Disney’s Contemporary Resort was one of two original resorts open when Walt Disney World launched in 1971. Nearly 40 years later in 2009, the sparkling Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort addition to the resort became available to the public. The Tower shares most of its amenities with the main Contemporary Resort, but the beautiful design, private pool, and exceptional views of the Bay Lake Tower make it a unique experience.
Like the main resort, the Bay Lake Tower features a chic and ultra-modern design. However, while the passing decades have given the original Contemporary Tower a bit of a nostalgic feel, the Bay Lake Tower the feel of a 21st century penthouse.
Disney Vacation Club Villas
The Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Vacation Club property with accommodations ranging from studios with kitchenettes to three-bedroom grand villas. Though many of the rooms are occupied throughout the year by DVC time share members, a large number of rooms are also available for the general public.
Starting with the one bedroom suite, all of the villas feature a full kitchen and a separate living room and dining area. The studios can sleep four people, while the three-bedroom suites can sleep up to twelve. In fact, the three-bedroom villas are truly palatial, with two floors and four bathrooms – two on each floor.
In addition to the size of the villa, there are a number of other choices to make when choosing a place to stay at the Bay Lake. The semi-circle structure of the Tower offers several different views, and guests can choose between the “standard” view, a view out over Bay Lake, or a view of the Magic Kingdom theme park.
The curved design of Bay Lake Tower compliments the
angular design of the neighboring Contemporary Resort Hotel.
The Cove Bar located by the impressive Bay Cove Pool serves beverages and also has a small selection of snacks available for guests lounging near the water. However, the remainder of the dining options available to Bay Lake Tower guests are located in the main A-frame tower of the Contemporary Resort.
For a meal in a casually elegant environment, the signature California Grill or ultra-modern stylings of The Wave…of American Flavors are great choices. The Grill has an enviable location on the top floor of the Contemporary Tower, giving great views of the lake or the Magic Kingdom.
For fast and fun dining, the Contempo Café allows you to order a range of American-style cuisine from touch-screen kiosks. The resort also has a coffee bar, Contemporary Grounds, with a variety of morning and evening beverages.
Chef Mickey’s is perhaps the most famous and popular restaurant at the Contemporary Resort because of the opportunity to dine with Mickey Mouse and a parade of his friends. The food is fairly standard buffet fare, but the Disney Character Dining experience is extremely popular with families.
Bay Cove Pool
The Bay Lake Tower has a zero-entry feature pool for guests only. While far from the largest feature pool on the Walt Disney World property, it has a stunning water slide that may well be the most beautiful.
A spiral staircase leads up to a large metal-frame tower emblazoned with Mickey head stencils that glow neon at night. A sloping wall of glass bricks surrounds the outside of the circle in which the slide twists and loops. With sunlight glancing off it during the day or neon lights glowing from inside at night, this slide is a spectacle.
In addition to the large feature pool – complete with zero-entry platform – the pool area also features a children’s water play area, a whirlpool spa, and a smaller quiet pool. Bay Lake Tower guests can also use the pool complex at the main Contemporary Resort.
The Tower takes its name from beautiful Bay Lake, so it’s only appropriate for guests to explore some of the many activities available on this expanse of water.
With professional instruction available, Bay Lake is a great place to try wakeboarding or water skiing. A ride on a giant tube behind a ski boat is a great way for younger guests to get a similar adrenaline rush. There are also several different kinds of motorized watercraft available to rent. The ultimate water-based activity on Bay Lake might be parasailing, giving you the opportunity to soar behind a motorized boat with great views across Disney World.
When you aren’t passing the hours at the theme parks, there are other ways to entertain yourself at the Bay Lake Tower and Contemporary Resort. There are shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, a net for beach volleyball along the water near the Bay Lake Tower, and bass fishing trips are available from the Contemporary marina.
At Community Hall, guests can play ping pong, foosball, or video games. There are large screens for watching television, and DVDs are available for rental. There is also a children’s area where various crafts and games are available throughout the day.
A Great Location
For families, especially those with young children, the location of the Bay Lake Tower is simply the best. It is within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom, and is the very first monorail stop upon leaving that theme park. Villas with a lake view look out over the nightly water electrical water pageant.