This is the letter I wrote to Disney when we got home....
To whom it may concern,
We were due to stay at Port Orleans Riverside June 14-18, 2013 for a family reunion/vacation. From the beginning I’ve had problems with this trip. When I selected our resort and registered we’d originally asked for a King Size Garden View room. Originally we were going to do the park hopper tickets through our reservation.
After I spoke to my sister, we realized that as a member of the US Navy, she could get us tickets for a significantly cheaper price. We called and cancelled our park tickets, and kept our reservations.
When the remainder came due on our account I had changed banks and had a delay in my paycheck due to the change. There were major issues changing our reservations because they were still listed as a package, instead of only a room reservation, and the card previously used was no longer valid as it was my former debit card. By the time it got changed over, we ended up in a Princess Tiana Royal Suite with the same resort. We’d have preferred the King bed, but were glad to move forward.
We did an online check in on Wednesday or Thursday for a check in for 3:00 on Friday the 14th. We arrived at the resort shortly after 2:00. Gulianne? Checked us in and advised us that updates on our room were being completed, it would be ready at 3:00, and we would receive text notification when it was ready to my cell phone. We were fine with that, took a walk, found everything we needed, grabbed our pool bag from the truck and lounged by the pool. At 4:00 we still had not received notification our room was ready, so we went to check with the front desk.
Alex at the front desk told us check in is really between 3 and 5, but he would check on the room status and let us know what was going on. He called and advised the room was ready; I got the text that the room was ready, and we went to our room. When we arrived, there was a maintenance person still working in the room. I waited outside while my husband retrieved the luggage. When the maintenance man left the room I started to enter and was told not to go in until the room had been inspected. So we kept waiting. One of your cast members came by to deliver a gift basket from the resort’s front desk (Thank you for the lovely gift basket, by the way) He asked why we were waiting. I told him we were told not to go in until the room had been inspected. He went to get someone to inspect the room. A group of three people came to check the room, they approved it and we were allowed in at 5:00.
We went in and immediately noticed a white envelope on the table. I gave it to the maintenance people before they left- it was a copy of the bill for the prior resident with payment information on it. After they left I noticed a screw driver on the bed and requested maintenance to come by and pick up the screwdriver. I also requested extra hangers because we’d gotten stuck in a storm on the way down and our luggage got soaked. I started to hang up the things that I could, and noticed that one of the sinks was coated in dip (chewing tobacco) stains and residue, and one of the decorative curtains over the bathroom privacy curtain was falling off the wall. I called housekeeping to ask them to send someone to clean the sink and fix the curtain.
An hour later no one had shown up at our room, so I placed a second call for all of the corrections. I realized I was cold and tried to change the temperature in the room from 60 to 70, the radiator immediately put off a burning smell. At that point, I decided it was time to contact a manager. Once I started out the door, maintenance picked up their screwdriver and the hangers were dropped off. I called and changed our dinner reservations to 8:30 from 6:30 (which meant I missed dinner with my family) at Raglan Road, left my husband to hang stuff up, and I headed over to the lobby for a manager.
Zach was the manager that spoke with me on Friday night. When I explained everything that happened he immediately set up to refund our room for Friday night (Incidentally, that refund still has not posted a week later.) He offered a taxi to get us to dinner and back, I declined because the ferry would get us there just as quickly. He told us things would be fixed before we got back. I got back to the room and the dip was still in the sink. I slipped off my flip-flops, and promptly stepped on a screw. I picked up the screw to take to Zach and ask for a thorough vacuuming to be completed while we were out as well. By that time I needed to withdraw a bit, so I laid down on the bed and noticed that the top spot lights on the headboards were out.
We saw Zach on our way out for dinner about 7. He reassured us everything would be fixed by the time we returned. I gave him the screw, I told him about the lights, and asked that the room also be vacuumed thoroughly. He said that would be taken care of. We got back about 9:30 or 10, the sink was clean the burning smell had dissipated, so we thought everything was fine, although the lights were still out. We settled into bed and started to fall asleep. Engineering knocked on the door to wake us up at 10:45 so they could service the a/c unit. We went to the food court for a late night snack, came back and went to bed about midnight.
4:30 Saturday morning someone went screaming down the hallway outside. They did it again at 5:30. By that time we were awake, so we started getting ready for our day. My husband took his shower, and then I took mine. When I tried to turn off the shower, the handle came off in my hand. I was hesitant to leave the handle in the room because of the standards that were shown to me the previous day. I dropped it off to Chelsea, the manager on duty that morning, on our way to breakfast about 7:00 a.m. I also reminded her about the lights on the headboard. She told us that they would be fixed first thing that morning.
We went to Hollywood Studios and came back about 5:00 that evening. We were supposed to clean up and meet our family for dinner at their townhouses off property for dinner. We stopped by the lobby to ensure that everything had been fixed and were told it was being worked on at the moment by Cathy? I asked to speak to a manager and spoke to Zach again. I explained the situation (covered in baby spit up from my nieces, and due at dinner at 6:30) and he advised we could shower at the pools. I told him that was not acceptable because I needed a soap and hot water shower, not to have to drag my grooming materials to the pool and back for a public cold water shower. He arranged for us to get access to a spare room for bathing, offered to let us change to it, offered to have someone move us and offered 2 nights future stay. We knew packing and moving meant we would miss our family dinner, I’m not happy with the thought of other people handling my dirty laundry or underwear, and at this point I knew I needed to speak to someone above Zach, because things were not being accomplished by his management level. He called Maintenance and was told that the shower was usable; they had put on a temporary handle. A replacement handle and the lights for the bed were on backorder and wouldn’t be in until the next week, I also advised him there appeared to be concrete in the bottom of the toilet in this room.
We went to the room; I got ready to shower and went to turn on the water. The handle spun without a connection. I tried adding pressure and turning and could not open the valve. At that point I called my husband, because if I did not get clean, I was going to lose my patience. He got the water on, but still had to struggle. I asked him to call Zach and make the other room available, because we were going to have to move. If I could not use the shower without assistance from my spouse, I could not deal with this room. I called my family, cancelled dinner (again, 2nd night in a row. I only get to see my siblings once a year) asked Zach about paying for dinner since we needed to pack and move that night. Zach agreed, and asked if we would like VIP seating at Epcot’s fireworks for Sunday night. I called and asked my family, then Zach called and told me he couldn’t make it happen. The next suggestion was that he had someone trying to make the magic Kingdom Fireworks VIP seating happen, and he would call me on Sunday morning to confirm. We began packing and noticed that the refrigerator had frozen and ruined quite a bit of produce I’d brought for meals for the week (lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and plums) I asked Zach to add that to the list of things for Maintenance to repair. We packed and moved to the other room and unpacked the urgent things. We went to dinner, and came back to the room.
When I got back to the room I proceeded to unpack the suitcase, and I stepped on a contact. Neither one of us wear contacts. At that time, my patience was so absolutely shot that I knew I could not be respectful in my dealings, so I chose to let it go. Through the night we noticed that the toilet wasn’t flushing properly, even for toilet paper.
We went to Animal Kingdom straight from our room Sunday morning. When we heard that the Magic Kingdom Fireworks weren’t happening I advised the new room needed a thorough cleaning and toilet repair and to check out an intermittent dripping noise in the air vents.
We were supposed to meet my husband’s family for lunch, so we left the parks at 11:00 to have plenty of time to get to the resort and then to downtown Disney to meet them. We waited 45 minutes for a bus at the stop, the couple there before us said they’d been told not to get on a couple busses before we got there because the driver was on lunch. We got to the resort and went to grab a ferry to Downtown Disney. We missed the first Ferry because my husband wanted to refill his resort cup. We waited 40 minutes for a second ferry. We got there about 1:30. 2 and a half hours to get from a park to downtown Disney via the transportation. After lunch the thought of fighting transportation to try for more time in the parks before we were supposed to meet the family for dinner again made us decide to give up on the day at the parks. So we wasted a full day on 2 hours.
We got back to the room after dinner with the family and the toilets worked fine, for an hour or two, and then were malfunctioning again.
Monday we park hopped from Magic Kingdom to Epcot, and met up with a sister in law at Saratoga Springs for dinner- once again we waited 45 minutes for a bus from outside Hollywood Studios. (We’d walked from Epcot across the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios and caught the bus there without entering the parks) We’d debated going back out to Hollywood studios for the extended magic hours, but the weather was bad enough we decided to stay in.
Tuesday we spent waiting at the resort to hear from a manager. Finally we ended up speaking to Louis, who was not the manager we would have preferred to speak with, however, he was the one available at 10:30. We had been advised that we may speak with either Kyle or Val, and have not been contacted by either one at this time.
Louis did offer us 3 days in the future plus tickets, but we asked for our money back. At this time none of the refunds have posted to my account despite Louis telling me that the money would be returned immediately.
We honeymooned at Caribbean Beach. Everyone in my husband’s family has annual passholder tickets, and several are vacation club members. We know this is not the Disney Standard; we both have worked customer service, and have made it a point to be gracious about everything despite the challenges that were given to us. I know former resort cast members and have tried to make things as easy as possible for our cast members, and thank them personally for doing a good job. Unfortunately at this time I feel cheated by Disney, and am highly disappointed by the lack of urgency in resolving issues for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover a place where simple pleasures flourish and Southern hospitality abounds. From the stately white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend to the quaint backwoods cottages of Alligator Bayou, delight in this picturesque Resort hotel that evokes the romance and tranquility of the rural Louisiana Bayou. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Port Orleans Disney Resort
- Orlando Port Orleans Resort
- Riverside Disney
- Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Port Orleans Hotel Disney
- Port Orleans Resort Riverside
- Port Orleans Resort Disney
- Disney Port Orleans Hotel
- Disneys Port Orleans Resort Riverside