A year ago, we decided that we wanted to spend the 4th of July at Bay Lake Tower to watch the fireworks. Because we "own" points at BLT we can book 11 months out from our check in date which we did as soon as it became available - studio with a theme park view for July 3rd and 4th 2014!
Okay back to the present - the weekend had finally arrived...and did not disappoint! We COULD have gone up to Top of the World to watch the fireworks but we enjoyed the private view from our room so much we just stayed there both nights. When we went home on Saturday I was sad to leave and realized how much I loved this place. It seemed like every time I turned around, I found a new reason to love Bay Lake Tower. Here's just a few of them:
1) You can walk (or run) to the Magic Kingdom! Due to our seasonal passes being on summer black out we weren't able to able to go into the parks, but how cool is it that we can avoid the craziness of the busses in the morning and just walk??? Or stay in the park until some ungodly hour with Extra Magic Hours and just walk home (or take a nap in the middle of the day)? And as a runner, its one of my favorite places to run on property. You have to get up early to avoid the crowds but running down the pathway towards Magic Kingdom, past the boat dock towards Grand Floridian to where the path ends is such a peaceful run.
The run from the end of the sidewalk in front of Bay Lake Tower, in front of Contemporary, across the street (be careful!), past the Magic Kingdom entrance (follow the bricks), to the end of "the path to nowhere" is not quite 1 mile - and if you time it right you can stop to catch the "Welcome show"!
There is also a nice jogging trail that goes around the back of the building and around the Contemporary property.
2) "Magical Touches". Bay Lake Tower always gives me that "I'm on vacation!" classic Disney feeling. How can it not with Disney touches everywhere. Castle murals in the entry way, Disney art work on every floor and in every room and oh yeah - you can see the castle.
The feel of BLT is very uh..."contemporary" which makes sense since it is the sister resort of the Contemporary resort next door. I like to call it "IKEA style" which is where Im sure a majority of the furniture came from. But I like the light walls with dark furniture with accents of light greens, light blues, yellows and oranges.
|1 Bedroom (is anyone else drooling over the artwork?)|
Even if you don't have a theme park view room you can get some pretty spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom from the hallways.
There's even a giant "hidden" Mickey on the water slide!
3) Speaking of water slide. I need to talk about the pool! It doesn't get very crowded because ONLY Bay Lake Tower guests can use it (you have to have a key to get in the gate). The Cove Bar is a great place to grab a light snack or maybe a nice cool drink (or a sushi snack like we did :D).
|The splash pad. The pool is behind those chairs|
In addition, there's a hot tub which has a beautiful view over looking Bay Lake - pretty awesome in the mornings you can watch the ferry boats come out of their docking to start a new day.
4) Fireworks. The whole reason we booked our stay at Bay Lake Tower. I COULD go watch the fireworks inside Magic Kingdom with several thousand of my closet friends or watch from the comfort of my own balcony.....yeah I choose B too. :D
Watching the fireworks from your room gives a pretty interesting perspective of the fireworks as you can see they are shot off quite aways behind Space Mountain and not directly behind the castle. The fireworks for the 4th also had fireworks going off from the Seven Seas Lagoon near the Grand Floridian to achieve a 360 degree effect inside the park.
|This picture gives you an idea of how far behind Space Mountain the fireworks are shot off|
Disney is also nice enough to pipe in the music for the nightly fireworks on one of the TV stations. And if you don't have a theme park view room (or just feel like a little something extra) you could always go up to....
5) The Top of the World Lounge. Bay Lake Tower is the only DVC resort with a "private lounge" for its guests. For most of the year, the current policy is any guests staying on points at ANY DVC resort can come visit Top of the World but the weekend we were there and a few other major holiday weekends (especially New Years and 4th of July) its open only to guests staying at Bay Lake Tower.
Access to the lounge is a bit tedious as you have to go down to the first floor to check in with a cast member who takes you up in a special elevator but once you're up there its all worth it.
6) And last but not least, what kind of WDW fan would I be if I didn't mention food? The amount of restaurants accessible from Bay Lake Tower on foot or a quick monorail or boat ride is awesome! And that doesn't include restaurants inside the Magic Kingdom! On this trip we took the elevator down to the 5th floor to the skyway bridge and walked over to the Contemporary for a lunch at Contempo Cafe and a dinner at The Wave.
|The bridge between the two buildings takes you right across to the 5th level of the Contemporary where Chef Mickey's, Contempo Cafe and the shops are located. Its just a quick walk up to the monorail station!|
On our last morning we walked over to the Contemporary and took the monorail over to the Polynesian for breakfast at Kona. That's just the start of the list of access without getting in a car or on a bus!
Polynesian Contemporary Wilderness Lodge
Kona Cafe Contempo Cafe Artist's Point
'Ohana Chef Mickey's Territory Lounge
Captain Cook's The Wave Roaring Forks Snacks
Tambu Lounge Outer Rim Lounge Whispering Canyon
Spirit of Aloha Show Hoop-De-Doo
Grand Floridian Cafe
1900 Park Fare
Garden View Tea Room
Victoria and Albert's
Victoria and Albert's
And if you do need to get to another resort and don't have a car or just don't want to drive, walk the easy 1/2 mile to Magic Kingdom and take a bus!
Okay, that made me hungry....I'll stop there - I think you get how awesome Bay Lake Tower is. ;)