Yes, Disney is an expensive vacation. However, I am more convinced than ever that it is totally worth it.
First, there was the entire "Here's the money back for the night you couldn't get here due to someone else's screw up. No problem - don't forget to call travel insurance and get the $50 change fee and all your incidentals back!"
Then there was "Oh, you have no idea where your luggage is and haven't seen it in two days? Give us 3-4 hours. We'll find it." And they did.
Then there was the wonderful greeting when we got to the airport, on the Disney Magical Express Bus (I told the Boy that we were finally at Disney as soon as we got on the bus, I wasn't wrong) and at the resort.
After we got off the bus, we then had our "lengthy" check in. We were greeted at the bus by a lovely gentleman who walked us in, stood in line with us at registration, walked us up to a front desk clerk, gave them our name and welcomed us before going off to welcome another bus. Oh - and another man who dropped leis on our head (yep, we are at the Polynesian) except the Boy who ducked but got his lei anyway.
That "lengthy" registration took about 15 minutes and included a dinner reservation at our hotel, something I hadn't been able to accomplish using the Disney Dining System up until then, and a description of our trip to Hell (also known as the Clarion in Detroit which is without air conditioning on a 90 degree day) and back to get to our vacation.
Finally, by 12:30 we were in our room, albeit without the luggage they were searching for, and on our way to find lunch at The Magic Kingdom.
Someone smiled, because the Monorail was there when we got there so the trip took exactly 4 minutes. Lunch was shared with a lovely woman and her granddaughter who also just graduated from preschool at the very crowded Ballpark quick serve on Main Street where we got a table which we were glad to share - the Boy and his new friend had a grand time eating and playing together. Then we were off for our only ride of the day, a trip around the park to figure out what we want to do tomorrow and Wednesday and then back for swimming (they found our luggage!) before dinner at California Grill where as soon as I mentioned my allergy to peppers (which normally I can manage on my plate but after all the stress I wasn't willing to try - it's a slow allergy which means migraines and tummy issues, not a fast allergy meaning hospitalization and epi-pens) they whisked my plate away and brought me a new one without question then added the allergy to my profile without my requesting.
To me that is above and beyond customer service. Half of that and I would have been happy. No, really, I would have been. I know I have been told I am hard to please, but I think the reason is that I have worked for the Mouse and Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros for the uninitiated) and I know how it should be done. It is so frustrating today to run up against an issue, ask for a solution and be told to stuff it by the customer service representatives of the company (Delta, Verizon, Comcast to name a few) I am calling.
If I have a contract with you that states you will provide me with a certain level of service - you know, where I have given you money and you have promised to provide either communication services or transportation on a safe vehicle - then I also expect you to provide it on time, within the budget we agreed upon and without snark. When I call you to say that isn't happening and I get a computer that won't let me get to a human or a human who starts the conversation with "No need to be rude!" before hanging up on me when all I was doing was describing the situation then that isn't what I've paid for. It is, in fact, a breach of contract in a tremendous way.
In 2004 I came to Disney with the US Postal Service. Before anyone jumps up and down and says "No wonder they are going out of business!" understand that trip was specifically for the Supplies Portfolio of the Supply Chain Management organization to learn Best Practices from Disney and within one year we netted a tremendous amount of savings using some of those Best Practices. Trust me, the money we paid was remade in spades. But I digress. What you need to know is that even though I had worked for the Mouse, specifically Disney Studios in Burbank back in the 1990s, customer service at Walt Disney World Resorts is it's own special brand of magic. We learned how they anticipate a customer's needs by doing something almost no one does today - they actively listen and then they act in a way to help bring a smile to the customer's face. They are empowered to do almost anything to do it, but usually all they need to do is something thoughtful.
So when we got back to our room from dinner at the California Grill to find that the Mouse had snuck in and left us something special I knew exactly why. The concierge team at the Polynesian listened to our story and immediately called the florist (they have an awesome one here) and delivered a boatload of chocolate, pretzels, gummies, jellybeans, and shortbread all wrapped up with a plush Micky my son is currently sleeping with. (I can't have Micky, it seems. I can only have Minnie. Good on ya, Kid.)
I knew why, I knew how - but that didn't stop it from being Magic.
Thank You, Mickey!!!