WDW Today Episode 712 – Recent Reader Resort Reviews

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Episode 712 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Posted on April 25, 2010

9 Responses to “WDW Today Episode 712 – Recent Reader Resort Reviews”

  • Neat episode. Looking forward to seeing the full results!

  • by robert kelly on April 26, 2010, at 1:39 pm EDT

    Not really sure if I can even put any credence in these surveys. I think it lost all believability when Len started to describe how the surveys where redone in 2007 because the results they were getting tended to rank value resorts higher than deluxe resorts. Len even states that “It’s really not true that the all-star music resort is a better experience, again, ignoring the money, than the Contemporary Resort. Or that moderate resorts should be on average higher ranked than deluxe resorts. I had to come up with ways to adjust for that.”
    Adjusting surveys to conform to your preconceived notions, in my book, invalidate those surveys.
    On a personal level, on our family trip in 2008 we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and were very happy with the resort, our room, and the amenities. For our family trip in 2009 we did stay at all-star music in the family suites and my wife and kids were totally taken with the place. They loved it and really want to return. According to Len, though, we are wrong for feeling that way, I guess. The only thing they missed was Yehaa Bob.
    The whole segment had a whiff of snobbery about it. Not one of your best.

  • I think it is very hard to separate value & price when you think about a hotel experience because that is what drives your expectation. I expect 2 star quality at $80/night, so if I get more, I enjoy my stay more. With Disney’s deluxe hotels, you are paying a serious premium, so you are expecting Waldorf or Four Seasons level amenities. If they don’t match up, you come away disappointed. They have to go above and beyond expectation in order to trend higher. There is better value off property-they have to work harder to lure you off property.

    I truly enjoyed POP Century and would stay there again. Do I like it as much as OKW or Wilderness Lodge- no. If price were no factor, I would stay at a Deluxe. But because I expect less when I stay at POP, there is less chance that I will be disappointed. When i check-out, if they have done a little bit above what I expected for the price i paid, I’m loving it. If I paid $500/night, and things were not near perfect or problems fixed quickly, then I’m ticked. When you put the price up that high, you are advertising a certain level of quality and service that has to be delivered upon. So to ask people not to consider it, is hard.

    i don’t think the episode was snobbish. I think Len wanted humans to be more analytical and less emotionally tied to value… but since that never happen, they had to adjust the questions to account for it.

    Go Kidani- I so want to stay there!

  • Great episode, but did I miss the highest ranked deluxe resorts? Or the lowest ranked moderates? I hope you revisit this issue because I felt like the podcast was a little incomplete. Or was I just daydreaming while I was driving to work this morning listening to it?

  • I see the problem Len describes, but it appears to be quite fixable: Compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. It’s impossible to put GF or other deluxe resorts side by side with PC or other value resorts. I, too, was always amused by the book (and Trip Advisor) rankings placing values in the same stratosphere as deluxes. I tend to go to WDW once a year for more than a week at a time (DVC), and used to stay at OKW for the entire stay. Now I move around trying to get different themes and enjoyment out of the different resorts. In 09, it was Coronado for a convention, then move to BCV, then move to AKV-Kidani. As we all know, CS is not comparable to either, and yet it has a great convention area and the kids like the pool (soooo important to hotel rankings). Let’s not forget that many WDW visits revolve around kids, and many of their views revolve around pools. If kids are happy, mama (and papa) are happy. I’ve received excellent service at Coronado and poor at deluxe resorts. The one thing to keep in mind is that poor is poor, whether it’s value or deluxe. Perhaps the ratings should be broken out into “satisfaction” with resort and differentiated with “service” at resort. Just my .02 on an interesting show. Thanks. PS– complete agreement on Kidani. Great, great room (1BR), and kids loved the pool/play area/savanna view. Transport issues are what they are, but easily overcome with equal parts patience and planning.

  • by Brian Noble on April 27, 2010, at 7:41 am EDT

    I don’t see that this is even that much of a problem. There are two different ways to rate a property.

    One is based on amenities, services, furnishings, lighting quality, etc. Generally, these are objective measures. The UG captures that through the 0-100 scores it gives to properties and the star translations. Those evaluations properly point out that the experiences in different categories aren’t really comparable for the most part. (But, even there, sometimes they can be—for example, the ’09 book has POFQ only a few points shy of WL.)

    The other is based on how people perceive the value of those amenities, services, etc. and that is necessarily based on cost. These are captured by the “two questions”—would you stay there, would you recommend it. I don’t think there is anything fundamentally wrong if a survey finds that, say, POFQ is seen to be a better value than the Yacht Club—nor that (gasp!) offsite pool homes, condos, etc. provide a much better perceived value than anything onsite.

    Both facets—objective features and perceived value—are important to understand when selecting a hotel property, and it’s not clear that you can necessarily combine them into one number. That’s where I think folks get into trouble, because I don’t think there’s just one order of top-to-bottom resorts; it depends on what is important to you, what your resources are, etc.

  • Maybe you guys can confirm something for me. We stayed offsite last year in a suites hotel which was great value in every way, location-price-pool-etc. except the housecleaning was hit and miss. And worst of all when we specifically requested our room to be done or asked for more towels when the room didn’t get done while we were out, there was zero communication between the front desk and the housekeeping crew. I mean, there was communication in that the front desk asked the housekeepers to handle our request – repeatedly. But they were simply ignored. The housekeepers didn’t give a dang whether they handled requests or not, they just worked away at whatever rooms they were cleaning and ignored everything else.

    I told this to a local guy I met in the queue for Universal’s Rip Ride Rockit (3 hours is lot of time to fill) and he said, yeah the housekeeping has been contracted out and the housekeepers don’t care what the front desk says, they only clean the # of rooms per day they’re contracted for and to heck with the rest. He said, “Everyone in Orlando is doing it this way now, even Disney.” Is this true? I don’t really care all that much if the sheets are changed every day and the shower scrubbed, but when I need dry towels and a toilet paper fillup then I REALLY need them. Otherwise I’m going to be using the bathroom in the lobby and lifting towels from the pool. Imagine if half the people in the hotel end up doing that.

    Still, it could be worse – at least we didn’t have bedbugs, Legionaires Disease or a shootout in the parking lot as has happened at one or two other Orlando hotels in the last few years ;-)

  • WDW has thought of everything to make a visit enjoyable The one thing I noticed as well as the other members of our group was the lack of restrooms The ones they do have were large and very clean Also I thought the map for Magic Kingdom was somewhat hard to follow
    As the grandmother of a three year old I thought Its a Small World to be delightful for her She was a scared on Pirates of the Carribean

  • by Charlotte on May 4, 2010, at 6:38 pm EDT

    I listened to the show and I was hoping to hear about the reader ratings for Bay Lake Tower since it was too new to show up last year. Any hint on those?