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Old 08-20-2012, 08:16 AM   #46
BirdsOfPreyDave


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I've never had an issue with going to the CR for front desk and concierge services, so I'm on the "what problem are we solving?" side of this issue. I don't object to the move, but am a little apprehensive about how it might impact maintenance fees next year. A front desk and concierge desk manned for 15 hours a day -- I'm guessing that's 4-6 manyears of effort. Assuming some reduction in staffing on the CR side, and it probably works out to 2-3 new employees. Personally, if they were going to spend money on staffing increases, I'd have much preferred they hired extra maids, instead.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:35 AM   #47
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I've never had an issue with going to the CR for front desk and concierge services, so I'm on the "what problem are we solving?" side of this issue. I don't object to the move, but am a little apprehensive about how it might impact maintenance fees next year. A front desk and concierge desk manned for 15 hours a day -- I'm guessing that's 4-6 man years of effort. Assuming some reduction in staffing on the CR side, and it probably works out to 2-3 new employees. Personally, if they were going to spend money on staffing increases, I'd have much preferred they hired extra maids, instead.
Since we pay the CR for check in and out services, if they save money i expect a refund of our MF. I suspect at some point they will start to offer a self check in. You do the online check in, show up, scan your credit card, type in the remaining information, scan your drivers license (most have a bar code or mag strip on the back) and it issues you the keys. Technically, you could automate the check in process. And for those who take what ever room they give you, this would work very well.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:48 AM   #48
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Looking forward to the new 'experiance' in Oct. It will be nice to add a little excitment in the BLT lobby area. DW was wondering if the front door willnow be unlocked all the time, with crowd control devices to keep peepers out of the BLT areas? Time will tell. Glad DVC is trying something. The check-in at the CRwasn't so bad. Sorta a primer to the big reveal.
This is what I'm wondering. In the early days of BLT, I got the impression from reading these forums that the front doors as well as the sky bridge door to the CR were always locked. When we finally stayed there in July 2012, the front door was always locked, but the sky bridge door seemed to be continuously propped open - I didn't see it closed at all during our 6 days there. Not that I see it as a porblem, personally, but if the lobby will be open for check-in I guess they have given up on that security idea.

For what it's worth, we arrived on DME and found check-in at the CR to be great. TV was there for the kids; plenty of room to sit or explore; restrooms are right there.

At BLT are they going to add a TV for the kids? Are there even restrooms close by that people can use?
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:49 AM   #49
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When we were at BLT in June I was pleasently surprised to see how friendly and helpful the BLT lobby staff was. My husband had lost my park ticket and they bent over backwards to help me replace it. I think being able to check in there would be nice too.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:20 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by BirdsOfPreyDave View Post
I've never had an issue with going to the CR for front desk and concierge services, so I'm on the "what problem are we solving?" side of this issue. I don't object to the move, but am a little apprehensive about how it might impact maintenance fees next year. A front desk and concierge desk manned for 15 hours a day -- I'm guessing that's 4-6 manyears of effort. Assuming some reduction in staffing on the CR side, and it probably works out to 2-3 new employees. Personally, if they were going to spend money on staffing increases, I'd have much preferred they hired extra maids, instead.
Well, there is already a CM present 5-6 hours per day for TotW Lounge access.

Given the size of BLT, I don't see why they couldn't simply shift one CM from the CR lobby to BLT. 300 villas should provide a constant stream of new arrivals, guests with problems or questions, etc.

Even if it does add to staffing, another $100K in salaries, taxes & benefits spread over 5M+ points is a dues charge of less than two cents per point, per year.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #51
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Since we pay the CR for check in and out services, if they save money i expect a refund of our MF.
You're supposing that the employees in the BLT lobby won't be CR employees. I would bet they will be. If not, then there's a whole new set of expenses as they'll need to pay for supervision and enough staff to cover vacations, illnesses, and other absenses. While I have no insider insight into how Disney plans to staff such a change, I would suspect CR employees will float between the two lobbies. Direct DVD employees wouldn't seem to make sense.

As someone who works on streamlining and process improvement for a living, I can tell you that splitting an operation that is currently centralized into multiple sites is practically never going to generate savings -- more likely the opposite.

Check-in kiosks will be nice, but will never completely eliminate the need for someone to be there to assist. People will always have questions, there are those who are not technology savy, and there will always be a good percentage of people who aren't happy with their pre-assigned room. (Even Fastpass machines have someone there to assist, despite it being a very simple process. An airline check-in is probably the better comparison, though. The gate agent can monitor several kiosks at once, but when it comes down to it, you still need to wait for them to get to you to check your ID, weigh your bags, and put on your bag tags. There's only so much that can be automated.)

Will there also be concierge kiosks? I guess there can be, but my experience is that people who aren't seasoned pros have a lot of questions about which tickets are right for them.

Who knows... maybe they'll bring back the old Epcot Customer Service video monitor concept and someone in Boise, Idaho can check you in and sell you tickets.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:29 AM   #52
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This is what I'm wondering. In the early days of BLT, I got the impression from reading these forums that the front doors as well as the sky bridge door to the CR were always locked. When we finally stayed there in July 2012, the front door was always locked, but the sky bridge door seemed to be continuously propped open - I didn't see it closed at all during our 6 days there. Not that I see it as a porblem, personally, but if the lobby will be open for check-in I guess they have given up on that security idea.

For what it's worth, we arrived on DME and found check-in at the CR to be great. TV was there for the kids; plenty of room to sit or explore; restrooms are right there.

At BLT are they going to add a TV for the kids? Are there even restrooms close by that people can use?
I don't think that the locks are there to address a security a issue. Most WDW resorts are open to everyone until late at night if not open all the time.

IMO DVD wanted to create a feeling of exclusivity at BLT to increase sales. People like the feeling that they have special access to a resort or TOTWL. Same with Club Level at other resorts, just watch the guest who uses their card key in a crowed elevator to gain access.

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Old 08-20-2012, 01:18 PM   #53
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I don't think that the locks are there to address a security a issue. Most WDW resorts are open to everyone until late at night if not open all the time.

IMO DVD wanted to create a feeling of exclusivity at BLT to increase sales. People like the feeling that they have special access to a resort or TOTWL. Same with Club Level at other resorts, just watch the guest who uses their card key in a crowed elevator to gain access.

Bill
Fair enough. I wasn't sure why security might be a concern there and not at any other resort. But then I guess they're no longer concerned about presenting a sense of exclusivity.
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............... Walt Disney World ............ Disney Cruise Line .................... Disneyland Resort .............. Disneyland Paris
1979 .......... Golf Resort
1984 .......... Hotel Royal Plaza
1989 .......... Offsite?
2007 Jun .................................................. .................................................. ................. Newport Bay Club
2008 May-Jun .. Shades of Green ................. Wonder 4-night Bahamas Double-dip
2009 Jul ...... Shades of Green ................. Magic 7-night E. Caribbean Tortola
2010 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Northern Europe
2010 Dec ...... Saratoga Springs Resort ......... Magic 11-night S. Caribbean Holiday
2011 Jul ........................................ Wonder 7-night Alaska .................... Villas at Grand Californian
2011 Oct ...... Polynesian - AKV Kidani
2012 Jun ...... Bay Lake Tower .................. Fantasy 7-night W. Caribbean
2013 Mar ...... Beach Club Villas - BLT ......... Dream 4/3-night Bahamas Back-to-Back

Future Plans:
2014 Jun ........................................ Magic 12-night Med. Barcelona-Venice
2015 Jun-Jul .................................... Magic 11-night Norwegian Fjords & Iceland
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:42 PM   #54
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Fair enough. I wasn't sure why security might be a concern there and not at any other resort. But then I guess they're no longer concerned about presenting a sense of exclusivity.
Exclusivity may have played a role in it but the bigger issue was the fact that BLT did not have any on-site customer relations staff or a visible security presence. With no front desk, no lobby concierge, no bell services, no gift shops, no restaurants, there was no reason for non-guests to be in the building. Thus the key card deterrent. It was designed to prevent curiosity-seekers from entering the building and then wandering aimlessly as they look for....something to see.

With a Cast Member assigned to the lobby during certain hours, the front entry locks can be disabled and the CM is available to assist and direct building visitors.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #55
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With no front desk, no lobby concierge, no bell services, no gift shops, no restaurants, there was no reason for non-guests to be in the building.
I don't know, Tim. The same is true of VWL and BCV---no services at all in the Villas buildings. Yet, those have never been secured AFAIK.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:08 PM   #56
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I don't know, Tim. The same is true of VWL and BCV---no services at all in the Villas buildings. Yet, those have never been secured AFAIK.
Can't dispute the BCV statement, but Sturdy Branches in the VWL lobby is the gym for the entire resort.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #57
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I don't know, Tim. The same is true of VWL and BCV---no services at all in the Villas buildings. Yet, those have never been secured AFAIK.
Sure but those are designed as extensions to the existing resort. You wouldn't take a drive to VWL or BCV and walk directly into the villa wing expecting to find a front desk or gift shop. But I can certainly see uninformed WDW guests walking into BLT expecting to find....something to look at.

EDIT: Additionally, Disney's obsession with gating things seems to be a more recent development. The SSR Paddock pool (opened 2011) has a keycard entry system but High Rock Spring (2004) does not. They also added keyed entries at BLT pool, Kidani and Art of Animation.

BCV and VWL are both 10+ years old.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #58
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EDIT: Additionally, Disney's obsession with gating things seems to be a more recent development. The SSR Paddock pool (opened 2011) has a keycard entry system but High Rock Spring (2004) does not. They also added keyed entries at BLT pool, Kidani and Art of Animation.

BCV and VWL are both 10+ years old.
The Art of Animation's Big Blue Pool has RFID locks on its gates, as well as on the main and side doors to each of seven buildings that are currently open. However, SSR's Paddock Pool does not have RFID or keycard locks on its gates.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #59
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I think it could be a large improvement, though it would be great if it applied to DME guests as well. We have had some poor experiences in the CR lobby, particularly during our 2009 stay ( opening year). The lobby was very crowded and there was no line for advance check in guests, so our wait time was pretty long. We had water flooding our room and we couldn't get a CM from the front desk, much less a manager who wouldn't take our calls, to come all the way over to check it out- they would only send maintenance and three days later the problem was not fixed. When we finally moved, we were told we had 15 minutes because bell services did not have time to come back to BLT. The next year we had room key problems and had to keep running over to try to get new keys. Finally, a nice CM came with us to BLT. But then she wouldn't leave, because she was so fascinated at the room, building and view! Despite working at CR front desk, she had never actually been inside BLT!

While I get that other dvc properties do not have their own front desk, weren't they built at the same time as their resorts, and ultimately had a more centrally located front desk? It seems that BLT having been built later has always been treated as a separate entity from CR, and a separate lobby with check in might alleviate the problems with CR staff having no knowledge of, and being so far away from, BLT.

And if it doesn't stick, well that's ok too. The inconvenience of the CR lobby is not going to ruin my trip!
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:02 PM   #60
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vwl, bcv, akv and blt do have a kind of a lobby. that could be used for check in.

BLT does not need it. BCV maybe, AKV definitely.

before there was BLT it was the north wing - and the check in was at CR.

really don't understand this either. If you can't walk the little bit to the CR lobby - then boy are you going to have problems in the parks.

blt does have security - just because you can't see them - does not mean they are not there.

still remember when TOWL was new - they actually have 3 (sometimes 2) security guards there for it. they kept people off the wall and say parents could not put their children on their shoulder to see the fireworks.

it was very strange.

so very happy that some of the security at blt is finally leveling off. for me it was excessive.
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