Headaches of Planning a trip


After writing this I almost felt like I was in a soap opera.

Okay here goes.

For the past 3 years we taken an annual trip to WDW with DMIL in mid August. There would be 8 of us. DMIL, her beau and the gcbdad clan.
DMIL always wanted to cover the trip and she would pay for the rooms and we would fight over the food bills.
After all she was taking her gandchildren to Disney.
We always stayed in connecting rooms at our favorite resort, Port Orleans Riverside. It was always HOT and crowded but “Hey we were at WDW.”
So we always had a Magical time.
Well at the end of last years trip we decided that we needed a change and wanted to go later in the year to avoid the HEAT and crowds. So this year DW and I decided we would use our DVC and get a 2 bedroom villa at one of the resorts in late September early October. So a few months ago I made a
reservation for a 2 bedroom villa at the Boardwalk Villas. We wanted to be close to EPCOT because of the Food & Wine Festival. I got exactly what we wanted. We were going to arive on Sunday, September 30 and depart on Thursday, October 4th.
In case you are not aware with the DVC, the points value per night
goes up considerably on a Friday & Saturday night so we try to stay with Sunday thru Thursday nights to get the most value out of our points.
Everything was in the works, we were debating on getting the DDP and all that needed to happen was to make our ADR’s.
Then in late July, DW and I had a discussion about her Home Schooling our kids. You see DW has been Home Schooling our kids, ages 11, 9, 9 & 3 and really loving it.
But now she was feeling that maybe we should look into school for at least our oldest to start. Good friends of ours, who also Home Schooled, put their children into a Private school last year and couldn’t stop raving about it. So after praying about it we decided it would be a good thing for our oldest,
Grace, to go to school. She took a placement test and we interviewed with the Headmaster.
She did fairly well and we decided to put her into the 5th grade. We made that decision based on her math scores and the fact that they teach Latin and she needed to start towards the beginning.
So all was decided and we started getting ready for School like most everyone else does.

So now the delema was, with her just starting School, how much of an issue would it be to take her out for 4 days at the beginning of October. We talked to DMIL and told her that we might have an issue and might have to reschedule our WDW trip.
I called the Headmaster and he said lots of families take vacations and that they would work around ours, with Grace making up the missed work.
So things were all set. Or so I thought…

This past Wednesday, Grace, turned 11 and we were at Outback having a birthday dinner. We told DMIL that everything was set and that we would go ahead with our planned trip. She looked concerned and said she though
it was changed. Of course that put a real uneasy feeling into both DW and I.
So we all went back to our house for cake and presents and we talked about the trip.
DMIL is German and every year she takes a trip back to Germany to see her family. As a matter of fact DW and my two oldest girls went to Germany to visit this past June/July to visit the same family.
Anyway, DMIL’s trip has her getting back on September 28, 2 days before our trip and she planned another beach trip on October 8th. She is quite the traveler. So she was concerned about the closeness of the trip dates, even though our trip was planned before any of the other trips.
Of course you know this meant lots of tension in the room and some said we should cancel while others said no, lets go.
So after calming down a bit, I suggested that I could see if we could reschedule to later in the year. So that is how it was left off when they left for the evening.
So DW and I started looking at the calendar for possible dates. One factor to consider it that DW was in a Co-Op called Classical Conversations that met every Friday. It was a group of Home Schooled families in our church that met and the Mom’s would teach a different subject to all. It is a wonderful but stressful thing so we didn’t want to miss any classes.
So checking the schedule, she was pretty booked until the Friday before Thanksgiving thru new Years. So we talked it over and decided to try and get 12/2 thru 12/6. This would be perfect. WDW would be decorated and my littlest Princess would be 4 on 12/5 (Walt Disney’s Brithday). So I went to bed feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

So last Thursday at exactly 9:01 am, I made the call to Member Services to find out about changing our vacation.
After a short wait I was talking to a very nice CM. I explained needing to change and she said it would be no problem as long as it was at least 31 days out from our arrival. I gave her our new dates and asked her to check
the Beach Club Villas. NO VACANCY.
Okay how about the Villas of Wilderness lodge. NO VACANCY.
No problem how about Boardwalk Villas. NO VACANCY.
How about Saratoga Springs , our Home Resort. NO VACANCY.
Animal Kingdom Lodge??? NO VACANCY.
Okay Old Key West??? NO VACANCY.
So I asked her to check the week before or after at each resort. NO VACANCY.


Now what was I going to do???

I then had to do some work and about an hour later I called Member Services again just to make sure the first CM didn’t miss something. Same result… NO VACANCY.

So after a quick panic attack, I started to do a little research on the DVC members website.
I had already known but needed to check on the ability to use DVC points at regular WDW resorts.
I found that for about the same amount of points I could get 2 rooms at a moderate resort.
So I called Member Services again and had her check the original request once more. NO VACANCY.
Hey there could have been a rash of cancellations… Right???

Then I asked the CM to check the dates at the Moderates to see if there were any rooms available. I was in luck.
I could get a reservation at either Port Orleans French Quarter or the Caribbean Beach Resort. I was starting to feel allot better but I needed to check with DW before I made the final cancelation and reservation.

So in the early afternoon I called DW and told her about the NO VACANCIES… she was distraught.
Then I mentioned the Backup Plan but she was not receptive to it at all.
We were going to discuss it later after I got home.

I was starting to feel it was a lost cause.

After some more work got in the way. I started to think about DW’s schedule. With her teaching on a Friday she needed at least the Thursday to prepare. What if we changed our days to Saturday thru Wednesday. It would give us more dates to work with. And after checking the points it would still be within the remaining points I had left for the year.
Of course I needed to see if that was workable for DW.
So when I got home I told her the plan and she said that would work out with her. Now I had to call DMIL and find out her schedule. So I dropped off my 9 year old DD at ballet and called DMIL to discuss. She was free from October 15 thru Thanksgiving. Remember it was already full after Thanksgiving. NO VACANCY.

So after dropping off my 9 year old DS at Tae Kwon Do and getting the oil changed in the van I settled down to calling Member Services with our new date range. Thank the lord that there are extended hours on Thursdays. It is open until 10 PM.
So I called and the line dropped. This happened at least 3 times before it finally went through and I got to talk to a very nice CM, Kendall. I explained our change request and asked her to check and availability for a 2 bedroom on 10/20 thru 10/24. She had a VACANCY at SSR but that was it. Great. So then I asked her to check the next two weeks at any DVC resort and she said NO VACANCY. So I jumped all over the 10/20 to 10/24 at SSR.


I asked the CM to cancel my existing reservation and add this new one. She said no problem and asked me to wait while she made the change. Do I mind?? I love the hold music when talking to Member Services.
I got Zip-a-de Doo-dah. And Peter Pan’s You can fly. And the Haunted Mansion and several other catchy tunes while holding for what seemed like forever. She came back on and said she was having computer problems and could I please continue to hold. No problem. The Genie from Alladin was singing and Mary Poppins and a few more. Then she came back on and said her supervisor was looking at the issue and I started to get a little worried.
What if someone else is not having computer problems and get’s those dates???
But she assured me that the reservation was made and gave me a reservation number.


So I told DW and even though SSR wasn’t our first choice it was still a great time to go.
The weather would still be fine for swimming. It was still during the Food & Wine Festival.
And we are even thinking about MNSSHP.
I called DMIL and gave her the dates and she was fine with it. I then discussed the DDP with her and she said we should go with that.


So now I thougth all I had to do was start to get our ADR’s.

Not so fast…

On Friday morning I was sitting at work during lunch and decided to just check the DVC Member website to see if my updated reservation was completed.
So I click on the vacation details section and it shows 2 reservations and the points were lower than expected???
The first one was checking in on 10/20 and checking out on 10/21.
The second one was checking in on 10/22 and checking out on 10/24.

So I immediately call Member Services and she says that they had me on a waitlist for the night of 10/21.


I explained that I made the reservation the night before and mentioned the computer issues. She double checked and said that the night was now available, and that she would make a 3rd reservation for the night of 10/21.
Now I have 3 reservations.
She linked all 3 so there are 3 reservation numbers but one 4 night stay.
I told her that I don’t want to have to check out and back in every day and she assured me that I would not have too.

I guess I know what the computer glitches were last night.

I am so glad that I checked.


Lesson learned: Always double check you reservation!!!


woah this rated a double thread I am so glad it worked out for you … I wish it was a week later but still have a great time …


Wow… that was a lot of work!

So glad you’ll be going to the world!!!

Saratoga looks pretty nice. I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun there!


Wow! Glad you were able to work through all the issues and get your vacation settled. Sounds like it really was a headache, but think of how much fun it will be when the annual trip falls during October. Hopefully, weather, crowds and participants will all cooperate. :laugh:


WHEW…I am exhausted after reading about your planning drama:laugh: I am glad that everything worked out. Now all you have to do is have fun counting down to your big trip:happy:


That was exhausting enough, I think I’d have to stay there through the weekend just to get some more rest… :blink:


My head hurts


waht a tough way to go!! glad you still get the trip!! have you made adr’s yet?


I’m booking our next trip tomorrow morning…now I’m nervous after reading what you went through!!! Glad it all worked out for you, but the anxiety you went through would almost kill me!


Not yet. I am trying to finalize whatt everyone wants.


Just for the record, your HOLD music was a bunch of my favorite songs… LOL!


I am glad it all worked out. Hopefully, you can now relax and start looking forward to the trip.


Glad it all worked out okay,Kevin.


I’m exhausted after READING this! I can’t imagine how tired you must feel after LIVING it! That’s great that you got everything worked out and seemed to stay pretty calm through it all. :slight_smile:


Wow! What an ordeal. It will be worth it though.

In July I called to book 2 studios in October for my boss and couldn’t get 2 studios at ANY DVC resort for the entire month for 5 consecutive days. They ended up deciding on mid-November and wanted WLV. Well all we could get at the time was SSR or OKW so they picked SSR and they got put on the waitlist for WLV. I called today to see how it looked at ANY DVC resort and they were ALL FULL…nothing, nada anywhere for the same week. She said be happy they got SSR!!

Glad it all worked out for you! Hope your trip is fantastic!!


This would have sent me into oblivion!!! This is exactly why we try to NEVER travel with family!!!
Glad you got it worked out though!