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View Full Version : Doorway To Dreams Member Holiday Event - Never Again


Maleficent's Dad
11-20-2011, 08:34 PM
We went down to Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island - about a 45 minute drive from my house. The only opinion I can give on this "holiday event for members," is that I'll never ever attend one again.

I called the Vacation Club number when the notification first went out. I put in some sort of "reservation" and they took my name, number of guests, etc... Fast forward to today - We got to the mall and there was a 60+ minute wait just to register. When I asked about those with advance "reservations," I was told that the one line was for everybody. :confused3

So we waited. And waited...
After about 45 minutes, a nice enough lady (manager type) asked us and those around us if we wanted "fast passes" to come back later to no wait. We had to fill out the registration card and we got the FP's. Off we went to lunch.

We returned after our designated time and went to the registration table. There we were checked-in and sent to the "choreography workshop" for the Broadway show, "Mary Poppins." (We've already seen the show, but the workshop was interesting.)

Then...back to queuing... and more waits. Another 40 minute wait until we were admitted... into the next "wait area," a sort of lobby that Doorway to Dreams has. It was at this point where we received our three DVC Christmas ornaments (the other two were from 2010 & 2009). After 20 minutes there, we were admitted into the small, make-shift theater. Two friendly, energetic ladies then gave us a 15 minute slide show which was a sales' pitch!!! UGH!!! Really?!?! A SALE'S PITCH?!?! That was the Holiday Member Event?!? I mean, come on!!!

After giving us the "discount plus today's special" for prices at VAKL, we exited to the small "reception" area. The "reception" consisted of a few cupcakes (think of kids at an elementary school) and coffee, soda, or water. There was no music. There was no entertainment. There was NO mention or HINT of anything resembling HOLIDAYS. It was - in my opinion - a rather ridiculous SALES PITCH to current members. We wasted the better part of the day traveling to the mall and waiting on line to get in. I didn't expect a Merry Member Mixer, but I did expect SOMETHING more than what they had.

Now - as a note - I've been to that Doorway to Dreams sales' center before. And with little to NO wait, I've been fed the SAME cupcakes, drank the same drinks, and spoke to CM's in greater depth.

So - was anyone else there wasting their time? Or was I the lone fool from these boards? Dragging my family who looked at me with daggers for the rest of the day... :sad2:

quirty30
11-20-2011, 08:43 PM
I just posted in another thread on the same subject. I attempted to attend the event in the Chicago suburbs. Your post reinforces my decision to leave the moment I saw the insanely long line. Thank goodness I'm only 10 minutes away from Woodfield, and had some returns to make at Nordstrom anyway. Nothing lost on my part, but I feel for those with kids who waited, thinking there would be character interaction and treats with substance.

carlbarry
11-20-2011, 08:46 PM
I arrived a few minutes after 11 am, because last year I checked in, got in, got out. This time, there was a long line, and it took 45 minutes to get in.
But what really annoys me is that on another thread, someone mentions that they received lanyards with pins, and she and her mother received gift bags.
Well, in the slide show room, one of the (lovely) presenters mentioned that we would be receiving "gifts" in the next room.
Why would be Disney be so horribly disorganized for this event? Everybody was very friendly, of course. But why the disorganization? Why should some attendees get gifts, and others get nothing, seemingly randomly?
Not very Disney like, and not very nice to the DVC owners.

disneynutz
11-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Then...back to queuing... and more waits. Another 40 minute wait until we were admitted... into the next "wait area," a sort of lobby that Doorway to Dreams has. It was at this point where we received our three DVC Christmas ornaments (the other two were from 2010 & 2009). After 20 minutes there, we were admitted into the small, make-shift theater. Two friendly, energetic ladies then gave us a 15 minute slide show which was a sales' pitch!!! UGH!!! Really?!?! A SALE'S PITCH?!?! That was the Holiday Member Event?!? I mean, come on!!!

After giving us the "discount plus today's special" for prices at VAKL, we exited to the small "reception" area. The "reception" consisted of a few cupcakes (think of kids at an elementary school) and coffee, soda, or water. There was no music. There was no entertainment. There was NO mention or HINT of anything resembling HOLIDAYS. It was - in my opinion - a rather ridiculous SALES PITCH to current members. We wasted the better part of the day traveling to the mall and waiting on line to get in. I didn't expect a Merry Member Mixer, but I did expect SOMETHING more than what they had.

Now - as a note - I've been to that Doorway to Dreams sales' center before. And with little to NO wait, I've been fed the SAME cupcakes, drank the same drinks, and spoke to CM's in greater depth.

So - was anyone else there wasting their time? Or was I the lone fool from these boards? Dragging my family who looked at me with daggers for the rest of the day... :sad2:

Sorry that it wasn't what you expected but if you read these boards you would find out that you went to a sales center that is staffed and funded by DVC marketing. Same with the Merry Mixers and Welcome Home Wednesdays at WDW and the DVC events on DCL.

Disney is about making money and selling, not giving away free food, ornaments and hats. If you understand what they are all about and want to attend anyway, great!

:earsboy: Bill

vicki_c
11-20-2011, 09:33 PM
I agree with disneynutz. EVERY DVC "event" is for the sole purpose of marketing and selling you more points, no matter how they spin it. We went to one on our cruise mainly because we wanted some free stuff - we got hats!

Maleficent's Dad
11-20-2011, 09:34 PM
Sorry that it wasn't what you expected but if you read these boards you would find out that you went to a sales center that is staffed and funded by DVC marketing. Same with the Merry Mixers and Welcome Home Wednesdays at WDW and the DVC events on DCL.

Disney is about making money and selling, not giving away free food, ornaments and hats. If you understand what they are all about and want to attend anyway, great!

:earsboy: Bill
Bill,
I've been to many DVC events - WHW, Mixers, and events sponsored by Doorways to Dreams. This was, by far, the worst. Poor organization, inconsistent perks for attendees, and insanely long waits.

This was "marketed" as a MEMBER HOLIDAY EVENT. I knew to expect a sales pitch. I just expected something to accompany said pitch.

carlbarry
11-20-2011, 09:39 PM
My complaint isn't that I only got the ornament--that's all I expected. And I only expected 1, not 3.
My complaint is that some people apparently got gift bags, while others didn't. That's just disorganization.

DisneyDreams4
11-20-2011, 10:08 PM
Last year on Long Island we got ears, had radio disney with trivia and give aways. of course the presentation and then they had a big chocolate fountain with dipping pretzels, marshmellow and other goodies.

When I heard all they had was some cupcakes I asked everyone if they wanted to stay my little dd princess: was getting antsy in her stroller and my ds really did not want to dance. pirate:

so we just got off the line went and got our ornaments. :santa: went home.
We live only 20 min away from the mall so it was not a big deal that we did not stay for everything.

I heard some of the other locations were having mickey and minnie,
phinese and ferb. It would have been nice to have seen someone

Donald_Quackers
11-20-2011, 10:23 PM
Mickey and Minnie were at the Woodfield mall location...alternating. Cookies, cake, soda and the expected sales pitch -- a "Black Friday" deal.

Got to see my guide--but I probably wouldn't do it again, except to just get my ornament, which I really did like.

mwmuntz
11-20-2011, 10:58 PM
Are we that jaded already that we can't appreciate a free event in one of the only two DVC sales centers in the entite country? Yes it was crowded, but I enjoyed it very much. Most of the presentation was about all of the new things going on in the parks and DCL. Only the last 5 minutes were for the incentives. My favorite part was the "mingle" afterwards. I enjoyed talking to some of the cast members, particularly the young woman serving popcorn. She was deliightful! She really spent a lot of time with us, she expressed the Disney magic and she took quite an interest in my kids. They loved her and said that they want to see her again. Ive never felt like that in Florida.

Appreciate what we have, Long Islanders and stop complaining about everything. Would you rather they closed up shop and the only option was going to Florida?

By the way,the free cupcakes that some are complaining about, were from Crumbs, one of the fanciest and most expensive cupcake bakeries in the area. They were not from a 99 box mix as some might lead you to believe.

So, they had free entertainment (dance lessons), free food (expensive cup cakes), and free stuff (ornaments), all for the investment of a couple of hours on a Sunday. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

disneynutz
11-20-2011, 11:12 PM
I guess it's all how you look at things. We don't have a sales center in Texas because we don't meet their criteria as a location with lots of sales potential. What really frosts me is that as a member who had a Telesales Guide, we didn't qualify for the better pricing that was being offered at the sales centers. :sad2:

:earsboy: Bill

missycj96
11-20-2011, 11:21 PM
We got to roosevelt field at 12:30. The line was huge and soooo slow moving. We waited for over an hour to check in. The mary poppins workshop was a good idea but it created a huge wait to do anything. This was because you had to wait for a relatively small group to cycle through the program before you could even go in. I was also surprised that they made no attempt to entertain all thr kids waiting in line for over and hour. But once we got to thr worshop we liked the event. We liked the presentation and thought it was fun to hear about whats coming. dd enjoyed, too. We also liked the reception. The crumbs cupcakes were so yummy. And dd loved thr popcorn. I won a cool umbrella from mary poppins,and dd loved all the fun dvc stuff.

missycj96
11-20-2011, 11:26 PM
I posted before i finished writing. I want to add that the cast members working were really nice and friendly. I have nothing to compare it to because i have not been to a prior event but we liked it. The only thing i had an issue with was the very long wait and the operations relatedvto checking in.

tjkraz
11-21-2011, 01:15 AM
Sort of reminds me of the old Yogi Berra quote: "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Disney has spent years perfecting crowd control at its theme parks but I doubt many of the DtD staffers have theme park experience. And just because they've been managing tens-of-thousands of guests per day for five decades doesn't mean they've never been caught off guard.

Sounds like the crowds were several times larger than in 2010. Preparation can quickly go out the window when you expect 2000 (just to pick a number) and are faced with 5000+. Can't arbitrarily turn people away so the line is what it is.

DVC didn't seem to host many DtD events this year. Perhaps they got hit with some pent-up demand.

They've done events in the past which were at larger venues and had limited capacity (registration required.) Perhaps it's time to do that with the holiday gathering, too.

mwmuntz
11-21-2011, 06:32 AM
I know everybody is entitiled to their opinion, but this thread really ticks me off. Yes, the event was crowded (Disney? Crowds? GASP!), yes you had to wait on line (again, GASP!), but to actually come on a public forum and compare a Crumbs gourmet cupcake to an elementary school birthday party cupcake? Come on! Or as another poster did, complain that you got more free stuff than you thought you would, but not as much as someone else??? Really??? (BTW, did you go on a tour, or were just there for the freebies? I think that only those that toured got additiional items.)

To anyone reading this thread, please take the earlier complaints with a grain of salt. This was a very nice FREE event. They had fun entertainment and great snacks, plus the ornaments. I was actually very surprised on how low key, and brief, the sales pitch was. People complaining either were just having a bad day or have a huge sense of entitlement. I just hope it was the former.

To anyone from Disney monitoring these boards (and we know you do! :) ) Thank you for having these special events, please don't let a few negative comments stop you from having them in the future. I don't know of any other timeshare company that does this. This is one of the things that makes Disney special.

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 07:43 AM
I know everybody is entitiled to their opinion, but this thread really ticks me off. Yes, the event was crowded (Disney? Crowds? GASP!), yes you had to wait on line (again, GASP!), but to actually come on a public forum and compare a Crumbs gourmet cupcake to an elementary school birthday party cupcake? Come on! Or as another poster did, complain that you got more free stuff than you thought you would, but not as much as someone else??? Really??? (BTW, did you go on a tour, or were just there for the freebies? I think that only those that toured got additiional items.)

To anyone reading this thread, please take the earlier complaints with a grain of salt. This was a very nice FREE event. They had fun entertainment and great snacks, plus the ornaments. I was actually very surprised on how low key, and brief, the sales pitch was. People complaining either were just having a bad day or have a huge sense of entitlement. I just hope it was the former.

To anyone from Disney monitoring these boards (and we know you do! :) ) Thank you for having these special events, please don't let a few negative comments stop you from having them in the future. I don't know of any other timeshare company that does this. This is one of the things that makes Disney special.

Yes, it was a nice event. And yes, I got gifts. But the disorganization (long lines, and irregularity of what guests were given) leaves a bad taste. I'm sure that's not what Disney intends to do.
I'm sure that if you went to a promotional event to buy, say, a car, and then found that some other people had received free oil changes for life, you'd be annoyed, and wouldn't say, "Well, I got a good deal, too, so what's the difference?"

mwmuntz
11-21-2011, 08:04 AM
Yes, it was a nice event. And yes, I got gifts. But the disorganization (long lines, and irregularity of what guests were given) leaves a bad taste. I'm sure that's not what Disney intends to do.
I'm sure that if you went to a promotional event to buy, say, a car, and then found that some other people had received free oil changes for life, you'd be annoyed, and wouldn't say, "Well, I got a good deal, too, so what's the difference?"

Did you go on a tour? Only people who went on a tour got the bags. Did you ask any of the cast members about the additional items, or just come here and complain? I'm sure if you asked nicely, they would have accomodated you.

As for your analogy, no, I don't think I would complain about not getting free oil changes for a car I did not buy. If I didn't meet the requirements, I shouldn't get the incentives. If I bought the car, I would expect it, just like I would expect the additional gift bag if I took the tour yesterday.

lnevo
11-21-2011, 08:08 AM
Sucks for those that didn't get their gift bags, or didnt enjoy the cupcakes. My family had a lot of fun. Expected one ornament, got 3. Expected maybe a pin as well but got a lot more. We had fun chatting with the CMs and met some friends there. The presentation was a very soft sale and i actually learned a bit about aulani while waiting to get in. The cupcakes as someone said were from Crumbs and were delicious. The line sucked and we did end up with fastpasses after we left the line to go in and found out everyone had to wait. The woman running the line seemed extremely frazzled and disorganized. Definitely some problems there. From talking to the CMs they were extremely overwhelmed, the respone was much bigger than expected. People were lined up at 9:30! I can understad being disappointed.

LSchrow
11-21-2011, 09:17 AM
it certainly does sound like the event was a bit disorganized, probably a result of underestimating the potential popularity as tj said. personally, we found that many "member events" are simply not for us (although the older style BLT event was really fun and interesting). we would prefer they do something akin to the owner's locker meets, where strangers are encoraged to chat with one another and everyone has a relaxed, good time. we don't care about the food or freebies :)

everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, and i thank you for posting yours, carlberry :)

mwmuntz
11-21-2011, 10:00 AM
The bottom line is that they offered one ornament as an incentive to come, and gave out three. They promised free snacks and served gourmet cupcakes. They offered additional gifts to anyone who took the tour, but gave them out to anyone who asked. It truly was a nice event and Disney exceeded what was promised.

I can understand some people being frustrated in having to wait for their free stuff, but Disney even tried to alleviate that by handing out fastpasses. I'm sure if they cut the waiting by pushing people through the event quicker, some will complain that they felt rushed.

We all know that Disney monitors these boards. I hope that the few complaints and sense of entitlement displayed here does not prevent them from holding these events in the future.

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 10:49 AM
Did you go on a tour? Only people who went on a tour got the bags. Did you ask any of the cast members about the additional items, or just come here and complain? I'm sure if you asked nicely, they would have accomodated you.

As for your analogy, no, I don't think I would complain about not getting free oil changes for a car I did not buy. If I didn't meet the requirements, I shouldn't get the incentives. If I bought the car, I would expect it, just like I would expect the additional gift bag if I took the tour yesterday.

OK, bad analogy. How about this: You check in at AKL. You get the room you asked for. Later, you're talking to other guests. You find out that they, like you, had reserved a 1 BR standard view. However, they tell you that when THEY checked in, they were moved up to a Concierge level Savanna view, and got comped for the safari.
Would your reaction be, "Wow, Disney is great. Four OTHER families got a great deal. I didn't. My tough luck."?

bobbiwoz
11-21-2011, 11:03 AM
Inequities happen, and I just don't think it's worth spending too much time discussing or feeling sorry for oneself. I'm sort of annoyed at myself for reading these theads, but I did, and so I'm commenting. If I felt that bad, I would write to whomever, explain my feelings and hopefully move on.

This is the week expecially to be Thankful for what we have been given.

Bobbi

mwmuntz
11-21-2011, 11:09 AM
That's what I think people around here call "Pixie Dust". Another bad analogy.OK, bad analogy. How about this: You check in at AKL. You get the room you asked for. Later, you're talking to other guests. You find out that they, like you, had reserved a 1 BR standard view. However, they tell you that when THEY checked in, they were moved up to a Concierge level Savanna view, and got comped for the safari.
Would your reaction be, "Wow, Disney is great. Four OTHER families got a great deal. I didn't. My tough luck."?

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 11:10 AM
I don't "feel sorry for myself." I'm just mildly annoyed that a company that prides itself on customer service in this instance seemed to do an inadequate job.
Otherwise, I am very pleased with my DVC ownership. Hey, I own for 2 years. As soon as I got my points I was able to book in December for January 2010 Anaheim (to visit my elderly aunt and uncle), got my bucket list wish of AKL--and the room location couldn't have been better. In 9 days I leave for OKW (waitlist for BWV didn't come through), and in January I go to Hawaii, to a fantastic resort, and pay less than a 1/3 of rack rate for my room! AND get free parking there.

tjkraz
11-21-2011, 11:51 AM
That's what I think people around here call "Pixie Dust". Another bad analogy.

That was my thought exactly--at least in relation to the room upgrade example given. I would hope anyone who has made at least a couple trips to the Disney parks has experienced some form of "pixie dust" or "Disney magic." And that "magic" typically takes the form of some perk or benefit which is not doled-out to every single guest walking through the door.

It's not a perfect analogy to event gift bags but a big part of Disney's customer service reputation involves going the extra mile rather than providing each guest with an identical (generic) experience.

OKWisDVC2Me
11-21-2011, 12:26 PM
Jeepers where to begin...... I usually just read the threads on here because I usually don't feel inclined to take the time to respond. Today, however, I think I have something to bring to the table.

These events, while never perfect, are always a great time for me and the family. I love getting the goodies that they have there and finding out what new things are going on in DVC. And in case people missed the memo, Disney is a FOR PROFIT organization, so they will obviously give you an opportunity to buy points, but I never think that they are pushy about it. Maybe I saw a different version of the presentation but the "sales pitch" was MAYBE 5 minutes of the whole thing. I always want to add on and these events always make it super duper tempting.

I agree with the people who say that some members have a sense of entitlement. What was so terrible about yesterday, you had a FREE event, with FREE cupcakes (from an EXPENSIVE bakery) and nobody pounced on me to try and make me buy points. Perhaps we should occupy DVC and demand 24k gold mickey statues, a menu of poached komodo dragon eggs and fillet mignon, and an appearance by the entire cast of high school musical at the next event.... WHO'S WITH ME!

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 12:34 PM
I really don't understand the perception some people are laboring under.
I've been flamed for saying organization was inadequate in unequally distributing gift bags.
The response is that we should be grateful for anything DVC gives us or does for us.
Well, folks, here's the real best kept secret: DVC is a FOR PROFIT corporation. Anything they do for us, and any "gift" they give us, is to promote their business.
And here's another secret: any "gift" they give us, well, folks--we paid for it with our "dues"!
Any "gift" we get, any "pixie dust," any upgrade or bonus--it is NOT because they are Mother Theresa and are a benevolent entity whose sole purpose is to make our lives lovely. Whatever they do as a "bonus" is solely to make our perception of the value of our ownership more positive.

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 12:45 PM
Jeepers where to begin...... I usually just read the threads on here because I usually don't feel inclined to take the time to respond. Today, however, I think I have something to bring to the table.

These events, while never perfect, are always a great time for me and the family. I love getting the goodies that they have there and finding out what new things are going on in DVC. And in case people missed the memo, Disney is a FOR PROFIT organization, so they will obviously give you an opportunity to buy points, but I never think that they are pushy about it. Maybe I saw a different version of the presentation but the "sales pitch" was MAYBE 5 minutes of the whole thing. I always want to add on and these events always make it super duper tempting.

I agree with the people who say that some members have a sense of entitlement. What was so terrible about yesterday, you had a FREE event, with FREE cupcakes (from an EXPENSIVE bakery) and nobody pounced on me to try and make me buy points. Perhaps we should occupy DVC and demand 24k gold mickey statues, a menu of poached komodo dragon eggs and fillet mignon, and an appearance by the entire cast of high school musical at the next event.... WHO'S WITH ME!

"Entitlement"? Nah, I'm not entitled to anything. My nearly $2,000 a year in dues goes to support the Benevolent Society of Disney Vacation Club. If they want me to attend a sales session to try to sell me points I can get cheaper elsewhere, I am flattered they asked me. If they lure me in with the promise of "free gifts" that I actually pay for with my dues, they are doing me a big, big favor.
I am just so grateful to DVC for allowing me to use the points they graciously issue me EVERY YEAR(!!!!)--to book a room at one of the fine resorts they maintain for the betterment of mankind.

supernova
11-21-2011, 12:48 PM
From the sound of it, I'm REALLY glad I decided to skip this one. I'll be stopping by there tomorrow while I'm out shopping on LI and will stop in to pick up my ornament. A fraction of the time the people spent there on Sunday apparently, with the same outcome. Nice.

OKWisDVC2Me
11-21-2011, 12:49 PM
1) I don't think Disney being a "for profit" organization is a secret :scared1:
2) Nowhere in my paperwork does it say that I am entitled to free stuff, so yes, I am grateful for free stuff
3) Wait a minute.....you mean they want me to buy more points? :confused3
4) Unless we signed up for different programs, Annual Dues go to property tax and upkeep, not marketing. I just checked, and yeah, nothing in my paperwork about marketing.
5) Did you really expect there to be a Disney event and there NOT be a line? :rotfl2:
6) Here is a guy with cool 3-D glasses. I put him in because I liked him
:3dglasses

OKWisDVC2Me
11-21-2011, 12:53 PM
I guess we went to two different programs, or perhaps we have different definitions of sales presentations. As I previously mentioned the "sales pitch" was maybe 5 minutes. The presentation I sat through was talking about things such as the Fantasyland expansion, or the two member cruises, or Cars Land out at DL in Cali........ Maybe there were subliminal messages throughout the whole presentation that only lasted 1/1000 of a second.

mwmuntz
11-21-2011, 01:12 PM
There are others here that know more than me, but I don't think these things are paid for out of our maintenance fees. They have a separate budget for marketing, which is probably built into the initial cost. So I guess that we do pay for it indirectly, but that's a bit of a stretch.

I am getting tired of arguing this, but I'm afraid that a few malcontents may cause Disney to ditch these evens, and that would be a shame.

I'm willing to call a truce if you are. Lets save up our energy to complain about the next free perk that they eliminate, OK?

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 01:16 PM
There are others here that know more than me, but I don't think these things are paid for out of our maintenance fees. They have a separate budget for marketing, which is probably built into the initial cost. So I guess that we do pay for it indirectly, but that's a bit of a stretch.

I am getting tired of arguing this, but I'm afraid that a few malcontents may cause Disney to ditch these evens, and that would be a shame.

I'm willing to call a truce if you are. Lets save up our energy to complain about the next free perk that they eliminate, OK?

I enjoyed the event, and look forward to the next one. But I would point out that if people are more annoyed by the way they are organized than the pleasure they get out of it, it is counter-productive.

disneynutz
11-21-2011, 01:20 PM
There are others here that know more than me, but I don't think these things are paid for out of our maintenance fees. They have a separate budget for marketing, which is probably built into the initial cost. So I guess that we do pay for it indirectly, but that's a bit of a stretch.

I am getting tired of arguing this, but I'm afraid that a few malcontents may cause Disney to ditch these evens, and that would be a shame.

I'm willing to call a truce if you are. Lets save up our energy to complain about the next free perk that they eliminate, OK?

Disney will ditch these sales events when the marketing department decides that they aren't making them money.

:earsboy: Bill

tjkraz
11-21-2011, 01:29 PM
I really don't understand the perception some people are laboring under.
I've been flamed for saying organization was inadequate in unequally distributing gift bags.
The response is that we should be grateful for anything DVC gives us or does for us.

It's apparent that DVC was overwhelmed by the response. They expected crowds similar to last year and instead attendance was quite a bit larger.

But I still don't follow your thinking that any Disney venture is a massive failure if all guests are not treated equally.

Earlier you asked if I would be mad if another guest received a room upgrade and I did not. The answer is no, no, a thousand times no. I may be a bit envious but certainly not mad at Disney for giving one guest something that I did not receive.

It all goes back to this idea of Disney "pixie dust." Two or three years ago Disney ran their Year of a Million Dreams promotion. Every day hundreds of guests received free FASTPASS tickets, pins and other small perks as prizes. Should Disney have not run that promotion simply because not every guest was able to win something?

Over the years our kids have been handed stickers, balloons, tattoos and other trinkets by Cast Members. One time my wife and kids were walked to the front of an attraction line by a CM after striking up a conversation. Are those all examples of poor Disney service simply because not every guest received the same benefits?

In my mind the key is delivering at least what was promised. If they promised you character meets, refreshments and a holiday ornament, that is what they are obligated to deliver.


And here's another secret: any "gift" they give us, well, folks--we paid for it with our "dues"!

No, they are not. They are sales and marketing expenses which are funded by Disney Vacation Development NOT Disney Vacation Club.

You may think there's not much distinction but if Disney discontinued all of the free handouts and promotional parties, your dues would not go down by a penny. It's Disney's own money paying for these events.

kenny
11-21-2011, 01:42 PM
We ventured to the even yesterday also. My family has been to DtD many times as so many of you have and enjoy going to take the tour, talk with CM's, trade pins and just get our Disney fix.

That being said, we went with another family and neither of us were very impressed or have a strong desire to go again next year.

First the positive. The CM's were nice, you got a free ornament and one CM even gave our kids pins even though they forgot theirs at home to trade. Thought that was VERY nice.

The not so good? Well, I have to agree with everyone that posted about the lack of organization. While it was not "out of hand" unorganized it could have been done better. We arrived just after 11, waited over 1 hour for the Mary Popins dance, then waited in the lobby for a bit before deciding we waited long enough, and left. While the kids really wanted to take the tour, there was no way they were waiting longer, then sitting through a presentation/sales pitch.

As the original poster stated they were given fast passes to come back later. That would have been a good option to offer everyone. Not sure why some were selected and others not. At Disney everyone has the option of doing fastpass. I gladly would have done that and cut done on some of the waiting. We even asked if it was possible to skip the Mary Poppins dance and were told no, we had to wait until our turn for Mary Poppins, then could skip the actual dance but had to wait until our group was finished with the dance, before going to the lobby. They should have made Mary Poppins and option. If you did not want to do that you could see the presentation and take the tour. Not sure why we had to wait to do the dance.

As for the individuals that keep saying the cupcakes were from Crumbs. Yes I know what Cumbs is and have had them, and yes they are expensive. But lets stop raving about the gourmet cupcakes and knocking the OP that compared them to homemade cupcakes. Crumbs is not that good. Just overpriced. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it is good. Yes it was nice to get free cupcakes but not sure why I should be more thankful they were Crumbs.

mwmuntz
11-21-2011, 03:40 PM
The OP never said homemade. I, for one, feel homemade is better than Crumbs. But he was just so biased and bent on slamming the event, that he even put down what many consider a luxury item. Kind of makes you wonder what else he blew out of proportion in his post. To me, the fact that they served Crumbs, and not some bulk, generic item from somewhere like Costco shows that they went a little above what was promised and/or expected.

carlbarry
11-21-2011, 04:04 PM
I like Costco's muffins LOL.

castleri
11-21-2011, 08:23 PM
Just curious - what was in the coveted gift bags?

DisneyDreams4
11-21-2011, 09:35 PM
I like Costco's muffins LOL.

Too bad they we not from Carlo's Bakery. Now that would have be a cupcake I would wait for..........:goodvibes

donaldjack
11-21-2011, 11:20 PM
After giving us the "discount plus today's special" for prices at VAKL, we exited to the small "reception" area. The "reception" consisted of a few cupcakes (think of kids at an elementary school) and coffee, soda, or water. There was no music. There was no entertainment. There was NO mention or HINT of anything resembling HOLIDAYS. It was - in my opinion - a rather ridiculous SALES PITCH to current members. We wasted the better part of the day traveling to the mall and waiting on line to get in. I didn't expect a Merry Member Mixer, but I did expect SOMETHING more than what they had.

mwmuntz
11-22-2011, 07:53 AM
After giving us the "discount plus today's special" for prices at VAKL, we exited to the small "reception" area. The "reception" consisted of a few cupcakes (think of kids at an elementary school) and coffee, soda, or water. There was no music. There was no entertainment. There was NO mention or HINT of anything resembling HOLIDAYS. It was - in my opinion - a rather ridiculous SALES PITCH to current members. We wasted the better part of the day traveling to the mall and waiting on line to get in. I didn't expect a Merry Member Mixer, but I did expect SOMETHING more than what they had.

This is word for word from the 1st post in this thread. Not sure why you copied it with no explainantion...

quirty30
11-22-2011, 09:05 AM
This is word for word from the 1st post in this thread. Not sure why you copied it with no explainantion...

LOL. No wonder I thought it sounded strangely familiar :rotfl:

FigmentLady
11-23-2011, 12:47 AM
I know everybody is entitiled to their opinion, but this thread really ticks me off. Yes, the event was crowded (Disney? Crowds? GASP!), yes you had to wait on line (again, GASP!), but to actually come on a public forum and compare a Crumbs gourmet cupcake to an elementary school birthday party cupcake? Come on! Or as another poster did, complain that you got more free stuff than you thought you would, but not as much as someone else??? Really??? (BTW, did you go on a tour, or were just there for the freebies? I think that only those that toured got additiional items.)

To anyone reading this thread, please take the earlier complaints with a grain of salt. This was a very nice FREE event. They had fun entertainment and great snacks, plus the ornaments. I was actually very surprised on how low key, and brief, the sales pitch was. People complaining either were just having a bad day or have a huge sense of entitlement. I just hope it was the former.

To anyone from Disney monitoring these boards (and we know you do! :) ) Thank you for having these special events, please don't let a few negative comments stop you from having them in the future. I don't know of any other timeshare company that does this. This is one of the things that makes Disney special.

Well said! I am shocked by a lot of what I have read today about this event. Free Crumbs cupcakes !!! I would have gone just for those lol

FigmentLady
11-23-2011, 12:58 AM
Just curious - what was in the coveted gift bags?

Lanyards, a water bottle, a clear Vinylmation and stickers. Oh and an Aulani button that you can get by stopping by the kiosk any day of the week and an ABC family air freshener with a listing of the holiday specials they air during their 25 days if Christmas. It was nice, but nothing I would complain about not getting especially if I didn't sit through the tour to get it.

And for what it's worth, since it was mentioned in another comment, some people (like me) think Crumbs cupcakes are delicious and a luxury. I don't like them bc they are expensive, I love them bc they are yummy.

limace
11-25-2011, 05:53 PM
Man, it is always so surprising to me how upset some folks get on these boards about any Disney criticism. I don't live anywhere near any of the events, but is be pretty crabby, too, if I dragged my kids out, thinking we had reservations, only to spend a huge amount of time waiting in lines for a sales event. Disney has absolutely no excuse for this-no one does crowd control or event planning better.

tjkraz
11-25-2011, 09:00 PM
Man, it is always so surprising to me how upset some folks get on these boards about any Disney criticism. I don't live anywhere near any of the events, but is be pretty crabby, too, if I dragged my kids out, thinking we had reservations, only to spend a huge amount of time waiting in lines for a sales event. Disney has absolutely no excuse for this-no one does crowd control or event planning better.

"Upset" about Disney criticism? Of course not.

IMO, it's interesting to see how people have such inappropriately lofty expectations for Disney's capabilities. Yes Disney has crowd control down to a science....at their theme parks. I really don't know why anyone would think that trait would apply to a mall environment where Disney has very limited control over their surroundings.

Both Doorway to Dreams locations are 1200 miles away from any Disney park. Do you really think any of the employees at DtD have experience with crowd control???

And anyone who thought they had "reservations" was mistaken. The event was a day-long open house. Disney couldn't control when or how many people would show up anymore than they can control how many people want to ride Space Mountain on Easter Sunday.

mlholster
11-25-2011, 10:44 PM
Disney does a lot of things right, and these events are usually one of them. I went to the Chicago DTD event too. The crowds were horrible and we arrived early. I think for us safety was a main concern.
Been to events when we had "reservations" and those move along smoothly. This event was more of an open call, everyone and their aunt and uncle showed up.
The problem arises when security can't control the lines. Security with worried faces walking the ever growing line. Calling in back up from other areas of the mall. Calling in Disney managers from the store to help control the line.
Problems being on the second floor of the mall and constantly being pushed by security to the side of the walkway that overlooks the interior of the mall. Little kids with half walls made of glass windows not a good mix. Many families waited more than an hour just to reach the doorway.
Problems for all the other stores in the immediate area because we are blocking their entrance and windows. Shoppers didn't want to go near the lines. This is the start of the holiday shopping time, big crowds anyway.

Safety was a concern for all of these reasons for us. We were a little surprised by the disorganization. Yes, these people don't work the lines like cm's at the parks but to put out an open call at holiday time you really need a better plan than what we experienced. Just saying form a line doesn't work.

Now as far as sales pitch it was very soft. We watched a video of Aulani. We were also told of the specials they had now at AKL & Aulani.
Then we had some wonderful treats. Little squares of cheesecake, brownie and macaroon cake. We had our choice of water or coke products. This was very nice. Then we had Mickey all to ourselves for pictures. This was so sweet and unexpected. Mickey looked very cute in his holiday attire!
We love all these events and have gone to a lot of them. This is our Disney fix between trips. We will definitely go to another event if they take reservations. They really do great events and are so accommodating when they have control.:goodvibes

Judique
11-26-2011, 09:01 AM
Disney will ditch these sales events when the marketing department decides that they aren't making them money.

:earsboy: Bill

Exactly!

Or they will be reborn in another form...such as welcome home wednesdays are nothing like the older version of sales pitch that they used to hold at OKW.. continental breakfast with trivia and prizes as opposed to a ticket for a box of cracker jacks and a free hat.