Bay Lake Towers

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, Hotels, DVC and V' started by Beccaberry, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Beccaberry

    Beccaberry Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi All :)

    We've started making early plans for our trip in November (yes, yes, I know we have a September/October trip to plan as well, but this one requires a bit more planning on our part as the resorts will fill quickly since it's a runDisney weekend).

    Since we had such an awesome experience renting DVC points last year, we're looking at doing it again this year.

    Beach Club and Boardwalk are already full but the following resorts have availability: Animal Kingdom, Bay Lake Tower, Saratoga Springs, and Old Key West. Of these, the one I lean towards most is BLT, merely for location alone, but I confess I know very little about the resort itself. Can anyone tell me more? Or would you pick a different resort from the list altogether?
     
  2. Watchinherskip

    Watchinherskip Well-Known Member

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    Hey Becca, should we be thinking of going DVC for the next trip as well? There will be 8 of us going? I am sure you have worked out the pros and cons of this option. If we could, why would we want that rather than a resort stay?
     
  3. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Wellllllllll I must admit to a soft spot for bay lake tower.

    In and of itself, it's a bit.... well.... bland for want of a better word. The contemporary is just hopping with activity, you go across to BLT and it's just a tower of rooms. There's this feeling of... "oh."

    But location location location! if you get a room overlooking the theme park well, I just love going to sleep watching the castle change colours. A short walk across to MK via the pathway... then there's the bar at the top and of course, a short walk across to the contemporary!

    As I say, it can be a tad pricy for the "feel" of the actual hotel, but the location makes it all worthwhile.

    Ill throw in a word for AKL. Of all the resorts I've stayed at, AKL with its music all the way through to the bus stop and theming, really captured my imagination. You just KNOW you're somewhere special. Sure, location is out there... no boats/walkways etc... but it can be quite a nicely immersive experience IMHO.
     
  4. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Id like to hear about this as well! I'm very scared of renting DVC points in case they all fall through :/
     
  5. Beccaberry

    Beccaberry Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, there are LOADS of people out there who are more qualified to answer this question than I am, but I'll take a stab at it.

    Let's take the reservation we're currently talking about - 3 nights at Bay Lake Tower. The quoted price on the Disney website right now for this particular reservation is $480/night. If I wanted to rent DVC points for the same room/same length of stay, I would need 49 points. At a cost of $14/point, that brings my 4day/3night stay to $686 total with DVC Rental OR $1620 total through Disney. Renting DVC points would save me $934.

    There are some things to consider, of course. Here are the one's we found most important:
    • Availability - the resort/room category you want may not be available for your dates; however, if you're flexible you can usually end up happy.
    • Housekeeping - only attends to your room every 4th day.
    • Flexibility - once you're booked, you're booked...you cannot cancel or make changes (barring the protection plan noted below).
    I did a lot of research before deciding on The DVC Rental Store and we were INCREDIBLY pleased. We have since booked two additional trips with them and referred a number of friends. A few advantages to booking with them that we found:
    • Competitive prices and a stellar reputation
    • They don’t require a deposit to check availability for you (other brokers require you to make a deposit just to check availability).
    • They will allow you to make a deposit upon booking, with the balance due 45 days prior to arrival (every other broker we researched required full payment at the time of booking).
    • They offer an optional "cancel for any reason" protection plan (again, the first of its kind).
    All in all, a wonderful experience and a HUGE financial savings. Does it always work out for every trip, nope, but it's a wonderful thing to consider for some.

    There's a ton more I could say on the subject as I spent a lot of time researching, but I don't want to bore you! Feel free to ask questions though!
     
  6. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    so what happens if someone says to the dvc store,, I have 3 days worth of points for BLT yeah, they sell them to you... but then the person doesnt pay his dues, or otherwise cant fulfill his end of the bargain?
     
  7. Watchinherskip

    Watchinherskip Well-Known Member

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    Boring...are you kidding? That was an awesome explanation! Well done, it does give my peeps something to think about as we put this trip together. Thank you Becca!
     
  8. Watchinherskip

    Watchinherskip Well-Known Member

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    Ah...see, never thought of that.
     
  9. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I dont know that the store works the same way but, on another UK disney forum recently, a load of people booked with someone who had x points. Money was paid etc.... finally a few days before some were due in Disney, they checked their booking and it had gone completely from Disney! When they did some digging, Disney admitted that all bookings for that DVC member had been cancelled because he was behind with his dues.

    Turned out that they were having serious money problems and was very hard/impossible to contact etc.

    Now, I wonder if dvc store has some guard against that or if it's just as problematic
     
  10. Beccaberry

    Beccaberry Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I asked that exact question - as it was a real concern of mine (I'd read the horror stories as well, trust me!). This is the reply I received:

    We have a number of safeguards in place to make sure that someone's reservation is secure:
    1. When we sign on a new DVC member we do a check with the Florida Secretary of State's office to ensure that that member is an actual DVC member.
    2. The renting DVC member is under contract with The DVC Rental Store via the Intermediary Agreement not to do anything that would harm the reservation in anyway. They must keep the reservation in place, stay current on maintenance fees to Disney and keep current with payments to Disney. The contract between The DVC Rental Store and the renting member is legally enforceable.
    3. The renting DVC member is under contract with you (the renter) and the DVC Rental Store via the Rental Agreement not to do anything that would harm the reservation in anyway. They must keep the reservation in place, stay current on maintenance fees to Disney and keep current with payments to Disney. The contract between you (the renter) and the renting member is legally enforceable.
    4. We pay the renting DVC member 50% of the funds due to them for the rental at the time the reservation is made. We withhold the remaining 50% of funds due until late afternoon of the day of check-in. The renting member knows that they will not get final payment until after you have had a chance to check-in.
    5. Almost all of our renting members have multiple rentals through us which means that we are withholding a substantial sum of money. The member understands that default on any one rental while cause us to hold funds from the other rentals in order to cover damages. Simply put, they come out better financially in allowing a reservation to be completed than they will by cancelling a reservation.
    6. We check your reservation numerous times prior to your arrival including 7 days prior to your arrival and twice on your day of check-in to insure that it is still in place and that all is well.
    In addition to the above, you are able to view your reservation online at Disney's website and you can also take advantage of Disney's online check-in service within 10 days of your arrival.

    Ultimately, I suppose it's not 100% failure proof (few things are), but I can say that I felt confident enough in their system to give it a shot - and I was happy I did!
     
  11. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    yeah that's definitely better than just renting directly because you have the feeling that someone else is on your side and contracts have been signed to make the other party think twice.

    End of the day, it's still subject to the dvc member not paying dues and disney cancelling all their bookings etc. but I guess you only lose 50% of the total (the guy on the other side was asking for 100% up front before he'd book)

    I'd count it as a risk still but a heck of a lot cheaper so perhaps a risk worth taking!
     
  12. Wendy

    Wendy A hui hou kakou Makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    So are you tempted Keith?
     
  13. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Im very tempted yeah! :yes:

    I would love a few days
     
  14. Britchick

    Britchick Active Member

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    Caitlin and I really liked Bay lake towers accommodation and location. Didn't like the pool one bit. Easy to get to main building for food court (which does nice flatbreads) and monorail. Whether you have theme park or any of the other views there is plenty to look at out the huge windows. One beds and up have a jacuzzi bath and are pretty big- have washing machine etc. I would definitely stay there again in the winter as I need it to be at least 90 to go in the pool!
     
  15. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I just wish they'd made something more of BLT. I Think the lobby may be a bit better now, when we last stayed you couldnt even check in there, had to go to the contemporary and the lobby was just completely empty.

    For it to really impress me, I think there needs to be more going on there.

    Still, location is just wow
     
  16. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't believe that's changed, Keith. I think you do still check in at the Contemporary. The lobby of BLT is spacious and airy, and has a podium where an "elevator guard" :D stands at the ready to keep gate crashers from going to the Top of the World Lounge. :D

    Becca, if it's just the two of you AND if you get a one bedroom, BLT is lovely. We really enjoyed our stay there. If you do go you MUST go see our dear friend Mike at the Top of the World. It's a lovely view.

    BLT 1 bedrooms are a bit short on storage, but if you again, are only two and not staying for two months, you should be ok. You'll love the second bathroom. :yes:
     
  17. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I was saying that to someone at the contemporary when the restaurant manager overheard me and said that it had changed and there was now a checkin desk at the lobby of BLT from 7am to 10pm. Outside those hours it's still the contemporary.

    Now how true/untrue that is I'm not sure but it's what she said
     
  18. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Hmmmmm. Could be. I'm far from up on last minute changes at WDW. It would be a good idea to know before you schlepped over there, wouldn't it? :yes:
     
  19. keith

    keith Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    it would :lol:
     
  20. Britchick

    Britchick Active Member

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    I'm sure we checked in at BLT and not the main building in Dec 2012. If you are renting points are you allowed to go to the TOTW lounge? I thought it was just DVC members staying on points, or is it for non-members renting points too? We were staying cash when we went so we didn't even bother trying.
     

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