1. This is Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
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  2. It was built in 2009 next to the Contemporary, which was one of the two original hotels at Disney World when it opened in 1971
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  3. It is a Disney Vacation Club resort, which is basically a timeshare system. But anyone can book available rooms
  4. Bay Lake Tower is the closest hotel to the Magic Kingdom
  5. It's within a 5-10 minute walk to the entrance
  6. Or you can take the sky bridge that connects it to the Contemporary
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  7. Then you can take the monorail from INSIDE the Grand Canyon Concourse
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  8. I have 7 nights / 8 Days booked in a 1 bedroom theme park view villa at Bay Lake Tower
  9. I'm bringing my daughter and ex-wife. They'll sleep in the king bed in the bedroom. I'll sleep in the living room on the pull out bed
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  10. The views of Cinderella Castle are amazing from these rooms. And you can see Wishes, the fireworks celebration from your bed. And you can turn on a channel on the tv and the music from Wishes is piped in
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  11. I started planning this trip in February, 14 months beforehand
  12. I opted for a family suite at Art of Animation resort at first. It's a value resort, which fit well with my budget.
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  13. It has amazing theming. There's a separate bedroom which is good, so there's no awkwardness. Since we're not together anymore.
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  14. As a value resort, there are few amenities. Only bus transportation. No sit down restaurant. Smaller rooms. But, they have huge beautiful themed pools. And they're cheaper.
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  15. In June, prices and availability came it and we booked 7 nights and 8 days in a finding nemo family suite with basic dining plan and park hopper tickets.
  16. We booked for $4,900
  17. It would be tough to do, but I've been saving since returning from our last trip in September, 2014!
  18. I still wanted to give my daughter more. I've always wanted to take her to a deluxe hotel. What it be worth it? Proximity to the parks is helpful.
  19. So, after looking into it, I realize that the wilderness Lodge would be a good bet. It isn't as expensive as the contemporary, Polynesian, or grand Floridian. Since it isn't on the monorail loop, it's a little more reasonably priced.
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  20. Plus, they have one bedroom villas. Pretty much, it's like a little one bedroom apartment. Full kitchen, washer dryer, separate bedroom.
  21. The beaming of the lodge is amazing. It is set like a national parks service lodge in the Pacific Northwest. The lobby is an eight story beautiful tower with a fireplace and totem poles.
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  22. So, less than a month after booking, I switched my reservation to a one bedroom villa at the wilderness Lodge. A short boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom.
  23. This brought my price up to $7000. Wow. What was I thinking?
  24. August 5 was the first time I mentioned my dream of staying at bay lake tower to my travel agent
  25. Then, I got my new job. Finally out of retail. 15,000 more a year
  26. On my last day at Petco, I sat in the office and made the move to bay lake tower. 1 bedroom, lake view. With dining plan and park hoppers. $8,100. Uh-oh
  27. I really wanted a theme park view room, but that was not available in September. I checked every day to see if one would become available. And on October 21, my wish was granted.
  28. So, we booked it. Up to $8600 now.
  29. And finally, on November 22, I decided to upgrade us to deluxe dining instead of the regular dining plan. This gives us three sitdown restaurants a day, for seven days. We can use those credits that any sit down or quickserve restaurant.
  30. The original plan I was on was one quickserve and one tableservice. This works better for me. It almost feels like an all-inclusive trip at this point.
  31. And, that bumps us up to $9600.
  32. Which is why am so bummed out that there was no discount offered for me today. But I'm not changing my room.
  33. My daughter is going to go to bed every night looking out the window at Cinderella Castle. We're going to walk every morning for five minutes to the Magic Kingdom. We're going to go into the lobby and see the monorail whizzing by. She's going to be in heaven.
  34. It's so worth it, even if it means saving more more each week until the trip.
  35. So, yeah. It would have been nice to save 25 or 30%. But the joy that we will all feel on this trip … you can't put a price on that.