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Bay Lake Tower - Top of the World Lounge

Discussion in 'Disney Vacation Club' started by jpcns50, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. jpcns50

    jpcns50 New Member

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    Ok, we are looking at possibly staying at Bay Lake Tower in January. With buying resale, would we have access to the Top of the World Lounge? I know the Disney website says a DVC Membership Card is required, but if I remember correctly, as buying resale, we don't get a member card, correct?

    Also, what does everyone think of BLT as a resort option? Any thing we should be aware of or consider. We are looking at a 1 Bedroom Villa, standard view.
     
  2. GoofGoof

    GoofGoof Well-Known Member

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    According to the DVC member site:
    Effective April 4, 2016, Members who do not purchase an ownership interest directly from Disney Vacation Development Inc. will not have access to Membership Extras. Access restrictions apply. Availability is limited and not part of Membership. Attractions and entertainment may be seasonal and are subject to change.​

    Access to Top of the world lounge is listed as a Membership Extra:
    Access to Top of the World Lounge
    Location: Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
    Benefit Type: "Mouse"ellaneous

    Discover a soothing space to unwind at Top of the World Lounge, located at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort. One of the vacation kingdom's most exclusive spaces, this lounge is available to Members and those in their traveling party who are staying on that Member's reservation. It's an ideal place to savor light bites and refreshing cocktails—and unforgettable views.

    Disney Vacation Club Members staying at any Disney-owned-and-operated hotel at Walt Disney World Resort (whether they booked with Vacation Points or cash) may enjoy access one of the vacation kingdom's most exclusive spaces: Top of the World Lounge atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort through December 29, 2017.

    Blockout dates apply for Top of the World Lounge, including but not limited to: December 30 — 31, 2016; July 3 — 4, 2017; and December 30 — 31, 2017. Current operating hours are 6:00 PM to midnight.

    Accessing the Lounge

    This perk is available for our Members and their guests. People who are in that Member's traveling party and staying on that Member's reservation are also eligible to visit Top of the World Lounge. At least one Member in the traveling party must accompany the group and present his or her current MagicBand or card in order to gain admission to the lounge and observation deck. A Disney Vacation Club Membership Card is also required to verify Membership.

    Parking & Transportation

    Parking is only available to those staying at Bay Lake Tower or Disney's Contemporary Resort. Members traveling from other Resorts must use Walt Disney World Transportation.

    Sign In

    Upon arrival, Members must walk to the Bay Lake Tower main lobby entrance on the ground floor and check in at the Top of the World Lounge desk in the lobby.

    Availability

    This special access to Top of the World Lounge is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the lounge reaches capacity. As the lounge is particularly popular during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, arriving as early as possible will give Members the best chance of gaining admission.​
     
  3. GoofGoof

    GoofGoof Well-Known Member

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    BLT is a great resort option. The 1BR villa is a good size and has 2 full bathrooms plus the kitchen/LR area. The standard view rooms are on the lower floors and there aren't a whole lot of them. If you are an owner you should be able to get one at 11 months but they aren't easy to book with a 7 month trade in. If you get lucky a few of the standard view rooms in the middle front section have a direct view of MK and the fireworks. These are the first few floors below the MK view rooms. On my first stay at BLT I booked a MK view room and got a room on the 3rd floor. It has since be reclassed to standard view.

    The resort itself shares amenities with CR via a skybridge walkway so there's plenty of dining options and easy access to the monorail plus you can easily walk to/from MK. The pool is very nice but not spectacular and you can also use the pool at CR. You share bus service with CR and usually one or two other resorts so buses can get crowded (which is true mostly anywhere at WDW). At least you only need to use the bus for 2 of 4 parks. You can also take a nice boat ride over to WL and Fort Wilderness. In addition the nightly boat water pageant thing stops on the lake behind CR so you can see (and hear) it from the balcony if your room is facing the lake. If you are in a front facing room you can still see it in the 7 seas lagoon but it's not as close. They also do the marshmallow roast and movies on the beach on certain nights.

    One tip I would give you is to request the top floor. It's hit or miss if you get it, but if they have it available you will have automatic admission to Top of the World Lounge even if you aren't an official member. The lounge itself sits in the middle of the 16th floor but either side of the lounge is a hallway with regular rooms. If you get a room on that floor you can walk straight from your room to the lounge without going down to the lobby and checking in. Your magic band will allow you to bring the regular guest elevators up to floor 16. That won't work for anyone staying on another floor. Anyone staying below that floor will need to go down to the lobby and check in and take another elevator up to 16.
     
  4. jpcns50

    jpcns50 New Member Original Poster

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    Thank you GoofGoof for all of the awesome information!!
     
  5. nickys

    nickys Well-Known Member

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    Access to TOTWL should be available to all members. I believe along with the pool hopping it's one of the universal benefits because dues go towards paying for it. Do you not get a white membership card, or you could show your electronic one?

    That said, I have read reports from some people saying they had a bit of an issue getting access but that could just be the CMs unsure. Or visiting at a really busy time perhaps. Plenty of resale owners have been able to visit TOTWL. I would go early (at least an hour before the fireworks, nearer to two) and ask.
     
  6. JaxFLBear

    JaxFLBear Active Member

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    ALL DVC Members (resale & direct) have access to the TOTWL. New resale purchasers can also pool hop and get free DVD rentals during their stay.
     
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  7. helenabear

    helenabear Well-Known Member

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    It is available to all members - and yes you can get a digital card that is good for several months that can be saved to your cell phone.

    Pool hopping is available to all as is DVD rental. It's been confirmed that for new resale only these are 3 perks they get. For those CMs who aren't sure, to a resale purchaser just save the website or bring copy of the web page printed.

    There are so few rooms (other than grand villas we're talking 2 dedicated 2 bedrooms, 2 1bed LO and 2 studio LO) on the 16th floor I wouldn't bother with "top floor" requests. When we were offered a "top floor" it turned out to be a lake view 2 bedroom dedicated on the 14th floor. Nothing above us at least :)
     
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  8. GoofGoof

    GoofGoof Well-Known Member

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    It's kinda confusing that they list access to Top of the World Lounge as a "membership extra" but then make the exception that it's available to all members even those who aren't supposed to have access to membership extras.

    It makes sense that they did this though since the lounge is not usually very crowded and can probably use the extra revenue. There's no harm in allowing all members access. I'm not at all a fan of how they created two "classes" of owners anyway but since I bought in before the split it's not directly impacting me.
     
  9. GoofGoof

    GoofGoof Well-Known Member

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    It's a long shot to get the top floor, but IMHO it can't hurt to ask. There's still 6 rooms that have direct access to Top Of the World that someone will get. I agree that I wouldn't get my hopes up though.

    For the OP here's the room chart for BLT. The ones at the bottom in light blue are the standard view rooms. The ones from 16-30 in the center of the tower under the MK view rooms still have a pretty decent view of MK and the fireworks. You're pretty close to the parking lot so less privacy on the balcony, but it's a good view for low points.

    IMG_0742.JPG
     
  10. JaxFLBear

    JaxFLBear Active Member

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    It's listed under Member Benefits in the "Mouse"ellaneous section and on the BLT resort information page. No where on any page that talks about TOTWL access do they specifically mention that it's part of "Membership Extras".

    The space that the TOTWL occupies was declared into the BLT condo association which means it's member owned, so dues pay for upkeep. The operation of the actual lounge is contracted out to Disney. Since the space is member owned, it would be inappropriate (and possibly illegal) to prevent all members from utilizing the space.
     
  11. helenabear

    helenabear Well-Known Member

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    It's really not confusing. Each teir has their own membership perks listed on the DVC site. This is the third level of tiers they have done and each had their own list of what they can and cannot do. On the white membership cards when logged in they can see their 3 perks. The next one down (from 2001) limits where they can book outside of DVC resorts so they see their perks. All contacts from before then are treated the same as direct and their perks are listed on the site when they log in.
     
  12. GoofGoof

    GoofGoof Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you both are just a lot more familiar with the rules than me, but I still think it's a bit confusing. I guess I'm just being dense. Here's where I'm coming from. The pictures below are a listing direct from the DVC member page. It starts out by talking about membership magic benefits for 2017 including membership extras and then lists a bunch of stuff that I would assume is part of those offerings. The footnote at the very bottom again reminds owners that did not buy direct after April 4 2016 do not have access to membership extras. Top of the World lounge access is listed amongst the other membership extras with no disclaimer that it's not subject to the direct purchase limitation. I'd say that's at least a little confusing. They could have just spelled it out.
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  13. helenabear

    helenabear Well-Known Member

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    You are looking at the direct/grandfathered in before 2011 member perks. If it is DVC's generic site, it's for those who will buy direct. So they put a footnote to let people know that what they see as a resale is not what you will get. When logged in, what is listed as a perk for direct is not what is listed for those who are resale online. When you log in you see what you as a member are given as perks.

    There are also limitations to those who bought mid 2011 (forgot what month) vs those who bought prior. So again those will be listed on the website when you are logged in.

    I really don't give two snits what the resale guys after 2011 and on get. Not at all. My resale is from 2004 and my subsequent purchases are direct so no big for me. I realize that they can change perks at any given time and because of that it's best to find your actual perks while logged in. Those are more real time and accurate than a copy of a print out they hand out.
     
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  14. GoofGoof

    GoofGoof Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about who owns what but that seems to make sense. I am pretty sure it wasn't until 2012 that they opened Top of the World to all DVC members. From its opening in 2009 until some time I think in 2012 it was only open to DVC members staying at BLT on points. The change most likely happened once most of the points were sold and they realized it wasn't too crowded most nights.
    I bought resale before 2011 and I'm grandfathered in so that is probably why it's listed that way on my screen then. I don't really care either I was just trying to find the info for the OP who was looking at buying resale now. Maybe they don't care to advertise that it's a benefit available even to current resale buyers since they want people to buy direct.
     
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  15. helenabear

    helenabear Well-Known Member

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    And truthfully they can remove the perks at any time. After all the rules for TOWL has changed from what it was originally. Before we DVCers were able to confirm what the perks would be for post 2016 resales, many speculated about the ones they would get. We all had to wait for someone to log in to have it confirmed. The good news is that it is spelled out for each owner depending on their contact online when logged in. For now white card members get 3 perks and truly all 3 are not really something that costs DVD truly more money so I get why they asked those.
     
  16. jpcns50

    jpcns50 New Member Original Poster

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    I guess we will wait and see what our contract online says when logged in. It's certainly not a deal breaker for us, just was thinking it would be cool to check out if we stay there.
     
  17. JaxFLBear

    JaxFLBear Active Member

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    You WILL have access to the TOTWL regardless of how your purchased your points.
     
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  18. helenabear

    helenabear Well-Known Member

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    It's there - unless they remove it for all, it will be there for you. It's been confirmed many times over by resale purchasers :)
     
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  19. biggy H

    biggy H Active Member

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    You don't have access. I just asked DVC and if you don't buy direct you don't get access...
    dvc.jpg
     
  20. JaxFLBear

    JaxFLBear Active Member

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    Sorry, but the CM was wrong. If post 4/4/2016 resale purchasers go to their digital membership card page, it specifically states that they have access to the TOTWL along with pool hopping and dvd rentals.
     
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