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  1. #16

    • The Mickey Follower
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    My plans for my upcoming trip was to purchase my AP this weekend. The main reason for us buying the passes was so we could come down on a long weekend. Most of you know that those kinds of trips happen 4 - 6 weeks in advance, usually when you purchase airfare tickets. No one purchases tickets 17 weeks in advance.

    With their change in policy, I may reconsider the plan of purchasing the passes now. I understand the whole financials behind all of this, but why punish people who are saying when they buy a AP, we'll be back again.

    And, since we told some of our friends that we are purchasing the passes and told them that we could book 3 rooms at the discounted AP rate, we had group trips coming down. How on earth is this policy ever going to make some trips like that happen?
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    WDW Aug 98 (Honeymoon), Aug 03, May 04, Aug 05, Dec 05, Mar 06, Dec 06, June 07, Dec 07.
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  2. #17

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    I think this is to punish the AP holders from out of FL than locals. We dont' have to stay on property, but obviously, theyhave caught on to the fact that many out of towners are enjoying these discounts, and possibly using those APs no more than 2-3 times a year. But that is only an observation.

  3. #18

    • Uber Disney freak! șOș
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    This new policy SUCKS, and is a BIG reason why my currently-planned September trip is likely to be my last-ever trip as an AP.

    I'm about halfway between CA & FL, so I'll just start to visit DL more regularly than I do WDW. If they want to treat me this way, they can't have any more of my $$ once my current AP expires.
    -Ann

    WDW:
    July 1987 - offsite, 1-day visit to the MK; July-August 2000 - honeymoon - Port Orleans (now POFQ); May 2003 - Caribbean Beach Resort; Dec 2003 - Coronado Springs; April 2004 - Pop Century (PC) & POFQ; Sept 2004 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; May 2005 - Port Orleans Riverside; Sept 2005 - PC; Oct 2006 - POFQ; Apr 2007 - PC; July 2007 - Boardwalk Villas (WOO HOO! I was at WDW in the MK on the 20th anniversary of my first visit!); August - Sept 2007 - Old Key West; Sept 2007 - Saratoga Springs; Oct 2007 - BWV; Mar-Apr 2008 - SS

    DLR:
    Dec 2001 - Grand Californian; Jan 2005 - GC; July 2005 - HoJo Anaheim & GC; Dec 2008 - Best Western Park Place Inn



    p.s. Wanna buy a ?

  4. #19

    • Uber Disney freak! șOș
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    Note: My issues with this are the 120 days and the non-refundable deposit. My stance on AP rates is this: sure, they're nice, but if they didn't exist or had already been taken, I'd downgrade where I stayed.

    Yeah, not renewing and swearing to go to DL mosre often may be a bit extremem, but I'm still mad about this and likely to remain so for a while.
    -Ann

    WDW:
    July 1987 - offsite, 1-day visit to the MK; July-August 2000 - honeymoon - Port Orleans (now POFQ); May 2003 - Caribbean Beach Resort; Dec 2003 - Coronado Springs; April 2004 - Pop Century (PC) & POFQ; Sept 2004 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; May 2005 - Port Orleans Riverside; Sept 2005 - PC; Oct 2006 - POFQ; Apr 2007 - PC; July 2007 - Boardwalk Villas (WOO HOO! I was at WDW in the MK on the 20th anniversary of my first visit!); August - Sept 2007 - Old Key West; Sept 2007 - Saratoga Springs; Oct 2007 - BWV; Mar-Apr 2008 - SS

    DLR:
    Dec 2001 - Grand Californian; Jan 2005 - GC; July 2005 - HoJo Anaheim & GC; Dec 2008 - Best Western Park Place Inn



    p.s. Wanna buy a ?

  5. #20

    • The Mickey Follower
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    I totally agree. We shouldn't be punished because we want to visit more than once a year. I don't understand the logic of punishing any guests, regardless of where they live.
    ________________________
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  6. #21

    • Rock Star Minion
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    Possible reasons why this policy was enacted:
    1. AP holders do a lot more last-minute shopping of hotels.
    2. AP holders do a lot more canceling of reservations.

    Not saying any of our wonderful AP Chatters would do such things, but some of those AP holders that don't visit here can be real jerks.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  7. #22

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    It's bad policy. Period. And in typical Disney fashion, they're making it seem like they're doing APers a favor. My advice call and complain loudly to the CMs at CRO, as their calls are often monitored. Or perhaps an email or letter to the head honchos of the Walt Disney Travel Co.

    I do believe a lot of this is Disney trying to close the Internet gate after all the ponies and goats have escaped ... it's not going to work.

    If Disney wants to make more $$$ on its rooms, let them raise rates and not even offer AP rates and see how it goes. My take is less people will buy APs, less people will stay on property and more people will realize there's a lot to see in Central Florida when you leave Disney property.

    But that's a fair way for a company to do business. This just reeks of being an underhanded method of screwing the most loyal guests in order to close every 'loophole' as Disney sees it, of their past decade of discounts.

    Make no mistake about it. Disney is going after Mousesavers.com, the RADP newsgroup and sites like this where discounts and saving strategies are discussed ad naseum. Instead of being happy about it, I think Disney is getting to the point where they'd rather a guest pay say $450 to stay at the Poly or have the room sit empty vs. having someone pay $215 for the same room. ... it ain't gonna fly.

  8. #23

    • Wishin' I was at WDW.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    I think this is to punish the AP holders from out of FL than locals. We dont' have to stay on property, but obviously, theyhave caught on to the fact that many out of towners are enjoying these discounts, and possibly using those APs no more than 2-3 times a year. But that is only an observation.
    This is how I use my AP. I became an annual passholder in June of '04 because the rate of the AP itself was cost effective for my stay. I knew nothing of the hotel discounts at the time and stayed at two of the independently owned Downtown Disney resorts.

    Having the AP did enable two short trips before it expired last month. I would not have been able to afford these trips if I'd had to purchase park tickets again, or pay the rack rate on a resort room.

    I wanted to come to the International Food and Wine Festival, so I did. I was also able to make an impromptu trip this past January a few weeks after I had the idea. I had the idea because I wished to return and a discount on resorts was available.

    Disney had me on their property, and in staying on site, I'm captive there. So, where does my money go? Directly to Disney for anything I purchase while there.

    Doubt I'll be able to do so now. I renewed my AP, so it's valid until the end of May next year, in the hopes that I could take a few short trips again. With this new system of booking so far in advance it doesn't look like I'll be able to return, which is a shame. I'm not willing to book a non-refundable deposit on a trip I may not be able to make at a rate to be determined later on down the line.

    I'm not so certain that AP discounts are adding to the "Wal-Marting" of the resorts. Disney is doing just fine in ensuring that happens on its own by offering generously discounted package deals. $1500 a week for a family of four? Free food? Hmmm....

  9. #24

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    Well, this just made the booking of our November trip make ALOT more sense.

    We were, before we booked it, debating whether to get AP's and use the discount. But, it looks like we wouldn't be able to do that now.


  10. #25

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    ^^^I wouldn't make any hasty decisions. I talked to a travel agent/friend that specializes in Disney and according to sources at CRO, a lot of things are in flux right now.
    This indeed may only be a trial balloon thrown up there to see how much resistance it encounters.
    But I also would never advise anyone to buy an AP just for the hotel discounts. Because even if they have them, there's no saying there'll be a room when you call or at the resort(s) you wish to stay at. It is just a bonus.

  11. #26

    • The Mickey Follower
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    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    ^^^I wouldn't make any hasty decisions. ---- But I also would never advise anyone to buy an AP just for the hotel discounts. Because even if they have them, there's no saying there'll be a room when you call or at the resort(s) you wish to stay at. It is just a bonus.
    I agree most shouldn't make hasty decisions... But, since I live in Chicago and planned on purchasing 3 AP for my family, the idea of the off-season discounts for the resorts was one of the things we liked about the program. We have a trip down in August and a 7 day trip planned for next summer, so the AP was the right decision for us. We also thought we could get a weekend trip to see Mickey every other month when the AirFare is right.

    But, if we're the type of disney faithful they are trying to stop from coming more than once a year, they are starting to do a good job.
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  12. #27

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    Having an annual pass or being a Florida resident NEVER guaranteed you of a discounted hotel price. Those rates were based on an availability basis. Although we love the annual passholders and Florida residents, they have become some of our worst guests in that they complain and bitch about everything, and when they come at the last minute tbesides getting a discount, they also expect free upgrades. Many of the resorts now hate "Florida Fridays, because that is when we get more bitchy guests at check in just because they live in Florida (the worst are fom the West Palm Beach-Fort Lauderdale and Miami area).

  13. #28

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    ^^^A happy CM?

    I am one of those Fort Lauderdale area APers that you speak of with such disdain. I only 'complain and bitch' when I get lousy service or have a dirty room or a room that has obviously not been maintained etc ... Spending as many as 30-40 nights a year at a WDW resort, yeah, I like my discounts. I also like what I don't often get anymore -- Disney first class service and quality.

    I NEVER expect a free upgrade. BUT if I check into DAK Lodge at my AP rate for a pool view and there are 30 savannah view rooms that are going to be empty for the night, I believe it's only good guest service to offer it to me for free or for a slight fee.

    It kinda sounds like you maybe don't have the best personality for guest service?

  14. #29

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    Actually I have a great personality for customer service. That's why I have been in it for over 25 years in foodservice, retail, call center and hospitality. I know customer service, but I have to draw a line somewhere as well.

    I have no problem giving a free upgrade when one is available. I would upgrade everyone if I could. But after being threatened and even spit on by people that come into the hotel after practically making the reservation within the last 24 hours on a full house night and demand a free upgrade, oh look they were from Boca, West Palm or Miami, well..... I am more apt to give the free upgrade to a person paying the full rack rate anyway than to one at a discounted rate, or to a person that booked a few months in advance.

    If what you really want is the savannah view, water view, or the castle view then book that. Don't book the parking lot or garden view expecting to get a free upgrade. An upgrade should be an unexpected surprise, not a demand or an expectation. The hotel reserves the right to grant an upgrade (free or otherwise) or not. And remember, just because on a previous visit one may have gotten an upgrade does not mean that will be the case on all future visits.

    By the way, I am an extremely happy castmember and damn proud of it.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by ti2gr
    Actually I have a great personality for customer service. That's why I have been in it for over 25 years in foodservice, retail, call center and hospitality. I know customer service, but I have to draw a line somewhere as well.
    We all get frustrated in our jobs from time to time, especially the way people are in general in 2005. But if you go in with a preconceived idea about how a guest is going to act because they're from Boca Raton or Palm Beach or Miami, you'll likely treat the guests accordingly ... and that's not a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ti2gr
    I have no problem giving a free upgrade when one is available. I would upgrade everyone if I could. But after being threatened and even spit on by people that come into the hotel after practically making the reservation within the last 24 hours on a full house night and demand a free upgrade, oh look they were from Boca, West Palm or Miami, well..... I am more apt to give the free upgrade to a person paying the full rack rate anyway than to one at a discounted rate, or to a person that booked a few months in advance.
    I'll repeat that in hundreds of visits to WDW, I have NEVER asked for a free upgrade anywhere. If it was obvious the resort wasn't busy I might say 'is anything available (fill in the location)' ... but I do the same thing anywhere.
    There's nothing more frustrating as a guest as being stuck in a very undesirable room/location just because some snotty front desk worker sees you aren't paying rack and takes out their frustrations on you. Like using Priceline.com and staying at the LAX Hilton and being put in a dreary 1984-looking room when they have dozens of open recently renovated rooms ...that didn't go over with me and after 30 minutes of back-and-forth at the front desk I was moved.

    As to being threatened or spit on, I don't doubt that happens ... WDW brings out the best and WORST in some people. But if that had ever happened to me, the only place those folks would have been checking into would be the local jail after I had security summon the Orange or Osceola County Sheriff's Dept. ... That's assault plain and simple, and no one should be forced to take it!


    Quote Originally Posted by ti2gr

    If what you really want is the savannah view, water view, or the castle view then book that. Don't book the parking lot or garden view expecting to get a free upgrade. An upgrade should be an unexpected surprise, not a demand or an expectation. The hotel reserves the right to grant an upgrade (free or otherwise) or not. And remember, just because on a previous visit one may have gotten an upgrade does not mean that will be the case on all future visits.
    Great advice. I agree completely.

    But there is a difference from expecting an upgrade or asking for one, and a company or its representative simply not giving it out (when the resort is say under 85% booked) based on what someone paid. I almost always book into the lowest category at WDW because very few rooms are truly unacceptable as far as location etc ... But if the resort is half empty and they don't offer an upgrade (again for free or a token fee ... by token I don't mean $100 a night), I would never demand it, but I do feel it's bad business. If the room will be empty it's utter stupidity to NOT exceed the guest's expectations by upgrading them. Disney isn't losing any money when they put a pool view guest in a savannah view room (to stick with the DAK Lodge example) that would have gone empty, and they are giving the guest something extra which does usually come back to the company in terms of extra $$$ spent elsewhere and -- more importantly -- positive talk when the guest returns.



    Quote Originally Posted by ti2gr
    By the way, I am an extremely happy castmember and damn proud of it.
    I hope so. You're definitely in the minority nowadays. Can I ask where you work? (I understand if you choose to not throw it out. I'm just curious based upon your views/experiences with guests.)

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