The One Where It All Went Wrong 12/3-12/6

MK2010

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Well hello there! If you read my September Trip Report: Who Needs to Cruise? #Disney4Ever Well then welcome back! If you're new to here, Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! A kingdom full of fantasy...oh, wait, no. Anyhoo...for the introductions...
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My name is Jennifer. I'm on the left. I work as an RN in surgical Recovery. May daughter Lauren is on the right. She turns 19 next week and just completed her first college class a few minutes ago 4.0 in College Algebra!!!! I booked this trip as soon as I got back from my trip in September with my husband. The flights out of Dallas were $80 rt/person on SWA. You can't beat that. Lauren lives with my parents about an our and half east of Love Field. She moved down there in August for school. I live in the Texas Panhandle. I can get to either Oklahoma or New Mexico in less than 90 minutes.

The drama starts early in this trip so buckle up! But its not all bad. In fact, when I remember this trip its mostly good...except for the BIG drama. But don't worry! I won't keep you in suspense for long! So lets get to it!

Chapters
12/1-12/2: Packing and Travelling...Drama Ahead

12/2: The Morning of My Free Colonoscopy
12/2: Will I Stay or Will I Go?

12/2: THE HOTEL...thankfully no terror here
12/2: Disney Springs...on a weekday night
12/3: Happy Birthday to Me
12/3: DHS Pure Terror
12/3: DHS Jingle Bell Rock
12/3: DHS Captured by the Empire
12/3: DHS Time for the Rebels to Relax
12/3: A midafternoon break. What could go wrong?
12/3: Keep your mask on!
12/3: Rebel or Imperial Informer
12/3: Rebel or Imperial Informer Cont
12/3: But that's not all folks!
12/3: That's all she wrote folks!
12/4: My Favoritest Place on Earth

We're Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA
12/4: Let's go to the Laughing Place
12/4: No EATING or DRINKING in line!
12/4: Trader Sam's Christmas Special

12/4: Christmas at Wilderness Lodge
12/4: Lunch with Lieutenant Kernel
12/4: But first, coffee
12/4: Well, ovens don't just clean themselves
12/4: Full Steam Ahead
12/4: Ready for our close ups
12/4: But Wait! There's More!
12/5: Slow roll into Epcot?
12/5: The Headliners
12/5: World Showcase
12/5: WHERE IT ALL WENT HORRIBLY HORRIBLY TERRIBLY MISERABLY WRONG
12/5: Say goodnight, Epcot
12/6: To rope drop or not to rope drop
12/6: Who put the ANIMAL in Animal Kingdom?
12/6: Its a Stampede!
12/6: Sivako!
12/6: Sivako Part Deux
Now Its Time to Say Goodbye
 
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MK2010

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Congrats to Lauren on doing great in college algebra!
Thank you! School is not easy for her. She only wanted to take one class for her first semester because she wasn't sure if she'd do well. Math is her most difficult subject so she wanted to get it out of the way first. She studied rally hard. I talked her into taking a full load next semester! eeeek!
 

MK2010

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
12/1-12/2: Packing and Travelling...Drama ahead
This Monday was spent packing. I usually like to pack a couple of weeks ahead so I can slowly grab everything. Then the day before isn't such a frantic rush. However, I've also developed Disney anxiety. I book these trips, I can't wait to go back, then as the trip draws close I just get a sense of I DON'T WANNA in the pit of my stomach. So I procrastinate on packing. Maybe its the fear of not being able to top the last trip? Idk.
Anyway, today was a rush to get it all packed, I had worked a call shift at the hospital the day before and had printed my packing list from WDW Prep School.
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The Christmas presents are for my family. Once I returned from this trip I was scheduled every day until the new year (either a regular shift or a call shift). So we won't be celebrating Christmas with my parents or brother. Lauren is also working at Academy so she won't be able to come home for Christmas. Her birthday is just before Christmas also, so that's her birthday present in the polka dot paper.

In the midst of trying to get all of this in the suitcases, I also had to run some errands.
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I had to get my car cleaned.
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I had to get my nails done.
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And I had to pick up these bad boys from Sam's Club. Did you know that if you buy these packs you save 4%, but if you buy the $500 gc you only save 3%? Now to fuel all of this I needed coffee. And if you're going to drink coffee, you should drink it from:
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Hmmm, that's a little blurry. Guess I took that photo before I drank the coffee!
I did manage to get all packed. The plan was for me to drive down to my parents house on 12/2, pick Lauren up and drive into Dallas. I had booked us a hotel not far from the airport.
Now this decision brought about great drama, (but not THE GREAT DRAMA). My parents were highly offended that we weren't spending the night with them since our flight out wasn't until the following day (12/2) at 3. However, if you read about the dog drama in my last trip report, my relationship with my parents was still pretty shaky. But my real motive for doing this, was due to Lauren's College Algebra class. They went to all virtual learning after Thanksgiving. I thought her class was at 11, which was when we would need to leave for the airport if we were staying with my parents. So I just planned to get a hotel room in Dallas, closer to the airport, with a late checkout. Lauren's class is actually at 9:30 and ends at 10:30. Oops.

Back to the morning of 12/2. I took my youngest son to school at 8 and came back home to shower and get ready. (I swear if I ever have a wreck taking my son to school the EMTs are going to be like WTH? cause I'm THAT mom! Luckily, he gets his drivers license in March). My other son, who currently lives at home helped me load up the car. (Cameron graduated a year early with Lauren and is taking a gap year.) It was 10:34 when I drove past the city limits. The drive in from West Texaas is BORING. There are no trees, or flowers, or pretty architecture, or rolling hills. You have windmills, cows, and scrub bush. That's it. An hour and a half out of town I had to stop and pee. Luckily right after that stop our favorite podcast came on! That got me through until it was time to stop again to refuel, pee, and grab a quick lunch on the go. Off I set! I made it another couple hours before it was time to pee. By this time I only had a little over an hour to go. It is exactly 7 hours from my front door to my parents. I arrived shortly before Lauren got off work.

While I was waiting for her to throw the last few things in the suitcase I visited with my mom about making an appointment to see my grandma the day we got back from Disney instead of me just driving straight home. (Our flight landed in Dallas at noon on our return trip, so I could've dropped Lauren off and then driven home and made it by 10 or 11 pm) It also dawned on me that I hadn't called my brother who lives in Dallas to set up dinner for that night. So I did that quickly. by about 5:30 or 6 Lauren was ready to go.

The drive into Dallas is fairly quick from my parents house, unless traffic is terrible on US380 which it almost always is. But we didn't have issues on this night. We were meeting my brother and his wife at a German restaurant in Allen. (North Dallas) Now, I love my brother, but he is weird. And I have nothing nice to say about my SIL. When I set this up I was hoping it would be just my brother. Unfortunately, his wife was also available and their 5 yo daughter. Oh yay. (They have a 10 yo daughter that pretty much lives with my parents. My mom homeschools her. Basically because my brother and his wife suck as parents, but that is drama that is not pertinent to our story!) Dinner was actually pleasant. We didn't stay long but I had a nice time seeing my brother.

We headed for our hotel which was a Hyatt Regency. we got there about 11 and went to check in.

DRAMA ALERT! DRAMA ALERT! DRAMA ALERT! Where it all went wrong.....

The lady behind the desk was very kind. The lobby was clean. And we were happy to be there. Right until the lady said, "And can I see your ID ma'am?" with a smile. I reached into my Vera Bradley Castle Mickey backpack and pulled out my Dooney and Bourke Mickey wallet. Unzipped it.....NO DRIVERS LICENSE. That's okay no need to panic, I probably put it in one of the many pockets in my backpack....NO DRIVERS LICENSE. At this point, there is slight panic on my face. Somehow I have made it to Dallas with my work id, my social security card, but NO DRIVERS LICENSE. the lady was very gracious. She said, "Ma'am lets make an exception. I'm sure you are who you say you are. Why don't you head to your room. Maybe you'll find your license in your suitcase, or maybe its in your car." Yes! Yes! That had to be it. So we get everything to the room and I head back downstairs to search my car, my glove box, console, door pockets, between the seat and console, under the seat, move the seat, under the floor mats. Tried the back seat, between the back seats, the luggage hold. NO DRIVERS LICENSE. I didn't pull it out at the restaurant. No its not at my parents house. I call my husband. No he doesn't see it on the counter, my nightstand, my dresser, my jewelry box, my office. Nor is it in the pockets of any of my jackets, pants, other purses. NO DRIVERS LICENSE. Now, I'm panicking! I figure if I leave Dallas right then its only 5.5 hours from my hotel to my house. I can come home, at least get my passport, and make it back in time to pick Lauren up from the hotel before we need to leave for the airport.
Lauren quickly ixnays that idea. So I begin looking on the TSA website as to what to do.

Now, a few years before I had travelled to WDW with another family. While at Disney, the dad lost his id. So for the return trip, TSA pulled him aside to another room, questioned him, and gave him a thorough screening. Then escorted him to the gate. So I knew it WAS possible to make this flight, but I was going to be totally dependent on the kindness of TSA...

That's all the time we have for today folks. Stay tuned for the next installment of The One Where It All Went Wrong!
 
  • MK2010

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2009
    Hi guys! So glad to see so many of you followng along. I have to leave for work in about 15 minutes. But I wanted to hop on and say :wave:and:welcome: to all of you following along!
     

    MK2010

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2009
    12/2: The Morning of My Free Colonoscopy

    Well, my original plan for this day had been to mosey around and get to the airport late, around 1:30 for our 3 pm flight. However, due to our little issue...:rolleyes1 I figured we should be there by noon. I had texted my friend who had lost his DL at Disney a few years before. His consolation, "Well, at least you won't have to get a colonoscopy this year. Don't worry," he said, "TSA is VERY thorough." :sad2: Thanks. :rotfl2:

    Lauren got up and got ready for her online class. I got up and got dressed so I wouldn't be wandering around the hotel room in an undesirable state during her video class. (That's all I need...a federal charge on transmitting porn.)
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    Appropriately dressed.(Can you believe I got this whole outfit at the Disney store on clearance this summer for less than $50?) While Lauren did her class, I did my hair and makeup. I wanted to be ready for my appointment with TSA.
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    I was going to leave no doubt that I was going where I said I was going!
    Lauren's class got out a little early. We decided to make a quick Target run on the way to the airport. Lauren had packed so quickly that there were a few things she needed as well. (Hairspray, snacks for the plane, etc.)
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    As long as we were at Target might as well get our caffiene on! If Lauren were going to title this trip report she would have called it, The one where Mom drinks all the coffee. Lol. Its true. I needed my wakeup coffee, my arrived at the park coffee, my midmorning coffee, my afternoon coffee, and sometimes my after dinner coffee. Depending. You know.


    So with all our essentials in tow, we headed towards the airport. Would we make it? Would I make the flight? How up close and personal would TSA get?
    I'll give you a little spoiler alert:
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    I DID NOT get pulled over and sent to county lock up on the way to the airport for driving without a license! And if you happened by this spot on the afternoon of 12/2, yes, that was my silver Nissan Rogue. Lol.

    Okay, for reals, gotta go now. There are peeps waiting on me to keep them breathing. You know, the little things in life.

    Come back for another installment of The One Where It All Went Wrong: Will I stay or Will I go?
     
  • MK2010

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2009
    @alohamom Thank you! Its super fun! I went through my closet the other day and realized that 90% of my clothing is Disney. I'm not at all obsessed.
     

    MK2010

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2009
    12/2 Will I Stay or Will I Go?
    Well, obviously we made it to Dallas Love Field. We made our way inside from Parking Garage B. (Only $9/day to park in covered parking at the airport right now. That's not too shabby!) Once inside I sent Lauren to check in all of our luggage. I had managed to print out boarding passes at the hotel.
    Oh! Here's a little side story of how it all went wrong. If you've ever flown SWA you know that they don't have assigned seating. Therefore, the earlier you check in, the closer to the front of the line you get to board the plane, which means you have more seats to choose from. You check in 24 hours prior to your flight. Well, I knew I would be driving and was concerned that I would be somewhere without a good signal to check in on my phone. (I've flown SWA for years...since I was about 6. I now view this check in process as training to get a BG for RoTR :rotfl2:) I finally got around to checking our boarding group once we checked in at the hotel. (And after the initial drama).We were in Group C and not only that, but we were the middle of the pack in Group C. Practically EVERYBODY was boarding before us. My husband had failed me. :sad2: (It wouldn't be the last time on this trip. Just hold on to your britches....)

    Anyway, I sent Lauren to the check in counter. You get 2 free checked bags per person with SWA. We each only had 1, so Lauren could check both of our checked bags in under her name. This way, if I didn't make the flight, she would still have access to all of the sunscreen, meds, refillable water bottles, etc. I didn't go with her because I thought they might ask to see id and then we'd be up a creek. When she came back, I gave her one of my carryons. It had more of the gift cards, etc. Finally the scariest moment of the trip, just in case I didn't make it through security, I handed over to my 18 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER...my credit card. We got in the TSA line. I told the agent who was directing people at the front of the line what my issue was. She pointed me to a separate line. Lauren had no problem getting through and soon texted me to ask if she should wait for me or continue on to the gate. I sent her to the gate, reminding her that this might be a solo trip.
    There was a man in a wheelchair in front of me in this separate line. Soon an agent came over and took him off to a separate area. From what I overheard, he didn't have proper identification either! I guess this is more common of a problem than one might originally think. The agent at the front of the line, assured me that a TSA supervisor would be with me shortly. People WITH proper id would filter by me giving me the odd look of , "Lady, why are you just standing there?"
    Soon a middle aged male TSA agent came over to investigate my situation. The TSA agent at the front of the line waved me through. He asked what other id I had. I handed over my social security card, debit card, and work id. He was like, "Really? the hospital couldn't even be bothered to put your last name on this?" And laughed.He looked at me and said, "So, big fan of Harry Potter are you?" He took my backpack and motioned for me to go through the metal detectors. Then i met up with him on the other side. He pulled everything out of my backpack and sprayed it all down with their stuff to test it for gun residue. We had a lovely talk about DisneyWorld and what it was like these days. He was surprised (as people often are) about the frequency of my visits to the parks. He shared with me that he had taken his family a few years prior and was hoping to return post Covid. Then he helped me put everything back in may bag and said, "I hope you have a great trip. Tell Mickey HI!" And sent me on my way.

    Well, wasn't that just a bit anticlimatic? Where was the pat down? Where was the full body cavity search? What happened to the teeny room with the bright light and the old gruff TSA agent who hadn't showered in a week? See, THIS is why we dress for Disney on our travel day! It spreads Disney Magic! And what you send out will return to you!

    After making it to the gate and reuniting with Lauren (who was very glad this wouldn't be a solo trip), I had her grab us some lunch at Chick Fil A in the airport. We had a long time to wait because my procedure with TSA didn't take nearly as long as I had feared. Now Lauren was through TSA pretty much as fast as she could walk. I think my whole experience too 20-30 minutes max.

    We finally began boarding about 2:35. Of course, by the time we made it on the plane there were hardly any seats left together. (SWA has been utilizing every seat since the beginning of December.) But, there was MORE pixie dust, there was a family of 4 headed to Disney. Lauren had on a Texas A&M hoodie. (DON'T ask me why...I'm a second generation Texas Tech Red Raider.) Anyway, this lady and her husband were A&M alumni and she used to work in the admissions office. So she scooted her child over to sit with dad and brother. Then invited us to sit with her, giving Lauren the window seat! Wasn't that sweet? We visited for a little before and after take off. I can't remember now where they were staying. I think it was AoA. They had some leftover days from a trip earlier in the summer. They were only going to be there 3 or 4 days and only 2 park days. (HS and MK). Soon after takeoff though, all 3 of us fell asleep and had ourselves a nice 2.5 hour nap.

    Our flight was smooth. The sun was setting as we landed in Orlando. We gathered our things and headed for the monorail to the baggage claim. Lauren was impressed with the Christmas Tree and I reminded her that we would be staying in the hotel overlooking that tree on our final night. I sent her to the baggage claim while I handled the rental car company....where it all went wrong.

    So I realized the night before, since we were staying off property at B Resort and Spa the rental car I had reserved would need to be cancelled. I reserved through Priceline. (Do I need to finish or can you all see where this is going?) I went to the counter and explained the situation. I knew I wouldn't be able to pick up a car. But I WAS hoping for a refund. I mean, the way I see it, I didn't back out on the contract. THEY simply would not loan me a car. :rolleyes1 The guy at the rental counter was very sympathetic and honestly, was kinda not trying to laugh by the end of my tale. He was like, "Ah man, that sucks...but how are you gonna get back home? Will you be able to check into your hotel here??" I mean, he was invested in this saga. He told me to call Priceline since that was who I booked through. That they would have to issue the refund. I thanked him and set out to find a quiet place to do just that.

    I called Priceline. They said that I would need to contact the rental car company. That the rental car company would have to issue the refund. (The guy at the rental car counter warned me about this, He said, "Don't mess with the first person you talk to at either company. Ask for their supervisor. I'm putting a note in your account. Here's to hoping you get someone sympathetic to your plight." So of course, I asked to speak to the supervisor. Who repeated waht the first person said, but then she said, let me connect you with the person at the rental car company that you need to speak with. She got them on the phone. He was not sympathetic. I explained the situation. His attitude was too bad so sad. I'll submit your claim for review.

    The end of the story...they refunded one day off my rental. Out of a 5 day $173 rental, I got $40 back. :confused3 I mean, I get it. I was the idiot who lost her DL. But, come on, have a heart. Its not like you REALLY lost any money. It wasn't the last car on the lot that you didn't give to someone else because I had a reservation. But, whatever. It was time to go to Disney!!!

    I helped Lauren gather up our bags and we ordered an uber. Soon we were on our way and headed under the beautiful sign on the East side of property.

    Up next: Ummmm, Mom?
     

    MK2010

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2009
    Sorry it wasn't a longer update (or one with pictures. I actually got off 3.5 hours early, but I am T.IR.E.D. sonI am off to bed. Looking ahead at our surgery schedule, I may be able to get in another update on Friday. Hope you guys are finding at least a nice LITTLE distraction from your jobs! See ya soon!
     



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