Much has changed in 7 years at Bay Lake Tower

Happy 7th birthday to the Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort!

Bay Lake Tower

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.

Bay Lake Tower

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.

Bay Lake Tower

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.

Bay Lake Tower

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.

Bay Lake Tower

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 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”.

DVCNews Reader Comments:
Additional changes since BLT opened in 2009 -- denlo
2016 Aug 04 03:27:41 PM
The 1 and 2 bedroom villas all have shears at the windows with the 2016 renovation. The studio was deemed to not have enough space between the couch and the drapes to add sheers. Does anyone know if the Grand villas now have sheers as well? I wish the could add the sheers to the studio because the afternoon sun is really not especially in the summer for the theme park view rooms.

2009 hall carpet

2016 hall carpet

Does anyone else know of any other changes to BLT since 2009?
Re: Much has changed in 7 years at Bay Lake Tower -- DuckTalesWooHoo
2016 Aug 04 09:05:54 PM
I tell people 3 times a year "I'm going home for the next 8 days" and they say "What are you talking about?" and I say "Bay Lake Tower".
Bathroom kitchen -- Meh
2016 Aug 04 10:29:37 PM
The term used internally was b-itchin. I kid you not. So many said it was a disaster in the making, but a select few had the sway to force it through. At least the company eventually saw the ickiness of combining the two ends of the digestive system. Just sayin... It was a battle

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...
Re: Much has changed in 7 years at Bay Lake Tower -- Meh
2016 Aug 04 10:32:59 PM
They redid the founder's fountain, since the original tiles rusted.

And.... They added locks to the bathroom doors. Sliding doors without locks presented many challenges to family vacations.
Answer to question re sheers in the VGF -- BethBruin
2016 Aug 05 12:59:57 PM
We stayed in a lake view one bedroom for our first visit there after buying in 2014. That room definitely had sheers. They were much appreciated both for privacy from the walkway and sun shielding. I sure hope the studios have them too.
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