You’re at Bay Lake Tower, What Should You Do?

As a Disney Vacation Club member, you know the deal. You’re much more likely to explore all the entertainment options at the resort where you’re staying. It’s convenient to do so, and you’ll find a seemingly bottomless list of activities.

For this reason, I’m starting a new series to discuss what’s unique at the various resorts. Let’s say that you’re staying at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Which activities should you do?

Eat by the Monorail 

Three different DVC properties fall under the category of monorail resorts. While the overwhelming majority of members love all three places, the Contemporary distinguishes itself.

At this resort, you can do more than use the monorail as a form of transportation. It also provides a purely Disney backdrop for some of your meals.

Chef Mickeys Sign at in Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort

You’ll find the monorail on the Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary. It’s the hotel’s fourth floor, but it’s a short walk across a bridge away from the fifth floor of Bay Lake Tower

When you make that trek, you can dine at the Contempo Café or Chef Mickey’s. During these meals, you can watch the monorail enter and exit the building. It’s a special kind of magic you’ll only find at Disney. Specifically, DVC members will only find it when staying at Bay Lake Tower. 

Enjoy the View 

You can book two unique Room Types at Bay Lake Tower. I’m devout about Lake View because I find it breathtaking. One of my favorite things at Disney is to spend a rainy afternoon in my room, watching the precipitation splash down. 

For most DVC members, the real joy involves Theme Park View. This Room Type offers you a constant view of Magic Kingdom. You can sip your morning coffee while watching the crowds flock to Tomorrowland. In the evening, you can end the night by watching the fireworks from the comfort of your hotel room. These experiences embody the brilliance of a Disney vacation.

Go Swimming

Every DVC pool is spectacular in its own way. So, I don’t plan to mention the pool at each resort. It’s implied. 

Still, I want to highlight the options at Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary because I’m a fan. The original hotel’s main pool has always included one of the best backdrops at Walt Disney World. The serene setting by the lake adds to the Disney Bubble vibe. You can truly forget the outside world here. 

Conversely, the intimacy of Bay Lake Tower differentiates it, and I love its circular waterslide as well. This is one of my favorite pools for lounging and enjoying the Florida weather. 

Hang out in the Lounge

Bay Lake Tower is one of my Big Three, the resorts where I’m most likely to stay. Something I’ve done many times is hang out at the Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair, although the “Villains” part is still fairly new.

Disney created something unique here for DVC members: a Bay Lake Tower version of California Grill’s observation deck. Qualifying members can ride an elevator to the hotel’s top floor and watch Magic Kingdom from a bird’s-eye perspective. It’s mesmerizing. 

The new theme is also terrific. You’ll have fun connecting the dots of the various decorations, drinks, and appetizers to the applicable villains. 

Play Pickleball 

Photo courtesy of Lost Bros

You must admire Disney’s willingness to adapt quickly whenever a new crazy sweeps across society. For instance, when pickleball soared in popularity, the Contemporary updated its tennis court.

While pickleball enthusiasts are quick to point out that the net here is a bit taller than regulation courts, that’s a nitpick. In reality, it’s remarkable that Disney added a pickleball option on the hotel campus, thereby allowing guests to play the ascendant activity. Our friends over at the Lost Bros recently answer some commonly asked questions on their blog

Given the sport’s ascendant popularity, you may struggle to book the court on crowded dates. However, it’s a lighted court and is thereby open later than most. 

Also, you don’t have to worry about bringing your own racquets. Disney rents them onsite. Speaking of which…

Rent Something Aquatic

The Contemporary was one of Walt Disney World’s original two luxury hotels. Management has always treated it as such, providing plush amenities and countless rental options.

When you stay at Bay Lake Tower, you can head to the rental center by the Contemporary’s main pool. There, you’ll find anything from pontoon boats to speed boats to fishing boats available for rental. 

Please be aware that Disney expects you to practice catch-and-release, though. Also, guests under 12 should wear life jackets at all times while using Disney rental equipment.

Spend Some Quarters

Okay, that’s outdated lexicon since nobody uses quarters anymore…or cash for that matter. Still, visiting an arcade will always remain synonymous with dropping quarters into a machine. 

Many DVC resorts host arcades, but some tower above the rest. For as long as I can remember, the Contemporary has been home to an arcade, starting with the legendary Fiesta Fun Center in the 1970s. 

The spirit of that arcade lives on at The Game Station, a surprisingly modern game room. A visit here will remind you of Dave & Buster’s…but without the soggy fries. 

Watch the Fireworks

When you stay at Bay Lake Tower, you’re only five minutes away from Magic Kingdom. So, many spots at the hotel provide breathtaking views of the nightly fireworks presentations at Cinderella Castle.

I already mentioned my favorite, Theme Park View. However, if you don’t want to spend the extra points, you’ll find several other places with exceptional fireworks views. 

For starters, the bridge between Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary is quite good. I’ve stood here and watched Wishes/Happily Ever After on many occasions. There’s even seating on the Grand Canyon Concourse side if you arrive early enough to snag it. 

Obviously, the Top of the World Lounge and its sibling, California Grill, are ideal for this experience. You don’t need to do anything that fancy, though. 

You can exit an elevator on one of the higher floors and look out the window to see the show. In a pinch, there’s one other option. Disney broadcasts the nightly fireworks on one of the television channels, too. 

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