First, let me say, IT ENDS WELL. So far, anyway.
Here is where we left off - Walt Disney had me addicted to sleeping pills:
Mr. Disney, that Parisian-looking sailor shirt is tres chic.
Will you plan my vacation to your small country in Florida?
So at that point I was staying off-property and trying to hit about seven major parks in approximately 96 hours with about $3000 of tickets. This is when the drinking began.
Per my friend Tricia's suggestion, I signed up for TourGuideMike.com, which is a good resource despite needing to read the equivalent of three volumes of War and Peace. TG Mike convinced me that we need to stay on-property because our experience will probably be better. CH and I don't either one respond to stress well, and we tend to get all bitchy with transportation in cities larger than 100,000, so this seemed like a good plan.
We had a family meeting and asked the kids where they really want to go. After a unanimous vote, we decided to forego Sea World and Universal this time and just do Disney. After hours of searching, CH and I finally agreed on a place to stay. I tend to be more hotel-ish, where CH leans more toward the side of Survivalist Camp. I gave a little more ground and agreed to do the cabins at Fort Wilderness, mostly because they promised smores and campfire songs around a big bonfire at night and we could have a separate bedroom from the kids in the cabin. The other big bonuses were No Rental Car, No Driving, Shuttle from the Airport, and Park Tickets in the package. Yay for decisions!
I got a Disney Rewards Visa last fall so I could get the $200 gift card and the member perks when you visit the Big D. We purposely keep our limits low and avoid using credit because CH listens to Dave Ramsey, which honestly makes my life a little hellish at times with his whole reasonable "Stay out of any debt at all costs" mentality. I looked up the account online so I could see how much money I needed to transfer to the card to make room for the big Fort Wilderness purchase, and guess what I found? Someone stole our account number and had charged thousands of dollars in cosmetics on it!!! Du Bastardo! I had to call Chase and send them a picture so they could see that I am clearly not using cosmetics, and they apologized for my lack of foundation know-how and suggested a brow shaping, and cancelled the account. This was on Wednesday. I had to wait until Monday to get the new account number to book the trip.
It's Monday! Yay! I transferred enough money to get me a lifetime of brow shaping to the card and pulled up my "Saved Vacations" on the Disney website. It was with glee that I hit "BOOK THIS TRIP", until the pop-up screen said,
"We're Sorry! This Resort is Booked! Can we suggest an alternative reservation at Animal Kingdom Lodge for only $75000?"
But....but....I MADE A DECISION. Do you Cast Members know how HARD it is for me to make a decision? Now what am I going to do? What? Spend the next four hours of work time trying to untangle my personal vacation and credit card mess? Okay, if I must.
I call the Mothership and get a Cast Member, who cheerfully butchers her own name so I can't understand it, and asks how she can help me. I tell her how our credit card number was stolen so I had to wait and get a new card and now my cabin is gone as my sacrifice to someone else's beauty. She gets some information, and after a few minutes, she tells me that while Fort Wilderness is in the Value Resort category, she has something that has become availabe in the Beach Club Resort, which is two steps up in the Deluxe Resort category, and we can have a Garden View room! Yay! With two quick service dining plans a day, and tickets to the parks, and the shuttle and the awesome pool, and hey, it's even a little bit less than the Survivalist Camp!
"Here is my Disney Rewards Visa number, SHOIEFHHW, let's do this!" So she runs it and says, "Oh, I'm sorry, your card declined." and I say, "Well, WNNELEND, I don't see how because I just transferred my daughter's first semester of college on that card," and she said, "I understand. We do need full payment today because your trip is happening in less than three weeks. Let me talk to my supervisor." So she talks and comes back and says, "We will use your $200 gift card to hold the reservation until 10 p.m. tonight, but then we'll have to release it because we just can't hold these." And I said, "But FDJNEU:S, if it hasn't posted then it will post at midnight" and she said "Why don't you call Disney Rewards Visa and then call us back?" and I said, "Well why not? My boss LOVES paying me to talk to Disney!" PLEASE NOTE: I didn't say ANY of those snarky things, because truly, the Disney phone Cast Members are really really nice and helpful and always sound suspiciously cheerful. I swear they have a Margaritaville machine at every customer service phone cubicle.
I call Disney Rewards and tell them the whole story about how the credit card was stolen for someone else's beautification while I look like I have sleep apnea and low iron, and how I lost Fort Wilderness and then miracle of miracles I found Beach Club and now it is slipping from my grasp because of the slowness of this transfer. The very nice person on the line said that because of the size of my transfer it takes two business days instead of one, and that I could call back tomorrow and they would put me on hold while they call my bank and verify that we have the funds and then call Disney back. She then said, "Trust me, they want you on the property, I doubt they'll cancel the reservation." Which was nice and all, but my luck so far wasn't that great. I called Disney back and spoke with my third representative, also unreasonably happy, and she audibly cringed and then grinned and said, "Well, I guess we'll just have to see what happens tomorrow! If the reservation cancels tonight at 10 when we close we'll just re-book you tomorrow."
Really? REALLY, UNIVERSE?
Can you work with me on this one?
And guess what? It did! The card cleared, the trip booked, someone is wearing fantastic cosmetics in a club somewhere, and all is well. The kids are excited, and the only thing left to go terribly wrong is a huge ice storm in the Midwest on the day we leave and our flight is somehow cancelled or massively delayed. And with my air travel luck, that may just happen.
Until then, I am going to believe in Magic. And read articles on Tour Guide Mike.