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Old 07-29-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
pklein09


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Cool Well, we stayed at Bonnet Creek....

....and tried real hard not to hate it.

Please keep in mind that this was our experience at this particular point in time. We are DVC members who ran out of points. We used our American Express points to add on 5 nights at Bonnet Creek (not a small number....there are 6 of us and we had a 2 bedroom unit).

We had an early flight down and checked into the resort around 11:00 am. We did not expect our room to be ready and it wasn't. They said they would call us when it was ready. Great! Not a big deal as we had a rental van and annual passes; we headed to Magic Kingdom. As the day goes by, we periodically check the phones....no message from Bonnet Creek. We leave MK before the fireworks to avoid the rush. We get to check in around 10:00. The store is closed, which surprised me because I'm used to DVC resort stores being open later. I was hoping to get milk for breakfast the next day, but not a big deal. We check in and asked why we didn't receive a phone call. The lady at the desk had no answer and apologized. Okay. We had to go over to the other desk for our parking tag. No pressure to sit through a time share presentation, thank goodness. She did ask if we were interested in more information and I politely declined. That was the extent of the discussion.

Our room was in Building 6....Terra Sol. We were told to use the parking garage if we couldn't find a ground level spot. We wind our way around and sure enough we need to used the parking garage. The sign on the gate says use your room key. Um, no, that doesn't work. We swipe it multiple times and have to press the call button twice to get someone to manually lift the gate. We park, unload, and head into the building. We were never told there was a hotel part to building 6 and a timeshare part to building 6, and the signage was not helpful. I head to the lobby which turns out to be the hotel part. The desk clerk there says to walk back the way we came, go down a level and into the other building. At this point, it's close to 10:30 and I'm tired. I gave him a look and he walked us to where we needed to be. I double checked the signs to see if I missed something. No, I read the signs correctly...there is nothing saying "time share building this way."

We head to our room - 6104 - first floor. Yeah! No waiting for elevators. Boo...it's right on the parking lot and we hear cars and see headlights. <sigh> I unfold the sofa bed to set it up for DD17. I find the sheets, or so I thought. There is a mattress pad for a twin sized bed, 2 pillows with no cases, and a blanket. No sheets. I head to the front desk to ask for some (why call when I can walk a few feet). I told the gentleman at the front desk that I needed sheets and a correctly sized mattress pad. I also asked how long it might take. He had no idea. I explained that I was very tired and that this was the third problem with the resort since we arrived that morning, could he please try and find out for me. He did...we were 3rd in line to have linens delivered. When he found out there were 6 of us in the unit, he got additional toiletries without being asked. That was very thoughtful of him and I thanked him. The linens were delivered quicker than I expected, we make the bed and get some sleep.

We sleep in the next day and head out for breakfast around 10:00. We tried for the buffet place but no one was at the podium. There was a family in front of us who had already been waiting. The restaurant was only 1/3 full with no employees to be seen. We gave up and went to Starbucks. DH was happy with the coffee, but I was hoping for more than a muffin. I figured it would just be an early lunch in the parks. We get in our van and try to leave. The room key still does not work in the parking garage machine and we have to press the button for service. Someone answers on the first buzz and we escape, I mean leave....

We get back to the room that night and find a parking spot in the regular lot. Yeah! The room is fine and we decide to just get breakfast out for the duration of our time at Bonnet Creek. The next night, we need to park in the garage and the room key still does not work. We get buzzed in and stop at the front desk to ask why our room key doesn't work. Apparently, the time share side needs a separate parking garage key; the room key only works for the hotel guests. What?!? Why weren't we told that when we checked in??? They knew we were staying in the timeshare portion. How hard can this be. Very annoyed and not happy.

The next to last morning, we get a phone call at 9:00 am. I'm still dozing because I've been out late at the parks and I'm on vacation and don't have to walk 2 dogs early in the morning. The phone call was the front desk asking if I needed bell services to help us with our luggage before checking out. What? I responded by saying that I was under the impression we were checking out the next day. The man on the other end checked his records and apologized...he called the wrong room. The next morning when we really were checking out, no phone call to offer bell services. We didn't need bell services because we pack pretty light, but it showed me how inconsistent the front desk was.

On a general note, we really didn't get a map of the resort. They gave us a really bad photocopy of the overall layout of the resort (lots of flyspecs, if you know what I mean) that only took up half the page. It basically showed us where we checked in and where our building was located. I had no idea where the pool was (we never used it). We did eventually see it through a door, but on the next to last day. We only tried to find restaurants that first day and decided it was easier to eat on Disney property.

The other thing that bothered us throughout our entire stay was the general behavior of the staff. No one was rude, but they weren't friendly either. We would be the only ones in the lobby (there are 6 of us), walking right past the front desk staff (on both sides), and everyone was busy staring at their computer screens. It didn't matter if it was morning, afternoon, or evening. No one looked up, said hello, asked how our stay was. Nada, zip, nothing. By the third day, even the kids said they didn't want to stay there again.

I will say that our room was clean and I didn't directly pay for it out of pocket. I actually kept repeating that to myself. Bonnet Creek used fewer American Points than staying on Disney property so we were able to stay more nights. We ended up renting a van for 5 days because we didn't want to rely on Bonnet Creek transportation to the parks. In retrospect, I could have stayed on Disney property (probably the cabins at Ft. Wilderness) using my Amex points, paid out of pocket for the extra nights, foregone the rental van, and had a more pleasant stay.

I'm glad there are those of you who like Bonnet Creek. I think the nice part of the Walt Disney World Resort and surrounding area it that there is something for everyone. Lesson learned, at least for the vacation experience our family prefers.

I would be happy to answer any questions. For what it's worth, we stayed at Bonnet Creek from July 16 - 21 and then checked into OKW from July 21 - 27.

--Michelle
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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We are staying over XMAS and are staying there due to we are out of points as well.

I think for us (and probably for you as well) when you are use to the Disney experience your expectations are high and guest focus as non-Disney resorts is usually a let down.

We've have stayed at 2 hotels other hotels near DTD for short stays and have had similar guest experiences.

I'm sure this upcoming trip will be my wifes driving force on purchasing more points
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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I have to agree with all of your points. When WBC first opened I think they worked very hard to echo the Disney persona. But, over the past 2-3 years, it has definitely deteriorated. Front desk staff isnít rude, but they are never friendly (even when you try to be). The only people who spoke were the timeshare promoters walking around the resort. Calling from your room to make a request doesnít work. They donít answer. But, if you use a cell phone to call the general number they pick up. We made at least 5 trips to the lobby to either ask a question or pick up things that were missing in the condo. Our unit was clean, but the lack of hospitality definitely has made us lessen our trips. Itís sad. It is called the hospitality industry for a reason.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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If I am out of points I am not paying Disney for a subpar hotel room. Sorry but my experience tends to be that I keep saying "I am paying that much for THIS?, RIP OFF"

Sorry, but my experience with Disney hotels (and the Fort Wilderness transport especially!) have convinced me that it's either my DVC or off site

I have yet to experience an offsite front desk that came close to the rude staff at both CSR an GF. (GF was the absolute worse, not to mention that I wrote "DUST ME" on the dresser and two days later it was still there LOL! CSR was just clueless... Charging to room "opps we forgot to enable that" room phone "Opps we forgot to turn that on" Air conditioning, "you can live without that tonight can't you" LOL! )
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Sorry you didn't enjoy it very much, but I have to admit I am always secretly glad to read these kinds of reviews. I'm always afraid it will get so popular the prices will skyrocket and/or there will be no more room for me!

There is more than just one pool there. I think you needed to take some time to go outside and walk around the property and check it out. It really is beautiful and there are so many different pools.

But sorry again that it wasn't your cup of tea.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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It wasn't a terrible resort, but I didn't think it was fantastic either. As another poster stated, I'm used to something else. I like interacting with CMs and to get practically nothing while walking into or out of the door was disappointing. As for using the pool, not a deal breaker. I could live without it. But, having a decent map of the resort would have been handy.

It's interesting that Bellamouse liked my review as it keeps the place less popular - DH and I said the same thing, but in reverse: We're glad people like Bonnet Creek so it keeps them out of our DVC!!! As I said, I'm glad there are so many choices in and around WDW.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pklein09 View Post
It's interesting that Bellamouse liked my review as it keeps the place less popular - DH and I said the same thing, but in reverse: We're glad people like Bonnet Creek so it keeps them out of our DVC!!! As I said, I'm glad there are so many choices in and around WDW.

LOL! Thanks for taking my comment in the spirit in which it was intended. I definitely don't wish anyone to have a bad time on their vacation. But as you say, it is great that there are so many choices so there really is something for everyone.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bellamouse View Post
LOL! Thanks for taking my comment in the spirit in which it was intended. I definitely don't wish anyone to have a bad time on their vacation. But as you say, it is great that there are so many choices so there really is something for everyone.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the honest and thorough review. I think it really helps to set expectations!
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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One other item....the beds...

In the master bedroom, there was a king sized bed. In the second bedroom, there were 2 doubles. Why not queens? Again, please forgive the comparison to DVC, but there are queen sized beds in the second bedroom. Our kids are teenagers and they did not want to share beds. One slept on the sofa bed, one in each double bed, and we fashioned a bed out of the sofa cushions for the 4th one. The kids rotated on who slept where so no one person got the "best" or "worst" bed.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pklein09 View Post
In the master bedroom, there was a king sized bed. In the second bedroom, there were 2 doubles. Why not queens? Again, please forgive the comparison to DVC, but there are queen sized beds in the second bedroom. Our kids are teenagers and they did not want to share beds. One slept on the sofa bed, one in each double bed, and we fashioned a bed out of the sofa cushions for the 4th one. The kids rotated on who slept where so no one person got the "best" or "worst" bed.
Just curious: Do all the DVC 2 bedrooms have 2 actual beds in the second room? I actually looked into renting DVC points but thought the second bedroom had a bed and a fold-out couch. It was one of the things that pushed me toward WBC.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:13 PM   #12
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Just curious: Do all the DVC 2 bedrooms have 2 actual beds in the second room? I actually looked into renting DVC points but thought the second bedroom had a bed and a fold-out couch. It was one of the things that pushed me toward WBC.
Some DVC units do and some don't. You need to request a dedicated two bedroom unit to get two queens beds in the second bedroom, not a 1 BR unit plus a lock-off. I know that all the 2 BR BWV rooms are lock-off's, but other resorts are mixed. You have to check out the website to figure out which is which. I have gotten dedicated 2 BR units in BLT, VWL, OKW, AKL, and HHI. However, every bed in the second bedroom is a queen bed. Most, if not all the sofa beds, are also queen. The only place I've seen full sized beds on Disney property are in the value and moderate resorts.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pklein09 View Post
In the master bedroom, there was a king sized bed. In the second bedroom, there were 2 doubles. Why not queens? Again, please forgive the comparison to DVC, but there are queen sized beds in the second bedroom. Our kids are teenagers and they did not want to share beds. One slept on the sofa bed, one in each double bed, and we fashioned a bed out of the sofa cushions for the 4th one. The kids rotated on who slept where so no one person got the "best" or "worst" bed.
Wouldn't this have still been the case if the beds were queens? Since nobody wanted to share a bed?

I don't think it's the resort's fault that you didn't book a room with enough sleeping surfaces for everyone in your party. Not all DVC rooms have 2 queens, either.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:56 PM   #14
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Same for us. I was disappointed. I wil try again though. It could have been friendlier, cleaner and it was very chaotic imho. We did not get a 'cheap rate', so could have stayed on site for almost same.

it wasn't terrible though. just a messy week i guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pklein09 View Post
....and tried real hard not to hate it.

Please keep in mind that this was our experience at this particular point in time. We are DVC members who ran out of points. We used our American Express points to add on 5 nights at Bonnet Creek (not a small number....there are 6 of us and we had a 2 bedroom unit).

We had an early flight down and checked into the resort around 11:00 am. We did not expect our room to be ready and it wasn't. They said they would call us when it was ready. Great! Not a big deal as we had a rental van and annual passes; we headed to Magic Kingdom. As the day goes by, we periodically check the phones....no message from Bonnet Creek. We leave MK before the fireworks to avoid the rush. We get to check in around 10:00. The store is closed, which surprised me because I'm used to DVC resort stores being open later. I was hoping to get milk for breakfast the next day, but not a big deal. We check in and asked why we didn't receive a phone call. The lady at the desk had no answer and apologized. Okay. We had to go over to the other desk for our parking tag. No pressure to sit through a time share presentation, thank goodness. She did ask if we were interested in more information and I politely declined. That was the extent of the discussion.

Our room was in Building 6....Terra Sol. We were told to use the parking garage if we couldn't find a ground level spot. We wind our way around and sure enough we need to used the parking garage. The sign on the gate says use your room key. Um, no, that doesn't work. We swipe it multiple times and have to press the call button twice to get someone to manually lift the gate. We park, unload, and head into the building. We were never told there was a hotel part to building 6 and a timeshare part to building 6, and the signage was not helpful. I head to the lobby which turns out to be the hotel part. The desk clerk there says to walk back the way we came, go down a level and into the other building. At this point, it's close to 10:30 and I'm tired. I gave him a look and he walked us to where we needed to be. I double checked the signs to see if I missed something. No, I read the signs correctly...there is nothing saying "time share building this way."

We head to our room - 6104 - first floor. Yeah! No waiting for elevators. Boo...it's right on the parking lot and we hear cars and see headlights. <sigh> I unfold the sofa bed to set it up for DD17. I find the sheets, or so I thought. There is a mattress pad for a twin sized bed, 2 pillows with no cases, and a blanket. No sheets. I head to the front desk to ask for some (why call when I can walk a few feet). I told the gentleman at the front desk that I needed sheets and a correctly sized mattress pad. I also asked how long it might take. He had no idea. I explained that I was very tired and that this was the third problem with the resort since we arrived that morning, could he please try and find out for me. He did...we were 3rd in line to have linens delivered. When he found out there were 6 of us in the unit, he got additional toiletries without being asked. That was very thoughtful of him and I thanked him. The linens were delivered quicker than I expected, we make the bed and get some sleep.

We sleep in the next day and head out for breakfast around 10:00. We tried for the buffet place but no one was at the podium. There was a family in front of us who had already been waiting. The restaurant was only 1/3 full with no employees to be seen. We gave up and went to Starbucks. DH was happy with the coffee, but I was hoping for more than a muffin. I figured it would just be an early lunch in the parks. We get in our van and try to leave. The room key still does not work in the parking garage machine and we have to press the button for service. Someone answers on the first buzz and we escape, I mean leave....

We get back to the room that night and find a parking spot in the regular lot. Yeah! The room is fine and we decide to just get breakfast out for the duration of our time at Bonnet Creek. The next night, we need to park in the garage and the room key still does not work. We get buzzed in and stop at the front desk to ask why our room key doesn't work. Apparently, the time share side needs a separate parking garage key; the room key only works for the hotel guests. What?!? Why weren't we told that when we checked in??? They knew we were staying in the timeshare portion. How hard can this be. Very annoyed and not happy.

The next to last morning, we get a phone call at 9:00 am. I'm still dozing because I've been out late at the parks and I'm on vacation and don't have to walk 2 dogs early in the morning. The phone call was the front desk asking if I needed bell services to help us with our luggage before checking out. What? I responded by saying that I was under the impression we were checking out the next day. The man on the other end checked his records and apologized...he called the wrong room. The next morning when we really were checking out, no phone call to offer bell services. We didn't need bell services because we pack pretty light, but it showed me how inconsistent the front desk was.

On a general note, we really didn't get a map of the resort. They gave us a really bad photocopy of the overall layout of the resort (lots of flyspecs, if you know what I mean) that only took up half the page. It basically showed us where we checked in and where our building was located. I had no idea where the pool was (we never used it). We did eventually see it through a door, but on the next to last day. We only tried to find restaurants that first day and decided it was easier to eat on Disney property.

The other thing that bothered us throughout our entire stay was the general behavior of the staff. No one was rude, but they weren't friendly either. We would be the only ones in the lobby (there are 6 of us), walking right past the front desk staff (on both sides), and everyone was busy staring at their computer screens. It didn't matter if it was morning, afternoon, or evening. No one looked up, said hello, asked how our stay was. Nada, zip, nothing. By the third day, even the kids said they didn't want to stay there again.

I will say that our room was clean and I didn't directly pay for it out of pocket. I actually kept repeating that to myself. Bonnet Creek used fewer American Points than staying on Disney property so we were able to stay more nights. We ended up renting a van for 5 days because we didn't want to rely on Bonnet Creek transportation to the parks. In retrospect, I could have stayed on Disney property (probably the cabins at Ft. Wilderness) using my Amex points, paid out of pocket for the extra nights, foregone the rental van, and had a more pleasant stay.

I'm glad there are those of you who like Bonnet Creek. I think the nice part of the Walt Disney World Resort and surrounding area it that there is something for everyone. Lesson learned, at least for the vacation experience our family prefers.

I would be happy to answer any questions. For what it's worth, we stayed at Bonnet Creek from July 16 - 21 and then checked into OKW from July 21 - 27.

--Michelle
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #15
pklein09


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Wouldn't this have still been the case if the beds were queens? Since nobody wanted to share a bed?

I don't think it's the resort's fault that you didn't book a room with enough sleeping surfaces for everyone in your party. Not all DVC rooms have 2 queens, either.
The queen beds allow for more elbow room while sleeping. There was plenty of sleeping surfaces if they were willing to share beds. Not my choice to have one of them sleep on cushions - it was theirs, and without complaint. It was merely an observation that they put smaller beds than what DVC offers in their rooms. DVC provides queen beds in their second and third bedrooms and a king in the master. In no DVC resort is there a full sized bed. There may be a sleeper sofa, but that is larger than full bed normally. The sleeper sofas that have been put in during room refurbishment have been queen sized sleeper sofas.
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