As any DVC (Disney Vacation Club) member will tell you, the opening of a new DVC resort is an exciting prospect indeed.  And within a year, three new resorts were opened on property to whet the appetite. The new Animal Kingdom’s Kidani Village, the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa and the Bay Lake Towers at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  We decided to stay at Bay Lake Towers first, since the Magic Kingdom is the heart of the Disney experience. 

Let’s start with the facts. The Bay Lake Tower is a separate resort, but it is run out of the Contemporary Resort. This means that you check in at the Contemporary Resorts check-in desk.  All arrangements for Babysitting, valet parking, dining, using the spa, etc will be made there. The Bay Lake Towers does not have a check-in desk, but does have a Food and beverage desk on the first floor. More on that later.  The resort boasts 295 rooms, and the styling is designed to complement its sister resort the Contemporary. Guests can choose from a studio room, one bedroom villa, two bedroom villas or a 3 bedroom villa, starting from $370.00 up to $2430.00 per night and prices vary depending on the view. I was given a tour of some of the rooms for this review and can report that they are spectacular in amenities, décor and view. 

The décor is modern in line with the Contemporary Resort. All rooms have a neutral and subtle paint tones;  black and white TV stands, wood grained cabinets in the kitchen and kitchenettes, there are modern art pictures of Mickey and Minnie on the walls and in the two-bedroom villas, there are stainless steel appliances in the full kitchens, and a granite-topped island. It’s just like being at home! A Jacuzzi tub graces the master bath, and there is a complete laundry room. Rounding it out is a nice sized living room to relax in. As you walk down the hallways, the modernistic rug has bright colors and if you look carefully, you can spot the hidden Mickey’s!   Another nice touch is that all the rooms have their numbers lighted on the outside. Our studio was well equipped with a flat screen TV, with an interface for hooking up external video and audio components, USB port, a DVD player, the bed was a comfortable queen sized unit and full sofa bed.  A microwave, small fridge, coffee maker and wet bar rounded out the small kitchenette. And our bathroom had an ample supply of towels. This combined with the private balcony and nice décor, has us already making plans to stay for more “Weekend” mini vacations!

Both resorts have separated parking lots, but as stated before if you want valet parking, you arrange that at the Contemporary. From the first floor of the towers, elevators are close by to access your rooms. One unique feature is a covered walkway from the 5th floor of the Towers to the 4th floor of the Contemporary Resort. This is very convenient for on the fourth floor of the Contemporary you’ll find Chef Mickey’s, the Outer Rim cocktail lounge and the Contempo café. From there, it’s an elevator ride to the California Grill and on the first floor is the Wave Restaurant.  From here guests also have access to the spa and pool. Both pools are open 24 hours, but lifeguards leave at 9pm. The new pool at the towers is of course Mickey-shaped as is the kid’s pool. The Large pool has a fantastic glass sided slide which closes when the lifeguard is not present. 

There are three views available… Standard, Lake and the coveted Magic Kingdom view. Prices of the rooms will reflect the views of the room. We stayed in the studio with the Bay Lake view and it overlooked the pool and courtyard, it was just beautiful! No matter what room you choose, all the views are magical. In fact, after the fireworks we had coffee on our balcony, watching the boats on Bay Lake, listening to the guests in the pool, we just did not want to leave!

The most outstanding feature of this new resort is the lounge on the 16th floor.  The “Top of the World Lounge” which took its name from the former restaurant now known as the California Grill is a truly unique and special area. It is only opened to DVC members and their guests staying at the Towers. Even if you are DVC, unless you are staying here, access is not permitted. To access the lounge, you check in at 4:30pm at the beverage desk in the Tower lobby. Here you show your room key and a hostess will escort you to the only elevator to the lounge.  This makes it less crowded and intimate, it’s almost like belonging to club 33! The lounge serves only appetizers, but they are delicious and very filling flatbread offerings. The observation deck overlooking the Magic Kingdom for the nightly fireworks holds 350 guests and words cannot describe the view.  A full stereo sound system brings in the music and Jiminy Cricket’s narration just as if you were standing on Main St. The fireworks were just amazing and you can view the whole Magic Kingdom complex and the whole of seven seas lagoon. The inside of the lounge is cozy and inviting. Over the bar is a contemporary 32 foot long mural from the original monorail artwork by John Hench. It is sandwiched between glass panels, giving the guests a view from behind the bar. There are soft earth tones and wood barstools and the small wooden tables have very comfortable soft cushioned mauve chairs. You can sit inside the lounge by the full wall glass windows and watch the fireworks or go outside. And the cast members here are specially chosen by Disney for the job. We had a great time talking about the resort and Disney to our server, a very friendly atmosphere. 

Restaurants at Bay Lake Towers and Contemporary are the California Grill, Chef Mickey’s, the Wave, Contempo Café, the Outer Rim lounge and the Sand Bar and Grill and for the lucky DVC members staying here, the appetizers at the Top of the World lounge. Entrance to the Bay Lake Towers requires a room key; you cannot even enter the walkway without one.  Check in is 4pm and Check out is 11am. 

Beautiful views, amenities galore, fabulous restaurants, the Magic Kingdom a short walk or monorail ride away, the new Bay Lake Towers promises to be one of the most popular and coveted DVC resorts yet. We spend the majority of the Day just wandering around the resort, staying by the pool and taking in the views. We enjoyed a quick lunch and went to the Magic Kingdom, and returned to rest in our room and sit on the balcony. It is so nice; you may not even want to go to the parks! 

Just remember that the availability of the rooms (Especially the views) usually go by the time of the seasons. Value season is from January 1st to February 12th, July 19th to October 1st and November 29th to December 17th.   Regular season is April 19th to July 18th and October 2nd to November 28th.  And peak seasonis from February 13th to April 18th and Holiday season is from December 18th to December 31st. For current pricing and availability always check with for the latest information.