Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

Each year, thousand of happy parents plan vacations to take their thousands of happy children to The Happiest Place on Earth - Disney World.

And then we all become raging maniacs.

First off, did you know there were entire message boards with millions of threads related to how to plan a Disney vacation?

Second, did you know there were thousands of messages on this message board just to help you figure out how to make a flipping dinner reservation?

Bear with me, cause this is where it might get a little nutty.

Ninety days prior to your desired date for a meal, you must have the foresight to want to eat that meal and call Disney's Advanced Dining Reservation people, a.k.a. Those Who Hold the Keys to the Universe. You may call starting a 7am, although travel agents can call as early as 3am, so even if you call at 7am you might STILL be shit out, I mean shut out. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you are able to provide your hotel confirmation number and starting 90 days before your check-in date book Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) plus 10 days after your check-in date. There is a definite advantage to this game if you stay at a Disney resort. Normal, non-Disney staying folks who don't have shiny Mouse Ears tattooed on their behinds can still only book 90 days ahead of time. I like to call them "The Commoners" cause I guarantee they don't have good dinner reservations and there's not a chance in hades they're getting in to Cinderella's Royal Table (the most coveted reservation in all of WDW).

There are pages in Disney planning guide books devoted to how to synchronize your cell phone clock to the atomic clock (which is, by the way, three seconds faster than Disney time). It also instructs you to call a few days before and practice going through the prompts so on your "Big Day" 90 days out, you can get through to an ADR agent asap. Then, you are supposed to cut the person off as they announce their name and tell them you want "Cinderella's Royal Table for _____" be it breakfast or lunch (don't bother with dinner, Cindy's a no show in the evenings and you're only graced with the Fairy Godmother).

Amber and I are hell bent to get in to CRT. If nothing else, for poor Siennah who gets stuck partaking in so much boy stuff since Mason, Cole and Sebastian are forces to be reckoned with. We want to get her to see the princess.

Then last week, online reservations were launched, to further complicate this insanity. Now, you can book online beginning at 6am with the same 90+10 days rule if you're staying in a Disney hotel, you just have to provide your confirmation number and phone number.

Does all this makes sense?

It gets nuttier still...

So Amber and I, our husbands and our six children are taking an 8 day vacation (if it's legal to call it that) to this Magical Place in September. Today is the first day we can make ADRs. We were up at 5:30am in preparation for making said ADRs at 6:01am. Of course, Disney's lovely web site is allowing neither of us to sign in with our confirmation numbers, saying "Sorry, your reservation can't be retrieved at this time."

Have a Magical Day!! You'll never get in to have a meal with that bitch Cindy! And your kids will nag and whine and generally make your life miserable, and we here at Disney will love it! Because really, this is our diabolical plan. We masquerade as this wonderful place for children, but the reality is you're being Punk'd. We sit and watch you on close circuit television as your children melt down in line to meet Mickey. We laugh as you stand in the sweltering Florida heat in line to ride Dumbo, when your kids don't even know who the flip Dumbo is cause we put his movie in the vault. And unless you want to pay $59 for a scratched up used copy on eBay, they never will!!

I wanted to throw the computer out the window. After cussing and swearing and a 5:30am phone call between me and Amber that involved some more cussing and swearing, we relegate ourselves to calling in at 7am and hoping for the best.

We start at 6:59. I got a "Sorry we're closed message." I hit end and a split second later a text came from Amber saying "GO!" So I quickly hit "Send" twice to redial, went through the prompts (I had not practiced, FYI) and got the "You will be connected to the next available rep." No sooner had some jammin' Disney tunes started then I got a new message: "Due to heavy call volume, your wait time may be more than thirty minutes."

Thirty minutes!! THIRTY MINUTES?!!! I called at 07:00:01am. How many crazy people were able to get in one second ahead of me?!?!?

I am lamenting that we will never get to dine with Cindy. I am so annoyed with the ridiculosity that is Disney that I want to shred up a stuffed Mickey Mouse.

In the end, we were able to secure the ressie at the castle. So as low and my angry low got, my happy high is pretty high.

Until September, when we arrive, and that mouse starts screwing with me again!

I'm telling you, it's a conspiracy!

1 comment:

BrianG said...

You captured the events so well. It was funny with all of us using our home phones and cells to call back and forth in the mad rush.