This is my first post as I am usually just a lurker on the Mice Chat site. I like to think of my wife and I veterans of Walt Disney World with over 20 trips under our belt. We own a Truck Camper and have stayed at the Fort Wilderness Campground on every trip but one. We have a separate deduction from my monthly check just for this vacation.
I also run a Truck Camping club up here in New England and though it would be a great idea to share our enthusiasms with my fellow Truck Campers (T/Cs) by doing a group trip down to the "Fort. 15 months of promotions and 14 of us descended on Fort Wilderness this past January 19,20014 to February 1,2014. Dealing with Walt Disney World's group reservations group was pretty awesome except that they would not guarantee we would be together until 1 week before we arrived. We all ended up in loop 500. It goes quickly down hill from here. At the end I will tell you of my being treated as a second class person at Walt Disney World and am quite disgusted all because my wife and I opted for a room charge card instead of the not so magic wrist bands.
Sunday night we all headed over to the Contemporary resort and went up to the second floor to get a bit to eat and I was going to hand out the "Team Disney" polo shirts we had all ordered. Well 3 couple's & 1 single person - wrist bands did not work at all. I had enough money to give them so they could pay for their meals. Monday was an off day for the group and those with non-functioning wrist bands headed up to the entrance and I was informed there wrist bands were "Re-Flashed" and they were all set.
Monday we all head into the Magic Kingdom for a day of fun. The same 7 people wrist bands still do not work and head over to customer relations. I tell my wife to take the group into the Magic Kingdom and I will stay back and see what's up with these wrist bands. Its bad really really bad as they are all told they were sold an 8 day magic your way with park hopper that expired on January 15, 2014. That is 5 days before our group expires. I am going to repeat this in that even thou we had a group number, a group reservation number, these 7 people were sold magic your way park hopper tickets that expired 5 days before we arrived. Now it my understanding that these tickets expire 14 days from 1st use. No one ion the booth can explain why this has happen and we have all 3 windows tied up. At one point they had it all fixed - BUT - these 7 people would not get the "freebies" we got as a group. I respectfully decline and tell them to solve it. It one point I over hear a chat with a supervisor who is on the phone saying he is not going to absorb the $40.00 back charge. I am even on the phone with my Walt Disney World group contact person who is also flabbergasted that these tickets have expired. Finally 42 minuets later, all 7 people are give the old fashion 8 day paper ticket with mickey picture on it. The "brand new wrist bands" have ben set up so they can charge their purchases. Its not over buy any means...........
We all head up main street and head into the pasty shop for a cup of coffee and something sweet and I am on the phone to find out where the rest of the group is. 3 of the seven (you at the swear word here) not so magic bands do not work. We head back to customer service and I ask for "Mike" the supervisor and as much as I want to throw these stupid bands in his face, I calm down and he "Re-flashed them again. To wind up this part of the story - 1 band still does not work and that night we have a "smashing party" and my Campsite. So much for that not so magic - wrist band. I am also away of at least 3 other failures of the wrist bands when entering the parks and they had to go to that person with the electronic clip board who did their thing and after a delay - finally let them into the park.
Now if you really want to be treated as a second class citizen in Walt Disney World - Just opt out of the not so magic - wrist bands and get a room charge card/key card as my wife and I did. Remember I said we went to the Contemporary Resort to eat on our fist night of arrival. It took two levels of supervisors to authorize my charge as the cashiers were instructed NOT to accept these type of charge card. I though it might be just this resort but man was I wrong. The worst was at the Trails End Restaurants/Bar at the Campground where I was told outright by the supervisor - how much paperwork I was creating for him, each time I use my room charge card. I stubbornly continued to use this card no matter what.
Lastly it seems Walt Disney World has made absolutely no provisions for us older people who do not embrace purchasing the latest electronic device's - I do believe they are call Smart Phones. My phone does one thing and only one thing - make phone calls. So I cannot take advantage of all this fast pass stuff as I have no way to electronically retrieve it, or for that matter any other offering that need a device they can send it to.
My Wife and I are seriously considering not going to the Mouse House anymore. With a 3 week trip from MA. to Florida and then back to Ma. now costing in the $3500 area, trips to Walt Disney World are not magical anymore.
P/S - I called my group contact person a total of 3 times that latest being this morning and she still cannot give me a reason why those 7 people were sold Magic your Way tickets that expired 5 days prior to our arrival.