I know what you are all thinking at this point…
When does the other shoe fall? Doesn’t she have anything bad to say about Disneyland because I when you went there were crazy things all over the place.
I am firm believer in the “vacation mode” Tia which is the Tia that looks past all the negativity and tired mode. I really do try to keep my grouchy side in check. I keep my head in the fun game. Work Tia would never let some of what Vacation Tia lets slide.
Well, there was one incident that brought me to tears. In Disneyland! Gasp!
When I booked with Get Away today, I got confirmation numbers and a little sheet of paper what said that I was supposed to bring it to the park with me to get my tickets.
So, on Day 1, I stood in the god awful ticket line (never doing that again) for about 20 minutes while people struggled with their paperwork as well. I double checked my list, ID-check, Confirmation numbers-check, paperwork check. This was the exchange:
(Walked up to the window and slid all items to the cast member)
Cast Member in Ticket booth: Wow! you are prepared!
Me: I try to be.
CM: Okay. What are the names of the people in your party?
Me: Lisa, Jasper, Tia and Leia. Leia is 5 years old.
CM: Who is the other child?
Me: There are no other children.
CM: Oh, this says 2 children and 2 adults.
Me: No, here look at the receipt.
CM: Oh, yes! 3 adults, 1 child. Did you book any other events?
Me: Yes. A Character Meal, a Boutique appointment and some Disney Dining Reservations.
CM: Okay, you are all set! (sliding back my paperwork and 4 park tickets)
Me: Thank you!
Off I go and enjoy the park…. fast forward to start of Day 2. We make our way over to Goofy’s Kitchen for our Premium Character Dining Experience.
I am excited, I have my confirmation numbers. I walk up to the check in counter.
Tia: Good morning.
CM: Good morning, Welcome to Goofy’s Kitchen.
Tia: I have a 7:30AM reservation. Begay, Tia…. T-I-A
CM: Perfect, we have your table ready. That will be $125 bucks.
Tia: No. I prepayed for this meal.
CM: Okay, do you have your dining vouchers.
Tia: No. I didn’t get any. I’m not on the meal plan.
CM: How did you pay?
Tia: I booked through Get Away Today.
CM: Okay, they should have sent you vouchers.
Tia: No. Here’s my paperwork.(shaking)
CM: Oh, okay. All you have to do is go back to the park ticket booth and pick up your voucher.
Tia: (holding back tears now) What?!? I can’t go back there! (mind you I’m 8 months pregnant and my feet are already tired and I AM the one that has to go back because it’s under my name. Trekking all the way back to the entrance, getting a bag check, standing in a 20 minute line and trying to figure out this mess while my family was waiting for me to feed them was too much pressure.)
CM: Let me see. (typing) Yeah, we need the vouchers.
Tia: (leaving the counter)
Jasper: Is everything okay?
Tia: No, I need the red planning binder and it’s back at the hotel.
Jasper: I’ll go run back and get it.
Tia: (weeping) Okay.
At this point, my daughter is asking me what’s wrong. Lisa is pretty much freaking out because she hates to see me cry and she knows it’s all going down hill if I’m in breakdown mode.
I pull out my phone and start calling Get Away Today. They tell me that there is nothing they can really do other than refund the cost and I can pay out-of-pocket. They tell me that it’s a Disneyland problem.
Now, I’m angry!
Valeree, manager of Goofy’s Kitchen walks over to me and tells me she thinks she can help. Jasper returns with the red binder. I pour over the fine print and all it says is, “Any additional meal vouchers will be provided at check in.” I am livid. Why didn’t anyone catch this!?! It’s not like I’m coming from Mars with my Mars money and trying to get into Goofy’s Kitchen. It says I paid right there.
Valeree chats me up and calms me down. She asks me about my daughter and my family. Asks me what shows I’m here to see. We walk up to the Disneyland Hotel check out counter, where they print out my vouchers… right there! Valeree brings me right back to Goofy’s Kitchen and gets my family seated personally and wishes me a great vacation.
Mid-way through the meal, she lets me know that she’s put my family’s name on the VIP Aladdin show list (we never made it… we kept getting overbooked). She put me back together. She must have also said something to the characters because they came right over to our table and took a longer time with us.
By the time, I got my Mickey Waffle… all was right in my head and I put myself back together. I chalk it up to pregnancy hormones and lack of sleep.
Until, I began to think about the Get Away Today people… oh just you wait Get Away Today! I’ve got it in for you.
On a positive note, we have now eaten at all the Character Dining Meals and here is how I rank them:
1) Ariel’s Grotto- princesses all the time!
2) Minnie and Friends In the Park- So many characters stop by, you won’t be able to eat but all so fun!
3) Mickey’s PCH and Friends See Mickey, lower key but with entertainment, kids learn to surf and dance with Stitch.
4) Storyteller’s Cafe- Lots of rare animal characters with an elegant backdrop. And you can order STEAK and EGGS!
5) Goofy’s Kitchen- I think the whole voucher deal got to me. I have to give them a chance again next time. And there weren’t too many high profile characters, I’m not sure what makes it Premium but there was something lacking.