Just back from our first GF stay!!

Lives4Disney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Well, let me start by saying we never thought the Grand Floridian appealed to us until we stayed at the Poly in August (didn't thrill us) and happened to go wonder around the GF main building a bit. We decided that we would try and stay at the GF next time.

I was soooo excited when we planned a last minute trip to WDW for Thanksgiving and I happened to check my computer and the Grand Floridian main building concierge came up available for 4 or our nights!! I snatched it up and just couldn't wait.

Well, we checked in - awkwardly - on 11/23. We arrived at about 8pm and were just in awe of the pretty decorations and lights. We went to the valet station and let them know we were there to check into the RPC. They first told us to go over to the front desk and pointed the way. Well... I had received a call a couple days earlier from Denny telling me the check-in procedure. He told me that it would happen upstairs on the 3rd floor, someone would be called down to escort us up. I mentioned this to the gentleman at valet and he called up on his headset after asking us our name. Apparently there was a problem - couldn't find our reservation or something - so as he is talking about us like we weren't there, I dug out my paperwork and tried to show him my name and confirmation number. He paid me no attention, just seemed to be listening to his headset. (I am getting a bit of a panic feeling at this point) All of a sudden, a lady shows up to escort us. OK, at least it worked out. Don't know what happend, but we were on our way up. She deposited us at Travis's desk. He gives us a bit of info and hands us our 5 keys. Then he says.... "Should I request a roll-a-way for the 5th person?" I am like WHAT????? I told him that I signed up for a room with 2 queens and a day bed. I don't want a roll away. I didn't even think a rollaway was an issue. didn't know they did that at Disney!!! He says they do. Great. We want a manager. They have had my $652 deposit for over a month. I told them 5 people, names and ages. I want my correct room. Kathy the manager told us that they were booked to capacity and that the rollaway is the best they can do for the night. Maybe we could move the next day. We were miffed about the move so they took the first night off our bill. (yay, but I REALLY wanted my good room that I was counting on and after travelling all day, wanted to get settled. It is very hard with luggage for 5 people. Very disappointed)

We told them we had 9pm ps at Chef Mickeys and my girls really didn't want to miss this. Travis took our luggage claim check and said he would have our luggage sent up and the rollaway set up while we were at dinner. Great. We went to drop our carryons off in our SMALL room. This room was so small. It was the smallest deluxe room I have ever seen. It only had the two beds, a chair and a 1/2 armoir thing with only a couple of drawers in it. It certainly couldn't hold clothes for more than one or two people. We didn't even know where they thought they would put the rollaway. We were going to dinner. It was their problem. Didn't know where they would put our 10 suitcases,either. Really no room. We went on our merry way to Chef mickeys and walked to the MK after. Had a blast. The crowd was gone for the night. We stayed til midnight, took a wonderful boat ride back to the GF to collapse for the night.

When we arrived in our room, the rollaway was vertical. (OH MY GOSH!!!) There was NO luggage brought into our room. NOTHING was done. This is 12:30 am. Our little girls slept in their clothes that night because our luggage ( after 3 calls) did not arrive until 1:15 am. We were not happy campers. I didn't get to sleep until 2:30 am. It was hard to fall asleep at that time, because they were now vacuuming the lobby. It was very noisy. We never saw Travis, no one could tell us WHY the luggage wasn't brought up or the bed set up. No explanations or appologies ever. I was so mad I couldn't sleep well.

The next morning I called the concierge to check about our move. Yes there was a great room available, magic kingdom view on the 3rd floor. (4302) I spoke with Mejay who was actually willing to help work things out for me. I told her I didn't want to be without my luggage from check out to check in to the new room. That was what they planned on having happen. I said NO WAY. My daughters and I were going to the Disney Princess Tea party and I didn't want to be stuck in nice clothes for the afternoon and them in their itchy, scratchy princess gowns for hours. I also mentioned we would probably all need naps after the fiasco with Travis the night before. She worked it out so that when the room was ready we moved in - took our luggage directly from the small room to the new room. It would have been nice if she suggested the procedure for the more convenient move, but she at least let me have my way. It just gets aggravating having to fuss for everything. That's not me and not what I want to do on vacation!!

That was when the magic started. The room was very nice - much larger than the original room. It was decorated differently, in subtle rose/beige tones. The view was wonderful. Housekeeping was wonderful, too. On Thanksgiving they made two towel animals - a turkey and a pilgrim. My kids got a real kick out of that. We have always stayed in a deluxe resort and never got this treat. They were great about extra towels, soaps etc. Always friendly and nice, too. The offerings were different. For breakfast they had a cheese tray and actually cold ham and turkey. Lots of danish, croissants, cereal. The lounge staff was terrific. So nice. We never were afraid to ask for soda or anything we needed. My 14 yr old son asked if they had rootbeer. They didn't, but the next day they gave him his own 6 pack!! We tipped her really well. That turned out to be a very expensive 6 pack, but the thought was so sweet. The tea party was FABULOUS. I was thinking it was pretty expensive, but it was FABULOUS!!! My girls were enchanted. The Rose Petal princess is so talented. My 8 year old is vision impaired (RP) and uses a white cane. As we stood in line to check in, the manager told me they would switch the place cards around as to give her the best view. I thought that was very kind. I didn't ask, they just offered. We LOVED the GF. Except the concierge staff. :rolleyes: They were useless and rude. Another time we were getting on the elevator and one (concierge person) was escorting a family off. Here we are with a child in a stroller, my daughter with her cane, and this concierge person literally let the elevator door close on the stroller!! Rude. My sister has been a concierge at a Ritz Carleton hotel for several years. These Disney concierge don't even compare to a real concierge. It is my opinion only, I am sure I will get boo hooed for it, but that has been my experience. Every other GF CM (other than concierge and acutally bell services) was so very friendly and helpful. I was amazed. I always had the impression that this would be a stuffy resort but we were very pleasantly surprised.

I would definitely stay there again. I loved the decor and the feel of the place. For many years I didn't think I would, but it is lovely. I now have an opinion on the extra person in the room issue. Why not? If the most expensive Disney resort will do it when it suits them, why not a family that needs to do it? The "fire code" issue seems to be baloney. The room they stuck us in with 5 people was very tight. If I didn't fuss about wanting the daybed room, they would have left us in this smaller room for 4 nights. They put the rollaway in the only place it seemed to fit - right toward the hallway to the door! I wouldn't do it, because I like my space, but there seems to be a lot of people with an issue with families having an extra person in the room. To each his own.....

I would stay concierge again, too. Not for the concierge staff by any means, but for the convenience of the breakfast and the nice evening/bedtime snacks available. My kids enjoyed that. Also, we rented a boat on Thanksgiving and that was very fun for all of us. The staff at the marina was very nice and helpful, too. The view from 4302 is fantastic. The castle is staight ahead. We watched wishes a couple of nights from the balcony. Just great!!

I am sure I am leaving out something, but... I need to hit the laundry. We then moved to the CR 14th floor - a one bedroom MK suite. I will tell that story later. OH! I know what.... The "daybed" isn't quite a twin size bed. It is narrower and shorter. My 14 year old had to use it, as the girls slept together in the queen. It was OK for him this year, but next stay. I don't think so. That is an important factor when you book a room they say sleeps 5. It really sleeps 4 1/2. Keep that in mind. Also, the TVs are so tiny. You open up this armoir which could probably hold a 35 inch tv and it is really a maybe 19/21 inch tv. I would expect more for the money. I would definitely try and get a code or an AP rate when we stay there again. It isn't worth full price!! But it was overall an enjoyable stay.
 
Thanks so much for your review of the GF-RPC. We, too, have had similar ups and downs with the staff and room assignments just as your family did. Please, please let us know about your experience at the MK Suite at the Contemporary. We will be there soon and would love to hear the good and bad before we arrive! Thanks in advance for your reply! :wave:

.....Kim
 
I'm sorry your GF concierge experience was less than magical. Sounds like nearly everything that could go wrong, did. I've seen enough on these boards to know that your room should never be downgraded and if this were the case, you would have thought that Travis would go out of his way to make sure you had your luggage and a bed for the 5th person. A standard concierge room is about 448 feet and the deluxe is around 700 feet. Based on your description, you weren't even in a deluxe room on your first night.

Our experiences with Mejay have always been wonderful. It's too bad that she couldn't have gotten your 2nd day off to a better start. I love the lounge staff. They were always very helpful and full of information.

Thanks for your honest review.

Tammi
 
Thank you so much for posting your experience at the GF. I am planning a surprise trip for our family of five at the GF in January/February...and it's nice to get an honest opinion. Our oldest is 9 and he will stay on the daybed, but he's a very tall 9 year old...I hope it works for him.

And I'm so sorry to hear about your first day experiences...partly it's nice to hear because I seem to think those things only happen to me and it's just those moments in life that test my ability to remain calm and present a cool collected front when I feel like screaming 'I'm ON VACATION! I did my part to hold up the bargain...please do yours so I can VACATION" I know what you mean, it's not natural to have to ask someone to do their job...you shouldn't have to especially at deluxe, concierge and it being Disney. I'm sure you handled yourself much better than I could have...and hopefully, our check in will be much improved upon...I'll keep yours in the back of my mind in case I ever feel like I'm having it bad! :)
Tara
 


Tammi, I know we weren't in a concierge deluxe - I asked if that is what it would be (I knew from these boards that it would be a NICE room if it was) they told me no it would not. Kathy the concierge manager told me that her hands were tied. They were full to capacity. I just don't know how these mess ups can happen. They had my deposit for over a month and they knew names and ages of our family members. It was just very disappointing. I really expected not to like the place after that experience of checking in, but it redeemed itself through the lounge staff and the pretty decor and ambience. I actually think it may be my new deluxe favorite.

Imhall2000, I know what you mean about keeping your cool. I was very close to crying (nuts, I know) I was that disappointed. I felt like I was paying too much anyway. I think $652/night is crazy expensive, but what the heck, it was THanksgiving and we splurged.....then to be so badly treated upon check in was disturbing. I actually called the Swan that evening when we returned to our room and nothing was ready for us and CRO the next morning about moving. CRO had nothing I wanted, and I just cooled down and decided that I wanted to stay at a MK resort and didn't want to ruin it further for myself out of spite. Moving would have just messed up our PSs and other plans. I really hope your experience goes smoother than ours. I know you will love being at the GF - it was beautiful. Just ignore the little snafus and remember where you are!!
 
CaliforniaDreaming - I think it may have been 4025 or 4023. It was such a disappointment after checking in & seeing the small room I don't even remember!! My husband would know. It faced the rock waterfall pool directly. It was on the 3rd or 4th floor accross from the concierge office or lounge. (that's bad, I don't even remember the floor) I see you are a GF expert. Is there something up with that 4025??? I just know it was cute but VERY small for a deluxe room.
 


Sorry to hear about your experience the first night, but glad to see they made things right for you thereafter. We stayed at GF for the first time a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it! I was a little nervous as I'd read the CM's there are snooty, but every person we encountered was courteous and helpful. Now I have a question for you. Is concierge really worth it? I know you said you'd do it again, but is it worth it? I mean for $400 a night you could stay lagoon view with a much better view of MK, IMO. Just trying to understand why some go concierge. Was it just for the food?
 
Yes, 4025 (on the 5th floor, facing the theme pool) is a very small room. It is meant as a bedroom for a suite, not as a typical room. It isn't usually rented out, but only used when occupancy makes it needed.
 
Determined one - It probably isn't worth it. I usually stay at the CR tower club. It is "light concierge" - breakfast and afternoon snacks. In the past, these concierge members could pull strings and get us really difficult ps's. I haven't had that experience with that happening last few visits. We splurged on GF concierge becasue of the nice atmosphere of the live music, the gingerbread house in the building, just thought it would be fabulous and we would get treated so nicely!!! I think the concierge members are the only CMs that were not so great!!!

We do enjoy the convenient breakfasts and always take advantage of that. People say you can order room service breakfasts for the price difference. Also is nice to come back from the parks and have the turn down service (I have heard you can request it at any deluxe, though, not just concierge level) ,and the bedtime snacks. We usually don't make the evening appetizers or afternoon snacks.

I guess for us it is the breakfast, (sounds stupid) and hopes that the cms can get us those tough Ps's. We also save some $$ on sodas and bottled water. That can add up with 3 kids. Hmmmm.... I think we are just spoiled. The concierge staff isn't very helpful in pretty much any way.

It was our first stay at the GF and our view was TERRIFIC. I requested a MK view and from the second night on we had it. I am not sure what views the other buildings offer. We were so here and there we actually never really walked around the resort!

I guess it is just a nice feeling to have the lounge accessible and the treats handy. I like to be spoiled on vacation! I am a stay at home mom so I need it!!! :D
 
Oy, the memories your post brought back! I have had my run ins with RPC cast members. Kathy and I had a very pointed conversation one morning over the way someone in the staff treated my child.

I LOVED staying at GF overall though and I would recommend next time you consider lodge concierge in Sugar Loaf. We loved it and I will dream of going back until the day I finally do. All the concierge staff there is wonderful.

Hope your next trip is better...between this and your CR experience what a trip you had!!!
 
I totally agree with your posts, and feel the same way.. especially about being a SAHmom that needs to feel spoiled on vacation LOL. We stayed at the GF in the Sugar Loaf building in Oct. 2003. Although we found some of the SL concierge staff stuffy, for the most part, we had a great time, loved being in concierge and hope to go back and enjoy the RPC on our next trip. Thanks so much for the review! Glad it worked out better after the first night!
 
You are right about GF concierge...although..we will never stay again.
The rudeness of the castmembers at a premium resort like that...no way.
Actually..it turned us off the GF altogether.
 
i am sorry that your stay wasnt up to your standards, but you sound like you are very, very hard to please.
 
Snoopy53whatever....You are soooo wrong. When you are paying $652/night I think most people expect good service. Not a bunch of mishaps, not getting the room you put a deposit down for over a month in advance, and people not doing what they say they will do (nothing requested was out of the ordinary, either)

You don't know me, so I won't take your pissy comment to heart. It made me laugh. Just curious, though... What do you think a resort should charge so that you are assured of your room? Concierge does it's job? Bell services brings up your luggage before 45 minutes and 3 calls to them and also a trip down to the front desk at 1 am? We are not rolling in $$$$, I think $652/night is a lOT of money and should cover the service we expected. We only expected what a well run resort does automatically. It was a splurge to pay that much money. I think it would be for most people and obviously if there are many problems right away at check in it will lead to disappointments.



Lives4Disney
 
Lives4Disney said:
Snoopy53whatever....You are soooo wrong. When you are paying $652/night I think most people expect good service. Not a bunch of mishaps, not getting the room you put a deposit down for over a month in advance, and people not doing what they say they will do (nothing requested was out of the ordinary, either)

You don't know me, so I won't take your pissy comment to heart. It made me laugh. Just curious, though... What do you think a resort should charge so that you are assured of your room? Concierge does it's job? Bell services brings up your luggage before 45 minutes and 3 calls to them and also a trip down to the front desk at 1 am? We are not rolling in $$$$, I think $652/night is a lOT of money and should cover the service we expected. We only expected what a well run resort does automatically. It was a splurge to pay that much money. I think it would be for most people and obviously if there are many problems right away at check in it will lead to disappointments.



Lives4Disney
ITA Lives4Disney!
 
I would expect to have my luggage delivered before midnight (if I had arrived 4 hours earlier) no matter what I paid.
 
Lives4Disney said:
Snoopy53whatever....You are soooo wrong. When you are paying $652/night I think most people expect good service. Not a bunch of mishaps, not getting the room you put a deposit down for over a month in advance, and people not doing what they say they will do (nothing requested was out of the ordinary, either)

You don't know me, so I won't take your pissy comment to heart. It made me laugh. Just curious, though... What do you think a resort should charge so that you are assured of your room? Concierge does it's job? Bell services brings up your luggage before 45 minutes and 3 calls to them and also a trip down to the front desk at 1 am? We are not rolling in $$$$, I think $652/night is a lOT of money and should cover the service we expected. We only expected what a well run resort does automatically. It was a splurge to pay that much money. I think it would be for most people and obviously if there are many problems right away at check in it will lead to disappointments.

Lives4Disney

I definitely agree that you should always get what you book. And if you booked a deluxe room with 2 beds and a daybed then you should have gotten one, definitely. I assume that is what you booked, not what you requested as there is a difference. I am not that familar with the room differences in the main building, I have stayed in Sugar Loaf.

That said I do know that when you check in late that all the good rooms are gone. Should it be that way, NO WAY, but it does happen. I am sure someone else checked in before you and got the room you would have liked to have gotten.

I would also recommend to anyone else making future plans, do not cut your time too close between check in and PS for dining. Problems do arise sometimes and if you have to leave to go to dinner, believe me with you gone they are not going to solve themselves. Yes, they should especially at Concierge, but when Disney is packed they are going to handle the person standing right there in front of them, not someone gone to dinner.

I am glad you were able to move later in your trip and get such a nice room.
 
652.00 is the price with tax for a standard Main Building room, not a deluxe!
 
I love the castle view.

To the SAHMs....feel blessed you get to stay at home. That sure felt like a pampered vacation for me (when I was one) before becoming a working mom! Lucky you!
 

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