Let me begin by saying that I had high hopes for Club Level. I’ve stayed at AKL’s club level and loved the experience, but this was also pre-dietary restrictions, so I knew this was a gamble. Here is a play by play of the pre-trip correspondence and during the trip experience.
To begin with, the IPO (Itinerary Planning Office) staff were friendly enough, but I noticed a bit of difficulty in obtaining much information about my dietary restrictions and the lounge. I explained to them how important it was to know ahead of time what would be available at breakfast. I got the muffins, waffles, and whatever else the chefs prepare response. Well, fair enough. I guess they wouldn’t know, but when I asked them to contact the chef, they never got through to them. I asked about specific items (like earth balance margarine) and they said I could buy it but they wouldn’t guarantee it would be there. Sigh. I guess this means they aren’t going to be any help. We did arrange for a 6 inch gluten free, dairy free (but had eggs and soy) chocolate birthday cake. I was told it was $29.50 (which I think I got charged less, but that is what they quoted) Overall, the staff wasn’t really helpful with dietary restrictions or even contacting restaurants outside of my hotel (as far as directly asking specific questions to the chef) They did however, make notations on all of my meal reservations, so that was very good.
Club Level first-hand:
Well, I must warn you. This isn’t a great review. I will say the concierge downstairs were more friendly and helpful than the CL staff were. And I’m not that picky. I just want people to be straight with me about what’s available and not treat me like a leper or a huge burden. I’d love to have these people live one day in my dietary life and maybe they’d understand. From crimeny’s sake…Red Robin can get it right with dietary restrictions why can’t WDW’s club level?! To begin with, in general, we found the CL staff to be very rude and in general not very friendly. Compared to the AKL CL staff this was a bit of a shock. When I arrived, I wanted to confirm the birthday cakes (one for me and one for my mom). They said they would check and call me, and they never did. I got the “I forgot” answer. Greeeeaaaat. Day 1, we didn’t really look for any evening options, although I did get a French Meadow brownie from the staff. You have to ask the CL staff for them to get it for you. Boy, they didn’t like having to get me one every day. And yes, I got one every day! I like those brownies and when it’s the only option you have, well, you go with it.
The first breakfast, I was given 4 blueberry muffins. Uggg. Not good for my Crohn’s. I don’t digest blueberries well at all. I did try to eat a few of the muffins because I was really hungry, but I was surprised I didn’t get much of anything else. I could have eaten fresh fruit, but didn’t. I did talk to the CL staff and just explained that berries were rough on my stomach (specifically blueberries) and said something like a chocolate chip muffin would work or waffles. Well lo and behold the next day, I got chocolate muffins. Holy cow! These were like dessert brownies. Yikes. Not so great at 7:30 a.m. In fact, it was the only thing they gave me for the rest of the week. And they said I couldn’t get anything else. Gee, thanks. I ended up getting food or snacks other places because of this.
Brownies..I mean muffins and tea. Quite the breakfast.
Coffee rubbed, Ancho spiced Grilled Chicken
Dessert was a no-go. There were never any options for me other than the French Meadow Brownies (which was the only afternoon option for me too…talk about brownie overload) Except one night, the night that I was sick, they made ANOTHER chocolate brownie dessert. This was actually very good, once I ate it the next night. It was brownies with a chocolate fudge frosting in the middle, covered in powdered sugar. I didn’t pick it up, but my mom said the CL staff gave her a stern talking to as to why I didn’t get it. Um, no one told me I had a dessert and I never had one the previous 5 nights! So why would I expect a dessert?! Sigh.
I’m feeling icky, but the mousekeeper brought me a bunny so I’d feel better! (true story!)
Overall, I wish the CL staff would have been more friendly and less “put out” when it came to my dietary restrictions. I don’t expect special treatment, but I don’t like being made to feel like I’m a pain in the butt. Yes, I ask a lot of questions, but it’s for safety reasons. I was happy with the few options when I had them, just wish the overall ambiance would have been more friendly. I would not recommend CL for people with dietary concerns. In fact, I would have rather just spent the extra money and had table service for breakfast every day. But, in general we enjoyed the Wilderness Lodge (love the hotel!) and would come back here, just not at CL. Perhaps other CL’s are better equipped, but I would definitely hesitate to try it again.