As part of our Bay Lake Review series, Leigh Ann, Kristin, and Alex join Chad to discuss the studios and villas at Bay Lake Tower. We cover booking tips, room requests, a review of the various views and booking categories, and share our general love of Bay Lake Tower. Episode 193
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Starting with a discussion on available views, the standard view rooms always go first. Note those are on the lower floors but there is also not a lot of Standard view inventory. The second category of Theme Park view is very popular for fireworks viewing and has the least amount of inventory overall. The last view is Lake View which is still really nice, but it’s the last to sell out from a desirability viewpoint and it’s the most inventory available.
Regarding overall rooms and sizes, the tower contains 295 Disney Vacation Club units in four size configurations: studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom grand villa.
- Studio – sleeps 4, 339 square feet (standard = 24 units, lake view = 105, theme park = 18). A weakness of the Bay Lake Tower studio is the galley style kitchen. Not only are these the smallest studios in all of Disney Vacation Club on a square footage perspective, they're also the worst use of space by using a galley style kitchen that does not serve double duty as a hallway.
- 1-bedroom – sleeps 5, 803 square feet (standard = 24 units, lake view = 105, theme park = 18); king bed, queen sleeper sofa, sleeper chair; with two bathrooms. The 1-bedroom has one of the best layouts in all of DVC. The main room has floor to ceiling windows, a spacious kitchen with an island and corner-booth-style table for dining. The main room has an extra full bath and laundry room.
- 2-bedroom – sleeps 9, 1152 square feet (dedicated and lock offs); Lock-offs standard = 24 units, lake view = 105, theme park = 18); dedicated standard = 11 units, lake view = 77, 32 theme park. This unit has three bathrooms which is great for families. If you get a dedicated unit, you will get two full beds in the second bedroom.
- 3 bedroom – sleeps 12, 2044 square feet (lake and theme park views only); 14 total units including standard = 0 units, lake view = 8 , theme park = 6). All of the grand villas are on high floors so there are no standard view ones. The 6 theme park rooms are on the front of the building and each wing has three lake-view villas.
In terms of point chart values, the lowest room is 13 points a night for a standard studio in September on a Sunday through Thursday, and up to as high as 38 points, a night for a Theme park view the week of December 24-31. Bay Lake is the lowest cost room on the monorail. It's the cheapest house in the nicest neighborhood.
One bedroom starts at 24 points a night for the standard view to a high of 75 points a night. Two bedrooms start at 35 points a night to a high of 98 points a night.
Three-bedroom grand villas start at 88 points a night to a high of 207 points a night. The highest points are Christmas to New Years week December 24-31. The guests thought it was definitely the most favorable point chart on the monorail loop.
For some 11-month and 7-month booking tips, unfortunately, owners book up standard view (cheapest point use) and theme park view (wow factor) first, leaving lake view to sell out last. However, at 7 months, what’s usually not booked is lake view because there is so much inventory. Another tip is if you are afraid of heights, try to book a standard view and you will be on a lower floor such as floor two. Higher floors are lake view and theme park view. Another tip is to ask for a north-facing room for the best chance at getting a fireworks view. Lastly, because you must cross into Contemporary for food, drinks, and shopping, stay on floor five if you don’t want to take an extra elevator ride.
Bay Lake Tower Rooms Cons:
- Too cold/sterile, clinical, looks generic, looks corporate
- No Disney “theme”, however this might be good for those looking for an understated theme
- No murphy beds, still have pull-out sofas
- Studios are the smallest in all of Disney Vacation Club and poorly laid out.
- Grand Villas are on two floors with stairs – some prefer all on one floor
- The electric water pageant is loud, so pack your earplugs!
Bay Lake Tower Rooms Pros:
- Crisp and clean look with a minimalist style
- Can see the monorail from numous room views
- Can hear the train from Magic Kingdom from some rooms
- Location is incredible as it’s a short walk from your room to Magic Kingdom
- One bedrooms have two bathrooms; two bedrooms have three bathrooms
- Feels magical, like the rooms are right in the middle of the magic
- Great views from all rooms – even if you have standard view it’s not that bad
- Some Lake view rooms you can see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and the Electrical Water Pageant
- Room is beautifully appointed
- Small, boutique resort with it’s own check-in and bell services
- Easy access from your room to the Contemporary and all of its amenities. Since everything is over there it keeps Bay Lake very quiet compared to other resorts
- Full length windows in Grand Villa facing Magic Kingdom
- Some bathrooms on the Magic Kingdom side include movable partitions to permit watching the park's fireworks displays from the bathtub
Today's show was produced by Roxanne Steele. Show notes by Roxanne Steel. Editing and audio mastering by Chad Pennycuff.
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