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Housekeeping at Disney World to be Reorganized Due to Degrading Service Quality

Ever since the Four Seasons resort opened at Walt Disney World, Disney has been looking at ways to keep up with the luxury resort, especially since many Disney Deluxe Resorts are priced higher.

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One of the larger problems in recent years has been in the upkeep of a guest’s resort room, with a notable downward trend in the quality and care of housekeeping Cast Members. It is very common these days to find beds unmade, trash on floors, and sometimes even worse inside of your Disney hotel room.

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Disney is reformatting the way their Housekeeping works across Walt Disney World to attack this problem over the coming weeks and months. The first major change is a large increase in the number of housekeeping Cast Members across the property, including the hiring of dozens of new managers across all of the hotels. This is all in anticipation of the introduction of the new dispatch system, similar to the one recently rolled-out in Tomorrowland for custodial Cast. This system is said to better dispatch housekeepers to get rooms cleaned more efficiently for the day’s arrivals.

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The last piece of all this is that a rumored third party company, based in the hospitality industry, will be coming in and retraining the housekeeping teams on current industry standards and trends. All of this piled together should create drastic changes in the upkeep and cleanliness of Disney’s hotel rooms.

  1. This is good to hear. For what we pay for rooms at WDW I should be able to leave in the early morning and come back at lunch to a clean room. There have been many times when our room did not get cleaned until after 3 PM. Happened 2 times in a weeks stay at BC this past year.

  2. Really noticed a decline in our stay December 2016 at Yacht Club. Had to call one day to get the room cleaned. Other days it was very late and clearly a quick job. Trash not emptied, towels not replaced. Glad to hear they are noticing and actually doing something about it.

  3. glad to hear last time we stayed at your home resort (saragota springs) the room was dust every where
    and the vents were full of mold.

  4. I agree that some improvements need to be made. I stayed at Riverside a few weeks ago and noticed several deficiencies. There was no “Do Not Disturb” door tag, the door chain/limiter was broken and unusable, and there was a brochure on by the television announcing savings opportunities if I extended my stay that had ended in December of 2016. I realize that all of these items aren’t housekeeping issues but I would think that housekeeping would be the front line person to notice and correct the items or pass them along to the proper department. In fact on the last day of my stay housekeeping knocked on the door while I was in the room and when I answered asked why I didn’t have my “Do Not Disturb” sign out. I informed her that I didn’t have one so she grabbed one from the cart and put it on the door for me. If housekeeping had them you would think that they would have noticed it missing and replaced it earlier.

  5. Yes, great news! We stayed at SSR last year and when we checked into our room the bathroom floor behind the toilet was disgusting. I was too tired to wait for housekeeping to come and cleaned it myself, but this should never happen at a Disney resort.

  6. I do hope the third party company isn’t someone like PDQ Consulting and there STEPS programme. It’s packaged to improve the customer experience but ultimately it’s designed to save money by speeding up processes

  7. We stayed at Pop Century in August and noticed a decline from their normal high standards. It was also the first time that there was not a towel animal left by mousekeeping. That little extra tough of magic was definitely missed.

  8. Maybe instead of constantly cutting corners, Disney should go back to the kind of cast member training that once made them industry leaders and innovators. They’ve fallen so far that now they have to figure out how to keep up with the competition.

  9. Competition is a great thing….Four Seasons, Hilton, and Waldorf are blowing the doors off “Deluxe” Disney resorts in all areas of service and amenity.

    1. For the drastic increase in rates over the last few years, you would think housekeeping would have improved a long with the linens, towels and beds but no! We discovered the Omni at Championsgate and could not believe the service, cleanliness, luxury and attentiveness we received. We have been staying here ever since for half the price and we have stayed in every Disney resort over the last 37 years but we lost the MAGIC! Not cool to come back to your room at 3pm to take a nap and your room hasn’t been cleaned. This happened way too many times and the quality of the towels is awful and dust is everywhere. Disney will hire more people and prices will go up again!

  10. Good to hear. We noticed a decline during our last stay at WL. Trashcans weren’t always emptied and the sheets were dirty on our first night.

  11. Just stay off site in one of the luxury resorts closeby. Double the comfort and servicd for half the price.

  12. I’ve only had one somewhat disheartening experience with mousekeeping. I went to the closet where they keep all supplies on my floor at SSR. The door was cracked and the mousekeeper was standing there reading a book, she was so engrossed she never saw me for a good 15 seconds until I said excuse me. Then I asked her for another blanket and she told me I had to call housekeeping. She never put her book down while talking to me and didn’t even try to hide it. This was about 11 am. I did get my blanket later in the day.

  13. It’s not so much the housekeeping. The rooms are just ‘meh’ – I always stay at the Grand Floridian.. and the rooms are honestly less attractive than a Hilton or Sheraton on their worst day. They need major upgrades to justify the ridiculous prices.

  14. That is why I stay off property or I stay at Universal Lowes hotel so much cleaner done with staying at Disney resort

  15. I stayed with my twin sis at AKL Kidani Village for 10 days in November 2016 and within that time we were moved 3 times and had maintenance crews in our room EVERY NIGHT until 11PM because of things that were supposed to be done, such as the range not working, the faucet in the tub turned out so that the water ran out of the tub instead of in, all of the a/c vents were filled with dirt and not working and it was extremely HOT each night, the exhaust fans in the bathrooms were NOT THERE period and had to be installed! Nail clippings – not ours in the tub (EWWWW) and double Ewwww crap (still not ours) in the toilet and not cleaned!!! Staples and tape on the ground in-bedded in the carpet- which one stuck up in my foot…the list goes on an on…basically in the end they gave us a new vacation package complementary…but that does not make up for the hours and days of my trip I can not get back because my ROOMS were not checked properly! There is no excuse for a deluxe – 1-bedroom villa to have so much problems, and have multiple rooms have the same thing. And to add to the wonderful vacation…we had a maid that did not even empty the dishwasher even once while we were there! We pay cash not points – so we should have had service the whole time, which we did not! And we 100% could not even understand what our maid was saying…if it was even English. Disney has to do better – much better! I have been going to Disney each year for 42 years and the service keeps on getting worse and worse! The Cast-members are not the happy, helpful people you are supposed to serve you at the happiest place on earth, but the most miserable, unhelpful, and angry people I have ever met. Something has to be done. I plan to return early March 2017 and I hope that the service has improved! *Fingers crossed

    1. I hope you update after your visit and have a better experience. Is emptying dishwashers something housekeeping is responsible for?

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  17. This is why we stay at Starwood Swan or Dolphin on property. The prices for Disney’s own “luxury” resorts are through the roof in comparison and are lower in quality. The Swan or Dolphin easily outclass the rooms at the overpriced Grand Floridian.

  18. I don’t want to be that guy, but I think the word you are looking for is declining, not degrading. I don’t think guests or the housekeepers are being degraded by anyone.

  19. This has been a problem over the last few visits. House keeping asked my wife if everything was OK that morning and she said “yes”. They never came back. We called house keeping and they told my wife that since she told that to the person she assumed she didn’t need to come back. Wrong answer!

  20. good to hear.. when we were there last we had cockroaches in our room and the staff told us that was normal…it did not faze them and there were no other rooms we could move to…nor were we given a credit for anything and they saw the cockroaches outside of our room and in our rooms

  21. Tell you waht if experience this in Hawaii there will be some problems as there is a Four Seasons right next door and I wont be paying for it. 18 people are going for a trip of a lifetime and it better not be screwed up

  22. DECLINING SERVICE?? DISNEY WORLD? NO SHIT! The place has become a total freakin’ dump over the last few years. We live nearby. One of the worse, most overpriced destinations in the world. Used to be great. Then decent, now, fucking terrible.

  23. It’s very sad that Team Disney Orlando doesn’t want to spend. They wait for other parks to do something so they can copy to save money. Cleanliness has significantly declined over the years. I find myself calling to get things fixed or cleaned in my villa every vacation. I even go to the front desk to complain and state that I am only reporting the broken stuff so others after me can have a pleasant vacation. I’ve called after coming back from the parks before dinner to find that Trash and Towel was not done. Called again and asked again. Came back later that night to nothing again. Told them if they would charge me to have an extra cleaning then I want a credit for something not being done. That’s only fair. No increases should be passed to the vacationer. This is an area that Disney needs to improve or many will go elsewhere. As a DVC member, I usually call and lodge my complaints.

  24. Not sure is this is housekeeping or maintenance, but in the not to distant past, at the Beach Club Villa’s, upon arrival, we had to have 2 TV’s replaced, 3 lightbulbs were out, and the lint filter was cracked, so the dryer door wouldn’t the toilet ran and ran. All were fixed the first day, but seriously…. doesn’t anyone check to see if things are in proper working order??? A time or two before that, at Wilderness Lodge Villas, the washer wouldn’t work… They said they’d have a part in a week… We packed and insisted on being transferred to another room at the WL Villa’s or another Villa entirely. Surprisingly they had a room immediately.
    Adding managers to oversee housekeeping is a joke.
    Having a 3rd party come in is a sure sign Disney is contemplating outsourcing housekeeping…. just like they have valet service.
    OR, offering an upgrade for $XXXXX to get you better housekeeping services…..(don’t laugh!!!) btw, many non Disney resorts offer a bypass to the traditional 4pm check in.. for a fee of course.
    To Doug, don’t forget the Swan and Dolphin charge you a daily Service and daily Parking fee, plus tax.

    1. So you’ve had some bad experiences and that’s why you were such a jerk to those people that have actually had good experiences? The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know when you demanded another room, there was probably one available because it was ready for someone about to arrive and then they had to wait because you demanded another room. It’s people like you that make these comments sections so difficult to read because if Disney doesn’t cater to your every whim they’re just the worst. Sorry we can’t all be as perfect as you Frank!

    2. Am I mistaken, or isn’t it the policy that DVC rooms are only serviced every third day. Plus, all I’ve ever seen them do is make up the bed and empty the trash. And you comment about paying extra for service is already the policy. If you want any housekeeping, other than what I just described, you must pay an extra fee. This is not a future plan but is what has been in place all along.

  25. It is about time, I hate staying at resort because of the bad housekeeping. Last year we stayed someplace else. I was buying cleaning supplies so I could clean while others went to Universal park. I had my own company and all of my accounts that I worked was over twenty years because my jobs were so clean, when I had to quit due to health, they couldn’t find a decent company and called me asking if I could work I even told the front desk they needed to retrain their people
    The rooms were so dirty, nice to see changes

  26. I’ve never had a bad housekeeping experience any of the times I’ve stayed in a Disney hotel, so I guess I don’t know what all the fuss is about. But then again, comment strings like this one are about as useful, and as inaccurate, as Yelp or TripAdvisor.

    1. I’m sure you think that, because you don’t have certain kind of health problems, people don’t suffer from them.

    2. We have had many housekeeping problems, including broken wash machines, clogged plumbing, etc. These issues should have been addressed before we ever checked into the room. At the Boardwalk last year, we had a bag of garbage left on the kitchen table and our friends one toilet didn’t work in their two bedroom villa. It happens more than you think and people’s accounts of their stays are more accurate than anyone wants to admit.

  27. Going to Saratoga Springs in March. Hope rooms are kept up there. Disney is not keeping up with their own standards. Visit to Vero Beach in November. Room was not great and overall resort was horrible

  28. When the shareholders become the top priority business suffers. It is happening at Disney, just as it has happened throughout the U.S. economy. The customer must be the top priority, and the people who make the customer happy are the employees. Only happy employees while strive to make the customer happy, hence management must strive to make the employees happy. Disney is failing miserably in this regard. Hiring more managers is not the answer. Hiring more staff, better training the staff, and better treatment of the staff are the steps needed to improve service. When will American businesses recognize that the bottom line is only supported by a strong customer base, and the only way to ensure that, is with a contented and dedicated workforce.

    1. Harry, your points are very well taken. Doesn’t seem that customer service is a priority anymore. I keep hearing Disney is cutting staff, but I look at CM numbers and they keep rising. I wonder where they are working?? The turnover has to be tremendous. Not only CM’s coming in and leaving Disney, but within Disney itself. People shift jobs quite frequently, so they never really learn the job, maybe they don’t take pride in the job since they won’t be there “next week,” and often times roles are expanded to areas on non-expertise. I know for a fact a manager who left Disney because although a documented expert in his field, Disney expanded him to include areas he had no interest in, and probably didn’t feel comfortable doing what Disney expected him to do… So they lost him.
      As for managers, lots get the job out of attrition. They hang around Disney in various capacities long enough, don’t make waves, so are promoted. But they really have no idea how to manage or train those coming in. They get a little power and they exert it, but not for the company/customer good. CM’s get fed up and either leave the position or Disney altogether.
      BTW, I’m not the same Frank that posted about the “Disney PR Interns.” So if anyone feels particularly venomous, I’m not that guy!!! Please spew elsewhere.

  29. We have stayed at Beach Club every year for the last 9 years plus 2 December stays at the Saratoga Springs and have never had a problem. Going to both again this year and looking forward to both trips as usual.

  30. Over the last 16 yrs that we have went to Disney and stayed on property we have never had problem. We will be going again in July (Boardwalk) and can’t wait for the excellent service.

      1. Seriously Frank? Someone puts a comment and it is automatically rejected as insincere because it doesn’t align with your experience. I haven’t had notable problems either, and cast members are quick to help when asked. It’s possible and probable.

  31. Having worked for Disney I learned a lot. First if your cast members don’t feel the magic, your guest will not. Simple business practice. I loved my job until they started hiring managers from other retailers whose only purpose was to increase profit. ?

  32. Interesting to read these comments. On our last trip we missed some daily housekeeping and turndowns because of timeliness. Towels would be removed and not replaced. One time the bag of trash and tray of dishes sat outside the room for an entire day, including overnight. Some days we got good housekeeping service, then other days they failed.

  33. As a frequent Disney guest, deluxe resorts multiple times a year, I can say for sure housekeeping is only one of many ways customer service is slipping. I’ve stayed at the Four Seasons Orlando and I don’t think its a fair comparison, totally different experience and clientele (and lots of tipping, lol). Having your room ready when arriving early used to be a 50/50 shot. Now you are lucky if its ready at check in time. I appreciate the housekeeping staff. They simp!y do not have enough staff cleaning the rooms. All of the remodeling is long overdue, they have spent too much time on creating upcharge experiences while ignoring the “magical” experience for everyone that made them so special. And its starting to show.

  34. Woooo hoooooo way to go housekeeping al the way fron san Antonio from the hsk department at sorrento by cantex u rock !!!

  35. My family has been going to Disney world for years and are now DVC members. We went in October and were told that they only clean are rooms every 4 days. Is that suppota be like that. I was shocked. Is this true or was I told BS

    1. That’s the deal when using points. Towels and trash after 4 days, full cleaning after a week.

        1. But then they’ll make fun of you for being a whinny little bitch and use your toothbrush to scrub the toilets on cleaning day.

  36. There are many reasons for the decline in upkeep. Number one they expect ONE housekeeper to do about 15+ rooms, no tools and maintenance is non existent not only in the rooms but the resort and the entire WDW. The put too many managers that do crap and are just “TA” and don’t really take pride in the role since it might end next week. CAST MEMBERS ARE NOT APPRECIATED and don’t receive the training nor attention they DESERVE. I love how easy it has become to show us Disney freaks how low the resort has fallen by simply walking around the parks. A GREAT Area Manager once told me. “Our TOP priority are OUR CAST MEMBERS, they make the Magic. We take care of the CM, the CM take care of our Guest and the Guest take care of the Company. Lucky CM in Shanghai, where he currently works. The Bob Iger penny pinching , low quality product offering era should end ASAP.

    1. Very true. Don’t expect anything but a financial rape zone at USA Disney Parks until Bob Iger is gone. He truly does not believe in offering a value and couldn’t care less about “Disney’s name and legacy”. None of that crap matters. He consistently want’s maximum return as quickly and cheaply as possible.

    2. You are 100% accurate. WDW has cut many full time positions, and the part time “cast members” that want to work regular hours, are reduced to accommodate the college program students, who are only there for four months. You cannot expect quality when the majority of the employees now are not there to be a “Disney Cast Member”. This is all due to the management that has totally destroyed the dwindling Disney Cast Members’ moral. As other people correctly stated, the management treats the “cast members” like crap. The upper management, especially Bob Iger, has lost sight of why “Disney” existed in the first place. They have eliminated the “experiences” and “traditions” replaced them with only the “pencil pushers” bottom line.

  37. Stayed at the Beach Club Villas this past week. Someone had peed in the elevator and it was hour before anyone cleaned it up. We had used towels left in our room, no toiletries or swept floors. Beds weren’t made and there was a gash in one of the walls.

    1. Be careful using your towels, because if you are a vacation club member you won’t get new ones till trash and tidy day. LOL

  38. About time. I have made numerous complaints. As a Dvc member. The prices you pay, and the condition of the room is less to be desired. In some cases red roof is cleaner. The need oversight. Shortcuts are definitely being done regarding housecleaning

  39. Glad to hear. My only complaint with our December trip with the cleanliness of the resort. We were disappointed this past year.

    1. We are big fans and have gone a lot. We noticed the cleanliness and upkeep of the parks and our resort stay at Yacht Club really has taken a nose dive. They also seem to not staff the resorts, restaurants, or even the rides as much. It’s obvious there’s some serious corner cutting, even for Disney, which I consider a low end type vacation, yet pricy. If they’re shooting for high end anything, they REALLY miss the mark.

  40. My daughter and I stayed at The Caribbean Beach in September of this last year. We found our room nicely attended too! We did miss the towel ‘orgami’, but we thought it was because we had no little sized kids! ( We are big sized kids!!!) Still, there is always room for improvement!

  41. In all the years and all the Disney resorts we have stayed at, there has never been a problem. Lucky maybe, but I am just so thankful to be able to go back every year. ???

    1. Nancy, you must work in Disney public relations, or haven’t ever stayed anywhere as nice as a Days Inn, or Red Roof Inn, no point of comparison. There’s no way we’d say our Disney stays on their resorts are bad, but there’s always a problem, check in, issue with room, issue with towels, you name it, Disney might have great movies and cartoon characters, but a decent hospitality company, they are not.

  42. We stayed at Boardwalk in November and had very sloooooow maid service even though we left our room early each day. Also desk and lamps were so dusty along with top of headboards. This is not what $499 a night should look like.

    1. Disney charges $499, offers $4.99 service, safety, and value. That’s the new WDW mindset for you! Give less for more money. Not giving the most for the least.

  43. I stayed at the Polynesian resort deluxe villa for my honeymoon back in 2015. The first night I find a used barbie bandaid on my bed sheet. I called room service and asked them to change the sheets after informing them of the bandaid. I have no kids and I haven’t liked Barbie in over 20 years so I was upset when, hours later, room service arrives with sheets and then tells me that if i want them to change the dirty sheets I would need to pay a fee. The rooms are over $500 a night. The least they can do is provide their guests with clean sheets when they arrive. I grew up staying in numerous Disney resorts and I was appalled at this treatment. Disney has been going downhill over the years.

  44. Same thing for me. Went to MVMCP and advised mousekeeping we would be leaving a little late. Plus I have a medical condition and stripped the bed all the way down. Also requested extra blankets cause it was cool. So we get back after 130 am and our room was not done. Go to front desk didnt want me to speak to a manager. Finally spoke to one our room was not done till 3 am we sleep in the lobby. Not cool

  45. I feel like a lot of this has to do with the fact that Disney has been cutting/limiting/getting rid of perks left and right for CMs. They aren’t being compensated or recognized for their hard work and going the extra mile like they used to. I have several friends who work for Disney and are looking for jobs as we speak (a couple have been with the company almost 20 years).

    1. I can’t count how many people I know that used to work at Disney and Universal so they could get in both places free, but now just work at Universal because they couldn’t stand working for Disney any longer. Yes I know this is a Disney blog where people constantly criticize Universal and I’ll probably be attacked for saying that, but I’m not promoting them, I’m just stating what I’ve been told. I have no idea if one is better than the other.

  46. We just stayed at the Contemporary last week. Housekeeping was great and very friendly. Our room was well kept. However I did comment to my husband how disappointed I was with the appearance throughout the hotel. Carpets were stained, wall paper torn and paint needed. Also, I was greatly disappointed in the cleanliness of the park bathrooms. Most needed a good scrubbing with bleach to remove mold! They could have used a better PR person to write this article. First they blame the quality of worker, but then state they’re bringing on more staff. How about just taking responsibility for the poor conditions and sharing the changes that will be made. I can’t stand when a company blames the workers. If they’re “bad” across the board then its the company’s fault.

  47. It sad but SOOoooo true. I stayed at All Star Sports Resort and it was an absolute DUMP! I couldn’t believe I was at Disney & not a Motel 6. There was a big on the 1 Twin bed. Twin bed? What hotel has Twin beds anymore? The minimum size these days is a queen! The room was so dirty I couldn’t believe it…especially the bathroom! Also, the amenities were a joke. No coffee maker in the room? I think even Motel 6 has those!
    And, finally, the rug was so badly worn that the pattern was totally gone except right against the wall and the furnture was really beat & should have been replaced years ago. I was soooo disappointed! I took the big up to the front desk & they told me to return to the room & they’d send a manager & entomology specialist (exterminator I assume) so I went back and waited even though I wanted to go back to the park since it was the middle of the afternoon. After I had OVER an hour, I called the desk & she apologized & said someone would be right there. Shortly later a maintenance guy showed up. No manager & no entomologist. The main guy had no clue & said it looked it was a piece of fuzz or lint though it clearly had legs. I would expect experiences like this from a budget chain but NOT Disney. Sad to see how they’ve declined. I let my annual pass lapse! If I decide to get 1 agsin, it will most likely be at Universal.

  48. Very happy with this. I have been a member of the DVC since 2000, two years ago we stayed at the Jumbo House at the Animal Kingdom during the Christmas Holiday. When we checked into the room and were putting away our luggage I walked from the carpet then back onto the tile floor in the kitchen area. I began to slide on the tile floor because they had shampooed the carpet but it seemed like the shampoo wasn’t lifted off the carpet making my shoes slippery and causing me to fall backwards. Luckily I caught myself before I fell completely on the ground. The management staff was nice enough to credit us back one days worth of points and a meal vouchers but I couldn’t believe the maid staff didn’t make sure it was done properly.

  49. I’m just going to go stay at Universals on site hotels! They have surpassed my expectations in every way! Disney – Shmiz-ney! Royal Pacific Resort is THE place to be!

    1. I agree. The Universal resorts are easy to navigate and the rooms are in great condition. I intend to return to soon. It’s a shame because I thought I would be a Mousekateer for life.

        1. Universal too busy growing to visit website. Disney attendance down. Universal up. I’m more a Disney fan, but their parks are going to hell in a hand basket with quality and cutbacks.

        2. Sorry “D”Pete….I am not an intern, nor do I work in hospitality. What is worse here are the boneheads that cannot take a real review!!

          1. Indeed. Disney interns don’t seem to be taking bad reviews about the current state of housekeeping at Disney because of excessive cuts and bad polices particularly well.

  50. Mu husband and I stayed at Coronado Springs recently and the housekeeping left a lot to be desired. It looked like food was in the lights above the bed, items from the previous guest were found on the floor by the ottoman. If the floor was vacuumed properly, these items would have been found. The shower was not useable the next morning as something backed up into it during the night, maintenance had to be called. This was not the first time we had to either call for the room to be cleaned or asked to be moved to another room. This is NOT what we know Disney to be.

  51. Degrading housekeeping? I know some people that would pay a lot to be degraded by women dressed as housekeepers.

  52. Fact check: the dispatch system is already rolled out at resorts and has been for over a year at most property’s the last resorts are coming online in the next couple months

  53. Pingback: WDW News Tonight – Season 2 – Episode 38 | Podcasts of WDWNT
  54. When I first went to Disney World in 1974 the rooms of the guest not checking out were cleaned first, since check in time was either 3 or 4 PM. for the rooms left vacant they were cleaned last. However, in 1979 I notice the rooms that were left vacant were cleaned first with the still occupied rooms cleaned when they were gotten to. I usually leave my room approximately 7-7:30 am and return around 2-3PM only to find housekeeping has not been in to clean. This makes it difficult to get cleaned up to go out to dinner after a day of being in the heat and running around a park. Any information on if the rooms which are still occupied will continue to be the last to be cleaned. I have stayed at most of the deluxe hotels only to find spider webs and spiders occupying the lamp shades and switches, dust in the crevices of the furniture. Calling housekeeping or the front desk was not helpful.

  55. Pingback: WDW News Tonight – Season 2 – Episode 38 | Podcasts of WDWNT
  56. First of all, I should disclose that I am a former Disney cast member. Housekeeping was the role that I was hired for. I am now on disability after leaving Disney World while on medical leave. Thought that you might want to know that as it could surely create bias in what I am about to post here.

    Disney does have problems keeping workers, especially in roles such as mouse-keeping. Some of the Disney maids are in the Disney College Program, and some complained that they did not apply for housekeeping but were assigned to it anyway. As a result, both they and their parents were upset about the cost of paying rent to Disney for the apartments that groups of College Program interns share with each other. Disney put these interns to work cleaning the rooms because the need for maids is so tremendously high that there are a number of public buses which run only twice per day just to bring the Disney maids to work and return to Disney World take the maids home at abut 5:30 in the afternoon. These are express buses which go directly to Disney World from the poorer neighborhoods in Orlando such as Pine Hills. This creates problems for Disney hotels because many maids are coming from 50 or 60 miles away and are stranded with no way home to sleep if they miss that twice-daily bus when it returns to pick up the maids. I used to sleep on the floor of the locker room at EPCOT if I missed the last bus while working the night shift because the laundresses worked all night in the locker rooms washing and mending costumes, but the maids whose employee I.D. badges don’t work to access areas in which they are not assigned to work have no place to go other than perhaps hiding in the woods or something. The thought of missing that bus is enough to cause them to panic, especially if they have small children who would be home alone all night. Hence, the locals who clean hotel rooms at Disney World start trying to cut corners when time is running out and hope to get away before they are called back to clean a room again.

    These situations creates problems for Disney because the College Program people generally leave within a couple of months or so to return to school, That is if they even choose to finish their College Program period at all. Unfortunately, many get disillusioned and quit. Two-thirds of the wages paid to Disney College Program interns come from federal taxpayer dollars so it may count as “financial aid” for school, but I am not sure about that because they do pay rent and linen fees to Disney. I don’t know whether the youngsters in the College Program are telling me the truth when they claim that they were told that they would be doing exciting and educational things for Disney, but I do know that many leave very bitter. I can’t say whether that is their own fault or not because I was not there when they accepted their jobs and agreed to travel to Florida to work at Disney World.

    Now the final thing making it so hard for Disney to get enough housekeepers that Disney often advertises in local newspapers etc. day after day after day is that there have been a bunch of new resorts opening in and around Orlando. Universal has opened two new resorts, Cabana Bay and Sapphire Falls in the last couple of years, and these are both huge establishments which bring the total number of Universal on-site hotels to 5 with a 6th on on the way. The next thing is that there are a bunch of tourist and convention hotels and motels on International Drive, which pay the same or better than Disney but without the long-distance commute out to Disney World from Orlando. Then there are the hotels and motels along Highway 192, right outside of Disney World. These include the big luxury hotels like the Gaylord Palms right off 192 and all of the motor lodges that were incredibly popular before Disney built the All Stars motels but are now occupied largely by Disney cast members who live in these cheap motel rooms. All of those establishments with rooms for rent compete with Disney for maids.

    Since Disney mouse-keepers are paid $8.50 per hour to clean 18 rooms per day, Disney loses maids to the hotels downtown Orlando because almost all of the public buses go to the main central station downtown Orlando. Plus the maids who live in low-income areas like the Parramore District by Amway Center can walk to work and save the cost of bus fare or gasoline and car payments that they can’t afford.

    Then there are the timeshares and the families who want housekeepers to serve as nannies or caregivers for elderly family members living with them. The snowbirds and all of the retirees in Florida who want maid service in their homes. Make no mistake folks, Orlando and Orange and Oseola counties run on maid power. Each time that a new resort opens, it is how to fill the openings in housekeeping which dominates all conversation about hiring and not the chefs or concierges that are so highly visible among the applicants.

    I think that Casting Services does try to get housekeepers who will get the job done in Disney resorts, but they are up against tremendous odds. While I understand your frustration when your room is not clean and tidy upon your return after you leave for a couple of hours, I hope that reading what I just typed gives you some perspective. If you want to get a job cleaning motel rooms, come on down. You will get hired fast, even if you have no experience.

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