My family and I recently returned from a long weekend at Disney's Vero Beach Resort, which was a lovely (if too short) break from our daily, hectic lives. More importantly, it proved that nothing - not even Hurricane Irene - could keep me from my Disney magic.
The hotel staff, on the other hand, was a different story.
Things started off typically enough - we strolled up to the desk and were handed our room keys. When we actually got to our assigned room, it was located next to The Green Cabin Room. As in, the lounge. With the live music. And the drunk people.
So, for the first time ever, we complained. We walked back down to the desk, explained that we weren't happy with the room, particularly since we booked the reservation months in advance and had requested a quiet room with an ocean view. The Cast Member looked at us as if we were crazy - who wouldn't want to try to fall asleep to the sounds of Jimmy Buffett karaoke? - but then handed us a new set of keys and sent us off to Room #2.
Now, I've never worked in the hospitality industry, but it would seem to me that if a guest complained about something, you would want to try to fix it. And if you work for a company that prides itself on making sure its guests have a magical time, maybe you would even go above and beyond to make sure things got straightened out. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at our second room only to discover that the ocean view we requested was 70% obstructed by the roof of the below room and a giant palm tree. And that our balcony was located directly over the designated smoking area. Charming.
So we call the front desk, this time with more agitation in our voices as we explain that this room is also unacceptable and ask that we please be moved to the quiet, ocean view room we came all the way to Florida to have. After about 15 minutes of waiting for the front desk to call back (which I'm sure was time the hotel staff spent referring to my family in non-magical terms), they said someone would be up with our room keys. After another 10 minutes, a timid, "Earning Her Ears" Cast Member appeared to escort us to our new room. Sure, send the rookie. The poor girl was visibly nervous and got lost three times trying to find our new room. Apparently my family is a scary bunch, although we didn't raise our voices, yell, or threaten anything ("Give us what we paid for or I will write bad things about you on the Internet!") during this entire ordeal.
As it turns out, third time's the charm and Room #3 was perfect, and we had a great time. But that's not the end of the story.
Because we had early flights out of Orlando, we opted to spend our last night in our DVC home base of Saratoga Springs, which meant we also spent an afternoon at Downtown Disney and had (another) amazing meal at The California Grill. We check in, are assigned a room in the Paddock section, and begin driving toward our home away from home.
Then we see the construction crews surrounding the building.
|Outside our door.|
|Outside our window.|
Our room kindly had a note to explain the situation:
Please pardon our appearance as we are currently refurbishing the exterior of your building for your future enjoyment. During your visit, you may see some of the enhancement work in progress [...] we suggest that you bring all personal articles in from the balcony during these hours, as there may be workers painting on or near the balcony at different times during the day. For additional privacy, we recommend that you draw your curtains.In other words: don't bother enjoying the room because there will be constant noise and strange men lurking around your windows.
So, once again we call the front desk, and more or less say "Seriously? Seriously?" and then waited for 20 minutes while the Cast Members hemmed and hawed and said "oh hmm, let's see what we can do." Finally, the Room Assignment Manager asked, "Well, what do you want?" Oh, I don't know, maybe to stay somewhere that's not in the middle of a construction zone? Thankfully, we were reassigned to another room with a lovely view of Downtown Disney and quieter surroundings. And there we stayed, happily.
In all honesty, we are not the type of people who complain about imperfections. And in all the years we've been vacationing at WDW, we've never had this problem before. But two different Disney hotels in two different cities with the same nonchalance for the guests who are paying good money to stay there? Not magical, guys. Not magical at all.
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