You’ve Got a Complaint at Disney. What Should You Do?
Like people, no company works perfectly all the time. Occasionally, mistakes happen. When they do, you as a customer have a right to gripe.
In fact, you should mention your problem to someone. Otherwise, how will the business know of the issue and learn from it?
I mean, if you don’t say something, another customer may suffer the same way.
So, let’s say that you’ve got a complaint at a Disney theme park. What should you do?
Relay the Problem Concisely
You will head to Guest Relations at one of the parks or utilize My Disney Experience’s chat option to speak with a customer service specialist.
These cast members receive the best possible training, as they’re the crème de la crème of Disney, a company that often wins awards for being the best company for customer service.
What I’m saying is that you’re in good hands. However, cast members cannot assist you until they know the problem.
Before you contact customer service, take a moment to consider your complaint. Think about how it impacts you and why you’re upset about it.
Once you’re ready to explain the matter, that’s when you should speak with someone. Otherwise, you may panic the instant you connect with a live agent or walk up to the front desk.
Cast members are some of the best people on the planet, and they get yelled at way too much, especially given how much good they are putting out in the world.
The old maxim of “You’ll get more flies with honey” applies. While I never worked for Disney, I can speak from experience on this subject.
I provided customer service in the hotel industry for a few years. Effectively, I was the last line of defense for heartbroken brides who learned that they didn’t have hotel rooms for their wedding nights.
Admittedly, those were the most extreme examples. Still, you can imagine the stress involved in telling someone in that situation that the entire city’s hotels are booked for the night.
Some of my customers, predominantly middle-aged businessmen, acted huffy and overly important when something unfortunate happened.
I can assure you that I acted like a mirror in these situations. When someone led with decency and kindness, I bent over backward to find them help.
If someone acted like an entitled jerk, well, I always did my job to the best of my ability because that’s who my parents raised me to be.
Let’s just say I wasn’t as upset when those situations lacked satisfying resolutions.
Simply stated, the person with whom you’re speaking is a human being with feelings and a current mood. Unfortunately, even the marvelous cast members working in Disney customer service have bad days, too.
Your behavior with them can make their day better or worse. Which way do you believe would incentivize them to provide superlative troubleshooting skills?
Just do as my wife’s pandemic face mask suggested: “Be Kind.”
Do you remember the look that your teacher gave you when you tried to make them believe that your dog ate your homework?
Cast members can get that look, too. They receive customer complaints all day. It’s literally their job to hear all kinds of nonsense about mishaps.
So, you have no reason to tell a tall tale about your misfortune. Be honest and transparent!
If you swear that you booked a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance that has vanished from My Disney Experience, they’ll know you’re lying.
Conversely, if you haven’t visited Disney recently and inform the cast member that you didn’t know how Boarding Groups work, they may be able to help.
Now, I’m using the worst possible example here, as Rise of the Resistance complaints usually end in tears. But you get my point.
When Disney has made a mistake, explain to the cast member what happened. If you’ve made the error, throw yourself at the mercy of the court.
Tell the truth and ask the cast member if there’s anything they can do to help.
While you may not get exactly what you want, you probably will receive something. That’s much better than nothing, right?
Also, please understand that sometimes, a cast member just cannot help. Expect nothing. That way, anything will feel like a moral victory.
Have an Offer Ready
Let’s say that you were waiting in line for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, and the ride shut down before you could board.
You’re being reasonable to want to go back there later. However, the attraction may remain closed all day.
If so, ask for the ride you’d most like that’s equivalent, like Slinky Dog Dash or Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Cast members are in the habit of saying yes, but you’re more likely to like your offer better than the standard one they give to customers.
Learn from My Personal Experience
I’ll use a personal anecdote here. I try not to complain now that I know what’s involved on the cast member’s end.
However, issues still come up from time to time. My most recent customer service issue didn’t go well, but the time before that turned out better than I could have dreamt possible.
During an ill-fated trip, we had rides tear up on us 18 times in 11 days! After a while, my brother’s family refused to board the same ride as us, swearing that we were jinxed.
This situation occurred about five years ago, and I don’t think we’ve had 18 total ride failures since then. I have no idea what was going on back then. We felt cursed, though.
When I returned home, I reached out to Disney customer service and vented, following the previously mentioned etiquette rules.
A cast member contacted me and asked what I wanted. My suggestion was a handful of extra FastPasses for my next trip.
I still grin from ear to ear when I think about the response. The Disney employee told me that I should be greedier and provided me with THREE extra FastPasses for each day of my next trip!
Better yet, everyone in my traveling party got them. So, my brother’s family received the extra FastPasses, too. That was a memorable trip.
However, the key to it stemmed from the fact that I knew what I wanted from Disney, at least in general terms. I made what I felt was a fair offer, expecting a counter.
That’s the best way for you to negotiate, as long as you remember that nothing is guaranteed.
If Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel tears up, you’re momentarily annoyed, and rightfully so. Please don’t act like it’s ruined your vacation, though.
Always consider the scale of your complaint and calibrate expected compensation accordingly.
Sometimes Disney will surprise you and sprinkle a little Pixie Dust. On other occasions, they’ll just say, “Here’s a FastPass for the Carrousel to ride it again later,” and maybe throw in a Dole Whip coupon.
Don’t get upset. Remember that you’re only out a small amount of time. Also, Dole Whips are delicious!
Instead, think about the situation from the cast member’s perspective.
You have a job. You have rules you must follow and a boss to whom you must answer. The same thing is true of a cast member at Guest Relations.
They’re not going to give you a free hotel room because you got stuck on Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, just like you wouldn’t give a customer a $5,000 credit over a $250 snafu.
Also, please understand that Disney customer service has changed some during the pandemic.
With fewer cast members working, Disney faces unprecedented limitations in what it can and can’t do. As such, you should calibrate your expectations and be reasonable.
You’re vacationing at Disney! Even a minor inconvenience doesn’t change that fact! You’ll have the time of your life no matter what. The only thing that can change your mood is you.
So, please try to avoid the negative energy that comes with your feeling upset over a temporary aggravation.
Finally, please remember that if you don’t receive immediate satisfaction, you can always complain in additional detail when you get home.
That strategy may save you some stress. It has certainly worked for me.