This February we stayed at a Holiday Inn Celebration as part of our IHG Big Win promotion. We bought a 3-day pass for Disney (see my previous post for more) and originally planned to just drive back and forth since we live 90 minutes away.
However, since I had to pay for 4 hotel nights somewhere in order to qualify for the promotion, I decided I might as well get to stay in them. Winter is a high season around here, so I didn’t really score any bargains, but we did enjoy a couple of getaways as a family and got a huge stash of IHG points to boot.
My little boy is a homebody and doesn’t adapt well to a new environment. In fact, the first words that come out of his mouth when we get to a new place are “Go home.” This time was no different. My daughter on the other hand was super excited. She is a little traveler and has been that way ever since I can remember.
As soon as we got to the hotel, she wanted to go to the pool. However, it was quite cold, so instead, all four of us got into a hot tub, which was barely lukewarm. My daughter called it “warm tub.”
The queen size beds were very comfortable, but the room was not as clean as I would have liked it to be. Your experience may be different, though. The place is located within an easy 10 minute drive from the Magic Kingdom and costs 20,000 points through IHG program. Retail rate runs between $69-$149 per night, depending on the season.
Interestingly, the property has a resort fee of $10 per night, which was waived due to my Platinum status through Chase IHG MasterCard. We paid $109 (plus tax) per night. There is a free shuttle that goes to Disney parks at certain times of the day, but we’ve decided to just drive our own vehicle.
Our rate did include vouchers for breakfast buffet, which was pretty decent: Scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles et cetera. The kids ate free, which is a standard policy at most Holiday Inns. The employees in the restaurant were very friendly and seemed eager to help. Well, eager to help most customers.
While we were eating, I heard a hotel guest make a request. I don’t know what he asked for, but it really ticked off one employee. In a loud voice he said: “That’s not my job!” He then proceeded to walk around and complain loudly throughout the restaurant. Finally the hotel guest came and wrote down his name. To that the employee said : “That’s not gonna change anything. This is my house!”
I was really taken aback by this incident. What really surprised me is that no manager came to diffuse the situation. We were there a good 20 minutes and heard him complaining to other employees that he will just go work in Burger King if fired. This told me two things. First, the economy must have improved significantly. Second, there is a great deal of resentment in service industry staff, lurking just beneath the surface.
They make peanuts, unless they work for a unionized hotel, in Florida not a chance. So even a simple request can tick them off. I guess, the best we can do is be kind and considerate and not overburden them too much. However, this behavior was totally unacceptable.
Credit card bonuses that can help pay for your Disney tickets
There are a few cards that would be a good fit. Among them are Wells Fargo Propel, Capital One Venture Rewards and Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. The last two pay me commission when you apply through my link, and the highlighted bonus is only redeemable for travel expenses.
When buying your Disney tickets, you can go through sites like Orbitz, to make sure your purchase is coded properly. See this page for more details. Thanks to my reader Cheapblackdad (how cool is that name?) for pointing out this trick. You can find more info on all the bonuses in my page “Best credit card deals for family.” Feel free to contact me with any questions.
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.