Very Un-Disney Restaurant Policies

Djsfantasi

Active Member
Original Poster
Stage Crew Policies


It was the first full day of an eight night stay at WDW Resort and I was at Epcot on January 10th at the San Angel Inn, where some sort of computer glitch prevented application of my Deluxe Dining plan credits. Poor David was the manager, hamstrung from poor policies.

Magic band did not show my Deluxe Dining Plan. However, from elsewhere, they could see that I had twenty three dining credits. It was the second time the DP was used and that morning had worked fine for breakfast.

So, the manager said I could wait for 1/2 to 1 hr while they manually confirmed my entitlements. Or I could pay the bill and bring it to Guest Services for a refund. I expressed my displeasure with both options and told him so. I requested that he comp the meal and recover it when his staff had the time. However the final options presented penalized me for his operational issues.

I could miss my FastPass reservation (which were already delayed from my Dolphins in Depth experience). I could pay again for something that was already paid for and lose time the next day from my plans. And so on...

Tell me that ANY hospitality business, especially DISNEY, will succeed with such Draconian policies? “You can visit with us, but if we screw up, you’ll miss that for which you paid!” I spoke with some cast members and they indicated that this was a common occurrence!

What!?!

First, a tiny background, I was in the hospitality business for 20+ years. A programmer for fifty+ years. And in fact, my company, a hospitality services company, was a finalist to supply our services in what was to become My Disney Experience. Plus, I’ve started up my own hospitality company, providing extended family entertainment.

IMHO, the system SHOULD have put a hold on my account (and not charge anything) until the back end could have automatically resolved the issue. The manager should have explained this AND an email sent when the issue was resolved. Note that in this case, your guests are NOT directly impacted, NOT wasting time at a dining location and NOT spending their vacation time at Customer Service.

As it is, the system is definitely NOT DISNEY! And the sad part is that this is just one problem of the same sort that I experience at WDW routinely (I come twice a year so far).

I agreed to pay but warned him there would be consequences. This post is but one of my possible actions.

The one thing that I am thankful for is Disney has taught me one policy NOT to have and this lesson has made it into my corporate handbook as a case study.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
Let me get this straight.... So you were looking for a meal to be comped because of a glitch in the system??? The meal was fine and the service was fine. You were given what you were expected out of the dining experience and was expected to pay for it. You were going to get a refunded transaction by simply going to guest services which would have taken about 5 minutes, and you were out nothing. Wheres the problem??? You were in the hospitality business and you never experienced any glitches?? IMHO you deserved nothing other than the managers apology for the glitch and there shouldnt be any consequences on Disneys part.
 

Djsfantasi

Active Member
Original Poster
No! I was NOT expecting a comp. The system should have internally treated it as a comp, while putting a hold for the bill on my account until the issue was resolved. This process is done all the time. I am familiar with it as my companies software did it automatically.

And where is Disney does something take five minutes? Over in Fantasyland perhaps. It took me an hour in Guest Services to get this cleared up.

Hospitality has its shares of glitches. But in general, they do not involve integrating the variety of multiple computer systems as can occur in Disney. In a complex environment, it is best practices to include logic to handle “glitches” between systems.

None (zero, nada, etc) of my computer system would have had this problem. We had strict standards for self-healing software. Integrations testing would have stressed every combination of interfaces. And my infrastructure design replicated every component so if one server “glitched”, another would have taken over.

So I have much higher standards than you and I apply then to Disney because that is what they sell.
 
Last edited:

jwutony16

Active Member
Let me get this straight.... So you were looking for a meal to be comped because of a glitch in the system??? The meal was fine and the service was fine. You were given what you were expected out of the dining experience and was expected to pay for it. You were going to get a refunded transaction by simply going to guest services which would have taken about 5 minutes, and you were out nothing. Wheres the problem??? You were in the hospitality business and you never experienced any glitches?? IMHO you deserved nothing other than the managers apology for the glitch and there shouldnt be any consequences on Disneys part.
I don't know I would be upset if I prepaid a 8 day resort stay with tickets and meals to have my first dinner come out of my pocket and have to go wait in line for customer service. This happened to me and it was not a 5 minute fix but they did make it right. The OP prepaid for everything in advanced and maybe he had a budget he had to keep to and that spending the extra money on a dinner was not part of the budget. If he lived up to his end of paying for everything in advance then Disney should carry the burden of figuring out how the meal would be paid for without making the guest do it.
 

Gabe1

Ivory Tower Squabble EST 2011. WINDMILL SURVIVOR
Premium Member
Stage Crew Policies


It was the first full day of an eight night stay at WDW Resort and I was at Epcot on January 10th at the San Angel Inn, where some sort of computer glitch prevented application of my Deluxe Dining plan credits. Poor David was the manager, hamstrung from poor policies.

Magic band did not show my Deluxe Dining Plan. However, from elsewhere, they could see that I had twenty three dining credits. It was the second time the DP was used and that morning had worked fine for breakfast.

So, the manager said I could wait for 1/2 to 1 hr while they manually confirmed my entitlements. Or I could pay the bill and bring it to Guest Services for a refund. I expressed my displeasure with both options and told him so. I requested that he comp the meal and recover it when his staff had the time. However the final options presented penalized me for his operational issues.

I could miss my FastPass reservation (which were already delayed from my Dolphins in Depth experience). I could pay again for something that was already paid for and lose time the next day from my plans. And so on...

Tell me that ANY hospitality business, especially DISNEY, will succeed with such Draconian policies? “You can visit with us, but if we screw up, you’ll miss that for which you paid!” I spoke with some cast members and they indicated that this was a common occurrence!

What!?!

First, a tiny background, I was in the hospitality business for 20+ years. A programmer for fifty+ years. And in fact, my company, a hospitality services company, was a finalist to supply our services in what was to become My Disney Experience. Plus, I’ve started up my own hospitality company, providing extended family entertainment.

IMHO, the system SHOULD have put a hold on my account (and not charge anything) until the back end could have automatically resolved the issue. The manager should have explained this AND an email sent when the issue was resolved. Note that in this case, your guests are NOT directly impacted, NOT wasting time at a dining location and NOT spending their vacation time at Customer Service.

As it is, the system is definitely NOT DISNEY! And the sad part is that this is just one problem of the same sort that I experience at WDW routinely (I come twice a year so far).

I agreed to pay but warned him there would be consequences. This post is but one of my possible actions.

The one thing that I am thankful for is Disney has taught me one policy NOT to have and this lesson has made it into my corporate handbook as a case study.
I had this happen at San Angel before and it was last evening with the same excuse you were given. He suggested I use them at a later date and pay out of pocket. Me I already pre-paid with the dining plan. Requested the manager ultimately. Then the TRUTH started to trickle out. I had given them my resort card for the meal credits and gave them my debit card to cover adult beverages and salsa order for chips at the beginning of the meal along with the tip. After debate the manager finally told the truth and said the server had mistakenly run the entire tab through on my debit card and that there was nothing they could do about it and if I couldn't use my now extra dining credits they would be just lost.

I wouldn't sign the receipt and told them if they put through entire tab through and failed to put in a matching credit to my the bank I would report it as unauthorized and a fraud claim. I had already prepaid the meal by buying the dining plan I refused to pay for it twice.

When I departed WDW the next day those dining credits were still showing. The debit was pending on my online statement but I did get a credit 5 days later on my statement from Disney for the entire amount, likely cause they couldn't do a partial credit to my debit card.
We have never returned to San Angels, we were treated like criminals for their mistake. When we got back to our resort I asked that this information be noted in our reservation and asked for a copy in case my account was not credited.

What I've taken away from the experience,
-I always have screen shots of my ADRs, FPs-which have come in handy, my resort res#

-I always use a credit card at WDW now over a debit card.

-I always keep my dining plan receipts during the trip that show credits of snacks, QS, TS remaining. I keep the ones for the day with me as a back up.

-As for ADRs we have had 3 instances at Primetime over the years that claim they don't show a reservation for us. The first time they said there was nothing they could do. Guest relations could see the reservation we returned and were seated immediately. The next two times it happened I was able to pull up the reservation number and oh yes, they can see it now. All three times Prime was beyond crowded and behind in the wait times. I think it is harder for venues now to get away with any of the above now because you can see everything on your app.

-the new one in December of 2019 mid trip was every single magic band I have switched over to my adult son during the day somehow and my fingerprint wouldn't work. I was taken to a podium and told I couldn't gain access even though I had been in Epcot without issue earlier. Ultimate they just fixed my MB and I was allowed into the Christmas Party. The CM said the problem was whoever activated my Annual Pass (but I had been to Disney 2x's since activation) and asked me to tell whoever activated my Annual Pass. I pointed to Guest Relations and pointed to it as we were so close and asked if he wanted me to go tell them....oh it isn't necessary. :cautious: It makes it more frustrating when things go sideways that at times you know they don't want to be of help and just go away. Rare but frustrating.
 

Djsfantasi

Active Member
Original Poster
I had this happen at San Angel before and it was last evening with the same excuse you were given. He suggested I use them at a later date and pay out of pocket. Me I already pre-paid with the dining plan. Requested the manager ultimately. Then the TRUTH started to trickle out. I had given them my resort card for the meal credits and gave them my debit card to cover adult beverages and salsa order for chips at the beginning of the meal along with the tip. After debate the manager finally told the truth and said the server had mistakenly run the entire tab through on my debit card and that there was nothing they could do about it and if I couldn't use my now extra dining credits they would be just lost.

I wouldn't sign the receipt and told them if they put through entire tab through and failed to put in a matching credit to my the bank I would report it as unauthorized and a fraud claim. I had already prepaid the meal by buying the dining plan I refused to pay for it twice.

When I departed WDW the next day those dining credits were still showing. The debit was pending on my online statement but I did get a credit 5 days later on my statement from Disney for the entire amount, likely cause they couldn't do a partial credit to my debit card.
We have never returned to San Angels, we were treated like criminals for their mistake. When we got back to our resort I asked that this information be noted in our reservation and asked for a copy in case my account was not credited.

What I've taken away from the experience,
-I always have screen shots of my ADRs, FPs-which have come in handy, my resort res#

-I always use a credit card at WDW now over a debit card.

-I always keep my dining plan receipts during the trip that show credits of snacks, QS, TS remaining. I keep the ones for the day with me as a back up.

-As for ADRs we have had 3 instances at Primetime over the years that claim they don't show a reservation for us. The first time they said there was nothing they could do. Guest relations could see the reservation we returned and were seated immediately. The next two times it happened I was able to pull up the reservation number and oh yes, they can see it now. All three times Prime was beyond crowded and behind in the wait times. I think it is harder for venues now to get away with any of the above now because you can see everything on your app.

-the new one in December of 2019 mid trip was every single magic band I have switched over to my adult son during the day somehow and my fingerprint wouldn't work. I was taken to a podium and told I couldn't gain access even though I had been in Epcot without issue earlier. Ultimate they just fixed my MB and I was allowed into the Christmas Party. The CM said the problem was whoever activated my Annual Pass (but I had been to Disney 2x's since activation) and asked me to tell whoever activated my Annual Pass. I pointed to Guest Relations and pointed to it as we were so close and asked if he wanted me to go tell them....oh it isn't necessary. :cautious: It makes it more frustrating when things go sideways that at times you know they don't want to be of help and just go away. Rare but frustrating.
As an IT professional with 50+ years in the field (yes, I’m old) and the last 20 in hospitality, I have strong opinions.

I love ❤ Disney returning at least twice a year for 10+ days. I study everything I can, from the dressing of the scenes, color selection, the variety of technologies used, the logistics of busses, crowd control and yes even trash removal.

However, the one aspect which is embarrassing is their computer systems. If I put any of Disney’s software systems into production the way they are, I would have lost my job years ago.

One simple example. When was the last time you noticed Amazon having problems after an update? When were you unable to make a hotel reservation, because the system was down for maintenance. During the rollout of enhancements for Galaxies Edge last summer, Disney was down for days. My transaction system would continue running during an upgrade, processing 25,000 transactions a
Minute without a glitch.

Disney, I’d like to contract with you to perform a reliability assessment and prepare a set of software development rules.
 

Gabe1

Ivory Tower Squabble EST 2011. WINDMILL SURVIVOR
Premium Member
As an IT professional with 50+ years in the field (yes, I’m old) and the last 20 in hospitality, I have strong opinions.

I love ❤ Disney returning at least twice a year for 10+ days. I study everything I can, from the dressing of the scenes, color selection, the variety of technologies used, the logistics of busses, crowd control and yes even trash removal.

However, the one aspect which is embarrassing is their computer systems. If I put any of Disney’s software systems into production the way they are, I would have lost my job years ago.

One simple example. When was the last time you noticed Amazon having problems after an update? When were you unable to make a hotel reservation, because the system was down for maintenance. During the rollout of enhancements for Galaxies Edge last summer, Disney was down for days. My transaction system would continue running during an upgrade, processing 25,000 transactions a
Minute without a glitch.

Disney, I’d like to contract with you to perform a reliability assessment and prepare a set of software development rules.
While I know little overall about computers though my DD has her masters as a computer scientist engineer. She doesn't remember not having a computer. A few years ago she agreed at AK to take a survey. If she didn't reply with a favorable answer another version of the question would appear. She enjoyed playing with it as she was always curious to how they compiled their data on guests recommendations and feedback. The survey would not end as she already figured out the pattern and she was so curious to see what it would do ultimately. The CM came to check on her multiple times. She just kept choosing the answers opposite to the slanted choices. Ultimately the survey dump'd her off thanking her for her time and matter of fact told her she was not the demographic they were looking for in this survey but other surveys would be presented in the future for her to participate in. Ha! Disney has always failed in tech, Dear Lord they wouldn't even put WiFi at their resorts let alone parks until they were going to the Magic Bands and Apps. My DD has built 2 apps in the last six months for the company she works for. She so wants to rebuild Disney's app.

We too love Disney. My 2 kids were raised Disney with long vacations at least once a year. Having an APs now we only once a year do the dining plan on our longest annual trip when time allows us to enjoy some nice TS restaurants.
 

WDWBigEd

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe San Angel is 3rd party, but your right they should have a better option. This happened to me once at character dining. It was handled very differently at the time the system went down they told me they had my room information and once the system came back if I did not have the available credits they would just charge the card on file. Which I was fine with I knew I had the credits and it allowed me to carry on with my day. They should have a better policy in place for 3rd party to follow and there might be on in place. I would make sure to write an email or stop by Guest Service.
 

wagamama

Member
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe San Angel is 3rd party, but your right they should have a better option. This happened to me once at character dining. It was handled very differently at the time the system went down they told me they had my room information and once the system came back if I did not have the available credits they would just charge the card on file. Which I was fine with I knew I had the credits and it allowed me to carry on with my day. They should have a better policy in place for 3rd party to follow and there might be on in place. I would make sure to write an email or stop by Guest Service.
Which sounds like a perfectly reasonable approach. Waiting an hour to “manually confirm entitlements” which they can already see exist ... not reasonable. Especially at a vacation spot which, like it or not, is often planned pretty much down to the minute sometimes.

Given how common these “glitches” are with DP entitlements, you’d think there’d be a clear policy in place. Or, you know, a reasonably not-glitchy IT infrastructure.
 

wagamama

Member
I’m pretty sure that escalating this at Guest Services will get you a better outcome - they’re usually pretty good at making up for these types of situations. But it doesn’t make up for the fact that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. (Not the glitch, that happens, but the lousy treatment is unacceptable imo.)
 

Dad 2 M & M

Well-Known Member
Stage Crew Policies
I agreed to pay but warned him there would be consequences. This post is but one of my possible actions.

The one thing that I am thankful for is Disney has taught me one policy NOT to have and this lesson has made it into my corporate handbook as a case study.
As an IT professional with 50+ years in the field (yes, I’m old) and the last 20 in hospitality, I have strong opinions.

I love ❤ Disney returning at least twice a year for 10+ days.

Disney, I’d like to contract with you to perform a reliability assessment and prepare a set of software development rules.
In light of the issues you've encountered, I'd have them verify your dining credits as soon as you check-in at any given Restaurant. Then you won't have to "wait for 1/2 to 1 hr while they manually confirmed my entitlements", as the verification would happen parallel to your dining experience. I'd add that to the handbook.

Hopefully Disney will take you up on your reliability assessment.
 

Hcalvert

Well-Known Member
At a lot of TS restaurants that I ate at in July asked at the beginning if we are on the DDP and scanned one of the adult bands to check that we do indeed have the entitlements before even taking our order. In fact, that happened at all the restaurants (Disney-owned and third party) during our trip. This also allowed the server to run the receipt quicker at the end.
 
Last edited:

xdan0920

Think for yourselfer
Let me get this straight.... So you were looking for a meal to be comped because of a glitch in the system??? The meal was fine and the service was fine. You were given what you were expected out of the dining experience and was expected to pay for it. You were going to get a refunded transaction by simply going to guest services which would have taken about 5 minutes, and you were out nothing. Wheres the problem??? You were in the hospitality business and you never experienced any glitches?? IMHO you deserved nothing other than the managers apology for the glitch and there shouldnt be any consequences on Disneys part.
Yikes
 

DisAl

Well-Known Member
We have had more than one problem with Disney IT. My family was there for the marathon this past weekend, and Disney had screwed up the Memory Maker purchase. It took two visits to guest relations neither of which fixed the problem and wasted over an hour and a half of park time. Finally got it corrected (we hope!) with a call to the Memory Maker tech support people (another 25 minutes on hold).
On another trip we were at AK at rope drop only to find that the tickets for one of our two rooms had not been activated. That took an hour and 15 minutes in line at guest services to get cleared up. I won't even go into the awful processes they have when you charge things via your magic band.
Disney has the worst IT processes of any company I do business with.
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
So, okay, if someone is on vacation at Disney, we would expect their budget to be flexible enough that they have at least one meal's worth of cash in the bank or available on their credit card.

However, there is no law that says you have to have extra cash available when you visit a Disney theme park. When you buy the dining plan, you are pre-paying for meals. Suppose the OP literally did not have the money to pay for the meal out of pocket? They are not trying to steal anything; they have already paid Disney for the meal.

What could Disney do if you simply refused to comply with the restaurant staff's instructions?
 

Hockey89

Well-Known Member
So, okay, if someone is on vacation at Disney, we would expect their budget to be flexible enough that they have at least one meal's worth of cash in the bank or available on their credit card.

However, there is no law that says you have to have extra cash available when you visit a Disney theme park. When you buy the dining plan, you are pre-paying for meals. Suppose the OP literally did not have the money to pay for the meal out of pocket? They are not trying to steal anything; they have already paid Disney for the meal.

What could Disney do if you simply refused to comply with the restaurant staff's instructions?
Arrest them and figure it out later...
 

ninjaprincesst

Well-Known Member
No! I was NOT expecting a comp. The system should have internally treated it as a comp, while putting a hold for the bill on my account until the issue was resolved. This process is done all the time. I am familiar with it as my companies software did it automatically.

And where is Disney does something take five minutes? Over in Fantasyland perhaps. It took me an hour in Guest Services to get this cleared up.

Hospitality has its shares of glitches. But in general, they do not involve integrating the variety of multiple computer systems as can occur in Disney. In a complex environment, it is best practices to include logic to handle “glitches” between systems.

None (zero, nada, etc) of my computer system would have had this problem. We had strict standards for self-healing software. Integrations testing would have stressed every combination of interfaces. And my infrastructure design replicated every component so if one server “glitched”, another would have taken over.

So I have much higher standards than you and I apply then to Disney because that is what they sell.
I agree 100 percent. We had an issue in December where Tusker House charged us 3 dining credits 1 hour after we , a party of two had eaten there). i only found this out the next day when we ate at Ohana and i discovered we were missing 3 credits, called guest services they said we would have to go to guest services at any park or to our hotel to take care of it. I wasted time going to guest services at Epcot to be told that we would have to go to our hotel, so we are supposed blow of all our fastpasses and go back to the hotel to fix someone else error, I finally called the hotel and got someone to fix it, but still wasted tons of time on something we did not do. I t would have nice to at least get an extra fast pass to compensate us for all the extra trouble and wasted time.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
As another in IT I have realized that Disney's idea of IT is not really about function, it's more about looking cute. I am sorry you dealt with it. I would not have wanted them to run the charge either. They should find a way to fix it without inconveniencing guests. Makes me glad we never do the DDP though. A situation like that would irk me
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Might actually be a crime to waste law enforcements time with this.

"Yes officer, This guy won't double pay for his meal. Arrest him!"
Cleary Disney should lobby for such laws. If the dirty poors aren’t going to take personal responsibility and triple budget for their vacations in case Disney’s system has a magical hiccup then they need to feel the consequences of not taking some personal initiative and carrying Disney’s burden for them while they figure things out.
 
Top Bottom