We have just spent the Christmas weekend at Boardwalk; our home resort. During previous trips, we had noticed that the resort seemed different. Notably absent were the beautiful floral arrangements in the entry. My wife has always loved the flowers in the entry, lobby and other common areas. This was one of the “touches” that made Boardwalk a deluxe resort. Our trip before the holidays was in October. At that time, we inquired at the desk and were told they were getting ready for Christmas decorations so this is why the areas were bare. There have been other changes that we have seen, and have attributed those to cost-cutting. The changes are not limited to décor; the quality of guest services has diminished. We do understand some of these so we are not averse to changes.
Upon arrival on Friday, the entry did have a floral arrangement, just one - in the entry. I had seen others’ posts and pictures of the lobby this year but my wife had not. I had tried to prepare her but she could not believe her eyes. Long gone were Donald, Daisy, Lewy, Huey and Dewey-even Stitch was more festive than this. In its’ place was a table, a cash register, a few ginger bread houses (made from the kits they were selling). The only thing I can say is WOW! What had happened to the holiday décor that we had enjoyed in previous years? Is this what has happened to all of the resorts? No –Boardwalk seems to be the only resort suffering from anemic holiday displays.
Our morning plan was to visit the Epcot resorts to see the holiday decor. Dolphins' tree with its’ train was beautiful. ; as was the Chocolate Santa at Swan or is it the other way around. The Yacht and Beach Clubs were beautiful as always. During the course of our weekend we visited the Contemporary, Poly, Floridian, Wilderness, Jambo & Kidani. We could find the Hidden Mickeys or Olafs in the displays. The other resorts never gave us the feeling their only purpose was to sell us a gingerbread kit. All were very beautiful; some more than others. Happy Festivus!
We had done online check-in requesting an 1) upper floor, 2) near the elevator. We received the text stating that our room was ready while we were touring resorts. The room assigned to us was Room 1005. This room was on the ground floor, and at the end of the corridor. I know requests aren't guaranteed but this was the complete opposite. Our experience has been that if we request a preference at Boardwalk, we are pretty sure we will be assigned the opposite of our request. We haven’t had this issue at other resorts. We headed back to see if we could change rooms.
I have a question maybe someone could answer. What are the cast members at the front desk staring at on their screens when they are not helping a guest? Mind you no one was ahead of us and no one was checking in but there we stood waiting for someone to acknowledge us and ask to help us. Even what I assume was a manger was too busy in conversation to notice us. I'm 6'2" 260 lbs. wearing a bright red shirt, tough to miss. Finally with half a smile we were asked if she could help. We were told no other room was available (studio) but they could change us for our next night. She told us they would leave a message on our phone with instructions to confirm the switch. We didn’t receive a phone call; we had to follow up with the front desk to make our move the following day.
This was not the first time we have stayed in this room. Last time I had issues with the mold (common in ground level). I explained this to the cast member and was told the room had recently been refurbished and it would not be a problem. This time the room’s mold was in remission. I spotted adhesive being pushed up through the vinyl floor. This is usually caused by moisture pushing the adhesive up through the cracks. It hasn’t rained much in Orlando for a few months so mold was not a problem this trip but this room has ongoing issues.
This love lost of the Boardwalk has been building for a while, with its’ less than friendly staff. This comment may be bit strong but there is a marked difference between resorts. We have many encounters with so many cast members that make our stay very magical-just not as many at the Boardwalk. This was once our favorite. We are sad to say that this is no longer true.