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Old 10-09-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
runmommyrun
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BLT -- Smooth check-in and TOTWL update

We just returned from a long weekend at BLT, our home resort. This is the first trip where my parents and MIL also went with me, my husband and two kids. We had a dedicated two bedroom. Everything went well at BLT check-in and the grandparents even bought park tickets there. Bell services seems overwhelmed, but beyond that, all was fine with the new check-in.

The room was clean and ready to go about 3pm. Overall, at first glance, the room looked good and everyone was impressed. The one negative, however, was that my dad noted later in the trip that he couldn't believe the room was showing some signs of wear and tear when it is only a couple of years old. The carpet was wearing in spots, dings on the furniture, and something was off the wall in their bathroom. So that wasn't fabulous. Yet, overall the room was clean and everyone was impressed, especially when they thought about the beating these rooms take.

This was our first trip to TOTWL since other DVC guests were permitted. We always went for a few drinks and fireworks prior to this. We went to the lounge about 7:30. There were about 10 people there. The place started filling up about 8:30, an hour before the fireworks. There were only two bartenders/waiters for the entire place. It got quite busy and we could see the frustration on some faces as it was taking a long time to get a drink, just like before. Yet, until about 8:30-9:00, I'm not sure you could justify adding more staff. So, the jury is out (at least for me) as to how well this works for the bottom line of TOTWL. There were more people for fireworks, but I can't definitively say more money was being made when the staff were unable to keep up with the demand for that hour. Also, the place cleared out quickly, so the crowd didn't seem to want to stay. So, I'm not sure there is a huge change from the way the lounge operated before. A handful of people there before the fireworks, a busy hour or so around fireworks time, and then the place clears out. I guess time will tell!

Overall... a fabulous trip! Now back to work and reality!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:26 PM   #2
dvcblt93
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I dont think its worth their money to bring in extra help for a one hour window where it is busy. It's kind of like showing up on Main Street 5 minutes before the parade and expecting to get a great seat. You gotta show up early if you want the best spot/service.....
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:30 PM   #3
VrBchJ
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We went up to TOWL on Mon. about 8. Our plan was to get a couple of drinks with a flatbread, cheese plate and dessert. The place was packed and there was no place to sit. We waited a while and two places opened up when people left their stools at bar. There were two bartenders and one server. We sat for at least 30 min. and no one took our order. The bartender told us the server would take our orders but she was totally swamped. We were sitting at the right end of the bar. On the left side people were lined up trying to give their orders to the bartender working on that end. There were always at least 7 or 8 people in line. We eventually gave up and left. We were lucky and had a lakeview room with a great view of Wishes so we drank our own wine and watched from the balcony.

I hope this means they are making money but as much as I have loved the place on previous visits I don't think I'll go back. I would never go to the trouble of coming from another resort that's for sure.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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I seems that opening the place up to all DVC has increased attendance for the fireworks but Disney hasn't/can't/won't increase the service staff.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

Bill
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
OrangeCountyCommuter
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Sitting in the lounge now. I see a couple of empty tables. Service had been so so but my drink came quickly enough. Not outstanding but not bad. My cheese plate came in about 5 minutes

That said I amazed that parents think it is a playground. Give me those Epcot drunks any day over kids climbing on the furniture (or being thrown over the back of the couch by dad

And they have GOT to fix the doors. The damper is broken on one BANG BANG BANG

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Old 10-11-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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I know this won't be popular thought...change the attendance to no kids...it is a lounge, you rarely see kids in the other resort lounges.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the update runmommyrun. Nice to hear you had a good time.

We will be there in 10 days...I was initially excited at being able to enjoy TOTWL (we are staying on points) but now have my concerns. I can appreciate the comments on the "kids free zone" (and I have 2 of them!). We do not frequent bars (lounges or taverns or whatever you want to call them ) and I will have my 12 yr old with me. I guess we would rather stay out of the way of those who want to enjoy the offerings available in the lounge - but I really would like to watch the fireworks from there at least one time (we watched from the viewing area beneath the monorail at Contemporary last trip which was nice, but I was already planning this trip and thinking of the view from above)

So I am torn: is it wrong to watch the fireworks and leave without buying food or drink (which would not generate sales that might justify adding more staff...)? Should we go early enough to have something and then head out to watch from the viewing area and give up a space to those who came to try out the lounge?

wwyd?
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKWallaby View Post
Thanks for the update runmommyrun. Nice to hear you had a good time.

We will be there in 10 days...I was initially excited at being able to enjoy TOTWL (we are staying on points) but now have my concerns. I can appreciate the comments on the "kids free zone" (and I have 2 of them!). We do not frequent bars (lounges or taverns or whatever you want to call them ) and I will have my 12 yr old with me. I guess we would rather stay out of the way of those who want to enjoy the offerings available in the lounge - but I really would like to watch the fireworks from there at least one time (we watched from the viewing area beneath the monorail at Contemporary last trip which was nice, but I was already planning this trip and thinking of the view from above)

So I am torn: is it wrong to watch the fireworks and leave without buying food or drink (which would not generate sales that might justify adding more staff...)? Should we go early enough to have something and then head out to watch from the viewing area and give up a space to those who came to try out the lounge?

wwyd?
IMO Disney already knows what they intend to do with the lounge. I doubt if you buying a drink will make much of a difference.

Bill
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:55 AM   #9
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I would have to say if you want to go up and watch from outside without buying anything I think that is fine- plenty of people do it. If you want to sit in the lounge without buying anything that is a different story. Again- I have seen plenty of children who are just fine in the lounge and they do have food offerings for children (unlike any of the other lounges I have been to on property)- it is really dependent on the child's behavior and how the parent handles it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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It's true that it would be tough to have someone come in for an hour or so. Unless there is someone available from a restaurant such as Chef Mickey's which is winding down by that time.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #11
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Just for the record, kids are welcome in all the other deluxe resort lounges, and I see them there all the time. Have you ever been at the Tambu lounge in the Poly in the evening? TONS of kids, Kids in the lounge in the wave, at the Territory club, at the bar at SSR. Lounges at WDW are known to be pretty kid friendly, TOWL is no different.

If you want a bar without kids, I'd suggest Jellyrolls, that is 21 and up.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:22 PM   #12
Pirate Granny
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I guess I just haven't seen them in other lounges...perhaps they are sitting with their parents and not running around wild..no problem with children that are under control.
I'll be there on the 23rd...I 'll send my report...plan to go to TOTW for the fireworks, then walk over for EMH at MK...staying that night at BLT...can't wait !!!
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