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Old 06-09-2004, 05:27 PM   #1
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SoG 6/3 - 6/8 - just back!

We just returned last evening and are absolutely WIPED OUT!!! Great trip, for the most part. We did have quite a few problems with lack of staff knowledge, though. For that reason alone, I'd consider staying elsewhere for our next trip. It's just tough to know that hotels are *so* close where you could get wonderful help and service, and not be staying there.

The hotel isn't finished either, and that was a bit unsettling. Small things - missing door handles, faucet handles that come off in your hand when you turn on/off the water, painting not being complete in the room, miscommunications, etc., were upsetting as well.

One thing that particularly upset us was the transportation - when we checked in, we were informed by staff (and this was confirmed by a call to the front desk) that we could only park at the hotel & the TTC with our parking pass, and that we would have to pay elsewhere. After a hideous trip on the bus, we decided we'd rather pay to park, rather than chance that transportation. We ended up parking at every single park without paying.

Lots of other stupid communication issues as well, not even worth going into here. I guess the moral of the story is that you get what you pay for.

On the other hand, the rooms themselves were beautiful, beds were extremely comfortable, and the rooms were huge! Grounds were beautiful as well. One thing that did bother me was the fact that the pools don't have lifeguards. Although our daughter (8yo) can swim, and both my DH and I can swim well, I don't feel qualified to save my daughter in an emergency (i.e., if she hit her head in the pool, for instance), so wouldn't let her go beyond the 5 foot area. Something to keep in mind, especially if you have smaller children. They do have a decent sized children's pool.

If your goal is a close, inexpensive place to stay while doing Disney, I'd say go for SoG. I guess that due to the luxurious surroundings, I expected better service as well; I'll happily pay more to stay elsewhere next time.
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Old 06-11-2004, 02:58 AM   #2
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Weregoingtodw, welcome back. It sounds like overall you had a nice vacation, and that is a good thing.

I hope you brought the issues of missing handles, broken handles, etc., to the attention of the resort so that they could be fixed. That way the next guest will have a more enjoyable stay in the resort than you had. If you haven't done that yet, please consider doing so.

I stayed in a WDW resort once during its Opening Week. There was only one issue with my room and I brought it to the attention of the resort staff immediately (it was a safety issue and I did not want the next guest to get hurt). I was so concerned about the issue that I actually followed up with the resort upon my return home just to make sure that the issue had been taken care of. I was happy to learn that it had (I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if anyone had been injured in that room because I did not bring the safety issue to the resort's attention).

Do you have any photos to share of SoG? I would love to view them if you do. I don't know a lot about the resort and am curious to see how it looks after the renovations. From what you describe, it sounds lovely.
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Old 06-11-2004, 10:18 AM   #3
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Great Pictures of SOG


DIS member KDaten (I believe that's the name) posted many fantastic pictures of the new SoG about a month ago.

Perhaps do a search on Shades of Green and you may see them.

I'll try to find them and "bump the post" up for you to see.

Jan. 05 -- Poly.
March 09 -- 7 days at SOG; First Family Wonder Cruise

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Old 06-11-2004, 10:57 AM   #4
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We were there then too

Our stays overlapped a bit, we left on the 4th and moved to PO-FQ. We loved the rooms at SOG too but had problems with the AC and the plumbing. The busses were a big issue for us too and agree that though the staff was kind and attentive many didn't have correct info.
We only had a car one day so we hoofed it to the Poly a lot to catch busses and the monorail, its a pretty walk.

I agree, the grounds are lovely but also wish the pools had lifeguards. We took 4 young ones and insuring their safety in and around the water was a bit difficult.
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:37 PM   #5
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I'm like totally confused! I've been on a lot of disney forums and for the most part everyone thought the buses at sog were great. I think sometimes you will have problems, especially when your just getting everything up and running, and sometimes if you have a problem with the buses one time and never ride them again and say how awful the buses were maybe you should give it a try again. I have stayed at sog many times and never had a problem with the buses. In the mornings the bus was there waiting and I never had to wait more than ten minutes when I left the parks. Also, sometimes things do happen, like the air conditioning going out in the buses and I"m sure they do everthing they can to rectify the problem. Maybe I'm crazy or lucky but I think Sog busses are alot better than most of the other resort buses! The only thing that would make it better is if they dropped you off at all the parks! Oh well can't have everything!
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:07 PM   #6
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Originally posted by caseywirth
I'm like totally confused! I've been on a lot of disney forums and for the most part everyone thought the buses at sog were great.
Was this before the re-opening, or since? Quite a few people we talked to on the buses said that they had had great experiences with the buses in the past, which was why they were so surprised at the problems this time.

Like I said before, it definitely wasn't enough to ruin the trip, just something that I would want to be aware of, and as such, wanted others to be aware of as well. For the money spent, I think the facilities are wonderful - I mean, look at the square footage difference between a value room and SoG. By the time you add in tax for your value room, you've just about paid what you would pay at SoG. However, if your time is really limited, I would advise driving a car as opposed to waiting around for the transportation system.

I think that the transportation itself wasn't all that horrible, it was the communication. The front desk & guest services weren't aware of how the transportation system worked - it was pretty much up to the guest to figure it out on his/her own. There was nothing stating, Route B will pick up at the hotel at every whole and half hour, at Animal Kingdom every quarter and three-quarter hour, etc. Forget finding out *where* the bus would pick you up - the hotel staff didn't seem to have a clue. You had to ask the driver - asking at the front desk or guest services just didn't work. Most of the time no one answered our call for guest services anyway, we just received a voice mail saying they would call us back - and they never did.

Speaking of phone calls, don't depend on the front desk for wake-up calls either .

And for those who asked whether I was going to write the hotel a letter, I certainly am; however, we just received PCS orders on Thursday, and are moving from IL to VA this week (short notice), so that has kind of dropped to the bottom of my priority chain.

I think that part of our experience was just that we were spoiled - we stayed at the Contemporary last year and expected the same level of service at SoG. Since the Contemporary is obviously a lot more expensive than SoG ordinarily, we just considered last year an extra bonus rather than being extremely upset about this year's experience.

If value is your number one priority for a Disney trip, I would definitely advise staying at SoG over a Value resort in a heartbeat. However, if being pampered and your needs anticipated is key to you, I'd personally spend the extra money. Better yet, if you're limited on funds but still want luxury, book the first few days at SoG and then the last few at a Moderate or Deluxe - you'll really notice the difference, I think!
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Old 06-12-2004, 11:43 PM   #7
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Noticed someone looking for my pictures...here's a link to the thread...

As for transportation, we were given a handout at registration that did have the specifics for each bus.....it had all the times they picked up at the hotel and at each park. It *didn't* have the location at each park, so you did have to remember where you were dropped off. Some of the parks had spots labelled SOG, but some did not, so *do* notice where you get dropped off.

We didn't have problems with the buses, but DID with one of the drivers! The in-line half-marathon was going on that morning and lots of roads were blocked and she didn't know her way around and couldn't get to the park. She had no clue that the roads were even blocked until we got to the barricades and she couldn't exit. By the time we got to AK that morning, we were 1 hour late for our PS

By the way, the buses are CONTRACTED OUT to Fleetwood Limousine....so while SOG is ultimately responsible, any complaints about the transportation should be forwarded not only to SOG, but to Fleetwood as well, since that's who actually runs them. Personally, I think SOG should pay Disney to use their buses...but it's probably more expensive....

As for staff issues, it's a nearly completely new staff....so they *don't* know very much yet, but they're learning. Hopefully by the time we go back, they will have improved....

Glad you had a nice trip!

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