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    Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort Information: Rooms, Pools, Dining, and More

Use our exclusive Room Finder to see a resort map and find a great room!

Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort Overview

Opened in 2009, Bay Lake Tower is a 15-story, 295-unit DDV resort consists of studios and one- and two-bedroom villas as well as two-story, three-bedroom Grand Villas with views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom. Laid out in a semicircle, Bay Lake Tower is connected to the Contemporary by an elevated, covered outdoor walkway and shares the main resort’s monorail service.

Disney's Contemporary Resort map

Bay Lake Tower has its own check-in desk as well as its own private pool and pool bar, plus a small fire pit on the beach. Its Top of the World is the best bar on Disney property, but, alas, it admits only DVC owners and their guests. If need be, offer to buy an owner a round of drinks in exchange for an invite.

Please see our description of the Contemporary for more information about the amenities shared with that resort.

Besides room quietness, readers give Bay Lake an A rating for room quality and staff service. This Minnesota family of four loved it:

We had a studio with a Magic Kingdom view. The balcony was a private oasis where my husband and I would relax and watch the fireworks together after the kids were asleep. On our second night he looked at me and said, “We’re always going to stay here.”

How Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort Compares to Other Disney Villa Resorts

The major advantage of Bay Lake Tower is that is a short walk to Walt Disney World's flagship theme park, Magic Kingdom. If you don't want to make the 10 minute walk you can also take a Monorail, which has a station in the Contemporary's lobby. The same Monorail can be also be used to ride to the Transportation And Ticket Center, here guests can transfer to another Monorail and ride to the front gate of Epcot.

Bay Lake Tower exterior.

Where To Check-In, Get Theme Park Tickets, and Make Dining Reservations

A security gate guards the entrance to Bay Lake Tower's grounds. If you arrive by car, you'll need to provide photo ID at the gate; it's not necessary to provide your reservation number or paperwork. A dedicated parking lot across from the lobby serves as temporary parking for those who need it while checking in.

Check-in time at Bay Lake Tower is 4:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM. Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower participates in Disney's Online Check-In program, which allows you to you provide name, address, and credit card information up to 60 days before your arrival. If you've checked-in online and provided a mobile phone number or email address, you will receive your room number electronically. Then you can go straight to the room and use your smart phone or MagicBand to open the door, skipping the lobby altogether. Registration staff can provide MagicBands for your stay, if you don't already have them. Beginning January 1, 2021, guests will no longer receive complimentary MagicBands but will still have the option to purchase them.

If you've not registered online, look for signs pointing you to the Registration/Check-In area. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and credit/debit card when you register. While parents are completing the paperwork, kids can unwind in a nearby play area decorated with child-sized furniture, and a television showing classic Disney animated films.

Bay Lake Tower's registration staff can provide MagicBands for your stay, if you don't already have them. Get theme park tickets and dining reservations at the Concierge Desk, to the right of the Registration Desk. If you need to check in and obtain theme park tickets, you can save some time in line if one adult gets in line for tickets just after another adult starts the registration process. The Concierge Desk can also make Disney dining reservations, and you can avoid a wait there by making them online prior to arrival.

Bay Lake Tower's Rooms

Rooms are well appointed, with flat-panel TVs, DVD players, minifridges, microwaves, and coffee makers. Brightly colored accessories, paintings, and accent walls complement an otherwise-neutral color scheme. Wood tables and granite countertops add a natural touch. Each room has a private balcony or patio. The rooms we’ve stayed in tested as the quietest on Disney property.

Bay Lake Tower Studios:Studios sleep up to four people and include one queen-size bed and one double sleeper sofa. The part of the studio with the bed, sofa, and TV measures about 170 square feet and feels small with just two people; four would be an adventure.

A bedroom in a Bay Lake Tower 1-bedroom villa.

A kitchen and living room in a Bay Lake Tower 1-bedroom villa.

Bay Lake Tower 1-Bedroom Villa: One-bedroom villas sleep five people (the living room’s chair and sofa fold out to sleep three) and provide a formal kitchen, a second bathroom, and a living room in addition to the studio bedroom.

Bay Lake Tower Two-bedroom villas: The two-bedroom villas—our pick for the best of the standard rooms—sleep nine and include all of the kitchen amenities found in a one-bedroom, plus an extra bathroom. One of the baths is attached to a second bedroom with two queen beds or a queen plus a sleepersize sofa. As with the one-bedrooms, a sofa bed and sleeper chair in the living room provide extra places to snooze, though they’re best suited for small children. Bathrooms in the two-bedroom villas are a bit more spacious than those in the one-bedrooms. One odd feature in the baths (also found at other DVC resorts) is a folding door separating the tub from the master bedroom.

Bay Lake Tower Grand Villas: The two-story Grand Villas sleep 12 and include four bathrooms, the same master-bedroom layout, and two bedrooms with two queen beds apiece. An upstairs seating area overlooking the main floor provides a sleeper sofa and chair. Two-story windows offer unparalleled views of Bay Lake or the Magic Kingdom—with unparalleled prices to match.

Bay Lake Tower Room Layout

A lot of thought went into the bathroom design. You enter the bath through a sliding pocket door instead of a traditional hinged model. The pocket door provides plenty of room and makes it easy to move around inside. The curved shower-curtain rod is inspired. Combined with the pocket door, the curtain rod makes the bathroom feel much bigger than it is. Another thoughtful touch: A small motion sensor detects when you’re up and moving at night, and turns on a dimmed bathroom light to help you find your way.

Bay Lake Tower's bathroom sinks have an avant-garde flat-bottom design. If you can name a single Belgian architect or you own shoes made in Scandinavia, you’ll probably love them; other folks think they look like lab equipment. When brushing your teeth, spit directly over the drain; otherwise, the toothpaste glob doesn't move. One minor gripe: You have to scoot around one of the sinks to get in the shower. (We’re sure George Clooney has his quirks, too.)

Water pressure in the shower is average - probably less than what you get at home, but still enough to get your hair clean. Eventually.

A separate dressing area next to the bathroom includes two sinks, and enough counter space to fit most of the toiletries you would need. There are also two shelves under the sink that provide a small amount of storage. A 1500-watt, wall-mounted hair dryer is provided, but it's not very powerful; bring your own if you've got lots of hair. The dressing area includes a sliding door that separates it from the sleeping area. Combined with the bathroom, this means that 3 people can get dressed at the same time.

A bathroom in a Bay Lake Tower 1-bedroom villa.

Handicap-Accessible Room Options

Disney's Bay Lake Tower has around 44 handicap-accessible rooms. Some feature roll-in showers, while others include assistive hearing devices. A subset of these rooms have been converted to comply with Florida's Accessibility Code, with changes to everything from bed, counter-top, and dresser drawer height, to door widths, wheelchair ramps, and more. Use our hotel room finder to see which rooms have which feature

Bay Lake Views, Theme Park Views and Standard Views

Disney knows that some hotel rooms are better than others. Most people want something pretty to look at from their hotel room window. To capitalize on this, Disney categorizes all of Contemporary's hotel rooms based on what you see from inside the room. Luckily both sides of Bay Lake Tower offer great views.

Here's the system Disney uses:

Theme Park view rooms give great views of Magic Kingdom's fireworks.

Bay Lake Tower Pools

One pool is for use exclusively by guests of Bay Lake Tower. Bay Cove Pool sits sits in the middle of the courtyard in the middle of Bay Lake Tower. There is also a hot tub, kiddie pool and water player area.

Bay Lake Tower guests may also use the Feature Pool and Bay Pool over at the main Contemporary Resort tower.

Bay Lake Tower's Bay Cove Pool.

Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower's pools range in depth from around 3 feet 6 inches/1.1m to 4 feet 9 inches/1.4m. Pool are open every day, including during winter. The pools are heated to 82°F/28°C throughout the year. We've swum in temperatures as cold as 40°F/4°C; the water was fine, but getting out was a shock. Contemporary also has a hot tub located near Bay Cove Pool.

Bay Cove Pool and Feature Pool each have one water slide that all ages are free to use. Guests can find showers, storage lockers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. Pool hours are at least 9 AM to 8 PM, extending to as much as 7 AM to 11 PM during busy times. Feature Pool will have lifeguards during the pools' operating hours.

For more information on the pools at WDW resorts, including towels, entertainment programming, handicap access, kiddie pools, life vests, and much more, see our Walt Disney World Resort Pool Fact Sheet FAQ.

Bay Lake Tower Restaurants and Dining

Bay Lake Tower has no dedicated dining of its own, but it does have an exclusive lounge. Top of the World Lounge is located at the top of Bay Lake Tower, where both indoor and outdoor areas provide excellent views of Magic Kingdom fireworks. Access to Top of the World Lounge is limited to Disney Vacation Club members staying on Bay Lake Tower using points.

Contemporary Resort Restaurants and Dining

California Grill

California Grill Dinner Menu - California Grill Kids Menu

High atop the Contemporary Resort, the award-winning California Grill sets the standard for Disney dining. But expect a boisterous crowd-the noise level makes quiet conversation difficult. Still, the view from the 15th floor is stellar, one of the best spots for watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks. It's so popular that the Grill no longer allows just anyone on the elevator for a ride to the top - you must have a dinner reservation. A show kitchen is the centerpiece of the airy dining room.

The California Grill still is one of Disney's top dining experiences, more like a hot spot in L.A. or New York City than Disney World. We like the seats at the bar in front of the kitchen, or a coveted window seat. Though it's a sophisticated dining experience, be warned that you'll see plenty of kids in the dining room.

Chef Brian Piasecki takes advantage of seasonal produce, fish, and meats. Sushi chef Yoshie has been there for more than 16 years, creating sublime, artful sushi that's a meal in itself. Oven-fired flatbreads are always on the menu, as well as grilled pork tenderloin with creamy polenta and Zinfandel glaze, a favorite since day one.

Chef Mickey's

Fun Time Buffet Breakfast - Chef Mickey's Fun Time Buffet Dinner

Chef Mickey's is a all-you-can-eat buffet with that features a colorful, open dining room with the monorail running overhead, this is one of the most popular Disney-character restaurants-mostly because you're guaranteed an audience with Mickey Mouse, who dons a chef's toque and visits every single table for photos. (Goofy, Minnie, Donald, and Pluto are on hand, too.) The buffet circles the center of the room. It's loud, crowded, busy, and fun for families. We rarely see anyone here without kids in tow.

Go hungry, and this all-you-can-eat buffet is a good value for families; there's plenty for picky eaters, and you can start or end the day with a full tummy and photos of the top Disney characters already checked off your to-do list. Selections at both breakfast and dinner are freshly prepared and served in casseroles and platters on special heated countertops - a small step up from chafing dishes.

Steakhouse 71

Breakfast Menu - Brunch Menu - Lunch Menu - Dinner Menu

Steakhouse 71 is located on the first floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort, replacing the hilariously named The Wave... of American Flavors. It is a casual steakhouse serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with decorative reminders of 1971, the year the hotel opened.

Contempo Cafe

Contempo Cafe Breakfast Menu - Contempo Cafe Kids Breakfast Menu - Contempo Cafe Lunch/Dinner Menu - Contempo Cafe Kids Lunch/Dinner Menu

Contempo Cafe is the resort's counter service restaurant. It has faster service and is less expensive than Steakhouse 71, but still has its quirks. For one, you place your order on an ATM-like touch-screen kiosk, leaving one to wonder whether dining at a $300 per night resort is supposed to feel like the self-checkout aisle at the grocery store. If you want to modify your order in any way - say, hold the onions on the flatbread - you have to walk to the pick-up window and instruct the staff. The food is fresh and tasty, but the ordering process is a bit convoluted. Noise from the nearby Chef Mickeys can drown out all but the most enthusiastic conversationalist.

Contempo Cafe participates in Disney's Rapid Fill refillable mug program, where you purchase a souvenir plastic mug once, and get free refills for the remainder of your stay. The cost is a flat $19.99 for your length of stay.

Restaurants at Contemporary participate in the Disney Dining Plan; meals cost 1 credit at Steakhouse 71, Chef Mickey's and Contempo Cafe, and 2 credits at California Grill. Tables in Wonderland cardholders are eligible for a 20% discount at most resort restaurants.

Pizza delivery is available to your room from Disney's own delivery service. Besides pizza, chicken wings, desserts, beer, wine, and sodas are also available. However, delivery can take up to 90 minutes, and the food quality is often below average. You're probably better off either walking to the food court or calling Domino's. Pizza delivery hours are 4 PM to midnight daily. A medium (16") cheese pizza costs around $14 and a pepperoni around $16. Minimum order is $15, and Disney will tack on an 18% tip, $3 delivery charge, and 7% sales tax. Thus, a $30 pizza order will cost you $40.50 delivered.

Contemporary Resort Bars and Lounges

Outer Rim Lounge is located amid the busy dining and shopping on the 4th Floor of the main tower at the Contemporary. Outer Rim Lounge has indoor seating and a full drink menu, with several beers, wines, and a selection of spirits. The lounge is usually open 4 PM to 12 AM daily. The The Sand Bar is located adjacent to the Feature Pool at the Contemporary. It also has a selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. Plus a small menu of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and desserts is available.

Transportation to and from Disney's Bay Lake Tower

Driving Your Own Car Disney's Contemporary Resort is just off of I-4 in Lake Buena Vista. Take I-4 Exit 67 - Epcot Center Dr. and you'll end up on World Drive. Take World Dr. for about 5.6 miles, and Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower will be on your right.

Disney's Contemporary Resort's GPS address and location are:

    Disney's Contemporary Resort
    4600 North World Drive
    Orlando, FL 32830

    Latitude: 28.415 North, Longitude: 81.574 West

From Orlando International Airport See our Walt Disney World Transportation Options page for information about how to get to and from Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World.

From Sanford International Airport It's about a 40-minute drive from Sanford to Disney's Contemporary Resort. If you're not renting a car, be aware that Sanford's airport offers fewer transportation options than Orlando's, and Sanford's options are generally much more expensive. A taxi from Sanford International Airport to Disney's Contemporary Resort will cost between $120 and $150, depending on traffic. Mears Transportation offers 3-passenger towncar service to Disney's Contemporary Resort for around $140 each way, plus tip; 5-passenger SUV service or 10-passenger van is around $190 each way. That means round-trip transportation will run you somewhere between $240 and $380, plus tip, between Sanford and Disney's Bay Lake Tower. At those prices, it may be less expensive to rent a car and park it at the hotel.

Getting to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney Disney provides free bus service from Contemporary Resort to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and Disney Springs. Disney's Contemporary Resort's bus stops sit along the front wall of the lobby, between the lobby and check-in parking lot. Each theme park has its own bus stop somewhere along the wall. Animal Kingdom's bus service is shared with Blizzard Beach, while Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon also share a stop and service. Bay Lake Tower does not have its own bus stop or Monorail station. Guests must use the stations at the Contemporary.

Magic Kingdom is accessed via Monorail via the station inside the Contemporary Resort's Grand Canyon Concourse. Monorail service may be suspended at any time.

Epcot is accessed by taking the Monorail via the station inside the resort's Grand Canyon Concourse to the Transportation And Ticket Center. There guests travel to Epcot via the Epcot Monorail.

Contemporary Resort's bus stop.

Disney's Contemporary Resort's Bus Schedule

Ask a Disney Castmember about Contemporary's bus schedule, and they'll tell you that buses run about every 20 minutes. In reality, Contemporary's bus schedule varies considerably depending on the time of day and where you're headed.

For example, if you're headed to the Animal Kingdom between 8 AM and 11 AM, you'll wait around 13 minutes, on average, for a bus to arrive. The bus schedules for Disney's Hollywood Studios are about the same early in the day, with a bus arriving every 8-17 minutes, on average. Bus schedules to the water parks and Disney Springs are a little less frequent, and you could wait anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for a ride.

Buses run a little slower from around 11 AM to around 4 PM, when most people are already in a park. Disney's evening buses are scheduled around the theme parks' closing times, where most of the fleet is deployed to get guests back to their hotels. Your waits to return to your hotel from a theme park should average out to around 30 minutes under most circumstances.

If you've got your own car, it's faster to drive yourself to Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks, and Disney Springs. Disney's bus service is faster to Disney's Hollywood Studios. We evaluate Disney's Contemporary Resort's bus service annually, and the latest transportation times can be found below.

Getting to another hotel from Disney's Contemporary Resort If you've got dining plans at another Disney hotel, the cheapest option is to take a Disney bus from Disney's Contemporary Resort to Disney Springs (or an open theme park), then take another bus from there to your destination hotel. Do the reverse to get back to Disney's Contemporary Resort. While that's free, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours each way. If your destination is one of the other Magic Kingdom monorail resorts, and the Magic Kingdom is still open hop on the monorail (to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian), or take a boat (to Fort Wilderness, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian). We suggest you still allow at least an hour for that.

The fastest option, however, is almost always a taxi from Contemporary to wherever you're going; it's generally not more than a $20, 15-minute cab ride to get to most Disney hotels from Contemporary, and often less. Taxis are available outside the lobby; if a taxi is not already sitting out front, the bell services desk also serves as a taxi stand, and they'll call one for you.

You can also take a boat in Bay Lake to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort, Fort wilderness, and the Magic Kingdom. This option can also take some time depending on where you are going and how frequent the boats are running.

To Universal Orlando If you're staying at Walt Disney World and don't have a car, Mears Transportation will shuttle you from your hotel to Universal and back for $18 per person. Pickup and return times are at your convenience. A one-way taxi ride is around $36, and may be the cheapest option if you have three to five people.

Shopping, Recreation and Things to Do

Note: All the fitness center, recreational activities, and gift shops are available in the Contemporary Resort's main building.

Olympiad Health Club is Contemporary's fitness center and spa. It is open 24 hours a day but attendants are only available from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Swedish, Aromatherapy, and Firm Pressure massage treatment services are available.

Watercraft Rentals are available for use in Bay Lake 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, and Sea Raycers can be rented. Prices vary. All rentals can be purchased in a booth near the Feature Pool.

Fireworks viewing deck at Top of the World Lounge.

Contemporary's gift shop is Fantasia Market. It is located on the fourth floor. As you'd expect from a Disney gift shop, Fantasia has a decent collection of souvenirs ranging from small trinkets such as keychains and pens, to embroidered jackets and Disney princess dresses. Prices for these items are about what you'd pay in the theme parks or Disney Springs.

Fantasia Market also sells basic pharmacy items such as sunscreen, aspirin, allergy and cold medicine, baby diapers and formula, shampoo, and the like. And Fantasia Market has Disney-branded cookies, chocolate, coffee tins, and similar items, if that's what you're looking for. Prices for these items are considerably higher - about double - than what you'd probably pay at home.

Also located near Fantasia Market is the The Game Station Arcade, which has a decent collection of relatively recent video and arcade games. Most games cost $0.50 to $2.00 per play, which can add up quickly. It's helpful to set a budget with your kids before they go in.

Walkers, joggers and runners can find a jogging trail. The trail is a 0.89-mile jogging trail. The trail is located on the northern end of the resort between Bay Lake Tower and the Garden Wing.

Disney's Contemporary Resort Child Care

Disney contracts with a third party company, Kids Nite Out, to provide babysitting services at the resort hotels. See our Disney resort childcare page for more information.

Miscellaneous Contemporary

There are on site washers and dryers available for guest use. For more information on guest laundry services at Walt Disney World hotels, see our WDW Laundry Information page.

If you lose something during your stay, contact Disney's Contemporary Resort's Lost and Found department by calling (407) 824-1000.

The Sky Way Bridge connects Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?
Hotel Definitely (+/- since last year)
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort 87% (+22%)
Average for WDW hotels 76% (+0%)
Average for off-site hotels 57% (+0%)

Would you stay at this hotel again?
Hotel Definitely (+/- since last year)
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort 97% (-3%)
Average for WDW hotels 92% (+2%)
Average for off-site hotels 79% (-7%)

Hotel Photos

Hotel Video

Bay Lake Tower 1-Bedroom Room Tour

Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Best and Worst Room Views at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

TouringPlans offers pictures of the view from any Disney Resort room on property. Click here for the Bay Lake Tower map and to choose a room to see the view.

If you’re paying for a Magic Kingdom view, request a room on an upper level—above the seventh floor, at least—if you don’t want to look out on the parking lot. Even-numbered rooms XX06–XX16 have the best viewing angle of the park. Rooms XX24–XX30 may technically be described as having Magic Kingdom views, but they’re oriented toward the Contemporary, and you have to turn the other way to see the park.

Room 8220: Theme Park View room on the 12th floor.
Room 8512: So close that you can hear the train whistle.

Rooms on the south side of the tower face the contemporary resort's main building. again, you'll see a lot of the parking lot in these rooms. beyond the parking lot you'll see seven seas lagoon and disney's grand floridian resort.

Room 8018: This is technically a Magic Kingdom View, but you may have to crane your neck to see it.

Low level rooms around the resort are usually tagged as standard view rooms. Views include landscaping, foliage, the courtyard and pool complex, and service areas.

Room 7142: A Standard View room with a view of Bay Lake.

We mentioned that Bay Lake Tower is laid out in a semicircle. Inside the semicircle you'll find views of the resort's Bay Cove Pool. Upper level rooms also have good views of Bay Lake.

Room 8225: 12th floor room categorized as a Bay Lake View.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
Large rooms with views of Bay Lake Studios sleep no more than 2 people comfortably
The quietest rooms in Walt Disney World Hallway decor can feel institutional
Easy walk to Magic Kingdom Bus transportation to Studios, Animal Kingdom, water parks, and Disney Springs can be shared with other monorail resorts
Convenient parking
Best louge at Walt Disney World (Top of the World Lounge)
Recreation options on Bay Lake

Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort Dining

Commuting Times to the Parks
Park Bus Monorail Walk Personal
Magic Kingdom 17.0 min 10.0 min
EPCOT 23.0 min 21.0 min
Hollywood Studios 28.0 min 23.0 min
Animal Kingdom 29.0 min 20.0 min
Disney Springs 28.0 min 16.0 min