Disney World - Orlando, FL

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Disney Swan and Dolphin
Posted by on
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA -- My family and I stayed at the Dolphin Resort from December 16th -22nd, leaving the 22nd. We had a few room issues. The first day, I had forgotten my laptop in the car. I used the TV remote, turned on the internet, but when I tried to use the keyboard, nothing would happen. I couldn't get the keyboard to work, so I took off the back to see if it had batteries. They were completely corroded. Well, you couldn't go back to regular TV without turning off the internet from the keyboard. I called the front desk, explained the situation and said they would need a keyboard. She said, "Well, we're in the process of removing all of the keyboards." They have maids in everyday - shouldn't be a big process. The tech arrived, tried the keyboard, wouldn't work, took the back cover off. He said, "I'll be right back, I need another keyboard". I explained to him I told them at the front desk it was completely corroded and that whoever came up would need another. He came back within about 10 minutes and fixed the problem.
When the hotel started filling up on the weekend, you had to stand and hold the lever down on the toilet for 11-12 seconds (try actually doing that and see how long that really is). Our shower had a wayward spray that, no matter how tight you tried to get the curtain closed, would spray out onto the floor and the toilet. However, a couple of days later when we started having ants, I called to complain. They had to call me back. They said the only room they had was a king bed room, but there were 4 of us. They sent up Angel to check out the problem. He brought a bug spray - black and white can. He sprayed the area around the coffee pot and under, near the bathroom, and the beds and desk. That was right before we went to bed. After that my throat became very scratchy, I developed a cough, and was a bit hoarse. My daughter developed a cough as well. It didn't seem to affect the other two.
The morning of our departure, I went to the desk to tell them the ants had come back the day before, but since my daughter and I had developed symptoms after them spraying the room, we didn't call to have them spray again. I wanted to make them aware, that they would probably want to spray since there were ants again, before someone else checked in to that room. I asked if there was something they could do with our bill because of this. The woman at the desk (I didn't get her name), said wait a moment. After waiting, she came back and said I would have to talk to security, which I thought was odd. I waited in the lobby for approximately 10 minutes before someone Denis from security arrived. I explained the situation, he asked for identification, saying that way he knew who he was actually talking to. I gave him my driver's license and business card. He proceeded to copy down my driver's license information. He kept saying he was just taking the report, and would be turning it over to someone else to handle. He said they would definitely be giving me a call. It's Jan 6th, and I haven't heard a peep.
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MDSasquatch on 01/06/2011:
I lived in Florida for three years, ants were always a problem; just be glad they were fire ants
unhappy999 on 01/06/2011:
Just be glad it was ants instead of bed bugs.
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Unsatisfactory Vacation
Posted by on
FLORIDA -- To Whom it may Concern,

I am sending this E-Mail because I was told there was no where else to turn. Below is one of three E-Mails I have previously sent to Disney Guest Communications. I still have not received a satisfactory answer. Every time I have E-Mailed Disney Guest Communications my E-Mails are answered by (person's name). She has told me that my E-Mails will not go beyond her and that her decisions are final. She has stated to me that there are rules that have to be followed, those rules do not coincide with what she has done. The E-Mail below states the decisions that (person's name) has made. Because the rules were not properly followed the first time with (person's name) decision I have been told by her once to contact the (person's name) to ask them for one of the two FREE night stays at the Grand Floridian. Because the (person's name) were issued these two FREE nights they feel they are rightfully theirs. Then (person's name) told me to take the (person's name) to Small Claims Court because she is not changing her mistake.

I have always thought Disney stood for the love of friends and family, but with her suggestion of how to handle this situation I am rethinking what I thought of Disney. What this E-Mail comes down to is that I am paying for her mistake which should be corrected. My trip to Disney World this time was deplorable. I am now turning to you for an answer. Please read the below E-Mail.

Thank you very much,
(my name)

To: wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com
Subject: Unsatisfactory Vacation
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 22:35:32 -0400

Dear Disney World,

I took a trip this year to Disney World April 4-7, 2008. My reservation was under the guest name of (person's name) and (person's name). While staying at your resort Disney Resorts a great deal of unsatisfactory things took place. My first reservation was at the Polynesian Resort. I was first placed in a room to the far left side of the resort that bordered a parking lot and the Monorail transfer to Epcot. Within minutes of walking into the dorm that this room was in a musty smell was in the air. At the time parts of the Polynesian Resort I was told was in the process of being renovated. As I entered the room I was first disappointed in the view. I asked for a garden view and I was looking at the end of the parking lot and some type of water pump station for the Blue Lagoon. The balcony to the room was tangled in spider webs and the air conditioner was making a terrible noise. I quickly made a phone call to the front desk to have my room changed. At the front desk I spoke to a young man named (person's named), I believe he was from Ireland. (person's name) apologized for this mishappening and placed us in another room with a view of Cinderella's Castle. This room had a great view, however was not cleaned well. On top of the television system was an empty chip bag and dust so thick I could write my name in it. In the bathroom there were sticky rings on the bathroom counter and glitter on the bathroom floor. I immediately walked back to the front desk instead of calling this time and spoke to (person's name) again. I asked him to transfer my reservation to another Disney Resort. He found me a great room at the Disney Floridian with a parlor in it. Before I checked out of the Polynesian Resort I was given park tickets for the inconvenience, but I also asked for housekeeping to come to the last room I was in so I could show them what was missed when cleaning the room. Housekeeping wouldn't come to the room they only called.

After checking out of the Polynesian and checking into the Grand Floridian. I thought my trip to Disney would finish great. We didn't stay in our new room long because we were starving. We had been checking in and out from 2 that afternoon to 7 that evening. After eating we returned to the room and found it to be very stuffy. Luckily the room had windows that opened. Sleeping that night was hard to do with it being so toasty and the temperature in the room was climbing. Also the ceiling fan was uneven and needed tightened. I called the front desk the following morning to report our new room situation. The maintenance manager I believe his name is (person's name) or (person's name) had our ceiling fan tightened, but had no luck with our air conditioner which was not working. Fans were brought to our room for the remaindered of our stay because the air did not work till our last night stay.

I have visited Disney World since I was a small child and it has always been a magical experience, but this trip was not. Unfortunately Disney World has also done wrong by me in recent E-Mails that I have E-Mailed about this trip. I went to Disney World with myself, (person's name), (person's name), and (person's name). I just came to find out that the (person's name's) E-Mailed you regarding the trip and Disney World has given them two free nights at the Disney Grand Floridian. This greatly upsets me. The trip was paid for in 4 equal parts. Each person in the party paid for one night's stay. I still have a copy of the check I wrote to the (person's name) for this trip to Florida. The (person's name) were given our money to pay for our trip by using their credit/debit card. Recently (person's name) forwarded me Disney World's response E-Mail to him regarding the trip. (person's name) response to (person's name) E-Mail. I called (person's name) number which was included in (person's name) E-Mail. Ms.(person's name)recently called me about her response to the (person's name). She told me that Disney World can only make things right with the person who the reservation name was made in. I find this hard to believe when our reservation was in (person's name) name and the 2 nights stay in the Grand Floridian was issued to (person's name) son (person's name). What if I had been the only one to write a letter to Disney World regarding my stay and the (person's name) had not. Would they have still been issued the 2 nights stay at the Grand Floridian or would I???? Instead Ms. (person's name) asked me to call the (person's name) and ask them to resend their letter back and she would divide them equally between the parties. If I were to ask the (person's name) to do such a thing a great friendship would end. Ms. (person's name) actually had the nerve to say well if you are friends then you should be able to ask them to resend what Disney World has already given the (person's name) for their inconvencences. I have watch the Disney Network my whole life and I thought Disney was into making friendships not ending them. This is just such a terrible thing for Disney to do. I was a paying Disney World customer and yet the (person's name) get compensated for our terrible stay. Basically (person's name) and (person's name) didn't pay for their night stay this past trip to Disney World because Disney World gave them a 2 night's stay at the Grand Floridian. (person's name) and (person's name)are Mother and Son. Also if Disney World's rule is to only issue any compensation to the reservation holder then why were these tickets made out to(person's name)?! The reservation was in (person's name) and (person's name). To be correct by any means the tickets should have at least been in (person's name) name. However (person's name)and(person's name)did pay for their nights stay. This is wrong what Disney World has done. I am so greatly upset and I hope by this E-Mail you will show me the same compassion you have shown the (person's name). A Year of a Million Dreams is your theme as of now and Disney World is asking me to end a friendship because of their wrong doing. What would you do if you were a guest in my shoes?? Thank you,(person's name). If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at (e-mail address)

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dan gordon on 07/29/2008:
who is going to respond to your novelette? You sound incredibly picky. They offered the reservation a comped room. If you were such good friends you should be dealing with your friend. What are you teaching your children?
Anonymous on 07/29/2008:
I like the "Grand Californian" hotel at Disney's California Adventure.Its an awesome hotel
yoke on 07/29/2008:
I got lost with all the *****'s.
dimplepie on 07/29/2008:
Boy, there sure seems to be a lot of cussing in here, lol.
Anonymous on 07/29/2008:
I agree Steve, it's just like being in Yosemite. (which of course is on fire right now, the park not the hotel)
yoke on 07/29/2008:
Dan, agree. Once I got the courage to red past the ***'s I saw that the complaint lies with the friends and not the hotels. The OP needs to ask the friends for one of the vouchers.
Hugh_Jorgen on 07/29/2008:
I would simply call ******** and tell them that you talked to ******* and they said they owe you half the refund.

spiderman2 on 07/29/2008:
I agree Hugh, I would also ******* and then ******* with *******.
jenjenn on 07/29/2008:
Dan G - right on!!!
AGentlRose on 08/30/2008:
I think you're just looking for something for free.
Jaybee68 on 09/12/2008:
Your issue is with your friend, not Disney. I had to laugh when I read that asking your friend for a portion of the free stay would ruin a great friendship, when it sounds as if it's already ruined. Your friend chose to keep it all for him/herself. That's no friend at all and in my opinion, your anger is completely misplaced.

Also, I don't believe most of what you said. But that's not even the point here.
Slimjim on 09/12/2008:
If I were a guest in your shoes I'd say to my so called friend, hey, whas up with you keeping the free vouchers for yourself!? I assume there is a reason you won't approach your friend on this issue, maybe your friendship isn't as solid at this time as you imply. Regardless, as others said, Disney made it right and it's your responsibility now to work it out with your friend.
ethansmama on 01/27/2010:
Do what I did. Move to Florida and become a Florida resident: 4 days at Walt Disney World for $99 per person. Cost us $35 for a hotel per night at a nearby Days Inn. Problem solved.
Weedwhacked on 03/05/2014:
"I have always thought Disney stood for the love of friends and family,"

Really? They are all about making money!
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My worst experience in Magic Kingdom in 8 visits...almost a 5 year fan is destroyed
Posted by on
My name is Gustavo B. and I'm the Director of Operations for a 7 restaurants her in Orlando, I just moved almost 2 years ago.... So I'm in the restaurants? customer service industry for almost 20 years and what ever happen to me, my family and my friends from Peru (tourist on vacation... Their pay a 4 parks anytime tickets...3 kids and I had a 2 years old boy) is the worst experience I ever had in my live...everything start when yesterday (12/10/)I went to the park and pay for the Xmas party celebration with my boy and family...I decide to get an a premium annual pass for myself so I get my and I assume when they said no block out days I was able to be part of the Xmas celebration, nobody explain me I need a different ticket for that...I get into the park around 6pm so I assume is not going to be a problem...surprise when around 7 someone ask us for a bracelet and nobody has one...so whit disappointed for the poor communication we decide to leave...when everything start ....A very Rude and poor class and respect guy named "Alex...from San Jose, Costa rica" ask us for the bracelet and we all said we don't have it but we leaving right now (maybe around 7:30pm) in that moment my 2 years old son ..is having and "kids accident" and I need to use the restroom 911...with defecation all over hes back and smelling really bad...Alex say : No you have to leave you can't ue the restrooms..."whatttttttttttttttt....are you serious..magic Kingdom people"...I'm American, and I can't use the restrooms to clean my boy...are you serious?????....I have to change my son in the floor..in front of a lot of people walking around me...that is not enough for Alex he decide to follow me after all this....and start screaming in my face I have to leave in front of my son, family and friends...with no respect and able to handle this situation friendly and professional...he called security...."I'm a criminal????...I'm a father and Director of Operation for a famous Restaurant Company her in Orlando...in charge for almost 200 employee's>>>>are you serious you treat me like that...I'm looking Monday to talk with my lawyer and explain all this, and see how we can fix this horrible Xmas experience with my son, family and friends.... and when security came explain the situation, very nice guy..he understand and very nice way he let me walk and leave "your place"....I always feel like Disney s part f my life and special in my son life, my son crying and confused with the situation...probably never going to forget...Alex disappear 5 min later..this happen in Xmas guys really?...when we all looking for happiness and PEACE ...how someone like this guy can work for Disney ?...I'm been fn of you guys and I went 8 time t magic kingdom and differents park...I bought a premium annual pass, around $500 and this is the way you treat me, my family and friends....this is the real magic kingdom philosophy....so mad and sad at the same time....I will appreciate if someone can reach me to my email address and please fired this employee...because I really don't want to see hes face anymore ever...this is my first complaint I made ever in my life and hopefully the last one
Gustavo B
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Anonymous on 12/11/2010:
Granted, the employee could have and SHOULD have handled himself with better etiquette than what was displayed. Some people that read this post may also come down on you for not having the proper passes for the separate occasion.

But what you need to focus on is the all the other times that you enjoyed the park, and use that as motivation to keep coming back and filling your son with lasting memories.

If you go to the same restaurant over and over and over again, eventually they are bound to make a mistake, I.e. they forget a side order, or the server is rude, etc...That one experience shouldn't keep you away from a place you've enjoyed so much in the past.

I hope you return and you and your family have many more happy memories along the way!
MRM on 12/11/2010:
Bud you're still alive! Welcome back from the time off!
trmn8r on 12/11/2010:
It sounds like there was a misunderstanding of the events you were entitled to enjoy, relative to the tickets you had purchased. And it escalated into a broohaha. I had a little trouble understanding, but that was my conclusion. I don't believe legal representation or firing of employees is needed based on my reading.

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Disney Parks....My 3 Cents Worth
Posted on
Below is a Letter I wrote to Disney Parks...and still waiting for a response so far.

Our vacation package we wanted ...That "We" had saved on the Disney World Website:

The PRICE? $5540.88

Dates Arriving on 08/28/2010 Staying for 5 nights
Celebration Add a Celebration (No)
Travel Party 2 Adults 0 Children
Resort Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (Savanna Room)
Tickets 6-Day Magic Your Way Base Ticket
Flight Delta Air Lines
From Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
Arr Orlando, FL (MCO) 08/28/10 7:38AM
Dep Orlando, FL (MCO) 09/03/10 4:47PM
Ground Disney's Magical Express (To/From Hotel)
Package Magic Your Way Platinum Package
Provider Walt Disney Travel Company
Offer Expires On 03/20/2010
Total Package Price $5540.88 †
You currently have no offers.

Now onto the email.....

Dear Disney,

Again...Disney.....You failed!
Went to Disneyland for Valentines Day....to propose to my girlfriend...... We were going to stay at Disneyland Hotel. (Called 3 weeks in advance)..... Yikes over $2300.00 for 2 days...not counting tickets or food (scratch that!)....Stayed at Ramada Maingate....King Jacuzzi Suite...3 days...$300.00!! Asked Disney to help set up proposal in park..... NO HELP whatsoever from Cast members or City Hall...... Wow...We got buttons to wear....So thrilled about that. (NOT).
So, we decide since we've never been to Disney World....We will go there for our Honeymoon on August 28th 2010....(5 nights 6 days).....Platinum Dining package, Animal Kingdom Hotel (savanna room), 6 Day Park-hopper pass and water park and extras.....and flight and transportation..... PRICE?.... $5460.00....OMG!!!
So what does Disney Destinations do?....Oh they send me email today....saying "heard you were coming to DW in September...First Time!"...We will give you 40% off on a DW package...... GUESS WHAT??.... So I call....407-W-Disney....It doesn't APPLY to the package WE WANT...(NO Disney Platinum Dining pachage included with that special!!.....No Flight!

So guess what Disney Parks..... Not going to come to your parks.....EVER again..... and guess what?
My good friends asked about going to Disneyland in June with their 4 kids and some relatives...Know what we said?.... Don't waste your money....Parks too crowded, Prices WAY TOO High....and no discount on the packages the GUEST really wants.....
Know where there going now instead?....... Magic Mountain and Knotts Berry Farm

So you see.....Now when someone ask me about Disneyland..... and Disney World....... We tell them spend your hard earned money were they give you something worth remembering besides high prices and no REAL value or specials the CUSTOMER WANTS.

By the way...know where we are looking at now for our Honeymoon?....... Universal Studio's, Knotts Berry Farm and San Diego Zoo........Thanks Disney!!

"Make your Dreams a Reality"...... Says Disney..... What a bunch of Malarky!!

We have a very large family Disney (names excluded from this posting), tons of friends and have no problem telling them about our experiences with your Parks... And guess what?.....they agree....Most have been disappointed by your prices and parks ...and won't be back.

When you can come up with a better deal and better service and guest relations...Just maybe, someday, we might return. Until then..... Find us at the other parks that have something better to offer.

Signed the "C's"

P. S...... When we went to Disneyland, several rides were closed, The Matterhorn, The Rivers of America, The Coulmbia & Riverboat, etc..... BUT, we still paid full price for our tickets....Felt a little cheated.
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Anonymous on 03/02/2010:
"When we went to Disneyland, several rides were closed, The Matterhorn, The Rivers of America, The Coulmbia & Riverboat, etc..... BUT, we still paid full price for our tickets....Felt a little cheated."

So, you think you should have gotten a discount on tickets because rides were closed? You could have done research, ahead of time, to see if certain rides are going to be open, if they're going to be closed for renovation.
Anytime you go to a place like Disney Land or World... you have to plan this months and months in advance. Lots of restaurants require 120 days notice to get reservations there. To make your experience at Disney Land work to your advantage, you *have* to plan months and months in advance. To get the best deals, the best packages, the restaurants you want... everything... you can't do it in 3 weeks time.
You can also do research on when the place is less crowded... their "off" season, so to speak.
The last time I went to Disney World was 2008... in the second week of September (one of their off seasons) for the Halloween events. We started planning it in January. We actually wanted to go the last week in September but there was a great deal going on for a 7 night stay that was actually pretty cheap. We stayed "on campus" and a majority of the meals we consumed in the cafeteria were included in the plan. We got a majority of the restaurants we wanted well in advance (one of which being Cinderella's Castle which is a b**ch to get reservations for).
You can find better packages if you stay "on campus" rather than a hotel that's not a Disney hotel. Plus, you don't have worry about finding transportation, you just take the buses that travel frequently from the hotels to the parks. And, you also can stay longer in the parks than those that don't have a hotel on Disney property.
The whole point being... you have to plan well in advance. 3 weeks is not enough time.
Anonymous on 03/02/2010:
Your expectations are unreasonable. You quote price too many times. You can't afford it, so go elsewhere. And as for telling your friends and downing Disney, you loved the idea til you couldn't get what you wanted as cheap as you wanted, then Disney became your nightmare.

I never take reviews like this seriously. And I agree with BK...Disney is HUGE. Not something you plan on a whim. And NOT cheap.
Ytropious on 03/02/2010:
You complain about the price and price only. I don't go around saying OMG a Maserati costs 125 thousand dollars! Ummm I got my car for 3,000 dollars so suck it Maserati! Dude, so Disney charges an arm and a leg for everything, so exercise your right to choose to stay elsewhere, which you did! I fail to see what Disney has done wrong.
Anonymous on 03/02/2010:
I really didn't understand this review other than they didn't get a 40% discount for a package they wanted and Dumbo didn't help with the wedding proposal??? I always try to see the OP's side of things but I'm going to need some help on this one because all I get from this review is that Disney World/Land is expensive. I always assumed that was common knowledge.
SteveWiginowski on 03/03/2010:
PepperElf on 03/03/2010:
hmm. you know it was much easier when I went to disney

I just hopped a train, got off a disney and wandered through the place for the day with 3 of my friends. of course we didn't do any overnight things or speciality packages, just a basic ticket.

the hard part was finding some place to get my $ changed into ¥
Anonymous on 03/03/2010:
Disney parks are expensive, everyone knows that. If you can't afford it, don't go there.
Anonymous on 03/03/2010:
My Comment to ALL readers who responded negatively to my 3 Cents Worth..... I guess you must all make over $50,000 a year or more and can afford to spend $5,000 to $6,000 at a pop?...Well, a lot of folks don't. Or, perhaps somebody else paid your way?...Remember, Walt Disney wanted a park EVERYONE could enjoy....not just the rich (read the history)
Either way,
A) We have been to Disneyland over 30 times or more since the early 1960's....and the prices have sky rocketed in the last 10 years.
B) Have ALWAYS planned well ahead of time. (doen't matter if rides closed....You pay full price for a completely opened park...not a partially opened park....Would you pay full price for half a movie or theatre show or a plane ride to half your destination?)
C) And yes, we knew Disney Parks were expensive...and that is why we ARE NOT going..... just as much entertainment at other places for a whole heck of a lot less.... Disney is not the only venue.
D) Giving value and meeting the customers needs are what makes a company stronger....I should know I work in the entertainment Capitol of the World (Las Vegas) in a major Hotel.... and if we didn't cater to our customers needs....we wouldn't have any returning customers.
E) Prices have jumped up another $1000.00 since I last went online to check into a package last week...And this is the off seasons supposedly (6 months in advance.
Anonymous on 03/03/2010:
Wolf, you wanted to stay in a Disneyworld resort hotel + airfare + park tickets. That seriously amps up the price.

I've never stayed in a Disney owned hotel, and have always had a blast.

You either can afford it, or you can't afford it. I can't afford to charter a private jet, but I'm not going to write a complaint letter about it.
Ytropious on 03/03/2010:
Wolf, for the record I probably make much much less than you. Anyway the only thing you are required to buy at Disney is a ticket inside. That's like what, 100 bucks a pop? YOU are the one acting like it's required to stay on site and eat on site and fly with a package deal. You don't have to be rich, you just have to have other options.
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Grand Floridian + Meal plan = disappointment
Posted by on
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- My stay started on April 19th 2008. I will let you know what Disney didn't tell us when we booked. (off season) If you are bringing children, and plan on attending any character meal, Book it 180 days prior to your stay or you will be in for a huge let down, When we went, it was off season and everything was booked even the regular meals. So BOTTOM LINE, BOOK EVERY MEAL! there is no charge to cancel, so book every night or you will wind up eating fast food every night. Don't go with the meal plan its a complete waste of money. You pay the same weather you have the meal plan or not. It got to the point that I needed a manager just so we could get a sit down meal, I had to complain that we had the meal plan and could not get reservations for any restaurant in the park for dinner, so we had to get a taxi to the nearest place outside of Disney, They don't like that, then Magically things opened up for us, because Disney does not want you to spend your money anywhere but at the world. Also if you use the Disney busses to get to the parks, expect to be over crowded, and you may have to wait for several busses before you can get a seat. The Grand Floridian is always the last stop on all the busses, so by the time a bus comes to pick you up, most time it was already filled. Grand Floridian is their best hotel, but they must feel that only old people stay there and don't care about the transportation, thinking that nobody will be interested in going to the parks. Also our room was to hold 5 people, and we paid a lot of money for our stay but the room was in very poor condition and there were a few things that I couldn't let go. There was what looked like spilled chocolate pudding on our balcony, the whole stay it was never cleaned up, I told the wife not to tell the maid se how long it will stay, (the whole 10 days) The tub was clogged and first thing in the morning we ran out of hot water. For the same money we spent on this Disney vacation, we could have taken a 2 week cruise to Hawaii with all food included. I will not ever stay in Disney again. I will visit the parks but I will never eat there. A meal for 2 adults and 3 kids eating chicken nuggets and rubber hamburgers with drinks cost around $70. (what do you do to hamburger to make it feel like rubber and taste like sawdust?) Anyway I am not a bitter person but Think twice about staying inside Disney.
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tander on 05/05/2008:
I would never go there either, it's too commercialized, too expensive and too large of crowds for me.
HKong on 05/06/2008:
I have stayed at Disney hotels several times during off-season and have never had a problem getting reservations. I wouldn't get the meal plan, it is too expensive. Some Disney hotels have buses that do not stop at other hotels. Getting on those hasn't ever been a problem. You would probably have a better experience at a family-oriented Disney hotel.
yoke on 05/06/2008:
Hate to tell you, but the week you went was during spring break for many schools. We had friends that were there during that week and said it was wall to wall people. We were there in Feb and it wasn't that bad.
Anonymous on 05/06/2008:
One of the best times to go is the week after Thanksgiving. The parks are decorated for the holidays and the crowds are small. As to making reservations, or as Disney calls it 'Priority Seating', regardless of when you go make the reservations at least 60 days in advance.
Hugh_Jorgen on 05/06/2008:
Just a little bit of research before you went would have told you what to expect. Yes, Disney is expensive, and yes, it's crowded most of the time.

We usually rent a house or condo for the week. Last spring we stayed in a 3BR/2BA condo 10 minutes from the main gate - place was nearly new and fully equipped - the condo complex had two pools, tennis courts, game room, etc - all at no extra charge. We paid $125/night for the condo. The bonus was that with a fully equipped kitchen, we weren't having to eat out three meals a day.

Spend a few hours researching and you will find all sorts of web sites about Orlando and all the parks - best times to go, times to avoid, back roads to avoid the crowds.
Slimjim on 05/06/2008:
I've stayed at the Grand Floridian once in March and never encountered the bus problems you had. The Floridian does have monorail service too you can use. I'm with you on the meal plan though and yes, always book the character dinners as far ahead as possible.
GothicSmurf on 05/06/2008:
You most likely ran into my ex and his daughter. Had I known you were going, I would have had you say hello for me. :)

Go on off peak times.
Jersey D on 05/20/2008:
I can't speak too all of the issues you posted but I can tell you (and others) this: With regard to making reservations, you clearly did not do any research on line. Many of the available experiences book very quickly, and each resource I found on line professed the exact same sentiments. We called exactly 180 days in advance for my daughter's Princess Breakfast at the Royal Table in Cinderella's Castle, and was told we called 3 days too soon. I then called back on the prescribed date as close to 7:00 a.m. as possible and experienced no problem getting through and making the reservation. We also booked her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment in the same fashion.

We just got back from our WDW vacation and couldn't be happier with the results.

Agreed, the bus situation while staying on site is lack luster because of the sheer volume of people trying to access it at the same time (especially after the fireworks), but it still beats heading back to a car in a parking lot to deal with the traffic to go off site. On emore than one occasion they brought multiple buses to our stop as ours seemed to be longer than the rest on our particular side.

We opted for the dining plan after booking and separately paying for the Princess Breakfast, but we were very pleased to find out that with the dining plan, a point, is a point, is a point...Meaning: You can eat at the value resort food court, an "in-park" restaurant, character dining meal, or almost all of the high end restaurants>>>at the same cost. (Don't quote me but I think the Princess Breakfast is a two point per person experience.) We had the three table service daily dining plan for each of us. With my wife trying to stay a little healthy eating WW friendly breakfast cereal, we knew we wouldn't reach our alloted points for the week. Heck - We tried to burn three points getting into Ackerhaus in Epcot's Norway on our last day just to get Ariel's autograph for my daughter. Looking back (and preparing for the future should they offer the dining plan in the same fashion) we should have done nothing but character dining meals and meals at restaurant's like the Captain's Grill at the Disney Yacht Club. Of course, get those reservations in early too if you can. I know at least one other vacationing family that found theselves like we did ont he last day. Multiple points left and no one to give the food away to at the hotel.

One thing we didn't like about the dining plan is that it held no special purpose after making the reservation. We went to Epcot for a character dining meal lunch at the Garden Grill and arrived on time. After checking in at the desk we were told it would take up to 20 minutes to be seated. Another guest walked up without reservations and he was quoted the same 20 minute wait because the restaurant had availability. Irksome, but not a deal breaker by any means. Take your chances if you dare, but I'd still recommend reservations well in advance whenever possible.

Another "not so positive" issue we experienced centered around getting Ariel's autograph: Her Grotto in the Magic Kingdom was closed, and she wasn't available to regular guests outside of the Ackerhaus lunch/dinner meals. You'd think it wouldn't be such a big deal, but it sure was for us. This was my only child's first trip to Disney and she loves the Princesses. One of the most beloved characters Disney had ever come up with not available to "meet & greet"???? Who could believe such a thing? Fortunately we already had separate tickets to the Piarate & Pincess party where we caught up with Ariel at last.

Another word of advice: If you are into getting character autographs, they shut down the lines at the end of the scheduled "meet & greet" times about a half hour before end of the scheduled time frame. I saw many irate parents and sad kids at the end of the Pirate & Princess Party because they waited too long to try to get that last signature.

Let me tell you the best part of our entire vacation: Minnie Mouse spied my daughter on top of my shoulders dressed up just like her during the SpectroMagic Parade. Minnie pointed her out, waved, giggled and generally made us feel like we were being noticed. You'd think that would be enough to make an evening grand, but then walking down Main Street to leave, a cast member (Josh) came out from the Confectionery Shop and informed us of the following:

"Minnie saw you in the crowd during the parade and told me to come find you. She wanted you to have this because you (my daughter) made her so happy dressing up like her." He then handed my daughter a chocolate chip cookie that was more than a foot in diameter and about half an inch thick. My wife and I looked at each other in astonishment: Do they REALLY have that kind of communication during a major park event? Or was this just a small gesture by someone paying attention, making a little girl feel special, and/or acknowledging how much money had been spent on the Minnie Mouse outfit and giving back so little that meant so much to each of us? I don't want to know the real answer, I feel all warm inside just pondering the possibilities!!!

We already projecting our return to WDW and hope that it comes faster than we think it will. There are just as many individual positive Disney experiences for folks as there are negative. Personally I think Disney delivered the value for our dollars, and then some. Many folks believe that it isn't what happens to you but how you deal with it that matters. Life seems to move much more smoothly that way.

That's my 3 cents and I'm sticking to it!
KoolHandStu on 05/25/2008:
DJMD2, My wife and I also stayed at a Disney World Resort and although our resort problem significantly differs from yours, I can sincerely sympathize. Fortunately for us, my wife researched Disney World long prior to our trip there so we had dinner reservations established for our entire trip. Our food experience there was an excellent one and I am sorry that your's was not. We were quite impressed by the Disney World bus system to the various venues but did on a few occasions wind up on standing room only buses. Fortunately this was the exception rather than the typical transportation experience.

You are quite correct in your assessment that Disney wants all of your vacation dollars and would prefer you stay there for the entire vacation. We did venture off premises for a wonderful lobster and sea food dinner and although costly well worth the break from the Magic Kingdom.

Although our Disney World experience differed from yours and believe me, there was a significant problem at the All Star Movies resort, I don't question or doubt anything contained in your post.

It is extremely disappointing to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation, only to be very disappointed when all is said and done.

I regret you had a disappointing experience and really hope your next family vacation is much improved and gratifying.


Kool Hand Stu
italianboarder on 06/30/2008:
I'm sorry you had such bad experience.
I worked for Disney for 5 years, from 1992 (opening of Disneyland Paris) to 1997. 4 Years in Paris and 1 year in Florida at WDW. Honestly I must tell you that at WDW we were treated like slaves while in Paris (under European laws), not saying we were kings, but it was fun, had great benefits and treated like normal workers most of the time.

The fact that your hotel room (a very expensive one) was not cleaned properly is unacceptable. I would have mentioned that to the Front Desk manager before leaving the property.
With all that money you could've visited better Disney parks.
Last year (April 2007) I re-visited Disneyland Paris (first time in 10 years and first time there as a guest) for their 15th anniversary, and I must say the place was even better than when I left it (I do miss working there a lot, now I live in Wyoming... different life).
Last April 2008, I visited Tokyo Disney Sea and it was amazingly wonderful. With the money you spent at WDW you could've visited either one (my Continental flight from Salt Lake City to Tokyo was $780 Round Trip), to Paris $650.
The thing that hit me the most in both places was the price of food. I had a seafood personal pizza inside the park at Tokyo Disney Sea for $6, a complete 3 course meal is less than $15, a glass of wine is $4 and a bottle is $20.
In Paris I found prices to be exactly the way they were 10 years before, which makes them more affordable now.

I hope you will visit Disney again (I left my heart there), but keep in mind that there are better places than Disney World. Places were on top of Disney fantasy you can also enjoy real culture, art and history.
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Disney Resort All Star Movie Disappoints
Posted by on
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- When my wife made reservations at the Disney World resort, All Star Movie she made only one request, a quiet room. We did not care if we were close to the swimming pool, food court or any other resort venues. My wife is legally disabled and needed a chance to rest and sleep after busy days at the various Disney World kingdoms. Initially, our request was fulfilled and we were quite happy and satisfied.

Then the 400 teenagers from Brazil and Argentina arrived for a sponsored cheer leading and dance international competition. The constant yelling, screaming, running and chasing, jumping up and down and banging on our room door lasted the first night until after midnight. In speaking with Disney World security I was informed that they were doing what they could but due to "language barriers" were unsuccessful in resolving the issue. The following day, my wife's birthday was very long and not the happiest or magical due to a lack of sleep.

The next day, we had to be up at 3:00 a.m. for our flight home. That evening was more of the same, only worse as the total rowdiness of the foreign guests lasted until after 1:00 a.m. In speaking with several staff I learned that this was not the first year this had happened with the people from Brazil creating numerous issues and problems. In fact, I discovered that management at this resort had questioned staff concerning their suggestions as to how to correct the problem. One security guard told me he had suggested that all the teenagers from Brazil be housed in one specific building of the resort enabling them to only disturb each other. Apparently, due to concerns from Disney resort management about political correctness and concerns about being accused of segregation, they chose to disturb all the other resort guests.

I attempted to contact the General Manager of All Star Movie resort and was eventually informed that he did not take phone calls from customers and the only method of contacting him was to send an e-mail. Initially the staff would not even provide me his name. I eventually persuaded staff to identify this previously anonymous manager and sent him an e-mail that was professional, however, requested an adjustment in my resort room charges. The only response I received was a canned response thanking me for contacting Guest Services and assuring me that I would hear further from them which I have not.

I do believe that due to two nights of no sleep, my magical experience in the Magical Kingdom was spoiled in addition to spoiling my wife's birthday. Does anyone think that Disney cares? Personally, I know that they do not. Pay big bucks to stay and go there and take your chances because if you have a real problem, there is no one there to take it to.

Corporate greed at its very worst regardless of all the Disney hype.
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jktshff1 on 02/09/2008:
You would find this at any theme park. It's not just the "foreign" or Brazilian kids, that's what kids do where ever they are.
Don't go to a kids place unless you can put up with them.
yoke on 02/09/2008:
I disagre jkt. The chaperones of these kids should have had control over them and consider the other guests. The hotel should have done something for the guests inconvienced by these brats. The hotel knew they were getting 400 kids and should have warned guests ahead of time. Yes Disney is a place for kids and families, not a bunch of unruly teens.
jktshff1 on 02/09/2008:
No, I agree with you, the hotel should have done something to help and the chaperone's should have done something, but, unfortunately that is not usually the case.
Nohandle on 02/09/2008:
I feel unless one books on a "kiddie cruise" not a motel/hotel room, consideration should be made for the other guests. Certainly kids away from home are going to push it as far as they can. We all did it. The chaperones should have taken charge here and told them to tone it down. Surely they didn't sleep through this. Perhaps they checked into another hotel.
yoke on 02/09/2008:
When my kids are in 7th grade they go to Williamsburg/Washington DC/Philadelphia for 5 days. They stay in hotels and every year our schools get letters from guests and the hotel staff about how well behaved the children were. The teachers/chaperones don't allow the kids to run wild. One for security reasons and two for respect for the other guests. Sounds like the brazillian chaperones were having fun themselves.
Principissa on 02/09/2008:
This is just plain common decency. As teenagers, regardless of where they are from and what language they spoke, they should have known better than to run around like rabid monkeys and banging on other guests' doors in the middle of the night. I'm almost certain there were rules posted in the hotel about noise and excessive partying, and at this point they should have been asked to leave. What were the chaperone's doing? Where were the adults? Disney is geared for kids, I understand that, but this is just over the line. Security and the hotel itself seemed so nonchalant about the whole ordeal. What you should have done was called the Orlando police department. If security and the hotel wouldn't do anything, you can bet the cops would.
Ben There on 02/09/2008:
I am sure 400 kids from any country, including the USA, would have been just as crazy. Sounds like the hotel needed more security and the group needed more chaperones.
grumpie on 02/17/2008:
I was at the all star movies resort at that time and did not observe any of the things you complain about.I was there 7 days and my son and family were there 10 days.farther more the room rate was only 82.00 a night for a nice well kept clean room and resort which is hardly overpriced.What do you expect at disney? The senior citizen retirement complex? I'am 65 and I had no problems whatsoever.I think you are just whining to get a free holiday
KoolHandStu on 02/18/2008:
Grumpy, feel fortunate that where ever you were, you were not exposed to this. Believe me when I say that I have no need for any freebies and was not on the Disney dining plan. Disney staff were well aware of this issue and once I was able to actually speak to a manager, more than happy to resolve it the best way they could. Oh yes, they were also quick to apologize. 65 huh, gee I wish I had been able to turn my hearing aid down. Cheers.
grumpie on 03/25/2008:
to koolhandstu I was there when the brazilian kids were there and I stayed at the all star music resort and I did not observe any of the things the other complained about.I do not have a hearing aid work full time and just drove 6000 miles return to Las Vegas.I suppose there are lots of things to complain about but I travel 2 months a year from LA to Key West and in between and find its a lot easier if you mind your own business and don't complain about everything.If you expect everything to be like home stay home
KoolHandStu on 03/26/2008:
Grumpy, I don't have any idea what building you stayed in but once again, consider yourself lucky that you were not disturbed as my wife and I were. I am certain that there are many things in this world you have neither experienced nor witnessed but that certainly does not mean that they haven't happened or don't exist. Your remarks are most ignorant in my humble opinion.

As an aside, once I spoke with Disney resort management, who were by the way, well aware of the situation they were most apologetic. They were also quite willing to compensate me for my disturbance. I also heard from Disney Corporate and they were also quite accommodating. Consequently I must retract my statement that Disney doesn't care about its guests.

As for you Grumpy, kindly keep your ignorant opinions to yourself in the future.
grumpie on 04/14/2008:
stu I will tell you again.I stayed at the same resort at the same time as you did.I saw those kids you complained about.I saw them at the resort and I saw some of them at the shopping malls and I thought they were well behaved.Since you got a refund on your stay I'am going to copy your letter and call Disney and ask them where my refund issince I was there at the same place and time.I didn't realize how much we were traumatized during our stay and if you got an apology and a refund the I gues I and my wife and the several hundred other people who were there also deserve a refund.Maybe an ad in the paper and a class action lawsuit will be the way to go.Right Disney.Charge people full price but give discounts to the complainers.That sucks
Anonymous on 04/14/2008:
I missed this the first time around. I think it's very possible for someone to be staying at the same exact resort and have a different experience. Because someone else did not experience the same problems (noise) does not matter.

I like it quiet when going to bed at night so I can sleep and enjoy my next day. There are places to be noisy and places to be quiet. That is absolute common courtesy in every country I have visited. When I have complained about noisy situations (usually in Vegas--what do you expect?), security always makes sure they get to the root of the problem quickly. They want return guests. (I also always bring ear plugs for the plane and hotel just in case.)

Grumpie--BTW, your rate and someone elses rate can vary by the type of room and even where they booked. And, there is never anything wrong with a valid complaint. I don't like to pay for things that I am unhappy with and neither should you.

And, finally, I especially like the part about language barriers (the hotel's excuse). No one on the staff could speak Spanish? In Florida? Come on!
KoolHandStu on 05/25/2008:
To Grumpie: I sincerely endeavor to ignore and avoid ignorant people. In your February 17, 2008 post, you stated that you stayed at the All Star Movies Disney World Resort during the same time period I encountered the disturbance. In your March 25, 2008, post you report staying at the Disney World All Star Music Resort. You continuously contradict the facts and information contained in this post yet clearly don't even know where you stayed at Disney World. Finally you sarcastically suggest stupid ways to get some sort of refund for a problem you were most fortunate not to have encountered during your stay. I understand now why you didn't have any problem there. You don't even know where you are so how could you possibly recognize a problem when you had one. You do have a definite problem Grumpy and it's definitely between your ears. Get some professional help you horrible donkey!

Kool Hand Stu
DebtorBasher on 05/25/2008:
I would have to agree with the poster's complaint. Disney is advertised as a "Family" vacation for "all ages"....it does not say it's a kiddie park. Also, the excuse of the "Language barriers" is just a bunch of BS. SOMEONE was able to communicate enough to make the reservations for 400 teens! Also, I am sure the chaperones were adults and should have controlled these kids no matter what language they speak and I would guess they could have translated, "Shut up and go to bed and stop acting like a bunch of idiots" in a language they would understand.
Anonymous on 05/25/2008:
After reading the post for the first time, and then going over the comments, I voted this review as very helpful. People behave parallel to the level of expectation. If we don't expect much 'because they're teenagers', they will act like savages. I suspect that this group was unruly because of inadequate supervision or inadequate behavior expectations. I don't see where the poster comes close to hinting for a freebie. The OP was informative and I hope Disney staffers see it.
grumpie on 07/04/2008:
stu in rgard to your last name calling post.my wife and I stayed at the all star movies resort and my son daughter in law and grand kids stayed at the all star music resort.I walked back and forth every day between the resorts ate in the food court went to the arcade with the grand kids and sat by the pool.I saw the kids you referred to and I did not see them act in the way you described.I see you have resorted to name calling to get your point across.it is exactly what I would expect from someone like youperhaps your frustation with these kids was that they were foreigners.As I have said I saw these kids at the park and at the shopping malls and I thought they were well behaved neatly dresses and polite.you would do well not to travel as it seems to stress you outI have some names in mind for you but unlike you I will keep them to myself.after we left disney we traveled to key west ft. lauderdale hollywood fl and then went back to canada(another foreigner)the after two weeks we drove to las vegas spent ten days there and came home,so you will have to forgive my stupidity for getting all star music and all star movies resort mixed up.I have travelled 2 months ayear for 33 years and always stayed at motels and I still think that all your whining was just to get a discount on your room.
GlitteringFirefly on 12/30/2009:
My non-Brazillian brothers and parents stayed at the same hotel during that time period. Disney hosts a soccer tournament and the UCA National College Cheerleading Championships at the same time. They all stay at the All Star Resorts. It wasn't just foreign kids.
MissMissa on 07/06/2010:
My friend and I, who are both 18, stayed at the Movie's Resort and unfortunately ran into this group as well. Having them stay in the complex directly across from us, they stayed until 3am screaming, chanting, clapping like a bunch of unruly barbarians. And don't get me wrong, we can appreciate a good loud party EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. Not. Every. Single. Night. Especially after walking around all day in the crappy humidity, heat, and unevitable rain that the WONDERFUL state of Florida has to offer.

We've had to call security on them multiple times where they sent only English speaking people to a bunch of Brazillians whose chaparones didn't bother learning any sort of English before going to an English speaking country. ( good idea, right?? )

Disney has done what they need to do, they can't control who comes to visit. But SERIOUSLY. This is beyond obnoxious and I know this isn't proper behavior in any country whether it be Brazil or America.
KoolHandStu on 07/07/2010:
Miss Missa Apparently some things don't change. I'm really sorry to hear that you had to experience what my wife and I did. Not exactly the best way to have an enjoyable experience at the Magic Kingdom, awake most of the night and sleep deprived the following days. Several people that posted replies to my post evidently misunderstood the fact that I focused on the Brazilian kids. They were the problem that we experienced as they were loud, rowdy and totally out of control. Several posters apparently felt that I was singling them out. Frankly, had the problem been with a group from Beverly Hills, I would have pointed them out as the problem. It has been quite some time since our bad experience and we continue to receive offers and solicitations from the good folks at Disney. No thanks to their offers of free nights and discounted rates,never again.
Je on 07/18/2012:
Just got back from disney. Movies was totally over loaded with these rude,unsupervised young teens. Had a crank call at two in the morning. At the parks they ran over us many times. Only once did we see a employee turn a group away from the fast pass line, because,they did not have the passes. So how many times do they get away with it. Terrible experience.

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Disney World Biggest Let Down Off All Time
Posted by on
FLORIDA -- My family and I just returned home from our week long trip to Disney and I am sorry to say that it was one of the most miserable weeks of our lives. I used to be one of the biggest Disney fans ever-my house,yard,etc all decorated with Disney-however I am now so disenchanted it is all coming down. First of all Disney is so so money hungry that they over pack every resort,park,and dining area so that it is not possible to even breathe let alone enjoy yourself!Most of the cast members try to help people but they are so over worked by to many guests that they are just miserable. After booking 6 months in advance we were told our room was not ready and we would just have to walk around with all of our carry on and children in 100 degree heat and when we tried to ask how long this would take we were told no one knew and the looks and tones told us no one cared. It was like we were rude to even ask.

We paid 7000.00 To stay in a Disney resort and for us that is a lot of money but once you get there you are treated like cattle and packed in so tight you can not even take a breath. They tell you that if you stay in the resort you do not need a car because they provide all transportation however you often have to sit in the heat for an hour to wait for a bus that is so jam packed with people that you can not get on and the drivers are so overwhelmed that all they say is oh well just wait for the next one-they say you can use fast pass to get on rides but they do not let you know that all fast pass booths are closed most of the time and even if u find one to use u have to wait for hours and you can not use it on any other rides in the meantime.

They tell you if you stay in a Disney resort that you get extra park hours but they do not tell you that the transportation system is so booked that you can not get a bus to or from the park without being in misery for what seems like hours-they have you pay extra to get tickets to the water parks but they do not let you know that the good water park(blizzard beach)is closed by 11:00 almost every day because it is filled to capacity-they show you pictures of the wonderful pools at the resorts but they do not tell you that the pools are so packed that you can not move if you dare to get in-they tell you about all the extra services they offer like internet access but they do not tell you that you have to pay 10.00 Every 24 hours if you want to use it(are you kidding me.

Doesn't Disney have enough money)even the Ramada offers free internet-one night we actually got in mgm for extra magic hours and waited forever to get on a ride only to be told at the front that we could not get on cause we did not have a special wristband???. Everywhere you go at Disney you see families fighting because they are just miserable-how do you tell a 7 year old that he can not get on the rides or do the things he has been dreaming about because everything is so packed you can not even get close to it.I am not stupid I knew that there would be lots of people and waits but this was so insane you can not imagine-I think even chicken houses have more space than we had.It hurts me to say these things cause I have loved and dreamed about Disney forever and I know that they are in business to make money but I have never been anyplace in my life that shows as little concern about people and as much concern about making a buck as Disney-if I ever hear of anyone planning a trip to Disney I will do everything I can to talk them out of it and save the money because my family would have been better off to take the 7000.00 And flush it down the toilet.

I could go on and on giving more examples but you get the picture-my family has a new saying-Disney where misery comes true!
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MRM on 08/20/2007:
$7000 for the Disney trip... GOOD GOOGLY MOOGLY!
Anonymous on 08/20/2007:
Unfortunately, you traveled to Disney World during their busiest and hottest time of the year.

Anonymous on 08/20/2007:
That is a bit much
Anonymous on 08/20/2007:
Emt has a point,try going when its not so crowded.
We go to Disneyland every year,and we go mid September-ish,and it is not so crowded,and pleasant.
Hugh_Jorgen on 08/20/2007:
Emt is right (again). There are plenty of resources on the web full of Disney "secrets" as far as the times of year to go, where to stay, how to avoid the crowds, etc.

Interestingly enough I spoke to a co-worker just this AM that is just back from WDW - he was there last week. He said they had a blast - visited every park during the week. But they picked last week because many kids are back in school already and the rates at the Disney properties dropped considerably starting last week. He had no problems with long lines or crowds.

It's all about the timing......
DarkProwler on 08/20/2007:
I'd give them another chance, but definitely try for the "value" season, which is generally Mid-February to March, or Mid-August to mid-October. A lot less crowded and cooler.

Also, if your room is not yet ready, they will take whatever bags you have and hold them, and then take them to your room when it's ready. Just have to ask.
Anonymous on 08/20/2007:
Instead of posting a comment here, I posted my review of Disney World/ Orlando.

I just got back from Disney/Universal Studios on Saturday.
steve101 on 08/20/2007:
Anonymous on 08/21/2007:
I posted responds to your add. comments and part2 review.
Ryan84 on 10/22/2007:
If you really want to enjoy Disney, go during the 3rd week in January.My fiance and I go every year during this week, the crowds are down, the temps are tolerable, and the price of water drops to $2 from $4 during the summer! as for the money situation, I don't feel bad for you. You want to go to a world known attraction, your going to pay for it. Of course if you go to Disney during the summer you are going to deal with the heat, packed parks, packed pools and packed buses! that's the chance you take going during the summer, EVERYONE IS ON VACATION!! Did you think Disney is going to cap off the parks at 20,000? Magic Kingdom holds 100,000 people at once!
DJMD2 on 05/05/2008:
Amen. We went through the same. If you have small children that need strollers, Disney will rent them to you for $15 a day for a single or $31 for a double. They get you every way they can. They also hide their characters in out of the way places so you can't find them to have your childs picture with them. I have always been a fan of Disney but it has changed. Old Walt is spinning in his grave. I know it would make him cry to see what they have done to his dream, all in the name of money.
yoke on 05/06/2008:
DJ, you went at one of the busiest weeks of the year, what did you expect? Why did you pick the week that many families with kids in school have vacation?
AGentlRose on 08/30/2008:
I worked for two Disney resorts, both front desk and guests services and they ALWAYS offer to store your luggage, whether it is your checked luggage or carry-on bags until your room is ready. Never would you be forced to drag your bags around unless you wanted to.
Jaybee68 on 09/12/2008:
I have to laugh at DJMD2. They hide their characters in out of the way places? In the summer, in particular, the characters have specific areas to be because they need to be near an exit. You think you and your kids get hot? Try being in a 50 lb. fur suit for an hour. Everyone wants to see the characters, yet no one has any empathy for the fact that - newsflash! - it's not really a giant mouse and dog, it's a HUMAN being.

If you spend $7000 without doing your research, I have ZERO empathy for you.
Jaybee68 on 09/12/2008:
notlkn on 01/29/2009:
Just got back from WDW (Jan 09)and everything this lady said is true! Felt like cattle in huge crowds, Fast pass gone by 12:00 for rides, employees not up to par, riding around in carts through crowds of guest and trash staying at base of trash cans and ashtrays for 2 days. Most any regular visitor would find that alone shocking. The level of service except at the character dining, was that of any other amusement park. And I did go in the supposed off time. This was not my first trip but my last. First trip years ago we got to the airport and walked directly to a shuttle. This time we went to a check in line and then another line for a bus. Flight arrived at 9:20 and got to hotel at a little after 11. Food areas at the resort were so packed you had to stand in line to get a drink if the machine was even filled. Until the last day the bus drivers just said hello and you listen to that recording. Finally got one that was like we remembered, who gave disney facts and answered questions and actually seemed happy to do it. We all felt that Disney has become more impersonal and greedy. We were told a few times that they had a lot of new employees. Well Tinker bell must have been one of them as she refused to speak to a deaf child because "she wouldn't understand her anyway" even after being told the child reads lips she would not bend down to speak to her but moved in for a picture and moved on. We found ourselves desperately grateful every time we were treated well. That is not as it should be. Scoff at that lady for spending what she did but she may be like us. We take small vacations for a few years and then one like this. We paid to have a worry free wk with the dining, park hopper disney resort package. And please don't bash me just because I no longer enjoy Disney. I was once a true believer but I too think this was NOT Walt Disney's dream. After all that we are now trying to figure out where to spend our next big vacation that will accommodate a wide age range who like to keep busy and we can go in the winter and escape to good weather, within the US. Open to suggestions!!!!
aimmelou on 05/12/2009:
Which resort did you stay at? My family (about 8-10 of us) go together at least once per year, usually during the peak season (we go towards the end of June) and have never had some of the problems you describe.

While it is busy at the pools, it has never been so busy that we couldn't have a good time. We typically stay at the Beach Club (but have stayed elsewhere also) and have enjoyed the pools at varying hours of the day.

We plan our park days around which ones we can get extra magic hours at and have never had a problem finding a bus to get to our park early in the 10+ years we have been going.

During the busiest times of the day we have had to skip one full bus to wait for the next because we have such a large group, but have NEVER waited for an hour for a Disney bus.

You complain about how to tell your child that everything is too packed for him to ride, but then complain about how they cut off entrance at the water parks after a certain number of people. You have effectively covered both sides of an argument in your complaint. If you are worried about getting into a park at certain hours because of the number of people, ask! The Disney employees I have spoken with are always happy to share some insider information with you if they have it.

DJMD2 - We started going again (we used to go when I was a child) when my son was two and I always took with me what he would need. If it would cost too much to fly your stroller, you should expect to have to pay for a stroller if you need one. Also, I have always been able to find out at the parks where the characters will be and at what times without too much trouble.

I'd like to also point out that children are easily influenced by the mood of their parents. Surely your child’s memories are going to be bad if he is constantly reminded of how horrible the trip was and if he hears your family motto of "Disney where misery comes true!"
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Hard to make a reservation
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Disney Vacation Club is very uncooperative in helping existing members make a reservation. Six months out, there is often No Availability, yet non-members may call & pay cash for a reservation. It is how Disney looks to hook more members - at the cost of existing members.
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Alain on 06/01/2011:
Contact Walt Disney Corporate Headquarters at 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91512 (818) 560-1000 and let them know about your dissatisfaction.
Ben There on 06/01/2011:
Do your desired dates happen to fall around Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Years?
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Food package very expensive
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ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We went to Disney World a few months ago and bought the food package thinking it would be a good deal, it was not. We were very limited on where you could it. It was a complete waste of money. Employees did not know how it worked everyone told us different things you got with the meals. The places we were able to eat at everything tasted the same. We found one good place that we actually liked at Animal Kingdom, but of course we were only there one day! We spent much of our own money on food just so we could eat at more convenient places, and not run around the parks looking for places "in our food plan". The days we did use them we probably spent an hour of our day planning our day around the place we could use our cards at. We ended up giving away 7 of our meals to a family the day we left, hopefully they got some use of it since I feel we got ripped off. I also did not like that you had to get your deserts within 90 min of your food purchase. This is not very practical when you have to stand in line for rides. I feel we paid for it we should be able to get it when we want. Other than the food cards I had a great time at Disney World and would definitely go back. Every one was so friendly and the service was great.
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Anonymous on 05/17/2010:
I was wondering how their food package works.

I think I'll just stick with what I usually do - stay in a suite close by that has a full kitchen and free shuttle service.

Anonymous on 05/17/2010:
That's too bad that the package is limited. But good for you for letting another family try and use it instead of just letting it go to waste
Anonymous on 05/17/2010:
Good review! I've frequented Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc...in California, and we always buy our own food. I have heard quite often how these all-day food packages are a rip-off. There are only certain areas of the park that they can be used, certain meals, etc...overall just very selective and more so...restrictive. The only thing I would recommend is the refill beverages. Those are actually worth it!
Slimjim on 05/17/2010:
Good review. We tend to go down there a lot and while I never looked into this deal, it looks like I will consciously pass on the option anytime in the future.
clutzycook on 05/17/2010:
Good review. I've always thought that plans like that sounded too good to be true. Whenever my family and I would go to a theme park, we would either pack our food and eat it in the parking lot come lunchtime, go back to the hotel and eat there, or go get fast food outside of the park. I'll Echo yaya's compliment in giving your unused tickets to another family. Very nice!
Venice09 on 05/17/2010:
Great information. It sounds like the food package is not the way to go, for all the reasons you stated. I'm sure the other family appreciated the free meals. That was very generous of you. And I love that you incorporated a compliment into your complaint. It makes your complaint more real in my book!
Ryan84 on 05/25/2010:
My wife and I are frequent visitors to Disney World and we had never purchased the food package until our last trip. Sorry your experience was so bad but my wife and I found it to be a good deal. We purchased the package that allows 1 sit down and 1 quick service. We were able to afford to eat at restaurants that we normally would not have been able to afford, like Le Cellier, and the Coral Reef. We Are going back in a few weeks and purchased the plan again. You mention that not many food places were in your plan. I don't really understand that, because almost every restaurant in every park, and most hotels are in the meal plan.
BEJ on 05/25/2010:
Are there different types of the meal plan available? Different price plans offering different restaurants?
Ryan84 on 05/25/2010:
BEJ, there are different levels of the plan, for different prices, but all participating restaurants accept the plan no matter what level it is. The meal plan is accepted at every restaurant owned by Disney. Which excludes the restaurants in Downtown Disney except for Planet Hollywood. The only places in the parks that don't accept the plan are some of the small food carts. But aside from that the meal plan is valid at every Disney restaurant.
Backlash2 on 06/28/2010:
My son his wife and 2 kids went last year and had the food plan they loved it and said it saved them a lot of money and they would definitely get it again.
afhsscott on 09/17/2010:
You are crazy! The "Dining Plan" was one of our favorite things about our last Disney World trip. You can use it almost anywhere. We had fun eating just anywhere and ordering whatever. My kids loved it too. I would HIGHLY recommend the "Dining Plan" to anyone. We are going back in December and got the Dining Plan for free. Always check for that, they offer it a lot.
Dr Valentin Pashtenko on 03/06/2012:
I am sorry that you did not feel that the plan was a wise investment. Being a Florida local with 3 children, a wife, and at least one or two others with our party when we go, I end up paying for 6-7 people for 3 meals plus snacks and soft drinks. At minimum, the cost is $500/day. When the kids have a week off from school, I end up spending $10K for rooms and $3.5K for food and drinks for average meals - add another $3K/week for when we (frequently) feel the need to be pampered (4 star service ). As you can see, the costs can get high rather quickly.

In short, I usually get the meal plan for my 3 sons and then let then run, explore, snack and drink at will. They are savvy enough (ages 7, 7 and 10) to know what the plans allow and what they need to do - especially at the Fort Wilderness Resort where they are usually up and out for breakfast at 6:00 AM. It is a "credit card for kids" if you are well off financially, otherwise, it is a good investment for a family on a budget.

At other times, when we dine together at the finest the resorts have to offer, such as Boma, Sanaa or Citrico's, or at the Chef's Table, we specifically go there to escape the crowds. As such, we like the fact that reservations are few and the costs are high.

The plan is not for everyone, nor is it meant to be. However, there are times and places when it can be used to add to the avarage family's enjoyment or to give children a sense of personal responsibility as well as the freedom to explore on their own.
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Spring break
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When you booked for your disney resort vacation, make sure to print out everything you found on their site so you'll have proof that it is indeed written in their site(they do not have wifi in the value resorts and I'm certainly wasn't paying extra for a service that they should offer for free---most other hotels have free wifi.. you will be disappointed with value resort room size and space, we thought we won't be able to stay there for 6 days/nights). I ended up getting promised $300.00 gift card(included in the package but make sure to put in special code) after 3 days of our 6 days stay(thanks to manager named"CHRIS" who explained were delay was from and no thanks to rude manager named "ERIN W" who instead of pacifying an irate customer gave me tips on how to book my vacation!!!) and ended up not paying extra for an in room refrigerator and microwave because we were mis informed upon checked in ( thanks to a wonderful manager named " JODIE"/"CHRIS" for the follow-up) Overall, we had a great time at all the theme parks ( animal kingdom, magic kingdom, hollywood studios and epcot) so good that my kids want to be performing monkeys when they grow up ( inspired by the lion king's monkeys), jungle cruise guide( inspired by "DENNIS" our "jokester" guide), a disney resort bus driver ( inspired by "JAMIE" the most informative bus driver who cracks jokes in between information) photographers ( inspired by photo pass photographers) . They took on a new hobby, pin trading ( we used our gift card to buy starter sets :D) and insisted that we need to go back every year so they can trade pins with friendly cast members. They enjoyed all the rides ( they are tall enough this year to ride most big rides on their own) most especially, space mountain, mount everest, mission space ( caution to those who have tiny space / motion issues--- you will not like this ride!! ) and test track. They enjoyed all the shows live or otherwise and vow to come back and watch/do them again. Autographs/character photos are best real early or when crowd is thinning down --- one of the many perks of being a resort guest--- extended hours!!! Don't forget to bring your own ponchos and check weather channel before hitting the parks, we ended up buying ponchos for $7.50/poncho. Enjoy planning and do your research !!!! Have a magical vacation !!
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Hugh_Jorgen on 04/12/2010:
You might consider renting a condo or house off-property next time. I have done that several times now and for no more than you will pay for some of Disney's hotel rooms you get enough bedrooms for everyone, plus a living room and a fully equipped kitchen. It's nice to be able to have some room to spread out in the evening after a day of theme parking and having a kitchen right there will defiantly save some $$$ over eating every meal out.
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