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Old 08-19-2013, 12:45 AM   #1
cobright
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Tipping the Front Desk Agent at Check In

I will apologize right up front for where this thread will eventually go. But this is a topic I haven't seen so much on Dis and I'm curious.

At check in pretty much anywhere I stay I pass the concierge/front-desk a $20 along with my credit card and let them know that if at all possible I would like a corner room and the same housekeeper for the duration of my stay. I won't go into the full extent of why on earth I make such a request, suffice it to say it is a mixture of practical concerns, convenience, and eccentricity.

In any case, my request is almost always declined on those occasions when there is not a gratuity offered. Politely, but... sorry nothing we can do... With that little extra to start the conversation it is rare that I am left wholly unsatisfied.

Disney Resorts are kind of a different breed though. We almost always stay at moderate resorts and the kid across the counter always has a very 'business NOT as usual' look on his face. And some of the less practical requests I have made have actually been turned down.

Anyway, does anyone else have any experience in this regard? Are Disney check-in agents more of a fast-food cashier than a front-desk manager?
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:02 AM   #2
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I can speak for myself and my family and say that is not usually the case for us at Disney World. Call it luck, call it pixie dust, good timing, etc... but the cast members at check in can actually grant some requests based on availability and probably permission from their manager. We aren't talking an upgrade to the Cinderella Castle Suite but we have been upgraded to better views, gotten our room majorly early, and have had our room location preference granted more often than not. I think this happens to us because its never an expectation when we walk up to check in. I find it helps to smile a lot, be patient, thank them a million times, and to expect nothing more than what you originally paid for. This way if you do get an upgrade or have a request granted, it's special. And yes, I've tried to tip them only AFTER we get our room assignment for great service, but they could not accept. So we kindly ask for their manager and compliment the cast member on his/her great service
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:44 AM   #3
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Disney isn't like Vegas, the front desk CMs can get in trouble for accepting tips.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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Don't even bother. Front desk CMs at Disney resorts are not permitted to accept gratuities.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the OP wasn't asking if you're allowed to tip CMs at the front desk. He was asking if you have the same experience he does when checking into Disney hotels because the CMs can't accept tips.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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In my experience, front desk CM's have done their best to accommodate any requests we make. In fact, our room requests have ALWAYS been honored and we travel to WDW A LOT! I have never tipped a CM.

I will add, I have never requested anything that could not be accommodated within the room category we paid for. I have asked for the specific (Poly, Fiji longhouse, 3rd floor facing Marina) to the general (Poly, quiet room, close to GCH, BC connecting rooms, etc.). I did ask at check-in on our last trip to Poly if a CL room had opened up and indicated that I would of course be happy to pay for the upgrade, but nothing was available.

If you want a corner room, I would call CRO and have it noted on your reservation. I do think the CM's will do their best to accommodate you. They are much more than fast food cashiers. In fact, we had one CM at check-in at BC who noticed my son was having a difficult day and she later sent milk and cookies to our room for him - it was incredibly sweet and I made sure WDW knew how much we appreciated her and the gesture she made.

It may not be possible to have the same housekeeper throughout your stay. You could certainly request it, but I wouldn't count on that one. You will have a better shot at room location requests.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marthasor View Post
In my experience, front desk CM's have done their best to accommodate any requests we make. In fact, our room requests have ALWAYS been honored and we travel to WDW A LOT! I have never tipped a CM.

I will add, I have never requested anything that could not be accommodated within the room category we paid for. I have asked for the specific (Poly, Fiji longhouse, 3rd floor facing Marina) to the general (Poly, quiet room, close to GCH, BC connecting rooms, etc.). I did ask at check-in on our last trip to Poly if a CL room had opened up and indicated that I would of course be happy to pay for the upgrade, but nothing was available.

If you want a corner room, I would call CRO and have it noted on your reservation. I do think the CM's will do their best to accommodate you. They are much more than fast food cashiers. In fact, we had one CM at check-in at BC who noticed my son was having a difficult day and she later sent milk and cookies to our room for him - it was incredibly sweet and I made sure WDW knew how much we appreciated her and the gesture she made.

It may not be possible to have the same housekeeper throughout your stay. You could certainly request it, but I wouldn't count on that one. You will have a better shot at room location requests.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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The ONLY "Disney" hotel I do this at is the swan or dolphin, as it isn't a Disney owned resort, but is on property.....It works for us everytime! Last trip we got an alcove room from a standard.

Disney owned resorts do NOT participate in this. So, basically if I'm looking for an upgrade, I'll just ask nicely. More often than not, I'm just happy to be at a Disney owned hotel & take what they give me - My last stay in WDW on property was at the AKL & they gave us a savannah room upgrade from standard, without even asking!
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #9
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As someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for a while, I don't know which hotels could possibly guarantee you would have the same housekeeper for the duration of your stay. You may have been had on some occasions. Frankly, you'd be better off tipping the executive housekeeper or supervisor on duty if you really want the same person the whole time. Housekeepers work round the clock, often rotating shifts, so that can be a difficult request to fill. Tipping front desk for a corner room would be appropriate if you feel it's necessary.

I can't speak for Disney but knowing how most resorts operate, I'd say the same things for there as well. Many CMs working in the resorts don't have other or prior hospitality experience which is why they may seem to be caught off guard but its still worth a try.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkereina View Post
As someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for a while, I don't know which hotels could possibly guarantee you would have the same housekeeper for the duration of your stay.
Nobody makes this promise to me. But often I have received assurances both on disney property and off that they would do their best. Usually I notice that when the front-desk says they will try, they actually do.

It helps that I tip housekeeping pretty well.

WDW has actually been the place to most reliably accommodate this request. I have a sleeping disorder and often take several hours to fully wake up in the morning. I will be aware of my surroundings, but have a reduced capacity to move or speak. It can appear as sleep paralysis or sleep walking, whatever... it can freak someone out if they are not ready for it. Usually while on vacation I just veg. out in my room for an extra hour or three and catch up with the family at the park.

As you might imagine this is a scenario rife with comedic opportunity. Maid knocks and then lets herself in to find me wide eyed and chilling on the easy chair yet unwilling to speak to her. Or 'asleep' in bed and flat out not waking up.

So I do my part and wear jammies (don't want to be 'that' guy) and I like to let the housekeeping know that if they find me still in my room to just mark the room clean, go grab a smoke, and move on; tip's taped to the mirror. It's just easier only making that speech once.

Additionally, I sometimes wake with night-terrors so I request a top floor corner room. I have some gear that soundproofs my sleeping area now so that is a less common or important request.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobright View Post
Nobody makes this promise to me. But often I have received assurances both on disney property and off that they would do their best. Usually I notice that when the front-desk says they will try, they actually do.

It helps that I tip housekeeping pretty well.

WDW has actually been the place to most reliably accommodate this request. I have a sleeping disorder and often take several hours to fully wake up in the morning. I will be aware of my surroundings, but have a reduced capacity to move or speak. It can appear as sleep paralysis or sleep walking, whatever... it can freak someone out if they are not ready for it. Usually while on vacation I just veg. out in my room for an extra hour or three and catch up with the family at the park.

As you might imagine this is a scenario rife with comedic opportunity. Maid knocks and then lets herself in to find me wide eyed and chilling on the easy chair yet unwilling to speak to her. Or 'asleep' in bed and flat out not waking up.

So I do my part and wear jammies (don't want to be 'that' guy) and I like to let the housekeeping know that if they find me still in my room to just mark the room clean, go grab a smoke, and move on; tip's taped to the mirror. It's just easier only making that speech once.

Additionally, I sometimes wake with night-terrors so I request a top floor corner room. I have some gear that soundproofs my sleeping area now so that is a less common or important request.
Perhaps you already do this, but I would have your sleeping disorder noted on your reservation so the CM's know why you are making these requests. Your requests don't sound so eccentric once you explain why you are making them! They are really for your comfort and the comfort of those around you! My DS5 has ASD and really needs a quiet room to chill out in and be able to sleep at night - we always request this now (it's more important to us than any location or view) and always tell them why. I think Disney is very sensitive to all types of special needs and they have always come through for us.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #12
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Hi. I remember you posted this topic a few months ago. I didn't get a chance to post before it was closed for rudeness but I wanted to mention a Fort Wilderness cabin and a Do Not Disturb sign. You won't be connected to neighbors there. I also think that you can just leave dirty towels out on the deck and they will leave a bag of fresh towels, soap, etc for you.

I don't think slipping Disney CMs extra cash is the way to get what you want. It just doesn't work that way.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:28 AM   #13
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In my humble opinion, this would be something like a bribe - not a tip.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharadoc
Hi. I remember you posted this topic a few months ago. I didn't get a chance to post before it was closed for rudeness but I wanted to mention a Fort Wilderness cabin and a Do Not Disturb sign.

I don't think slipping Disney CMs extra cash is the way to get what you want. It just doesn't work that way.
I actually got some very good insight from that thread and thought it was closed down too early. But the mods probably have a better insight over where it was headed than I. I'm not a fan of open 'floorplan' environment like a campground as far as noise carrying. That said, I have used a device on my last few trips to mitigate any early morning noise.

As for tipping the front desk, thats just something I always have done, like tipping the front of house as soon as I arrive at any restaurant with cloth napkins.

It's kind of a bribe if you choose to see it that way, that's a legitimate gripe. My view is that it lets your service staff know that you know how important they are and that you value them. It is generally the case that people more often go out of their way for someone who appreciates them.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:31 AM   #15
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I was a FD agent at the Y&BC and some people would try to tip us. Policy is you have to decline 3 times. After that you can accept it so as not to insult the guest. We did get (and were able to accept) gifts - people would bring us all kinds of things, especially during the holidays. We loved that since it showed they realized that while they were on vacation we were working on Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. Some people took it for granted

We are not like "fast food cashiers" but we are not managers either. There are many things a FD CM can request for you, but depending on time of year, even day of the week, it may be harder to fulfill those requests. Asking for the same housekeeper for your stay is not feasible since they do get days off

I used to do rooms control which means I could fulfill many more requests than the FD CM but I could not guarantee anything. If you need a specific room - let them know well before you check-in. Corner rooms are usually suites in deluxes so unless you book a suite you will not get it (not sure about moderates). There are many variables in RC - you do not mess with the block! So if you request a specific location when you check in it might not be available no matter how much you tip

You can request a late housekeeper - just call housekeeping and let them know what time you would like them to come and do your room. If it is a set time for the entire stay it is even better.
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