower or air conditioner but it wasn't fully fixed during our stay but - so be it. Just a fantastic resort with great location. Can't recommend it enought.
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      Registered: August 2008
      Location: connecticut
      Posts: 20
      Review Date: Mon January 14, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, decor, people
      Cons: None

      Spent 4 nights, 1-5-13 to 1-9-13, with adult daughter in studio lake view on points. Could not have been happier. Loved the style of the rooms, the walkway to Contemporary, and monorail was so convenient. So close to Contempo Cafe for coffee and quick meals.

      Excellent sitting area outside between walkway and contemporary with great view and monorail passing by overhead. Sat there many times to drink coffee and enjoy the designated smoking area there. Very relaxing.

      It has become my favorite resort as it offers modern decor and location that is outstanding. Great for adults who prefer not to be bombarded with too much Disney in your face atmosphere. We are already planning our next visit with more family members and will stay at Bay Lake Tower 1 or 2 bedroom depending on size of group.

      For 2 people, the studio is perfect. Even with 1 small child it has plenty of space. Check in was flawless and cm's were exceptional in customer service. Highly recommended.
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      Registered: January 2013
      Posts: 16
      Review Date: Sun January 13, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Walk to MK; view of Wishes
      Cons: distance to food at Cont.

      Loved the proximity to MK. The pool area was nice including fire circle and ping pong. Reservation was Lake View, but I also had a great view of MK. We watched Wishes from our balcony with the soundtrack played on TV. All the CMs were very friendly. The negatives were the distance to food at Cont. (it took 15 min. to get drink refills). I was not impressed with the QS dining. Better QS can be found at any moderate resort. Not sure what a "regular" bathroom layout is like. We were given a handicap room, which had a full tub, separate large shower area and large toilet area. The sink and vanity area was very small and everything was in one room. I would have preferred a larger vanity area and one that was separate from toilet and shower so someone else could be using vanity/sink.
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      Registered: September 2006
      Posts: 118
      Review Date: Thu January 10, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, lots of space and beautiful
      Cons: contempo cafe and the walkway doors not working

      My party of 6 stayed in a 2bd dedicated villa 12/9- 12/14 on the 10th floor w/ a Bay Lake view. We had very prompt bell service and the check-in was easy and pain free. We got a text later that day when our room was available.

      We had so much space! My sons had the 2nd bedroom and their own bathroom. My daughter slept in the living room and had the hall bathroom for her own use. Hubby and me had the huge master bedroom and master bath. I also really enjoyed the balcony and watched the water parade go by a couple of evenings.

      The kitchen was well stocked and we did a little bit of cooking/ food prep. Mostly we go out to eat on vacation. The decor was crisp and modern to go with the theme of the Contemporary. It was cool and we didn't make use of the pool.

      Beyond the space, the location is the big plus here. I loved being on the monorail! Getting to Magic Kingdom and Epcot is a breeze. We did drive to Hollywood Studios and to Downtown Disney.
      One day the monorail was down and that was a real inconvenience. We ended up walking to MK that evening to the Christmas Party.

      The doors to the walkway literally never would read our keycard. And other folks were having the same issue. And the Contempo Cafe, while having some nice meals, got old real fast! We had an impolite girl working the register the first day we went which didn't help either.

      The rest of the staff we encountered was great!
      One last thing to keep in mind. We stay in hotels quite a bit and are used to having the beds made and the place cleaned everyday. If you stay on points like we did you don't get the beds made! On the 4th day we got more towels and trash taken. Before Bay Lake Tower was built I never was interested in DVC because the other resorts are so far from the parks. The location makes it worth considering. Highly recommend this resort!
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      Registered: December 2012
      Location: Pennsylvania
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Fri December 28, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Beautiful Resort Overall
      Cons: Privacy/Secruity

      I will say everyone in my family was excited to stay here, after seeing pictures and hearing all the hype. We arrived to stay for a week in a two bedroom villa, Magic Kingdom view back in September. After checking in at the Contemporary we headed into the lobby. It was beautiful! The large chandelier is gorgeous, and all the modern seating is nice. When arriving to our room my kids were immediately running around the large space claiming bedrooms and putting their clothes in the drawers. The room itself was very spacious, having five people in our family and finding a room that fits us all is usually difficult, and the one bedroom villa put us right on the line. We decided to roll over points from next year to upgrade to the two bedroom, knowing if we didn't we would be crammed into a small room. In the end I was glad we decided to stay in the two bedroom because of how much space we ended up having.

      We used the walkway to the Contemporary a lot, especially on days we went to the Magic Kingdom. However this is where my only negative comes from. The resort is only accessible by those staying at Bay Lake Tower with a key card and the doors only open on the Bay Lake Tower walkway side with the key. People know this, and there were multiple nights where my family and I would be going across the walkway to go back to our room and there would be a crowd of people waiting by the door to get into BL. I found it a little disappointing because the resort is supposed to be private to those staying there...

      The rest of the time we stayed there though was amazing. With the advantage of having a Magic Kingdom view, we watched fireworks from our room over half the week. I will say, because it was our first time staying here I thought it would great to surprise our kids with a little extra magic. Looking back on it, I wish we had gone with the Lake View. Watching Wishes from our room with the music streaming from the TV was just not the same. Watching from the room doesn't give the same illusion that the fireworks are /right/ behind the castle. For the first time staying it was a good addition to our stay, but I think I next time we will be happy with a Lake, or even Standard view.

      Also, adding to the topic of Wishes/fireworks. We watched them from the Top of the World Lounge one night. Again, the illusion of fireworks being /right/ there was not present, but I think my kids felt 'special' as we asked to go up. A man with the key to the elevator personally took us up to the Lounge talking to us the entire way. It was nice, and once upstairs I felt the interior was very modern.

      Throughout the week we did go swimming, but it was mainly at night since we spent most of the daylight in the parks. There weren't a lot of people at night, and the slide was closed, so I don't have an opinion on it. On the nights we did go swimming, we even had time to watch the Electrical Water Pageant!

      As the week came to an end, no one wanted to leave. Our stay was fantastic, and I will definitely be booking here for our next vacation. Smile
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      Registered: December 2012
      Location: Illinois
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Wed December 5, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 4 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Close proximity to MK and monorail
      Cons: Room size, lack of security, parking, amenities, service

      We rented DVC points and stayed at BLT the week following Thanksgiving. We were excited to stay at a deluxe DVC and had high expectations.

      Upon arrival, we were directed to check in at BLT. There was no bellman to great us so we weren't sure how to get our luggage to the room. I went to check in while my husband tracked down bellman from the Contemporary. The check-in line was backed up with 8 people and one kiosk opened. The person working was having issues with a guest and had to leave the kiosk several times. After waiting about 20 minutes, another person with an ipad finally came and checked me in. I had already checked in online so it was simply getting a packet.

      We went to the room and were told our luggage would be delivered. The hallways were dirty, the metal areas surround the elevators had greasy finger graffiti written on them. In the hallway were bags of trash outside several doors so the smell was not nice.

      Our luggage never showed up. After an hour, I called luggage/valet and they said they would send them up which took another hour.

      Initially the room appeared nice but upon staying 7 days, we realized how small it was. There were 3 of us, two adults and a 9 year old. The sofa couch came with sheets - no blanket or pillow. When we asked about this, we were told it would be additional money for each. We then found out how little is included in the DVC program and how much extra money we were going to have to pay out of pocket. No soap or toiletries, two towels for 3 people/4 days, 4 paper plates, and some plastic wrapped utensils for 4 people. Calling down to get anything was a cost. $15 for trash take out before your 4th day - we then realized why people were putting bags in the hallway or on their balconies. $5 for extra towels, $5 for toiletries, $5 for blanket, $5 pillow. It all added up.

      There was no security - anyone coming off the monorail could enter into the building. Several times very late at night, people would just hang outside the main door and wait for someone to leave and walk in. We had our bag stolen at the pool after being away from it for only 5 minutes to help my son with his goggles.

      Parking was ridiculous. Because we came with a pet and had to leave to walk him, we were in/out of the parking lot quite a bit. We noticed after the 2nd day that people have discovered if you "visit" the resort, you can park there close to the MK walkway and not have to use the major transportation service - or pay for parking. Many times coming back at the time MK was closing we'd see tons of people getting into cars and leaving. Obviously not staying at the resort but taking advantage of the parking to get into the MK or use the monorail.

      Finally we were not pleased with the service. We had one person come to our room to see how everything was - when we told her some things we needed, she said "call housekeeping". Ok...what is your purpose exactly? Our bag that was stolen contained our tickets and 3 Disney gift cards. Luckily we had kept images of them so they could be replaced. The gift cards were mailed to us overnight (thank you Disney for that!) but we had to pay $5 to pick them up from the Contemporary Business Center.

      3 times we used the Contempo Cafe quick pick to get lunch. Every single time it was not a correct order - even though you place it from a kiosk so it's on the receipt. No apologies anytime for the walk back to get it resolved.

      Upon checkout we asked for luggage pick up - no one came for an hour so we took it all down in shifts.

      I was not at all impressed. The only benefit to staying there is the walk to MK. For this being a Deluxe DVC - the extra money we put out for services and lack of amenities didn't show it. Our next trip will not be at this resort.
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      Registered: October 2006
      Location: Kentucky
      Posts: 8
      Review Date: Wed December 5, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, deluxe resort
      Cons: More information in rooms about special events

      Enjoyed the resort completely. Enjoyed the restaurants, bars and as always the resort recreation. Room was in good shape and clean upon check-in. There were many special events (PGA-F&W Races-DVC preview party) occurring while we were there and upon check-in no one could assist in details with any of them.
      Walking to the MK is easy. Great location for families without cars because of the connectivity to nearby resorts.
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      Registered: August 2012
      Location: United States
      Posts: 5
      Review Date: Mon November 26, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great Location, Great Views, Monorail
      Cons: Disney Has Let the Property Condition Go Down

      We stayed at Bay Lake Tower as DVC Members for one (1) week, 08-23-12 thru 08-30-12. After spending a week at OKW, we changed resorts (NO PROBLEM w/OKW, made reservations this way). This is our 2nd stay at BLT; the first was in August 2010. We requested and received a one BR, Magic Kingdom view and were given Villa 7826, exactly one (1) floor below our 2010 stay.

      On our arrival, we were told at the Security Booth that BLT Check-In was now being done at BLT, not the Contemporary and this just started this past Monday. Since this procedure was still new, they were still working out the bugs. I did notice that when it gets busy, another Cast Member comes out with an iPad and assists with the check-in to speed things along. When we changed resorts, we didn’t take advantage of using Bell Services to move our luggage since we had a car. We arrived early for Check-In and our room was not ready but we checked in. Since we wanted to do some shopping, we didn’t want to leave our stuff in the car, so the Front Desk got Bell Services for us. In just a few minutes, Terry came over from the Contemporary and assisted us in removing our luggage from the car to put into storage. We returned after our shopping and we still hadn’t been texted about our room. As I went to check with the Front Desk, we got the text the room was ready. We completed check in and requested Bell Service to assist us with our just purchase groceries and stored luggage. Again, in short order, Terry was back with our luggage, loaded the groceries and we were off to our Villa.

      Shortly after we arrived, there was a knock at the door – it was maintenance – they wanted to fix a bathroom light that was out – this must have been reported by a prior guest – all bathroom lights worked, but were poorly aimed (aimed at the wall paintings, not where you need it). We had a minor problem with the room phone – they stopped working. I went to Front Desk and reported it and a Phone Repairman arrived in short order to correct the problem.

      Our room was very quiet – we never heard anything from adjacent rooms or the hallway. The only sounds we heard were the Steam Train Whistle and Wishes (and all the car alarms that go off on the big booms from Wishes). The view from our room is amazing – the only thing, which might have made it, better was to be on a higher floor. We love being able to get the monorail and buses with just a short walk - we didn’t walk to/from the Magic Kingdom this trip, but it’s nice to have that as an alternate. We ate at three of the food establishments in the Contemporary, the Contempo Café (which was located in the Ballrooms for a few days of our stay while they painted the Concourse ceiling over the café), Chef Mickey’s, and the California Grill. The shopping in the Contemporary is good – the staff members were very knowledgeable and helpful (we purchased a garment at Universal (horrors) and they forgot to remove the security tag – one of the clerk’s at Bayview Gifts was able to remove it for us with their equipment). Upon checking out, Terry was once again our Porter and as always was a pleasure to deal with. We even used the Contemporary’s Business Center to ship stuff home and they were wonderful (prices were much lower than expected and it arrived at home much sooner than we expected too!). We had concerns about luggage weight and James at Airline Check-In was very helpful and knowledgeable – he didn’t need a scale to see if a bag was overweight – he could tell by looking and lifting!

      Let me preface this part - it is not too often that I criticize Disney, but sometimes they need a smack in the back of the head! When we checked in, we were told if we liked the new BLT check in to tell the Contemporary’s Manager since that was who made this decision. Based on this and BLT’s full name, I feel it is reasonable to say that the Contemporary is in charge of things at Bay Lake Tower. Well it is clear to me that they should change Bay Lake Tower’s name to Cinderella Tower – it is painfully obvious that the Contemporary’s Management treats BLT like an unwanted stepchild, Cinderella. They have let things, granted some may be minor and nitpicky, deteriorate. Let me start with our Villa: looking at the hotel’s floor plan (emergency exit map on back of door), it appears that there are only two (2) 1 BR Villas with Magic Kingdom views on each floor, i.e. front of building. The rest are 2 BR Villas and the Studio lock-offs. Because of this, our Villa (and the other 1 BR-MK view Villas / Studio lock-offs) probably get very heavy use - it shows. The carpet in the main room needed replacing – I feel it was beyond cleaning, the dirt appears to be ground in. The benches around the Table were worn – what was Disney thinking when they put vinyl covered cushions with sharp corners there – the corners and surrounding vinyl was worn/torn off the corners of the benches. The sleeper couch was gross! There was a dark stain that covered most of one couch cushion and part of other – it was obvious that at some point, something spilled here, but Disney never bothered to clean the cushions! The bathroom door locks they added since 2010 border on useless – they are loose and seem only to be good at gouging the wood on the bathroom doors. The standing lamp in living room window had a DANGEROUS POWER CORD - IT SPARKED WHERE THE CORD ENTERED THE MOLDED PLUG causing lamp to be intermittent also - *I reported this to front desk and maintenance removed the lamp (didn't replace it).

      Now let’s move on to the common areas: Elevators – there used to be a light up sign on the back wall of each elevator car – now there are dirty pieces of white back-lit plastic there – the dirt appears to be trapped behind the translucent plastic. There used to be other advertising signs on the sidewalls of each elevator, these are now gone – all that remains are chipped holes on each wall where the signs used to be fastened. It looks like they tried to remedy this by putting in small plastic plugs to sort of match the walls, but 90% of these were missing. The elevator floors were not clean, especially the corners, which don’t look like they’ve been cleaned in a long, long time! Exterior Lighting: Maybe it’s due to energy conservation, but lighting that had been operating last visit was no longer illuminated such as the lights on the Skybridge’s towers and the in-ground lighting outside along the front of the building and behind the lobby. While not needed for safety reasons, they were obviously added as an architectural detail. Back Recreation Area: The Bocce courts were soaked and the artificial turf bunched up in areas. Quite a few of the up-lights surrounding the bamboo trees had the “You can fix anything with Duct Tape” repair – i.e. “Let’s just tape over the light and not fix it – it’s quicker and cheaper.” Really?!!!!!!! Port-Cochere: there were multiple large ant holes with the sand piling out - right in front of the smoking area, 5 feet from the front door - they were there all week! Many room number guide signs at elevator lobby/main hall intersections were missing parts of numbers and not lit.

      Just a few more grumbles here: The access to BLT is supposed to be limited to DVC members staying at BLT with the exception of the Top of the World Lounge. The pool was never locked! Not even when closed around 1 AM. Anyone can gain entry at any time. The Skybridge doors were rarely locked – sometimes they didn’t even close! At one point when they were locking, the doors wouldn’t unlock and had been propped open so BLT guests could get in. One safety issue I noticed in numerous places was that the “Break Glass In Case Of Fire” glass in the hallway Fire Alarm Boxes was missing.

      Will we stay here again? Most likely, this is our “Home” resort. Would we recommend staying at BLT to our friends and family – maybe, it depends if they have gotten their act together by our next stay and stop treating BLT like Cinderella and resume maintaining it the way it was on our 2010 visit.
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      Registered: May 2010
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Mon November 5, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, decor
      Cons: Much smaller villas, Not very "Disney" feeling

      Hubby, two teenaged daughters and I stayed here with my sister, her two children, and my parents on my parents' DVC points. Had a studio and a 2-BR villa. If you insist on a dedicated 2BR you will be on the second floor; other 2BR's are a 1BR with an attached studio. Everything except the master bathroom felt cramped. Studio would NOT have been large enough for four - my parents stayed there and had enough space, but if my family had stayed in this room as originally planned we would have been constantly bumping into each other.

      2BR villa kitchen is decently sized for quick prep of breakfast or other simple meals, but not for more than one person working at a time. Finishes and color palette are sophisticated and rich-feeling, but the furniture does not seem to be wearing well.

      The proximity to the MK is nice but the walk back at the end of a long day seems to take forever. Smile Rooms on the fifth floor will have direct access to the walkway to the Contemporary. Top-of-the-world Lounge has a nice deck for viewing fireworks, but children will need a "boost" as the wall on the deck is chest-high on an adult.

      We encountered no problems with our villa, or anything functioning correctly for us. For sleeping and getting ready in the morning it was fine; if we spent more time as a large family in the villa we would have not enjoyed ourselves because of the tight spaces. If we all travel together again, we'll probably get a villa at OKW or Saratoga because they're bigger.
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      Registered: February 2012
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Thu November 1, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): breezy checkin, proximity to the MK
      Cons: Cash Guest treatment, lack of theming, felt like a hotel instead of a resort

      I wish there was a conditional recommend feature on these reviews - here's how I'd recommend truly:
      DVC: Yes, if you don't like heavily themed resorts
      Cash: No

      We usually stay at the GF, but with the construction, pool closures, and general goings on over there, we decided to branch out. We were going to stay in the Contemporary (and did for one night, but more on that later), but decided to give BLT a try since we're considering going DVC in the future. Our stay was from 10/24-10/30/12.

      Parking: If you want to valet your car, this isn't the resort for you as it's not offered except over at the Contemporary. We always valet, but to be honest - it's not necessary at BLT, which is super nice. We always found a close, convenient parking space whenever we used our vehicle.

      Check in: The process was a breeze - there was a short line at the desk, but instead of having to wait, a CM with an iPad approached me, asking if I was me - a very personal, nice way to be welcomed to our vacation. She (like all the front desk staff we interacted with) was helpful and friendly, and our room was ready at 11am, always a lovely thing! Oh - if you want bell services though, you need to check in at the Contemporary or ask them to send someone over. We didn't bother with that wait.

      Room/Resort: After reading the reviews, I was expecting to see run down furniture and accents all over the place - that wasn't the case at all. Granted, I did notice some wear and tear, but only because I was on the look out for it - but it wasn't what I would consider outside the acceptable limits for any resort. We got a chance to go through our friend's 1 bedroom villa as well, and theirs was in the same good condition. The only real issues were a) the bridge doors, which were broken in some way every day, b) when it rains, the downstairs seems to have numerous leaks, and c) in between/in the elevators there's a surface that you can (not intentionally) write on with fingers. It just looks terrible, and everyone writes on it/draws on it.

      We had a studio - please, please listen to all the reviews when they say that if there's more than two of you in the room it's too small. We had two adults, a 4 and a 2 year old, and it felt super cramped. We were always in each other's way, and even with the couch put away it just wasn't somewhere to hang out in any more than necessary. The balcony was nice, but small and cramped with uncomfortable furniture.

      The pool area is beautiful and uncrowded - we had some cold weather so unfortunately we weren't able to go but once, but it was a great time. Since we had friends who were DVC there in another room, we were able to watch Hallowishes from Top of the World. Perimeter Fireworks up there are not to be missed!! The staff at the bar was not quite what I'd consider Disney, as they weren't really all that friendly and seemed generally annoyed to be there.

      Staff: As a cash guest, we definitely felt the difference. The fact that you're paying money to stay in this resort, but you can't go to the Top of the World lounge because you're not DVC? Of course they CAN do it, but if I'm paying a premium to stay there, I should be able to use all of the amenities. Also, community hall - a great , if underhyped - area where kids can unwind, do arts and crafts, and play video games - also lets you rent movies. Free for DVC, $5 for cash guests. Seriously? There were a lot of opportunities like this where they could sell this resort to cash guests, but instead of positioning things to encourage future DVC purchases (talk about how rare it is to get a cash room, in the future probably only DVC in there, something!) they really made you feel like less of a guest.

      Other than these issues, housekeeping was wonderful as a cash guest, and everyone was nice as could be.

      Location: Compared to other resorts, the walk to quick service/drinks in the Contemporary was super quick. The walk to the MK was a huge plus as well, but our family found that we missed our frequent monorail rides. If you like the Monorail, you might find yourself missing it a lot staying here.

      One other thing - we had to stay an extra day since our train was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, and Disney was great about getting us another room. However, we weren't able to stay in our BLT room, and were moved to the Contemporary Tower (which was awesome) - they must not have hurricane rates at BLT though, but didn't say. We could see our old room, and no one checked in. Sort of a pain to have to move for just one day. One more cash guest 'perk'!

      Overall, we enjoyed our stay - but nothing was added to it - at the Bay Lake Tower resort. We found no Disney Magic there however, and won't be returning.
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      Registered: September 2007
      Location: New Hampshire
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Wed October 24, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, Location, Location plus Amenities & Staff
      Cons: None

      My husband and I stayed in a lake view studio for eight nights on the 12th floor (09/22-09/30). We had an easy check in over at the Contemporary at 11am. The CM was exceptionally friendly and we were delighted to hear our room was ready upon check in.

      We were concerned about staying in a studio after reading some of the reviews plus we had previously stayed at BLT in a 2 BR MK view. We were not disappointed. I just loved the lake view. There is more than enough room for two adults and we were very comfortable and we really enjoyed the balcony. I would choose a studio again over a 1 BR if it were just the two of us.

      Housekeeping was excellent, the room very clean and tidy. The convenience of microwave and refrigerator was great and used frequently. I had to look real hard to see any wear and tear in the room. There is a lack of places to hang bath towels and the bathroom sink area is small but manageable.

      We enjoyed the pool every afternoon as most days the temperature reached 90 degrees. We sometimes used the pool late at night as well. The pool never felt crowded and filling up our mugs at the pool bar is an added convenience. We also enjoyed the short walk to the Contemporary pools and used them one night as well.

      It’s an easy walk to the Contemporary food court which we visited at least one time every day. Monorail and bus service was excellent and we just loved the walkway to the Magic Kingdom. We have stayed at other DVC resorts however BLT is our favorite.
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      Registered: October 2012
      Location: United States
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Mon October 15, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location, amenities

      Just got back from 1st DVC trip, and 1st visit to BLT.

      First off, I will say that lower is better. Why? I've watched Wishes from TOWL, and CG. The castle is small because of the forced perspective. I was on the 3rd floor of BLT, aimed directly at the castle. It looked full size. We could lay in bed and watch it change colors. The whole view was good, could see everything, except the surface of the lagoon. 3-5th floors would have been perfect.

      Room, amazing. Huge! Great master bath in 1br. Comfy bed. pull out slept great also. In room washer/dryer - genius. Kitchen had everything needed. Cooked several breakfasts and a dinner. We ate Mickey waffles once, otherwise we rose on our own schedules, grazed in-room and headed out.

      I thought some people complained about not finding bathroom door locks...they are on the wall, not door. Not a patio slider lock. Also people pointed out carpet wear, I wouldn't have noticed unless I looked for it. I saw a few little maintenance flaws...bent door stops, someone used command strip clothesline and pulled off paint in shape of strip on both walls, dvd player was unplugged, faucet stem wasn't aligned properly. Nothing that distracted from our enjoyment, just missed details.

      Location: Perfect. Walked to MK each time. Walked or monoraid back. Used Monorail to get to EPCOT, and once to GF for dinner. Got seats 85% of the time. Busses to DD, HS, and AK were quick and fine. You are on first stop, and always got a seat. Balcony was best spot for fireworks, even better then TOWL.

      Hardest part, trying to convince family to try any other DVC resort. They want to stay here each time now.
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