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Old 08-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #2236
Disneymama5816
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Originally Posted by bowbat View Post
Allears.net has some recent positive reviews up now. FWIW, we stayed at the CR CL in November and had no complaints.
Thanks so much for the reply!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:49 PM   #2237
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Originally Posted by WDWKOOK View Post
The Atrium and Tower Clubs have been closed due to the renovation of the 14th floor. The Atrium Club did open back up last month because construction was stopped. The manager did not know when construction on the Tower Club would resume so it will be open until then. That's probably why there haven't been any recent reviews.

I last stayed CL there in August '10, and while I LOVE the CR, I was not impressed with their CL lounge and some staff. While I was there for only a week, almost everyday the lounge was messy at some point and they were not quick to replenish food. Milk wasn't kept out in the evening and requests for it were often met with a frown. I witnessed CMs arguing with each other and it was just a generally chaotic, messy and unpleasant experience. I just didn't feel at home there or valued as a guest, like I do at the WL/CL.

My overall impression of the CR/CL was that it was understaffed and poorly managed. But, this may have been an aberration since I've also read very positive reviews of it. It may have just been a really bad week for them
Thanks for the info, hopefully they are renovating more than just the 14th floor!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:56 PM   #2238
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I was at WDW for a couple of weeks and working on the new WL Information Thread when I got back, so I haven't posted here for a while. I wanted to invite everyone to take a look at the CL section of the new thread (the link is in my signature).

Also, thus far, our last trip was certainly are best ever. We can't say enough great things about the Old Faithful Club. After only one night, DH and I knew that we didn't want to move on to the Poly on Day 5, so we were able to extend and stay 12 nights at the WL.

On night two of our stay, the ceiling near the sinks developed a leak. We told the concierge and she immediately notified the manager, Randy, who insisted on moving us next door. Little did we know that next door was the Yellowstone/Presidential Suite. My photos are posted in the new thread.

Because of the extent of the repair, we wouldn't be able to return to our original room. I was dismayed because the room was in a perfect location and we loved it. We assumed we'd be switched to another room after our one night in the Presidential Suite. But, the next morning, Randy brought us new KTTW cards and insisted we stay the entire time in the suite. We were in shock. Needless to say, even without the colossal upgrade, we LOVED the staff and lounge there and can't recommend it enough. Everything was just perfect (unlike the Atrium Club).

I'm happy to answer any questions here or on the WL thread
That is AWESOME!! I hope you enjoyed the suite!!
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:03 PM   #2239
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I just emailed Poly IPO asking about having Coke Zero and got an immediate response back from Amanda.. She told me no but I could get it at some quick service restaurants in the parks???? Not what I was expecting but... maybe I was asking for too much..
I had a similar experience when asking if diet Dr. Pepper was, or could be made, available. (It's a Coke product.) I was told there was a fridge in my room and I was welcome to "run out to the store" and get some after I arrived. (And I only asked after the welcome email that said, "please let us know if you have any special requests," not because I felt entitled in any way.)

I also inquired about having some balloons delivered to the room and was told to call Disney florist. When I said I just wanted a few basic balloons and a card for my friend's birthday, and not an entire celebration (she's arriving the day after we do, so we'll already be checked into the room), I was told "Disney florist would be happy to help" me with "any size order."

When I asked about Magical Express, I was given the Magical Express number to check on my booking.

After twice being told it was impossible via email, I called and had to basically promise on my life to not be upset in order to get them to send me a sample menu of the lounge offerings so that I could pass it on to my friend. (Her daughter is very particular and she wanted to have a game plan in place for eating.) I even told them why I wanted it, and said I wasn't really asking about specific appetizers or desserts, but simply the more consistent snack and breakfast items she could expect.

The only other "special request" I attempted to make was trying to get a different meal at our Hoop Dee Doo Revue reservation for the same picky eater. I asked only after reading several messages on about this very thing happening "no problem" on the restaurant board (wouldn't have thought of it myself), but was told by IPO that special meals were only, "for allergies and other medical conditions." When I asked, 'But don't they do vegetarian or kosher meals, which are not medically necessary?' I was given the dining line phone number.

And for those that say "be nice" and they'll give you the moon ... That was as close as I've ever come to "arguing" with anyone I've dealt with. All of my emails are "please," "thank you," "sorry to be a pain," "hope you can help" and "we are so excited about our trip," etc. I just can't for the life of me understand why people receive such very different levels of service/responses.

Don't misunderstand, no one I've dealt with has ever been rude or even slightly unhappy ... I just haven't found the IPOs that helpful.

All the information given prior to booking the club level rooms state that the Itinerary Planning Office can help you "plan every aspect of your vacation," handle reasonable special requests and generally make the vacation experience seamless. And yet, all of inquiries, both this time and the last, other than a few bookings (and I made all but one of my own dining reservations), have been met with "call this number and they can help you" ... Isn't that the same level of service I could have received on my own without the additional cost of club level service? Not to mention skipping the middle step of asking the person who can't help me first?

Again, maybe my expectations are too high, or I simply don't "get" the service (totally possible), but helping guests procure experiences, services and resort merchandise, seem to be the very definition of a concierge's duties.

I'm going into this with my eyes wide open (my expectations are basically: breakfast, diet Coke and somewhere to hang out besides the room), since I was disappointed last time, but I admit I was hoping what I experienced last time was an anomaly and the service at Disney's flagship, at their highest level, would be a little bit better. I'm still hopeful that will be the case once we arrive, but have to admit it doesn't seem likely at this point.

I'll be really (genuinely, not sarcastically ... know it's hard to tell online) interested to see what my friend, who has only ever stayed at values and moderates, thinks about her "dream resort" after she experiences it.

By the by, either way I know we'll have a blast. With 30 days to go I am SO excited. I spent a crazy amount of time putting together a deluxe version of my usual color-coded daily schedule (reservations, park times, crowd trackers, touring plans, etc.), complete with clickable links, Disney photos and even festive background music for my iPhone and iPad. It's more than a little insane, but it really appeals to my OCD side, plus it's super-cute.

Last edited by coopersmom; 08-15-2011 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:18 PM   #2240
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Sounds like it depends so much on which IPO person/people answer the phone or emails. Or maybe it has to do with the season and how busy they are.

What I've found as a first-time guest (not first time in my life, but first time as an adult planning a trip) is that they are able to give me great information when I call, so that they don't just make the reservation for me (which I could do myself) but at the same time they are steering me in the right direction.

I suppose I don't know for sure it's the right direction -- but I have been trying to confirm their advice here on the board and so far it's all been spot-on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopersmom View Post
I spent a crazy amount of time putting together a deluxe version of my usual color-coded daily schedule (reservations, park times, crowd trackers, touring plans, etc.), complete with clickable links, Disney photos and even festive background music for my iPhone and iPad. It's more than a little insane, but it really appeals to my OCD side, plus it's super-cute.
Is this a planning guide you can share, or is it too specific to your circumstances? Also, just curious: do you actually bring an iPad into the park, and if so where do you keep it while on the rides?
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:27 PM   #2241
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Is this a planning guide you can share, or is it too specific to your circumstances? Also, just curious: do you actually bring an iPad into the park, and if so where do you keep it while on the rides?
It's specific to our trip, though anyone with a lot of free time (ha, ha) could do it for theirs. It's basically a day-by-day list of what park we plan to be in (one page per day), when/where our reservations are, what's going in the parks we might want to see (parades, firework times, etc.), confirmation numbers, lists of stuff not to forget, maps to the places we might need to go off site, links to the customized touring plans, PDFs of all relevant docs (plane, rental car), park maps, resort calendars, etc. And since it's my friend's first time at a deluxe and the trip is partly (the hotel part) my gift to her, I also put in stuff about the Grand, links to all the restaurant menus, etc. Any kind of info I thought might help inform and get her and her girls more excited about the trip. Then I dressed the whole thing up with park pics, pictures from past family visits, Disney characters popping in here and there. Just fun stuff.

This whole project started because someone on these boards did a vacation spreadsheet they shared and it looked kind of neat. (Much better than my little typed list of dinner reservations and park times.) I tried to make their format work but it just wasn't exactly what I needed, but I wanted something that looked nice like that since I was sharing it with someone else (not just for my own edification/information).

I decided I needed a PDF that I could read on my phone that still had clickable web links and I knew I could do that with an easy fixed layout using Keynote. What was supposed to be a simple, 30-minute project got kind of involved and turned into a full day, a little bit more, in front of the computer. (I have a background in graphic design so I'm an aesthetic stickler. But on the plus side, I learned how to use Keynote, since I'd never had to use any kind of presentation software before.)

I've been joking with my husband that I've probably put 20 days worth of time into planning our 9 day trip. Not to mention that, last time, we went "off plan" more than on, so who knows how much this will even help. (By the way, organizational tendencies aside, winging it actually doesn't bother me. I'd rather have a plan, and chose to not follow it, then have no plan at all.)

The PDF does look pretty awesome though. Even if I do say so myself.

Anywho, no, of course I would never take my iPad in the park. My iPhone will also have all the info (you can display PDFs in iBooks). It really works too. (I admit I'm kind of shocked myself.) You can zoom in and read the park maps and all the PDFs in great detail, and having all the reservations and links at your fingertips is helpful. I also got a little waterproof lanyard case for my iPhone, just in case, when going on water rides or running into rain storms.

OK, so I'll stop blathering on and taking the thread the off topic. If you're really curious, I sent you (TwoIfBySea) a PM.

Last edited by coopersmom; 08-16-2011 at 08:42 AM. Reason: typos (doh!)
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:24 AM   #2242
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We really enjoy the CL and I always try not to expect anything but at the same time sometimes I wonder am I paying so much extra for the appetizers, and "gold card"? Now dont get me wrong the whole coke zero isnt a deal breaker by no means but when I add together all the different reactions Ive gotten over the last couple trips its a bit dissapointing..I am very excited to see my two teens reaction to CL at the Poly but wondering if maybe next time I should move to another deluxe( altho I love the Poly) and try their CL? Wondering if its the Poly IPos or just all around cut due to the econoomy? Not complainging, really.. Im very grateful to be able to go to WDW and enjoy CL!
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:29 AM   #2243
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Just returned from 6 nights at the WL. It was one of our best trips ever. The staff in the Old Faithful Lounge was fantastic! Every question was answered, every request was met, the lounge was neat and clean. I just can't say enough good things about the folks that work there and how hard they work to make sure everyone has a wonderful stay. We didn't get upgraded to a suite like WDWkook did, but had the same experience. Big thanks go to Gianna who was us extra special!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:06 AM   #2244
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I just used YC/BC IPO to make a F&W reservation. Very positive experience (particularly juxtaposed with a less great time with the normal general public route this morning).
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:20 AM   #2245
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Originally Posted by HelenParr View Post
I just used YC/BC IPO to make a F&W reservation. Very positive experience (particularly juxtaposed with a less great time with the normal general public route this morning).
I called the Poly IPO and they were so helpful, and extremely apologetic that my event was sold out. They are going to keep checking just in case someone cancels. I've learned my lesson...use IPO for all future F&W bookings!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #2246
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coopersmom, I can relate to the many faces of IPO. I am also not a demanding person and "please" and "thank you" are regular words in my vocabulary

Our first ever CL stay was GF RPC and getting anything out of their IPO office was like pulling teeth. It would take days for someone to respond even to a simple question. And then ADR day was a very uneasy day. We were traveling Thanksgiving week, celebrating my birthday and had a couple of meals that I wanted on certain days/times. By 4pm, I still had not heard from them on whether or not they had been made and my TA finally had to call a friend to find out why I had not heard anything one way or the other. It turns out their itinerary program was down and although the ADR's had been made they couldn't send me the sheet. I still don't understand why they simply couldn't tell me this and thought it was better to ignore my email. Once we arrived at the resort we found the on site staff to be better, but even then, a couple of times when asking for assistance I was told to call myself (specifically when I was checking on the Pirate Cruise for youngsters while it was raining and where to get bubblewrap to pack some champagne glasses that were sent in a gift basket).

Our next CL stay was at BWI and their IPO office was top notch!! However, their on site desk staff left something to be desired. Luckily I did not need them for anything while we were there, but you sometimes got the impression that asking would have been a BIG inconvenience to one particular CM there. The lounge staff,however, was outstanding which really helped make up for it.

The next CL stay was at the YC and I can't say enough about them. My DS was ill our first day there and they were fantastic about getting extra bottles of water, crackers etc to keep in the room. They also did a fantastic job helping to reschedule some ADR's once he was better.

This next stay is at BC CL and, I have not yet even contacted IPO. I have already made my own ADR's and have a TA who handles DME etc for us. I will contact them eventually, just to fill out the "about us" sheet, but we are not celebrating anything and I don't require any assistance from them at this time. Hopefully the on site staff will be as great as the YC people were!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:43 AM   #2247
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It's a shame the IPOs seem inconsistent. I have NO complaints re: any of the IPOs. But did have an issue with GF IPO. I think as a PP said, it may have related to their server being down. Because they were apologetic that my initial email was not responded to, and they were very helpful with all of my inquiries. I will report back with a Sugarloaf review in a few weeks

I have nothing but EXCELLENT things to say about WL IPO. They are VERY fast to respond, and very helpful.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:46 AM   #2248
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I hope you find BC CL staff great, we did. We are in reverse order from your situation. Stayed BC CL in May -- had a fabulous time. The staff was very helpful and friendly. But, this was a surprise free uprgade (consequence of the BC construction), and free upgrade to CL makes everything seems happier and more friendly.

Next up, YC CL, which we have not done in years. The BC CL got us re-hooked. Looking forward to it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #2249
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I hope you find BC CL staff great, we did. We are in reverse order from your situation. Stayed BC CL in May -- had a fabulous time. The staff was very helpful and friendly. But, this was a surprise free uprgade (consequence of the BC construction), and free upgrade to CL makes everything seems happier and more friendly.

Next up, YC CL, which we have not done in years. The BC CL got us re-hooked. Looking forward to it.
Thanks- we really are looking forward to trying it! Had the YC been available for our dates, we definitely would have been back there again.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #2250
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It's a shame the IPOs seem inconsistent. I have NO complaints re: any of the IPOs. But did have an issue with GF IPO. I think as a PP said, it may have related to their server being down. Because they were apologetic that my initial email was not responded to, and they were very helpful with all of my inquiries. I will report back with a Sugarloaf review in a few weeks
I probably wouldn't have had such a bitter taste about the GF IPO had they been apologetic about their server being down. The itinerary was sent off to me the next day without any acknowledgement/apology for the delay. If my TA had not called, spoken to someone and called me back, I wouldn't have known what happened. In the grand scheme of things (no pun intended ) it is such a minor thing. But since it was our first ever CL stay, at the flagship resort no less, all of these little things started to add up and left us with a less than favorable opinion about them. We would definitely stay at the GF again, but I doubt we would pay for CL there again. Inconsistant is not a good reputation to have.
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