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Old 07-26-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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My first horrible disney resort experience...BWI

When I was planning this visit, I read the other BWI threads and recall that someone reported that they checked in and checked right back out. I did that today....

Let me start by saying that I have never, ever checked into and out of a resort. I can overlook things that others complain about. I travel a LOT!

I knew the resort was under construction, but was planning to spend the better part of 3 days in a conference - and then just enjoy Disney in vacation mode.

Spent the last week at the Doral in Miami at another conference, then drove up to Disney today. Had read about the refurbishment and knew that many of the newly refurbished rooms would open today - so I had that request added to my reservation. I wasn't too hopeful, but figured that since this is Disney, even the old rooms can't be THAT bad. I was wrong.

Upon checking in, I was told that no refurbished rooms were available. I was assigned a room and off I went....down a dark hallway with a carpet that was, in some areas, dirty with powdered plaster that seemed to come from whatever was being done to the hallways....and everything seemed really dim.... Then we walked into the room and this odd odor of what seemed like perspiration hit me....ok,so I decided to just open the doors - maybe the room hadn't been used in a long time.

My daughter sat on the bed and we heard a knock...thinking it was the bellman with the bags,we went to the door....nope, nobody at the door. Then we heard the knock again and realized that the bed was knocking...anything you moved on it, it creaked and knocked. She is about 80 pounds...so obviously the bed was broken.

We called downstairs to tell them about the bed and they said someone would come up. Nobody came. I decided to call central reservations to see if my conference hotel was available (Yacht club) - as BWI was the overflow resort. CRO referred me to the Operations office since the Group Reservations office was closed for the day (it was 4:30). The lady there asked me to hold so she could "check on something" and I heard a lot of button pushing and ringing - and she was saying that she couldn't work her phone (talking to me over-top of the beeps and rings)....then someone in Ops answered and told me that I needed to work with the BWI manager.

The BWI manager came on and I explained that I didn't care about view, etc...and am not being picky, but I wanted a nice room - he told me "all of the rooms are going to look the same", but agreed to call me back. He called back in a few mins and said someone would come to move me.

The moved us up 1 level to another room (to an area where the hallway was not dim), but the room only had 1 bed and I was with my daughter, who moves a lot in her sleep....so that was not desirable.

The lady who moved us apologized and called the manager,who assigned us to another room back on the dim floor. We went back down and into the room----and the stench hit me --- like one of those really nasty car deodorizers that is covering something really putrid. I turned to the resort employee and asked her if she smelled that (she couldn't miss it - my question was rhetorical)and she said it smelled like cleaning products...not really, but what could she say?

I told her that we'd take the other room , with the king bed...while we figured out what to do.

We went back up and she said she would go get us keys (since we did not have keys to this room). Once she left, I started making calls looking for alternate hotels. My daughter was begging for All Stars, and I was actually feeling like All Stars would have been better...but I needed to be near my conference for a few days. I called CRO and was told that everything was booked solid. I wanted to cry...and could tell my daughter did too. The King room we were in had a big tear in the chair and the carpet was wet by the bathroom...and there was a smell. It felt old and nasty - and worn - and shabby.

After calling around and having the "we're going to have the make the best of this" talk, we realized that nobody had come back with keys.

I decided to figure it out over dinner - so we walked downstairs and went to the front desk to get keys....and chatted with a resort employee at the desk who told us that everything was booked (including off-site resorts).

We got our keys swapped...and went on our way in search of food. As we walked out, I saw the Dolphin and decided to give it a try - being that it is so large, maybe they have rooms and we've heard great things. We walked over - and found that they had rooms (albeit, more expensive that my conference rate at BWI, but beggers can't be choosers)....checked in...great room.....great view...clean, daughter with a big smile on her face, me feeling like I can sleep here......went to eat, then back to BWI to collect our luggage and move.

On the way back to BWI, we glanced up and looked at the large, lit Boardwalk sign and noticed that ALL of the bulbs are out on the sign, except for 2 letters "AL"....seemingly so appropriate. The hotel, to me, felt like it should have been called "AL".

This was our first try at a Disney Deluxe and I am just so, so disappointed. I cannot imagine why on earth Disney would try to rent those rooms. They were beyond horrible. Torn furniture, broken beds, peeling wallpaper, wet carpets, putrid stench?

Why insult me by putting me in a room like that? I don't even know what to say....and don't know whether to be mad, sad or just exhausted.

This definitely feels like a different Disney experience.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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I am so very sorry your trip started out so horribly. It looks like the Dolphin saved the day though! Hope the rest of the trip continues to be good.

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Old 07-26-2008, 10:34 PM   #3
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Sorry about your negative experience You should DEFINATELY send a letter to WDW about this. I've heard that they are very good with follow up & also possible reimbursement for your troubles.

As an aside, thank you for posting about the S/D. I keep thinking about staying here (for the beds, the location, plus I'm a teacher), but the pure of a WDW owned resort keeps holding me back. Lately I've been reading such nice reviews about the S/D though, so maybe we'll try it for our next trip!
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:46 PM   #4
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So sorry for your initial troubles. I hope the rest of your trip is lovely. That being said I am so sorry to hear the the current status at BWI. My DH and I stayed there in 97 and it was BEAUTIFUL! We have since been unable to afford the cost. We are leaving for "the world" in 7 days staying at the WL for the convevience to MK with our little ones. I hope the refurbishment restores the BWI to the status it holds in my memories and photos.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:58 PM   #5
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I didn't make it through your whole post. But I believe you.

I had the WORST first hour in a hotel that I EVER had at the BWI. I am not one to complain about anything. Ever, really. But I did call Disney's Guest Services and asked how we'd go about cancelling out the BWI $ and getting it applied to another hotel, which I wanted to check into immediately.

Took me about 45 minutes to make that call.

They did a bunch of apologizing and promising to fix things (which they mostly did) and I ended up staying. I was sorry about it, though, and wish I'd just stuck to my guns on that. I didn't want to be unreasonable. So, I ended up unhappy.

I never got back the $ that I had paid for a water view I did not get...but I've been given several views I never paid for at Disney, so I guess it all works out in the end.

Still, you won't find me back at the Boardwalk any time soon, that's for sure. I think it is horrid.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:03 PM   #6
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wow maybe that's why they had some rooms available when everyone else was booked.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:26 PM   #7
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Sorry you did not end up enjoying the Boardwalk, however at least you got a room at the Dolphin and it sounds like your having a much better time over there.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:30 PM   #8
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Like the previous posters.. I can honestly say I have never complained about a hotel room in my life. I expect clean, bug free, putrid smell free rooms.. and beyond that I am pretty easy to please.
But I agree with you 100 percent.. that whole experience would leave me jaded too.. especially with the price being charged for it
I hope very much that your new room is great and you can move forward and have a wonderful vacation
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:49 PM   #9
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Wow, so sorry to hear about your stay. Smells drive me up a wall, I don't blame you. It's better to move than be unhappy.

I only requested a move once and that was at CSR last year when they put us in a run down, not too clean, HA room. The bathroom set up with the roll-in shower water getting all the way over to the toilet area, just didn't work out for us. I dreaded going back to that room and using the shower, so we called that first night after returning from the parks and they moved us the next morning. I felt so much better. I didn't want to have bad memories of CSR and am very happy I spoke up, rather than been miserable.

I hope things will change for the better now for you two. Got a good chuckle out of "AL."

BWI is actually one of the resorts we are waitlisted for in Oct. I am starting to get a bit worried.

Two questions:

1. What did you mean by a dim hallway? Was it poorly lit or was it thick with construction dust?
2. Anyone know how long the construction will go on?

Thanks for sharing your experience. Have fun!
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:43 AM   #10
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Now you really got me worried, we are going to the BWI next month, I think that I going to call tomorrow morning to see if I can switch to another resort.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:07 AM   #11
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Sorry for your bad experience at the BWI. My friend was there the same time you were there & she had nothing but good things to say about the BWI. Oh well sometimes you get a rotten apple in the bunch. But glad you were able to find another resort. Did the manager offer you any credits to your bill? Don't let this one bad experience ruin you for Disney. Every resorts has bad points & sometimes you get a lousy room or two. Last time we were at the BWI Club level the room was great.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:48 AM   #12
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So glad you were able to move . If the rooms were that nasty I would have moved too. We had a dirt room at Poly on check in and immediately asked to be switched. The second room was only slightly better and the view was worse . But at least my DD didn't have black feet from the rug . These rooms have been refurbished but are just dirty and dusty. But I stuck it out since the year before we had a great stay. I think housekeeping needs to really cleans these rooms between guests . My room at Pop was clean at least. When I spend $400 a night on a room it better be clean .

Last edited by kaysmommie; 07-27-2008 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:15 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all of the kind words. Hopefully, a morning at the parks will help us wash those troubles away.....and although mywallet will be a little lighter due to the fact that S/D is costing me more, I have the AAA Diamond card that gives us 20% off at many of the Swan/Dolphin restaurants -so we will just eat many of the meals here to try to recover some of the extra expense.

We plan to switch to Poly at the end of the week(this had always been the plan)...and I am sure that will be a better experience and resinstate our faith in Disney Resorts (fingers crossed).

Also, the lobby area and other common areas at BWI are beautiful....and I am willing to bet that certain wings and guest rooms are wonderful. One of the employees, upon learning of our departure, told me that he was surprised that we could not get into a new room since they'd opened 200 new rooms yesterday.

Like I said, I didn't really expect one of the NEW rooms, but I didn't expect the old rooms to be in the condition these were in - and I am surprised at Disney for placing guests in those rooms and, I guess, hoping you won't notice or just won't complain. Yesterday, I learned that I was not the only one trying to move out of BWI after checking in.

For those of you visiting the BWI in the near future, if you can get a new room, definitely keep your reservation.....if not, I wouldn't chance it.

PS - the valet and bellmen at BWI were wonderful - happy greetings upon arrival and apologies when we left. Nobody was rude or mean to us. It just seems that they were set up for failure with what Disney has given them to work with- AL.

Also, I guess one of the morals is that you may not be able ot depend on Disney to move you. We were only able to move because we went to S/D on our own to ask for a room, and then moved ourselves.

Last edited by bluwater; 07-27-2008 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:17 AM   #14
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Smile Unacceptable at BWI prices..Deluxe

Sorry to hear about your horrible experience!!

Unacceptable at Deluxe prices, that is for sure!!

Glad to hear that things worked out!

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:57 AM   #15
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Not acceptable at ANY price. Even at a Value, I expect CLEAN.
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