Leary about staying ONSITE and visiting Disney period from reviews

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by disneykindofgal, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. disneykindofgal

    disneykindofgal Earning My Ears

    Jun 4, 2004
    Several different reviews I've been pondering upon have had pretty much the same results--------------rundown, poor service, not worth the money, overated and Disney doesn't have the magic it use to. I'm wondering if we should even plan a trip there afterall. This is a driving trip with over 12 hrs. and the last thing I want is to arrive only to be disappointed by overated, dirty, old, rundown rooms at Disney with the $$$ price tag that you would expect more. I've also read reviews for OFF SITE hotels as well with the same results. Rundown, pictures on the web are deceiving, etc. Makes me very leary as if Disney has become WAY too big for its britches which means poor service, etc. I've read many reviews of dirty rooms and housecleaning not being up to par. I'm sorry but when you pay $$$ extra to stay at "THE" Disney, you expect exceptional service. I'm not finding this from reading lots of reviews. I guess I'm just disappointed and feeling that perhaps a vacation not at Disney would be more worth our time and $$$. Any GOOD, POSITIVE INPUT ABOUT DISNEY RESORTS AND DISNEY IN GENERAL WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED.

  2. wdwgoofeeee

    wdwgoofeeee <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

    Dec 28, 2002
    I will grant you that some people have had problems at their Disney resorts, but the fact is far more people complain than compliment!!!!!
    We have stayed at various Disney resorts for five trips since 1997 and have been like 98% happy. For the most part the hotels are kept in great shape and are always being refurbished. The Cast Members are normally great and do everything possible to make your stay special. This is not to say that there are not some bad apples in the CM ranks but I would say they are a minority.
    We thoroughly enjoyed our last two stays at the Yacht Club and would never consider staying off-site.
    Please keep in mind that some people cannot be pleased whatever you do. Disney resorts have a variety and atmosphere that you will not find anyplace else. From the value resorts to the deluxe resorts there is something for everyone.
    Try one yourself..............I believe that you will be very satisfied.
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  4. k_hase

    k_hase Mouseketeer

    Jun 18, 2002
    There must be something positive if so many people (on these boards and elsewhere) continue to go there. Just go with an open mind and heart, don't read too many reviews, and relax. You will always find that the most vocal people are the ones who have something to complain about and often the complaints encountered minimal or silly, just ignore them. Disney is a wonderful, happy place if you plan your trip expecting wonderful happiness, if you plan your trip intending to look for every fault, you will probably find them.
  5. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Aug 21, 1999
    Well, if you look at the majority of posts on this board people are trying to figure out how to say on site so..... it does not sound like they have experienced what you are concenred about.

    My experiences at Disney are postive. That said I firmly believe that attitude makes a world of difference. You can let one bad CM or one bad experience ruin your whole vacation or you can just let it go. You can look for positive or you can look for negative. There are people in this world who spend a lot of time looking for bad things (and this is not just Disney!) and they can generally find them.

    That said, Disney service is good. It is not the Ritz Carlton. Disney is serving literally thousands of customers at a time. When you are moving volume like that things happen. The room could have been in great shape until the Brat from you know where moved in and decocrated all the walls with his crayons! No, the bellman is not going to learn your name like at a small boutique hotel. I am fine with that (with the exception of the GF, Disney markets it as equal to Ritz and it isn't. It's clean and nice, but for that much money it needs to be OUTSTANDING!)

    I am not sure where you are reading your reviews. Keep in mind that most poeple only post if they are unhappy. So if you have 1,000 guests and one is unhappy you are only reading the one in a 1,000. I have read reviews of hotels that I have stayed in and been convinced the person was in a differnet hotel or just had unrealistic expectations. (i.e., I did not get a towel animal and therefore housekeeping was horrid)
  6. swilphil

    swilphil Feels trapped in a Brady Bunch episode at the Poly

    Jun 7, 2003
    We stayed at the Dolphin on our last trip and at a four star hotel offsite on our first trip. I will only stay onsite if I go during a busy time--summer, Christmas, etc. The Dolphin was a very nice hotel with great service, probably the best hotel service I've ever received. I like to stay on site so I don't have to be stuck in traffic and I can easily come and go to the parks. I also don't have to rent a car this way.

    I can't speak for the other onsite hotels as I've only stayed at the Dolphin, which is onsite but not owned by Disney. It is next to the Beach Club and Boardwalk and is also a deluxe hotel. We received the govt./teacher/nurse discount at the Dolphin, so it was much more affordable than the other resorts in the Epcot area.

    As far as the bad reviews you are reading, frankly I think some people have way too much time on their hands. There's constructive criticism and then there's just plain old whining. I would recommend getting a guidebook on Disney World. I like the Unofficial Guide to Disney World best, but Fodor's and Frommer's are good too. These books give more comprehensive and objective information.

    I would also highly recommend breaking your drive down into 2 days. You don't want to be exhausted before you even get there.
  7. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Mar 8, 2001
    I think you'll have nothing to worry about. Everyone has different ideas of what is clean and kept up. The Magic is definitely there.

    We took our first family trip to WDW in Oct 1999 and stayed at ASMu for 8 nights. It was hands down the best vacation we'd ever had as a family (and we travel several times a year). We thought we wouldn't go back for a few years, but just two months later I was making plans for a trip the following September (CBR and WL split). Since then we've been at least once a year (usually staying at two Deluxe resorts) and continue to enjoy every minute of our time there.

    It had got to be one of the best ways for a family to spend time together anywhere in the world, because there is so much to see and do and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

    I suggest bypassing reading any more negative reports, stick to the positive and start enjoying the planning part of your vacation!
  8. IndyDisneyFan

    IndyDisneyFan I want to live at WDW!

    Jan 5, 2003
    We have stayed at Disney hotels more times than I can even count, and have had only one bad experience, and that was at All Star Sports last summer(only there for one night because of a flight delay). The room was in disrepair and dirty, and they promised to fix the problem before anyone else stayed there. We are heading back to the Poly in 3 weeks, and can't wait! Disney magic does abound, cast members are "Disney friendly" both in the hotels and in the parks, and as annual passholders for 3 years now we wouldn't want to vacation anywhere else! There is nothing like staying "on" property. Think of it this way, people who have a bad experience tell at least 10 other people, but those who have a good experience just smile and are happy to keep it to themselves. You will have a great time, no matter where you stay, and if anything does happen speak up and they will fix the problem ASAP!

    Now go and have fun!
  9. wannabee princess

    wannabee princess DIS Veteran

    Jan 31, 2003
    I think there are people who see life through a half empty viewpoint and others see it with the half full view. I am not a Pollyanna by any means, but I think that if you go anywhere with the half empty view, you are coming away unhappy, disappointed and grumpy!

    I have had both good and not so good experiences in life - including experiences while in the World. However, I try to look at the good points and remember that I can't expect perfection! I can honestly say that the very, very good at Disney has outweighed the just so-so!

    Have you ever heard the saying "You get what you give"? I think that those who are complaining (in general) are not looking for the good - they let one bad experience sour their whole experience!

    If you go to Disney (or any place) expecting to be treated like royalty you will come away disappointed. If you go to Disney expecting to put forth a little kindness, you may be pleasantly suprised!

    If you haven't read rgoble's trip report on the trip boards, go over and do so! Start at day one and read through - you will see that being kind to strangers leads to great results!
  10. BCKatie02

    BCKatie02 Mouseketeer

    May 19, 2004
    I've been to Disney before, and there was no doubt in my mind that we would be returning. I don't think that you can trade the experience of the magic of the parks for anything. BUT, I did have some of your concerns about choosing a hotel after reading online reviews. My husband, though, made an excellent point. We went to Disney in May of 2002. We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and had a wonderful time. The people were great, the rooms were great, the experience was great. When we returned, did we take the time out to write an online review? No. We also have friends that have done the same. Generally speaking, it seems to be people who have had bad experiences and want to gripe about them are the ones who go to review oriented websites and post. They are seeking attention and sympathy because they have been "wronged".

    We are going back to Disney in July and are staying on property. If we get a "bad" room, we'll ask to be moved. If someone is rude, we'll ignore them. A vacation is what you make of it. So relax and enjoy.

    Hope this helps!

  11. Tinkerbellz

    Tinkerbellz I do believe in Tag Faeries...I do believe in Tag

    May 17, 2004
    I believe in the MAGIC of Disney. I also believe MAGIC is what you make it. Granted it has been exactly 3 years this week since I have been to the Wonderful World of Disney, but I know that I will NEVER stay offsite. Our family philosophy is to make the most of our Disney vacation time. I have to agree with a previous poster, many more people complain than praise. To some extent, people need to hear that. It's all in how you handle it. Ultimately, you have to make you own decision about your vacation, but I will always opt to make the 15 hour drive to Disney whenever it's possible.:grouphug:

  12. Momof5cubs

    Momof5cubs Mouseketeer

    Jan 21, 2004
    I think it really all depends on your personal preferences. We stayed at POR last year. I didn't like the rooms and thought they were dark and depressingly decorated. My DH loved it and POR is his favorite resort now. My kids LOVE All Star Movies and would rather stay there than anywhere. Although neither of those resorts are my favorites, I still had fun on my vacation, and so will you!
    I know what you mean, though, My youngest son and I are taking a short trip to AKL in 10 days and some of the reviews I see are awful. I am determined to go a see for myself!
  13. wmarsich

    wmarsich Mouseketeer

    Aug 10, 2003
    I just received my Consumer Reports magazine for July and Disney hotels are listed as the top "upscale" hotel. The ratings were apparently done by readers picks. They were also picked as "best by far" for children. They recieved the highest rating in their "value", and next to the highest rating in service, upkeep, and problems. Disney "upscale" hotels had an 86% approval rating compared to the highest luxury rating (Ritz-Carlton) of 91%. They also indicated that Disney's ratings have improved according to readers since a 2001 report. I know it's pretty subjective, but I thought I would report! :wave:
  14. ddank

    ddank Wilderness Lodge Veteran

    Feb 16, 2002
    For some this is a forum to vent. People don't need to vent if they had a good time, only if it didnt meet their expectations. WDW is just as good as it was in the 80s/90s, there are just alot of people out there who like to complain.
  15. jarestel

    jarestel DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Oct 24, 2003
    Having stayed at a good many Disney properties, I can reassure you they are definitely not run down. As far as over-rated and not worth the money, those are opinions and everyone is entitled to one. What one person sees as over-rated and over-priced, another sees as quite reasonable, so you'll have to form your opinion on that after your trip. As far as poor service goes, you may encounter CMs that don't seem to care, but again, basing my observation on 20+ trips to WDW, this is the exception and not the rule. So relax, go to WDW and have a great time. Post here when you return and let us know how it went!
  16. KIMHELMS99

    KIMHELMS99 Mouseketeer

    Apr 30, 2003
    I don't think you will be unhappy if you choose to stay on sight. We have been to several different resorts, sometimes things weren't perfect but never have I had such a bad experience that I would consider staying off sight because of it.

    Go and have a wonderful time.
  17. minster22

    minster22 DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis

    Mar 24, 2001
    Several times before WDW trips I have had to take a break from these boards because of all the information here.Our last trip was literally the trip of a lifetime for us, my best friend and I saved for over two years and ours plans were to stay at the GF for 7 nights then over to the BWI for 10 nights. We are working people, not rich by any means , and we had naturally very high expectations for our trip, having had several fabulous trips prior to this.I had read many posts on these boards regarding the GF that were less than positive and was a bit leary about staying there. We had a conversation before we went about our expectations and going with the flow no matter what. We had a trip the exceeded all our dreams and could not have been more perfect!!This is not to say we NEVER saw a grumpy CM or that we had to actually ask to change our attic room at the GF, but going with the intention of having a fabulous vacation I think is a bit more realistic. Please don't let the negative here stop you from going to WDW or staying onsite.....the MAGIC lives on for most of us!!!
  18. Puffy2

    Puffy2 DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2000
    Disney hotels are not "run down" - they are clean, fairly comfortable and certainly worth your time (and reasonable money) staying there.

    I would rate them fairly high, but they do not compare to the Loews Hotels at Universal (much finer linens, more comfortable beds, first rate amenities and service), Loews are inline with Ritz Carlton and well run Westins. The new beds at the Swan (and Dolphin if they finished putting them all in -?-) may very well have bumped these two hotels onsite at Disney up to the class the Loews hotes are in .

    but the beds at Disney are ordinary and nothing to write home about (except that they don't sag and they are decent).

    Staying onsite is much more convienent than offsite and worth the extra if you can afford it.
  19. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

    May 2, 2002
    Another vote for the prevailing magic!! We have found that WDW is certainly not run-down, badly staffed and dirty!! Yes, you may run into a less than perfect CM but IMO they are few and far between. At least, that is my experience. We love the resorts. Have stayed at all levels and found them to be wonderful. Yes, you can stay off-site for less money. But, off-site equals less magic. I love being surrounded with that Disney magic 24/7. Even the buses are magical to me.

    I say, go and have fun. Stay on-site if that's what you want to do. I don't think you'll be disappointed. The parks are maintained beautifully, as are the resorts. Yes, the food may be a little overpriced for what you are getting...but I know that going in and plan accordingly. Nope, I love WDW and plan on many, many more trips there.
  20. DznyDreams


    Oct 3, 2000
    GO!!! Stay at a Disney Resort, relax and have a great time at the happiest place on earth!

    There are way more posts on these boards concerning good experiences while staying onsite vs. staying offsite. Sure, there is the occasional "worn-looking" room report, but if you just happen to get stuck in such a room, just ask a manager to move you. I assure you, there are more good rooms at WDW than bad. You will be so glad you went to WDW and stayed onsite . . . I PROMISE!!

    One thing I might offer as advice for all: If you stay at a Disney Resort and you notice a small leak in the bathroom or a tear in the carpet, etc -- REPORT IT ASAP!! Leaks and tears that don't get reported just keep getting bigger and bigger causing more and more damage or an appearance of being poorly kept. Let's face it; a small leak doesn't damper the vacations of most, so the vast majority of folks don't report these things. If we'd all report the minor stuff as we notice it, I'd be willing to bet that they'd get right on it! I would think they'd much rather fix a small leak, rather than to eventually have to replace rotted cabinetry, flooring, carpet, mold/mildew-stained grout, etc....maybe it would result in virtually no "worn" rooms. I know that not all problems are noticeable (inside walls, etc.), but the visible stuff is what I'm referring to.
  21. LadyTrampScamp&Angel

    LadyTrampScamp&Angel DIS Veteran

    Apr 30, 2001
    Wow, I'm so sorry you've gotten that impression of Disney World. I think other posters have hit on lots of good points but here's my view.

    If you don't have some "Magic" in your soul anyway you won't find it at Disney. If you really don't want to be there (maybe you're just doing it for the kids), if you're spending more than you can afford (and resent/or worry about it big time!), if your expectations are so high that you expect everything to be 100% perfect, if you are a pessimistic person etc, Disney World isn't going to turn that around for you.

    However, if you shrug off a few little inconveniences that might happen, hey - you might get a CM who's short with you, or maybe your room keys didn't work and you had to walk back to the lobby for new ones (happened to us once, didn't affect our trip one bit) - you know stuff happens and a lot of how you deal with it depends on your perceptions/expectations, if you are someone who can look at the good stuff and you want to have a good time, and very important - if you are NOT spending more than you can afford - then you will probably have a great time.

    I mention the don't spend more than you can afford because I really think a lot of negative posts come from people who resent how much they spent on a vacation. I spent $xxx on a vacation and I'm mad about it in the first place so it better be perfect! You can find out what everything costs at Disney on the internet so do some budgeting before you go.

    Also a lot of people complain about things that were a result of lack of planning. Here's an interesting article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4998871/ So frequent these boards, ask more questions, get those priority seatings http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/dining/pscalc/dispscalc.html You will get so much more out of DW if you don't "just wing it".

    Check my signature, been to Disney many times. Never had a problem with a room being dirty or run down. If you get one, ask to be moved. If you don't like the resort's theme when you get there, ask if they can accomodate you at another resort. If not, deal with it and make the best of it. That's my motto - along with life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

    I know once in a while there could be a real problem. In that case go higher up with management until you get it resolved. I really don't think that's going to happen often.

    Just my opinion of course.

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