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Old 03-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,268

Really really good, and really really horrid

Just winding up our 6-night trip to BLT...it is me, my DD and my 2 DGC (DGD is 9; DGS is 6)...

The best Disney memory ever this trip: I got to take DGS on his first-ever roller coaster ride (Big Thunder Mountain)...he LOVED it, and I LOVED being w/him for it...seriously awesome! More than blots out "the horrid" (which was REALLY horrid) and the usual glitches and bruises of a six-night stay w/small children...

In general, we had a great trip...spent most of our time at MK (my first of probably 50 or more trips where I spent hours each day at MK!--six straight days at MK is really more than I want...but the kids loved it so and that more than made up for it)...we hit all 4 parks; AK once, Epcot twice and the Studios one and a half times (that's "the horrid")...

I had one "down day"--got something very flu-like on Tuesday and spent from 10 a.m., when I "succumbed" (tried to gut it out after awakening sick to my stomach, but failed), to the next morning in bed...but woke up Wed morning feeling almost fine...stomach still a bit delicate, but muscle, joint & headaches gone and by Thurs I was totally fine...so not so bad...and my DD and the kids did not get whatever it was, so I count us lucky on that score...

Longest line was 15 minutes at the Safari ride at AK...everything else was walk-on or no more than 10 minutes...but LOTS of people in the parks...seemed very crowded even tho ride lines were minimal...

The "horrid" was awful...we got to the Studios around 9:30 and as we left the bus, my DGS got an "emergency" need to use the bathroom...it was a SERIOUS emergency...DD scooped him up to run, while I pointed to the bathrooms next to the Guest Relations, located outside the park entrance (but inside the security checkpoints)...she ran, DGD and I ran after them...

We got from the bus stop to no more than 20 steps from the bathroom door when "mean old man" (a Disney guard) shouted at us that we could not go that way...I shouted back that we had a kid w/an urgent need ("it's an emergency," I said) to use that bathroom and pointed to it...he shouted (snarled) back "I don't care. You can't come here."

We tried one more time to tell him the child was "in extremis" (I did not use that phrase...I think at that point I probably said "he's desperate")...he repeated that we had to turn back...

So, we did, still running, but after backtracking to go the long way around, and just at the bathroom door, DGS "lost it" and a monumental mess (physical and emotional) ensued. I'll leave it to your respective imaginations to fill in the details...

It took DD a while to clean up DGS and calm him down...DGD went into the bathroom with them, while I turned back in response to continued yelling by the guard that we couldn't go that way. At that point, a different guard came over to me to tell me that I needed to go through bag check since I was wearing a fanny pack. (DD had no bags w/her)...Fair point. I'd completely forgotten my fanny pack and yes, I do acknowledge that I needed to go thru security with it.

So I did...got back to the bathroom and by this point I was steaming angry--altho as it turns out my reaction was mild compared to my DD's...my DGS was horribly upset (I venture to guess you would be too if you'd messed your pants to that degree out in public!) and "mama bear" was in full force.

So we went to Guest Relations to complain about how the situation had been handled--there we were told that "for safety reasons" the guard had behaved entirely appropriately (even including the "I don't care" at the sight of a child in extreme distress)...

Safety? Really? A trained guard can't tell when a child in his mother's arms is in physical distress as compared to a potential terrorist?

Anyway, even if Disney does insist on letting a child soil himself for fear of a terrorist a simple "oh I'm so sorry that happened to you" would have helped. Instead, we got "I don't care; the guard did right." We did ask for a supervisor...it took the Guest Relations person 10 minutes to go find one, and when she got back she said we could wait, that a supervisor would be along "presently." After 10 more minutes of waiting, we just left. Decided we didn't want to go into the Studios (we talked about just stopping to buy a new pair of underwear and shorts inside)--

After that, any time anything--no matter how minor--went wrong, we simply looked at each other and said, "well, at least that mean old man wasn't here."

It really was a horrible experience.

You'd think similar things would happen at Disney w/some frequency. You'd think Disney would have a way to help a child experiencing that kind of distress. But not for us, not that day. I do blame Disney for it. Like I said, a simple "oh, I'm so sorry that happened to you--perhaps w/one of those mickey stickers that every CM seems to carry to give the kids (and my kids love them) would have helped soothe our very upset little one...

Oh, well. It happened. We didn't go back to the Studios after that (the night before DD and the kids had gone over to see Fantasmic--but that was the day I was sick in bed so I missed it)...I'm not sure we'll ever go back to the Studios again. Yes, I know that "mean old man" could be assigned to lean against a post next to a bathroom next to guest relations at any park...but I do find I just do not want to go back to the Studios...that feeling may fade...there's a lot at the Studios that I love...but for now, I won't go there again, maybe ever. And I'm quite sure Disney could care less. I have an AP; my family either has APs or park-hopping tix...Disney won't lose a penny (except the new clothes we'd have bought for DGS had Disney helped make us feel better about the situation)....

Back to the goodness of the trip:

The kids absolutely LOVED the new MK Sorcerer's game...no doubt that was a big reason we spent so many hours each day at MK!

Weather was terrific til yesterday, and even yesterday it wasn't bad...just chilly...we had great pool time; really good transportation (mostly); easy access to pretty much any of the food choices we wanted (we did try to go to BOG, but as noted by many, the lines there are horrendous so we decided to save that for a later trip)...the new Fantasy Land will be wonderful...love the "construction details"...lots not open yet, but we enjoyed the two attractions that were open and loved "the look" of it...

It was a terrific trip, despite "mean old man"...we're sorry to be leaving in a few hours...we probably won't go back to the Studios, but we'll definitely be back to WDW!
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:57 AM   #2
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I am sorry about your experience. Hopefully, the good far outweighed the bad!
We had a bad experience back on a trip in 2011. We got nowhere with Guest Relations either.
I ended up writing a letter to Disney when we got home, not looking for tickets or compensation, but because we really were upset about how our situation was handled.
I received a letter AND a phone call.
I would suggest you do the same, it might make you feel better!
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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I agree with disneynut11, you really should write them. I would aproach it from the angle that "instead of helping us with what was clearly a very distressing situation, this CM made it an even worse situation- and then did not even care that they had not helped!"

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Old 03-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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Please write a letter. For anyone else who might end up in a similar situation...

Great about Big Thunder though!
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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We had an awful situation in February when we lost my DGD in the playground at AK. 3 cast members did nothing to help despite my pleading with them to turn off the music so we could get on the loudspeaker or she could at least hear us calling her. Another mom saw her sitting outside the playground -- yes, she got out, a crying little 5 year old, all by herself and no one stopped her-- in her stroller, where she went when she couldn't find us. There was a security guard sitting not 25 feet away.

I was so upset-- went to Guest Relations, cried so hard they took me in a back room-- the guy basically blew it off, said she couldn't have gotten out of the park, sort of like, what are you so upset about, she's fine now?

Wrote a letter when we got back home; got a call from someone who sounded around 15 years old, who said all the proper buzz-word phrases about how upsetting it must have been, yada yada. We were asking for nothing but that they make some serious policy changes; the girl said she was going to make sure this got to the people who needed to know-the fact that no one really responded to our pleas for help and that she got out the exit. Will she? Who knows.

There's a cast member standing at the entrance--which is right next to the exit--but what the heck do you need a CM there for? Put them at the exit! The playground is bedlam--we really weren't prepared for how crazy it is in there. My DD went up the slide with her but couldn't get down it. By the time she got back down, DGD had gone back up the slide and came down in a different place, couldn't see us and panicked.

These sort of things seem to happen more and more at Disney-- uncaring/unconcerned or downright hostile CMs. I feel now about AK like you do about HS--I don't care if I every set foot there again.

But I'll have to, because we love the Lion King lol.
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