Tips For Your First Stay At DVC’s Bay Lake Tower



Disney DVC Bay Lake Tower

Located within walking distance of Magic Kingdom, Bay Lake Tower is a convenient, luxury Disney Vacation Club Resort. We have gathered all the information you may need to make your first stay at DVC’s Bay Lake Tower a magical one!

Resort Overview

Opened in August of 2009, Bay Lake Tower is the Disney Vacation Club Resort attached to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Bay Lake Tower continues the theming of the Contemporary Resort, with modern, sleek touches and colorful art of classic characters to add that Disney touch.

As the name implies, the Disney Vacation Club villa rooms are all contained in a tower, north of the main Contemporary Resort building. The tower is laid out in a semi-circle, with rooms facing all cardinal directions and offering view of Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon, the Contemporary Resort, and the Magic Kingdom. Bay Lake Tower offers three view types from the villa rooms: standard view, lake view, and theme park view. Sights from theme park view room balcony are unparalleled!

The tower is conveniently connected to the main Contemporary building via the covered, outdoor Sky Way Bridge on the fifth floor of Bay Lake Tower to the fourth floor of the Contemporary–where the gift shops and many dining offerings are located. And although the monorail does not go through Bay Lake Tower like it does the A-frame building of the Contemporary Resort, the Sky Way Bridge does offer spectacular monorail views of the most magical place on earth all day and night.

Walt Disney World Monorail
Monorail leaving the Contemporary Resort.

Grab A Bite To Eat

Most of the amenities for Bay Lake Tower are shared with the Contemporary Resort, but with that handy Sky Way Bridge access everything is just a quick walk away.

Quick Service

Contempo Café is the main quick service eatery at the Contemporary Resort and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During breakfast, you can feast on Mickey waffles, bacon, eggs, breakfast potatoes, and a variety of pastries. The Bounty Platter comes with eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, fruit, and a mini Mickey waffle for $12.99, which is a pretty great price for a Disney breakfast! During lunch and dinner service, Contempo Café offers salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and plenty of tasty snacks and desserts. The dessert selection here is outstanding and should not be missed. They often have specialty cupcakes, and the peanut butter pie is a crowd pleasing favorite.

Table Service

For a sit down meal, you have plenty of options! Chef Mickey’s is a character meal open for breakfast and dinner featuring the Fab 5 in chef attire. This is a fantastic way to meet the classic characters while enjoying a meal and experiencing the wonder of the monorail running through the Contemporary. If you are looking for table service lunch, or character meals aren’t your thing, check out Steakhouse 71, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the newest restaurant in the Contemporary Resort, opening for the 50th celebration of Walt Disney World. Dishes here are some of Walt’s favorites, and this moderately priced, casual steakhouse offers American classics to please your entire travel party.

Chef Mickey at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Photo: Disney).

Signature dining at the Contemporary Resort is put on display at the California Grill, open for dinner. Ascend a private elevator up to the 15th floor of the Contemporary to experience exquisite, California inspired cuisine, and breathtaking views of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. For the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World resort, California Grill is offering a three course tasting experience for $89 per adult and $39 per child, plus tax and gratuity. Previously, California Grill offered a more standard a la cart menu; stay tuned to DVC Shop Blog for future updates. If you have the opportunity to dine at California Grill during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, I highly suggest it. The restaurant dims the lights and plays the fireworks music, while you experience the show through floor to ceiling windows. A window seat during the nighttime spectacular is a memory you will never forget. Plus, from the outdoor viewing area you can often also see the EPCOT nighttime fireworks. There is nothing better than enjoying a delectable meal topped off with firework spectaculars from both EPCOT and Magic Kingdom.

Lounges & Snacks

Beyond the standard dining options, do not forget about the array of lounges and snacks available to you! Contemporary Grounds is the perfect quick stop to jumpstart your day with some Joffrey’s coffee and pastries. Enjoy drinks and snacks from the Cove Bar or Sand Bar, depending on which pool you are lounging at. Wind down with a drink from expert bartenders at the Outer Rim. And if you cannot manage to secure a reservation to Steakhouse 71 or California Grill, both of these table service restaurants have an attached lounge. Lounges are first come, first served, and you can grab anything from a light snack to a satiating meal at the lounge. Plus, while the lounge seats at California Grill do not offer the best fireworks view, you can take advantage of the outdoor viewing areas for sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom.

The gem of being a Bay Lake Tower guest though is access to the Top of the World lounge, which sits on the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower and offers fireworks views of the Magic Kingdom akin to those at California Grill. Typically, Disney Vacation Club owners and their guests have been granted complimentary access to the lounge most nights of the year, where members can sip on drinks and indulge in some light food snacks in the interior seating portion or on the outdoor deck. This lovely lounge has primarily been closed since the theme parks re-opened in 2020, but stay tuned to the DVC Shop Blog for the latest updates.

Pools

Bay Lake Tower guests enjoy exclusive access to the Bay Cove Pool, with a 20 foot tall, 148 foot long water slide, children’s water play feature, and hot tub area. The pool are also offers extensive views of Bay Lake–perfect for a relaxing way to wind down.

Bay Lake Tower Pool
Spend a day of your vacation relaxing at the pool!

Additionally, Bay Lake Tower guests can use the Contemporary Resort’s pools: the Main Pool and the Bay Lake Pool. Here, guests can rent a private cabana for a luxurious afternoon. The Main Pool, like the Bay Cove Pool, features a long water slide and hot tub area. The Bay Lake Pool is the “quiet” pool offering, without the hustle and bustle of slides and other entertainment.

You Won’t Want To Miss

In addition to dining and the pools, there are plenty of other activities at Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary Resort to take in. Enjoy a game of volleyball at the Boat Nook Marina, or jog around Bay Lake Tower and the South Garden Wing of the Contemporary Resort on a marked running trail. You can also rent a boat to cruise around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon if you want a truly unique experience. Plus, do not forget a huge highlight of this resort: being so close to the Magic Kingdom.

In the morning, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom front gates on a paved path with your own security station. Avoid hitting the snooze button to take advantage of light crowds in the mornings. And with such a short walk back to your resort, it is easy to come and go from the Magic Kingdom to experience all of the dining offerings at the Contemporary Resort. Furthermore, while it certainly is tempting to be in the theme parks until they close, be sure to take at least one evening to stay at your resort. Between the outdoor decks at California Grill and Top of the World Lounge, the views from the Sky Way Bridge, your room, large windows in common spaces of Bay Lake Tower, and the Contemporary’s fourth floor observation deck there are plenty of spots to take in the fireworks right from the resort. Or consider splurging for one or two nights in a theme park view room to enjoy the show from your own private balcony. And after the fireworks, stick around to see the Electric Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Speak with front desk Cast Members for current times, but the Electric Water Pageant often comes by Bay Lake Tower a bit after 10 p.m.

Disney Magic Kingdom Fireworks
Fireworks seen over Magic Kingdom from a distance.

Did You Know?

Bay Lake Tower was the first Disney Vacation Club resort in the monorail loop! Now all of these deluxe properties have a DVC component–Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows and forthcoming tower, and the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa–but Bay Lake Tower is the oldest of these three.

Want to stay at Bay Lake Tower on your next Disney World vacation? DVC Shop can help! Check out our rental services!

Written by

Jacqueline R.


Contributing Writer

Jacqueline is a PhD scientist with a passion for synthesizing detailed information in an understandable format. She is a Disney Vacation Club owner, overall Disney fan, and the primary content creator on the YouTube channel Pixie Dust PhD.