PDA

View Full Version : Animal Kingdom Lodge customer service?


Ava31
02-23-2010, 03:10 PM
I know I shouldn't do this, but I read all of the 1-star ratings on TripAdvisor (47 of them to be exact) and the recurring theme is poor customer service. My husband has been to Disney World one other time and his astonishment at the outstanding customer service at the POFQ is the reason we're going back.

We have reservations at AKL at a very busy time of year, so I'm worried that the customer service will be lacking...any words of encouragement from someone who's been there?

Thanks!

Ava

madalex
02-23-2010, 03:12 PM
I have been to AKL four times and never experienced poor customer service. You will be fine.

surfergirl602
02-23-2010, 03:13 PM
Every time we've stayed there the serivice has been over the top. We love it there!!

PrincessAurora
02-23-2010, 03:27 PM
Let me assure you, all those people were smoking crack. This was the BEST customer service of ANY resort I have stayed in EVER! Better than Wilderness Lodge and I LOVE Wilderness Lodge. Desk staff, wait staff, mousekeeping, gardeners, cast member guides, photopass, bartenderes, valet, gift shop people. Dealt with all of them and they were all fabulous. Those people are whack.

Also remember that WAY more people will whine & complain rather than praise.

Pooh Bear Hugs
02-23-2010, 03:28 PM
Same here great service lovely CM execpt the Boma podium where the staff were frazzeled and indifferent not rude.

jess20k
02-23-2010, 03:34 PM
The CM at the front desk when we checked in was in a bad mood or something, she just seemed like she did not want to be bothered. However, every other cm that we dealt with during our stay was wonderful! Especially Mousekeeping! :thumbsup2

verticalchaos
02-23-2010, 03:38 PM
We were just there and had amazing service wherever we went around the lodge.

One thing to keep in mind with those review sites: usually the people who feel the need to write them are the rare few who had a bad experience. The vast majority who have good experiences don't usually bother to write them.

shoppnmom
02-23-2010, 03:43 PM
When we were there a year ago, we had unbelievable service! DS came down with croup & strep throat. He coughed so hard he gagged himself & threw up in the middle of the night. They promptly came & helped us clean up. DS was back asleep within minutes! The CM's were awesome helping us deal with everything!! They called Reedy Creek Emergency Services the next day when he couldn't breath from coughing so hard and stayed a CM with us the entire time. They repeatedly called to check on him. Getting sick on vacation is bad but they really made the situation easier! Everything we needed that week was taken care of quickly and smoothly! They were all friendly and caring.

I agree people are quick to complain online but rarely go online to give kudos for quality service.

big_red_s
02-23-2010, 03:43 PM
LOL, I've read the same thing on TripAdvisor before we went. Some complaints were legitimate, but most of them were from people who paid premium price for Luxury and got "Disney Luxury" (a fancy, expensive hotel filled with kids) or they didn't feel they got pampared enough for the price they paid.

We were there for eight days and customer service was terrific.

disney pro
02-23-2010, 03:46 PM
I have stayed at AKL and have always had the best service from cm's then any of the other resorts that we have stayed at and we have stayed at alot of them. We did a split stay between Poly CL and AKL CL in Oct. 09 and AKL cm's were the best by far, you will really enjoy AKL, it is a magical resort.

mpbs
02-23-2010, 03:48 PM
my family loves AKL, and have always had great service. It is a wonderful place to stay!!!

nemofans
02-23-2010, 03:49 PM
We received great service from AKL, SO much better than we received at Poly. That's why we're going back to AKL!

Kae
02-23-2010, 03:53 PM
The AKL is wonderful & we had great CM's we found them always nice & willing to speak to you. And the stories they have, one afternoon I was looking a headress in the lobby & one of the Cm's was explaining all about it me & another couple then she took us down one of the hall ways to show a headress from another part of the country & explained the differences & the simlarities. And the ones that are studing to work in the Zoo's have tons of knowlege also.

Kae

BYC
02-23-2010, 03:56 PM
We stayed there for 6 nights in January. Customer service was TOPS! Don't fret! We LOVED AKL!!!

wendypooh
02-23-2010, 04:05 PM
We've stayed at the lodge 5 times. We LOVE it so much and have had such consistantly EXCELLENT service - that we purchased DVC there. I can honestly say that they've on occasion gone out of thier way to make our trips extra special. Never have we encounted anyone who was less than pleasant.

I would not worry one bit if I were you - AKL is a gorgeous, friendly, relaxing, warm and inviting resort - and the staff is lovely - you will love it!

LUVDZNY2008
02-23-2010, 04:09 PM
We had great customer service at AKL!!

kaffinito
02-23-2010, 04:10 PM
Sorry - have to be the voice of dissent here. (And no I'm NOT smoking crack LOL)

I've stayed at AKL twice and found the customer service to be terrible everywhere but at Boma. I could only get Bell Services to take my luggage once, the front desk concierge told me that if I wanted an ADR then I should call myself since he was too busy to check for me, and I found everyone else there to be distinctly unhelpful.

And yes, I did complain to management while I was there. When I went to complain about Bell Services, the manager was rude. He looked at me and said "So what?" Then he turned his back to me and walked away. :scared1:

As much as I love the theme and the pool there, I really don't want to go back because of the service. I have had really wonderful service at CR, Poly, and BWI and would recommend those resorts before I would recommend AKL to anyone.

KatMark
02-23-2010, 04:12 PM
We have never stayed at the AKL, but we have visited three times. Each and every time we have gone over to visit, we have wonderful CM's whenever we have stopped to ask a question, or shopped in the gift shop, or just a friendly greeting. We went up to the Front Desk to ask if we could see a room and we have a very friendly CM who was more than willing to show us a room but due to the fact that the resort was full he could not do so at that time. He asked if we wanted to come back later and they would be able to do so after check out (unfortunately, we could not as we were heading to the airport within the hour). This was totally different from the experience we had when we asked at the WL when the CM lied to us and said Disney does not allow us to do that. You can have a bad encounter with a CM at any resort, but we've never personally had one at the AKL.

MYD714
02-23-2010, 04:20 PM
I know I shouldn't do this, but I read all of the 1-star ratings on TripAdvisor (47 of them to be exact) and the recurring theme is poor customer service. My husband has been to Disney World one other time and his astonishment at the outstanding customer service at the POFQ is the reason we're going back.

We have reservations at AKL at a very busy time of year, so I'm worried that the customer service will be lacking...any words of encouragement from someone who's been there?

Thanks!

Ava

I loved staying AKL. I felt that CM I encountered was extremely polite and helpful. They were even kind to me the 5th time I went to bell services within 15 minutes to get "one more thing" out of my bag before heading to the parks. My friend's son wet his bed a couple times and with one phone call, housekeeping flew to our room each time to change the sheets. I felt like royalty. In fact, it's one of the reasons I'm heading back there this summer. You will love it.

dalt01
02-23-2010, 04:28 PM
Let me assure you, all those people were smoking crack. i beg your pardon? i'll have you know that i much prefer Vicotin...........we were upgraded from a down the alley and around the corner view to a savannah view because of customer service at AKL.....

mom2val
02-23-2010, 05:33 PM
No I don't smoke Crack... but I was not impressed with the customer Service at AKL. The front desk was down right rude. There was a mistake with our Dining credits- we were charged for someone elses room service and it took over an hour for the front desk to fix it. "Joey the Jerk" kept insisting that it was not a mistake. Only after I was in tears did he finally adjust it but still acted like giant jerk!

Our other problem was with the magic express. We had landed at 1 pm but our bags did not come to our room until after midnight. This was Nov 8, 2008.

Overall we were much more impressed with the customer service at Pop in 2009.

dalt01
02-23-2010, 05:42 PM
all kidding aside, it is not the resort.........it is the person.........luck of the draw.....ya get a girl at check in whose life has been like a country song all day and..............bam.............can happen at any resort.

mom2val
02-23-2010, 06:00 PM
all kidding aside, it is not the resort.........it is the person.........luck of the draw.....ya get a girl at check in whose like has been like a country song all day and..............bam.............can happen at any resort.

True! Very True!

goofy4tink
02-23-2010, 06:09 PM
The CM at the front desk when we checked in was in a bad mood or something, she just seemed like she did not want to be bothered. However, every other cm that we dealt with during our stay was wonderful! Especially Mousekeeping! :thumbsup2
I wonder if that CM's name was Maria. We had a bad enough experience that I actually emailed Disney about it.

Let me assure you, all those people were smoking crack. This was the BEST customer service of ANY resort I have stayed in EVER! Better than Wilderness Lodge and I LOVE Wilderness Lodge. Desk staff, wait staff, mousekeeping, gardeners, cast member guides, photopass, bartenderes, valet, gift shop people. Dealt with all of them and they were all fabulous. Those people are whack.

Also remember that WAY more people will whine & complain rather than praise.
Nope, not smoking crack. Had a miserable experience there.

I was with a friend who hadn't been to WDW since the late 90's...we were really looking forward to this trip. We arrived at AKL on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, for just one night before moving to BWV for 4 nights. Neither of us unpacked..just took what we needed for the night out of our bags. But for some reason my friend decided to put her baggie of chargers/cords (for her phone and camera) in a bureau drawer. We went off to DTD for dinner. We got back, went to bed.
Got up the next morning, took our stuff down to Bell Services and had them move our bags to BWV. Then we headed off to AK for some fun and breakfast.
When we got to BWV, we were able to get into our villa. Our bags arrived a few hours later....about 4:30ish. My friend went to get her baggie of chargers out but lo and behold, they weren't there!! Seems she never took them out of that bureau drawer. So I called down to BW Bell Services to see what we should do. He tried calling AKL Lost and Found but they had closed for the day. He told me to call them, and leave a message with the pertinent details and they would call my cell phone the next morning. We didn't hear from them, so called them again. No answer, didn't leave a third message. We got on the AK bus and transferred to the AKL bus. We got there and went right over to the front desk....where we were the only ones there!! We explained our situation. Maria (the CM in question) told my friend to fill out the lost item form and if it was found it would be mailed to her home. Ah, no Maria....she needed it now, not next week. I told her that we knew exactly where the item was, what room number it was, and that we had just checked out the day before. She sighed and said that the form really should just be filled out and the baggie mailed to my friend. I then got a wee bit snippy and told her that the bag was needed as it had her phone and camera charger in it...her phone was useless without it and we weren't going to wait until we got home for it. She just looked at me. But she said she would call housekeeping or lost and found. Told her we had already left several messages with lost and found. I was so amazed at her complete lack of concern that I had to move away. I told my friend that I was heading to the ladies room and would be right back. When I returned, about 10 mins later, my friend was sitting there, waiting. She then told me that Maria had turned to another CM, sighed hugely and said..'Looks like I'll be taking my break later'....are you kidding me???? In front of a guest she said this???
Well, about 5 mins later the most wonderfully costumed woman came out on a Segway....holding up the baggie like a trophy. She just looked at us and said.'Would this be what you needed?', with a huge smile. That baggie was inside another larger baggie...with the time and date that it had been found. And what were those times you might ask??? About 3 hrs after we had checked out the day before. That baggie had been in housekeeping all that time, just waiting to be claimed!!! If we hadn't 'forced the issue' who knows how long it would have taken to get them back...certainly not before my friend had to leave WDW.

So...is all of AKL customer service bad? Of course not. But bad service does happen. This time it was so bad that I felt obliged to email Disney about it. I did get a phone call about my email about 3 weeks later...had a very nice talk with a woman there. Told her how much I loved WDW but felt that my poor friend had a very poor first experience. However, other CMs went out of their way to make some very nice things happen for her....but not at the resort level.

MYD714
02-23-2010, 06:12 PM
all kidding aside, it is not the resort.........it is the person.........luck of the draw.....ya get a girl at check in whose like has been like a country song all day and..............bam.............can happen at any resort.

Very true. I agree 100%. :thumbsup2

avahoneybee
02-23-2010, 06:20 PM
We had a pretty aloof server one evening in Boma but other than that everyone was wonderful. I do trust most of the reviews on tripadvisor though. Some of the negative ones are quite entertaining too. I do see an ongoing theme with poor service reviews lately (moreso than usual).

TagsMissy
02-23-2010, 06:33 PM
we've had nothing but great experiences at Animal Kingdom. We stayed at Kidani this past summer and the CMs were great!

We went into Jambo house 1-2 day for counter service meals and we fell in love with Rose who works there. She is such an amazing woman! Always cheerful and quick to lend a hand. My brother and I got quite attached to her and wanted to just go and say Hi even if we didn't need food LOL. She would chat with the kids and really make them feel special. I hope we see her next time hubby and I stay there. :thumbsup2

dansyr2514
02-23-2010, 06:40 PM
This was quite a few years ago but ...

We were staying concierge level for my dbf's birthday. I contacted concierge ahead of time to see what surprises we could plan for my dbf's birthday. I don't remember the cm's name but we corresponded back and forth to find a stuffed silver back gorilla as a present for dbf. Unfortunately he let me know he could not find one but asked what else he liked. When we got there...there was a huge stuffed tiger on the bed ( I did pay for that ) but they also had a gorgeous cake and carved giraffe free of charge. The CM also without me knowing it made sure it was noted on all our dinner reservations that it was dbf's birthday so he received special treatment. Unfortunately, he could not accept a tip but I sent him a box of Godiva chocolates as a thank you.

Although it was concierge...he went way out of his way to make dbf's birthday magical.

floridascgirl
02-23-2010, 06:51 PM
Everyone that we encountered on our last two stays were top notch! :thumbsup2

dacky041208
02-23-2010, 07:03 PM
Put us on the happy side. We spent a week at AKL last summer and though all the CMs there were great.

JUJU814
02-23-2010, 07:11 PM
Let me assure you, all those people were smoking crack. This was the BEST customer service of ANY resort I have stayed in EVER! Better than Wilderness Lodge and I LOVE Wilderness Lodge. Desk staff, wait staff, mousekeeping, gardeners, cast member guides, photopass, bartenderes, valet, gift shop people. Dealt with all of them and they were all fabulous. Those people are whack.

Also remember that WAY more people will whine & complain rather than praise.

Every resort occasionally falls short.

We had the WORST experience ever with customer service at AKL.

While I'm sure it was a fluke, I can assure you, I have never smoked crack and am not whacked.;)

Like you said, every resort occasionally falls short. It fell incredibly short for us. But I'm sure so have all the others for someone else. Not really fair to call those who had a poor experience whacked.:)

Manda
02-23-2010, 07:48 PM
We enjoyed the resort, but haven't been back since our December 2005 trip due to the customer service there. I had a not huge - but annoying - problem that I just needed someone to address. The front desk didn't care. And they refused to let me talk to a manager. Every day I went back and tried to talk to someone and no one cared. I finally got to talk to a manager, but only because as I was attempting to convince the front desk person to call a manager, I started to pass out. That got me a manager almost instantly. Heh.

They also checked us into an occupied room and only kept missing our room for housekeeping. Nothing outrageously horrible, just not good at all. I'm not especially hard to please and I don't need pixie dust or anything. But AKL and BC CL are the only two places at WDW that I won't return to thanks to CMs who were just totally disinterested in helping me in any way and actually rude about me asking for help.

Wish I lived in Fl
02-23-2010, 10:03 PM
AKL has been the only place that I ever felt like throwing things.

The resort was dimly lit inside, the hallway signs were hard to read and it was a maze to our room. Our room was on the same level as checkin but because they were renovating the hallway (new carpeting?) we needed to go up in the elevator, over, down in a different elevator and back track to get to our room.

Plus because of the renovation the elevator would only go to certain floors so other guests told us that the second elevator necessary to get to our room wasn't operating.

It was a horrible beginning to our stay, stumbling back and forth down dimly lit hallways at the end of a long day.

The guide to the lodge animals that was in the room help make up for the bad start.

kaytieeldr
02-23-2010, 11:19 PM
I know I shouldn't do this, but I read all of the 1-star ratings on TripAdvisor (47 of them to be exact) and the recurring theme is poor customer serviceIn fairness, there are over 1,500 Animal Kingdom Lodge reviews total. Forty seven is LESS THAN 3%. I wouldn't base any decision on that small percentage.

aussietravellers
02-24-2010, 01:49 AM
We stayed at AKL for 21 straight nights and had great service. From housekeeping, concierge desk, bell desk, restaurants etc.

scottmel
02-24-2010, 07:25 AM
Last summer we did a split stay at BWI CL and AKL. 7 nights at BWI and only 1 night but 2 days at AKL. AFter checking in atAKl, the first thing DH said was "boy you can tell a difference between here and BWI". AK was not rude AT ALL. FFFFFAAARRRRR from it. But I definately felt BWI was much much warmer....Just seemed indifferent at AKL but friendly...

CanadianGuy
02-24-2010, 08:00 AM
One caveot... I should make a name for this "Law"

The number of people motivated to write a negative or complaint review on the internet is approximately 1-3% of the number who would never both to write a review that says "Everything was fine. No complaints, nothing to report. It was all just fine."

Just something to keep in mind.

Knox

DisneyJoo2008
02-24-2010, 08:05 AM
We've stayed there twice and both times I couldn't fault the service we received - they were brilliant.

I also agree that tonnes of people will take the time to complain about something on Tripadvisor but people who have good experiences rarely do.

We try and avoid Tripadvisor now!!!

Good luck and I hope you decide to stay there

xxx

twentysix
02-24-2010, 08:19 AM
We've stayed there twice and both times I couldn't fault the service we received - they were brilliant.

I also agree that tonnes of people will take the time to complain about something on Tripadvisor but people who have good experiences rarely do.

We try and avoid Tripadvisor now!!!

Good luck and I hope you decide to stay there

xxx

I always make sure that I look at what percentage of the reviews were good v. bad. In AKL's case, it has very close to 600 excellent reviews and over 200 very good reviews. Apply rule above and we're talking about a great resort. :goodvibes

johnsonet
02-24-2010, 08:35 AM
Stop reading Trip Advisor reviews ;) Although I think it's great for the candid member photos...

I return to AKL again and again (and again!) It is heaven on earth to me. This would not be the case if I'd received bad customer service. Of course it is possible but I think if you're reasonable and fair and friendly anything can be dealt with.

Enjoy AKL :wizard:

a1tinkfans
02-24-2010, 08:56 AM
I know I shouldn't do this, but I read all of the 1-star ratings on TripAdvisor (47 of them to be exact) and the recurring theme is poor customer service. My husband has been to Disney World one other time and his astonishment at the outstanding customer service at the POFQ is the reason we're going back.

We have reservations at AKL at a very busy time of year, so I'm worried that the customer service will be lacking...any words of encouragement from someone who's been there?

Thanks!

Ava

The experience that we had with customer service at check in was top notch. :thumbsup2 Lovely experience.
The "storyteller" for the kids was late, very late, no apology and rather grumpy, read 90 miles an hour and just got up and left. Not impressed at all. Many love the resort, we would not return. It was not a good fit for our family (food selection/dark& dreary, inside corridors filled with trays all day and night, like an obstacle course.) The restaurant was so backed up adn we waited with an ADR a VERY long time (over 45 minutes, if I recall correctly) they did apologize though....never ate at resort after that.... The plus side was looking out the balcony and seeing the animals, beautiful, But anyone can walk thru or look, so IMHO again in just in my opinion, not worth it..like I said, many love it to pieces :confused3

kaytieeldr
02-24-2010, 08:58 AM
Same here great service lovely CM execpt the Boma podium I've stayed at AKL twice and found the customer service to be terrible everywhere but at Boma. That's actually funny - and shows that a GREAT deal of one's opinion is based on one's specific experience!

i beg your pardon? i'll have you know that i much prefer VicotinYou smoke Vicodin? Isn't that messy? Is it a time-release caplet that you can just open and pour into your smoking device, or is it a pill you need to crush? :rotfl2:

but I was not impressed with the customer Service at AKL. The front desk was down right rude.The entire desk? How can a piece of furniture be rude?There was a mistake with our Dining credits- we were charged for someone elses room serviceNOT ascribable to the Front Desk.and it took over an hour for the front desk to fix itClearly, yes, the responsibility of the Front Desk - but not ever an instant fix. I have no idea what a "reasonable" length of time to resolve this problem should be - but it happens to Guests at EVERY resort. Erroneous credit use, I mean, not necessarily for room service. "Joey the Jerk" kept insisting that it was not a mistake. Only after I was in tears did he finally adjust it but still acted like giant jerk! If it happens again, the Guest's reaction should be (and this comes from someone who often gets frustrated to the point of tears, PLEASE don't feel I'm trying to sound superior!), "We're getting nowhere; please get the Supervisor on Duty". Move up to Manager if necessary, and even on up to General Manager.

Our other problem was with the magic express. We had landed at 1 pm but our bags did not come to our room until after midnight. This was Nov 8, 2008. Respectfully, luggage arrving eight hours late as yours did is VASTLY more likely due to the airline misdirecting it, or even just not putting it on your same flight for whatever reason - and CAN'T legitimately be blamed on the Front Desk.

kaytieeldr
02-24-2010, 09:01 AM
The resort was dimly lit inside, the hallway signs were hard to read and it was a maze to our room. None of those are Customer Service issues, but... dimly lit is part of the resort's ambience and design, as is the signage. The "maze" designation surprises be because, really, the resort is a big "C" with some small, simple branches running off the main hallways at regular intervals. That never seemed like a maze to me :confused3

avahoneybee
02-24-2010, 09:04 AM
The dimly light portion of the resort is one of the things I personally love. It kind of reminds me of the same ambiance the Polynesian has. It's almost like a vacation within a vacation. I don't care for the Grand Floridian though, and others love it.

We all have different taste.

StitchandPooh'sMom
02-24-2010, 09:08 AM
We stayed for four nights at AKL last month, and I actually posted when we got back about how amazing the customer service was. We had great service at check-in, lovely people in the concierge lounge, a very friendly greeter who traded pins with my 7 year old (and tried to give me back the pin since we had just bought it and had not even taken it off the card yet), very helpful CMs in the animal viewing areas, a great server at Boma, and very nice people at Bell Services and Resort Airline Checkin. We only saw mousekeeping once, but the room was always clean and ready when we got back from the parks.

The trip was not flawless - bus service was terrible - but the customer service was consistently friendly and helpful. The AKL CMs were among the nicest CMs that we have encountered at any resort.

kaytieeldr
02-24-2010, 09:19 AM
One caveot... I should make a name for this "Law"

The number of people motivated to write a negative or complaint review on the internet is approximately 1-3% of the number who would never both to write a review that says "Everything was fine. No complaints, nothing to report. It was all just fine."

Just something to keep in mind.

Knox
Which is a corollary to the Hospitality Industry* rule stating "Treat a customer well and they'll tell two people; treat them poorly and they'll tell EVERYONE". Made even worse, of course, with the advent of the Internet ;)

CanadianGuy
02-24-2010, 09:53 AM
Which is a corollary to the Hospitality Industry* rule stating "Treat a customer well and they'll tell two people; treat them poorly and they'll tell EVERYONE". Made even worse, of course, with the advent of the Internet ;)

Really to be honest - mine is just a poor copy of the one you referenced.

Foiled again. :)

dizzneebabe
02-24-2010, 12:46 PM
We've stayed there 2x--once at Jambo and the other Kidani. Everything was perfect!!!! CM's were all very pleasant and always willing to offer assistance, if needed. You'll have a great time!!!

Ava31
02-24-2010, 11:34 PM
Wow, thanks for all the responses! I realize that those 47 disgruntled reviews were a minuscule percentage of the reviews posted, but a common thread was the customer service and that's what is so important to DH. It's an important factor to me as well, but my top priority is cleanliness and that's why I was really scouring Trip Advisor. I also find that the poor reviews are typically very isolated incidents that are completely against the establishment's power, like someone's kid got their head stuck in a banister or something, and the traveler feels like the hotel is at fault because they didn't have the jaws of life on-site.

This thread has really helped ease my mind though, because the Trip Advisor reviews never really have a face to me...they're just random travelers with something to say and I always wonder if the hotel holds employee meetings to tell the workers that if they post a positive review on TA, they'll get their monthly bonus. Whereas, the posters here have a history of being real Disney connoisseurs that have experienced the best and the worst of Disney service. Even the negative reviews in this thread were more detail-oriented and constructive than many of those reviews...they give me something to watch out for.

Thanks bunches, everyone!

Ava :thumbsup2