How to Lodge a Complaint or Give Praise at Disney World

Written by Chris Wood. Posted in Features, Park Wise, Walt Disney World

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Published on October 25, 2012 at 5:01 am with 8 Comments

It’s a subtle thing, perhaps something that the average guest doesn’t notice, but part of what makes your experience in a Disney park so good is the cast members who go out of their way to make you feel welcomed and taken care of. In fact, while it’s obvious that Disney is in the theme park business, they’re also in the customer service business, consistently providing a great product at the Walt Disney World Resort for over 17 million visitors a year.  Similarly, I’ve come to trust Disney resorts.  I know that they’ll be clean, safe, and that cast members will be friendly and efficient. Any issues I’ve had come up have been addressed quickly.  In fact, part of the benefit of staying on property is knowing what you’re getting every time, whether you pay $88 a night or $458 a night.  But no company is perfect.

I have never needed to lodge a complaint over a cast member, but should this happen, talk to a manager at the location the cast member works. Often, issues can be resolved quickly and easily.  The overwhelming majority of cast members work at Disney because they love it.  Similarly, if your room isn’t up to snuff, call the front desk. I’m not talking about the fact that you can only see a sliver of Bay Lake Tower in your Bay Lake View and you’d like a room change, but real issues, like cleanliness, noise, and broken items in the room. It happens.  And in some cases, management won’t know about smaller issues unless you tell them.

If you have an issue with your room or the service you’re receiving, let Disney know.  But please be reasonable and don’t forget your manners. Just this last trip, I witnessed a woman using very loud, four-letter words in the lobby of the Contemporary over some room mix-up. She wasn’t helping her family or her case and I couldn’t help but feel for cast member she was verbally abusing.   Remember that Disney is a unique company and many cast members take a lot of pride in being part of it; in my experience, they’ll bend over backwards to help you. The company holds itself to a higher standard. Because of this, most of us expect better from Disney than we do from, for example, a Marriott or Holiday Inn.  But that also works against it, because it brings out a strong sense of entitlement in some guests. So remember when you complain, be nice.  This person has a hard job.  But by all means, let your comments be known.  Good or bad, they count.

Conversely, when you witness a cast member going above and beyond, please let someone know, particularly in writing  These compliments go in cast members’ files and will help them advance in the company.  I tend to keep notes on my iPhone about good service; it only takes a few minutes and means a lot to the person who just made your stay a little more magical.

 

Get Park Wise:  If you want to compliment a cast member or relay an issue you’ve had during your stay, you can leave a comment card at City Hall or Guest Relations in any of the parks. If you prefer to wait until you return home, email Disney at [email protected].

I almost never find reasons to leave actual complaints–it’s easy to see that someone might be having a bad day–but I do make note of exemplary cast members and send an email when I get home.  Make sure you get their name, where they’re from, and where they work. You should receive an email from Disney making note that they appreciate the input a few days after you send your email.

Have you ever had reason to leave comments about a cast member at Walt Disney World? Tell us your magical, and not so magical, experiences in the comments below.

About Chris Wood

Chris Wood is frequent Disney traveler and travel agent. She considers Walt Disney World to be her home park.

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8 Comments

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  1. Thanks, Chris! Good article, as always! It always was great for me to get a guest compliment when I worked at Disneyland, just as I love getting great course evaluations today, and just as I imagine you might like getting comments like this. I was even cheered up yesterday when a Micechatter hit “like” after I posted a link to an article about the Tom Hanks/Walt Disney movie.

  2. Sadly, my story doesn’t have a happy ending. I had the most amazing cast member working The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland (I know, this is a WDW article, but still). She totally played the crowd the whole time and then singled me out for a great gag when the lights went out in the stretching room. Now for the sad part. I was so surprised and delighted with what transpired that I totally forgot to took at her name tag. I sent Disney a compliment on her behalf, anyway, but it was basically some rambling about when I was there and what she looked like in hopes of them figuring out who it was.

    On the WDW front, I’m sad to say that it has been many, many years since I have had a cast member experience that really stood out. In fact, this years trip, my family and I were commenting to each other that only one of the 8 or so cast members we encountered at the Haunted Mansion (my benchmark, since it’s one of easiest attractions for a cast member to play a character) seemed to be even trying to enhance the experience. In general, the cast members throughout the resort on a whole just seemed to be doing their jobs and not seeking to excel. I did note that several perked up when I threw positive attitude at them. It makes me wonder if there isn’t a lot more negativity coming from the people they have to deal with, so they are a little beat down.

  3. I had a resort manager at PO-Riverside save our vacation once. Even though my child, who was over 10 and an adult in free Disney dining terms, was credited as a child in meal allotment. Every place we went charged him as an adult and we were out of meals on day 3.
    I asked at the resort what was going on, and he re-credited our account correctly at no charge, because everywhere except the meal allotment had his age correct.
    When he asked if there was anything else he could do, I said yes. I’d like the name and number of his manager because I was going to make sure a thank you to him was going to be heard. He gladly wrote it down, and left a glowing review on how he had fixed something that was nowhere near his fault for us.
    Speaking of, We just had the best Jungle Cruise skipper ever, I should send her picture in with a comment.

  4. Yes. I go out of my way to leave a compliment when some CM gives exemplary service. For example, last September, I was traveling w/ my brother and sister-in-law at DL when the back wheel of their stroller came off (rendering it useless). We needed a small wrench or pliers. Lo and behold, a security CM came by with a multitool who fortunately knew exactly how to fix it.

    While going out of the park that evening, I went to the City Hall and gave the estimated time, location, type of CM and the name. Took no more than 3 minutes.

  5. If ever you truly want to complement a cast member ask if their station has any GSF (guest service fanatic) cards. You can write your name and write a comment on what the cast member did. The cast member will receive the card and then must bring it to their manager to sign it so it goes on their record. It is a great help to us when are noticed and it lets us feel as if we have kept the magic going. Thanks for appreciating our hard work, Chris.

    • That’s a great tip Kevin. Thank you!

  6. Does anyone have the web address of where to send complaints regarding Disneyland/California Adventure? I can’t find it on their website.

  7. http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/170251-heartwarming-story-friendly-generous-couple-help-me-out-tight-money-pinch.html

    Already made a compliment at City Hall regarding the waitress in mine. So far haven’t had to deal with making a complaint.