Some time at the end of March 2012 I booked a reservation through www.bookit.com (ID #16910845). This reservation was for flights for myself and 2 children (ages 4 and 6), five nights hotel at the Champions World Resort, transfers to and from the airport, three Buy a 3 Day Magic Your Way Ticket PLUS 2 FREE DAYS tickets (1 adult and 2 children), and all applicable taxes.
On May 22, 2012, we flew United Airlines from St. Louis, Missouri (STL) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and then from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Orlando, Florida (MCO). From there we were transferred by Mear’s (the shuttle company who provided our transfers to and from the airport) to the Champions World Resort.
Once we arrived at the Champions World Resort, I went to check us into our room. At that time the lady behind the front desk asked to see my ID and then pre-authorized my debit card for $50.00. This all seemed to be what I consider routine when checking into a hotel or other place for lodging. After that she handed me a sheet of paper requesting my name, address, two places to initial, and another place to sign. One of the lines I was given to initial was agreeing to pay an additional $7.00 per night for resort fees which were to cover things such as parking (which I did not have a personal automobile there or a rental one either for that matter), housekeeping, pool, etc. When I was presented this form to initial and sign, I inquired about the resort fees. The lady behind the desk told me should would get the manager on duty (his name was Ricky O.) and explain them to me. Ricky O. came to the desk and told me that it was in my terms & conditions that I agreed to when making my reservation and then he asked me if I wanted him to print them (terms & conditions) off for me so that I could read them. I said yes and he went towards the back and I was assuming he was going to print them (terms & conditions) off for me. Meanwhile I told the lady behind the front desk that I didn’t mean to be a pain in the rear and was sorry, but I just wanted to see the terms & conditions that I supposedly agreed to when making the reservation. I then said that I just considered this situation shady (to me which means questionable or lack of understanding), in an apologetic manner for asking Ricky to print off the terms & conditions that I supposedly agreed to. Ricky O. heard the conversation from the back and came out extremely hostile, flailing his arms about and told the lady behind the front desk not to check us in, to cancel our reservation, and told me and my girls to get out (again they are 4 and 6 years of age). There was no option to discuss the matter further, I was frightened and so were my two little girls.
I put our 3 backpacks on my 4-year olds stroller, carried my laptop bag, and pushed her out the door. My 6-year old followed with our suitcase, containing the majority of our clothes, shoes, and everything else we needed for our vacation which was a 6 day/5 night trip. We stood in the parking lot and I was trying to remain calm to keep from frightening my girls further. I was traveling alone with two small girls, we were standing in the parking lot and I was trying to figure out what to do next. I had never been to Orlando, Florida before and had no idea what to do, I was scared. After traveling all day, between two different airports, my cell phone was almost dead. The only option I had was to call www.bookit.com. I finally got through to a lady named Sara(h) and explained the horrifying situation my girls and I were faced with. She assured me that she would get us another place for lodging. After being on hold for quite some time, she came back on the line and told me she had spoken with Ricky O. and that she was sorry that there was nothing she could do because Ricky O. told her that I had used profanity. During the brief time I spent at the front desk, I had time to inquire about the resort fees and not enough time to get to the point of being mad enough to use any kind of profanity. As an added note, I do not use profanity or get upset in front of my children. I also know that getting angry and swearing does not accomplish anything and only makes circumstances worse. My only intention was to see the terms & conditions Ricky O. agreed to print off and show me, which he failed to do.
At this point I was in tears (a situation I was trying to avoid in order not to frighten my girls any more than they were already) and my cell phone was warning me that my battery was low. I had to make a decision, I knew I needed to get to a place to charge my cell phone battery in order to stay in contact with Sara(h) at www.bookit.com. I told my girls we were going to have to walk to a restaurant down the road. I had two choices, one being to walk down the shoulder of Highway 192 in Orlando, Florida or to take a path through the grass (which happens to grow in sand in Florida). I was fearful that if we took the highway that someone might pick us up or the three of us being struck by a vehicle. I chose to take the sand thinking it would be the safest of my two choices and I put our backpacks on the umbrella stroller and pushed my 4-year old and my 6-year old had to wheel our suitcase through the sand and intolerable heat. It was 90 degrees out and 3:00 p.m. in sunny Florida. I’m not sure of the distance we traveled, if I had to venture a guess, I would say it was a ¼ of a mile hike. We went to a place called Bruno’s. I ordered my girls some food (pretending it was supper time so that they would think this is normal and to calm their fears) and they were very nice and let me charge my phone while we were seated. I would like to also add that while my girls and I were in route through the sandy trail we were forced to take, Sara(h) told me that Ricky O. said that I could come back there and use an outlet to charge my cell phone, but he preferred we use the pay phone in the lobby. After observing his hostile behavior there was no way I was going to subject my girls or myself to this type of behavior again.
After further explaining myself and the situation we were faced with, Sarah finally agreed to find us another place for lodging. I might add that also during this phone conversation, she stated that in the terms & conditions I agreed to a $3.00 (not a $7.00) resort fee was to be charged per night (I later found this in my itinerary when reading over it myself). I never had a problem with paying a $7.00 resort fee per night, I just simply asked for the manager to show me where I agreed to this in my terms & conditions. Sara(h) found us a room at the Worldgate Resort. She informed me that there would be an additional charge for the lodging change. At that point I agreed to the additional charge just to ensure that my girls and I would have a safe place to lay our heads.
I asked the waiter at Bruno’s for the number to a local cab company and a lady came to take us to the Worldgate Resort and we finally found a comfortable place to check in.
You may think that the easiest way for me to address this situation would have been to book another hotel at my personal expense and address this matter with www.bookit.com when we returned. I am a single mother of two and worked very hard to pay for this vacation. After paying for the reservation through www.bookit.com, I had budgeted just enough money for food and a couple of souvenirs for my little ones. In the end, I had to pay for the additional resort expense ($116.72 – which resulted in a $25.00 overdraft from my bank), cab fares, 2 hours of Disney park time, and not the mention the heartache we went through.
I am astounded that a manager of a hotel could treat somebody and two children so inhumane. I am also astounded that www.bookit.com would work with a place like Champions World Resort who employee management that treat people this way.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Champions World Resort and Nature Park is situated on 15 tropical acres just 3.5 Miles from the Walt Disney World(R) Resort. The hotel offers scheduled transportation to the Walt Disney World(R) Resort Parks, the Lake Buena Vista Outlet Mall, Sea World, Aquatica, and Universal Studios.After a long day at the parks or shopping til' you drop, come back and relax at one of the 3 heated pools (one covered for year round enjoyment) or just grab a drink and relax in the Jacuzzi. Uncover the hidden secret that makes this hotel so special by visiting the 5 acre nature and jogging park. Three separate ponds complete with sandy beaches, paddleboats and lounge chairs. You will also find picnic tables, grilles and a Gazebo for family enjoyment. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy our multi- purpose sports fields, basketball courts, sandy volleyball, fitness center and kids playground. Champions Restaurant is open for your dining pleasure or to watch your favorite sporting event in the Lounge. Champions World Resort has something for everyone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Champions World Hotel Kissimmee
- Hotel Champions World
- Champions World Resort Kissimmee, Florida