We were among the first to stay at Disney’s Bay Lake Tower, part of the Disney Vacation Club, back in November of 2009. A recent addition to the Contemporary Resort in the Magic Kingdom area, this resort is spacious, modern and luxurious.
This was the first time I’d ever stayed on the Monorail, and we were sold! I absolutely love this location. I love the view of the Magic Kingdom and the easy walk to and from our favorite Disney Park.
And best of all, the Monorail runs right through the Contemporary so you have easy access to all the parks. Anyone who has spent a half-hour on one of the Disney buses knows how valuable the Monorail locations are.
Of course, the tradeoff is that they are pricey. The Bay Lake Tower is among the most expensive of the Disney resorts, but if budget constraints weren’t an issue, we would stay here every time.
The Disney Deluxe Villas are spacious and casually elegant with a warm, modern flair. We stayed in a three-bedroom villa with my parents, and there was plenty of room for the seven of us to spread out.
Another bonus of staying at Bay Lake Tower is The Wave Restaurant, located on the first floor of the Contemporary. In my opinion, this is one of the better restaurants on Disney property. We ate breakfast there three or four times during our Disney stay. Boasting seasonal cuisine and loads of sustainable and organic options, this restaurant is sure to please the choosiest foodies among us.
Chef Mickey’s is also located in the Contemporary — one of our favorite character meals. The food is average buffet fare, but it is plentiful, and you are guaranteed to meet Mickey and the gang, as they come around to all the tables during your mealtime.
Best of all, the California Grill is located on the top floor of the Contemporary. This is by far my favorite Disney restaurant, with inventive gourmet food and a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom. If you time it right, you can eat dinner while watching the fireworks display above Cinderella’s Castle. This is the perfect spot for a romantic date.
There is a skywalk connecting the Bay Lake Tower to the Contemporary, which affords another gorgeous view of the Magic Kingdom as well as the Seven Seas Lagoon. Many nights we would stand out there and watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from a distance, and there is a fun Electrical Water Pageant that floats along the lake each evening.
If fireworks is your thing, you can choose to enjoy them from an exterior private Observation Deck on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. One night my husband and I took advantage of this perk and enjoyed drinks and appetizers from the Top of the World lounge before stepping out onto the Observation Deck to watch the fireworks show with an unfettered view. It was spectacular.
For water lovers, there is a white-sand beach overlooking Bay Lake and two swimming pools. My kids loved the zero-entry Bay Cove Pool with its 20-foot high water slide, and adults will enjoy the quiet Bay Lake Pool. Bay Lake Tower residents are also permitted to visit the pool at the Contemporary Resort with its 17-foot high curving slide.
In my opinion, Bay Lake Tower has it all — great dining options, spacious accommodations with a sophisticated modern style, a fabulous pool and convenient location with the accessibility that the Monorail provides. If money were no object, this would be my Disney home away from home.