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.
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 -- 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 it's a complete waste of money.
You pay the same whether 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 buses to get to the parks expect to be overcrowded and you may have to wait for several buses before you can get a seat.
The Grand Floridian is always the last stop on all the buses, 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 see 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.
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.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I am listing a few tips so that you can enjoy yourself while at the happiest place on earth! 1. First of all please remember that Walt Disney World is a huge place with a lot of people from all around the world visiting it - so PLEASE know your limitations.
For example - children under the age of 4 will not only not remember ever being there but because there are so many things to do and see as well as the size of the park it is highly unlikely they will enjoy themselves. A stroller is a very good idea for children even as old as 6. You can reserve a stroller or wheel chair for your entire stay. Ask the person at the rental area for details.
Stay on the Disney site. I have stayed both on and off the site and will never stay off site again. I will not give advice as to where to stay as it really is a personal taste as to what is appealing to you. We have stayed all over the park and have enjoyed it all.
Use the dining plan and make your table service reservations BEFORE you leave home. It really is worth the price. One note here - The dining plan is connected to the number of nights you stay at the park and not the number of days you have the ticket. So if you are staying there 6 nights you will have the dining plan for 6 days. We always plan our trip so that we are staying there the same number of nights as days. This way we have the flexibility to rest the day we arrive or before we leave.
Go during their off season! Not only are the hotels cheaper but the park is less crowded, the staff is less stressed and there are little to no lines. My favorite times are late September and early May. 5. Carry as little as possible! 6. Disney stuff is so expensive. We tell our children exactly how much money they have to spend. Last time we went we gave each child an envelope with their money in it. It was truly amazing how much they do not want when they are spending their own money! LOL
Pace yourself - We have stayed there for 10 days and still did not get to do it all. It is far more important to have fun and not kill yourself than to see it all. Use the fast passes. 8. Unless you are planning to go somewhere else you do not need a car at Walt Disney World. Disney will pick you up and drop you off at the airport.
Have fun!!! Be a child again. Let your children dress in their costumes to eat with the Princesses, Pirates or the Toy story people. My little girl wore hers all day and had a party! Bring a bathing suit for your little ones during the really hot weather to the Magic Kingdom. There are water splash areas in Donald's boat, Arial's area and Pooh's play area. Once you get there remember to play! Your food, room, transportation, and admission are all taken care of. So just have fun!!!!!!
We planned our daughter sixteenth birthday party at Disney World. That was the only thing our daughter wanted to do for her Sweet Sixteenth Birthday. We set up our vacation with AAA and saved our money and made our plans to celebrate her birthday. We had dinner reservations for our daughters birthday at Magic Kingdom and they would not let us in for our reservations 1 hour before the park close. We went to guest relations and try everything to get in and they refused.
We filed a complaint with the BBB of Florida and it was a bigger joke like guest relations at the Disney Gate. Disney is to big to file a complaint on. They just don't care if they ruined your entire vacation. They've got your money what do they care. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge which also turned out to be a big waste of money also. It is a overpriced Motel 6.
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.
Last year my wife and I stayed at a Disney Resort. We had heard so much about how great the Disney experience was. We ponied up the $160 to go into the Wild Kingdom Animal Park (Totally not worth the money). We purchased the tickets at the resort and headed to the park. We arrived as they were letting people into the park. They scanned our ticket and it did not read for some reason. They rudely told us to go over to the customer service line and figure out what was wrong with our tickets. They did not take us their or tell us where to go. They just said get out of line.
So we found the customer service desk and they checked the ticket and said they did not issue the ticket and we would have to go back to the resort and figure out the problem. At this point my wife and I were getting upset because it was not a short trip back to the resort. I asked to speak with someone and the guy basically told me no. He then went on to make a smarta$$ comment which really infuriated me. We had to go back to the resort and have them reissue the tickets.
By the time we got back to the park the day was half gone and we did not even want to be there. It was the worst customer experience I have ever had. I would not recommend Disney to anyone. Save your money and go someplace that will treat you with respect. All Disney wants is your money. I will never step foot in another Disney park and I will tell everyone of my experience.