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Old 12-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #61
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Luckily, this is how most of these threads finally end.

A newbie dips their toe in the pixie dust post.

We veterans do not sugar coat it.

A few people get on and say they were definitely in receipt of pixie dust, but did not remember asking for it and agree it was beyond their control.

OP comes back and thinks "hotels" usually have last minute discounts and upgrades.

Veterans remind them these are resorts, not hotels.

OP does not come back and thread eventually dies out, but is quickly replaced by another one.

Resorts do upgrades when it is to their bottomline business advantage. I can say on my land/sea package in 2004, my mom and were upgraded from my annual cabin (5685) because the ship was not fully booked. We were upgraded from a interior cabin to a waterview cabin on deck 7 to give the staff a break. Ever since then, the last five cruises we went - we booked the same category.

Now, that is good business practice for a resort business.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:57 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by mmtwinmama View Post
OP - I think you should, just ask. The worse thing that can happen is that the CM says no. I see no harm in asking.
All hotels have procedures for handling complimentary upgrades. At Disney resorts, upgrades happen a couple of ways. Most are assigned before the guest arrives, for the hotel's own operational reasons. Sometimes, front desk cast members have the ability to give out a few upgrades, at their discretion. The CMs like to surprise guests with these upgrades; I'm sure you can see how much fun that would be. It's a Disney thing, "pixie dust".

The reason we advise people NOT to ask for a complimentary upgrade is that we've been told by multiple current and former cast members that even if they have an upgrade to give out, they're not going to give it to a guest who walks up and asks (or broadly hints) for a free upgrade. So asking can actually work against you.

We've also been told that all complimentary upgrades have to be documented, with reasons, etc. CMs don't have the power to hand out big-ticket upgrades/goodies just because the guest asks for it, and guests asking for things like that put the CM in an uncomfortable position. It turns a pleasant interaction into one where the CM has to disappoint the guest.

ETA: I know there are places where upgrades are given out more freely, or where it's more or less expected that the front desk staff will get tips for upgrades (like Vegas). But that's not the way it works at Disney resorts.

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:22 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne M

All hotels have procedures for handling complimentary upgrades. At Disney resorts, upgrades happen a couple of ways. Most are assigned before the guest arrives, for the hotel's own operational reasons. Sometimes, front desk cast members have the ability to give out a few upgrades, at their discretion. The CMs like to surprise guests with these upgrades; I'm sure you can see how much fun that would be. It's a Disney thing, "pixie dust".

The reason we advise people NOT to ask for a complimentary upgrade is that we've been told by multiple current and former cast members that even if they have an upgrade to give out, they're not going to give it to a guest who walks up and asks (or broadly hints) for a free upgrade. So asking can actually work against you.

We've also been told that all complimentary upgrades have to be documented, with reasons, etc. CMs don't have the power to hand out big-ticket upgrades/goodies just because the guest asks for it, and guests asking for things like that put the CM in an uncomfortable position. It turns a pleasant interaction into one where the CM has to disappoint the guest.

ETA: I know there are places where upgrades are given out more freely, or where it's more or less expected that the front desk staff will get tips for upgrades (like Vegas). But that's not the way it works at Disney resorts.
Totally agree. And about Vegas, the upgrades vary greatly. They aren't giving the best rooms away there. Some of the so called upgrades the hotels offer aren't that great.... Occasionally the so called upgrade can be on a very undesirable floor or area that someone in the know would politely decline. A clueless guest will think they got an upgrade, and instead they were actually downgraded.
When folks compare and contrast WDW and Vegas, this rarely is mentioned, but it happens.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:09 AM   #64
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Totally agree. And about Vegas, the upgrades vary greatly. They aren't giving the best rooms away there. Some of the so called upgrades the hotels offer aren't that great.... Occasionally the so called upgrade can be on a very undesirable floor or area that someone in the know would politely decline. A clueless guest will think they got an upgrade, and instead they were actually downgraded.
When folks compare and contrast WDW and Vegas, this rarely is mentioned, but it happens.
This even happens at Disney! I booked a standard room at Pop and asked for 50s or 60s building facing the lake. When I got there, they were having serious computer issues and I literally had to wait about 20 minutes for them to reboot, find me a room, etc. She upgraded me for my trouble to a preferred room--wish I had just kept my original request! I was flattered that she would go to the trouble but it put us right in front of the VERY LOUD pool! Movies late at night, kids screaming until 11 pm. Sounded good ("We'll give you an upgrade!") but for me, at least, that was no upgrade! Now I know...
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:43 AM   #65
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The OP has every right to ask the question they did and folks on these boards who love to jump all over people just make me laugh.

I am going to say what I expect a number of people are thinking but would NEVER admit to - so I expect to be flamed and I welcome it.

We all know random upgrades happen all the time - from folks checking into Value resorts being moved to DVC, families being moved into suites, upgrades to better views, club level. They are most likely due to operational issues at the resort and have nothing to do with the people checking in. It is the luck of the draw.

That being said it is annoying when we hear about it and it does not happen to us. I have been to WDW over 30 times and have been upgraded to club once. Once. That is it. I just was in the world for my 25th anniversary - booked the best view in the beach club and hoped for an upgrade. We got buttons. And I am sure someone who was on their first and only trip got an upgrade to club level. FLAME AWAY AT MY NERVE FOR EXPECTING AN UPGRADE. I have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure and Disney is the only brand that does not have a loyalty program.

Frankly I am tired of not having my loyalty recognized by Disney. I have cut my stays from 4 a year, to 2, to 1 and next year to 0. Now that we are retired we are using our vacation budget to travel to stay in hotels and resorts that appreciate our return business. I like being upgraded when I check in -it feels good and it is nice to have my business appreciated.

I understand it is their business model but I have choices in how I spend my discretionary dollars and I no longer choose to spend as frequently as I do at Disney.

Being very busy I will not have time to check back to this post to see all the flames but have fun.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:57 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by TeresaWen View Post
The OP has every right to ask the question they did and folks on these boards who love to jump all over people just make me laugh.

I am going to say what I expect a number of people are thinking but would NEVER admit to - so I expect to be flamed and I welcome it.

We all know random upgrades happen all the time - from folks checking into Value resorts being moved to DVC, families being moved into suites, upgrades to better views, club level. They are most likely due to operational issues at the resort and have nothing to do with the people checking in. It is the luck of the draw.

That being said it is annoying when we hear about it and it does not happen to us. I have been to WDW over 30 times and have been upgraded to club once. Once. That is it. I just was in the world for my 25th anniversary - booked the best view in the beach club and hoped for an upgrade. We got buttons. And I am sure someone who was on their first and only trip got an upgrade to club level. FLAME AWAY AT MY NERVE FOR EXPECTING AN UPGRADE. I have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure and Disney is the only brand that does not have a loyalty program.

Frankly I am tired of not having my loyalty recognized by Disney. I have cut my stays from 4 a year, to 2, to 1 and next year to 0. Now that we are retired we are using our vacation budget to travel to stay in hotels and resorts that appreciate our return business. I like being upgraded when I check in -it feels good and it is nice to have my business appreciated.

I understand it is their business model but I have choices in how I spend my discretionary dollars and I no longer choose to spend as frequently as I do at Disney.

Being very busy I will not have time to check back to this post to see all the flames but have fun.
No flames here. But I think that it is the difference in expectations from one person to the next that affects the "experience" from one person to the next. If you go in, expecting to get more than you paid for, and don't get it, you will look upon that as a negative experience.

I honestly don't go in expecting anything more than what I've booked, and no...I've never been upgraded, and that's ok. If it happened, I'd probably cry with joy...but I don't need to be upgraded, just given what I've paid for and treated kindly.

Clearly, your "experience" of not being upgraded has been tempered by your expectations, and you have thus decided that you no longer want to give your dollars to Disney...and that's a-ok. It's just a difference in opinions on what "good customer service" is, and clearly nobody is forced to go to Disney, and like you can take their dollars elsewhere.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:03 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by TeresaWen View Post
The OP has every right to ask the question they did and folks on these boards who love to jump all over people just make me laugh.

I am going to say what I expect a number of people are thinking but would NEVER admit to - so I expect to be flamed and I welcome it.

We all know random upgrades happen all the time - from folks checking into Value resorts being moved to DVC, families being moved into suites, upgrades to better views, club level. They are most likely due to operational issues at the resort and have nothing to do with the people checking in. It is the luck of the draw.

That being said it is annoying when we hear about it and it does not happen to us. I have been to WDW over 30 times and have been upgraded to club once. Once. That is it. I just was in the world for my 25th anniversary - booked the best view in the beach club and hoped for an upgrade. We got buttons. And I am sure someone who was on their first and only trip got an upgrade to club level. FLAME AWAY AT MY NERVE FOR EXPECTING AN UPGRADE. I have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure and Disney is the only brand that does not have a loyalty program.

Frankly I am tired of not having my loyalty recognized by Disney. I have cut my stays from 4 a year, to 2, to 1 and next year to 0. Now that we are retired we are using our vacation budget to travel to stay in hotels and resorts that appreciate our return business. I like being upgraded when I check in -it feels good and it is nice to have my business appreciated.

I understand it is their business model but I have choices in how I spend my discretionary dollars and I no longer choose to spend as frequently as I do at Disney.

Being very busy I will not have time to check back to this post to see all the flames but have fun.
The OP did have a right to ask the question. You have a right to post your comment without being "flamed." My family takes our children to WDW because they love it and it brings us joy to make them happy. It has nothing to do with what WDW gives us. If they offered us something, we are normal and would be thankful and appreciative. But, we are pretty simple in that we just want our children to have a family vacation at a place that they cherish. I would rather pay for WDW to make my kids happy than take them somewhere they don't want to go to prove a point. Life is too short.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:43 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeresaWen View Post
The OP has every right to ask the question they did and folks on these boards who love to jump all over people just make me laugh.

I am going to say what I expect a number of people are thinking but would NEVER admit to - so I expect to be flamed and I welcome it.

We all know random upgrades happen all the time - from folks checking into Value resorts being moved to DVC, families being moved into suites, upgrades to better views, club level. They are most likely due to operational issues at the resort and have nothing to do with the people checking in. It is the luck of the draw.

That being said it is annoying when we hear about it and it does not happen to us. I have been to WDW over 30 times and have been upgraded to club once. Once. That is it. I just was in the world for my 25th anniversary - booked the best view in the beach club and hoped for an upgrade. We got buttons. And I am sure someone who was on their first and only trip got an upgrade to club level. FLAME AWAY AT MY NERVE FOR EXPECTING AN UPGRADE. I have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure and Disney is the only brand that does not have a loyalty program.

Frankly I am tired of not having my loyalty recognized by Disney. I have cut my stays from 4 a year, to 2, to 1 and next year to 0. Now that we are retired we are using our vacation budget to travel to stay in hotels and resorts that appreciate our return business. I like being upgraded when I check in -it feels good and it is nice to have my business appreciated.

I understand it is their business model but I have choices in how I spend my discretionary dollars and I no longer choose to spend as frequently as I do at Disney.

Being very busy I will not have time to check back to this post to see all the flames but have fun.
I can only speak personally, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest when other people get upgraded. I pay for what I want, and that's exactly what I expect to get. I know that Disney upgrades for their own personal needs typically... and the 10 people who post a week saying they got an upgrade are a tiny minority in the 30,000 that stayed on property during the same time frame.

Totally agree with a PP - sounds like you brought on your own disappointment with your expectations.

The beauty of Disney is we can all choose whether or not we spend our money there, and it sounds like you've chosen to take yours elsewhere which is absolutely fine. I sincerely hope your expectations are met on your future travels. It's going to sound much harsher than it's meant... but Disney doesn't need to 'reward' your loyalty. For every family that decides to go somewhere else (such as yourself) there is another family coming in for the first time with lower expectations that can be met more easily.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:49 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by TeresaWen View Post
That being said it is annoying when we hear about it and it does not happen to us. I have been to WDW over 30 times and have been upgraded to club once. Once. That is it. I just was in the world for my 25th anniversary - booked the best view in the beach club and hoped for an upgrade. We got buttons. And I am sure someone who was on their first and only trip got an upgrade to club level. FLAME AWAY AT MY NERVE FOR EXPECTING AN UPGRADE. I have traveled extensively for both business and pleasure and Disney is the only brand that does not have a loyalty program.
No flames from me. Just a little objective analysis. Like you TeresaWan, I travel a lot for business. I'm a platinum (mid-tier) elite on American Airlines having flown their airline for 66k miles this year.

Ever seen those long lines of passengers at MCO waiting to give AA $25 a bag to check their bags? I don't wait in that line and I don't pay the bag fee. I walk up the first class check in line and check my bags there. Why? well, I'm usually sitting in first class having been upgraded out of the coach seat I bought. Even If I have not been upgraded (which I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened this year) I'm still encouraged to use the first class line because I'm a plat.

See the long line of people waiting to be man-handled, groped, irradiated, and/or mauled by the TSA? I'm not there. At LAX (my home airport) I'm whisked off to the TSA screening area reserved for 'premium' passengers. (To be fair, MCO just has one big TSA mosh pit screening area) Why? AA thinks I'm a premium passenger. I'm also screened differently. As a member of the TSA PreCheck program, I can usually keep my shoes and jacket on and laptop in my bag. I walk through a magnetometer and not the body scanner. How do you become a member of the TSA PreCheck program? Become platinum elite.

On the plane, I am greeted by name (which is a bit creepy, especially in coach) by the flight attendants and if on American Eagle, American's Regional/dinky jet airline, I am offered a beverage of my choice and snack gratis. Why? I'm platinum. My bags are one of the first bags at the baggage claim, having been tagged with an orange "priority bag" tag. Why? I'm a plat.

Why does American Airlines reward its frequent passengers with a vastly superior experience and Disney doesn't? Disney doesn't need to. American has a half a dozen competitors for the same service: Air transportation from where I am to where I want to go. There is nothing quite like Disney.

WDW is unique and different. It does not need to reward frequent guests. Would you would like to become a target of the Disney marketing machine? Book a club level room at a Deluxe resort. My last stay at WDW was in a Club Level room at the Beach Club. I had a bounce back offer in my e-mail inbox a week before I arrived. I got a thank you card from Mickey and the Beach Club two weeks ago with big red letters that said, "See ya real soon!". Disney understands that there are people willing to pay $500+ a night to sleep in a hotel room, and $125 a plate for a meal. Disney works hard to identify the people who are willing to spend more money on a vacation experience and attract them to WDW versus upgrading folks who can't or won't spend that kind of money on a vacation. Since I have demonstrated my willingness to spend $500+ a night on a room, Disney has me in their crosshairs.

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:12 PM   #70
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...I'm usually sitting in first class having been upgraded out of the coach seat I bought...
Airlines sell a commodity. They fly the same aircraft to the same destinations, at the same speed, under tight regulations that make the service nearly identical. They throw a few perks to the sheeple at no incremental cost by filling otherwise empty seats.

"Real MBA's" don't arrive at the airport an hour early, no security, no lines, no check-in, no connections, and no frequent flier points... I took the Corporate jet during my "sentence in Corporate America". I don't miss any of it! I now fly my little Beechcraft Bonanza on most trips.

Disney has heavy competition for vacation time/dollars from ski areas, cruise ships, beach hotels, etc. But WDW provides a unique vacation experience that may people value. Bouncebacks, PINs, and other offers do try to fill the resort at slow times, which makes a lot of sense. Of course they like big spenders too!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:10 PM   #71
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Is it worth it to ask for a perferred room at that time even if you didn't pay for it. Are there any perks one could ask for or hint at, or is it not worth it?

Again, I am not here to cause any trouble or start any fights between myself and anyone here or having others fight with each other.

If you look at my question above, I was not demanding or expecting a free upgrade or any other perk, I was simply asking if it ever happens and if it was worth asking.

Let me break it down:
Is it worth it to ask for a perferred room at that time even if you didn't pay for it.
I didn't realize I was expecting a perferred room or demanding one from the above question. Obviously some people took it the wrong way for some reason. Yet it appears to in fact happen, for whatever reason, it does, did and will continue to happen based on what some people have said in this thread, be it due to another resort needing people or the one you are at overbooked, etc. But I myself will not be asking for one, that is for sure.

And here is the second question I asked:
Are there any perks one could ask for or hint at, or is it not worth it?
Again, I know for a fact the above question does not demand or expect anything. All I asked was there anything I should be mentioning at check-in that may be considered a perk, or, is it not worth even asking and many here feel that I shouldn't bother, and that is fine.

Again, sorry if this question caused some issues, but I meant no harm as I am just trying to see what Disney is all about as we have not been there in years and have millions of question, some of which may seem stupid to some, but regardless, it obviously isn't a stupid question for my family and I.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:18 PM   #72
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Oh people..quit being so grumpy..it never hurts to ask..but be prepared to not get it..However, it is the most magical place on earth..so you never know
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:44 PM   #73
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Oh people..quit being so grumpy..it never hurts to ask..but be prepared to not get it..However, it is the most magical place on earth..so you never know
Ditto that! No one is forcing anyone to ask or not ask. People that ask shouldn't be flamed for it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #74
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So neither a CM at the airport or at your front desk can offer you something for free, such as a preferred room, fast pass option, upgrade or park tickets, NOTHING? I just figured it was good customer service....
OP, I think this was the post that got people worked up.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #75
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OP, I think this was the post that got people worked up.
BINGO!!

But, you know what, OP- just because I (or a number of others) would never do it, you should go ahead and ask. Why not? You only live once. Good luck.
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