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View Full Version : Extremely Upset & In Shock with Chef Mickey


Calissto31
04-20-2010, 09:06 PM
I just got back last night from Disney and finally have a second to post. I started posting at CM when this happened but my phone deleted the post and I decided to give up and post when I got home. In the past I've had breakfast and dinner at CM and it was always very good. The staff was friendly, the food was good with lots of variety and the character interaction was great. I had breakfast there this past December and although it wasn't awful the food was just okay. The character interaction was pretty good and we did have a very friendly server. This past saturday when our group of 20 went to dinner things were so bad that at one point I was in tears. I had an ADR but because of our group size it was for 9:20pm and although I tried calling numerous times for an earlier ADR it didn't happen. We did however get there a little early and they were able to start setting up. We were celebrating 3 birthdays in our group 1 a 7yr old girl and 2 adults but 1 of them was last minute. I had ordered a white chocolate slipper from CM for one of the adults and although I wanted it with milk/dark chocolate mousse was told they could only do white chocolate mousse...okay no problem. I was also going to order a Cinderella cake for the 7yr old based on 2 pictures I had seen on the Cake picture thread but they were quoting me $165 which was more than I had expected to pay based on the prices the people had posted. I was told prices had gone up which I understand but since it was for a friend of mine's daughter and I was going to incur most of the cost to help out I just couldn't afford that. I decided to try Boardwalk Bakery and spoke to a great lady named Lillian who was very helpful. I sent her the pics and she quoted me $120 which was definitely cheaper so we decided to go for it. I told them it was for an ADR at Chef Mickey and they said we could go pick it up. I went with my friend to pick it up and she even cried when she saw it and especially when I wouldn't let her pay for it. We guarded it like gold and managed to get it to CM and that's where the drama began. My husband gets there ahead of me and they try to tell him he can't bring the cake into the restaurant :confused3 he then explains that it is a Disney cake and that we got it at Boardwalk Bakery. They go get a manager and at this point I've gotten there. The manager Craig tells us that we can bring it into the restaurant and can keep it on our table:confused3. Table? Why would we keep this huge box on our table that would ruin the surprise for this 7yr old who was surprised by the entire trip. He then tells us that because of health regulations he cannot take the cake into the kitchen because it is coming from "outside" and that if the boardwalk bakery had delivered it then they could have taken it. :scared1: I explain to him that we told the bakery it was for CM and they didn't say they could deliver it nor that we couldn't bring it in. After paying $120 for a cake and going through a huge mission I would have gladly delivered it versus freaking out that I was going to drop the cake. So then the manager repeats sorry there is nothing he can do other than let us keep it on the table. At this point I'm in shock. I mean you are a manager you can't come up with a suggestion for us. By no means do I expect them to break rules or get in trouble for me but isn't it their job to come up with suggestions to a problem or try to accommodate a guest?! He didn't try to make phone calls, talk to someone else or anything! He just stood there looking at us. I told him are you kidding me this is for a 7yr olds birthday and it is all a surprise and I just spent $120 on this cake?! I ordered a slipper from here and our group consists of 20 people that are going to be bringing service to your restaurant! Nope still nothing. At this point I'm at a loss and am beginning to cry and tell my husband I am going downstairs to the lobby to find someone to talk to. I rush downstairs walk up to concierge and at this point the hoover dam breaks. I attempt to explain to this wonderful lady what is going on. She seemed so worried and immediately ran to find a manager who did what I would have expected the CM manager to do and came up with a suggestion. He explained to me that the health code thing is true but that they will gladly keep it in their refrigerator downstairs and when we are ready we can come get it. Not quite what I had planned but way better than having it on the table. I thanked them profusely and rejoined my group. We then have a waitress who seems to have an attitude and doesn't seem happy to be there...oh great what else. I get up to get food and the options were very limited. I was so confused by the lack of options. I also went to get roast beef and was told they had slightly pink and very cooked. I asked if they had something more rare and was told nope this is all we have...not too happy at this point. So I served myself a small plate and didn't even eat all of it. Our waitress then comes to find out the birthdays. We tell her who the birthday people are and before we can tell her we have a cake she takes off. We wanted to try and time her birthday surprise with ours. She brings out the slipper first puts it down and walks away. We are confused because there is no Happy Birthday or singing and now this poor 7yr old is looking at that slipper which isn't for her. Some time passes and she walks out with 3 cupcakes 1 for each birthday person without warning. 1 of the birthday girls was getting food because mind you we were all still eating our food and now the 7yr old has this cupcake and her cake is still downstairs:mad: My husband goes down to get the cake and when he brings it up...you guessed it no help from anyone. He calls my phone and we set the box down at a table away from the 7yr old's view. We pull it out and I actually had brought my own candle but we don't have a lighter. We ask numerous CM and no one has a lighter. Finally someone brings us a lighter and I get ready to take pictures as my husband brings the cake. She was extremely surprised and happy and our group took it upon ourselves to sing happy birthday since no one had sang her happy birthday yet. At this point the wonderful characters realize what is going on and run over for 2 encores of happy birthday. So now we have to cut the cake and need plates so where's the server...crickets. She comes and looks at us like we have 8 heads but finally brings over what we had asked for. It was quite good and very pretty. I will try to post pictures tomorrow.

Sorry for the long post but I had this pent up for days. I can honestly say I will never be eating at CM again not for breakfast and especially not for dinner. I hope others can learn from my experience and mistake so that they do not have to go through what I went through. I also hope someone in a high up position reads this as well as the other complains about CM and does something to fix it. The funny thing is that the manager tells my husband after we are sitting and he goes to get food that he knows I am upset but there was nothing he could do...funny the manager downstairs was able to help me out! On a positive note I did encounter many wonderful and very helpful CM and I made sure to call Guest Relations and let them know of these wonderful people.

rebster
04-20-2010, 09:35 PM
It sounds like you made the best of a very awkward situation. Good for you! I am sorry it was tough...Disney doesn't make their rules or policies very clear sometimes, and I am sorry such a special night was at least partially ruined by people who really didn't seem to care. I am glad the cake was good and beautiful and that other cast members were so helpful! Hopefully years from now you can remember the cake and make better memories at other restaurants (or CM will turn around their service!).

wildcatfan
04-20-2010, 09:37 PM
I can only imagine how upset you must have been. I would have probably lost it and not been able to recover. We have not been to CM the last couple of years but I have heard that the quality and service has gone down. I hate it that you had to experience this on such a special day. I think you should probably let the guest relations know about the incident and I am glad to know that you let them know that you did experience some helpful cm's. I hope the rest of the trip went great and I can't wait to see the cake!

disneymom06
04-20-2010, 09:39 PM
I have to agree with the decline of food options and service at CM. It was always our first and last stop at Disney and another if we could fit in into our schedule. A favorite with the children and the selections were varied. It is now hit or miss with the service. Once we got drinks refilled only once. My husband had to track our server with glass in hand. Other times we have had wonderful servers who were very attentive, but with the decline of items in the buffet and the increase in price, (and the characters are very rushed), it just wasn't the good experience that it had been in the past. (And now with the seasonal price increase, it REALLY isn't worth it)

I am sorry that you had such a difficult night, it should have been special, I hope that the rest of your trip went well.

letsgoagainsoon
04-20-2010, 09:41 PM
We had bad service, terrible character interaction and awful food for dinner last time we were there. I'm surprised how many people LOVE this place.

Why didn't you have Boardwalk Bakery deliver it to CM? I ordered a cake from them for DH's birthday and they delivered it with no problems whatsoever to CP for dinner and the characters and CMs were great!

Sorry this happened, it really sucks when you are planning on a big surprise for someone!:sad1:

BCV23
04-20-2010, 09:44 PM
Sorry but I see it as reasonable. The manager couldn't let it be served from the kitchen as it didn't come from the CR. It seems to me that allowing it to be on your table was a bit above and beyond. I don't think most restaurants allow outside food to be brought in.

It sounds like you worked hard to plan a great meal. I'm glad the little girl was so happy with her surprise. :goodvibes

TwiddleDeeTwiddleDum
04-20-2010, 09:48 PM
So sorry to hear of your experience & how frustrating for you.

On a bright note, however, I have no doubt the 7 year old will never forget that birthday. How special of you to have that wonderful cake for her! Years from now when she looks at those pictures all that drama will mean nothing to her, she'll just remember how you went out of your way to make her day special. Hang on to those kind of thoughts :lovestruc

msmayor
04-20-2010, 09:48 PM
While I can certainly understand your frustration and disappointment, you should also realize that you planned a somewhat elaborate celebration (yes...for a buffet restaurant a served cake is elaborate) for a LARGE party and it doesn't sound like you notified them ahead of time.

Late hour ADR's are standard for most Disney restaurants...they generally schedule parties of 10 or more either first thing or last of the evening. This makes it easier to ensure you all sit together.

When planning a special celebration with a large group, its always a good idea to speak with management early on about what you want to happen, and get their input as to how to make it magical.

Two years ago, we had an elaborate Anniversary dinner planned for a party of 17 at Portobello Yacht Club. I called the restaurant direct a few days before our reservation to speak directly with the manager, and asked him to make notes on what we would like and what we were planning; he took notes and told us to check in with him about an hour before, day of the dinner. They knew we were bringing a cake in from the outside, and we were told ahead of time to make sure it didn't require refrigeration as they would be unable to 'mingle' it with their food, but would instead keep it in the box in a non-food prep area to meet health codes. We were even able to arrange a power source for a digital frame gift we made to give to our parents that 'played' all throughout the dinner. It was wonderful.

But it required a lot more planning than just a chat with the staff when we arrived.

Again, I don't want to minimize your disappointment. I realize it was not the way you envisioned. I share my story only so others can know that magical moments for large groups CAN happen, but it requires significant leg work beforehand to make sure it happens.

catne
04-20-2010, 10:05 PM
Wow, too bad your party didn't work out so well. I agree CM's could have handled the whole situation better, and don't blame you a bit for being disappointed with them.

But on the positive side: kudos to you for getting the special cake! I would guess the 7 yr old will remember that very special cake...and she'll remember that the characters came over & sang with you all. She won't remember the delay, drama, etc. So, it's all good, in the end.:thumbsup2

Andrea73
04-20-2010, 10:25 PM
WOW!! I guess the reviews were right. This place did not even make my "maybe" list.

I am sorry you had such a bad experience.

DisGirl23
04-20-2010, 10:26 PM
While I can certainly understand your frustration and disappointment, you should also realize that you planned a somewhat elaborate celebration (yes...for a buffet restaurant a served cake is elaborate) for a LARGE party and it doesn't sound like you notified them ahead of time.

Late hour ADR's are standard for most Disney restaurants...they generally schedule parties of 10 or more either first thing or last of the evening. This makes it easier to ensure you all sit together.

When planning a special celebration with a large group, its always a good idea to speak with management early on about what you want to happen, and get their input as to how to make it magical.

Two years ago, we had an elaborate Anniversary dinner planned for a party of 17 at Portobello Yacht Club. I called the restaurant direct a few days before our reservation to speak directly with the manager, and asked him to make notes on what we would like and what we were planning; he took notes and told us to check in with him about an hour before, day of the dinner. They knew we were bringing a cake in from the outside, and we were told ahead of time to make sure it didn't require refrigeration as they would be unable to 'mingle' it with their food, but would instead keep it in the box in a non-food prep area to meet health codes. We were even able to arrange a power source for a digital frame gift we made to give to our parents that 'played' all throughout the dinner. It was wonderful.

But it required a lot more planning than just a chat with the staff when we arrived.

Again, I don't want to minimize your disappointment. I realize it was not the way you envisioned. I share my story only so others can know that magical moments for large groups CAN happen, but it requires significant leg work beforehand to make sure it happens.

This is very good information! Thank you for sharing!

OP- It's a sad thing when events don't play out how we envision them in our head :sad2: I'm happy to hear she loved her cake and that the characters reacted the way they did! :)

Calissto31
04-20-2010, 10:26 PM
Thanks all. She really didn't notice that anything had gone wrong and her face made up for it all. I did have many other positive experiences so overall the memories of my trip are fond. There are also some good suggestions on here. To answer some of the questions this was the first time I've ever ordered a cake in disney other than the sara lee cakes so I had no idea that it could be delivered from boardwalk bakery to CM I thought boardwalk bakery only delivered to its area. Also I actually spoke to a manager at CM ahead of time although it was no easy task to get a hold of one. I had to make the ADR with them and it took about 2 VMs on 2 separate days to have someone call me back. We told them our group size and that we were celebrating this birthday. Also when I emailed back and forth with the CM pastry chef I told him the family couldn't spend the $165 and they would be making alternate arrangements for the cake but that we wanted to get the slipper from there. I wasn't told anything about not being able to bring anything in. Also our cake didn't need refrigeration and was inside a box with another box as the cover so it was very well covered with no openings and would have done just fine being kept in an area in the back away from the food but this wasn't offered :confused3. Calling a manager the day before and day of would have probably been a good idea. I will definitely be more thorough with my next cake order. I am actually looking to order either a cake or dessert but I may be staying at the Swan..Does anyone know how it would work to get it to the room or would I have to just pick it up? Also if we have an ADR at a restaurant in contemporary or GF do we have to use their bakery or can I use boardwalk bakery and just arrange for the delivery?

Thanks everyone:)

Calissto31
04-20-2010, 10:48 PM
Here are some pics of the cake. I think my friend might have some of the images all the way around.

http://s16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/?action=view&current=FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2-4.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2-3.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2-2.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2-1.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2010.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2-5.jpg

BriarRosie
04-21-2010, 12:38 AM
It seems that you learned a hard lesson about group dining and making arrangements ahead of time. There is a group dining department (ask to be transferred to Group Dining when you call 407-WDW-DINE) you can talk to whenever you have a party of 10 or larger. They usually suggest dinner before 6pm or after 8pm if possible. It sounds like the late dinner was the only option available for you. They need a credit card hold to guarantee group dining reservations, and gratuities are always included with parties of 6 or more. Always pay attention to the penalty for not canceling ADRs within their time frame. The cast members will spell that out when they confirm the reservation.

And before you arrange private dining cakes (which the different bakeries offer around property), you now know that you need to talk to the restaurant directly to make sure you can get a special cake delivered from the Disney bakery of your choice. And conversely, the bakery (in this case, Boardwalk) needs to agree to deliver your cake where you want it.

I was totally with you on the way you felt during the mess and how it affected your entire dining experience. But you've actually probably helped others avoid the pitfalls you went through. I'm sorry that you had to suffer to show others how to avoid the hassles.

At least she had a beautiful cake, when all was said and done! :thumbsup2

gibbersome
04-21-2010, 02:06 AM
After reading your account, I was very disappointed in Chef Mickey's behavior toward you!
But then I looked at the gorgeous cake and all that anger melted away!

ancestry
04-21-2010, 05:34 AM
Sorry but I see it as reasonable. The manager couldn't let it be served from the kitchen as it didn't come from the CR. It seems to me that allowing it to be on your table was a bit above and beyond. I don't think most restaurants allow outside food to be brought in.

It sounds like you worked hard to plan a great meal. I'm glad the little girl was so happy with her surprise. :goodvibes


I completely agree. I'm sorry you were so frustrated and upset but I see what they did as reasonable and appropriate. This is standard restaurant policy basically everywhere.

It was a beautiful cake and was very sweet of you to work so hard to give her a special birthday surprise.

bunkkinsmom
04-21-2010, 05:56 AM
Sorry but I see it as reasonable. The manager couldn't let it be served from the kitchen as it didn't come from the CR. It seems to me that allowing it to be on your table was a bit above and beyond. I don't think most restaurants allow outside food to be brought in.

It sounds like you worked hard to plan a great meal. I'm glad the little girl was so happy with her surprise. :goodvibes

I completely agree. I'm sorry you were so frustrated and upset but I see what they did as reasonable and appropriate. This is standard restaurant policy basically everywhere.

It was a beautiful cake and was very sweet of you to work so hard to give her a special birthday surprise.

Totally not trying to start a fight, but this was not reasonable. I have been in restaurants for 20 years. Customer Service is a part of what a restaurant is supposed to provide. I would have seen this reaction from the manager as perfectly reasonable IF the manager had picked up the phone and called the concierge of the hotel or made some other kind of attempt to find out information other than what he already knew. Obviously there was a way around the regulation, because she found it. If the manager had given the request it's due attention and then discovered that there was nothing more they could do, I would have understood. But they didn't even try. ADD TO THAT the service from the server. Even if there was nothing they could do, the manager should have personally tried to make the rest of their experience "magical". I'm not saying that the manager should have been their server, but he should have ensured that their server was compassionate and attentive. I do not claim to speak for the regulations in Florida, but we can bring cakes into the kitchen here in NC. And if not, then why not put it in the beer cooler? That's not the kitchen. Not only that, but aren't their fridges in other parts of the building? My issue is that I have thought of several different options just sitting here. Granted I don't know the details of Chef Mickey's operations, but the point is that there WAS an alternative and the manager didn't even TRY to find it.

Again, not trying to start trouble. I am glad that it semi - worked out for you. I just think that customer service as a whole has deteriorated everywhere. Come to my place, we will take great care of you!

msmayor
04-21-2010, 06:04 AM
BTW...with regard to our cake. I did look in to getting one through Disney. They were making it VERY difficult to try and not only order a cake but either get it delivered or pick it up, and as the OP said they wanted a LOT of money.

The cake we brought in to Portobello came from Publix. Fed all of us, and cost only $20. They decorated it beautifully and even put plates, forks and a server in the bag in case we were eating it back at our hotel.

gibbersome
04-21-2010, 06:27 AM
I completely agree. I'm sorry you were so frustrated and upset but I see what they did as reasonable and appropriate. This is standard restaurant policy basically everywhere.

It was a beautiful cake and was very sweet of you to work so hard to give her a special birthday surprise.

The manager had a choice and he chose to cover his own rear end. I don't blame him, especially in this economy, but he passed on a chance to make a special impact on the OP's night and almost ended up ruining it.

Pumbaa_
04-21-2010, 07:19 AM
Lesson learned, bringing in outside food (even if it came from another Disneylocation) is an issue. In hte long run, it would have been easier to spend the additional and have the CR provide the cake. Yes, it save you some $$ but not sure the hassle made it worth it :confused3

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 07:20 AM
Sorry but I see it as reasonable. The manager couldn't let it be served from the kitchen as it didn't come from the CR. It seems to me that allowing it to be on your table was a bit above and beyond. I don't think most restaurants allow outside food to be brought in.

It sounds like you worked hard to plan a great meal. I'm glad the little girl was so happy with her surprise. :goodvibes

+1 Restaurants always mark up the cost of food. The OP said Chef M wanted $165 for a cake. They bought a similar cake from the Boardwalk Bakery for $120. Sounds like a normal markup. Would the OP have been happy if CM charged $5/ head to keep the cake in their fridge and serve it?

A few restaurants let you bring in a cake you purchased elsewhere. Many (most) won't. I never would have brought an outside cake into any restaurant without calling first. It's still an outside cake, even though it was bought in a Disney bakery.

It's not fair to blame Disney. The OP is the one who spent $120 for a cake without checking first. Letting them keep the cake at the table was more then reasonable. Keeping it in a hotel walk in box was very nice. For some people it's not enough. You want the restaurant to store, present, cut and serve an outside cake? Not reasonable unless you pay for the service. Guests who bring in their own wine pay a corkage fee.

Expecting meat in a buffet to be cooked to order isn't reasonable. Frequently meat in a buffet is more well done then I'd like. Chef M isn't the right restaurant if you're looking for beef cooked to order.

I think the OP had some unreasonable expetations.

Don't blame the Boardwalk Bakery. They had every right to assume you obtained permission from Chef Mickey.

si-am
04-21-2010, 07:25 AM
+1 Restaurants always mark up the cost of food. The OP said Chef M wanted $165 for a cake. They bought a similar cake from the Boardwalk Bakery for $120. Sounds like a normal markup. Would the OP have been happy if CM charged $5/ head to keep the cake in their fridge and serve it?

A few restaurants let you bring in a cake you purchased elsewhere. Many (most) won't. I never would have brought an outside cake into any restaurant without calling first. It's still an outside cake, even though it was bought in a Disney bakery.

It's not fair to blame Disney. The OP is the one who spent $120 for a cake without checking first. Letting them keep the cake at the table was more then reasonable. Keeping it in a hotel walk in box was very nice. For some people it's not enough.

Expecting meat in a buffet to be cooked to order isn't reasonable. Frequently meat in a buffet is more well done then I'd like. Chef M isn't the right restaurant if you're looking for beef cooked to order.

I think the OP had some unreasonable expetations.


I agree with the unreasonable expectations.

I don't really understand how keeping a cake in a box on a table would have ruined any sort of surprise. With a party of 20 people, keep it on the other end of the table from the 7 year old and she probably wouldn't have even noticed it in the first place. Especially since CM is sort of a crazy busy loud place anyway.

Chef Mickeys isn't the sort of place you can "rent" for a birthday party and have everyone cater to you.

connorlevismom
04-21-2010, 07:44 AM
I am very sorry this happened to you.

However, it seems as if you had unrealistic expectations of what was going to happen at this dinner. Also, it does not seem like you talked to anyone ahead of time to see if what you were expecting could even be done. That is not the restarants fault as they would have told you that you cannot bring the cake in, that it had to be delivered. I don't normally eat at CM's so I am not sure how they handle birthday's so I don't know if they normally stop everything to sing to whomever was having a birthday. As for the waitress not bringing out plates for your cake, why could someone in your party not walk up to the buffet and grab some plates? Why did you expect the waitress to do it?:confused3 And I think that if you wanted a lighter, you probably should have made sure that someone in your party had one.

All these things are really not up to the restaruant to handle. If they do, great! But their jobs are to serve food and shuttle people in and out. I understand that you wanted your daughters birthday to be speical but to the restaurant, your daughter was just another one of 100 that day that had a birthday. Like I said previously, you should have called to make sure that all this could be done. Then you would have known what to expect and not been so disappointed when it did not go the way you wanted.

Kristine

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 07:46 AM
Two things to remember from the OP's experience:

Boardwalk Bakery didn't tell them that they couldn't bring an outside cake into a restaurant. Either they were unaware of that, or they just didn't tell them for whatever reason, like they thought it had already been previously arranged. If you're reading this, you know now to contact the restaurant to find out if you can bring in your own cake.

The OP didn't notify Chef Mickey's ahead of time that they would be bringing in an outside cake that they expected to be brought to them at their table (and apparently cut, plated and served by restaurant staff who were also expected to provide something to light the candles.) I'd imagine a buffet restaurant isn't set up to do that with no prior notice. They could also have been informed earlier that there was a rule about bringing in food items from an outside source, and arranged for the surprise to occur elsewhere (or to order a cake that could be delivered). Granted given the circumstances there wasn't any way for the OP to know they couldn't bring in the cake until they showed up with it - but that's why bulletin boards are helpful...we now have readers who know they should check first.

We've also had at least one post before about someone ordering a special item for a birthday and that item was plopped unceremoniously in front of the birthday person by someone who just left the table without providing an announcement or song to the rest of the restaurant about the birthday. It was suggested that if the party prefers a song or some sort of acknowledgement from restaurant staff that they discuss what they'd like to happen with their server as soon as they can (taking the server aside if necessary, for example if they're going for some sort of surprise event.)

As for the food it's pretty much reported that food quality appears to be down in a lot of places.

snyderla
04-21-2010, 08:12 AM
I'm glad you made the best of it. I know it really bugs me sometimes when things don't work out the way I've expected. Kudos to the characters for saving the day! I've had lot's of experience with planning parties for where I work and everytime we bring in our own desserts we have to keep it on a separate table outside of the kitchen. But not everyone would know that, especially if this is your first time planning a party like that. I guess they kind of tried making it special by bringing the cupcakes out. But that cake you bought was beautiful!!! That was really nice of you to put together such a special event for so many people.

Kit'smommy
04-21-2010, 08:28 AM
The cake is gorgeous and I am glad the little birthday girl was happy.

I do think you were overly upset at the situation. I would never expect to show up with a large group and any outside food and expect to be accomodated, especially at a buffet.

Also, while it is nice to have a cake brought out at the end of a meal with singing, etc., I don't understand why it would have been such an ordeal to have just used the cake as a centerpiece.

Always call and check ahead of time, if you are doing anything out of the ordinary at a a restaurant.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 08:35 AM
Giving it further thought...Chef Mickey wanted $165--Boardwalk Bakery charged $120.

I think $45 is a very reasonable surcharge to cover delivery, storage in the restaurant and serving the cake.

Sometimes things cost more then we think is reasonable. Sometimes the solution is to just say no.

If you thought the cost for a martini was high would you bring a full cocktail shaker? If you thought the cost of beer was too high would you bring a cooler with a 6 pack on ice? If you were going to a coffee shop for breakfast would you bring items such as fruit that are expensive when ordered off the menu?

Restuarants charge a mark up to cover their costs. Cake is no different.

Last time I went to Chef Mickey's I thought the quality was getting close to Golden Corral. JMO but you're paying for the character interaction and location. Certainly not the food.

gibbersome
04-21-2010, 08:46 AM
I think $45 is a very reasonable surcharge to cover delivery, storage in the restaurant and serving the cake.


I think you qualified that statement well, $45 is reasonable for Disney World. But then again, masquerading a 2.5/3-star hotel as a Deluxe resort and charging 5-star prices...you're paying for the location and theming.

So I understand why the OP was a little shocked at the $45 price difference. Sometimes it's easy to forget the Disney World surcharge. :)

goodferry
04-21-2010, 08:46 AM
So sorry you were disappointed. As a aside, sometimes even when you go through the right channels, the cake thing gets screwed up. I ordered a cake for DH and I for our anniverary through the Yachtsman. Upon arrival I confirmed before we were seated that we had a cake and that it was a suprise. 5 minutes later, the cm that checked us in comes over and says "are you sure you ordered a cake, cause we can't find it." I confirmed yes I had ordered a small white cake, now that suprise is out of the bag, thanks :confused: While we are eating she came out to tell me they located the cake. It was served to us FROZEN, and it wasn't an ice cream cake. They charged us the same amount too :confused3 I don't think I will make that mistake again, if we want cake, we have it in the room and avoid dealing with getting it through the restaurant.
By the way, your cake is GORGEOUS!

hentob
04-21-2010, 08:51 AM
. By no means do I expect them to break rules or get in trouble for me….

End of story?:confused:


He didn't try to make phone calls, talk to someone else or anything!.

He knew the rules. Why would he make phone calls in order to break them?


. He explained to me that the health code thing is true but that they will gladly keep it in their refrigerator downstairs and when we are ready we can come get it.

Wow! That was really nice of them to do that for you :goodvibes Kudos to Disney:worship:


. Not quite what I had planned…..

Oh.

maxiesmom
04-21-2010, 08:55 AM
Remember how they used to have divers who would hold up signs in the tank at the Coral Reef? They could hold up signs like Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary. When people got carried away, they had to stop doing it. I see the cake thing like this too. Sure, maybe they could do it for 1 or 2 people. But then you would have everybody and their grandma wanting it done, and then the kitchen would be spending all this time delivering cakes, and not doing what their job is, which is preparing food.

I'm sorry the OP is so upset, but she really should have checked that what she wanted to do was ok first, then made her plans. Not just assume it was ok.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 08:55 AM
I think you qualified that statement well, $45 is reasonable for Disney World. But then again, masquerading a 2.5/3-star hotel as a Deluxe resort and charging 5-star prices...you're paying for the location and theming.

So I understand why the OP was a little shocked at the $45 price difference. Sometimes it's easy to forget the Disney World surcharge. :)


Chef Mickey doesn't sell the cake to go for $45 less. The $45 includes delivery to Chef M. It includes the cost to serve the cake. What do you think is a reasonable price for a restaurant to charge to keep your cake in their fridge, present it, cut it and serve it? $2/ head? $5 /head?

Chef Mickey wanted $165. The OP had a group of 20. I don't think $8.25 a guest is an unreasnable charge (by Disney's standards).



You're right about the GF. The hotel is themed as a 5* hotel and priced as a 5* hotel. No reason to actually provide 5* service and amenities. Disney's guest aren't that demanding.

crashbb
04-21-2010, 09:08 AM
If you thought the cost for a martini was high would you bring a full cocktail shaker? If you thought the cost of beer was too high would you bring a cooler with a 6 pack on ice? If you were going to a coffee shop for breakfast would you bring items such as fruit that are expensive when ordered off the menu?



Have you read the Budget Board? :rotfl:

mickeysgirl17
04-21-2010, 09:11 AM
I'm sorry for your experience at CM. I had dinner there too and was not happy with how rushed we were or the variety and quality of the food. We had a late ADR as well and the waitress seemed rude like she couldn't wait for the restaurant to close. I was also told that the characters would not be visiting our table this late but then we were surprised as they did and they were great by the way. Not only did they spend extra time at our table since the restaurant was almost empty but they also came around in groups. So, we got some wonderful pictures at one point taken with Minnie, Pluto and Goofy all together.

Its terrible that even though the cake came from Disney they couldn't let you keep it in CM's kitchen. Especially after what you paid for it.

Pirate Jeff
04-21-2010, 09:24 AM
Callisto31:

This is a terrible story, and if this had been my wife whom had been treated so poorly, I would have made a scene that every Disney guest would have remembered forever!

I too, visit the parks and restaurants frequently. Mostly, the service is exceptional but once in a while, we run into someone out to change the world, one guest at a time!

Most CM's, are wonderfully attentive and seem to have powers of empathy like no others in the service industry. Which makes it all the more worse, when you run across ones whom should not be in the positions they hold.

Fortunately for this "waitress" and "manager", I am not their supervisor, as I would have taken both of them back in the kitchen, and fired them both on the spot.

You are a paying guest. As a guest, unless you are unruly, abusive, offensive or acting in a way detrimental to other guests, you are the number one priority of the CM's attending you. If you are not, it is the fault of the CM, not the guest. And any CM that cannot understand this founding principle of the service industry, be it Disney, Morton's Steakhouse or even McDonald's they should find another line of work. It is terrible for these employees to treat you this way. You are the reason they are there. Without you, they have no job or purpose.

Having worked in the food business, I understand their concerns with bringing outside food into the kitchen. But a "good" manager, would have been more helpful and found options that preserved your experience. This manager, should be filing for unemployment or re-assigned to mopping floors.

As for some of the vitralic responses, don't worry about them. The only learning experience here, is that even at Disney, not all the CM's have what it takes and unfortunately, wonderful guests with the best intentions, find that out the hard way.

Take care and Happy Birthday to your little one!!

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 09:25 AM
I think you qualified that statement well, $45 is reasonable for Disney World. But then again, masquerading a 2.5/3-star hotel as a Deluxe resort and charging 5-star prices...you're paying for the location and theming.

So I understand why the OP was a little shocked at the $45 price difference. Sometimes it's easy to forget the Disney World surcharge. :)

I don't think the surcharge was unreasonable. My bakery charges about $25 for delivery, and that doesn't include storing or cutting/prepping the cake.

Planogirl
04-21-2010, 09:25 AM
I'm not a Chef Mickey's fan and they could have certainly handled this a bit better but I see over the top expectations too. I'm glad that it all worked out pretty well though.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 09:32 AM
The manager made an exception. Told the OP she could keep the cake at the table. It was a birthday party. Is a cake a surprise? One poster had a good suggestion. Use it as a centerpiece. Another poster had a suggestion. Keep in in the box under the table.

Another employee made an exception. Kept the cake in a walk in box.

I think the OP was unreasonable.

Other restaurants would have suggested returning your outside cake to your car.






Callisto31:

This is a terrible story, and if this had been my wife whom had been treated so poorly, I would have made a scene that every Disney guest would have remembered forever!
.........
Fortunately for this "waitress" and "manager", I am not their supervisor, as I would have taken both of them back in the kitchen, and fired them both on the spot.

You are a paying guest. As a guest, unless you are unruly, abusive, offensive or acting in a way detrimental to other guests, you are the number one priority of the CM's attending you. If you are not, it is the fault of the CM, not the guest. And any CM that cannot understand this founding principle of the service industry, be it Disney, Morton's Steakhouse or even McDonald's they should find another line of work. It is terrible for these employees to treat you this way. You are the reason they are there. Without you, they have no job or purpose.

Having worked in the food business, I understand their concerns with bringing outside food into the kitchen. But a "good" manager, would have been more helpful and found options that preserved your experience. This manager, should be filing for unemployment or re-assigned to mopping floors.

As for some of the vitralic responses, don't worry about them. The only learning experience here, is that even at Disney, not all the CM's have what it takes and unfortunately, wonderful guests with the best intentions, find that out the hard way.

Take care and Happy Birthday to your little one!!

gibbersome
04-21-2010, 09:37 AM
Chef Mickey doesn't sell the cake to go for $45 less. The $45 includes delivery to Chef M. It includes the cost to serve the cake. What do you think is a reasonable price for a restaurant to charge to keep your cake in their fridge, present it, cut it and serve it? $2/ head? $5 /head?

Chef Mickey wanted $165. The OP had a group of 20. I don't think $8.25 a guest is an unreasnable charge (by Disney's standards).


The way you divided up the $165 charge seems good to me! I initially saw both the bakery and Chef Mickey under the same Disney umbrella, but perhaps they compete against each other.

I know many restaurants in my area that would be willing to serve the cake for free provided we had already eaten a full meal there and were celebrating a special occasion. I guess it's unfair to hold Disney restaurants to the same standards. For one thing, I don't expect they have the same autonomy in decision making that an independent restaurant does. Though they're better then most, Disney is still burdened with bureaucracy that plagues all large corporations.

Bunkkinsmom's earlier post still rings true. The entire exchange was a failure of customer service on the manager's part. You want customers to keep coming back even when there is misunderstanding that's the customer's fault. The OP came away feeling very upset at how the situation was handled, not to mention the rest of her large group must have felt uncomfortable as well. And now with the post on DISboards, this negative experience will be read by hundreds more.

si-am
04-21-2010, 09:44 AM
I am the first person to criticize Disney when it's warranted. I have actually become less and less satisfied with my trips with each passing year.

HOWEVER, in this case, the OP expected the wait staff at Chef Mickeys to throw a huge birthday party for them. Hold the cake, deliver the cake, light the candles, sing happy birthday, cut the cake, plate the cake, etc. This isn't Chef Mickey's responsiblity, I'm sorry.

And, no, the customer is not always right.

gibbersome
04-21-2010, 09:47 AM
You're right about the GF. The hotel is themed as a 5* hotel and priced as a 5* hotel. No reason to actually provide 5* service and amenities. Disney's guest aren't that demanding.

I think it's a matter of perception. Disney's guests perceive they don't have much choice. But if you're willing to stay off property, you'll find some of the best rates on a Waldorf Astoria/Ritz Carlton/Grand Hyatt anywhere.


Anyway...all's well that ends well. I don't think I'll be making a trip to Chef Mickey anytime soon. :hippie:

I have actually become less and less satisfied with my trips with each passing year.


Oh no! :(

robinb
04-21-2010, 09:48 AM
Your post was very hard to read with limited paragraphs.

I'm sorry you were disappointed. I guess, in retrospect, it was worth the extra $45 to have it done to your satisfaction :confused3.

Pirate Jeff
04-21-2010, 09:54 AM
I am the first person to criticize Disney when it's warranted. I have actually become less and less satisfied with my trips with each passing year.

HOWEVER, in this case, the OP expected the wait staff at Chef Mickeys to throw a huge birthday party for them. Hold the cake, deliver the cake, light the candles, sing happy birthday, cut the cake, plate the cake, etc. This isn't Chef Mickey's responsiblity, I'm sorry.

And, no, the customer is not always right.

There are two rules in running a restaurant.

Rule number 1: The customer is always right.

Rule number 2: When the customer is wrong, refer to rule number 1.

This person did not ask for an extravaganza. She just paid for a dinner for 20 people. For one guest, to provide that measure of business to any establishment, warrants a bit of courtesy, don't you think? Again, unless they are being disruptive to other guests, they have every right to be treated with courtesy.

There were other options and it's not like the OP went to Billy's Bakery to buy a cake, they bought it at a Disney property.

All this is moot however. Because the manager failed to treat the situation with the attention it warranted and no guest, especially ones whom are enjoying the magic at Disney on their special day, should be treated like that.

si-am
04-21-2010, 09:58 AM
There are two rules in running a restaurant.

Rule number 1: The customer is always right.

Rule number 2: When the customer is wrong, refer to rule number 1.

This person did not ask for an extravaganza. She just paid for a dinner for 20 people. For one guest, to provide that measure of business to any establishment, warrants a bit of courtesy, don't you think? Again, unless they are being disruptive to other guests, they have every right to be treated with courtesy.

There were other options and it's not like the OP went to Billy's Bakery to buy a cake, they bought it at a Disney property.

All this is moot however. Because the manager failed to treat the situation with the attention it warranted and no guest, especially ones whom are enjoying the magic at Disney on their special day, should be treated better than that.


She did ask for an extravaganza! Did you not read the OP? (Granted, the story was hard to get through with no paragraphs.)

And so what if she paid for dinner? So did everyone else in the restaurant! That is completely irrelevant.

I think we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 10:05 AM
I get up to get food and the options were very limited. I was so confused by the lack of options. I also went to get roast beef and was told they had slightly pink and very cooked. I asked if they had something more rare and was told nope this is all we have...not too happy at this point. So I served myself a small plate and didn't even eat all of it

The OP didn't like the food. Chef Mickey has a reasonable number of options. Agreed the quality isn't what it used to be. It isn't the kind of restaurant where you can get your meat cooked to order. She didn't like the service. Didn't like the price of the cake. Thought she was being clever buying the cake at the Boardwalk without checking first. Chef It's not the kind of restaurant where you can get meat cooked to order.

I think her expectations were based on the what the meal cost. Her expectations weren't reasonable for restaurant she selected.



Bunkkinsmom's earlier post still rings true. The entire exchange was a failure of customer service on the manager's part. You want customers to keep coming back even when there is misunderstanding that's the customer's fault. The OP came away feeling very upset at how the situation was handled, not to mention the rest of her large group must have felt uncomfortable as well. And now with the post on DISboards, this negative experience will be read by hundreds more.

Chef Mickey's is doing well. The manager offered a solution, just not what the OP was looking for. The hotel manager offered a solution. If I was in that position I might have been tempted to take the server aside, give him $20 and see if they could get the dessert from downstairs.

Disney has a non-smoking policy. Being anoyed when your waiter doesn't have a lighter is very unreasonable.


************

The "question" isn't regarding what is or is not acceptable. The question is how the manager dealt with it. It is my opinion: "not very well at all". Further, the substandard service by the waitress is unacceptable especially for a person who is going to receive an included guaranteed gratuity. Many people make "unreasonable requests" but to them, they are perfectly acceptable. The OP was unaware of the issue with the cake. That is not the problem here.

The problem was with how she was treated by a person who is supposed to make things better, not worse. Further, the OP paid for meals for 20 people, not like she was trying to get something for nothing. Bottom line, there were options. The manager if he had been good at his job, would have found a solution that didn't involve bringing a paying guest to tears at the happiest place on Earth.

The OP was trying to get a $165 cake for $120. She wasn't trying to get something for nothing but she was trying to get something for less then what Disney wanted to charge her.

The manager offered a solution. Some restaurants would have told a customer to bring the cake back to their car.

Jeff--Rule #1 for a restaurant. Make sure you follow Board of Health Rules. Letting the customer keep the cake at the table was a more then reasonable accomodation.

Chef Mickey generally sells out. Those tables would have filled without the OP. Birthday parties of 20 aren't rare. You did hit the problem. The OP thought her party was large enough to warrant some exceptions.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 10:26 AM
I initially saw both the bakery and Chef Mickey under the same Disney umbrella, but perhaps they compete against each other.


They're not competitors, but Disney World is like the government. It is so huge and so complicated that it has to have different "agencies" to do different things. Just try getting one government agency to cooperate with another if you don't go through official channels.

This thread is going to be closed - and I hate to close it because it is good information for people to learn before they start arranging to bring cakes to a Disney restaurant - if it continues to be a debate about whether DIS posters are Disney apologists or whether the manager was tasked with doing whatever possible to keep the customer from getting upset. However, it's starting to be a thread about bickering with each other.

ADisneyQueen
04-21-2010, 10:29 AM
That cake is so beautiful I would have put it on the table to enjoy it longer! I hate cutting and eating pretty cakes b/c you only see it for a few minutes. I think the little girl would have loved having the cake in front of her for the meal. Then all the characters would know it was her b-day.

DisGirl23
04-21-2010, 10:32 AM
This isn't a discussion of "the customer is always right". This is someone telling a story of a bad experience with a restaurant...

She didn't care for the food.
She didn't want to pay extra for the cake there.
The restaurant doesn't allow outside food in the kitchen. Regardless of where it came from because it still came from the outside.
The manager offered to let her keep the cake on the table.
She didn't like that answer.
She went down to the hotel concierge and a hotel manager offered to hold if for her and she could come back and get it.
-personally, I would have happily kept it on the table instead of having to truck it down to the lobby during my meal to retrieve it. The CM manager probably thought the same thing.
She thought to bring a candle but, not something to light it with.
She expected a buffet restaurant to serve her outside cake to her.

Learned lesson.
Again, I feel bad that it didn't go as she had thought it would but, I didn't see too much wrong with the way it was handled. And I know we will disagree and that's fine too.

msmayor
04-21-2010, 10:35 AM
I will say that I found the Disney Bakery system to be VERY difficult to deal with.

When I researched where to get a cake, I was told to go to the Grand Floridian Bakery. When I got there (4 days before the dinner) to order the cake, I was told there was no guest bakery there, and to call the Boardwalk. Then I found out from the Boardwalk that they didn't deliver to Downtown Disney restaurants, and they were (in general) making it hard to get the cake. Here I was, prepared to pay any price for a cake, and I couldn't get one!

So plan B was Publix. Delicious cake. And as I said, the arrangements made ahead of time at Portobello's were great. I didn't even ask them to serve the cake; all we wanted was for it to be brought out and we figured we would do it since we brought it in. Our server and the manager was wonderful though, and they sliced it right at the table and served for us (service overall was fantastic at that restaurant and the gratuity we left reflected that).

Definitely use Group Dining if you have a large party; they were not only able to make our reservation, but they were able to clearly let us know which restaurants could ensure we were all seated together, which had good "space" for a large group, which had good menu items for various ages.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 10:37 AM
Portobello is not a Disney restaurant; they may not have the same rules. It's possible a Disney restaurant would tell you you can't bring in your own cake at all. I'd guess if anyone wants to order a cake elsewhere and bring it into any restaurant, rather than have it delivered by Disney, they would first need to contact that restaurant directly (not through WDW-DINE, they likely know nothing about policies in individual restaurants) to ask what the procedure is, and if they want the cake presented, sliced and served by restaurant staff, to arrange for that.

ToriPeanut
04-21-2010, 10:45 AM
This isn't a discussion of "the customer is always right". This is someone telling a story of a bad experience with a restaurant...

She didn't care for the food.
She didn't want to pay extra for the cake there.
The restaurant doesn't allow outside food in the kitchen. Regardless of where it came from because it still came from the outside.
The manager offered to let her keep the cake on the table.
She didn't like that answer.
She went down to the hotel concierge and a hotel manager offered to hold if for her and she could come back and get it.
-personally, I would have happily kept it on the table instead of having to truck it down to the lobby during my meal to retrieve it. The CM manager probably thought the same thing.
She thought to bring a candle but, not something to light it with.
She expected a buffet restaurant to serve her outside cake to her.

Learned lesson.
Again, I feel bad that it didn't go as she had thought it would but, I didn't see too much wrong with the way it was handled. And I know we will disagree and that's fine too.


Yeah i agree,

and the customer didn't ask the resturaunt if she can store a big cake there. I would have called bc some resturaunts in my state wont even do that...

PlutoLuvr
04-21-2010, 10:47 AM
I don't think I would have ever expected the level of service the OP did from a character buffet. I mean, the servers just clear your plates at buffets, deliver your check.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 10:49 AM
I'd also like to caution against chastising the OP for not knowing she couldn't bring in a cake, or not anticipating that she couldn't have it stored at Chef Mickey's or brought out at an appropriate time for the surprise she had planned. She knows better now, and I'm sure her story will benefit some who thought of doing the same thing, especially when they've seen the prices Disney charges for specialty cakes.

taylor3297
04-21-2010, 10:55 AM
Her experience was a great reminder to plan ahead and don't assume. Also, once you get there, to call ahead and make sure everything is going as planned.

I am glad she shared her experience with us.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 10:59 AM
We witnessed a similar incident at 1900 PF but it ended magically because of a wonderful hostess and manager.

The family coming in before us had an outside cake (from property but not the GF). The dad was shocked when the 1900 PF staff said that they could not store it in their kitchen. He was truly dumbfounded and the hostess realized it. She promptly got a manager and told the dad that they would figure something out.

The manager had a great solution...spoil the surprise of the cake when it was there turn to get photos made and use it as a centerpiece on the table because the characters would be sure to notice. That worked great for them and got the little girl loads of special birthday attention and a royal waltz.

The server did not serve the cake but she did have a group of servers come over to sing, brought over a stack of dessert plates and a clean table knife and asked they had all they needed.

None of the staff at 1900 PF broke any health codes and they really didn't provide any special treatment but they did find a solution and provided excellent service. I think that is all the OP in this case was expecting as well. Sure the OP needed to do a bit more homework but the staff at CM's could have made this bad situation better with just a little work.

Sandisw
04-21-2010, 11:06 AM
Just want to say that I am sorry that things didn't go well for you but the cake was beautiful.

At least now, many will know that these types of activities and events need to be extremely pre-planned with the establishment. I am sure there are plenty of people will be able to learn from your experience to avoid some of the pitfalls that you experienced.

si-am
04-21-2010, 11:06 AM
We witnessed a similar incident at 1900 PF but it ended magically because of a wonderful hostess and manager.

The family coming in before us had an outside cake (from property but not the GF). The dad was shocked when the 1900 PF staff said that they could not store it in their kitchen. He was truly dumbfounded and the hostess realized it. She promptly got a manager and told the dad that they would figure something out.

The manager had a great solution...spoil the surprise of the cake when it was there turn to get photos made and use it as a centerpiece on the table because the characters would be sure to notice. That worked great for them and got the little girl loads of special birthday attention and a royal waltz.

The server did not serve the cake but she did have a group of servers come over to sing, brought over a stack of dessert plates and a clean table knife and asked they had all they needed.

None of the staff at 1900 PF broke any health codes and they really didn't provide any special treatment but they did find a solution and provided excellent service. I think that is all the OP in this case was expecting as well. Sure the OP needed to do a bit more homework but the staff at CM's could have made this bad situation better with just a little work.



What a good compromise/solution for that family!

The OP of this thread WAS told to use the cake as a centerpiece but she didn't want to do that, so I'm not sure that solution would have worked in this case.

Tricia1972
04-21-2010, 11:17 AM
Another thing for others to consider when planning future birthdays at Chef Mickey's, I am not sure that singing Happy Birthday is done there as a rule.

Our experience (we celebrated our middle son's second birthday at Chef Mickey's) was that they brought out a cupcake for him right before the Celebrate song. Minnie was in our area and she came over for a "special" napkin twirl with the birthday boy. After the song, nobody came over to sing. The family just quietly sang "Happy Birthday" and he blew out the candle.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 11:18 AM
I'd also like to caution against chastising the OP for not knowing she couldn't bring in a cake, or not anticipating that she couldn't have it stored at Chef Mickey's or brought out at an appropriate time for the surprise she had planned. She knows better now, and I'm sure her story will benefit some who thought of doing the same thing, especially when they've seen the prices Disney charges for specialty cakes.

Some of us are "chastising" the OP for being "upset & in Shock" when the restaurant refused to violate their policy, and board of health regulations. Instead of thanking the restaurant for making a reasonable compromise she is attacking the restaurant for not doing things exactly the way she wanted.

It would never occur to me to bring any outside food,excluding food for an infant, to a restaurant. I would never consider it acceptable to bring my own food for the sole purpose of saving money. Maybe different if you needed to bring something the restaurant was unable to provide. Family member with some food allergies. I'd ask first.

I understand the OP didn't think to ask first. I don't understand what the OP wanted the restaurant to do. Letting her take the cake to the table was a very reasonable compromise. Asking the manager to violate Disney policy and board of health rules was not reasonable. Other restaurants would have told you to put the cake in your car. Enjoy your food in your home and enjoy our food in our restaurant.

JMO but the OP should be thanking Chef Mickey's, and the Contemporary, for offering some solutions to her problem. I have an issue with her using these boards for attacking the restaurant.

I'll stay out of this thread. I expressed my opinion.

People reading this thread are aware of the potential issues in bringing outside food to a restaurant.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 11:18 AM
What a good compromise/solution for that family!

The OP of this thread WAS told to use the cake as a centerpiece but she didn't want to do that, so I'm not sure that solution would have worked in this case.

True, but I got the vibe from her post (could be totally wrong) that the surprise issue was the reason behind not wanting to do that. I could totally see her point in that.

The family at 1900 PF got their surprise moment and it was awesome! I took the family's camera and was snapping away right along with the photopass photographer and we both had tears in our eyes when it was over. It was one of those Disney moments that I will always remember and it wasn't even my kid.

letsgoagainsoon
04-21-2010, 11:25 AM
I'm still confused as to why the OP did not have the Boardwalk Bakery deliver to CM? Do they not do this anymore?

When I had a cake for DH at CP, the CMs at CP were SO helpful. They told me they have small cakes there, or I could have the bakery make a custom cake. I opted for the latter and they handled it from there, I even emailed a design to them that they gave it to the bakery. They sang to DH, gave him a signed card and everything. It was great. We also had a large party, but not 20 people. If there was a delivery charge, I wasn't aware of it, the cake was only around 60.00, and it was a fairly large cake.

Is the cake ordering different at all restaurants?

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 11:28 AM
I'm still confused as to why the OP did not have the Boardwalk Bakery deliver to CM? Do they not do this anymore?

When I had a cake for DH at CP, the CMs at CP were SO helpful. They told me they have small cakes there, or I could have the bakery make a custom cake. I opted for the latter and they handled it from there, I even emailed a design to them that they gave it to the bakery. They sang to DH, gave him a signed card and everything. It was great. We also had a large party, but not 20 people. If there was a delivery charge, I wasn't aware of it, the cake was only around 60.00, and it was a fairly large cake.

Is the cake ordering different at all restaurants?

They absolutely deliver. It sounds like the OP wasn't aware of that, though.

Sammie
04-21-2010, 11:33 AM
There were other options and it's not like the OP went to Billy's Bakery to buy a cake, they bought it at a Disney property.

Unless the cake was purchased through the restaurant where one is dining, it might as well be from Billy's Bakery.

Any restaurant that allows outside food to be brought into their kitchen is not following code, I am not sure I want to eat there if they did.

I am very sorry the OP was disappointed but I have to agree with others, many times our expectations are responsible for our disappointments.

At Disney if you want a birthday party you have to pay the price for that. Can you imagine the turmoil they would experience if they stopped their usual routines to do this for every guest at no extra cost.

And yes if allowed, guests would start bringing in cakes from Billy's Bakery.

chloelovesdisney
04-21-2010, 11:38 AM
I'm sorry OP. :hug: It would have seemed reasonable to me as well that they could keep a Disney cake somewhere in the restaurant. It came from the Boardwalk Bakery, not some unknown place, I don't see an issue with that. It's also customary in restaurants that I go to for the staff to come over and sing happy birthday and yes, light candles. Not sure why anyone would think that is way above and beyond and too much to ask. :confused3

This is good information for any future celebrations that we will be spending down at Disney. I understand rules and bureaucracy but sometimes they are so stringent as to be a little ridiculous. I worked in an ICU for over 10 years. Visiting hours ended at 7pm. If someone was perhaps helping to feed their spouse or parent dinner, I didn't say it's 7pm, time's up, get out. That may have been the rule, but it wasn't always necessary to stick exactly to it. Flexibility is sometimes reasonable.

msmayor
04-21-2010, 11:51 AM
Portobello is not a Disney restaurant; they may not have the same rules. It's possible a Disney restaurant would tell you you can't bring in your own cake at all. I'd guess if anyone wants to order a cake elsewhere and bring it into any restaurant, rather than have it delivered by Disney, they would first need to contact that restaurant directly (not through WDW-DINE, they likely know nothing about policies in individual restaurants) to ask what the procedure is, and if they want the cake presented, sliced and served by restaurant staff, to arrange for that.

Very true. And our celebration may have gone differently at a regular Disney restaurant, I don't know. I think the key though is calling the restaurant direct and asking questions to find out what is and isn't going to work.

Also remember that some restaurants are just more conducive to a 'special celebration' event, one in which there is sufficient staff and a level of service to carry it out. As other posters have commented, because CM is a buffet the servers have much different duties than a regular full-service restaurant. CM is also a "churn and burn" location...the idea is to turn those tables in a certain timeframe to ensure that all ADR's are kept and character visits get timed correctly. Other restaurants will allow you to linger a little longer, and have more interaction with your server.

One more example for our trip would be another special group dinner we had at Whispering Canyon, again for our whole large group. Had to get an ADR at opening (again to ensure we had two tables next to each other). We had special bride/groom ears "doctored" up with golden number "50" to surprise my parents with at dessert. I went ahead of the restaurant opening and asked if they could have our server present my parents with the headgear at dessert. I think because of the raucous nature of WCC and the way the servers really interact with the guests there, this was a good "fit". They were more than willing...in fact, they made a HUGE deal over their 50th and had them do a kissing contest! It was hysterical, and a wonderful event. Again, a little advance planning AND choosing the right venue made it work.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 11:52 AM
I said I won't post in this thread. I won't express an opinion but will offer some facts in response to some of recent posts.

A restaurant has no way of knowing if a customer supplied cake was tampered with.
A restaurant has no way of knowing if a cake brought by a customer was kept at the correct temperature.
There is no upside and lots of downside if a manager decides to violate Board of Health Rules.
Chef Mickey has a lot of customers. There is no way of knowing if any of the customers work for a board of health or are otherwise familiar with regulations.

es45
04-21-2010, 11:52 AM
From reading the OP's post, I don't think she was offered to use the cake as a centerpiece, rather, they told her to keep it on the table. I might not think to take it out of the box, spoil the surprise and encourage character interaction either if I was organizing an "affordable" and large celebration at Disney.

She also didn't try to circumvent the delivery charge. It wasn't explained to her. The bakery didn't offer to deliver it to her. Again, she was in charge of a celebration of a large group and she was trying to keep costs down.

Could she have done things differently? Sure, but if no one clues you in then how do you know all the options?

All of us don't think of all the questions that we need to ask for everything we plan. We depend on those who work in the service that we are purchasing to help us out.

Cruella 66
04-21-2010, 11:54 AM
OMG!! The cake was gorgeous!!! :littleangel: My 7 year old daughter would have loved it too! Great choice! And, it wasn't even the OP's daughter...that was so very nice. :cloud9:

So, on that thread...where is a good place to go to explore cake options at WDW???:surfweb:

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 11:59 AM
I think what hasn't been mentioned here, and it's important to mention, is that this party of 20 people came in for their ADR at 9:20pm. Not the OPs fault, if that's the only ADR they could get, but a restaurant has a lot to do around closing time, as if feeding a 20-top wasn't enough! :scared1:

dis-happy
04-21-2010, 12:00 PM
I just have one comment to make...

That is one GORGEOUS cake!!!!

Dolce27
04-21-2010, 12:02 PM
There are two rules in running a restaurant.

Rule number 1: The customer is always right.

Rule number 2: When the customer is wrong, refer to rule number 1.


I disagree with this. Strongly disagree with this. The customer is NOT always right. Sometimes they are wrong – very wrong - and they shouldn’t get their way when they are wrong. We’ve created an entitled society that has caused problems for everyone because of this false sense of “I’m the customer – I should get what I want!”
In this particular case (the OP’s story at CM) the manager did present an alternative solution (to keep the cake at the table) to the family but the OP was not satisfied with that solution.


Callisto31:

This is a terrible story, and if this had been my wife whom had been treated so poorly, I would have made a scene that every Disney guest would have remembered forever!

And had I been a guest there to witness it, I would have looked over at you while you were throwing your childish tantrum and thought “Geeze buddy, thanks for ruining my dinner because you’re unhappy about something.” That type of response from you would have reflected poorly on you - NOT on the manager.

I actually think the OP’s DH did the right thing since the manager’s solution wasn’t acceptable to them: He went and found a way to store the cake. I’m aware that it’s one of her complaints that THEY had to find a way to store the cake – but honestly? It really wasn’t the manager’s problem. And I doubt that the manager was being “unhelpful” by not calling concierge – I’m betting that he wasn’t aware that concierge could/would help this family out with this. The manager knew that the restaurant couldn’t store the cake since it was against health codes. He offered the only other solution he had for them right then. That solution was turned down by the OP’s family. Therefore it was the family’s problem to find a solution to – and they found that solution.

To the OP of the thread: I'm sorry that things didn't work out for you that night. I’m sure that being that late of an ADR tiredness played a factor into the event as well. You did have a beautiful cake and things did work out for you. And we all learned about FL’s health codes and what can/can’t be done at Disney’s restaurants. Hopefully with the passing of time you’ll just remember the delight on the 7 year old’s face at seeing the beautiful cake and will forget about a bad experience.

chloelovesdisney
04-21-2010, 12:04 PM
From reading the OP's post, I don't think she was offered to use the cake as a centerpiece, rather, they told her to keep it on the table. I might not think to take it out of the box, spoil the surprise and encourage character interaction either if I was organizing an "affordable" and large celebration at Disney.

She also didn't try to circumvent the delivery charge. It wasn't explained to her. The bakery didn't offer to deliver it to her. Again, she was in charge of a celebration of a large group and she was trying to keep costs down.

Could she have done things differently? Sure, but if no one clues you in then how do you know all the options?

All of us don't think of all the questions that we need to ask for everything we plan. We depend on those who work in the service that we are purchasing to help us out.


This. You I like.

Dolce27
04-21-2010, 12:09 PM
From reading the OP's post, I don't think she was offered to use the cake as a centerpiece, rather, they told her to keep it on the table. I might not think to take it out of the box, spoil the surprise and encourage character interaction either if I was organizing an "affordable" and large celebration at Disney.

She also didn't try to circumvent the delivery charge. It wasn't explained to her. The bakery didn't offer to deliver it to her. Again, she was in charge of a celebration of a large group and she was trying to keep costs down.

Could she have done things differently? Sure, but if no one clues you in then how do you know all the options?

All of us don't think of all the questions that we need to ask for everything we plan. We depend on those who work in the service that we are purchasing to help us out.

I just wonder if that was miscommunication since the OP didn't realize that the bakery could deliver it? Actually - this was new info to me as well - I wasn't aware that the Boardwalk bakery could deliver since the Contemporary has its own bakery. Lots of people pick-up from the Boardwalk bakery since that is the only bakery on property you can pick-up from. Since the OP didn’t realize this could be done, maybe none of conversations were steered in the direction to where the bakery thought to ask if they wanted delivery? Like I stated: that bakery has a lot of pick-up’s and are accustomed to people purchasing their cakes that way.

Tricia1972
04-21-2010, 12:14 PM
I am not sure that BoardWalk Bakery delivers to Chef Mickey's. The example that was cited was when BoardWalk delivered to another restaurant (Crystal Palace). Crystal Palace doesn't have an on-site bakery, so they may be subject to different rules.

blu3d3vil
04-21-2010, 12:35 PM
Here are some pics of the cake. I think my friend might have some of the images all the way around.


http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b49/calissto31/Disney/FantasyofFlight-Alyssas7thB-Day2-3.jpg




Whoa $120 for that? I hope it tasted good.

bunkkinsmom
04-21-2010, 12:57 PM
Pirate Jeff, thanks for seeing the customer service side the way I do. Ya'll need to understand that it's not NECESSARILY that the customer is always right, but they should think they are! I have, rarely, let a customer leave angry that I couldn't make happy. In over 20 years I can count on one hand how many times that has happened.

And as far as CM doing very well because they are always packed?? That doesn't mean they are right, that's location.

Example: I used to bartend for TGIFridays here in NC. Great job, loved it. I went to Disney in 1996 and picked up a couple of shifts at Friday's on International Drive. They were one of the highest grossing Friday's in the country. I absolutely hated it. Servers there were not trained well and gave below average service, and knew it. They simply didn't care, and were vocal about it. The reason: These people are tourists and we will not ever see them again, so why try.

After my lackluster visit to Chef Mickey's this past year it will be a long time before we go back as well. I am not surprised at the OP at all. Reviews have been negative on these boards for a while. They are packed and busy because of where they are. But even that will fade with too many years of bad service.

crostorfer
04-21-2010, 01:01 PM
I am very sorry that your experience wasn't as magical as you would have liked it to be. :sad1: But DAMN! Thats one beautiful cake! My daughter turns seven next month, I wonder if I can get that replicated at a bakery here in Seattle...

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 01:02 PM
I'd think in this instance, the OP's experience was ruined as soon as they said she couldn't store the cake in the restaurant and have restaurant staff bring it out at the time she wanted. If this is indeed a health code issue, there isn't any way they could change that for her. I kind of hope someone had taken the initiative to suggest to her that she set it up as a party with the cake on the table as a previous poster described...but they didn't.

ElizabethB
04-21-2010, 01:02 PM
Dh and I stopped by for a late dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill recently. The table of four next to us was celebrating a birthday. At dinner's end, they brought out a homemade cake. The restaurant staff happily supplied plates, forks and a knife. No fuss at all. The group invited us to join their celebration. So, plates and forks were brought for us and we joined in the fun.

No fuss. No fuming. Just customer service at its nicest and most pleasant.

bunkkinsmom
04-21-2010, 01:04 PM
:flower3: This makes me happy!

Dh and I stopped by for a late dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill recently. The table of four next to us was celebrating a birthday. At dinner's end, they brought out a homemade cake. The restaurant staff happily supplied plates, forks and a knife. No fuss at all. The group invited us to join their celebration. So, plates and forks were brought for us and we joined in the fun.

No fuss. No fuming. Just customer service at its nicest and most pleasant.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 01:09 PM
Did the party at Macaroni Grill have the homemade cake with them at the table or did the restaurant bring it out from the kitchen? Wondering if it's actually a health code rule based on what Portobello did.

I'm also not sure if there is some advocacy on this thread for Disney to allow people to bring in their own special cakes (no real reason for them to do that if they don't wish to) or just treat people with more delicacy when they try to do it, without realizing that they can't.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 01:09 PM
Whoa $120 for that? I hope it tasted good.

I am very sorry that your experience wasn't as magical as you would have liked it to be. :sad1: But DAMN! Thats one beautiful cake! My daughter turns seven next month, I wonder if I can get that replicated at a bakery here in Seattle...

As a hobby baker, I would have charged $85 for that cake so $120 at Disney is a very fair price. And just a side note before I get flamed, NO, I would not make said cake because said cake violates copyright laws as I am not a cake artist for Disney.

Disneyadore
04-21-2010, 01:12 PM
There are two rules in running a restaurant.

Rule number 1: The customer is always right.

Rule number 2: When the customer is wrong, refer to rule number 1.



Well actually the saying goes customer is king but we,the owners of the business,are emperor and emperor's interest goes above king's. :lmao:

robinb
04-21-2010, 01:13 PM
I'd think in this instance, the OP's experience was ruined as soon as they said she couldn't store the cake in the restaurant and have restaurant staff bring it out at the time she wanted. If this is indeed a health code issue, there isn't any way they could change that for her. I kind of hope someone had taken the initiative to suggest to her that she set it up as a party with the cake on the table as a previous poster described...but they didn't.I think you're right. Once she hit that little bump it was all down hill from there. It's really too bad since it ruined the whole night for the OP. We so often want things to be perfect and just what we planed and when they are not ... it can be hard to adjust.

I will say that it's nice that we learned on this thread that putting the cake in the center of the table so the characters would see it might be an option. The *surprise* of the cake may have been ruined, but the increase in character interaction might have been worth it. I don't know if I would count on it, but if I was thinking of doing it I would call my restaurant and ask in advance. We'll be celebrating my DD's 11th birthday at WDW but no characters for us ... she asked to eat at California Grill :lmao:.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 01:17 PM
Did the party at Macaroni Grill have the homemade cake with them at the table or did the restaurant bring it out from the kitchen? Wondering if it's actually a health code rule based on what Portobello did.

Sammie said it's a board of health issue. Sammie generally has accurate information.

It's certainly possible some restaurants may be willing to bend or ignore some rules.

CrabbyPatty
04-21-2010, 01:19 PM
IMHO, having that lovely cake as a centerpiece would have been wonderful. I can imagine the excitement of the birthday girl seeing the cake during her meal - knowing that the cake is for her birthday - and being able to enjoy looking at it during the meal rather than pulling it out of the box and cutting it up right away.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 01:21 PM
Did the party at Macaroni Grill have the homemade cake with them at the table or did the restaurant bring it out from the kitchen? Wondering if it's actually a health code rule based on what Portobello did.

I'm also not sure if there is some advocacy on this thread for Disney to allow people to bring in their own special cakes (no real reason for them to do that if they don't wish to) or just treat people with more delicacy when they try to do it, without realizing that they can't.

I'm sure it is a health code violation and a huge liability for Disney. I totally understand why they do it but I think the manager could have handled it all just a bit better. Not saying offered special treatment or break any rules but I doubt this was the first or the last outside cake and they need to be a bit more prepared for them.

Tara922c
04-21-2010, 01:23 PM
Dh and I stopped by for a late dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill recently. The table of four next to us was celebrating a birthday. At dinner's end, they brought out a homemade cake. The restaurant staff happily supplied plates, forks and a knife. No fuss at all. The group invited us to join their celebration. So, plates and forks were brought for us and we joined in the fun.

No fuss. No fuming. Just customer service at its nicest and most pleasant.


When I worked as a server, we too would store someones cake, and bring it out at the end of the meal. Being said, I didn't work in Orange County where CM is located. I know for a fact, I was a food CM a few years ago, that it is against health code restrictions to bring anything into the kitchen that a guest has touched. For instance, one night a guest asked me if I could wash out her kids sippy cup for her. (working at a stand at MK) I had to tell her "no", but I could give her a cup of hot water to do it herself. It isn't that I didn't want to, I couldn't. She was FUMMING, and ran off. This is why they sell the refillable (for a fee) drinks at AK, and not the rest of the parks, they are in different counties, and have different restrictions. Even if I sold a guest a coke, they grabbed it, and said "oh, I didn't want ice", I had to ask them to throw it away, and I would make them a new coke. The manager at CM could have tried to store the cake somewhere other than the kitchen, but we don't know if he even had a place to do so. He could have suggested that the OP set up the cake, and let the little girl be excited when she walked to the table. I feel bad for the OP because I do know it is upsetting when plans don't go your way, but I understand the health code restrictions. That also doesn't excuse the bad service. The server should have brought plates out (if she was asked), and she should have made sure happy birthday was sung.

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 01:31 PM
So I figured I'd comment since a lot of assumptions are being made based on I'm not sure what because some of these comments aren't remotely mentioned on my post. I wrote this both to vent as we all have come to do on these boards and in the hopes that I would also get some great information and tips...also the point of these boards.

As you can see in my signature I have been to Disney numerous times but as you can read on my original post had never ordered a cake. The 7yr old is also not my daughter to clarify. I am 25 and she is my friend's daughter. They do not have a lot of money so I chose to do this for them.

I have been to CM numerous times as well as most of the restaurants in Disney and if I expected 5 star service as well as meat cooked to order I know to go to the numerous restaurants known for this such as California Grill where we celebrated a birthday this past January. I just simply stated that the meat was more cooked than I've normally seen even at buffets and I'm sure it's probably because it was the end of the day. This by no means was a big deal it just added to all the little things at this point. I also wasn't aware that they schedule big parties at certain times and it makes sense so now I know. I usually don't travel with a group this big. We were all there for a car show and we are a club who has gone in the past to Disney when we come up for the show. The difference this time was that one of the members who is a cast member but works for one of the stores usually takes care of everything but she slacked this time and I had to pick up the slack or we would all be left with nowhere to eat.

I never once threw a tantrum, raised my voice or made any sort of demand whatsoever at CM to the manager or staff. As a matter of fact almost our entire party had no idea what was going on. I clearly stated I did not expect the manager to make any exception or violate any code for me...I am not that kind of person. The second he mentioned that he couldn't take it into the kitchen for health code reasons that was the end of that. I never insisted he take it back there nor was I in shock. I would think as a manager he knows the rules and so I do not second guess that for one minute. To clarify he also never suggested having it on the table as a center piece and after reading this thread I actually think that is a great idea and wish I would have thought of that. By no means would I have had a problem with that. His only suggestion was to have the BOX on the table and the reason I had a problem with that is that when it came time to surprise the birthday girl we would have had to remove the top part of the box which now reveals the very top of the crown then start trying to unhinge the box flaps and by this point instead of seeing the cake as a whole she has seen bits and pieces of it.

The only thing that upset me about the manager was that he didn't seem to try and come up with a solution. For those who stated that he did or that he didn't have to make phone calls because he knew the rules then how come he didn't know it could be stored elsewhere on property. And the table wasn't a solution he said it was our only option. I was more than gracious to the cast members downstairs who helped me out and I told them thank you because I appreciated any LITTLE help they could offer.

As far as what I expected I really don't feel I expected much or had high expectations. My expectations were also not what some are assuming here. I thought the server would bring out the cake as they did with the dessert place it on the table say happy birthday and either walk away or call other servers or the characters. I really don't know how it works at disney but at other restaurants that's usually how it goes and I've certainly seen disney sing happy birthday to guests quite a few times. Apart from that our server was really just not pleasant and even gave a nasty face to one of our group members when he pointed her in my direction when it came to the birthday stuff because I had made all the arrangements.

In the midst of all the chaos I have to say I completely forgot a lighter and I'm sure someone in our group must have had one and that was going to be my next option. The only reason why I asked a server is because our server had already come out and lit the candles they provided on the cupcakes so I knew they had the means to light my candle. I did think to bring my own candle because I know sometimes bakeries do not have any and I was picking up the cake from the bakery. I did not expect the restaurant to stop and I didn't expect some out of this world service although we are in disney and go there because of that extra magic we don't usually find anywhere else. That is why we pay the prices we pay. I didn't get up to grab 20 plates because I thought it would look a bit weird and I did not expect our server to take our cake to the back where I already knew it wasn't allowed and cut it and serve it up as if I was in a wedding. I just needed the plates and if they had some kind of knife to cut the cake as it was a bit big for the regular knife. If she would have said "Oh I'm sorry we don't have any special knives" I certainly wouldn't have bit her head off or gotten upset...I would have figured it out just as we did the day we were checking out and my friend wanted me to take a piece home. We didn't have a knife and so I got a pair of scissors I had, washed them real good and used that as my make shift knife...ghetto I know but you make do and I'm not above that.

I am very thankful for the support I have received from some of you and I really do hope I have given a little extra knowledge to some who may not have known about this as I didn't. I have also learned some things I did not know such as asking to speak to group dining which I didn't know existed and contacting all involved to make sure this doesn't repeat. I am usually very well prepared thanks to the boards but I promise you that after reading threat after thread I didn't see anything in reference to my mishap. I also can't seem to understand some of your point of views as to the shock that I didn't know what could or couldn't be done. Seeing as I am a DIS member and did not know this all I can think of is the numerous amount of people that are not DIS members and know even less than I do. I certainly can't believe that this incident was the first of its kind at CM and I'm sure that the incidents have probably been even worse because some people might bring their own cake from outside not even knowing that Disney has special cakes. I've also seen my share of outbursts and people who have the audacity to think that the world revolves around them and that they are not at fault and I did nothing of that sort. I certainly hope I didn't give off the impression that I acted in this way because I didn't. I also never passed the blame of this incident onto the manager. I take full responsibility for not knowing some of these rules. The only issue I had with the manager was getting the sense that he didn't try his best to find a solution that would work for all involved and that is all. I also did not know they could deliver and when quoted $165 for the cake I was told it was for the cake not for any delivery. I have no problem paying for delivery or storage and am well aware of fees such as corkage fee if you bring your own bottle of wine. I do not try to cut corners I just couldn't bring myself to pay this much for that cake especially when I saw prices from last year that would have put it right around $105. I was also very hesitant to pay a lot as it is because of all the mishaps I've seen with cake orders and some reviews of how not extraordinary the cakes taste. This experience has not stopped me from planning on ordering another cake on our next visit...I'm already planning the design of the cake. I will also be asking for our same baker because she was extraordinary and if the cake can't be delivered to the restaurant of our choice I'll just simply enjoy it in my room.

Thank you and if you have any questions about specific numbers I called for the cake or how I went about ordering it and what I asked for please feel free to contact me as I would love to be able to HELP a fellow DISer.

:lovestruc

scrapbookworm
04-21-2010, 01:34 PM
Everyone has pretty much so covered the bases on what went wrong here. Take a deep breath, OP, and try to read your post from an outside, unbiased perspective.

A 20-top at 9:20pm sounds like a lot of work for both the serving staff and the kitchen. Add to that this large party bringing an outside cake without advance notice, wanting additional services for serving cake that wasn't purchased there, you didn't bring a lighter (yes, we're all human), you wanted someone to fetch the cake for you, etc., I can easily see how this went downhill. Try not to dwell on it too much. It sounds like the birthday girl was thrilled anyway, and take it as one of those unfortunate and expensive lessons that we all have to swallow sometimes. :)

2DisPrincesses
04-21-2010, 01:35 PM
DH is a restaurant GM and it is DEFINITELY a health code violation to serve outside food to guests in Michigan.

Sorry that the OP was so dissapointed, but it sounds like her DD had a great birthday and that's what really matters!

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 01:42 PM
Everyone has pretty much so covered the bases on what went wrong here. Take a deep breath, OP, and try to read your post from an outside, unbiased perspective.

A 20-top at 9:20pm sounds like a lot of work for both the serving staff and the kitchen. Add to that this large party bringing an outside cake without advance notice, wanting additional services for serving cake that wasn't purchased there, you didn't bring a lighter (yes, we're all human), you wanted someone to fetch the cake for you, etc., I can easily see how this went downhill. Try not to dwell on it too much. It sounds like the birthday girl was thrilled anyway, and take it as one of those unfortunate and expensive lessons that we all have to swallow sometimes. :)


Totally agree on the expensive lesson:laughing: The next day we went to the parks had a great time and I didn't dwell on the cake. I almost didn't post it after the original post I was writing at CM got deleted but decided to do it so that I could share my experience and others wouldn't make my mistake. I'm sure that at the rate this thread has taken off not too many will be repeating my mistake and honestly that's all I can hope for. Thanks for the post:thumbsup2

Pumbaa_
04-21-2010, 01:42 PM
so, if you had it to do over, would you get a cake or just let it be?

(i know it does not always translate, but this was asked in a completely non-snarky, just curious kind of voice :cutie:)

honeydiane1953
04-21-2010, 01:44 PM
I agree with msmayor things down there have so many rules and regulations. It really is a hassle. To the original poster I as so sorry as I know it mean't a great deal to u and your family. I just got back from WDW sat and although did not eat at CM the food has gone downhill and the rule r at times are outrageous!! A HAPPY PLACE I am sorry to say this but happy for whom????

LuluLovesDisney
04-21-2010, 01:53 PM
First, I'm sorry it was a problem. It is disappointing when we hope for something and it doesn't turn out that way.

Here is my take:
Disney would be smart to publicize their offerings/rules a little better. I think more people would order specialty cakes if they knew about them and less issues like this would occur if this info were more forthcoming. Why not make a pamphlet or post these rules in the Boardwalk Bakery (since that bakery is the only "pick up" bakery. I mean DISers are often in the know, but the average resort guest doesn't get that much info!

I totally understand why CM didn't take the cake into the kitchen. They can't risk cross contamination or their job by violating health codes/policies. I think they did the right thing by allowing the cake at your table.

I do think that the OP should have been given this information when she ordered the cake. I mean, if it were a Publix cake, this would be more cut and dry but since it is a Disney cake, someone should have told her that it can't be brought into a restaurant, as a heads up.

I wouldn't be too upset, though. The girl had a gorgeous birthday cake at Disney. I am sure if everyone acted happy and like it was normal, she wouldn't know the difference! :)

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 01:56 PM
Totally agree on the expensive lesson:laughing: The next day we went to the parks had a great time and I didn't dwell on the cake. I almost didn't post it after the original post I was writing at CM got deleted but decided to do it so that I could share my experience and others wouldn't make my mistake. I'm sure that at the rate this thread has taken off not too many will be repeating my mistake and honestly that's all I can hope for. Thanks for the post:thumbsup2

I'm glad it didn't ruin your trip and that you posted. I think you provided valuable information for anyone that will be ordering a special cake in the future.

hentob
04-21-2010, 01:58 PM
I never once threw a tantrum.....

:confused3

At this point I'm at a loss and am beginning to cry and tell my husband I am going downstairs to the lobby to find someone to talk to. I rush downstairs walk up to concierge and at this point the hoover dam breaks. .

If a child cried over a cake that had to be placed on a table, we would call it a tantrum.

I guess I just don't get the big deal here:confused3 OP, I am sure you are nice, but I do feel sorry for people who have to deal with adults crying over a 7 year old that had to witness her birthday cake before the end of the meal:confused:

Thank you, WDW Cast Members for all that you do:worship:

persimmondeb
04-21-2010, 02:00 PM
Rule #1 and Rule #2 are absolutely true. If you do not believe that, you either do not work in a service industry, or should not.

Even if a customer wants something that cannot happen, for whatever reason, there is almost always some way to make it better for them. Obviously, there were ways around the problem that would not have violated the health code, since the CM downstairs found one. A creative manager could probably have thought of a couple more.

And yes, that kind of problem solving is part of his job, and seems to be something that a lot of Disney CM's excel at. Magical service is a big part of the lure of WDW. Whether you think the OP's expectation was reasonable or not, this is a description of decidedly unmagical service.

BTW, I have read a lot of complaints about brusque service and various glitches at Chef Mickey's, which has made me somewhat inclined to skip the place. I'm sure the lateness of the hour didn't help either, both with the selection and the staff's temperament, but that's not an excuse either, and if it's a consistent problem at late serving times at Chef Mickey's Disney needs to find some way to address it.

In contrast to this story, on our last visit, we stopped at Main Street Bakery after Wishes (no Spectromagic that night) and found a wide selection of light meal items on display, which we consumed in an unhurried fashion. We were actually advised by a cheerful staff member that there was no need for speed and we should sit and enjoy since they'd be there for hours yet. That's Disney service, with no "special" treatment.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 02:21 PM
I am not sure I could expect a buffet to supply plates. I do wish the manager had been a little more creative once it was established to the OP that they'd need to keep their cake at the table. It does sound like she was more upset about possibly presenting the cake from a cardboard box than anything else but surely it could have been transferred to a plate somewhere out of the sight of the birthday girl.

Either the folks at Boardwalk didn't know or didn't catch that their intention was to bring the cake into a restaurant. Boardwalk Bakery staff may not even know you can't bring a cake into a restaurant. Maybe they need a sign that says cakes purchased there cannot be brought into restaurants.

Dolce27
04-21-2010, 02:31 PM
Rule #1 and Rule #2 are absolutely true. If you do not believe that, you either do not work in a service industry, or should not.

I will still, respectfully, disagree with this statement. I will assume that this post was written with me in mind. Yes I've worked plenty of customer service jobs (including Walt Disney World) and no my current job is not customer service related.

The customer can be wrong. I've even been in the wrong before as a customer. Yes a good manager, ect.. will try to resolve the problem in some way even if it’s just to calm the customer down and explain to them why they can’t have what they want. By disagreeing that "the customer is ALWAYS right" I'm not saying that the customer should be given poor customer service when they’re in the wrong. But in our society the blanket statement: The customer is always right has translated to = I don't care if this breaks every rule, this is what I want and this is what you will give me/do for me regardless of the cost and the long-term effects to others. This is why I disagree with that statement: it’s become an entitlement for many people to get what they want and they’ll throw a tantrum, threaten people’s jobs, ect… to get what they want because they’re always told that as the customer they’re ALWAYS right. We see these threads pop up on the Theme Park board all the time – the threads about what people “get away” with at Disney because they know that Disney tries to abide by the "rule" ‘the customer is ALWAYS right.’

To illustrate my point let’s use this as an example: The OP originally wanted the cake sent back to the kitchen and the servers to serve it at the end of the meal.

Obviously that’s not what happened – But let’s say that the OP had demanded (which she did not do) but what if she had demanded that the cake be taken back to the kitchen and stored in the cooler until the conclusion of her meal? What if she refused to accept the manager's explanation for why it couldn’t be taken back but stood there arguing at length, demanding, that it be taken back to the kitchen? This violates the health code and the manager could very well lose his job. Had this been the scenario – would the customer have been right?

I think that the customer should always be treated with respect and I’m all for trying to help the customer find an alternative solution but I will always disagree with the “customer is ALWAYS right” mentality. I think it’s caused nothing but problems for many businesses.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 02:36 PM
:confused3

If a child cried over a cake that had to be placed on a table, we would call it a tantrum.

I guess I just don't get the big deal here:confused3 OP, I am sure you are nice, but I do feel sorry for people who have to deal with adults crying over a 7 year old that had to witness her birthday cake before the end of the meal:confused:

Thank you, WDW Cast Members for all that you do:worship:

I do not consider this a tantrum at all. She was not screaming, laying in the floor kicking and screaming or even really causing a scene. She was upset and lots of people cry when they are upset. She had gone above and beyond to make this dinner special for this child and all she saw at that moment was her plan being derailed. I think I would have been crying right along with her.

I am not sure I could expect a buffet to supply plates. I do wish the manager had been a little more creative once it was established to the OP that they'd need to keep their cake at the table. It does sound like she was more upset about possibly presenting the cake from a cardboard box than anything else but surely it could have been transferred to a plate somewhere out of the sight of the birthday girl.

Very true, I think the OP's mind got stuck inside that box when the manager said it had to be on the table. All he had to say was take it out of the box and use it as a centerpiece. At that point, I think the situation would have been neutralized and would have ended on a better note.

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 02:40 PM
double

bunkkinsmom
04-21-2010, 02:42 PM
:confused3



If a child cried over a cake that had to be placed on a table, we would call it a tantrum.

I guess I just don't get the big deal here:confused3 OP, I am sure you are nice, but I do feel sorry for people who have to deal with adults crying over a 7 year old that had to witness her birthday cake before the end of the meal:confused:

Thank you, WDW Cast Members for all that you do:worship:

Yes, thanks cast members. And the OP did thank cast members, the ones that were nice to her. They didn't give her everything she wanted, they were nice, and that's what mattered. And thank you, OP, for helping me to learn something new everyday. As for the above quote, the OP went into great detail to further explain her state of mind due to misinterpretations of the original post. Do you really still feel the need to be snarky? She vented. Some of us agreed, some didn't. Was this necessary, geez, have you never vented? This has happened to me here as well, and after a while it's just beating people up. I understand pointing things out nicely that maybe the OP wasn't aware of, but geez!

Rule #1 and Rule #2 are absolutely true. If you do not believe that, you either do not work in a service industry, or should not.

Even if a customer wants something that cannot happen, for whatever reason, there is almost always some way to make it better for them. Obviously, there were ways around the problem that would not have violated the health code, since the CM downstairs found one. A creative manager could probably have thought of a couple more.

And yes, that kind of problem solving is part of his job, and seems to be something that a lot of Disney CM's excel at. Magical service is a big part of the lure of WDW. Whether you think the OP's expectation was reasonable or not, this is a description of decidedly unmagical service.

BTW, I have read a lot of complaints about brusque service and various glitches at Chef Mickey's, which has made me somewhat inclined to skip the place. I'm sure the lateness of the hour didn't help either, both with the selection and the staff's temperament, but that's not an excuse either, and if it's a consistent problem at late serving times at Chef Mickey's Disney needs to find some way to address it.

In contrast to this story, on our last visit, we stopped at Main Street Bakery after Wishes (no Spectromagic that night) and found a wide selection of light meal items on display, which we consumed in an unhurried fashion. We were actually advised by a cheerful staff member that there was no need for speed and we should sit and enjoy since they'd be there for hours yet. That's Disney service, with no "special" treatment.

Agreed! And yes, skip it. It is part of his job. At some point we decided that customer service didn't matter. And it does, and it makes a difference. His job is not simply day to day operations, but customer service as well. Having been a General Manager and District Manager for the last 10 years, I can assure that customer service in some way is in his job description.

I am not sure I could expect a buffet to supply plates. I do wish the manager had been a little more creative once it was established to the OP that they'd need to keep their cake at the table. It does sound like she was more upset about possibly presenting the cake from a cardboard box than anything else but surely it could have been transferred to a plate somewhere out of the sight of the birthday girl.

Either the folks at Boardwalk didn't know or didn't catch that their intention was to bring the cake into a restaurant. Boardwalk Bakery staff may not even know you can't bring a cake into a restaurant. Maybe they need a sign that says cakes purchased there cannot be brought into restaurants.

Hey Nala! Yes, you should expect them to provide plates. Whether a buffet or full service, you should still expect them to provide plates, smiles, drink refills, manners, and overall customer service.

OP - I thank you again for the education in what to do. I have a MIL that I am trying to save for a birthday surprise at WDW in January, I will definitely save this thread!:hippie:

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 02:43 PM
so, if you had it to do over, would you get a cake or just let it be?

(i know it does not always translate, but this was asked in a completely non-snarky, just curious kind of voice :cutie:)

I would definitely get a cake if I had to do it all over again and will be getting one in a few months actually. All things aside she didn't know better and her face was priceless and that's really all we wanted.

I am also very thankful for WDW cast members and all they do and that is why I have a memo on my blackberry for just that which currently has the name of one of our bus drivers this past trip. I have his full name as well as bus number which is apparently useful information for his superiors to know who he is. They also received a phone call from me first thing the morning after we had him to let them know how wonderful he was especially at a time when I'm sure the bus drivers need a little pick me up in light of what recently happened. :)

Also does anyone know how things work with the Swan and Dolphin? I know it technically isn't a Disney resort but still share a lot of the perks. I want to order a cake but haven't decided to where yet. Will the boardwalk bakery deliver to the Swan and Dolphin rooms or even one of their restaurants? Also for Cape May I assume the boardwalk bakery delivers...am I wrong?

Thanks guys

a1tinkfans
04-21-2010, 02:46 PM
OP: Glad it finally worked out for you.

Perhaps the Bakery did not offer to bring it because they did not have the time too, that is usually arranged beforehand. :confused3 So, that option may not have been offered for that reason.

As far as CM goes, we have not gone and food selections generally speaking have gotten "leaner" per what I hear here on boards, but I also assume you knew what they'd have. We always check the menu's as we have a "picky one" :rotfl2: Glad you found something to eat:rotfl2:

The "no outside food rule" is prevalent everywhere and is dictated by the state not the restaurant or Disney. The CM manager prob did not even think to go ask at another place. Giving them perhaps more credit, perhaps they had not run into this before???? For me, I would have just put it/box at the other end of the table away from the child. The table had to have been pretty large for your group, right? At least you were on your feet about "further" trying (and somewhat succeeding) to get help to your satisfaction.
I am not all too sure that they were in the "wrong" but certainly, they could have made YOU feel better about the situation by being empathetic and more "on the ball" as they say regarding holding your cake. Glad that was yummy bv the way.
Whatever the case, I am so glad that it all worked out. Poor service stinks, whenever that happens, frustrating, totally agree! And your right is to choose not to return. Don't give them your money, drop them a note and say why if that'll make it better for you :confused3
I am sure others here appreciate your candor in the Disney handling.

We did order a cake and had it delivered to Whisp Canyon (the Big mickey cake) and it was PERFECT, but boy that was the wrong place to choose that night, we were all so stuffed, :rotfl2: we "forced" the kids to eat some:lmao: literally slivers and had like a whole cake left. After mentioning that to the CM, we were gonna just offer it up to the table next to ours (who we chatted with earlier and came from same state as us) and CM suggested we "donate" the cake to the staff. Thats what we did! BOY, they thanked us and we all enjoyed "paying it forward" as they say.
So, again, glad it worked out in the end, though certainly not smoothly :hug:. I am sure the birthday girl and others were so appreciative of the whole celebration, they probably noticed this all Much less than you! ;)

hentob
04-21-2010, 02:46 PM
She had gone above and beyond to make this dinner special for this child and all she saw at that moment was her plan being derailed. I think I would have been crying right along with her.

Really? You would cry because a seven year old child would have their birthday cake sitting on the table? Because she had to see her cake earlier than you had planned? That would be a "derailment" of plans worthy of tears?

Maybe I am weird. I couldn' t imagine crying over that.

Everyone is different, I suppose.

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 02:48 PM
Really? You would cry because a seven year old child would have their birthday cake sitting on the table? Because she had to see her cake earlier than you had planned?

Maybe I am weird. I couldn' t imagine crying over that.

Everyone is different, I suppose.

When you're in the Disney bubble, you expect everything to be perfect. To make a comparison, what if you were proposing to your girlfriend/boyfriend, and the server told you to leave the ring on the table?

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 02:49 PM
Buffets are get your own plates. I can't blame the restaurant for not bringing plates to the table for the outside cake. Everything else, sure. Also don't understand the reluctance to go get the plates - that's normal at a buffet.

There's some rudeness still going on in this thread. I would still like to leave it open as it's useful, but the bickering could still get it locked. The OP's emotions aren't up for debate.

Not sure the engagement ring example is relevant. An engagement ring is not a cake - it isn't food and they could probably take it anywhere they want. Most people who want to stage a proposal contact the restaurant ahead of time or take the server/manager aside and say what it is they want to do.

bunkkinsmom
04-21-2010, 02:55 PM
Hey Nala,

I guess the plate thing must be only here in NC. In the county I live in they cannot keep plates on the buffet. They must bring you plates to your table to ensure that you are using a new plate every trip. That is why I answered that yes they should bring plates. At any rate, I think if a customer asks for plates, the proper response would be to bring them.

I hope that my previous post isn't the one you considered rude. I agree with you in that some of the posts have been very rude, and if I came across that way I to anyone I apologize :hippie:.

I just felt I needed to stand up for OP after she went to so much trouble to explain herself again.

sabrecmc
04-21-2010, 02:56 PM
Perhaps the OP had unrealistic expectations of how this would work at a buffet restaurant where you are bringing in an outside cake...BUT, Disney could do a heck of a lot better about their cake ordering process. Have you tried to do that? I've done it twice, and it is not easy or straightforward at all, and for the price you pay for a custom cake, it seems like they could do better.

I can totally understand thinking that a cake made at a Disney bakery would not be an "outside" cake or not even knowing about that rule. This isn't something most people do on any kind of routine basis. The OP didn't get mad when told they couldn't take it to the kitchen and serve it, just wanted options for what they could do. Its a shame no one thought of just using it as a centerpiece, but I can't fault CM for that since putting it on the table was suggested and the OP indicated she wanted the surprise factor. I can see how you wouldn't even think to then say to use it as a centerpiece. Sounds like a compromise was found that worked, while not perfectly, certainly well enough under the circumstances and the child was delighted. I sympathize with the OP, who was trying to do something nice for a child not her own. Sometimes, we get a little more concerned with snafus in a situation like that than if it were for our own kid.

I'm glad the OP shared her story. Maybe it will help someone else plan.

persimmondeb
04-21-2010, 02:58 PM
Maybe we vary in how we interpret #2. Of course customers sometimes want things that can't happen, and sometimes behave badly as well. They still have a fundamental right to have their needs and concerns addressed to the best of the service provider's ability, really as long as their behavior does not border on the illegal, immoral, or highly detrimental to the experience of other customers.

At my job we have been known to say, "they're customers, of course they don't know any better!" There are moments when I think that the act of entering a store, restaurant, etc., causes some otherwise rational people to take leave of their senses. Not mention a handful of individuals who are just determined to be miserable and would like other people to join them.

Still, it is the responsibility of anyone in a service industry to attempt to please their customers as best they can, and attempt to work within the rules to accomplish that. Personally, I always find it rewarding to succeed in pleasing a really difficult customer, since I feel if you can do that, you can make anybody happy.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
04-21-2010, 03:00 PM
Maybe they need a sign that says cakes purchased there cannot be brought into restaurants.I agree with that idea.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 03:00 PM
I guess the plate thing must be only here in NC. In the county I live in they cannot keep plates on the buffet. They must bring you plates to your table to ensure that you are using a new plate every trip.

Oh I see - that's one rule they don't have at Disney. It's not like the OP didn't have access to plates, she said she thought it was awkward to get so many plates from the buffet. That was her opinion, but it wouldn't have occurred to me, I'd have gone to get the plates.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 03:01 PM
When you're in the Disney bubble, you expect everything to be perfect. To make a comparison, what if you were proposing to your girlfriend/boyfriend, and the server told you to leave the ring on the table?

Exactly! Disney can be highly emotional on many aspects for lots of families. They have plans for those magical moments and when the least little thing happens, it can be emotionally overwhelming.


Really? You would cry because a seven year old child would have their birthday cake sitting on the table? Because she had to see her cake earlier than you had planned? That would be a "derailment" of plans worthy of tears?

Maybe I am weird. I couldn' t imagine crying over that.

Everyone is different, I suppose.

If I thought my only option was the have a big, ugly cardboard box sitting on our table, yep, I'd probably be crying too. It's not an issue of the child seeing the cake too soon, it's an issue of presentation...she was wanting that priceless moment and a box on the table was not going to provide that.

bunkkinsmom
04-21-2010, 03:01 PM
Maybe we vary in how we interpret #2. Of course customers sometimes want things that can't happen, and sometimes behave badly as well. They still have a fundamental right to have their needs and concerns addressed to the best of the service provider's ability, really as long as their behavior does not border on the illegal, immoral, or highly detrimental to the experience of other customers.

At my job we have been known to say, "they're customers, of course they don't know any better!" There are moments when I think that the act of entering a store, restaurant, etc., causes some otherwise rational people to take leave of their senses. Not mention a handful of individuals who are just determined to be miserable and would like other people to join them.

Still, it is the responsibility of anyone in a service industry to attempt to please their customers as best they can, and attempt to work within the rules to accomplish that. Personally, I always find it rewarding to succeed in pleasing a really difficult customer, since I feel if you can do that, you can make anybody happy.

;):goodvibes

ElizabethB
04-21-2010, 03:02 PM
Just to answer questions from above (sorry, my computer isn't set up to quote without showing all kinds of codes in the quotation, and I don't know how to change my settings to fix it!).

At Macaroni Grill, I believe the party itself had the cake in a box that was then in a bag on a spare chair. No, the restaurant staff didn't bring it out. Yes, the staff sang happy birthday -- and we joined in. Yes, the staff produced plates, forks and a knife.

I guess it probably all boils down to lawsuits. Most likely, the health code does prohibit mixing outside food in the kitchen. Interestingly, the health code does not prohibit non-employees from the kitchen -- witness V&A Chef's Table, which is now in an alcove somewhat separated from the kitchen but used to be right in the kitchen. I certainly could have had crackers in my pocket when we ate in the kitchen (though why I would do that I don't know)!

As for taking the cake and holding it outside a refrigerator, Disney probably worries that, if the cake has cream in it, and someone gets sick due to the cream having turned, they'll -- yep -- sue Disney.

So, sad as it is, I guess the OP's experience reflects the general state of litigation risk in this country.

Nonetheless, a Disney employee finally did assist, so who knows?

With the advent of the DDP, restaurants are jam-packed, staff are completely stretched to the max, and the ability to provide the niceties of customer service is gone.

I recall a lovely evening some years back at Chefs de France. A friend and I and her two children walked in about 8:30 p.m. for dinner. One could actually walk in then. The restaurant was not crowded, the food was delicious and near 9 pm the sweet waitress set the kids up at their own table by the window so they could see some of Illuminations.

Ahhhhh for the old days! I guess these days, trying to plan a celebration at a Disney restaurant is a crap shoot.

Very sorry for the OP's experience. I must say the cake was gorgeous (but for $120 I guess it should have been.)

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 03:06 PM
Some of us are "chastising" the OP for being "upset & in Shock" when the restaurant refused to violate their policy, and board of health regulations. Instead of thanking the restaurant for making a reasonable compromise she is attacking the restaurant for not doing things exactly the way she wanted.

It would never occur to me to bring any outside food,excluding food for an infant, to a restaurant. I would never consider it acceptable to bring my own food for the sole purpose of saving money. Maybe different if you needed to bring something the restaurant was unable to provide. Family member with some food allergies. I'd ask first.

I understand the OP didn't think to ask first. I don't understand what the OP wanted the restaurant to do. Letting her take the cake to the table was a very reasonable compromise. Asking the manager to violate Disney policy and board of health rules was not reasonable. Other restaurants would have told you to put the cake in your car. Enjoy your food in your home and enjoy our food in our restaurant.

JMO but the OP should be thanking Chef Mickey's, and the Contemporary, for offering some solutions to her problem. I have an issue with her using these boards for attacking the restaurant.

I'll stay out of this thread. I expressed my opinion.

People reading this thread are aware of the potential issues in bringing outside food to a restaurant.


**
All I can say is "WOW". Her problem? Isn't Disney about "Celebrating"? In fact they incourage it! They always ask me what will you be celebrating during your visit when I make dining and or resort reservations. The OP was in a dilema. The manager could have come up with a better solution, after all she was spending over $700.00 for a meal. Instead of chastising the OP why don't we offer her other solutions and or tips. Some people just love to get in attack mode, and I will never understand it. :confused3 As mentioned by another poster the manager at 1900 Park Fare, came up with a better solution to the customers issue. The paying customer was not in tears like the OP. Isn't WDW supposed to be a magical place. Can't the "rules" be bent a little. It was a 7 year old child's birthday and the OP didn't want to ruin her surprise by putting the cake on the table. Also, unless I'm blind, didn't the OP cut the cake, I don't believe she needed the waitress to cut the cake, did she? The manager should be reprimanded along with the waitress. They both acted less than stellar. Shame on them both.

OP, I'm glad it worked out in the end. Lessons learned I guess.

TDC Nala - :thumbsup2 THANK YOU!

FireDancer
04-21-2010, 03:08 PM
Other restaurants would have suggested returning your outside cake to your car.

This is exactly the first thing that came to mind for me. If I bought a cake from establishment A and brought it to establishment B (even if they were under the same corporate umbrella) I would expect management at establishment B to laugh themselves silly when I attempted to bring the cake in, especially if they serve the same thing.

Imagine someone getting a dessert to go at Red Lobster and bringing it to Longhorn Steakhouse because Red Lobster has less expensive desserts. They then ask them to keep it in their kitchen and serve it to them. Both are owned by the same company, just like the two completely separate establishments in the OP.

I'm glad that in the end they found accommodations and perhaps the manager could have communicated better in the first place but I don't know of many restaurants allowing you to bring in a cake. Yes, some do, but that is their discretion and usually they don't offer full cakes themselves.

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 03:08 PM
Really? You would cry because a seven year old child would have their birthday cake sitting on the table? Because she had to see her cake earlier than you had planned? That would be a "derailment" of plans worthy of tears?

Maybe I am weird. I couldn' t imagine crying over that.

Everyone is different, I suppose.

Oh come on guys you don't have to attack each other or bicker. I don't think they meant cry for that literally. Honestly I wasn't sobbing uncontrollably I am not a big crier but when I get mad or frustrated which doesn't happen often the tears role and sometimes that's just out of your control. I was just upset because it seemed like everything that was planned for some time was falling apart and for the life of me I couldn't come up with a solution. It was just that helpless feeling that did me in especially since I am always so well prepared that I have itineraries written.

I am glad the moderator hasn't closed the thread because I still feel that we can all learn a lot from other people's experiences. If you have any cake ordering stories good or bad please post or even stories of traveling with a big group to disney when it comes to dinner.

Thanks

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 03:12 PM
Also does anyone know how things work with the Swan and Dolphin? I know it technically isn't a Disney resort but still share a lot of the perks. I want to order a cake but haven't decided to where yet. Will the boardwalk bakery deliver to the Swan and Dolphin rooms or even one of their restaurants? Also for Cape May I assume the boardwalk bakery delivers...am I wrong?

Thanks guys

I don't want to sound rude but the Swan Dolphin don't share many of the "perks". S/D guests can't have park purchases delivered to their resort and can't charge Disney purchases/meals to their room. I doubt the restaurants at the S/D get their food through Disney and I don't know if they use Disney bakeries.

A suggestion. Call the restaurant, or group sales/dining if your group is large enough. Explain exactly what you're looking for and ask what's the best way to make it happen. Once you tell them what kind of cake you're looking for they'll tell you if whatever bakery they use will be able to accommodate your request. You can ask about the Boardwalk Bakery. They'll tell you if the restaurant will accept delivery of a cake from the Boardwalk Bakery and how much the restaurant will charge to serve your cake (assuming there is a charge).

A suggestion regarding cost. Divide the cost of the cake by the number of people in your group (assuming the cake is large enough). Is that number similar to what desserts cost in that restaurant? Then the price is probably "reasonable".

Shula's has 4 private dining rooms that seat 15 and 4 semi-private dining rooms that seat 12 to 54. Other restaurants in the S/D have private and semi-private dining rooms.

hentob
04-21-2010, 03:15 PM
Oh come on guys you don't have to attack each other or bicker.

I don't see that at all. I see people offering different points of view/asking questions. Who is attacking?



I am glad the moderator hasn't closed the thread..

Why, oh why would a moderator close this thread?

lovemickeyshouse
04-21-2010, 03:16 PM
Things happen what about my birthday when hardly anyone said happy birthday to me when at Epcot for the day .

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 03:19 PM
Things happen what about my birthday when hardly anyone said happy birthday to me when at Epcot for the day .

*****

LOL! Were you not wearing your "BIRTHDAY" pin? ;)

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 03:22 PM
I don't want to sound rude but the Swan Dolphin don't share many of the "perks". S/D guests can't have park purchases delivered to their resort and can't charge Disney purchases/meals to their room. I doubt the restaurants at the S/D get their food through Disney and I don't know if they use Disney bakeries.

A suggestion. Call the restaurant, or group sales/dining if your group is large enough. Explain exactly what you're looking for and ask what's the best way to make it happen. Once you tell them what kind of cake you're looking for they'll tell you if whatever bakery they use will be able to accommodate your request. You can ask about the Boardwalk Bakery. They'll tell you if the restaurant will accept delivery of a cake from the Boardwalk Bakery and how much the restaurant will charge to serve your cake (assuming there is a charge).

Shula's has 4 private dining rooms that seat 15 and 4 semi-private dining rooms that seat 12 to 54. Other restaurants in the S/D have private and semi-private dining rooms.

I know the room keys don't have charging privileges and you can't send things back from the parks. They do however share transportation and EMH and I believe they even have a character meal...that's all I meant by sharing perks. Also the reason why I ask here is because when I called to make a reservation it seems to be a general westin number not a number directly for the swan and dolphin. Also it isn't always easy to get the number of the restaurant at least that has been my experience with restaurants inside Disney Hotels and even if you get the number it is sometimes hard to get someone to answer as has happened to me with California Grill so I figured maybe someone had some more info.

Thanks

Calissto31
04-21-2010, 03:23 PM
I don't see that at all. I see people offering different points of view/asking questions. Who is attacking?



Why, oh why would a moderator close this thread?

The moderator said they would close the thread if the bickering continued.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 03:27 PM
Oh come on guys you don't have to attack each other or bicker. I don't think they meant cry for that literally. Honestly I wasn't sobbing uncontrollably I am not a big crier but when I get mad or frustrated which doesn't happen often the tears role and sometimes that's just out of your control. I was just upset because it seemed like everything that was planned for some time was falling apart and for the life of me I couldn't come up with a solution. It was just that helpless feeling that did me in especially since I am always so well prepared that I have itineraries written.

I am glad the moderator hasn't closed the thread because I still feel that we can all learn a lot from other people's experiences. If you have any cake ordering stories good or bad please post or even stories of traveling with a big group to disney when it comes to dinner.

Thanks

I totally understand where you are coming from 100%. I am not a big crier either but I am a planner and when things start going wrong (or not as planned), I tend to panic when I can't immediately come up with a solution and that leads to frustration and that usually ends with tears. Like you said, not uncontrollable sobbing but tears nonetheless.

Lewisc
04-21-2010, 03:30 PM
My point is the food department at the S/D probably has nothing to do with WDW.

A few years ago I was considering using the restaurants at the S/D for a private party. I had no problem getting them on the phone and having group dining menus emailed to me.

I think this number gets you directly to the hotel.
407-934-4000.

http://www.swandolphin.com/privatedining/

online now.




I know the room keys don't have charging privileges and you can't send things back from the parks. They do however share transportation and EMH and I believe they even have a character meal...that's all I meant by sharing perks. Also the reason why I ask here is because when I called to make a reservation it seems to be a general westin number not a number directly for the swan and dolphin. Also it isn't always easy to get the number of the restaurant at least that has been my experience with restaurants inside Disney Hotels and even if you get the number it is sometimes hard to get someone to answer as has happened to me with California Grill so I figured maybe someone had some more info.

Thanks

Kit'smommy
04-21-2010, 03:40 PM
Rule #1 and Rule #2 are absolutely true. If you do not believe that, you either do not work in a service industry, or should not.

I have worked in nothing but service industries, and absolutely disagree with the above statement.

The manager explained why he couldn't do something and offered a solution - keep it at the table. The customer started crying because her expectations weren't being met and then wrote a ranting post about the experience.

Sorry, but it is possible for a customer to be wrong.

I keep coming back to the thread just to look at that cake. It really is spectacular....

tiggergirlinMI
04-21-2010, 03:52 PM
To the OP, what a beautiful cake and sorry that happened to you. Glad she was happy with her cake. I agree with PP that even if it was against health codes, it is the manager's job to find a solution, you shouldnt' have to run around the resort looking for someone to help you.
I have written the general manager of the Contemporary years ago when we had a food poisoning issue, Im talking 17 years ago..and he was more than understanding and accomodating...(don't know who is manager now) but it wouldn't hurt to just mention the nonchalant attitude of the manager at CM.
We went to CM in Feb. only for my 3 yr old nephew to see the characters up close, we certainly didn't go for the food.
We won't be back as it just isn't worth doing more than once because of the cost.
I'm glad in the end the 7 yr old's birthday was a success, sorry you had to endure the stress......:goodvibes

Luv Bunnies
04-21-2010, 03:55 PM
Wow! That really was a beautiful cake! I would love to get one just like it for my next birthday!:)

A few people have said that since the cake came from a Disney bakery that it should have been allowed into a Disney restaurant. But I think the problem was that as soon as the cake was given to a customer, it was out of Disney's control and, therefore, considered an "outside" cake. The cake, in effect, became "contaminated" as soon as it left. Someone could have licked it, stuck their finger into it, added something to it, etc. I know that's not likely to happen, but I think it's the reason they couldn't put the cake in the kitchen.

I worked at McDonald's when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!). We were not allowed to take our own food back over the counter. If a customer opened their Big Mac box before leaving the counter and asked if we could put extra sauce on it, we were allowed to hand it back to the grill workers. However, if the customer had walked away with the Big Mac and brought it back to the counter, we couldn't take it back. We could offer them a small cup of sauce but we couldn't send the burger back to the grill area for the sauce. After the customer walked away with it, they could have done any number of things to it that would contaminate the food prep. area.

It might sound silly, but it was the code and we had to follow it. I suspect this was why CMs wouldn't store the cake, even though it was from a Disney bakery. If it had been delivered directly from the bakery to the restaurant, it would be different because Disney would have control of it the whole time. I do agree that the bakery should ask customers if they plan on taking a cake to a restaurant and letting them know the only way to store it in the kitchen is to have it delivered.

tarheelmjfan
04-21-2010, 04:00 PM
Also does anyone know how things work with the Swan and Dolphin? I know it technically isn't a Disney resort but still share a lot of the perks. I want to order a cake but haven't decided to where yet. Will the boardwalk bakery deliver to the Swan and Dolphin rooms or even one of their restaurants? Also for Cape May I assume the boardwalk bakery delivers...am I wrong?

Thanks guys

I would try calling S/D private dining to ask about a cake. They may be able to accommodate you in-house. IMO, they are the most deluxe of WDW's onsite hotels, so I'd be surprised if they didn't provide you with options. If they say they can't make one, it would be easy to pick up a cake from Boardwalk Bakery & carry it to your room. We saw a woman getting on one of the boats with a cake from BB the last time we were there. Walking from S/D to BB is an option too.

For Cape May, you would need to call YC/BC private dining. All the cakes I've seen from there have been very beautiful.

For anyone celebrating a birthday with the mouse, I wouldn't expect them to sing to the birthday boy/girl. We've celebrated several birthdays at WDW & Tutto Italia is the only restaurant that has sung happy birthday to anyone.

tiggergirlinMI
04-21-2010, 04:10 PM
A bit off topic, but pages ago, Maxiesmom said that they used to have divers hold signs for guests dining at Coral Reef and that it caused problems. I have to ask...how did it become a problem? And if it was a problem, did they charge for that? If not, charging for it would have eased the demand, (maybe)...I love Disney but there are some things that are way overpriced. That cake is gorgeous but can't believe they charged 120.00 . My wedding cake was 3 times that size and beautiful and was 150. And tasted so incredible!!!
All I can say is OP you are an extemely generous woman, as this girl wasn't even your daughter!!! :goodvibes How sweet of you!

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 04:11 PM
A bit off topic, but pages ago, Maxiesmom said that they used to have divers hold signs for guests dining at Coral Reef and that it caused problems. I have to ask...how did it become a problem? And if it was a problem, did they charge for that? If not, charging for it would have eased the demand, (maybe)...I love Disney but there are some things that are way overpriced. That cake is gorgeous but can't believe they charged 120.00 . My wedding cake was 3 times that size and beautiful and was 150. And tasted so incredible!!!
All I can say is OP you are an extemely generous woman, as this girl wasn't even your daughter!!! :goodvibes How sweet of you!

I'm pretty sure the problem was just that they were getting far too many requests to be able to accommodate everyone.

LuluLovesDisney
04-21-2010, 04:12 PM
FWIW The S/D does have a bakery to do their own cakes, but they also accept outside cakes- at least Fresh does. They will bring plates/knife but you have to serve it yourself, at the table :) We had a brunch there after our wedding and I had a cake brought in and it was set up in the room and I brought my husband to it, so he was surprised when he entered the room! HTH someone.

si-am
04-21-2010, 04:15 PM
To the OP, what a beautiful cake and sorry that happened to you. Glad she was happy with her cake. I agree with PP that even if it was against health codes, it is the manager's job to find a solution, you shouldnt' have to run around the resort looking for someone to help you.


I don't understand why it was the manager's job to offer a solution? Sometimes things don't always go as planned on vacation. Sometimes it is your job as an adult to roll with it and figure out your OWN solution.

The manager said to put the cake on the table. That was a fine solution. It's not the manager's fault that the OP didn't think of making it a true centerpiece/attention-grabber.

Unless you've booked a VIP tour/event/party, then no one really needs to hold your hand through these things.

si-am
04-21-2010, 04:17 PM
A bit off topic, but pages ago, Maxiesmom said that they used to have divers hold signs for guests dining at Coral Reef and that it caused problems. I have to ask...how did it become a problem? And if it was a problem, did they charge for that? If not, charging for it would have eased the demand, (maybe)...I love Disney but there are some things that are way overpriced. That cake is gorgeous but can't believe they charged 120.00 . My wedding cake was 3 times that size and beautiful and was 150. And tasted so incredible!!!
All I can say is OP you are an extemely generous woman, as this girl wasn't even your daughter!!! :goodvibes How sweet of you!

I believe-- and I could be thinking of something else but I don't think so-- someone posted on the Dis the private number of the person in charge of making the arrangements, and she was inundated with phone calls rather than emails.

Also, requests were coming in for silly things that weren't really celebrations just so kids could get their own sign from a diver ("Mommy loves you" kind of stuff.) It truly got out of control.

acomasdiaz
04-21-2010, 04:21 PM
OP ~ I am sorry that happened to you. I can't even imagine what I would have done in your situation. I definitely would have cried as well. It's definitely hard when you plan so hard and then something like this happens. I can't believe the manager at CM wouldn't help you.

I am also shocked and angry at the price you were quoted for the cake. I think my DD's cake might have been one of the one's you looked at.

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy114/kandpsmom2009/th_IMG_6772.jpg (http://s783.photobucket.com/albums/yy114/kandpsmom2009/?action=view&current=IMG_6772.jpg)

We got it in January and only paid $65 for it at 1900 park fare. I really can't stand how they don't have standard prices. I feel like if they didn't try to rip you off with the cake in the first place none of this would have happened.

RickyMouseMom
04-21-2010, 04:27 PM
I read your post and I completely understand. We had a similar situation for my son's 6th birthday. We ordered the celebration cake (simple) but had also ordered the kids birthday party pack - incldues little gift bags and a center piece for the table. You guessed it....neither was at our table. I had to keep asking for it (had to keep chasing down our server...plus I reminded the hostess at check in and she confirmed it was on our reservation). The surprise was ruined (never came until the end of the meal - just plopped in a pile on the table with our check), no singing for my son's birthday (cake plopped down with candles...came back to light them when CM found a lighter...VERY AWKWARD!!!). Really sad and uncomfortable. I'm still pissed a little 1 1/2 years later....

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:27 PM
I don't understand why it was the manager's job to offer a solution? Sometimes things don't always go as planned on vacation. Sometimes it is your job as an adult to roll with it and figure out your OWN solution.

The manager said to put the cake on the table. That was a fine solution. It's not the manager's fault that the OP didn't think of making it a true centerpiece/attention-grabber.

Unless you've booked a VIP tour/event/party, then no one really needs to hold your hand through these things.

**
Actually I disagree. The OP didn't know, okay, "gasp" heaven forbid she made a mistake about the "expensive" cake. She wanted a nice celebration for the child, without spoiling the surprise birthday cake, if it would have sat on the table. Her only request was to hold the cake behind the scenes. Afterall, 1900 Park fare did, and solved the issue and everyone was happy. Believe in me you want happy customers for repeat business. If customers aren't happy, it's a little known thing called word of mouth. It already looks like CM is getting poor ratings from alot of posters here in this forum. Most restaurants would accomodate a paying customer. I didn't think her request was all that difficult to accomodate. Afterall Disney is all for CELEBRATIONS. She really did get less than stellar service from the manager and waitress. Usually Disney is very accomodating.

DianeV
04-21-2010, 04:30 PM
It IS a managers 'job' to try to offer solutions to any kind of problems in their restuarant, store etc. Of course it is, that is why they are the manager!

si-am
04-21-2010, 04:30 PM
**
Actually I disagree. The OP didn't know, okay, "gasp" heaven forbid she made a mistake about the "expensive" cake. She wanted a nice celebration for the child, without spoiling the surprise birthday cake, if it would have sat on the table. Her only request was to hold the cake behind the scenes. Afterall, 1900 Park fare did, and solved the issue and everyone was happy. Believe in me you want happy customers for repeat business. If customers aren't happy, it's a little known thing called word of mouth. It already looks like CM is getting poor ratings but alot of posters here in this forum. Most restaurants would accomodate a paying customer. I didn't think her request was all that difficult to accomodate. Afterall Disney is all for CELEBRATIONS. She really did get less than stellar service from the manager and waitress. Usually Disney is very accomodating.

Why is the surprise diminished if it is given to the child when they sit down to dinner? Why was having an elaborate presentation at dessert so all-important?

This is what I mean by being flexible. Life isn't perfect-- hiccups happen. You just make the best of it and move on. Especially on vacation! If having a birthday party go EXACTLY as planned is really critical, then the planning needs to be made ahead of time.

You said it yourself-- the OP made a mistake. No need to blame the restaurant for it.

MelissathePooh
04-21-2010, 04:35 PM
I didn't realize that they ever sang Happy Birthday to people - I've been for multiple birthdays (my own and my son's) and we have never had anyone sing to us. Which, I have to add I am thankful for as I would be annoyed by it. With all the birthdays at Disney - it would be ridiculous to have cm's sing that to everyone celebrating. I can't stand it at local places really.

Jetta8300
04-21-2010, 04:35 PM
I have experienced first hand why "serving outside food" or something like this is not allowed. Whille rare, there are crazy people out there.

About 6 years ago when I was in college I worked for Starbucks. We were not allowed to incorporate any outside ingredients into our drinks (for instance, a customer's particular favorite brand of soy milk). We were also not allowed to serve any outside ingredients.

A new employee did not know this. A woman brought in some outside "Lactaid" milk in her mug and asked the employee to use this in her drink. The employee made the drink and said she could smell a bit of sourness to the milk but thought it might be normal for Lactaid. and apparently the milk was BAD.

The woman later complained that she was "poisoned" by Starbucks when it was her milk that was bad. The employee was trying to provide great customer service, but it backfired at Starbucks. She ended up getting some money from Starbucks from this. Who knows if she did it on purpose to get some $$$, or if she truly did not know that her milk was bad.

This is why the customer is NOT always right.

pumba
04-21-2010, 04:36 PM
please let us try to keep this post as a learning experience instead of placing the blame.

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:37 PM
Why is the surprise diminished if it is given to the child when they sit down to dinner? Why was having an elaborate presentation at dessert so all-important?

This is what I mean by being flexible. Life isn't perfect-- hiccups happen. You just make the best of it and move on. Especially on vacation! If having a birthday party go EXACTLY as planned is really critical, then the planning needs to be made ahead of time.

You said it yourself-- the OP made a mistake. No need to blame the restaurant for it.

**
Yes, the OP made a mistake. Sheesh. Don't we all? She had 20 people in her group the meal cost them over $700.00, I don't think this request such as holding a cake offsite (so the child can be surprised after eating dinner) was such a big deal.:confused3 As long as the customer is not making a scene and is not being obnoxious I don't know why the manager at CM's could not make her request a little bit more magical? As I stated before, Disney is about Celebrations. They nearly enforce it, lol! Can't we all "bend" the rules a bit? Also, as I stated before, ParkFare didn't have a problem solving a problem with a customer, why could CM's manager do the same? I still don't see what the big deal is here? :headache:

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:39 PM
please let us try to keep this post as a learning experience instead of placing the blame.

***
Totally agree with you. I just don't understand why the OP has to be reprimanded. Sheesh.

Thanks!
Brunette

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 04:39 PM
OP ~ I am sorry that happened to you. I can't even imagine what I would have done in your situation. I definitely would have cried as well. It's definitely hard when you plan so hard and then something like this happens. I can't believe the manager at CM wouldn't help you.

I am also shocked and angry at the price you were quoted for the cake. I think my DD's cake might have been one of the one's you looked at.

http://i783.photobucket.com/albums/yy114/kandpsmom2009/th_IMG_6772.jpg (http://s783.photobucket.com/albums/yy114/kandpsmom2009/?action=view&current=IMG_6772.jpg)

We got it in January and only paid $65 for it at 1900 park fare. I really can't stand how they don't have standard prices. I feel like if they didn't try to rip you off with the cake in the first place none of this would have happened.

The OP's cake was different in some expensive ways. Yours was iced in butter cream and did not have edible images on the side. That might not seem like much but it is. You would also have to size, flavors and fillings for each cake into account to accurately judge the cost difference. But either way, they were both adorable cakes!

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 04:40 PM
**
Yes, the OP made a mistake. Sheesh. Don't we all? She had 20 people in her group the meal cost them over $700.00, I don't a request such as holding a cake offsite (so the child can be surprised after eating dinner) was such a big request.:confused3 As long as the customer is not making a scene is not being obnoxious I don't know why the manager at CM could not make her request a little bit more magical. As I stated before, Disney is about Celebrations. They nearly enforce it, lol! Can't we all "bend" the rules a bit? Also, as I stated before, ParkFare didn't have a problem solving a problem with a customer, why could CM's manager do the same? I still don't see what the big deal is here? :headache:

1) It was 9:20 when they got there (almost closing time).
2) There were 20 people who had to eat dinner before they closed.
3) The manager probably did not have time, or was not prepared to find somewhere "off site" to put a cake.

si-am
04-21-2010, 04:40 PM
**
Yes, the OP made a mistake. Sheesh. Don't we all? She had 20 people in her group the meal cost them over $700.00, I don't a request such as holding a cake offsite (so the child can be surprised after eating dinner) was such a big request.:confused3 As long as the customer is not making a scene is not being obnoxious I don't know why the manager at CM could not make her request a little bit more magical. As I stated before, Disney is about Celebrations. They nearly enforce it, lol! Can't we all "bend" the rules a bit? Also, as I stated before, ParkFare didn't have a problem solving a problem with a customer, why could CM's manager do the same? I still don't see what the big deal is here? :headache:

Park Fare's solution was the same one Chef Mickey's offered (if you're referring to the putting-cake-on-table post earlier in the thread.)

I don't really like arguing-- it just truly baffles me that this was such a big deal. Bending the rules is just that: breaking a rule. Some people are bigger "rebels" than others. Maybe if a different manager were on duty, it might have played out differently. Still.... you can't get mad if someone is following a rule.

bgirl29
04-21-2010, 04:46 PM
**
Yes, the OP made a mistake. Sheesh. Don't we all? She had 20 people in her group the meal cost them over $700.00, I don't think this request such as holding a cake offsite (so the child can be surprised after eating dinner) was such a big deal.:confused3 As long as the customer is not making a scene and is not being obnoxious I don't know why the manager at CM's could not make her request a little bit more magical? As I stated before, Disney is about Celebrations. They nearly enforce it, lol! Can't we all "bend" the rules a bit? Also, as I stated before, ParkFare didn't have a problem solving a problem with a customer, why could CM's manager do the same? I still don't see what the big deal is here? :headache:

If it was indeed because of a health code issue, I can see why Disney wouldn't bend. Not worth the fine they would be risking.

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:48 PM
Park Fare's solution was the same one Chef Mickey's offered (if you're referring to the putting-cake-on-table post earlier in the thread.)

I don't really like arguing-- it just truly baffles me that this was such a big deal. Bending the rules is just that: breaking a rule. Some people are bigger "rebels" than others. Maybe if a different manager were on duty, it might have played out differently. Still.... you can't get mad if someone is following a rule.

**
I don't like arguing either, but if I were the OP I would have been a tad upset myself. But, after reading this, it is lessons learned. Call the restaurant way beforehand and get the managers name. I ALWAYS get a person's name so there is no confusion. Further, in my opinion, rules are meant to be broken a bit. It was a young child's birthday for heaven's sake.

But I think we are going to have to agree to disagree.

Have a magical day, what's left of it.:)

Take care.
Brunette

acomasdiaz
04-21-2010, 04:48 PM
The OP's cake was different in some expensive ways. Yours was iced in butter cream and did not have edible images on the side. That might not seem like much but it is. You would also have to size, flavors and fillings for each cake into account to accurately judge the cost difference. But either way, they were both adorable cakes!

I'm not sure the size of her cake but ours was a 10 in. True that it was buttercream and not fondant and it didn't have the edible images but still $100 is a big difference. Trust me, as someone who ordered four different cakes for her DD this year ranging from $270 to $21, I would still be upset in the price differences that Disney has been showing lately. One month they charge one amount and the next month they double the price for the same cake. It's crazy.

tiggergirlinMI
04-21-2010, 04:50 PM
Ok different people have brought up the fact that 20 people showed up for their ADR, ADVANCED reservation, and they act like CM was caught off guard and were ready to close. The ADR was made and they knew a party of 20 was coming.
I'm sorry , for what that party paid for a buffet dinner, the manager should have bent over backwards for them.
If that were any other restaurant,the manager, the server would have been thrilled to have such a big party there, no matter what the time.
Someone said how is it the manager's responsibility, BECAUSE they are the MANAGER, lol...YES he can still follow the rules but Disney ALWAYS accomodates their guests, it's what they are known for, making their guests' experiences wonderful.
You want them to come back, you want them to tell others.
Now the OP has told others about her experience, and it isn't good word of mouth.

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:51 PM
1) It was 9:20 when they got there (almost closing time).
2) There were 20 people who had to eat dinner before they closed.
3) The manager probably did not have time, or was not prepared to find somewhere "off site" to put a cake.

***
Um, if it's "closing time" then Disney should not have ADR's at 9:20 p.m. Should paying customers "rush" through their meal because it's almost closing time? :confused3

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 04:52 PM
***
Um, if it's "closing time" then Disney should not have ADR's at 9:20 p.m. Should paying customers "rush" through their meal because it's almost closing time? :confused3

Not at all. But they also shouldn't be making unreasonable requests.

MSLRAC
04-21-2010, 04:53 PM
**
Yes, the OP made a mistake. Sheesh. Don't we all? She had 20 people in her group the meal cost them over $700.00, I don't a request such as holding a cake offsite (so the child can be surprised after eating dinner) was such a big request.:confused3 As long as the customer is not making a scene is not being obnoxious I don't know why the manager at CM could not make her request a little bit more magical. As I stated before, Disney is about Celebrations. They nearly enforce it, lol! Can't we all "bend" the rules a bit? Also, as I stated before, ParkFare didn't have a problem solving a problem with a customer, why could CM's manager do the same? I still don't see what the big deal is here? :headache:

I wonder if the CM manager didn't mean take it out of the box and have it at the table. His short response did not really indicate that but who knows what he was really thinking or why he didn't convey it better if that was his intent. :confused3

I don't know but I do know that the manager at 1900 PF presented "the only option" in a very positive way. It was not here's your only option and it's kind of crappy. It was why don't we do this and here is how your magical moment will still be magical. The manager took control of the situation and presented the option in such a way that the dad would have been stupid to say no.

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:55 PM
Ok different people have brought up the fact that 20 people showed up for their ADR, ADVANCED reservation, and they act like CM was caught off guard and were ready to close. The ADR was made and they knew a party of 20 was coming.
I'm sorry , for what that party paid for a buffet dinner, the manager should have bent over backwards for them.If that were any other restaurant,the manager, the server would have been thrilled to have such a big party there, no matter what the time.
Someone said how is it the manager's responsibility, BECAUSE they are the MANAGER, lol...YES he can still follow the rules but Disney ALWAYS accomodates their guests, it's what they are known for, making their guests' experiences wonderful.
You want them to come back, you want them to tell others.
Now the OP has told others about her experience, and it isn't good word of mouth.

**
EXACTLY. Well put. Thanks Brunette

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:57 PM
Not at all. But they also shouldn't be making unreasonable requests.

**
It's not an unreasonable request!

roomthreeseventeen
04-21-2010, 04:58 PM
**
It's not an unreasonable request!

Disobeying a health code violation or finding somewhere else in the Contemporary Resort to store a cake at 9:30 at night, while you are running the closing shift of a very busy restaurant isn't unreasonable?

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 04:58 PM
I wonder if the CM manager didn't mean take it out of the box and have it at the table. His short response did not really indicate that but who knows what he was really thinking or why he didn't convey it better if that was his intent. :confused3

I don't know but I do know that the manager at 1900 PF presented "the only option" in a very positive way. It was not here's your only option and it's kind of crappy. It was why don't we do this and here is how your magical moment will still be magical. The manager took control of the situation and presented the option in such a way that the dad would have been stupid to say no.

**

Hi MSLRAC!

Well put. The manager took control and presented the option in a very positive way. Something a manager should do.

Thanks!
Brunette

si-am
04-21-2010, 05:01 PM
Ok different people have brought up the fact that 20 people showed up for their ADR, ADVANCED reservation, and they act like CM was caught off guard and were ready to close. The ADR was made and they knew a party of 20 was coming.
I'm sorry , for what that party paid for a buffet dinner, the manager should have bent over backwards for them.
If that were any other restaurant,the manager, the server would have been thrilled to have such a big party there, no matter what the time.
Someone said how is it the manager's responsibility, BECAUSE they are the MANAGER, lol...YES he can still follow the rules but Disney ALWAYS accomodates their guests, it's what they are known for, making their guests' experiences wonderful.
You want them to come back, you want them to tell others.
Now the OP has told others about her experience, and it isn't good word of mouth.

I think this expectation-- that Disney makes every trip magical and bends over backwards to accommodate every whim of every guest-- is why so many people come back from their trips disappointed and venting.

I think Disney *used* to be better about it, but those of us who have been going for just about forever know that this kind of special treatment hasn't been the norm for quite some time. When it happens, it's a nice little bonus. But it shouldn't be an expectation.

dalt01
04-21-2010, 05:03 PM
It's not fair to blame Disney. The OP is the one who spent $120 for a cake without checking first. Letting them keep the cake at the table was more then reasonable. Keeping it in a hotel walk in box was very nice. For some people it's not enough. You want the restaurant to store, present, cut and serve an outside cake? Not reasonable unless you pay for the service. Guests who bring in their own wine pay a corkage fee.

Expecting meat in a buffet to be cooked to order isn't reasonable. Frequently meat in a buffet is more well done then I'd like. Chef M isn't the right restaurant if you're looking for beef cooked to order.

I think the OP had some unreasonable expetations.

that is what i saw in the post.................a lot of assumptions about what kind of cooperation they were going to get from the restaurant and when they did not jump through hoops for the customer?................well.............then nothing was going to be ok.........hence the improperly cook meat. i learned the 6 P's a long time ago.............Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. i am however very happy that the children seem to be oblivious to all the drama going on around them.

kaytieeldr
04-21-2010, 05:12 PM
This past saturday when our group of 20 went to dinner things were so bad that at one point I was in tears. I had an ADR but because of our group size it was for 9:20pm and although I tried calling numerous times for an earlier ADR it didn't happen. Okay, I can understand your disappointment, but it truly IS difficult to accommodate such a large party at a popular restaurant on a weekend night. You understand, too - it's obvious.

I had ordered a white chocolate slipper from CM for one of the adults and although I wanted it with milk/dark chocolate mousse was told they could only do white chocolate mousse...okay no problem. Oh, wow. I'm surprised you even got one! Usually, there's one version of the slipper available at Cinderella's Royal Table and a different version at the Grand Floridian restaurants. This is the first I've heard in a long time of even being able to get one in any other location!

I decided to try Boardwalk Bakery and spoke to a great lady named Lillian who was very helpful. I sent her the pics and she quoted me $120 which was definitely cheaper so we decided to go for it. I told them it was for an ADR at Chef Mickey and they said we could go pick it up. I went with my friend to pick it up and she even cried when she saw it and especially when I wouldn't let her pay for it. We guarded it like gold and managed to get it to CM and that's where the drama began. My husband gets there ahead of me and they try to tell him he can't bring the cake into the restaurant :confused3 he then explains that it is a Disney cake and that we got it at Boardwalk Bakery. They go get a manager and at this point I've gotten there. The manager Craig tells us that we can bring it into the restaurant and can keep it on our table:confused3. Table? Why would we keep this huge box on our table that would ruin the surprise for this 7yr old who was surprised by the entire trip. He then tells us that because of health regulations he cannot take the cake into the kitchen because it is coming from "outside" and that if the boardwalk bakery had delivered it then they could have taken it. :scared1: I explain to him that we told the bakery it was for CM and they didn't say they could deliver it nor that we couldn't bring it in. After paying $120 for a cake and going through a huge mission I would have gladly delivered it versus freaking out that I was going to drop the cake. So then the manager repeats sorry there is nothing he can do other than let us keep it on the table. At this point I'm in shock. I mean you are a manager you can't come up with a suggestion for us. By no means do I expect them to break rules or get in trouble for me but isn't it their job to come up with suggestions to a problem or try to accommodate a guest?! He didn't try to make phone calls, talk to someone else or anything! He just stood there looking at us. I told him are you kidding me this is for a 7yr olds birthday and it is all a surprise and I just spent $120 on this cake?! I ordered a slipper from here and our group consists of 20 people that are going to be bringing service to your restaurant! Nope still nothing.Oh boy. Okay, first, it's not Chef Mickey's management's responsibility that you price-shopped; it's also ultimately not Lillian's/Boardwalk Bakery's responsibility - despite you telling them it was for a CM meal - to provide you with delivery information, whether that be availability, cost, scheduling, etc. It would have been reasonable for you, especially on discovering the CM cake cost more than you were willing to spend, to ask what their policy was regarding Guests bringing in their own cakes/pastries - and no, it doesn't matter what the source of that baked good is.

Policy is policy; I'm genuinely not sure who you expected the restaurant manager TO call after 9 PM on a Saturday night, or what kind of exception you expected to be made? Frankly, a reasonable solution to me would have been for you to place the box on a chair as much out of the view of the seven year old as possible.

I get up to get food and the options were very limited. I was so confused by the lack of options. I also went to get roast beef and was told they had slightly pink and very cooked. I asked if they had something more rare and was told nope this is all we have...not too happy at this point. Respectfully, if all they have is this and this, I'm not sure how they could be expected to have this-other. You can't uncook something. It's regrettable that you weren't happy with the doneness of the meat.

Our waitress then comes to find out the birthdays. We tell her who the birthday people are and before we can tell her we have a cake she takes off. We wanted to try and time her birthday surprise with ours. She brings out the slipper first puts it down and walks away. We are confused because there is no Happy Birthday or singing and now this poor 7yr old is looking at that slipper which isn't for her. Some time passes and she walks out with 3 cupcakes 1 for each birthday person without warning. Understood that the timing wasn't what you planned (too late now, but possibly a MUCH earlier discussion with her or the manager might have helped?) but given the way the rest of the meal was going, I'd have sent somebody running down to Concierge to grab the cake as SOON as the slipper appeared!

1 of the birthday girls was getting food because mind you we were all still eating our food and now the 7yr old has this cupcake and her cake is still downstairs:mad: My husband goes down to get the cake and when he brings it up...you guessed it no help from anyone. He calls my phone and we set the box down at a table away from the 7yr old's view. We pull it out and I actually had brought my own candle but we don't have a lighter. We ask numerous CM and no one has a lighter. Finally someone brings us a lighter and I get ready to take pictures as my husband brings the cake. She was extremely surprised and happy and our group took it upon ourselves to sing happy birthday since no one had sang her happy birthday yet. At this point the wonderful characters realize what is going on and run over for 2 encores of happy birthday. So now we have to cut the cake and need plates so where's the server...crickets. She comes and looks at us like we have 8 heads but finally brings over what we had asked for. It was quite good and very pretty. I will try to post pictures tomorrow. Respectfully again, this indicates a lack of preplanning and a lack of communication. Yes, I realize, in your opinion you and your party are the most important Guests at Walt Disney World. To the restaurant staff, EVERY Guest is important. The Cast Members aren't mindreaders. Despite being upset with the way things started - not being able to store your cake in the kitchen - communicating with the manager would have given you MUCH better results. Probably wouldn't have changed the waitress's attitude (did you really only have one, and were you her only party?) but certainly would have worked out the timing better, likely allowing you to tell her when you were ready for the desserts; having a match or lighter available; the characters being prepared; and most important, your cake being presented.

Sorry for the long post but I had this pent up for days. I can honestly say I will never be eating at CM again not for breakfast and especially not for dinner.I don't get this attitude AT ALL. You start by saying In the past I've had breakfast and dinner at CM and it was always very goodNow, because of one bad experience - and I do understand you expected it to be extra-special - you're banning and badmouthing the restaurant??? Sorry - a good part of the problems you had rest on you.

The funny thing is that the manager tells my husband after we are sitting and he goes to get food that he knows I am upset but there was nothing he could do...funny the manager downstairs was able to help me out! Uh, yes. Restaurants are subject to all KINDS of sanitation laws and requirements that hotel front desks with a refrigerator in the back room aren't. That restaurant manager is right - he COULDN'T help you - not without risking the cleanliness and contamination of his entire restaurant, all because you wanted to save a few dollars on a cake.

ElizabethB
04-21-2010, 05:16 PM
I just booked a room reservation. The CM asked me, as they routinely do, "What will you be celebrating?"

I answered, as I always do, nothing.

But, why ask about celebrations if there is no intent to assist with them?

I just remembered, I held a luncheon at a restaurant to celebrate my parents' anniversary. I had a very special cake made at mom's favorite bakery and brought it into the restaurant. No problem at all. The restaurant was happy to accommodate with serving items.

So, I don't understand those who say bringing in a cake for a special occasion is that strange.

And, in this instance, the cake had been baked by Disney. I think the restaurant could have been more accommodating.

Unfortunately, with DPP, the approach now is:

rush 'em in, seat 'em quickly, run the characters around the room in a marathon, and push 'em out. We won't go back to CRT precisely for this reason.

A bit of extra attention, even for a $700 dinner, apparently isn't a priority any more.

kaytieeldr
04-21-2010, 05:23 PM
I do not claim to speak for the regulations in Florida, but we can bring cakes into the kitchen here in NC. And if not, then why not put it in the beer cooler?Um, because then where do you put the beer? And while cake won't quite freeze in an hour at 40º, it won't stay flavorfully temperate, either.Not only that, but aren't their fridges in other parts of the building?Sure. There's obviously one down on the first floor behind the scenes behind the Concierge counter. There's another one on the same level in luggage storage. More on the second level for The Wave (another restaurant, so out of the question). More on possibly the same level as Chef Mickey's for the fast food restaurant (see 'out of the question'); there's the bar with, as you pointed out, coolers that may or may not be the right temperature and may or may not have room; and there's California Grill - another restaurant regulated by health codes and sanitation laws.

tiggergirlinMI
04-21-2010, 05:36 PM
AHHHHHH why does it matter about the time??? They accepted the ADR for 20 people so why do some people keep saying it was unreasonable because the OP wanted to celebrate some birthdays? They knew they were coming, they set the time for 9:20, and they knew there were birthdays involved.
And I agree with one poster , I have been going since Disney opened, 100 plus times and I think just the past few years they have been pushing the "celebration" thing and yes people expect so much.
Like when people ask on the boards, "im having my birthday, what can I expect"
Are you kidding me? Why expect anything,lol....Because Disney has played it up and others have had unexpected magic and others think it's the norm.
Also, I swear the SAME DISers are so argumentive on every thread they post on, some of us have a running list of 5 in particular, it cracks me up.
Sorry, I'm easily amused,lol......

4HOLIDAYS
04-21-2010, 05:44 PM
We had brought a cake to CM before and I made sure to call the rest directly to check on it being OK. I was told that they would allow us to bring it in but it could not go in back per health code. We kept it to the side and my son didn't even notice. Most kids are to excited to be concerned with what you are doing when looking at characters and monorails. A few came to sing but not everyone. There are quite a few birthdays every time we are there. We also had a cake delivered to CRT and only a few CM's came to sing , again, quite a few biethdays going on any given day. I think this was a case of too high expectations and not checking all your info ahead of time.

2Tiggies
04-21-2010, 05:45 PM
I had a very special cake made at mom's favorite bakery and brought it into the restaurant. No problem at all. The restaurant was happy to accommodate with serving items.

So, I don't understand those who say bringing in a cake for a special occasion is that strange.


There was no problem bringing the cake in to CM. The problem was storing it alongside the restaurant's own food. I don't know what your laws are regarding food in the US, but generally the reasoning behind this policy is that the outlet needs to be able to trace food to the source in the event of a problem. Had the OP's intention been for the cake to be placed on the table from the outset, I doubt there would have been an issue.

Jetta8300
04-21-2010, 05:49 PM
There was no problem bringing the cake in to CM. The problem was storing it alongside the restaurant's own food. I don't know what your laws are regarding food in the US, but generally the reasoning behind this policy is that the outlet needs to be able to trace food to the source in the event of a problem. Had the OP's intention been for the cake to be placed on the table from the outset, I doubt there would have been an issue.

Exactly!!!

I have experienced first hand why "serving outside food" or something like this is not allowed. Whille rare, there are crazy people out there.

About 6 years ago when I was in college I worked for Starbucks. We were not allowed to incorporate any outside ingredients into our drinks (for instance, a customer's particular favorite brand of soy milk). We were also not allowed to serve any outside ingredients.

A new employee did not know this. A woman brought in some outside "Lactaid" milk in her mug and asked the employee to use this in her drink. The employee made the drink and said she could smell a bit of sourness to the milk but thought it might be normal for Lactaid. and apparently the milk was BAD.

The woman later complained that she was "poisoned" by Starbucks when it was her milk that was bad. The employee was trying to provide great customer service, but it backfired at Starbucks. She ended up getting some money from Starbucks from this. Who knows if she did it on purpose to get some $$$, or if she truly did not know that her milk was bad.

Whose to say that the bakery in which the cake was made wasn't having a problem with their refrigerator? And the cake wasn't stored at the proper temperature? These restaurants seriously have to take precautions because while rare, things DO HAPPEN!

This is why the customer is NOT always right.

ElizabethB
04-21-2010, 05:49 PM
But plenty of posters are saying things like the "cake should have been returned to the car", "no one has any business bringing a cake into a restaurant", etc. Just noting that I don't agree with that and my own experience bringing a cake into a restaurant does not support their view.

As for mingling it with food in the kitchen, yeah, that probably would be an issue. But, it would not have killed the manager to say, "yes, we'll hold the cake at the front desk and bring it out when you're ready". Or, even, "here is spare chair and you can put it there for now."

As for sharing a homemade cake brought into Macaroni Grill by strangers at the next table, I guess I truly took my life in my own hands by doing that!!! Who'd a thunk?

brunette8706
04-21-2010, 05:55 PM
AHHHHHH why does it matter about the time??? They accepted the ADR for 20 people so why do some people keep saying it was unreasonable because the OP wanted to celebrate some birthdays? They knew they were coming, they set the time for 9:20, and they knew there were birthdays involved.
And I agree with one poster , I have been going since Disney opened, 100 plus times and I think just the past few years they have been pushing the "celebration" thing and yes people expect so much.
Like when people ask on the boards, "im having my birthday, what can I expect"
Are you kidding me? Why expect anything,lol....Because Disney has played it up and others have had unexpected magic and others think it's the norm.
Also, I swear the SAME DISers are so argumentive on every thread they post on, some of us have a running list of 5 in particular, it cracks me up.
Sorry, I'm easily amused,lol......

Well said. Disney does push the "Celebration". That's what I have been saying all along, their almost forcing you to celebrate something, anything, lol! Also, I'm sure the cake came in a cardboard box. So putting it out of site protected by cardboard shouldn't have been a big deal. And, I agree the time should have nothing at all to do with this. I have had reservations at Ohana's as late as 9:40 and there were still plenty of people there. sLike I said before Lessons learned I guess, but I always will get the person's name at the restaurant etc so there won't be any confusion. I guess some people just don't want to bend on rules, which I think is ridiculous, but hey that's just me. :)

2Tiggies
04-21-2010, 05:56 PM
Frankly, space is another issue. The restaurant may not have had the space to accommodate a box this size. I also doubt they would be willing to assume liability had anything happened and the cake caused damage. That would have ruined the meal consderably more.

TDC Nala
04-21-2010, 05:57 PM
Well, I didn't want to close this thread, but as it has now turned into a fight over the expected level of Disney customer service even after more than one warning, its time has come.