View Full Version : Leary about staying ONSITE and visiting Disney period from reviews

06-10-2004, 10:21 AM
Several different reviews I've been pondering upon have had pretty much the same results--------------rundown, poor service, not worth the money, overated and Disney doesn't have the magic it use to. I'm wondering if we should even plan a trip there afterall. This is a driving trip with over 12 hrs. and the last thing I want is to arrive only to be disappointed by overated, dirty, old, rundown rooms at Disney with the $$$ price tag that you would expect more. I've also read reviews for OFF SITE hotels as well with the same results. Rundown, pictures on the web are deceiving, etc. Makes me very leary as if Disney has become WAY too big for its britches which means poor service, etc. I've read many reviews of dirty rooms and housecleaning not being up to par. I'm sorry but when you pay $$$ extra to stay at "THE" Disney, you expect exceptional service. I'm not finding this from reading lots of reviews. I guess I'm just disappointed and feeling that perhaps a vacation not at Disney would be more worth our time and $$$. Any GOOD, POSITIVE INPUT ABOUT DISNEY RESORTS AND DISNEY IN GENERAL WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED.


06-10-2004, 10:45 AM
I will grant you that some people have had problems at their Disney resorts, but the fact is far more people complain than compliment!!!!!
We have stayed at various Disney resorts for five trips since 1997 and have been like 98% happy. For the most part the hotels are kept in great shape and are always being refurbished. The Cast Members are normally great and do everything possible to make your stay special. This is not to say that there are not some bad apples in the CM ranks but I would say they are a minority.
We thoroughly enjoyed our last two stays at the Yacht Club and would never consider staying off-site.
Please keep in mind that some people cannot be pleased whatever you do. Disney resorts have a variety and atmosphere that you will not find anyplace else. From the value resorts to the deluxe resorts there is something for everyone.
Try one yourself..............I believe that you will be very satisfied.

06-10-2004, 11:00 AM
There must be something positive if so many people (on these boards and elsewhere) continue to go there. Just go with an open mind and heart, don't read too many reviews, and relax. You will always find that the most vocal people are the ones who have something to complain about and often the complaints encountered minimal or silly, just ignore them. Disney is a wonderful, happy place if you plan your trip expecting wonderful happiness, if you plan your trip intending to look for every fault, you will probably find them.

06-10-2004, 11:02 AM
Well, if you look at the majority of posts on this board people are trying to figure out how to say on site so..... it does not sound like they have experienced what you are concenred about.

My experiences at Disney are postive. That said I firmly believe that attitude makes a world of difference. You can let one bad CM or one bad experience ruin your whole vacation or you can just let it go. You can look for positive or you can look for negative. There are people in this world who spend a lot of time looking for bad things (and this is not just Disney!) and they can generally find them.

That said, Disney service is good. It is not the Ritz Carlton. Disney is serving literally thousands of customers at a time. When you are moving volume like that things happen. The room could have been in great shape until the Brat from you know where moved in and decocrated all the walls with his crayons! No, the bellman is not going to learn your name like at a small boutique hotel. I am fine with that (with the exception of the GF, Disney markets it as equal to Ritz and it isn't. It's clean and nice, but for that much money it needs to be OUTSTANDING!)

I am not sure where you are reading your reviews. Keep in mind that most poeple only post if they are unhappy. So if you have 1,000 guests and one is unhappy you are only reading the one in a 1,000. I have read reviews of hotels that I have stayed in and been convinced the person was in a differnet hotel or just had unrealistic expectations. (i.e., I did not get a towel animal and therefore housekeeping was horrid)

06-10-2004, 11:04 AM
We stayed at the Dolphin on our last trip and at a four star hotel offsite on our first trip. I will only stay onsite if I go during a busy time--summer, Christmas, etc. The Dolphin was a very nice hotel with great service, probably the best hotel service I've ever received. I like to stay on site so I don't have to be stuck in traffic and I can easily come and go to the parks. I also don't have to rent a car this way.

I can't speak for the other onsite hotels as I've only stayed at the Dolphin, which is onsite but not owned by Disney. It is next to the Beach Club and Boardwalk and is also a deluxe hotel. We received the govt./teacher/nurse discount at the Dolphin, so it was much more affordable than the other resorts in the Epcot area.

As far as the bad reviews you are reading, frankly I think some people have way too much time on their hands. There's constructive criticism and then there's just plain old whining. I would recommend getting a guidebook on Disney World. I like the Unofficial Guide to Disney World best, but Fodor's and Frommer's are good too. These books give more comprehensive and objective information.

I would also highly recommend breaking your drive down into 2 days. You don't want to be exhausted before you even get there.

06-10-2004, 11:06 AM
I think you'll have nothing to worry about. Everyone has different ideas of what is clean and kept up. The Magic is definitely there.

We took our first family trip to WDW in Oct 1999 and stayed at ASMu for 8 nights. It was hands down the best vacation we'd ever had as a family (and we travel several times a year). We thought we wouldn't go back for a few years, but just two months later I was making plans for a trip the following September (CBR and WL split). Since then we've been at least once a year (usually staying at two Deluxe resorts) and continue to enjoy every minute of our time there.

It had got to be one of the best ways for a family to spend time together anywhere in the world, because there is so much to see and do and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

I suggest bypassing reading any more negative reports, stick to the positive and start enjoying the planning part of your vacation!

06-10-2004, 11:07 AM
We have stayed at Disney hotels more times than I can even count, and have had only one bad experience, and that was at All Star Sports last summer(only there for one night because of a flight delay). The room was in disrepair and dirty, and they promised to fix the problem before anyone else stayed there. We are heading back to the Poly in 3 weeks, and can't wait! Disney magic does abound, cast members are "Disney friendly" both in the hotels and in the parks, and as annual passholders for 3 years now we wouldn't want to vacation anywhere else! There is nothing like staying "on" property. Think of it this way, people who have a bad experience tell at least 10 other people, but those who have a good experience just smile and are happy to keep it to themselves. You will have a great time, no matter where you stay, and if anything does happen speak up and they will fix the problem ASAP!

Now go and have fun!

wannabee princess
06-10-2004, 11:15 AM
I think there are people who see life through a half empty viewpoint and others see it with the half full view. I am not a Pollyanna by any means, but I think that if you go anywhere with the half empty view, you are coming away unhappy, disappointed and grumpy!

I have had both good and not so good experiences in life - including experiences while in the World. However, I try to look at the good points and remember that I can't expect perfection! I can honestly say that the very, very good at Disney has outweighed the just so-so!

Have you ever heard the saying "You get what you give"? I think that those who are complaining (in general) are not looking for the good - they let one bad experience sour their whole experience!

If you go to Disney (or any place) expecting to be treated like royalty you will come away disappointed. If you go to Disney expecting to put forth a little kindness, you may be pleasantly suprised!

If you haven't read rgoble's trip report on the trip boards, go over and do so! Start at day one and read through - you will see that being kind to strangers leads to great results!

06-10-2004, 11:20 AM
I've been to Disney before, and there was no doubt in my mind that we would be returning. I don't think that you can trade the experience of the magic of the parks for anything. BUT, I did have some of your concerns about choosing a hotel after reading online reviews. My husband, though, made an excellent point. We went to Disney in May of 2002. We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and had a wonderful time. The people were great, the rooms were great, the experience was great. When we returned, did we take the time out to write an online review? No. We also have friends that have done the same. Generally speaking, it seems to be people who have had bad experiences and want to gripe about them are the ones who go to review oriented websites and post. They are seeking attention and sympathy because they have been "wronged".

We are going back to Disney in July and are staying on property. If we get a "bad" room, we'll ask to be moved. If someone is rude, we'll ignore them. A vacation is what you make of it. So relax and enjoy.

Hope this helps!


06-10-2004, 11:39 AM
I believe in the MAGIC of Disney. I also believe MAGIC is what you make it. Granted it has been exactly 3 years this week since I have been to the Wonderful World of Disney, but I know that I will NEVER stay offsite. Our family philosophy is to make the most of our Disney vacation time. I have to agree with a previous poster, many more people complain than praise. To some extent, people need to hear that. It's all in how you handle it. Ultimately, you have to make you own decision about your vacation, but I will always opt to make the 15 hour drive to Disney whenever it's possible.:grouphug:


06-10-2004, 11:46 AM
I think it really all depends on your personal preferences. We stayed at POR last year. I didn't like the rooms and thought they were dark and depressingly decorated. My DH loved it and POR is his favorite resort now. My kids LOVE All Star Movies and would rather stay there than anywhere. Although neither of those resorts are my favorites, I still had fun on my vacation, and so will you!
I know what you mean, though, My youngest son and I are taking a short trip to AKL in 10 days and some of the reviews I see are awful. I am determined to go a see for myself!

06-10-2004, 11:57 AM
I just received my Consumer Reports magazine for July and Disney hotels are listed as the top "upscale" hotel. The ratings were apparently done by readers picks. They were also picked as "best by far" for children. They recieved the highest rating in their "value", and next to the highest rating in service, upkeep, and problems. Disney "upscale" hotels had an 86% approval rating compared to the highest luxury rating (Ritz-Carlton) of 91%. They also indicated that Disney's ratings have improved according to readers since a 2001 report. I know it's pretty subjective, but I thought I would report! :wave:

06-10-2004, 11:57 AM
For some this is a forum to vent. People don't need to vent if they had a good time, only if it didnt meet their expectations. WDW is just as good as it was in the 80s/90s, there are just alot of people out there who like to complain.

06-10-2004, 12:01 PM
Having stayed at a good many Disney properties, I can reassure you they are definitely not run down. As far as over-rated and not worth the money, those are opinions and everyone is entitled to one. What one person sees as over-rated and over-priced, another sees as quite reasonable, so you'll have to form your opinion on that after your trip. As far as poor service goes, you may encounter CMs that don't seem to care, but again, basing my observation on 20+ trips to WDW, this is the exception and not the rule. So relax, go to WDW and have a great time. Post here when you return and let us know how it went!

06-10-2004, 12:15 PM
I don't think you will be unhappy if you choose to stay on sight. We have been to several different resorts, sometimes things weren't perfect but never have I had such a bad experience that I would consider staying off sight because of it.

Go and have a wonderful time.

06-10-2004, 12:15 PM
Several times before WDW trips I have had to take a break from these boards because of all the information here.Our last trip was literally the trip of a lifetime for us, my best friend and I saved for over two years and ours plans were to stay at the GF for 7 nights then over to the BWI for 10 nights. We are working people, not rich by any means , and we had naturally very high expectations for our trip, having had several fabulous trips prior to this.I had read many posts on these boards regarding the GF that were less than positive and was a bit leary about staying there. We had a conversation before we went about our expectations and going with the flow no matter what. We had a trip the exceeded all our dreams and could not have been more perfect!!This is not to say we NEVER saw a grumpy CM or that we had to actually ask to change our attic room at the GF, but going with the intention of having a fabulous vacation I think is a bit more realistic. Please don't let the negative here stop you from going to WDW or staying onsite.....the MAGIC lives on for most of us!!!

06-10-2004, 12:23 PM
Disney hotels are not "run down" - they are clean, fairly comfortable and certainly worth your time (and reasonable money) staying there.

I would rate them fairly high, but they do not compare to the Loews Hotels at Universal (much finer linens, more comfortable beds, first rate amenities and service), Loews are inline with Ritz Carlton and well run Westins. The new beds at the Swan (and Dolphin if they finished putting them all in -?-) may very well have bumped these two hotels onsite at Disney up to the class the Loews hotes are in .

but the beds at Disney are ordinary and nothing to write home about (except that they don't sag and they are decent).

Staying onsite is much more convienent than offsite and worth the extra if you can afford it.

06-10-2004, 12:25 PM
Another vote for the prevailing magic!! We have found that WDW is certainly not run-down, badly staffed and dirty!! Yes, you may run into a less than perfect CM but IMO they are few and far between. At least, that is my experience. We love the resorts. Have stayed at all levels and found them to be wonderful. Yes, you can stay off-site for less money. But, off-site equals less magic. I love being surrounded with that Disney magic 24/7. Even the buses are magical to me.

I say, go and have fun. Stay on-site if that's what you want to do. I don't think you'll be disappointed. The parks are maintained beautifully, as are the resorts. Yes, the food may be a little overpriced for what you are getting...but I know that going in and plan accordingly. Nope, I love WDW and plan on many, many more trips there.

06-10-2004, 12:38 PM
GO!!! Stay at a Disney Resort, relax and have a great time at the happiest place on earth!

There are way more posts on these boards concerning good experiences while staying onsite vs. staying offsite. Sure, there is the occasional "worn-looking" room report, but if you just happen to get stuck in such a room, just ask a manager to move you. I assure you, there are more good rooms at WDW than bad. You will be so glad you went to WDW and stayed onsite . . . I PROMISE!!

One thing I might offer as advice for all: If you stay at a Disney Resort and you notice a small leak in the bathroom or a tear in the carpet, etc -- REPORT IT ASAP!! Leaks and tears that don't get reported just keep getting bigger and bigger causing more and more damage or an appearance of being poorly kept. Let's face it; a small leak doesn't damper the vacations of most, so the vast majority of folks don't report these things. If we'd all report the minor stuff as we notice it, I'd be willing to bet that they'd get right on it! I would think they'd much rather fix a small leak, rather than to eventually have to replace rotted cabinetry, flooring, carpet, mold/mildew-stained grout, etc....maybe it would result in virtually no "worn" rooms. I know that not all problems are noticeable (inside walls, etc.), but the visible stuff is what I'm referring to.

06-10-2004, 12:48 PM
Wow, I'm so sorry you've gotten that impression of Disney World. I think other posters have hit on lots of good points but here's my view.

If you don't have some "Magic" in your soul anyway you won't find it at Disney. If you really don't want to be there (maybe you're just doing it for the kids), if you're spending more than you can afford (and resent/or worry about it big time!), if your expectations are so high that you expect everything to be 100% perfect, if you are a pessimistic person etc, Disney World isn't going to turn that around for you.

However, if you shrug off a few little inconveniences that might happen, hey - you might get a CM who's short with you, or maybe your room keys didn't work and you had to walk back to the lobby for new ones (happened to us once, didn't affect our trip one bit) - you know stuff happens and a lot of how you deal with it depends on your perceptions/expectations, if you are someone who can look at the good stuff and you want to have a good time, and very important - if you are NOT spending more than you can afford - then you will probably have a great time.

I mention the don't spend more than you can afford because I really think a lot of negative posts come from people who resent how much they spent on a vacation. I spent $xxx on a vacation and I'm mad about it in the first place so it better be perfect! You can find out what everything costs at Disney on the internet so do some budgeting before you go.

Also a lot of people complain about things that were a result of lack of planning. Here's an interesting article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4998871/ So frequent these boards, ask more questions, get those priority seatings http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/pscalc/dispscalc.html You will get so much more out of DW if you don't "just wing it".

Check my signature, been to Disney many times. Never had a problem with a room being dirty or run down. If you get one, ask to be moved. If you don't like the resort's theme when you get there, ask if they can accomodate you at another resort. If not, deal with it and make the best of it. That's my motto - along with life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

I know once in a while there could be a real problem. In that case go higher up with management until you get it resolved. I really don't think that's going to happen often.

Just my opinion of course.

06-10-2004, 12:51 PM
I can't say enough positive about Disney resorts. In fact we are planning a dream trip next year to take my parents on, and I decided going to Disney would be the best place because you get the most "magic" for your money. I've never been treated as well except at a Loews hotel, and that lacked that "magic."

On our last trip my teenage nephew was carrying the diaper bag with all of our plane tickets, money, etc (as we hadn't officially been checked into our room yet) and left it on a Disney bus. They did EVERYTHING they could to help us. Within 2 hours we had the bag back with everything in it, money, credit cards, plane tickets (we were very lucky)! They had to literally run down the bus, and eventually it turned out that someone turned it in right when we lost it at the MGM Studios front desk.

We've had many wonderful trips to Disney and have a hard time planning trips anywhere else. Definitely go knowing that you will enjoy yourself and get value for your money. I think the bad experiences are few and far between.

:earsgirl: :earsboy: :crazy: pirate: princess:

06-10-2004, 01:28 PM
Dh and read mixed reviews when we were looking for an offsite place to stay in April.

Most of the negative reviews sounded like people who complain about everything.

I think if you go looking for reasons to complain you will find them.

It sounds like you are focusing on the negative and overlooking all the wonderful things people have to say about both Disney and about offsite properties.

We drove from NY, about 22 hours each way.

We're doing it again next April. It was more than worth the drive.

We split our stay, offsite on park days, and onsite just to enjoy the resort.

We expected to have an amazing time and we did. But we're also positive people who look for the best in situations.


06-10-2004, 01:36 PM
I had felt the same way reading some things before we went on our trip but we just got from our vacation and I really recommend going.

We stayed at Beach Club and Port Orleans Riverside and I thought both were great for different reasons. We did have a room we didn't like the first night at Beach Club because we got in late and our preferences were gone but they had a new room ready to go for us the next morning. It was perfect. POR was also very nice.

As far as the parks, Animal Kingdom is beautiful. That was my favorite day. Epcot and MGM were neat. Frankly, MK was our least favorite but we happened to be there on a very busy and very hot day.

I say go for it. I would like to start planning our next trip.

06-10-2004, 01:42 PM
In the past two years I have stayed at WL, OKW, BC, POFQ and CS resort. None of them were run down. Even withthe impending refurb at POFQ everything was in tip top shape and working order. If you are assigned a "horror story " room go back to the front desk, tell them your concerns and I'm sure they will make you comfortable. I also stayed one night--just the place to sleep thing off site at HOJO's Irlo Bronson--NEVER AGAIN--to save money I'll AS or POP and then switch. Many have a strong comfort level with driving around the Orlando area and don't mind the driving and parking thing. They feel that larger accomadations etc. work better for them. To each their own, but I'd rather skip a year and stay on property than go and not experience absolutely everything I can. JMHO. Before DH and I knew about WDW accomadations we also did a one week stay at a Comfort Inn--there I had to request clean sheets after we checked in and I had other things to deal with that I would not have had it been a WDW hotel. :scared1:

06-10-2004, 01:57 PM
I was reading the posts and it bought something to mind
LadyTrampScamp&Angel talks about being stressed if you can't afford it. I went several years ago with my best friend, her husband, kids and her parents. Everyone had a GREAT time.

My friend commented to me that she had been afraid her parents would not be happy. They had been as a family when she was younger and her parents had really not enjoyed it. As we talked she realized that the reason was that her parents were so stressed about the cost. This was a family that did not have much extra money and as we know Disney is expensive (and was 20 years ago also!) When they went this time, my friend paid all the bills. She has a good job and this was her gift. It really seemed to relax her parents and now they want to go back on thier own (They can afford it now!)

Everyone has their favorite parks. I am a single female. MK gets to me quickly. (I have limited patience for parents who yell at the crying kid. My dad did that and I know that all it does is make the kid cry harder. LOL!) I do admit that it has magic and when I go with friends with kids we spend a lot more time there. (That said I will NOT go to MK on a Saturday!)

06-10-2004, 02:07 PM
I agree, WDW is one of the best-kept theme parks we've ever been to, and the resorts are well-maintained and lovely. We have always commented during our drive down (22-1/2 hours) that we can't wait to get to Disney resorts, they are so consistently clean and the cm's are so warm and friendly. We have stayed in some pretty run down rooms, in many different chains and price levels, and have never found this to be the case at WDW.

That is not to say that we have never had any sort of small inconvenience, we have been to WDW many times and these things happen. But, if you do encounter any sort of problem with your room, management does everything they can to make it right. This is not the case at many motels/hotels/resorts. I remember staying at a very pricey hotel in New Orleans, and our bathroom had tiles falling off the wall, called to the front desk to get another room, they said it was Mardi Gras, take it or leave it! No "Gee, we don't have another room, but we'll send someone up to fix it" like you would get at WDW!

If you are expecting everything to be picture-perfect, then you are bound to be disappointed. Every family trip we've ever taken has had something go wrong, sometimes minor, sometimes not! But if you go expecting to have a good time, you roll with the little things, and make the most of your time together!:sunny:

06-10-2004, 02:18 PM
We have been to Disney World every other year since we were married in 1996. In that time, we have only had one negative experience, and that was with a bus driver. Everyone else has always been great there. We have stayed at CBR, ASMo and the Poly. I thought each hotel was fine, although the Poly is my personal favorite.

This is the story I like to relate when I am describing what the service is like at Disney World:

My wife and I took our then 2 year old daughter to Disney World around Halloween. We were really excited about going to the Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom, but we didn't realize that the tickets had to be bought in advance. So when we tried to get them we found out they were sold out. My wife was very upset (her 2 favorite things are Disney and Halloween) and called the front desk of our hotel to find out if there was some way to get tickets. Although they couldn't get us tickets, they told us about Halloween activities that were taking place at the Boardwalk and also credited $50 back to us so that we could go have a nice dinner as well. It was really our own fault that we missed the Halloween party, but they went the extra mile to make sure that we still had a good time (we did).

You just don't get that kind of service much anymore.


06-10-2004, 02:24 PM
We loved our last on-site stay at Disney. We loved the one before that too...We loved them so much that I am STILL having trip withdrawal and we've been home a month already. There were a few things that bothered me, and of course if I really nitpicked, I could probably come up with a few more. But the GOOD of it all outweighs the bad!!!

With every trip, no matter where you go, there will always be SOMETHING that you wish were different or something that could have been done better.

All in all, Disney offers our family the best of every world...we have no desire to vacation anywhere else!!

Oh, I wish we were there RIGHT NOW!!!:sad2:

06-10-2004, 02:44 PM
Because of the 'Magic' stories and impressions, I wonder if some are beginning to expect way too much out of Disney...

I saw a man get rude and irrate about not getting a table for a large party last New Years at Ohana's without a PS. I wanted to ask him if there were any other nice restaurants in town that night he thought they could get into without a reservation!?!

Also, I did not notice a change in the 5 years in between my last two trips if that tells you anything. Everything still looked as new and clean as it did the first time.

I hope you have a great trip!!!!

06-10-2004, 02:51 PM

we go ALL the time, a few times a year and stayed all over Disney....we have never onec been unhappy with anything, and if we ever encountered a snotty castmemeber I dont even remember....I got scared reading the reviews of Caribbean beach and when we got there it was great! I loved it! And please keep in mind if you go there and you are not happy about anything they will fix it, you can even change resorts if you get there and have a problem with yours! You have nothing to worry about

06-10-2004, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by LadyTrampScamp&Angel
If you don't have some "Magic" in your soul anyway you won't find it at Disney. If you really don't want to be there (maybe you're just doing it for the kids), if you're spending more than you can afford (and resent/or worry about it big time!), if your expectations are so high that you expect everything to be 100% perfect, if you are a pessimistic person etc, Disney World isn't going to turn that around for you. You hit the nail on the head. ::yes::

06-10-2004, 03:56 PM
Go, have fun and stay onsite. Over the years I've stayed at GF, Poly, CBR, BC and ASSp so all three levels of the Disney hotels. I loved them all for different reasons and would stay at any of them again. This trip will be AKL and OKW. None of the rooms/resorts were rundown at all and I would stay at any of them again in a heartbeat.

I have noticed from these boards (which I love) that there is always someone with something negative to say about everything. I think it comes down to personal choice. Lots of people won't stay at the value resorts for instance, some people hate Chef Mickey's some people love it. I've found that everyone doesn't love everything.

A lot of it is attitude. We go expecting to have a good time (and you can have a good time even if it rains!) and therefore we do. I'm sure if we went convinced it was going to be awful it would be. We have found that most CM's are great esp. if they are treated nicely. (Nobody likes to be yelled at.)

Look for the pixie dust and it will be there.

Have a great trip.

06-10-2004, 04:27 PM
I read more positive reviews on the Disney resorts than the negative ones. I suppose you can try to stay a few nights on-site so you can get a taste of it. And if you don't care for it, at least you have your off-site to stay on after staying on Disney property.

"Magic" is what you make of it. Sometimes magic doesn't happen on it's own. Sometimes you just have to make your own "magic." and sometimes those are the special ones to cherish. :)

06-10-2004, 05:41 PM
The only Disney resort where I saw run down areas was around the building I was staying in at Port Orleans Riverside, and they just did a rehab so I'm sure it's fine now. Actually, the reason it stood out to me so much is because all of the other Disney resorts I'd stayed in had been pretty much immaculate. We've never had anything but a perfect room at the Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Grand Floridian, Yacht Club or Swan. My Boardwalk room was gorgeous but it smelled bad, but that was probably due to another guest who left food out who had the room before us, not Disney's fault. I'm sure Magnolia Terrace at Port Orleans Riverside looks great now...we just happened to stay right before a rehab was due. Believe me, the resorts was wonderful on site. Much better kept than average!

06-10-2004, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by disneykindofgal
Several different reviews I've been pondering upon have had pretty much the same results--------------rundown, poor service, not worth the money, overated and Disney doesn't have the magic it use to. I guess I'm just disappointed and feeling that perhaps a vacation not at Disney would be more worth our time and $$$.

If your expectations are unreasonable then you will be dissapointed. Disney is not for everyone.

Most everyone on this board loves WDW and will go there as often as they can. Maybe you should do some more research and read through the forums some more. This board is full of rave reviews and wonderful experiences. Perhaps reading here some more could help you decide if a WDW vacation is right for you.

06-10-2004, 07:33 PM
We just returned from POR 2 weeks ago, and the last time we were in Disney was in 1998.

Let me start by saying, we had a Wonderful trip, the hotel was very nice, the CM's were good, housekeeping was "OK", not great, but not bad by any means.

However, my husband and I both noticed little things here and there that were a little "off" compared to our last trip.

First of all, when we checked in, we weren't given a copy of the hotel newspaper, (the one that tells you about the ammenities...) The Sassagoula Times. Not a big deal, we went to the desk later in our stay and picked one up.

Second, there are benches all around the resort, and the one in the courtyard of our building, (Oak Manor) had a FULL ashtray that stayed full for 2 days! That's pretty gross. Also, there was a small amount of garbage in various places along the walkway. Again, NOT a big deal, but we never saw that kind of stuff in 1998.

Housekeeping was OK, our garbage was taken away, and our beds were made, but nothing above and beyond that was done. We had connecting rooms, and our daughter's dolls and stuffed animals were always on her bed, but we never got any special towel creations, and yes, we do leave a tip every day.

We also noticed that even in the parks, the cleanliness was a little off. Not terrible by any means, just not 100% perfect, like we thought it was last time.

I'd spend my vacation dollars at Disney any given time, we had a wonderful trip, and we all had a good time. I just thought I'd post a few observations.

06-10-2004, 07:36 PM
Returned to disney after an 8 year break this past weekend.Like a previous poster I expected we would have a good time, but would probably not be in a great rush to return. Well, check my countdown clock!
Our first vacation there was when my daughter was 4, 13 years ago. We stayed at the Port Orleans,it was brand new and gorgeous. It was my first time at Disney too,my husband had been there as a kid. We had an incredible,magical,Disney experience just like the TV commercials.
We returned again a few years later with my son who was 41/2,daughter was about 9. We stayed at All Star Sports and although it was not the same caliber as Port Orleans,it was adorable and we were very happy with the resort. All in all we had a good time,but was it as magical as the first, no where near. Now we had 2 kids fighting for attention,which ride to go on,etc. Now my DD was no longer a little doll and more of a "girly girl" wanting her own way all the time. We met up with other people we knew and sometimes had fighting kids to contend with or dealing with someone elses children complaining and whining. So we took a break and did other vacations,cruises,etc.
So move forward to this April and I happen to see Disney FL resident rates advertised. We recently lost our beloved 10 year old Lab and I decided we needed a little Disney magic. So off we went for trip #3,my daughter is now 17 (and a typical 17 year old moody girl),my son is 13.we stayed at the new Pop Century and had a GREAT time. The Disney magic struck again.The kids didn't fight,the weather wasn't great but we didn't care,and we enjoyed our trip completely! Had a very positive experience at the MK when my sons silly Goofy hat($19) disappeared after being left on the seat at on of the shows. We went back to the shop on Main St where we bought it and they cheerfully replaced it at no charge!We were very impressed with this and it really gave us a positive feeling. Disney is a very expensive place,but you don't mind spending when you get something back.
Our last day we checked out the AKL at the advice of a friendly fellow Disney bus passenger. I know this is not Disneys most popular resort,but we fell in love with it. We have visited the GF,Boardwalk Inn,stayed at the PO,AllStar Sports and Pop Century,but none of them grabbed us like this one. My husband thought the GF was very nice,but not worth the $ and never had an interest in staying there. He looked around the AKL and said this is a hotel worth any price. So we are hoping to go next April. And we really thought it would be at least another 8 years!
As for staying off site we did that twice(actually went to the Universal Parks,not Disney)and would never stay anywhere but a Disney hotel again(in Orlando,that is).

06-10-2004, 08:06 PM
And for my 2 cents -- my son and I just returned from a last-minute Memorial Day trip....stayed at POR....high rates for what I'm used to paying as I'm usually a planner and go off-season....a bit more crowded and hotter than I expected....or have dealt with before....

BUT....the rooms were as nice as when we stayed there 5 years ago for the 1st time...our ashtray in the hall was cleaned out several times a day...we rent a car -- that's my preference, but the busses seemed to be running smoothly....we wouldn't DREAM of staying offsite again....we did that once and missed the "magic".....

All of our service in EVERY restaurant was awesome...the CM who checked us in was wonderful and patient...we got the room request I had faxed in (and I went not really expecting it to be "granted" on this very busy weekend), so we were overall thrilled.....but we're also nice, patient folks....I greet people with a smile, hoping for the same in return, I allow people to be human....and if they are having a bad day, well, so be it....I have those, too.....move on because it's the exception rather than the rule....and I don't expect people to follow me around kissing my feet because *I* chose to spend my vacation money on a trip to WDW.....

We have stayed at the WL, BC, Swan, and POR....each has its own charm and plusses and minusses.....and perhaps there were little annoyances over our 4 day in WDW, but you ask me now to name them, and I can't....and I agree, if you have a problem with the room or your food or service -- bring it up....get it off your chest and move on...but don't expect someone else to make this a good trip....that part's up to YOU!!

princess: :earsboy: