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Old 10-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
Lintasare
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Bad experience at Kona

Just let me say that the experience was not with the food but with the podium staff. I just got back from a week long trip to the World and had two reservations at Kona. One last Thursday for dinner, that was excellent. Had the duck breast and oh man it was good.

Sunday morning however we had a 9:15 for breakfast. We left in plenty of time for our reservation however due to some issues with the monorail checked in around 9:20. They didn't seem that busy, in fact I saw several empty tables. The gal at the podium said it would be 10-15 min. Ok fine with me.

So we hung back and waited and waited and waited. A couple times I tried to go talk with the greeter only to have her walk away without saying a word to me. Finally at 10 I asked if we had been forgotten. I got a stammered response and someone went to ask the table assigner about us. Was told it would be another 15 minutes.

UH WHAT?

I don't flippin think so. Yes I know we checked in late but that does not mean you can have us waiting around for an hour for a table with no explanation. We had a 1:15 at The Plaza and eating breakfast that late would guarantee we would not be hungry for lunch. I dropped the pager on the counter, told her that the wait with no explanation was absolutely ridiculous and walked with my sister back to the monorail so we could eat at the Main Street Bakery.

I know I should have asked for a manager but at the time I was so ticked off I wasn't sure if I could keep from blowing up and making a scene. I don't think I have ever encountered something like this at Disney before. It was very disappointing. I will probably send and email to Guest Services to let them know so that they can inform the restaurant manager.

I was really looking forward to Tonga Toast too.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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We had the same thing happen to us! We went there for breakfast on 9/25. We were there right at our 9:35 ADR time, and were handed a pager. It didn't look all that busy either, I thought. But after about 15-20 minutes I became concerned we somehow missed our pager going off, so DH went and checked and were told we were next on the list. Someone else was in front of him asking the same thing, so it wasn't just us. About 10 minutes later the pager finally went off. I don't know what the problem was, but it sounds like it must happen often! I don't think we will go there again. I can understand waiting 5-10 minutes maybe, but with an ADR 30 minutes is unacceptable! And after all that, our waiter wasn't that great either. Very dry personality and looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but there. I was excited to try the Tonga Toast as well, and even that was just so-so for me. I generally don't like to complain, but this was definitely the worst service/restaurant we've experienced by far. I probably should have said something to the manager, but we just wanted to get out and on with our day.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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to OP,it happens sometimes....it's happened to us at Disney too! You should have walked downstairs at the Poly,and gotten the tonga toast from Capt. Cooks. it's a cs place.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:09 AM   #4
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Wow, interesting to hear this about Kona as I have only ever heard good things. And I was begging DH for us to try it on our last trip! He wasn't interested though. Sounds like it was just as well. Sorry you had bad customer service experiences. That can leave a sour taste in your mouth as you get on with your day.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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We had a dinner reservation last year at Kona and were forgotten about just as the OP was -- 40 minutes after the ressie and a plethora of families who had come after us having been seated, we gave up and I complained to the manager. I rarely, if ever, complain but this was our last night. The manager took care of us with room service and I did appreciate him trying to make things right (and told him so). It's just not the same when your plans go that far astray. Also, that dinner was trying to give Kona another chance after experiencing a similar gaffe the previous year, also with a dinner reservation. We had only one as-planned experience out of three times at Kona with a breakfast reservation. Although, we did enjoy the breakfast.

Anyway, last year's debacle has made the hubs swear off Kona altogether. They seem to either over-book or don't have competent people working the desk -- because the wait staff were nice.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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I've always felt like the CM's at the podium at Kona are spacey. Like no one knows what's going on or who is in charge.

Most importantly, for future reference, TONGA TOAST is also sold downstairs at Captain Cooks! And its cheaper!
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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PODIUM SEATING ISSUES:

1) Let's look at podium seating issues.
2) Sometimes, even with many empty tables, you wait to be seated.
3) It is usually a matter of server quantity.
4) Servers come in at staggered times.
5) You cannot seat everyone at one time
. . . many times the kitchen can't handle all tables at one time
. . . even at buffets, everyone can't stand in a line that stretches forever
. . . for servers, they can only handle so many tables at once
. . . if assigned 4-5 tables, everyone can't be served at once
. . . so, seating is done on a staggered schedule
. . . if not, all the tables would be scheduled at the same time
6) Another factor, is that there are not enough seaters for everyone.
. . . once the assigner puts the guest at a table, the seater escorts guests
. . . if there are 3-4 seater's, they can't escort 20-30 parties at once
7) So, although some people must wait, there are reasons.
8) Unless you are really nasty, they do not select people for waiting.
9) And, we have yet to even discuss frequent computer and printer problems.
. . . the computer determines the people with ADR's
. . . it also prioritizes them
. . . a hand-held computer is then issued by the assigner
. . . once assigned, the seater must print out the ticket for the server
. . . after printing, the seater then escorts the guest to the table

NOTE: Lately (October-2013) there have been lots of computer problems,
with guests waiting up to 3/4-hr after their ressie time. One would think
a multi-billion dollar company could keep computers working. In one case,
the problem was a faulty outlet that the printer and computer plugged
into.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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This makes me nervous because I have a breakfast and a dinner planned here for my trip in march. I guess if worst comes to worst, I can find somewhere else to eat since its not a CC guaranteed place!
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceMonica View Post
This makes me nervous because I have a breakfast and a dinner planned here for my trip in march. I guess if worst comes to worst, I can find somewhere else to eat since its not a CC guaranteed place!
We have breakfast at the Kona Cafe every time we are at WDW, and have never run into a problem such as the one the OP ran into. The most recent time was this past March. I've had dinner at the Kona twice, and not had that problem either.

To be honest, I would expect someone who used to work for WDW to know and understand that sometimes they run behind. And not be so quick to get so upset.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
Lintasare
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Ok fess up...who killed the riddle?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiesmom View Post
We have breakfast at the Kona Cafe every time we are at WDW, and have never run into a problem such as the one the OP ran into. The most recent time was this past March. I've had dinner at the Kona twice, and not had that problem either.

To be honest, I would expect someone who used to work for WDW to know and understand that sometimes they run behind. And not be so quick to get so upset.
Well when I worked for Disney we would never let a party wait an hour past their time with no explanation. And I certainly would have never walked away from the podium when there was a guest there. As much as I like Kona an hour wait is ridiculous. No Tonga Toast is worth that.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
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I had a breakfast ADR last Thu. Checked in at 8:15 for an 8:30am. Was seated in minutes and finished and paid by 8:35.

Dinner last night was pretty quick as well. Was late due to falling asleep and bus issues. Checked in at 5:50 for a 5:35. Again, right in and finished my DxDDP meal by 6:30.

So, it's not a constant thing. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it's also certainly not always the case.

And now, it's time to check in at Yachtsman
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #12
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Yikes, I have a breakfast ressie next Friday, and am looking forward to it. Now I am scared.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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Back in June

my wife and I had ADR's at 5:00 for dinner. We arrived at 4:30 and the front manager was at the podium and checked us in. We got a pager and backed up to let another couple behind us check in. We went to the seating area by the couryard windows and enjoyed natues light show (one heck of a storm). We headed back to the restaurant at 4:55 and ran into the other couple that had checked in behind us. We waited patiently for the restaurant to open adn at 5:00 servers arrived at the podium. They began calling up parties and seating them. Walk ups were being taken, all larger parties that my wife and I or the other couple that we were waiting with. After 30 minutes I went up to the podium to see what was the delay. We got the "your next on the list".

Ten minutes later and several walk up parties being taken ahead of us we walked up an I tossed the pager on the podium telling the waitress that we weren't going to be ignored any longer so that they could seat the larger parties in their sections. The other couple we had been waiting with did the same thing.

We did contact guest reations to let them know what happened and they apologized but nothing more.

We will not go back to Kona!
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #14
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Wow, I hve eaten at Kona many times for dinner nd once for breakfast and my family has never encountered these problems!!!! Granted, that was a couple years ago...perhaps the podium staff they had back then has moved on...
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #15
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Well, this thread just proves (again, unfortunately) that the only thing consistent about Disney dining is inconsistency. I've eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Kona numerous times and never had any issues. As a matter of fact, just celebrated my birthday dinner there on Wednesday night. Was NOT thrilled with the new menu when we saw it, but the mahi with the black rice was awesome and DH loved the new coffee-rubbed pork chop (it was goood!).

I just can't imagine having to wait close to an hour past an ADR time, especially with no explanation ANYWHERE. I'd definitely be asking to speak to a manager.
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