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cal5755
10-15-2008, 11:18 PM
I just thought I would share the letter I wrote to Disney after we returned from our trip. I know I wrote about this in our unmagical trip report but I just thought I would share what I actually wrote to Guest Relations.


From: <snip>
To: wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com
Subject: Too Much UN-Magical.........
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 20:16:34 -0400

Hello,
I just came home yesterday from our 10 night 11 day stay at All Star Movies resort. I traveled with a party of 12 consisting of me, my husband, my 3 children, my mother, my aunt and her husband and my uncle and his friend and our very special guest of honor 96 year old Aunt Apple. It was her first trip to Disney. We had her first visit pin and were set for a super magical vacation like we have always had in the past at Disney World. This was our 4th family visit, my 10th visit and my mothers 12 visit. WE LOVE DISNEY. Now I will start with the bad news first and then end this letter on a positive note as we do want to give Disney another chance.....however if this was my first visit to Disney World it would most certainly have been my last. I apologize in advance for the length of this email. Please know however, this is the first time I have ever had complaints in Disney or a poor experience.
First I will start with transportation. Yes I said first....because if we only had one incident in one area of the park we would not be complaining as we know everyone has an off day and one incident is not going to ruin the magic of a week in the happiest place on earth. Transportation was a wreck this week for us. We had Aunt Apple with us who uses a wheel chair and I would say 1 in 5 buses did not want to deal with the wheel chair and we were made to feel like an inconvenience more times than I can count. We had a very poor experience with 2 bus drivers. The first was Jasen. We were leaving Animal Kingdom and as we were coming to the bus Jasen was standing outside the bus. When we came into view of Jasen he went back onto the bus. We thought we had missed the bus and were going to wait for the next one...that would not have been a problem....however when we came to the bus Jasen was still there sitting in the seat looking at us. He said " so you want to get on". I said yes please that is why we are in line. There were only 4 people on the bus at the time. Jasen did not want to deal with the wheel chair but put the lift down and put Aunt Apple on the bus. As we left and made the first turn Aunt Apple and her wheel chair starting moving and I had to keep my foot on her chair to keep her in place. There were not straps to her front wheels put on and no lap belt put on. This issue I complained about at the resort as her safety was an issue. The very next day as we were yet again leaving Animal Kingdom we were already in the wheelchair line for our resort when the bus pulled up. We were the only wheelchair and the second family to show up at the stop. There were 7 of us together for this trip to the resort. The bus driver, Paul from Boston Ma, was rude as he did not want to deal with the wheel chair. He told me transfer Aunt Apple on the bus and fold the wheelchair. I said she is 96 years old and does not walk well enough to get up and down off the bus she needs to stay in her chair. So he was not so nice about strapping her in. Once she was safely strapped in the rest of our family boarded the bus like we always do. Paul then yelled that only 4 of us could board with the wheel chair. Then stated he would let it slide this time but no other drivers would let it happen. We had been on vacation for 4 days at this point and never had a problem getting on the bus with Aunt apple. It was rude, especially considering my youngest daughter sat on my mom's lap and my 13 year old son and my husband were standing....and the bus line was not even full to begin with!! After my husband complained with some other guests that he was being rude, we arrived at the hotel and Paul came over to my husband and put his finger on my husbands chest and said "maybe I miss stated myself what I was saying is that not all drivers will allow your whole family on the bus and if you read the pamphlet you got you would see that." We went immediately to concierge to ask about the policy and did ask more than one Cast Member the policy and they stated there was no such policy or pamphlet for us to read. These were the two really bad experiences we had but there were a few other times when we felt like an inconvenience having a wheelchair on the bus.
Second was our dining experience. We were on the deluxe dining plan and our party for dining was never less than 7 so gratuity was included for our party at 18 percent. I am a waitress myself...my tip change and tax return every year go to our now annual Disney trip so I know how important tips are to waitstaff. I also know it needs to be earned not expected. In several restaurants this year we were "forgotten". It did not happen just once or twice it happened several times where we had to hunt down waitstaff for extra drinks, napkins etc. They knew what our tip was going to be so didn't have to work for it. We had one waitress complain about how heavy it was to carry our drinks and she did not refill our drinks until we asked at the very end of our meal, that was at Captain Jacks. We had 3 or 4 wait staff that came to us with our slips after we told them we would be paying cash for the gratuity and they said "the balance is what you OWE me". It came off very rude and really made us not want to continue our table services for the week. We ended up canceling 3 during our vacation actually. Our worst dining experience was at 50's prime time cafe. We were a party of 12 and 8 sat at one table and 4 sat at another. I was at the table of 4 with my 2 daughters and Aunt Apple. My server was Nicole and she was beyond rude. She did not realize we were with the party of 8, who had a different server and having a fun time. We love the atmosphere in this restaurant and wanted the rest of our party to experience it. Well the party of 8 had a server that played the part and made my son set the table etc. She really played it up. My server set the basket of silverware down without saying anything and walked away. So I set the table. When Nicole came back to take our drink order the other table of ours was laughing loud at their server and Nicole rolled her eyes....my 8 year old daughter then said "they are having so much fun over there" Nicole said "well they are just weird". She left the table and my daughter was in tears because Nicole had called the rest of our family weird and believe me it was not "in character". There was nothing fun about that experience for our table of 4 at all. I did call immediately about that situation too so maybe it has already been dealt with. The manager was nice when we spoke to him and offered to refund our meals to our card but we declined as we had too much food on the plan already.
Third is mousekeeping. We have never had bad service in this area but this trip was bad. We had to ask for wash cloths in one room because there was none. We had 3 rooms all together. Room 4742 had the worst service of the 3. My uncle had a pillow case on it that had a dirty sneaker print on it and he used the spare pillow..the second day the same pillowcase was on that pillow. We had to strip the beds ourselves to get clean linens. One day we came back to the rooms and in 4742 they had knocked over our bottle of pantene shampoo and broke the cap, now we don't mind accidents as we could have done the same thing, but mousekeeping left it beside the tub and toilet with the shampoo spilling over that we had to clean ourselves. Another day we came back in the same room and our air freshener was knocked over behind the toilet and it was broken so we could no longer use it. There was a bug in one of the windows that we had to remove ourselves shortly after check in and food crumbs on the floor between the beds in one of the rooms.
I did not call and complain about everything while on vacation because I would have spent way too much time on the phone and I did not want to waste more time being upset on the phone and I wanted to enjoy more of my vacation. I was so disappointed this year. We work hard for our money...and my family of 5 makes less than XX,XXX dollars a year. Not only do we save all change in a jar for our trip we use ALL of our tax return every year towards our trip. Not only that our children make sacrifices so they can go to Disney every year. It is their choice too to go to Disney and they work for their trip. They give up big birthday parties and pick one present each so money can be saved for Disney. If this kind of service continues we will no longer put our hard earned money to Disney vacations.

CONTINUED BELOW........

cal5755
10-15-2008, 11:19 PM
I do want to end on a positive note because there were some exceptional cast members during our trip. The cast members that go beyond what they have to are what we look forward too. Our two daughters made picture thank you cards that said thank you for adding to the magic...they had 25 each and they had them to hand out to any cast member they felt did a great job. They handed them out to bus drivers, park cast members, photographers....anyone they thought added to their magical experience in Disney. I wanted to take a moment to let you know the names of some of these exceptional cast members. At all star movies resort - Beth (she was helping out at buses in the morning), Maria (she was cleaning tables in the cafe and helped several times with Aunt Apple) and Chantel (a very cheery cashier everytime we saw her in the cafe). On the bus we came across RAY who drove us from Animal Kingdom to Animal Kingdom Lodge and he was AMAZING with Aunt Apple and her wheelchair and very informative and funny going far beyond his duties!! At 50's Prime Time Cafe - Elizabeth was just amazing with the party of 8 and they all enjoyed her antics, she is the reason we will try this again during the trip planned this November. In the parks Ian from the haunted mansion was totally in character and my kids enjoyed the experience....he is the first cast member there in a long time who really was in character. When my oldest daughter gave him a thank you card and said thanks for adding to the magic he stayed in character with an eerie INDEED!
Like I said before we want to give Disney another chance but if things are the same during my November Super Soap weekend trip, We will be canceling our 2009 trip that we booked. Aunt Apple will be with me again in November and I am hoping transportation is better with her. Thanks for reading this email.
Still A Disney Fan For Now Cheryl Lecza

Sunshine1010
10-16-2008, 02:08 AM
Oh my goodness. I could go crazy on the subject about the wheelchair incident. I actually got flushed while reading it.

Maybe it's affecting me because MY mother was in a wheelchair in her final months of battling cancer. She was actually embarrassed to be in the wheelchair, but she honestly was too weak to walk anymore than a few steps.

She would overly thank someone who would hold a door open for her, or knelt down so they could be face to face, instead of someone being way higher than her. You see.....how can I explain this......when someone would hold a door open for us, or smile, or slow down for us.....to them, it was 'just another person in a wheelchair'. But to my Mom...those small acts of kindness were for someone who was dying. Someone who was having yet another sick day. Someone who had to come to grip that she was weak another day of her life. The people in wheelchair's have names. MOM, or Jean as her friends called her. And Jean did not like being in a wheelchair, but she also knew that small acts of kindness were big to her.

I CANNOT IMAGINE ANYONE making my mother feel as though she was a burden.

I don't care how many wheelchairs or electric scooters are in line for a bus. I'll GLADLY wait. I'll GLADLY stand on the bus instead of sitting. I'll GLADLY make small conversation with a smile.

I'll do ANYTHING to help anyone out in a wheelchair. WHY?...because I saw what my mother went through when she was in one before she passed away.

I am SO sorry you, and especially Aunt Apple had to go through that. How utterly rude, selfish, uncompassionate, mean and heartless.

Maybe I'm making a big deal about it. But I just cannot believe that anyone would be the way you described.

I'm glad you are writing that letter. I would have too! Kudos to you!...and Kudos for Aunt Apple getting out and having fun in her final years!!!!!

mrsgaribaldi
10-16-2008, 07:52 AM
Excellent letter. Please let us know how they respond. Say Hi to Aunt Apple from me :wave:

Ian
10-16-2008, 08:24 AM
Next time you go to Walt Disney World, I'll meet you there. Tell Aunt Apple the drinks are on me.

Good work.

TinkerbellT421
10-16-2008, 08:33 AM
Oh my goodness. I could go crazy on the subject about the wheelchair incident. I actually got flushed while reading it.

Maybe it's affecting me because MY mother was in a wheelchair in her final months of battling cancer. She was actually embarrassed to be in the wheelchair, but she honestly was too weak to walk anymore than a few steps.

She would overly thank someone who would hold a door open for her, or knelt down so they could be face to face, instead of someone being way higher than her. You see.....how can I explain this......when someone would hold a door open for us, or smile, or slow down for us.....to them, it was 'just another person in a wheelchair'. But to my Mom...those small acts of kindness were for someone who was dying. Someone who was having yet another sick day. Someone who had to come to grip that she was weak another day of her life. The people in wheelchair's have names. MOM, or Jean as her friends called her. And Jean did not like being in a wheelchair, but she also knew that small acts of kindness were big to her.

I CANNOT IMAGINE ANYONE making my mother feel as though she was a burden.

I don't care how many wheelchairs or electric scooters are in line for a bus. I'll GLADLY wait. I'll GLADLY stand on the bus instead of sitting. I'll GLADLY make small conversation with a smile.

I'll do ANYTHING to help anyone out in a wheelchair. WHY?...because I saw what my mother went through when she was in one before she passed away.

I am SO sorry you, and especially Aunt Apple had to go through that. How utterly rude, selfish, uncompassionate, mean and heartless.

Maybe I'm making a big deal about it. But I just cannot believe that anyone would be the way you described.

I'm glad you are writing that letter. I would have too! Kudos to you!...and Kudos for Aunt Apple getting out and having fun in her final years!!!!!

First I want to start by saying I completely agree with you! My father as well felt the same way as your Mom did on his final days...He as well was dieing of cancer at the time, he ha leukemia. It was horrible to watch him suffer to begin with. And very disheartening and sad for me when he would feel so sorry for being in a wheelchair...Then it came to the point where he was bed ridden entirely and basically couldn't move. But that was horrible to see and hear him about how he felt about what he was going through and he would continuously apologize for his exact words being an "inconvenience" because he himself didnt want to be that way. Me and DM used to talk to him all the time and every time he apologized we would have to drill to him that he was not an inconvenience at all. I saw that people in that situation do not want to be there to begin with, already look at themselves like they are inconveincing people, nevermind outsiders actually making them feel that way. I cried through both this letter, and through Sunshines reply cause all I could do was have flashbacks of my father and what I would have felt like if that was me and my father getting on a bus.

Enough rambling on my part. I give you as many kudos as I possibly can. I am glad you wrote this letter. And those people should be FIRED! There is no reason to treat someone ANYONE for that matter like that. That makes me sad for those people that they treat other human beings in such a disgusting fashion. I have to say I give you a lot more kudos just for the fact that me being a loud mouth Italian, unfortunately I do not think that I could have held my juncture to wait till I returned home to write nice letter.....It might have been a "complaint" letter but you stated all our issues very nicely...and I dont think I would have done such a great job! I am afraid that I think I might have made a scene...my blood was boiling just reading what was happening in your letter....

But in any event...after my such rambles...I apologize for the issues you had that were certainly uncalled for at any place, any time and by anyone. I hope your next trip refreshes the Disney magic entirely in your soul and that you have the best time of your life on your next trip...I hope Disney can make up for it.

MississippiDisneyFreak
10-16-2008, 08:35 AM
You know that's why I say you never know what's going on with someone in a wheelchair...maybe their disability is not obvious...to families who have a loved one with an illness or disability we completely understand, but sometimes people are in such a hurry and so concerned with their fun they don't stop to think....I am so sorry for all of you who've had such negative experiences

Tinkerfreak
10-16-2008, 09:27 AM
First I want to say I am so sorry that you and Aunt Apple had to go through this.
Second I want to say thank you for making us all realize how hard it is for anyone in a wheelchair. It is not just hard on their body it is hard on their pride also. I guess I never really thought about them feeling like an inconvenience so thank you for making me truly understand.
My Dad had a stoke last year and is in a wheelchair so I know how difficult just getting him around town can be for us but again thank you for pointing out how it must feel for him. I am anxious to see how Disney handles this. I hope they can do something to make your next trip extra special for you and Aunt Apple.

WDWFanatic
10-16-2008, 09:44 AM
Great letter. I think we all need to let Disney know about our good and bad experiences.

Please let us know what you get back. Hopefully it will be more than the standard form letter they send out.

Mackflava99
10-16-2008, 09:46 AM
I am curious to see if you get a response-
It is sad to hear how people treat someone in a wheel chair.
As for Aunt Apple- she has become an Intercot celebrity- please give her my best-
:)

crazypoohbear
10-16-2008, 09:48 AM
Great letter! I'm sure it will get someone's attention.
I understand what you are saying about the wheelchairs. We were there with friends in Sept and the dirty looks and comments we got about getting on the bus ahead of time were incredible. While we were waiting at POFQ one day there was another family waiting with a wheel chair as well. After we all received dirty looks and saw nudges etc. I loudly said to the other family waiting with the wheelchair.
"Have you noticed this trip how many rude people make comments and faces about having a wheelchair" and she said yep, and they comment about "cutting the line, but what they don't realize is that the person in the wheelchair would give anything to be able to walk onto the bus and wait in line." We went on like this for several minutes discussing how some people don't have "visible" disabilities and how we would like to see the same people giving dirty looks deal with the wheelchair when you are NOT at disney and don't have the curtesy of getting in line first. Let see them at the mall getting to the car in the snow etc.
By the time we boarded the bus and all sat down when the rest of the bus boarded no one even wanted to look at us!!! I think we hit home at least for some people.

yjgirl32
10-16-2008, 10:06 AM
I'm so sorry that you had such a bad experience during your trip and I commend you for being able to keep up a positive attitude and not let it ruin your entire trip. I agree with you writing the e-mail to them to let Disney know- otherwise they might not realize what's going on. Hopefully your Novemeber teip will go much much better. Can't wiat to read those reviews.

ljv1975
10-16-2008, 04:17 PM
That was a very well written letter and I hope you get a response from Disney. After reading your trip reports, I feel as if I know your family, and I really do hope that your upcoming trip is as magical as can be!! Please keep us updated!!

tracibell
10-16-2008, 06:55 PM
Your letter was very well written and I commend you.

I just kept wanting to hug Aunt Apple. Then when your little girl cried at the restaurant... that is awful. I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience. I was so upset. Then I read Sunshine's post right afterwards and had tears coming down my cheeks.

I really hope your next trip is wonderful. I also want to send some pixie dust to Aunt Apple for some Neverland luck with the busdrivers. :pixie: How anyone can treat people like that is beyond me. I know people have bad days and all... but that is not acceptable.

Best of luck with your e-mail. I really hope Disney responds to you. Let us know what happens...

jillluvsdisney
10-16-2008, 08:56 PM
I am so sorry about the bus incidents. My Mom uses a wheelchair when we go to Disney. She would not be able to get on and off a bus by herself. We have rented a car the past few years to avoid the problems you described. I know that's not possible for everyone to do money wise though.

PeterPan
10-16-2008, 09:44 PM
Please PLEASE let us know what your response is from WDW.

Catwillow
10-17-2008, 04:42 PM
Great letter....and I am sure it "mimicks" many peoples complaints, concerns & gratitudes. I do hope you get some kind of answer and resolution from Disney.

My 2 cents worth over the waiter/waitress issue --- over the years have had many of the same experiences and to say the least I am going to be one that certainly will have my say -either directly to the waiter/waitress OR to the person in charge -- if I feel the service isn't worth the price of the dinner AND the 18% that is "expected".

My 2 cents worth over the wheelchair issue -- yep having had to use the Electric chairs myself (even though I am ONLY 46 -- I have had both knees replaced (total) and prior to those surgeries had 13 other knee surgeries) there were many times I felt totally put off by the bus drivers and/or the assitants at the stops and my friend who uses one every trip (sometimes 3 a year) has had the same looks and treatments -- and we have heard other drivers tell larger groups that only part of the group could get on the bus.

My 2 cents worth over Mousekeeping -- have had a few times where the linen certainly didn't look fresh when we "moved" into....and at times have had "scum" around the edges of the tub and have noticed the floors weren't vacuumed as they should have been.

All in all I try to not let those bad experiences EACH trip reflect on my overall magical experience. However -- this coming December trip I believe I will probably say something as the money that is put out for these vacations (throughout the year for DVC & immediate) is very substantial and not saying anything certainly doesn't help to take care of issues --

Kathleen

divinedi
10-17-2008, 07:07 PM
I just wanted to say that this post has certainly opened my eyes, and certainly my heart I cried through some of the letters. It shames me to admit, that although I have never said anything out loud, I was also one of those people that got a little impatient when I would see a wheelchair having to be loaded onto the bus. SHAME on me, and I thank everyone here for putting me in my place. I, honestly, and sadly so, never put myself in the place of someone in a wheelchair, and the restrictions and lack of control and independence it involves. I sincerely apologize for my silent attitude, and will strive to be much more openly understanding and considerate and will, with gratitude, count my blessings that I am mobile and not take it for granted.

Your Aunt Apple sounds like a terrific person, please give her my regards.

crazypoohbear
10-17-2008, 08:12 PM
I just wanted to say that this post has certainly opened my eyes, and certainly my heart I cried through some of the letters. It shames me to admit, that although I have never said anything out loud, I was also one of those people that got a little impatient when I would see a wheelchair having to be loaded onto the bus. SHAME on me, and I thank everyone here for putting me in my place. I, honestly, and sadly so, never put myself in the place of someone in a wheelchair, and the restrictions and lack of control and independence it involves. I sincerely apologize for my silent attitude, and will strive to be much more openly understanding and considerate and will, with gratitude, count my blessings that I am mobile and not take it for granted.

Your Aunt Apple sounds like a terrific person, please give her my regards.



Good for you for your honesty I'm glad that you now have your eyes and heart opened more. You will be so surprised when you travel again and remember this post look around and see the looks and reactions on others. I am so glad that you have learned and grown from it. Thank you

PAYROLL PRINCESS
10-18-2008, 11:10 PM
I'm so sorry you and your family had to go through all that you did. If more people wrote letters maybe Disney will start training the Cast Members the way they used to and more trips will be Magical again.

BluewaterBrad
10-19-2008, 01:24 PM
I thought your letter was well written. Say hi to Aunt Apple for me!!:mickey:

laward32
10-21-2008, 05:29 PM
I hope you get a response soon. Please let us know if you do. I hope they reprimand these people.:mickey:

MickeyMousse
10-21-2008, 06:41 PM
Good for you!! I can't wait to hear what kind of reply you end up getting. Hugs to you and Aunt Apple from all of us! :hug:

Diznee4Me
10-22-2008, 09:26 AM
Great letter and I hope you do hear from Disney on this issue. Please keep us updated on this situation.

cal5755
10-24-2008, 04:02 PM
I got a response...... read all about it here (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showthread.php?p=1768669#post1768669). You wont believe it!! I couldn't!!