Disney’s Bay Lake Tower – All About Shapes!

Where at Disney World can you find circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, cylinders, ovals, parallelograms, and more specifically combined in endless combinations?  Which resort features modern design, pops of color and whimsical artwork with an emphasis on harmony through geometry?  Which unique place beautifully captures the artistry of lines, curves, and angles everywhere you look?  Of course, I’m talking about Bay Lake Tower.

Disney’s Bay Lake Tower – All About Shapes!

I grew up with a fairly strong dislike for all things math-related (a polite way of saying I loathed arithmetic!).  English was my favorite subject and science was fine, I simply didn’t get the lure of numbers…until 10th grade geometry.  I’d finally found a form of math I loved!  Oh, the fun of arcs, lines, angles and shapes and all the measurements within!  Maybe that explains why while others find Bay Lake Tower lacking in theme, I find it wonderful.  From the lobby through the halls and elevators, even along the walkway that connects Bay Lake Tower to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, I find the use of shapes amazing and like everywhere else at Disney World, I always find something I’ve never noticed before.

I’ll admit, It may not have the Contemporary’s Mary Blair mural or the Grand Floridian’s Victorian charm.  There’s no tropical Polynesian foliage and certainly no majestic, soaring lobby.  But that doesn’t mean Bay Lake Tower is boring, it means the place has a quality and ambiance all its own.

From the majestic, curving edifice to the tiniest interior details, Bay Lake Tower is a feast for the shape-loving eye.  Enhanced by soothing neutrals and splashes of bright color, our favorite home-away-from-home is to us, a fun and cheerful corner of the World.  Those imaginative design elements and Bay Lake Tower’s location right next door to Magic Kingdom make it practically perfect in every way.  If you every get the chance to stay in this particular Disney Vacation Club resort, prepare to be amazed by the creative use of all things geometric!

Have you stayed at Bay Lake Tower?  What did you think?

 

Dawn & Dusk at Walt Disney World

RM-Sunset-Seven-Seas-LagoonWith so many gorgeous and captivating Disney details everywhere at Disney World, it’s often hard to notice the spectacular beginnings and endings to the day provided naturally by the Sunshine State.  Early mornings are often missed getting ready to hit the parks for rope-drop and early evenings are completely ignored in favor of delicious meals in a favorite restaurant.  Once I notice what I was missing, I started making it a point to pause and appreciate those breathtaking moments I’d been ignoring.

Some amazing sights are afforded by Dawn & Dusk at Walt Disney World – here are five of my favorites:

Sunrise over Bay Lake:  Peaceful, misty, and absolutely gorgeous, watching the sun rise on Bay Lake is one of my favorite activities when I’m lucky enough to get a lake view room in Bay Lake Tower.  RM-Sunrise-Bay-Lake-Tower RM-Sunrise-Bay-Lake-Shore RM-Sunrise-Bay-LakeAt first, the scene looks as still as a post card picture, but shore birds are waking for the day and boats are soon moving across the water.  I just soak it all in while sipping a cup of coffee – it’s the kind of quiet time every great vacation should include.

Sunset over the Seven Seas Lagoon:  A window seat in the California Grill is a great vantage point for some gorgeous sunset viewing.  RM-Sunset-From-California-Grill RM-Sunset-Over-Seven-Seas-LagoonBut the walkway between the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower works just as well (first pictures on this page were shot there).  Absolutely worth taking the time to enjoy!

Sunrise on the road to (or from) the Magic Kingdom:  You might not have to enter a runDisney race to catch the particular beauty, but that’s how I saw some pretty awesome sights.  RM-Sunrise-runDisney-road-past-BLT RM-Sunrise-runDisney-Princess-HalfRM-Sunrise-Magic-KingdomDuring the Princess Half Marathon, I was a tiny bit too late to see the sun rise on Cinderella Castle, but if you’re planning on attending the next 24-Hour event, be sure not to miss that!  I bet it’s incredible.

Sunrise over the World Showcase Lagoon:  Again, I was in Epcot before the sun came up for a runDisney event, but I had to stop and take a picture when I saw how still and beautiful everything looked in the early morning light.  RM-Sunrise-World-Showcase-Lagoon RM-Sunrise-Boardwalk-AreaThe sunrise is also very beautiful in the Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club area – and except for my fellow runners, very few people were out and about to enjoy the view.

Sunset at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I’m sorry I don’t have more pictures to share.  To me, there’s something very special about this resort any time of the day, but as the sun is slowly sinking, the buildings glow and it’s easy to feel as if you’ve been transported to Africa.  RM-Sunset-AKL RM-Sunset-Animal-Kingdom-LodgeBook a dinner reservation at one of the Lodge’s fantastic restaurants and plan to catch the sunset!

Your turn!  What are your favorite places to catch the views of dawn or dusk at Disney World?

 

Disney World’s Top of the World Lounge

RM-Top-of-the-World-Lounge-Menu-SeatingMaybe you’ve heard of it, maybe not.  On the very top floor of Bay Lake Tower is a cozy little lounge with a heck of a view.  It’s a special little corner of the World, reserved for Disney Vacation Club members, and we recently stopped in to see what all the hubbub’s about.

The view from the “balcony”, which is actually more of an outdoor walled walkway, is absolutely grand – it’s what makes this an especially popular spot during the Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  From the 15th floor, Bay Lake Tower’s proximity to Magic Kingdom is breathtaking.  RM-Top-of-the-World-Lounge-ViewFor Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend, we found ourselves enjoying studio accommodations at Bay Lake Tower about four doors down from the Top of the World Lounge.  Note:  For guests not staying at Bay Lake Tower, a Cast Member will ask to see a DVC membership card before allowing visitors up to the Lounge.

We’d come straight from a big dinner and only wanted coffee and dessert.  We didn’t spend a lot of time pouring over the menu, but there are both sweet and savory snack offerings along with a variety of specialty cocktails, beer, and wine.  Lots of folks only come for the view and a cocktail.  The food is okay, but not the main draw here.  RM-Top-of-the-World-Lounge-CoffeeWe ordered specialty coffees and a gigantic slice of cake.  The coffees were tasty, but the cake was a little disappointing.  Not horrible, but lacking flavor – the dessert was mainly just very sweet.  (I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of it before we’d tried a couple of bites.)RM-Top-of-the-World-Lounge-Cake

If you’re a DVC member and want to visit the Top of the World Lounge for the atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed.  You can expect a great view, super décor, mediocre food, decent service, and Disney World prices.  RM-Top-of-the-World-Lounge-Chandelier RM-Top-of-the-World-Lounge-Menu-Monorail-ArtThe Lounge has a cool, modern theme and the monorail wall art is amazing!  The Top of the World Lounge would make a fun stop on the Resort Loop Pub Crawl.

Tim Brooks at Dad for Disney wrote this great article about the Contemporary Resort’s original Top of the World Lounge.

Are you a DVC member who has visited the Top of the World Lounge?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

 

DVC – Bay Lake Tower Studio Tour and Review

RM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Contemporary-ViewWe have always loved Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  More than the design and theme, which we like well enough (especially the Mary Blair mural in the Grand Canyon Concourse).  We are crazy in love with the location – to us, the ability to walk to the Magic Kingdom just can’t be beat.  And the restaurants – we love those too.  And the monorail whooshing right on into the building.  Well, you get the idea.  We always knew if a DVC resort became available by the Contemporary, we’d be all in.  That’s why Bay Lake Tower is our home away from home.

One of the most important aspects of the Disney Vacation Club for our family, is the ability to use your points how, when and where you like (based on availability).  When we needed a place to sleep six, Bay Lake Tower’s two bedroom lock-off option was perfect for us – master bedroom (king bed) and bath, full kitchen with living room (pull-out queen sofa and chair-and-a-half) and a connecting studio (two double beds).  When Raymond and I travel alone, we just need a studio.  Able to book at our home resort 11 months in advance, we were, for our most recent visit, able to book a lake view studio (339 square feet) which was perfect in every way!RM-BLT-Studio-Sleeping-Area

Arriving from the airport via Disney’s Magical Express, check-in is in the Contemporary lobby (we opted not to check-in online to see how the in-person version works).  Greeted immediately upon stepping down from the bus by a very friendly and efficient Cast Member, we were promptly escorted into the lobby and handed off to the helpful young man at the check-in counter.  The process was quick and easy and we were told our room was ready. We got our room number and informational materials and headed off for the short walk to Bay Lake Tower.  There is now a new check-in counter in the Bay Lake Tower lobby, but it is not for guests arriving via Magical Express.RM-BLT-Studio-Main-Room

We were a tiny bit disappointed to find out our room was on the 3rd floor.  The 5th floor is super convenient to the walkway between Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary.  The higher floors seem to have the best views.  We were surprisingly happy exactly where we were!  Our balcony overlooked Bay Lake and the grounds of the Contemporary and – as a bonus – was a perfect viewing area for the Electrical Walter Pageant on the evenings we found ourselves back in our room in time to enjoy it.RM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Sunrise

Our room had a queen bed, sofa, table and chairs, television, dresser, kitchenette, and bathroom.  The tiny kitchenette makes amazing use of a small space!  In the far left corner of the kitchen area is a little extra vanity with shelves, mirror and outlets.RM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Kitchen-Vanity  I was able to shower first then move into the kitchenette to apply makeup, style my hair, etc.  The kitchen also boasts an incredible amount of storage – including a very cool pull-out shelving unit.  We utilized the coffee maker for brewing the delicious Joffrey’s Coffee we picked up in the Animal Kingdom Lodge gift shop on our first day of vacation.RM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Balcony

Location, view, comfort, amenities – our Bay Lake Tower studio did not disappoint.

Are you a DVC member?  What’s your home resort and what do you love most about it?  If you have questions about our experiences with the Disney Vacation Club, ask away!RM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Kitchen-RightRM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Kitchen-FridgeRM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Kitchen-StorageRM-Bay-Lake-Tower-Balcony-View-Sunrise