Ask a Disney Question: What Can You Tell Me about Bay Lake Towers?
From Emily: What do you know about the Baylake Towers? Is it a hotel or is it for Vacation Club people? Also if you buy a membership to vacation club can you transfer to Disney’s Hawaiian resort when its done?
Emily: Thanks for your question and for reading Chip and Co.
Bay Lake Towers, or BLT as it’s affectionately known, is the newest Disney Vacation Club property. Opened in 2008, BLT has modern rooms with standard, lake and Magic Kingdom views. There’s a walkway on the 4thfloor that connects BLT with the Contemporary, its sister resort; it will take you to shops and dining and is just a short escalator ride away from the monorail. Very convenient. You can also take the walkway to the Magic Kingdom. I love the location of BLT and the rooms, but it’s not as beautifully landscaped as most Disney resorts. It does have a grat pool. Like all DVC resorts, the rooms, which range from a studio to the three-bedroom villa you see pictured above, have a full kitchen some type of outdoor seating area.
Anyone can book a room at BLT. For non-DVC owners, there are three ways:
- Rent points from a DVC owner. This is probably the most economical way. Before you try this, go to a site like Mouseowners, where you’ll find point charts telling you what the nightly/weekly rates are in points. A one-bedroom during adventure season, for example, rents for 201 points. Most points rent for around $10-11 per point, but you’ll see variation either way. You’ll find owners advertising points for rent on sites like Disboards and on Mouseowners. Make sure you understand the posting rules at each forum before you post, book as far out as possible (you can book at 11 months out), ask the owner for references, and get the owner’s cancellation policy in writing. Never rent points on Ebay or on Criagslist.
- Rent from a points broker who acts as an intermediary between you and the owner for a small fee. Points brokers charge about $13 a point, but they can get you harder to find properties and are a very safe option. Most brokers will not refund your money if you cancel, so their cancellation policies are the most harsh. The most well-known broker out there is DVC by Request. Check out his point sale rentals at around 60-days out for savings.
- Book a room through Disney. It’s more expensive but the cancellation policies are the best and if safety is your biggest concern, it’s the way to go. Look for room-only and annual pass discounts.
All of the above options will allow you to use the dining plan and Magical Express. If you’re renting points from an owner, she will have to make these arrangements for you.
You can buy a membership in BLT through Disney. The minimum to buy in is 160 points with points selling for around $120 a point, but with incentives expect to pay slightly less. You can also buy BLT points for less at resale, although because it’s a newer property, there are fewer contracts available. There are a number of reputable brokers online. In theory, you can buy BLT and stay at any DVC resort, but since you can book your “home” resort at 11-months and all others at 7-months, the competition at 7-months is going to be greater. You can’t “transfer” your from one home resort to another, however you can purchase small add-ons at additional resorts once you are a DVC member, some as low as 25 points. To find out how owners feel about availability, prices, and all things DVC, check out the DVC boards mentioned above. You may have to register to view them.