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.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- No fair attacking Disney here (Disney Newbie). Instead of posting a comment to Disney Complaints, I will post a review. I just got back on Saturday from Universal Studios and stay on Disney Resorts. I had been going to Orlando for vacation for years. I offer the following tips for your future trip to Orlando. Universal studio is pack too. Summer season is where all the kiddies are not in school. I waited 60min. for Jurassic park / Spiderman ride (normally 15 min. during pre-Christmas time).
We still have fun even with the long lines. You meet some many interesting people from all around the country/world in Disney and Universal Theme parks. If you do not like crowds, go down there during off-season, you will have better time. You also get better room rates during off-season. Disney post this information on their website about park attendances and room rates. It is August in Orlando. What do you expect the temperature to be?
It is always hot and very humid this time of year. It was triple digit the entire week. The theme parks (Disney, Seaworld, Universal) have AC and/or fan with water-spray to cool you off while you wait in most lines, restrooms, and restaurants. You pay way too much. You may want to check out Mouse Saver, there was room/package deal for August and September. I stay at Port Orlean (normally $195) for $105 (AAA and discount codes). The Disney Deluxe resorts (Poly & Animal Kingdom Lodge) had even bigger discounts.
Universal Studios is currently offering 7 days pass for less than $90. That's cost less than single day Disney park-hopper pass. I saved hundreds on theme parks tickets this time. Universal Studios offer 10% discount for most merchandise and restaurant if you have AAA membership and/or Universal Master Card. More saving here: The Disney transportation (buses) normally has pickup every 15-20min. There is a number/phone near most bus stops that you can call and they immediately dispatch a bus to your stop. I used this service before and it works great. The bus arrived 5 min. after the call.
As for the pool, they tend to be less busy during normal parks hours. We decided to leave little early from the theme park and go back to the resort and hardly anyone was using the pool. I cannot comment about internet service because I tend to avoid checking my work email while I am on vacation. If you have Disney Package and have access to Disney Quest (Downtown Disney), they have free internet at the Chocolate Factory cafe. I think it is on the 4th floor.
Disney offer fast pass, it allows you to avoid the long standby lines. We normally use the fast pass on the popular rides (e.g. Tower-Of- Terror, Exp. Everest, fast track, etc). The bottom line is that you have to plan and research before any trip. You will save cash and headaches.
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 ** who explained were delay was from and no thanks to rude manager named ** 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 misinformed upon checked in. (Thanks to a wonderful manager named ** 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 ** our "jokester" guide), a disney resort bus driver (inspired by ** 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!
If you do go to the most popular amusement park in THE WHOLE WORLD during the busiest times of the year, you will face l-o-n-g lines. It is not Disney's fault. Planning and proper use of Fast Passes (FP) are keys. We went Nov. 28-Dec.3. Each morning we got a FP for the most popular attraction (Hollywood: Toy Story, Tower, Rockin'. EPCOT: Soarin', Test Track- get a personalized Driver's License for only $5. Magic Kingdom (MK): Pirates, Buzz.) Then we went to the second most popular and got on quickly. FP TIPS: You can get more than one/day (time printed on bottom).
We were told the FP is good from the starting time to the end of that day. TIP: with children, don't do MK first or they may think the other parks are boring in comparison. We did EPCOT first, our grandson enjoyed Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth was good and the personalized ending was a cool/fun surprise. Other than the science being wrong, Ellen's Energy Adventure was dramatic.
WARNING: Mission Space has two intensity levels. The more intense (Orange Level) may make you feel sick if you are prone to motion/spinning sickness and I am not kidding. It is very realistic! Disney does warn you, so it's not their fault if you get sick. The easier (Green Level) is very mild on the tummy and still dramatic. TIP: Leave babies/toddlers at home. The need for a stroller should be the tip on who not to bring. Wheelchairs: Disney has done lots to make the parks wheelchair-friendly and I applaud them for that. Again, don't come on packed days.
Guest Relations: We had a need to use it and ** (Norwalk, CT) really worked hard to help us. We liked the Carousel of Progress in MK, relaxed, informative, entertaining, v. short wait. Kids may find it a bit "boring" but a little learning is good for them (Oh no, learning?!). DON'T MISS: Hollywood: Toy Story, Tower, Rockin', the stunt shows were great, no bad seats.
MK: Monsters Inc and Mickey's Philharmagic both very creative. The Hall of the Presidents was inspiring, glad Lincoln still takes "center stage". Don't bother: Stitch. A few Disney guests may feel they are "entitled" to the Royal Treatment. Be reasonable, plan, and have a magical time. Our longest wait was 25min and we did rides over (Buzz 8 times!).
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- This is more a suggestion for Disney than it is for visitors, but I'll state it anyway in case Disney actually cares enough to read about it. We took the Backstage Tour of Disney, a well organized informative tour. Worth the money. To do so we often had to go "backstage" through doors on the visitor side to the back lot. We just simply followed our guide who, although she had a badge, was never challenged.
There was essentially no security on these doors. Later, when my wife and I were walking around the visitor side, it was obvious we could have just slipped into the back without anyone questioning us. (If fact we had Backstage Tour button on which would have made it easy).
Disney goes through great pains at the entrance to search your bags and scan your fingerprint, but this is a real big security hole, being allowed to go to the back, or people from the back to come to the front. A delivery guy could be a terrorist and come in with a bomb strapped around his belly. I questioned this to our tour guide and was told it "had" to be this way in case of emergency, eg: fire, bomb threat, etc.
This makes sense, but what they should have is electronic doors, and only a swipe card will open them. Doing so ensures Disney employees are opening the doors, and each one is being recorded on a computer somewhere. In case of emergency, cut the power and the doors will automatically open.
On point #2, regarding medical facilities, I was disappointed/appalled that there was virtually none. In the 95 deg/95 % humidity heat in Florida (September) my wife got heat stroke and there was no one around to help us. We asked a park employee for help and were told the medical facility was at the main gate (we were in Toon Town). Not ONCE did I see a medical person walking around the park. I saw no emergency phones and obviously the park employees know nothing about emergency procedures.
I was able to steal some ice from a soda display to cool my wife down enough that she could walk under her steam. We left the park about 4 hours earlier than expected and could not re-enter due to our ticket type. At our local exhibition in the city where I live, there are numerous first aid attendants walking the park in pairs, ready to attend to anyone needing assistance.
I even saw a portable stretcher attached to a motorized scooter, if it were necessary. The guy sitting in it had a radio so that he could be anywhere he was required. Disney did not have this and I'm shocked that they don't. Our park also had city police patrolling regularly. All emergency personnel at our exhibition and fair were available: police, fire, first aid.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- It looks like we have more questions that need to be answer for Disney newbie. I am no DISNEY expert but have been to DISNEY many, many times. How many? Since 1999, I clock in 33 stays on Disney properties. I stay from value to deluxe resorts. So far, this year, I was down in Orlando twice. I plan for 3rd trip around Christmas for their annual “Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party”.
I used their concierge services and attended 2 friends' wedding on Disney properties. Here are the responds to the more Disney service complains. The Disney World staff can only inform you about local schools (kids attendance) in Orange County (Orlando). The school starts on Monday, August 20. This is a bad indicator for kids' attendance. **.
Disney World is visited by guests all over the country and world. You should have checked their WDW site. It shows the historic attendance level for the entire year (seasons and/or holidays). **. Highest Attendance: Presidents' week in February, Mid-March through Late April ("Spring Break"), Memorial Day weekend, Mid-June through Labor Day HERE, Thanksgiving Day and weekend, Christmas week through New Year's Day. August trip is bad if you want to avoid huge crowds.
Not sure who you talked to, we were stuck in EPCOT one night because Magic Kingdom was getting out early and they routed all available buses to that park to pick up resorts guests. I call the WDW transportation and they dispatch a bus to our stop within 5 minutes. They usually have spare buses for special needs or emergency. They label these buses' destination display with character names such as “Ariel”. You normally see one or two parked in Disney Transportation Center and theme parks.
Premium packages do not mean premiums VIP services. If you really want to be treated above the average Disney resort guests, you need to stay with concierge service in Disney deluxe resorts. I stay at the Polynesian resorts with concierge service and got into all popular restaurants with little wait time and no reservations.
We were also allowed to take a VIP tour of the safari ride in Animal kingdom at dawn. This allows you see the predators (e.g. lions) up and moving around. The predators normally sleep during the day. e.g. Le Cellier Steak house in EPCOT means 2 hours wait (some nights) if you do not have a reservation. We got a table in 20 min. with no reservation.
Another tip regarding the resort pool. If your resort's pool is too crowded for your taste, you are allow go to other Disney Resorts' pools. I have done this several times. You will need your resort pass, they will check to make sure you are a Disney resort guest. I have done this couple of times.
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 eat. 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. Everyone was so friendly and the service was great.
CELEBRATION, FLORIDA -- A February 2010, 4 night cruise on the Disney Wonder left us wondering why we spent so much money for such shabby service and conditions. We purchased a veranda stateroom (one of the costliest categories) and were unable to use the veranda because of two chain smoking neighbors in the upwind cabin. The smell of smoke was there from early in the morning and lasted to well after midnight on each of our four days. Disney had no other similar staterooms available and would not credit us for a veranda we could not use because our kids have asthma.
Their policy allows smoking on verandas which is not the case in any of the other Disney properties. I have come to find out that many other cruise lines have non-smoking verandas but not our kid oriented Disney Cruise Line! Shame on Disney for allowing this policy to stand for the ability to sell more staterooms at the cost of their other passengers safety.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- About two years ago, disney world changed the contract you sign when you board your pets at their kennels. It no longer is the typical kennel agreement that you sign when you board pets. It says that you are "voluntarily" signing it and that you are giving up all your rights if the disney kennels negligently or intentionally hurt, harm or even kill your pet. If you refuse to sign it or try to alter it, they will not let you board your pets. At the bottom of the "release agreement" it says:
"I have read this release and indemnity agreement, fully understand its terms, understand that I have given up substantial rights by signing it, and sign it freely and voluntarily without any inducement." Before making your long trip with your pets, be aware that you should make arrangements to kennel outside of Disney World. Before you kennel with Disney World, fully understand the dangers to your beloved pets.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I had heard over and over how wonderful Walt Disney World treats children who are visiting the park because it was their wish granted by the Make-a-Wish foundation. That is a huge lie. My daughter was given NOTHING special, they did absolutely NOTHING for her that they would do for any other guest who asked. She was made to wait 20 minutes to access the handicapped entrance for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when the wait time for the regular ride was estimated at 15 minutes.
Not one "Cast Member" went out of their way to do anything special for her, she was denied access to the characters she asked to see, she was ignored by staff in favor of pushier people who had more money to spend. I will definitely recommend to any child, handicapped or not, that they visit Universal Studios instead.