I will always say that we have the nicest readers and friends on the planet, and when we were offered a free stay at Bay Lake Tower, there was no way were going to pass it up. One of our goals of now living so close to the magic is to hopefully be able to stay in every Disney Resort, which helps YOU the reader as well. Thanks again to the reader who gifted it to us, it was incredibly kind and it was very generous.
It was almost a month ago when we stayed there, which is actually even hard to fathom. As many of you know, life has been crazy busy this last month, so I am just now getting to sit down and blog about this stay. Let’s begin with check-in. At the gate I gave my name, which they had on their sheet for check-in, and parked in the self-parking lot. On a side note, I still really love that the Values and Moderates give you parking so close to your room, where the Deluxes seem to have a couple huge lots and much further from your room.
I brought DeeAnn with me because this stay was a special one and I was on a mission-to surprise Emily with an early birthday. With my bags full of paper flowers, lanterns, fishing line, and tape- we walked up to the Contemporary Resort (you must check-in here, Bay Lake Tower does NOT have a check-in area) check-in desk. It was easy, they had me all set, and I even took a step further and asked if we could have an upgrade so we could see the Magic Kingdom. Now, I realize that I was already getting this room for free- but because this may be the ONLY time I stay here, I wanted to make it as memorable and as special as possible. The CM smiled, didn’t really tell me or not what view I had, gave me the room keys, and said the room was ready. WHAT???? It was 9:00 a.m.!!! So for those of you who may not want to even attempt to check-in, try it, because you may be pleasantly surprised!
We had to use the room key to gain access to the lobby door of BLT (Bay Lake Tower-not Bacon Lettuce Tomato) and we were in. Dee watched my excitement gain momentum as we took the elevator to the 6th floor- I hadn’t been here since the Schraders stay and I had never stayed here before. I knew MK was on my left as we walked down the hallway, and I started to literally GEEK OUT as I watched the numbers count down and I KNEW that my room was an even number and it would be on the left! I was so excited that I could barely put the key in, and when I opened the door, I freaked out at the room, but then ran to the balcony. This was the money shot, this was what I was so excited for. I slid the door open and held my breath…there it was. The view I had dreamed of having some day. The view that I would rather stare at for hours on end and never step one foot anywhere else. On my right, a beautiful scene right out of my home state of WI- a gorgeous lake. But on my left, my eyes swelled up with tears. The Castle, Space Mountain, and then I heard the train whistle…could this really be happening? Was I this lucky and blessed? I hugged Dee with so much happiness that I am sure I almost broke her ribs.
Now, I got to be the lucky one to check-in, but at this point, obviously my kids hadn’t seen it yet, nor my hubby. I called Craig and texted him a picture of our view, which he freaked out on as well. You have to understand, we have always been “Value Resort” people. Every penny we put into our vacations almost always went to eating and souvenirs, we never had any “extra” to stay somewhere deluxe. To get this opportunity for free was mind blowing to both of us!
Dee and I quickly got to work on decorating the room with the fishing line, stringing up the lanterns and paper flowers to surprise Emily with a decorated birthday party. Craig had made a cake while we were decorating and told Emily it was for Libby, so she had no clue what we were up too. I knew with Kyra’s graduation that Em’s birthday wouldn’t be as big or as exciting as previous years, so I took this opportunity to make it something fun. Dee and I strung, taped, and did our best to keep those buggers hung up. No easy feat since fishing line is VERY slippery so we had a hard time keeping them separate. We did our best and left for lunch.
Now, at this point the girls still had NO CLUE we even had the room, and thought it would just be another kids night out. So I took Dee back to CBR, and I headed home to pack everyone up for the evening ahead. Because we surprised them the month before with AKL, our packing for the kids was under par. I thought I knew what they wanted to wear to bed and the next day, but, I didn’t. So because of that oops the last time around, we decided to surprise the kids at home instead.
Kyra got home from school, and we said “Hey girls, we thought for kid night we would go an stay at a Disney Resort tonight.” They screamed, and they didn’t even know WHERE yet. Of course they asked, and we said “Well we thought this time we would stay near MK, so we are staying at BLT tonight!!” Screaming, confetti, a parade…. Well ok, just the screaming…but it was an exciting moment in our home. We all packed and headed back to the room at 5:00 pm. I packed a pizza cooker so we could make frozen pizzas in the room for her party, along with popcorn to pop for movie watching as well.
To watch your family experience the magic, after you know your own feelings on it, is simply priceless. I watched their faces light up outside, then in the lobby, then at looking at the pool, and then…the opening of the door to our room. Emily screamed! The decorations were hanging, the view of the room- both girls were truly freaking out. Craig walked out to the balcony and opened the door to the magic that I knew he was about to experience…then the kids followed him out. It was just a moment…that’s all I can say. A truly magical moment.
Then, things got weird. Craig says “Hey, that’s so nice they put eyelets in the wall for you to use to hang to decorations.” You all have seen Scooby Doo right? Where he does a double take when Shaggy said something odd? Well, I pulled a Scooby. I said “Ummm, what? There were no eyelets in here when we hung the decorations.” And sure as all get up, the decorations must have fell while we were gone. Someone came in, rehung them, SCREWED eyelets into the Disney walls, and made sure they were all back up before we came in. It is a totally mystery, as we have NO CLUE who did it. Very cool, but I still did call the person who gifted it to us to make sure they were aware that I didn’t do it and I didn’t want him to be charged for it also.
So let’s talk the room. First, I loved the layout, felt like a small apartment. Because the bed is in the couch, it does make the room feel a bit more comfortable. I will say the couch was a bit stiff, so it wasn’t super comfortable to lounge on, but it was helpful for seating purposes. When you walk into the room the bathroom was first, with a sliding door. It was a nice size, and it had a lot more room than the Values and Mods- on top of the fact that there were no sinks on the outside, it was just your normal bathroom you would find in a home. Next there was a small walk-in kitchen with cupboards, microwave, sinks, fridge, and lots of counter space for all your food goods. Here is where we set up our pizza cooker and it worked wonderfully! Then after that is the living space with the full sized bed and then pull-out couch. TV was a flat screen in its own built in entertainment system.
We enjoyed pizza for dinner, then let Emily open a birthday present early from our friend Dee. Em was excited to get a Disney gift card, so we let her use it at the Contemporary Resort gift shop. We went shopping, where she bought a Dumbo pillow pet, then we walked around the grounds and really took it all in. We roasted marshmellows near Bay Lake on the beach, walked around the garden view rooms, and explored every nook and cranny we could. Since we do live here, we aren’t really interested in doing anything BUT the Resort when we stay on Property. We are there for only one night, so you have to make the best out of it.
But the finale of the day, which we were so pumped for, would be seeing “Wishes” from our OWN balcony. I can see the very tip of it from my backyard, but nothing like this. The Resort told us to put it on a certain channel to hear the music so we could sync it up with the show, but when the time came, the music never played. So we all searched our Iphones for the music, eventually found it, and listened to it with the fireworks. It was magical. Right before the show, we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Emily on the balcony, and had her blow her candles out. It was such a sweet memory, and it was a cool moment to watch Emily enjoy.
We slept well that night, bed was comfortable, and kids said couch was fine. Kyra had school the next day, Craig had to work- so they both ran around while I took Emily to the BLT pool where we swam all by ourselves for a couple of hours. It was relaxing, and I almost felt guilty since Craig was up in the room working- but we made it work so we could, again, make the most of it. The pool was the end of our stay, and we packed up after that and headed home. It was an awesome stay.
Here are my thoughts on BLT as someone who doesn’t own DVC, nor never thought to stay there before.
*It seems like it would have been smarter to have put a drink station in somewhere in the building for those with refillable mugs, instead of having to hike it over to CR every time you want to fill them. There is one at the pool, but by the time you get down there, you might as well have gone to CR.
*I felt the room was comfy for four people, and the view was spectacular. If they give you lake view, don’t fret, you may also see MK like we did as well. It never hurts to ask, at least you know you tried if you want the best view.
*Want the pool to yourself? Granted the lifeguard isn’t on duty until a certain time, but if you don’t mind, swim around 8 a.m. and the pool is yours to enjoy! Either people are in the Parks, or no one is up yet, so enjoy away!
*Odd side note, the smell of this building is really nice. Although in one hallway we smelled sauerkraut really strong- then it wasn’t so nice.
*We felt it was quiet as far as our neighboring rooms. The balconies are shared with a wall, so you can hear your neighbors in that sense, which we did. For the most part, we tried to give them their privacy when they came out, as we felt we got our own when we could.
*We enjoyed having the monorail to not only ride so conveniently, but also see coming in and out of the Resort was always cool to catch.
*Owning DVC in these rooms I feel would be incredibly worth it because of the view and proximity to Magic Kingdom. I feel like you could spend days in that Park if you really took your time, and being in walking distance is a HUGE plus. I was never really a huge fan of the Contemp, but I do now get why people stay here in the first place. Who wouldn’t want to hear the train whistle from your room? So cool!
I hope I have done BLT justice, and thanks again to those who provided us this wonderful gift. It was such a blessing for our family to enjoy, and we hope to be able to do it again at another Resort in the future. Have a great day everyone!