Bay Lake (Florida)
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Bay Lake is a natural lake about one mile (1500 m) across and a depth of 35 feet (10.7 m), located in Orange County, Florida in the north end of the Walt Disney World property, in the Disney-controlled city of Bay Lake, Florida and immediately to the east of the Magic Kingdom. It is roughly triangular in shape and is under the jurisdiction of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The lake connects with the Disney-made Seven Seas Lagoon via a waterbridge on the west side.
Bordering resorts and points of interest
Bay Lake is bordered by three resorts, Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Disney's Contemporary Resort, and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground along with the Disney's Bay Lake Tower and Disney's Wilderness Lodge Villas, both owned by Disney Vacation Club. All three resorts have a marina which offers boat rentals to guests. Transportation boats run regularly between all the resorts as well. On the southwest side of the lake, the remnants of Disney's River Country, Disney's first waterpark, can be found. In the far north corner of the lake is a dry dock service area where all the transportation boats are stored overnight. To the east of the dry dock there are several recreational docks that are used by the residents of the city of Bay Lake.
There are two islands located in Bay Lake. The largest is Discovery Island located in the center of the lake. Discovery Island operated as a walk-through wildlife sanctuary from 1974 until 1999. It was closed due to its similarity in theme to the newly opened Disney's Animal Kingdom. The original dock as well as some attractions can still be seen on the shorelines. The smaller of the two islands is named Shipwreck Island and is located between the Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge resorts, directly in front of the waterbridge.
Bay Lake is primarily used for recreational boating, offered at each of the three marinas connected to it, as well as the two additional marinas located on Seven Seas Lagoon. Fishing is not allowed in Bay Lake with the exception of fishing excursions which must be booked ahead of time. After dark fireworks cruises are offered on Bay Lake as well. The north section of the lake is reserved for watersports activities, which are operated by Sammy Duval Watersports at the Contemporary Resort. Several times a year triathlons are held, usually from the Fort Wilderness Campground. In addition, transportation boats run regular routes from each of the three resorts and several offer routes to the Magic Kingdom.
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