Happy 7th birthday to the Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort!
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
On August 4, 2009, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort opened as the ninth Disney Vacation Club resort. It was the first high-rise DVC resort — 16 stories tall — and the first to offer direct access to the monorail loop.
Several changes have occurred at Bay Lake Tower since it welcomed its first guest seven years ago. One of the biggest changes was the retrofitting of the studio bathrooms. Initially, the vanity sink in the studio was not in the bathroom but in the kitchenette area, instead. This proved to be very unpopular, since guests complained about washing up and fixing their hair in the same space where they made their coffee or prepared food. Within months of the resort’s opening, Disney changed the layout of the studios, taking the vanity sink out of the kitchenette area and putting it in its traditional place in the bathroom.
Original bathroom + kitchenette configuration
Another big change occurred in 2013 when Disney repurposed Bay Lake Tower’s lobby so that more guest services could be offered. Instead of having to go to the Contemporary Resort to check in or out or talk to a concierge cast member, Disney remodeled Bay Lake Tower’s lobby, adding a front desk to handle guests who are checking in or out, a concierge desk, and greeters and valet service to assist with checking in or out of the resort.
Original lobby layout
In June 2016, Disney added valet parking at Bay Lake Tower.
Over the years, other changes have occurred at the resort. In response to member feedback, DVC redefined ten villas’ view category from Theme Park View to Standard View. The Top of the World Lounge, which was initially available only to DVC members staying at Bay Lake Tower, is now available to any DVC member staying at any Disney resort at Walt Disney World.
Updated resort lobby
In 2016, Bay Lake Tower underwent its first soft goods refurbishment. Carpets in both the villas and hallways, drapes, sofa and chair covers, and linens are being changed. In addition, shears are being added to the windows in the one and two bedroom villas.
Post-refurb room decor
One more thing that has changed in the last seven years: the price. When sales started, Bay Lake Tower’s base price was $112 a point. With discounts and special offers, it was quite possible to buy points direct from Disney for around $90 per point.
Seven years later, the direct price today stands at $180 per point.
Wil Lovato is a contributor to DVCNews.com and has been a Disney Vacation Club owner since 2009. His DVC Home Resorts include Bay Lake Tower, Animal Kingdom Villas, and Aulani. He can be found posting on many Disney discussion forums under the username of “wdrl”.
2009 hall carpet
2016 hall carpet
Does anyone else know of any other changes to BLT since 2009?
the other fun fact about the early days was that the building was originally to be called "Kingdom Tower", which was nixed due to some fear that it sounded like something that a person knocking on your door pushing their religion than a reference to the "Magic" next door...
And.... They added locks to the bathroom doors. Sliding doors without locks presented many challenges to family vacations.