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Old 08-23-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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A so so June trip to Disney

Hey everyone, sorry this is a little late. Just thought I would let everyone know how our last trip was.

Cast of characters - Me, the planner for all trips (especially Disney), DH reluctant to go back to Disney year after year, wants to try someplace "different", and my 3 Boys ages 9, 8 and 8. MIL also came along.
Destination - POR with the buy 4 get 3 package. Was supposed to be a relaxing trip, NO PARKS!, per my DH but hey, I got a great deal on a package We have been going to Disney for the last 10 yrs almost every year but 1 I think. I love it, my kids love it, DH loves that his kids and DW love it. I'm sure he could live without it. My one son is a pure Worshiper of all things Disney, like his mother

We drove down this year cause I just couldn't part with the $1800 in airfare, so we decided to drive with my DH's request to do it in 2 days. OK I say, we drive from Pittsburgh to Jacksonville , and stay overnight in the so so Holiday in Express Jax Beach area. Room not so well clean, and the pull out sofa broken. But what they hey, we are 2.5 hours from Disney. Trip took like 16hrs just to get to Jacksonville, not sure why.

The next morning we get up early and head to POR. Now I must say, I booked the 4/3 deal way back in Dec. Originally booked YC, our favorite, but decided to down grade to save a few bucks!! Big mistake. Now remember we have a party of 5, MIL shows up later with her own accomodations. So I assume 5 people in a trundle room. Nope, not a big deal as far as rooms go but necessary so everyone can sleep. Check in was somewhat smooth, did not get any of my requests of a 2nd level corner room but hey, we are on vacation. We have stayed at POR many times even going back to Dixie Landings, has always been one of our favorites!! Not this time, very run down needed painted and mouskeeping terrible! Back to check in. Got all my stufff and my map to my room, ok. Get in the car and start driving to the room. Wait, we are not in the Bayou section, we are in the mansions! 5 people, 2 beds, not happening. Go back to check in, they were less than pleased about my asking why 5 people were placed in that section. Finally the young woman looks at me and says, I'll send a roll away at no charge. No charge, no kidding, I would't have had to pay for the trundle. So yes you can be placed in the mansions with 5 people. Room location at least was very good. Can't remember the exact blg, right across from the quiet pool and about a 10 sec walk to the main pool. Come to find out later that it was an "upgrade". Rooms definately need to be refurbished. Carpet was dirty and mold on the back of the bathroom door.

Now I am not a complainer by any means and no, I did not call to relocate my room or complain. As the week progressed, it seemed mousekeeping did less and less. Carpets were not vaccumed sinks not cleaned, etc. Probably should have addressed that at the time, but ended up doing that later. I will discuss that as my report goes on....

I will post more shortly.
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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And the adventure continues......

Some of the good points about POR this time was the food at the food court, which I thought was really good. That seems to be it. Some of the things I didn't like, bus service was so so. We waited almost 30 mins for a bus to the magic kingdom when 3 buses for Animal Kingdom and 3 for Epcot came by. After that we decided to drive. One tip I would like to pass on, we would drive to the parks and get there for rope drop, parked very close to the gates and then we would take the bus back to the hotel, relax, swim and then came back to the parks later in the evening. Stayed for fire works and hoped into our car that was parked very close. No waiting in the bus lines at the end of the day!!

Parks were really crowed, June 19-26th. More crowded than I remember. We always go in the summer months cause DH is a teacher, so we are used to it being crowed. This was more than usual. There were tons of people line jumping in every park. It was really bad in Epcot, and no cast members available to inform. I really noticed that Disney is cutting back on cast members. I just don't get why people have to line jump. People in groups of 1 or 2 saving space for the rest of their party. We had 4 and 5 people coming from the back of the line and just walking thru. And for once it was not the Brazillian tour groups We did complain at Animal Kingdom one day in Bugs Life, and was told we are sorry but it is very crowded today. It got really irritating after awhile. We also had very long waits for counter service in the parks. Pizza planet was 45mins then they shorted me on my pizza and gave me a hassel when I asked for the rest of my food. American Adventure was an hour wait for 2 kids meals. The kitchens in these places were clearly understaffed. I felt the parks were not as clean as in years past.

The topper of the whole trip was on our next to last day, in HS, my DH was helpling one of our DS in the mens room, when a man approached him and shoved him out of the way of the urinal. Almost knocking over my son. Luckily DH refrained from knocking this man out! Although, I wonder what Disney jail looks like So after that incident, DH immediatly went to look for secruity, none around. So after our week of line jumping and hour long waits for counter service amoung other things, I decided to stop into guest services. I just wanted to let them know that we have noticed a huge difference from year to year, also wanted to report the bathroom incident. Well security said mam, we probably are not going to find the person that did this. No kidding, I just wanted to inform them of what had happed. So the nice gentleman goes to the back and gets his supervisor, who we explain everything to. From the hotel to the line jumping etc, etc, etc. He then nicely asks what he can do for us and I say, nothing. I just think that they should be aware of things and that was it. He gave us the address to write to inregards to the hotel. He then insits we take a gift card for dinner. Again I refuse, but in the end we ended up with fast passes for Animal Kingdom for the next day and a $200 gift card. Was extremly nice but he did not need to do. I just wanted to let him know that people who go to Disney frequently notice when they make changes. Primarily the lack of castmembers.

So we finished off our trip and made our long journey home. All the way saying maybe we need a break from Disney. Of course after I am home, I miss it so much I want to go back. Can I change DH mind?

We had some really good meals at Rainforest, LeCellier 1st time and best meal of the trip!! T-Rex so so. ESPN always good. Food court was very good.

So after we are home a few days, we compose a letter to the Executive Offices at Disney. Just wanted to inform them of what we thought of this trip. To my surprise about 12 days after I sent my email I received a call from a very nice woman at Disney. She said she received my letter and was very happy that I had given her so much detail that she can pass on to the different areas. I explained I felt they should know that people really notice when things a little off in their hotels and parks. So long story short, she wants to make things right. I say despite everything we did have a good trip but probably would not go back for while. She said she was sorry to hear that but would like to give us 3 day park hoppers. I said that is a nice gesture but I was not looking for anything and only wanted to tell them how my trip was. Of course in the end, she is sending me the tickets.

I just really appreciated the fact that I received a call. I just hope they dont do any more cut backs with the castmembers. We really do notice when they do that.

If I can answere any questions, let me know!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:29 PM   #3
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Sorry you had some bad experiences but glad you had a good trip anyway. How nice to hear that they listened to you. So many companies nowadays don't seem to care. Glad Disney does.
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