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View Full Version : Feeling sad about BLT ownership


Cmbar
08-30-2011, 11:02 PM
HI all,

I am a bit bummed tonight as a co worker of my husbands returned home from their first stay at BLT and said they were very dissappointed. Now mind you they are SSR owners and said they would much prefer to stay there especially now that SSR has added a new pool.

But I can't help but feel sad that they didn't like our home resort. I am also very dissapointed because they had reason to be dissappointed. The first room they were put in had Duck tape holding up the mirrors:scared1:

Ok I know there are issues in rooms, but really that isn't acceptable is it? They did march right back downstairs and get moved. But I am hearing so many things about BLT being in bad shape and that Jim Lewis :headache: basically screwed us BLT owners with subpar furnishings and quite honestly I am worried the whole dang tower is going to fall apart.

Any other BLT owner out there dissappointed by the way BLT is holding up? I have my Dsis and her family staying there in November and now I am worried they will hate it too and will think we made a bad decision.


I know, I know Shouldn't worry about what others think. I just waited so long to be a DVC owner and now I kinda feel jipped.

Sammie
08-30-2011, 11:24 PM
I think you have reason to feel this way. Do I think the tower will fall, no.

Do I think Jim went for the cheap, looking good furnishings, yes and I knew this before he got fired.

I can only hope that the new leaders will realize that JL did more damage to DVC than just the mess with Aulani and some damage control is in order.


Until then here is a group hug. :grouphug:

I also suggest you write DVC Member Satisfaction and let them know, about this and tell them about your husband's coworker's visit.

disneynutz
08-31-2011, 12:06 AM
My concern is that Disney has under estimated the true cost of maintenance for BLT and us owners will see a larger than normal dues increase. There are several system, design, and furnishing defects that are already costing somebody.

:earsboy: Bill

palaemon
08-31-2011, 01:42 AM
Exactly. Who signed off on the bathroom sink being inside the kitchenette? That was OBVIOUSLY stupid, and it should never have been done. It just cost "someone" time and money to fix

bwvBound
08-31-2011, 02:26 AM
The first room they were put in had Duck tape holding up the mirrors:scared1:Yeah, you know how damaging that Donald can be when he's upset!


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40250000/jpg/_40250409_donald2.jpghttp://www.grandmaspantry.com/images/donaldmad.gif
http://www.mobileapples.com/Assets/Content/Wallpapers/donald-duck.jpg

Edited to add: Glad to hear they, at least, had themed tape. Would have been a shame to cover up the problem with plain, generic, duct tape?

mantismad
08-31-2011, 06:26 AM
HI all,

I am a bit bummed tonight as a co worker of my husbands returned home from their first stay at BLT and said they were very dissappointed. Now mind you they are SSR owners and said they would much prefer to stay there especially now that SSR has added a new pool.

But I can't help but feel sad that they didn't like our home resort.
I know, I know Shouldn't worry about what others think. I just waited so long to be a DVC owner and now I kinda feel jipped.

I would just like to say that we LOVE your home resort. We own at SSR but last year stayed at BLT and absolutely loved it and will definately be returning next year if we are lucky enough to be able to get a reservation 7 months out.

ML_LovesDisney
08-31-2011, 06:31 AM
Our unit was fine when we stayed and we loved it, 1 BR Lake View

MrsBlovesDisney
08-31-2011, 06:37 AM
We have experienced minor problems which were fixed after a quick phone call....

....we are still VERY happy with our purchase!!

n2mm
08-31-2011, 06:50 AM
OP, I share your concern. I own a small contract at BLT (100 pts) and have not had great stays. My first stay was a mess, from no curtains to no AC for days. I worked with the manager, staff, and sat. team. On my second stay, it went well, and we got a wonderful gift basket of DVC goodies for the not great first stay after talking with the satisfaction team. Fast forward, 2 weeks ago. Alot of housekeeping issues. Nothing major, just a dishwasher that didn't work, a 30 minute checkin because of computer issues which resulted in a complete rebooking while standing there, bird poop on the patio and furniture, and other housekeeping issues. We dealt with issues there and again wrote the satisfaction team to leave feedback. I was shocked when they called and told me that housekeeping was a huge issue at BLT--more than any other DVC resort. I was offered one night stay of points back into my account, which I had not expected, but was pleased with the offer. We go often (4-5 times a year) and only seem to have these multiple issues at BLT, which I pointed out in my last email. I too question my purchase of BLT. I plan to take a break from BLT in 2012 and bank those points next year in the hopes they get better. Though nothing beats the perk of walking to the MK!

Cmbar
08-31-2011, 07:18 AM
Yeah, you know how damaging that Donald can be when he's upset!


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40250000/jpg/_40250409_donald2.jpghttp://www.grandmaspantry.com/images/donaldmad.gif
http://www.mobileapples.com/Assets/Content/Wallpapers/donald-duck.jpg

Edited to add: Glad to hear they, at least, had themed tape. Would have been a shame to cover up the problem with plain, generic, duct tape?

Too Funny! TYPO Obviously. I think they would have stayed in the room had it had DONALD DUCK tape holding up the mirrors!

Cmbar
08-31-2011, 07:24 AM
I would just like to say that we LOVE your home resort. We own at SSR but last year stayed at BLT and absolutely loved it and will definately be returning next year if we are lucky enough to be able to get a reservation 7 months out.

:love::love:

I do know some people love the resort. We have only stayed there once since buying and we absolutely love the location and many things about it. I just hear more negative about it these days and I feel like the quality thing will be so dissappointing when we go back. I hope Claire Bilby looks into this.

I agree with Bill that we may be hit hard for needed updates and fixes in our maintenance fees.

I think Sammie's suggestion to write DVC customer satisfaction is a good one and will make me feel like I am doing something! :thumbsup2

Cmbar
08-31-2011, 07:34 AM
OP, I share your concern. I own a small contract at BLT (100 pts) and have not had great stays. My first stay was a mess, from no curtains to no AC for days. I worked with the manager, staff, and sat. team. On my second stay, it went well, and we got a wonderful gift basket of DVC goodies for the not great first stay after talking with the satisfaction team. Fast forward, 2 weeks ago. Alot of housekeeping issues. Nothing major, just a dishwasher that didn't work, a 30 minute checkin because of computer issues which resulted in a complete rebooking while standing there, bird poop on the patio and furniture, and other housekeeping issues. We dealt with issues there and again wrote the satisfaction team to leave feedback. I was shocked when they called and told me that housekeeping was a huge issue at BLT--more than any other DVC resort. I was offered one night stay of points back into my account, which I had not expected, but was pleased with the offer. We go often (4-5 times a year) and only seem to have these multiple issues at BLT, which I pointed out in my last email. I too question my purchase of BLT. I plan to take a break from BLT in 2012 and bank those points next year in the hopes they get better. Though nothing beats the perk of walking to the MK!

WOW! First I can't believe all your issues and second I am impressed they credited you back one night stay. That says to me that they are definitely having issues there and are trying to meet customer satistfaction.

You know telling Disney you are not happy seems to pay off. Yesterday it was put on the Cruise board that Disney was implementing in three weeks a change in their policy to carrying on alcohol on board. The board went nuts and people were emailing and calling DCL with travel agents asking for OBC to compensate people for the short notice, etc. By NOON they had reversed the policy and said everything is staying the same. (of course they probably will make the change but give more notice or do it in a better way) But my point is the Diser's spoke up. So I think I will send a quick email although My experience was not bad I want them to know that I am not happy with the reports! I hope Claire hears our concerns about the most basic needs like better mousekeeping and better quality furniture/beds (I hear OKW beds are like rocks!). I guess we just need to keep letting them know in a constructive way.

Thanks for letting me vent about feeling dissappointed.

Brandis
08-31-2011, 08:22 AM
Too Funny! TYPO Obviously. I think they would have stayed in the room had it had DONALD DUCK tape holding up the mirrors!

Not necessarily a typo, there is actually a duct tape manufacturer called Duck (http://www.duckbrand.com/), so if that brand was used it really would be Duck Tape, wouldn't it?

HotdogDncrs
08-31-2011, 08:24 AM
We also own at BLT, and I have never once regretted our decision to purchase there (only that we didn't do it when we first looked so that it would have been cheaper). It seems like more and more people are commenting here that they are disappointed in BLT, or don't like the decor, etc. In many of these cases, these are not BLT owners - I'm sure people are going to criticize me for saying this, but I sometimes get the sense that they is a little bit of envy happening. If the resort is so terrible, than why is it so hard to book? People often try to convince themselves that they really wouldn't want what they don't have. Just like people are already commenting that there is no way that they would ever purchase DVC at the Grand Floridian, but it isn't even built yet!

We stayed at BWV last year, and although we loved the location, we didn't care for the layout or the decor in the rooms. Will this deter us from staying there again? Absolutely not, it just didn't wow us like BLT did. For others it will be the other way around. As far as issues with the room goes, we've had issues at other resorts as well as at BLT. Just like we've had issues when staying in major hotel chains on other vacations. I agree with everyone who states that you have to bring your issues to the CM's attention so that they can rectify it immediately.

Try not to let someone else's negative experience make you sad about where you chose to purchase and call "your" home. I'm sure if you went to SSR there would be things that you don't care for - but for your husband's co-worker they may love those same things.

Like you, our extended family is staying at BLT in December (we booked a GV for all of us). While I am very excited to share BLT with them, I still worry that they won't be as amazed with it as we are, but then my husband reminds me that it really doesn't matter what they think, because we love it.:)

ssawka
08-31-2011, 08:28 AM
We have only gone "home" once, but really our only complaint was about the room classifications. Other than that, our stay was quite nice. Sure, there are housekeeping and maintenance issues, which I blame mostly of staffing. The one time we were there, I felt BLT was the "redheaded stepchild of CR". It did not seem like the staff at CR wanted to be bothered with BLT. That being said, I will gladly take maintenance issues and "Donald Tape" over having to board a bus to go to every single theme park, IMHO! Right now no other DVC resort can compete with BLT for location, that is until they build a DVC section of GF. There is a reason that BLT points sell for more and rent for more than points at other resorts.

disneynutz
08-31-2011, 08:29 AM
WOW! First I can't believe all your issues and second I am impressed they credited you back one night stay. That says to me that they are definitely having issues there and are trying to meet customer satistfaction.

You know telling Disney you are not happy seems to pay off. Yesterday it was put on the Cruise board that Disney was implementing in three weeks a change in their policy to carrying on alcohol on board. The board went nuts and people were emailing and calling DCL with travel agents asking for OBC to compensate people for the short notice, etc. By NOON they had reversed the policy and said everything is staying the same. (of course they probably will make the change but give more notice or do it in a better way) But my point is the Diser's spoke up. So I think I will send a quick email although My experience was not bad I want them to know that I am not happy with the reports! I hope Claire hears our concerns about the most basic needs like better mousekeeping and better quality furniture/beds (I hear OKW beds are like rocks!). I guess we just need to keep letting them know in a constructive way.

Thanks for letting me vent about feeling dissappointed.

We definitely need to do a better job of letting Disney know how we feel, good or bad, but I wonder where the money comes from when they buy us gift baskets, dinners, and credit money to our room account as a way to placate us? Does the cost get charged back to DVC operating expenses and are our dues paying members for other peoples mistakes? If this is true, they have zero reason to improve.

:earsboy: Bill

dis-happy
08-31-2011, 11:36 AM
Exactly. Who signed off on the bathroom sink being inside the kitchenette? That was OBVIOUSLY stupid, and it should never have been done. It just cost "someone" time and money to fix


Another design flaw: it's the only DVC 1 b/r where you can't sit in the bathtub and watch the TV in the bedroom. They put the spigot on the wrong end!!

I pointed this out when it was still just a preview room, but unfortunately no one paid any attention to me! :rotfl2:

jade1
08-31-2011, 11:41 AM
Another design flaw: it's the only DVC 1 b/r where you can't sit in the bathtub and watch the TV in the bedroom. They put the spigot on the wrong end!!

I pointed this out when it was still just a preview room, but unfortunately no one paid any attention to me! :rotfl2:

Never noticed that, but you can stare at the MK from the master bed at least. :thumbsup2

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc149/jademn/WDWXMAS2010369.jpg

jade1
08-31-2011, 11:44 AM
OP-don't worry about it, our best stays (over 15 years) have been at BLT.

Your friends own at SSR and wanted to try where you own at BLT-you do the math on the response.

Minne's Friend
08-31-2011, 11:54 AM
Somebody must like BLT because everytime I try can not get a reservation there. It is always booked.

Also, where would everyone get the idea that Jim Lewis picked out the furnishing for BLT - he was the President highly unlikey he was in on the furnishings - they have teams of designers and decorators to do that all Lewis signed off on was the budget for the project.

psac
08-31-2011, 12:42 PM
Yeah, I really hope everyone decides BLT is really bad and makes sure they don't book around April 14-21, and book other DVC properties instead. Anyone who has 11 month bookings for those dates should definitely cancel them, and not book there again... until after September 15th, at least!!

:)

JWG
08-31-2011, 02:32 PM
Here are my BLT thoughts on both the resort, furnishings and dues, etc:

Undervaluations of the dues, possible but not likely. Keep in mind AKV is also a Jim Lewis time period resort, it's not just Aulani and BLT under his umbrella
BLT's sink issue was not paid for by the membership but by DVD. This was confirmed previously as the announcment to change was made.
I don't think the resort would have operated for two years with a negative balance sheet. If BLT was in such a position it would have come up already. Plus, there's no incentive to do it at WDW. History has shown that the WDW resorts will sell and AKV is proof of that looking at their dues.
BLT dues seem in line given the type of resort. As a tower with only one roof and very little exterior maintenance as well as shared resort services, I would expect the dues to be lower than a SSR or AKV where you're maintaining multiple buildings/exterior finishings and indepenent services (while Jambo shares front desk, Kidani does not).
Some of the biggest complaints on BLT are likely its theming. It doesn't carry the same "Disney" feel as other DVC resorts because of its theme. The contemporary design, by design, is much more sterile and unthematic. It gets knocked for that pretty significantly
Simiar to the theme, its design draws complaints but is based on the contemporary style. The sliding doors, the veneer coverings, etc. are all part of the current "comtemporary" stylings. I've stayed at other "contemporary" properties that share these elements. BLT is very different from the other resorts, which seems to turn off a lot of DVC "purists" if you will.
The decision to use these types of elements (Veneer coverings, glossy surfaces, flashy appearances) means wear and tear shows faster. Veneer chips, glue comes loose, etc. And when you have different people in and out of a room, likely not reporting the minor issue, it becomes a big issue. If when the veneer was loose it had been caught, it could have been fixed. But, it's not reported and it gets worse guest by guest until it breaks.


I don't think BLT is any less safe or more mismanaged than other resorts. I just think the furnishing style combined with the decision to likely use less than the highest end furnishings in a very commercially used space has created some consequences that will be resolved over time.

I would argue that our furnishing at AKV were just as knicked and dinged as at BLT, the difference being at AKV it just addes to the "distressed" feel and because it's real wood it doesn't chip/peel. At BLT, the knicks are clearly out of place and therefore more noticeable. But again, that's the style of the room/resort.

BLT is not perfect, and maybe less perfect than some of the other resorts, but it's not as bad as some say and I don't think it's ready to crumble or take on 15% dues hikes either.

disneynutz
08-31-2011, 03:13 PM
Somebody must like BLT because everytime I try can not get a reservation there. It is always booked.

Also, where would everyone get the idea that Jim Lewis picked out the furnishing for BLT - he was the President highly unlikey he was in on the furnishings - they have teams of designers and decorators to do that all Lewis signed off on was the budget for the project.

A insider has reported that he inspected the furnishings and instructed the designers to find less expensive selections. Disney is big on mock-ups and I am sure that somewhere there is a mini BLT.

:earsboy: Bill

dclfun
08-31-2011, 05:19 PM
We've stayed at BLT twice and had no trouble either time getting exactly what we wanted at 4-7 months out. While I love the location I am not a fan of contemporary furnishing or the non-"Disney" ambience. I feel the same way about the CR though. We had studios both times and were pleased with the condition of the rooms and furnishings, but the studios were small,IMO and I was glad that we were only a party of 2! I wouldn't worry about one person's review as there are plenty of positive ones. While we don't own at BLT because the 11 month window wasn't important to us , I have several friends who own there and couldn't be happier that they chose BLT. One thing about Disney is that they DO listen to Guests and they already made design changes. The other DVC resorts have all been well-maintained and I trust that BLT will be the same.

jade1
08-31-2011, 05:19 PM
Here are my BLT thoughts on both the resort, furnishings and dues, etc:

Undervaluations of the dues, possible but not likely. Keep in mind AKV is also a Jim Lewis time period resort, it's not just Aulani and BLT under his umbrella
BLT's sink issue was not paid for by the membership but by DVD. This was confirmed previously as the announcment to change was made.
I don't think the resort would have operated for two years with a negative balance sheet. If BLT was in such a position it would have come up already. Plus, there's no incentive to do it at WDW. History has shown that the WDW resorts will sell and AKV is proof of that looking at their dues.
BLT dues seem in line given the type of resort. As a tower with only one roof and very little exterior maintenance as well as shared resort services, I would expect the dues to be lower than a SSR or AKV where you're maintaining multiple buildings/exterior finishings and indepenent services (while Jambo shares front desk, Kidani does not).
Some of the biggest complaints on BLT are likely its theming. It doesn't carry the same "Disney" feel as other DVC resorts because of its theme. The contemporary design, by design, is much more sterile and unthematic. It gets knocked for that pretty significantly
Simiar to the theme, its design draws complaints but is based on the contemporary style. The sliding doors, the veneer coverings, etc. are all part of the current "comtemporary" stylings. I've stayed at other "contemporary" properties that share these elements. BLT is very different from the other resorts, which seems to turn off a lot of DVC "purists" if you will.
The decision to use these types of elements (Veneer coverings, glossy surfaces, flashy appearances) means wear and tear shows faster. Veneer chips, glue comes loose, etc. And when you have different people in and out of a room, likely not reporting the minor issue, it becomes a big issue. If when the veneer was loose it had been caught, it could have been fixed. But, it's not reported and it gets worse guest by guest until it breaks.


I don't think BLT is any less safe or more mismanaged than other resorts. I just think the furnishing style combined with the decision to likely use less than the highest end furnishings in a very commercially used space has created some consequences that will be resolved over time.

I would argue that our furnishing at AKV were just as knicked and dinged as at BLT, the difference being at AKV it just addes to the "distressed" feel and because it's real wood it doesn't chip/peel. At BLT, the knicks are clearly out of place and therefore more noticeable. But again, that's the style of the room/resort.

BLT is not perfect, and maybe less perfect than some of the other resorts, but it's not as bad as some say and I don't think it's ready to crumble or take on 15% dues hikes either.

IMO most importantly is the high occupancy rate as well-how do you remove rooms from inventory for repairs etc when so many folks want to switch at 7 months? Similar to BCV-non stop painting and carpet cleaning.

I will also say that sterile cement makes for a very quiet room compared to the old wooden resorts. Also the doors seemed much nicer, such as the old bifolds to the W/D are a very nice sold door. The bath tiles seemed very nice and the fixtures in there did as well. The new and stainless appliances are very nice, and it seemed like a lot of leather furniture which should wear pretty well. Those super large windows were great as well.

Maybe some of the "problem" furniture will be replaced eventually, but we didnt see any issues when we stayed.

dmoore22
08-31-2011, 05:57 PM
HI all,
But I am hearing so many things about BLT being in bad shape and that Jim Lewis :headache: basically screwed us BLT owners with subpar furnishings. . .

I think the same mindset guided the renovations at OKW. Cheap is more expensive in the long run as the need for more maintenance, as opposed to routine maintenance, increases.

bbn1122
08-31-2011, 06:18 PM
We own at BLT. We had a first stay this past Easter. My boys loved it.....
We were in a 2bedroom on the 8th floor...it was supposed to be a lakeview but the Master balcony looked right at Space Mountain. We had no problem watching the fireworks at MK every night.

We throughly enjoy our stay at BLT. The only thing I had a problem with was in the afternoon the pool was packed, it seemed a little small and everyone was saving chairs. We just walked over to CR and had a great time.

TOWL is beauitful and walking to MK and the monorail and lake location is perfect.

I notice a few nicks etc, but not much. I think it due to the styling, very light colors. I just got back from Kidani and like someone else said the dark colors and distressed furniture hides any blemishes.

I am sure DVC will get it act together regarding BLT.

Do not worry ....judge for yourself....plus you can stay at any other resort ....:thumbsup2

Strawberry's mom&dad
08-31-2011, 06:23 PM
We love staying at BLT. We have only stayed in a studio, but have been very happy

cjb-nc
08-31-2011, 09:14 PM
We couldn't check in until well after 4:30, in spite of being there at 2pm and asking every hour for updates that were never given. Came to find out the room was closed because they were tearing out the carpet. So instead we finally got our room with fresh carpet fumes and unplugged appliances they forgot to reconnect. Doing laundry the next day, the dryer started smoking. Called the desk and again 20 minutes later because they sent maintenance to the wrong room. Did we still want the Potential Fire in our room looked at?! Why yes, yes we did. Called the valet to get our car, and they misplaced the request and let us wait another 15 minutes while they looked for the car. And finally they could not get our airline reservations right and left us hauling our own bags back to MCO on our own.

Then again, that was all our one and only stay - at the Villas of the Wilderness Lodge.

BLT was great. I'm glad to own there. I've stayed at most of the DVCs now one time or another, and VWL still holds the crown of worst experience. It was just an off weekend that could not go right for us, but we won't be hurrying back either.

dkostel
08-31-2011, 09:55 PM
I've had about 5 stays since buying and loved them all. No housekeeping issues, no problems with the furnishings. A couple of times had questionable views for the category but was moved right away.
There is nothing quite like walking home after the fireworks, when the lines on the buses, boats, and monorail are LONG. That goes a long way to balance out any potential duct tape in my mind.

eporter66
09-01-2011, 11:03 AM
Hopefully the new leadership will make sure things are right.

I love the location, and we walked around and took the walkway over to the contemporary, I thought that was really cool.

I feel bad for anyone who has had a vacation ruined having to deal with something like that. We all work hard for the little time we get to enjoy on vacation, and that really leaves you with a bad impression. We have had a few minor issues (Kidani toilets not flushing), but nothing really major. Overall DVC has been very good for us - I hope the new leaders ensure quality and excellent customer service for DVC Owners:thumbsup2

castleri
09-01-2011, 04:35 PM
Am at BLT now in a 1BR LV 8th floor with a view of Space Mountain and castle if you look left off the balcony. Everything is clean and well kept and I haven't noticed any problems with the furniture. The ability to use the monorail is great but the bus service leaves a lot to be desired. We had a 40 minute wait for a bus to the studios today. Then coming back we were about to take the 2nd bus that had come for the T&T center with the idea of transferring to the monorail when our bus finally showed up. For a deluxe resort (for those paying cash especially)this does not seem right to me. All in all I may or may not stay here again. It will depend on what the focus of the trip is and if there is availability since I do not own points here. Thanks to those who did not book here which made it possible for me to do so.

Inkmahm
09-02-2011, 03:02 PM
Too Funny! TYPO Obviously. I think they would have stayed in the room had it had DONALD DUCK tape holding up the mirrors!

Not necessarily. I DO use duck tape.

http://duckbrand.com/Products.aspx

thesupersmartguy
09-02-2011, 11:50 PM
The rooms could use a rehab. I have owned BLT since before it opened and stay there twice a month. Im still happy with my purchase.