Walt Disney World

Posted on Monday, December 18th, 2006 at 11:10pm CST by 015e6010

Company: Walt Disney World

Category: Other

Walt Disney World - Orlando, Florida

Up until recently, I'd not had a negative experience worth noting - other than some horrid mildew in one of their hotel rooms e.g. Old Key West Resort.

Back in October, we had purchased 3 tickets for The Very Merry Christmas Party all at about $45.00 each - which took place just this past week, December 14, 2006 from 7:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Of course back in October when we had to select the date - who knew what the weather would be like on that day - and the day was okay - but the evening was another story.

We arrived at the Grand Floridian to get a bite to eat and thought we'd take the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom - it was drizzling moderately. Then the drizzle turned into a serious downpour. Still trying to be in a good mood with our "special needs son" I told him not to worry - we'd just go in and watch some cartoons at the place near Tony's Townsquare Restaurant. When we walked to the back to go and sit down and watch cartoons - we were rudely told that we could not enter into that area - as there was a private party occupying that section. So, we were lucky enough to take a seat on a bench. (Normally a guest can enter back in that area to sit and relax and watch cartoons on the screen.)

We along with many others - waited and watched as it just poured buckets outside. Finally, I realized that our night was not going to work out - as much as we had soooo been looking forward to this event, as we'd never done this before. Our son, is an autistic boy - so even though he's age 16 - it meant the world to him to attend this event and it was something he had been looking forward to with the glee of a young child. I asked if we could get a rain check - at the (Magic Kingdom) City Hall - and I was all but laughed at. Then I tried again about 20 minutes later with a different clerk at the City Hall hoping for a better response.

She told me "we've not heard anything about any cancellation tonight and we're going on as planned." My response was, "Well, you might be going on as planned - but we aren't - we're soaking wet"- as it was rather obvious looking at me and my hair, clothing, etc. I didn't get anywhere and was told that they don't issue rain checks not ever and if they did - we would have to actually be present there at the Magic Kingdom when they announced that the event had been cancelled. Was I supposed to hang around in my wet clothes standing in the pouring rain waiting, to see whether or not they would cancel the event - so to protect my vested interest? I may as well have been speaking to the bust of Walt Disney. What's more - they (the guest relation people) acted as if being soaking wet from head to toe was nothing at all to be concerned about and in a strange manner - they tried to make me feel like I was overreacting because I did not want to spend the next 5 hours - walking around in puddles (actually streams) of water up to my ankles with my clothes soaking wet. I am partially disabled as it is - and don't need the added challenge of trying to walk in water.

After I left the City Hall - I saw a horrible accident. A woman had taken her small baby out of the stroller because the wheels could not move in the heavy water. (They have very poor drainage in place there which I never realized before.) As the woman was trying to navigate the empty stroller and carry her baby - she caught her foot in the railroad tracks (on Main Street) and fell with her baby going down head first. It was an awful site to behold and then out of the blue the husband (or some man that seemed to know her) ran to assist her. They were both hurt - but it was raining so hard I couldn't stand around to see the outcome. There were other people including children - falling down because it was slippery and because it's difficult to walk in a foot of rushing water.

Upon our departure shortly after the 2nd visit to the City Hall - we could not return by way of the monorail as we had arrived because there was a full stream of water coming down the pathway that we would have to walk up - just to get to the monorail. An attendant motioned to my husband to go up that pathway and he told her, "You're crazy - do you see how much water is there" - it was near impossible there was a foot of water at least if not 2 feet streaming down the pathway. Also, there was a 30 min. wait - once you arrived up to the platform. So, we opted to take the boat back over to the Grand Floridian. We got wet some more, but we did arrive back to the Grand Floridian. We had a long walk to the lobby though - and that long walk was again, in the rain and in puddles/streams of water a min of 1 foot high. Our shoes were ruined, our feet were soaking wet - we were miserable.

In short, we paid about $150.00 and got nothing in return. I realize that Disney does not control the weather, but as with sporting events and concerts, etc. - a refund is due when an event cannot go on as planned either due to the performer having an illness or due to weather conditions or when the customer cannot endure the event as planned due to weather conditions and the like.

We have tried to find a guest relations person to speak with and I spent nearly 2 hours on the phone either on hold or being routed then rerouted and then on hold some more - to where I just finally had to hang up given the many things we have to do this time of year - I don't have 2 hours to waste. When I did try to explain our situation to a guest services employee - he told me, "You're talking to an innocent bystander."

How can Disney do this to its guests? One would think from a liability standpoint that they would not want to see people get hurt on their property for fear of a lawsuit - but the fact is, they don't care. They don't care about the children, they don't care about the parents of the children - they don't care about anything other than getting your money and after that, you're on your own. I've figured out that is precisely the reason it's so difficult to find someone to hear your complaint at Walt Disney World Guest Relations. I mean since they don't care - the mentality is probably - why waste money hiring people to work in a customer service dept. to listen to people complain about service - when they really don't care. They don't care because even if I never went back there again, it would not make one dent in their annual profits.

Jan (Florida)


3 Comments

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1b1de1e9, 2007-12-09, 03:35PM CST

To whom it may concern,

My family and I were on our way to Orlando from Maryland on November 16, 2007. While traveling through South Carolina pulling our travel trailer we were involved in a horrible accident. A class c motorhome pulling a car trailer hit us which in turn flipped over my excursion and my travel trailer and he kept going. We had reservations to stay at Fort Wilderness for 10 days. My family and I stay there approx. 5 times a year.After we worked things out to get a rental car we contacted our friend who works at the Fort to inform her of what happened. We asked if there was anything she could help us with as of a place to stay.She spoke with a manager to see if they could put us up in a cabin or hotel for at least 1night until we could make other arrangements. The answer she got was we could stay in a cabin for full price. We as annual pass holders for many years and diehard Disney fanatics were appauld at the answer we received. We cannot believe how we were treated not only as human beings in a desperate time of need but also as returning customers to Disney. We just purchased a new trailer and have reservations to stay at the Fort for Thansgiving and Christmas of 2008. We are definetly considering staying somewhere else. We know it won't matter to Disney whether or not we stay there because apparently 1 family canceling reservations doesn't matter. We hope if this happens to someone else they will not be treated as uncaring as we were. Just think,would Walt have treated us this poorly? We are due to renew our 6 annual passes that we have had for many years and are thinking twice about doing so. We did continue with our vacation, staying at Nickelodian suites for 2 nights where we were treated excellent then we rented a house for the rest of our stay in Orlando. Thank goodness for caring people outside of Disney that made our Thanksgiving the best it could be due to the circumstances.

Very disappointed in Disney,

dfed4fb8, 2008-02-14, 12:43AM CST

But... they didn't cancel the Christmas Party. They can't give you a rain check simply because you changed your mind about wanting to go. That's silly.

c51b6de3, 2009-01-28, 07:02PM CST

It says on all tickets that they are non refundable even due to weather, etc. Maybe you should watch the weather next time before planning an outting in the sub tropical Florida weather.

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