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dsw 02-27-2012 10:10 AM

CSR - would have liked it but...
We just returned from CSR and I have to say it's a pretty nice resort, but the nice-ness of it was ruined for us because of one major thing...the Grainger Trade Show going on there right now. We would not have been so annoyed if we had known about this mess. I know that CSR is a convention center as well as a resort but what is going on there right now is far beyond just a convention! We've been to Disney over well 100 times (including overnights and day trips) and we've stayed at many of the resorts (AKL, WL, Contemp, FW, POR, etc) but decided to try out CSR for the first time.

The thing we were most annoyed about was the fact that Disney didn't say anything at all and they had many chances to let the guests know that there would be such a major inconvenience. First of all Disney's booking system should alert you to a huge convention like this when booking, but also they could have told us through the numerous emails, mailings and also at the front desk at check in....but no we knew nothing until we tried to pull into the parking lot and were stopped and questioned on why we were trying to park there. When we arrived in our room we found a letter on the bed saying that there would be construction of tents, closures of pools and closures of parking lots from Feb 16 to March 12...all for this 1 week long convention. After we had been there for a few days we received another note in our room saying that 2 pools would be closed all day on Sunday and the Dig Site pool was closing at 1pm, all for events going on for Grainger...try telling that to little kids who were excited to finally get a chance to go in the pool.

Then we received a message on our room phone saying that we had to move our cars out of the parking lots to make way for more semi's and structures being built or they would tow us....This is the parking lot we were told to park in. This is Disney that we are visiting, right??? And paying a fortune for, right??? Surely did not seem like it, especially with the porta-potties mixed in with our cars.

The mess didn't just stop at the parking lots either. Strolling around the lake it was extremely evident that a major production was about to take place. They had paper taped all over the ground telling each station where to set up..DJ, baggo, cornhole, Grainger Land, etc...alllllll the way around that huge lake. And then there were the huge speakers set up on barges placed all around the lake. And then there was the cable line just set in the grass and weaved around trees and bridges that also went allllll the way around the lake. One of our sons ran down towards the water and tripped over the cable that none of us saw until it was too late. Oh and then there were shuttle stations set up around that lake, but guess who they were for?? Yup, Grainger conventioneers only.

Now, we are really not ones to complain...but this was just all too much, especially for not being warned! Had we known that this would all be present we would have changed our trip. We live about 2 hours away and stay on property about 5 times a year so we wouldn't have minded changing, if we had known. Finally my husband decided to say something. The front desk manager (a younger lady) laughed at him....excuse me?? Wow, how professional of you! She said that this was her first year experiencing this Grainger convention (which apparently happens the same time every year, so be warned!). She knew that it was a major inconvenience and the last thing she said was to be sure to move our cars to a different lot so we didn't get towed. She sure helped make Disney that magical place that people expect. She did say we could move resorts, but by then it would have just been more of a pain with 3 small children so we stayed where we were and just dealt with it for the rest of our stay.

It's really too bad, because CSR is a nice resort, even though it's huge, but we will not be back. I do not want to take the chance that another mess like this is what we will find when we show up. Don't get me wrong, I understand that conventions go on and business needs to be done...we just think that they either needed to close the hotel to families and people that weren't part of the convention or warn people.

I will say that there were some good things about CSR though! When we were able to go in the Dig site pool the kids loved it. Also, bus service was actually pretty good and easy. The grounds are really nice and well kept. The staff was great (minus the front desk manager!) and helpful. The Pepper Market was decent for both breakfast and dinner.

We will obviously go back to Disney since we are passholders, but we will stick to the Deluxe hotels from now on.

Almost forgot!! It seems as though karma was making an appearance as they were about to start their convention...the rain gods decided to inconvenience the Grainger folks by opening up the skies! Hope they weren't inconvenienced too much! ;)

I have pictures as well but because I don't have enought posts the DisBoards won't let me post them..aahh!

goofy4tink 02-27-2012 10:15 AM

Conventions are big business for WDW. I know that my dh's line of business often has conventions/meetings in WDW all the time. And the problem with CSR is that it is a huge convention resort. Because it is a moderate, it's sometimes hard for them to keep the conventioneers apart from the regular you have your situation.
I think that I may very well have taken myself down to the front desk and asked if there were any opening at any other resorts that I could be moved to. If a resort just doesn't meet your expectations Disney will often try to find you someplace different to stay.

StitchandPooh'sMom 02-27-2012 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by dsw (Post 44151482)
We just returned from CSR and I have to say it's a pretty nice resort, but the nice-ness of it was ruined for us because of one major thing...the Grainger Trade Show going on there right now. We would not have been so annoyed if we had known about this mess. I know that CSR is a convention center as well as a resort but what is going on there right now is far beyond just a convention! We've been to Disney over well 100 times (including overnights and day trips) and we've stayed at many of the resorts (AKL, WL, Contemp, FW, POR, etc) but decided to try out CSR for the first time.

Ugh. We love CSR and have stayed there several times during conventions with no problem, but the Grainger show is a totally different animal. It is huge, and as you experienced, they pretty much take over the grounds, the pool, the restaurants, etc. It is the one time of year that I warn people who are going to CSR to have different expectations. Someone posts something very much like your post each year about how they were inconvenienced by the huge number of Grainger people and events at CSR. :sad2:

Generally, conventions at CSR simply mean that you might see some people in khakis going to breakfast or to the convention center. The buses and the pool are usually empty because some of the guests are working instead of going to the parks. Like I said, the Grainger show is a completely different animal.

I know this is no help to you now, but I try to keep an updated list of conventions at CSR on the FAQ thread here. As soon as I found the Grainger dates (they are not that easy to find), I added them to the list. But you wouldn't know that the Grainger show was any different than all the other conventions on the list that do not inconvenience guests at all.

Most conventions at CSR will have zero impact on guests. Grainger is definitely the exception because they have so many events on the grounds and have so many people, and it is one I try to warn people about when they ask about conventions at CSR. I think there has been at least one convention at CSR each time we have been, but most of them are relatively small and the people spend the day at the convention center.

I didn't know that the preparations went on for weeks, though. I thought the convention started yesterday. Sorry you got mixed up in it. I love CSR and stay there unless we stay deluxe, but I would have changed resorts.

Drscholls 02-27-2012 10:43 AM

Didn't it just start yesterday? At least you got out of there and only had to spend a day with them.

gabzee 02-27-2012 10:46 AM

I am considering staying at CSR for the night of March 9 (until we switch resorts). Will this specific convention still be going on? I haven't made the reservation yet (spur of the moment trip). Should I consider a different moderate?

dsw 02-27-2012 10:53 AM

yes, it did just start yesterday, but since there is so much to this 'convention' they start setting up 10 days before the actual event starts and then it takes an additional 10 days to clean up after the event. I know what you are saying about the smaller conventions taking place and not even knowing about them because the NADE convention was also going on while we were there but we didn't even know they were there. Just as said above we only saw some people over by the food areas with their NADE tags on, but that was it. I'm fine with a convention going on when I'm there, heck they really don't bother any one, but Grainger is more of a trade show with a ton of stuff going on. The front desk manager even said to us "well we know that Disney doesn't let people know about the conventions, but it was on other websites that aren't affiliated with Disney."

Oh well, it's done and over with but we figured we would let others know so they don't make the same mistake of booking at CSR between the middle of Feb and middle of March of any year (FDM told us it's an annual event..same time, same place).

dsw 02-27-2012 10:55 AM

Gabzee - the actual convention ends this weekend I believe, but the letter we were given said it would take an additional 10 days to clean up and take down all of the tents and equipment that was set up. The date they gave for the resort being back to normal was March 12.

brucerob62 02-27-2012 11:17 AM

always call CSr to find out about trade shows conventions etc..they usually try to tell you if they know that far in advance ..sometimes they dont..but i usually have no problem if need be

figmentfan6 02-27-2012 11:22 AM

Grainger is a challenge for both CMs and leisure guests. Unfortunately, because of privacy policies, Disney can't inform non-convention goers of the convention before they arrive. I'm sure there is a huge legal issue with doing so, not to mention it could be problematic if it was ever a convention hosting celebs. While I think the manager was wrong to laugh, I can imagine (as it was her first Grainger convention) that she was at her breaking point and didn't know how to handle everything. All they really can do is offer to move you, and generally they will provide transportation and collect all of your bags when it is a guest inconvenience that forces the move. I'm sorry it wasn't a super experience, but I hope it doesn't color your view of CSR forever! It's a great resort when there's not a disruptive convention (which there rarely is)!

queendisney 02-27-2012 11:40 AM

CSR is the only moderate we haven't stayed at because whenever we go to visit it we have always been met with a convention going on. Sometimes its not been too busy but other times its been a nightmare and its totally put us off. Even when it didn't have a lot of impact I just feel like its less of a Disney experience with business people wandering about. Its a shame because it does look like a nice resort and I do know people that have stayed and really enjoyed it, but its just not for us..:)

Lisann 02-27-2012 11:41 AM

Here's my two cents on all of this.

I don't blame WDW for not 'informing' every guest that comes down the pike of each and every convention that will be going on. They have no obligation whatsoever to do this; in fact, it's really not any of our business.


It sounds like this "convention" or trade show or dog-and-pony show was INCONVENIENCING every guest on the premises, as evidenced by the poster's description. THAT is what I find entirely unacceptable from WDW.

When you start ruining the OTHER guests' vacations/stays, then it's time to say "enough".

sunsetbeachgal 02-27-2012 11:50 AM

I agree with those who said that of course when staying at CSR you should expect conventions and conventioneers, but when the activities and such take over the common areas and disrupt the vacations of others who have paid a pretty penny to stay there too, you have a right to complain. We are staying at CSR March 8-11, and I hope the remnants are gone by then!

dsw 02-27-2012 12:02 PM

Lisann - I don't expect Disney to let guests know about each and every convention either. Like you said though, this is one 'convention' that should have been noted when booking. They don't have to go into specifics about whose convention it is, just let you know that there will be major set-ups and equipment strewn about the property and closures of guest areas. It honestly made us feel like we were more in the way of what was going on than being welcomed there.

Maybe I'll be able to get up to 10 posts so I can post some of the pictures we took! I'm up to 8..haha!

aripantaloon 02-27-2012 12:10 PM

Yikes! We must have narrowly missed this lovely convention when we went the first week of March 2010.

That sounds like it was much more than just a normal convention. They should not be inconveniencing other paying guests and once that happens, it's up to Disney to make it right for their guests. A pool closure because of an unexpected maintenance issue is one thing, but closing it for the benefit of a convention is not good.

I think I would have asked to be transfered to another resort.

Zachsmom4 02-27-2012 12:54 PM

We check into CSR on March 4. I certainly hope most everything is cleaned up by then....I'm nervous now.

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