The question everyone has been asking!
HOW DID WE GET VIP AT DISNEY WORLD?
The answer: I have no idea!
I know that’s not the answer anyone was wanting but it’s mostly the truth. We asked and they just kept telling us it was magic! Here’s how it all went down…
We checked into Disney’s Coronado Springs. It was a pretty typical travel day with a few hiccups. I had ordered Amazon Prime Now to be delivered and attempted to find out how to get our order. I had to talk to several cast members before finding it then brought it back to the room with half the order missing. I called bell services a few more times before the order was eventually delivered around 11pm. The lady I spoke to around that time felt awful that it had taken so long and there had been a mistake with the delivery. I assured her it it was no big deal and I would have still been up anyway but she still felt bad. She insisted I fill out their survey to help them improve the process. I wasn’t negative about it but shared the experience.
The next morning we were heading into Epcot and a Florida number shows up on my cell. I didn’t answer at first but they kept calling back. It was our hotel guest relations manager. He was asking about our stay and our first day and our room. I assured him everything was great. He wanted to know details. It was all good. (I was really just trying to get him off the phone so I could help the kids get finger printed to go into the park!) He said he heard it could have been better and wanted to know more about the grocery delivery. I gave him a short version but assured him it wasn’t a big deal. He assured me it was. We started talking about the most magical place on earth and I told him how I had only recently learned that Disneyland was the happiest place on earth so I had to shift my thinking because we had been there and loved it so needed to stop comparing the two. He had just gotten back from Disneyland and knew exactly what I was talking about. He wanted to give us that same feeling about World! He added some extra fast passes to our magic bands and we were thrilled with that. I thanked him and was ready to get off the phone. Again. ;) He started asking about our room. I said it was great. He asked if a little extra room would be nice. Obviously I wasn’t going to say no! He said he would see what he could do and get back to me. He went over our plans for the day and gave us some tips and insider info then said he would check in later.
My phone service was terrible inside ride buildings but I did get some text messages letting us know we would be moving to a new room once we got back to the hotel. We called the back office when we arrived and they came and moved us to Casitas Building 1- the executive suite. Depending on the night this is a $1200-$1600/night suite! Everyone had their own bed and table for dining for that matter. It was located right off El Centro, the main building, so food and shopping and the best bus stop were just a minute away. And a gorgeous view!
This was awesome and we thought the week couldn’t get any better! However after settling in there was a knock at the door and the kids got presents from MICKEY!! Toys and snacks and treats- things they had been begging for at the park but we didn’t let them get. I was convinced that cameras had been following us and they knew what our kids had been begging for. Rusty was convinced someone was paying for the VIP treatment and had set the whole thing up (we later added up everything to around $15,000 so we are pretty sure that wasn’t the case). Our fairy godfather (Aaron), insisted it was just the magic of Disney!
As the week went on the gifts continued, more favorite toys and treats, food, drinks, VIP events, Fastpasses everyday, etc. Our fairy godfather would check in with us in the morning and see if we needed anything. It was the most amazing guest service I’ve ever experienced. I can’t even put into words how awesome it was. I just got an email from him again today checking in to see how we were doing and telling us to keep in touch. Hanging out with him was the highlight of the trip for me- our entire family agreed he’s part of the crew now.
So how to up your chances of VIP treatment?
Ours was honestly a God thing. There were a lot of things that came from the week that only God could have orchestrated and a lot of very personalized gifts that only He knew our hearts needed.
So aside from the God and magic of Mickey factor, I don’t have much to add BUT I did make some observations this week….
Kind people get fast passes, crabby people get stickers. I noticed over and over again as I talked to various cast members in the park that they were at liberty to hand out fast passes and they would do so often once you started chatting with them. I connected with several cast members- just asking about their story, their job, how they ended up there, etc. Almost all of them would say they’ve stuck around so many years for the people and then would generally hand out some extra fast passes. We obviously had more than we knew what to do with anyway but it was still fun because they would hand out paper ones then we could gift them to other guests we met at the park and it was fun to make their day! On the other hand, if our kids were whining or crabby cast members would offer them stickers. We got our fair share of those as well. ;)
It’s okay to let them know if something isn’t as magical as it could be… but do it nicely. We met a couple on the bus. They weren’t having a great trip. She had complained at the front desk but nothing happened. I suggested the guy go back down and nicely talk to them about it and nicely fill out the survey. We saw the same couple the next day- they had done it and it worked! They got VIP fast passes and some dining credits added to their plan. So while Disney wants to do everything they can to make your stay magical, they are less likely to do it for you if you’re being a jerk about it.
Finally, our hotel was undergoing refurbishment. My best guess is that most people spending $1400/night on a hotel suite are probably going to opt for a hotel not under construction. That being the case, our upgraded side of the hotel was pretty quiet, leaving open rooms available for upgrade opportunities.
Again, I think mostly it comes down to the Magic of Mickey but being nice can never hurt! We’re so grateful that we had this once in a lifetime experience and I wish everyone could experience Disney this way! <3