Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bay Lake Tower – Walt Disney World Resorts

Disney’s Contemporary Resort was never on my radar for Disney Resorts that I wanted to stay at.  Honestly, it was probably at the bottom.  However, we got a great Travel Agent rate this past summer so we decided to go for it!  Find out what the Lau’s thought of Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bay Lake Tower and why we found it hard to stop comparing it to the last Deluxe we stayed at! 

We were finally staying at a Disney Monorail Resort!

When I thought of staying at a resort that was on the monorail, I never thought I’d choose the Contemporary Resort.  For starters, the theme is just not my cup of tea.  It doesn’t feel very “Disney” outside of the main area of the resort.  However, it is typically the most affordable Deluxe resort on the monorail, so we decided to give it a try.  I loved seeing all of the monorails going in and out of the main building – and more often then not I’d yell out “MONORAIL SHOT!”  I couldn’t help myself!

Contemporary MonorailMary Blair Mural

Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bay Lake Tower is actually a DVC property!

We actually stayed in Disney’s Contemporary Bay Lake Tower.  This is the big tower that sits near Bay Lake (go figure).  We were in a Deluxe Studio – Lake View room.  These rooms had 1 queen bed and a double-sized sleeper sofa.  What I also liked about the room (as compared to a standard resort room) was that it had a kitchenette with small fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.  But the best part of the room was the balcony with the beautiful view of the lake!  Sitting out there in the morning and watching the sun come up on the glistening water was the best way to start my day!

Bay Lake View

Not much to do in the Bay Lake Tower…  all of the fun is in the Main Tower.

The one thing that is a little disappointing about staying in the Bay Lake Tower is that there isn’t much to do in the building.  All of the shops are in the Main Tower.  The Main Tower is just a quick walk away, so it really isn’t a big deal, but it was HOT and sometimes I didn’t want to walk over there at all!  Or should I say, I didn’t want to leave the Main Tower because I wanted to stay where all the fun was at!

Walkway from Bay Lake Tower to Contemporary

I’ve heard some of the best restaurants are here…  but we didn’t get to try them!

There are numerous restaurants, bars, & lounges at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  The California Grill & The Wave are both highly rated Disney restaurants, but sadly we didn’t get to try either.  We did grab a bite to eat at the quick service Contempo Cafe and it was surprisingly delicious!  All three of us ordered something different and we were all happy with our choices.  That’s rare for the Lau’s!

Of course if you are looking for character dining then look no further then Chef Mickey’s.  This classic Breakfast or Dinner with the fab 5 will be sure to satisfy your character dining experience (but the food isn’t all that great).  We haven’t been since our first trip in 2013, however I do believe it’s still just typical buffet food.

Restaurants at ContemporaryMonorail while eating

I hate to say it, but I think the worst pool award might go to Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

I hate being negative about Disney, because truly it is magical no matter what…  but both pools were disappointing.  Probably because we had last stayed at Disney’s Beach Club where the pool was AMAZING.  We went for a quick swim at the Bay Lake Tower pool and it was nothing special.  Ashtyn said that the slide was decent though and he went on that a couple of times.  We took a walk over to check out the pool and splash pad area at the Main Tower, but that didn’t really look any better.  Luckily we didn’t really have a lot of time to spend at the pool anyway, so it didn’t really matter.  Ashtyn actually enjoyed the outside games in the pool area better!  They had ping pong, connect 4, and a large chess board.

Bay Lake Tower Pool AreaSplash Pad at Contemporary

There’s lots to do on the lake – for an extra price!

There are a ton of recreation options on Bay Lake for an extra charge that my husband would LOVE to do!  You can rent boats, do fishing excursions, and there is even a special Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage!


Watching Happily Ever After from the top of Bay Lake Tower was the BEST part!

If you are staying in a Bay Lake Tower room you have access to the observation deck on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower.  We were lucky enough to be staying on the 16th floor anyway – and it was just a short walk down the hall from our room.  From this observation deck you get a beautiful view of Magic Kingdom (specifically Cinderella’s Castle & Space Mountain).  This makes it a prime spot to enjoy the night time fireworks – and they even pump in the music!  You really can’t see the castle projections, but the fireworks and music was beautiful.  And it was also kinda nice to enjoy it without people all over the place.  This was definitely my favorite part of the whole stay there!

View from Observation Deck


Overall, we had a hard time not comparing it to Disney’s Beach Club – but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t positive things about it.  Although, we probably wouldn’t stay there again.  I would however recommend it to anyone who would like to try out a monorail resort, but may not be able to afford the other two resorts.


Walt Disney World Bay Lake Tower Review





This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Anonymous


  2. Anonymous


  3. Nicole

    I love the video you did in the room. So helpful to see the room like that

    1. Taryn

      Thanks! It helps understand the layout better I think!

  4. Skyway to Wonderland

    That Mary Blair mural!! I go out of my way to see it each trip!

    1. Taryn

      It’s so beautiful and fun!

  5. Kendra Lund

    In my quest to stay at all the Disney resorts, the Contemporary is low on the list. Feels good to know I’m not the only one who feels it lacks in some areas

    1. Taryn

      Yes. It was last on my list too. Not that it’s BAD. Just definitely not my favorite.

  6. Kristen

    I’ve been researching renting DVC points to see if I can get this resort within our budget (the exchange rate and travel costs eat up so much of a budget!) I’ve always loved the contemporary!

    1. Taryn

      I’d like to try out renting DVC points as well just to try it out. For the blogs sake of course… haha!

  7. We ate at The Wave years ago, and I still remember how good the food and the customer service were. You had the monorail there. Did you also enjoy the walk to Magic Kingdom?

    1. Taryn

      We never walked! Only because riding the monorail was so much more fun!

  8. Sarah

    We actually LOVE Bay Lake Tower. I didn’t think I would but I loved everything about our room and Top of the World Lounge.

    1. Taryn

      I did love having access to the observation deck!

  9. The Mouselets

    I really appreciate this honest review, especially of the pools! I would love to stay here just to try it, and for the fireworks view. But, I think other deluxe resorts are higher on my must-stay list!

    1. Taryn

      Yes! Animal Kingdom Lodge is next on ours!

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