Very belated but here all the same!


#1

Some of you may have noticed that we have been back for some time and I, as usual, have not submitted a Trip Report.
Although no one seems to mind, or to have noticed- I do have a ruck of photos that I would like you to see (nothing terrific or photographically marvellous like some other TR’s) but just things that were kind of special to us, and…that I did have a TR in mind when I took some of them!
As you all know we were there for almost a month this trip, and so I wouldn’t be as cruel as to bore you all with a 25 day report- what I will do is condense down, and do a sort of trip ‘over view’-
Because of this abridged version, I may have to omit my riding Splash Mountain which I know will concern and upset one particular MB member- who may go so far as to accuse me of telling untruths tsk tsk!! Shame on her!!

The Departure

We left Manchester Airport on August 26th and flew Virgin Atlantic over the pond to the glorious USA and Orlando International Airprort.
The trip was relatively hassle free, however, after tut tutting at all those who could not fill in their green visa waiver form, I was a little red faced at immigration to find I had missed a chunk out of ours- you would think after twenty years I would know better- I don’t!! Oh and by the way, US immigration officers are fierce, and I don’t mean fierce hot, I mean fierce scary.

Delightful Dollar and their customer friendly associates……hmm not at OIA we had the delectable D***y, who delighted in jumping from his little desk and in full view of Orlando Airport screamed at me at the top of his voice much to the amazement and alarm of all the other Dollar associates, myself, my family, and several hundred international travellers to the United States.
However, sadly for D***y, he had not met this English woman, who, believe it or not can shout far louder, far more eloquently, and could, and would subsequently reduce this 240 pound Dollar associate to a quivering apologetic wreck.
Sadly, apology was not accepted by Miss Dixie, and this outburst cost Dollar $1000.00 this week- note to Dollar, it has to be cheaper to train staff to handle clients in a professional and courteous manner!

Soooo the holiday was now not off to a good start- but, onwards and upwards so they say, so we set off in our filthy Chrysler 300, to our magical home away from home, Walt Disney World!!

Our first nine days were using our AP discount for our room, as we spend quite a lot of time going to malls, and other parks before concentrating on Disney. We were given a lovely room in Alligator Bayou in block 16, it was a lovely position close by to the pool and just a short walk from the main building. We unpacked our cases and headed off for Paul and Chelsey’s traditional first night meal- Double bacon cheese burger and chips (fries sorry)!!
Because of the time difference, we were so tired we headed off to bed at about 8 USA time, however, jet lag awoke us at 4 in the morning, and we showered and headed off to the all night Wal Mart!!! (I bet you guys can’t believe you’re reading this right??)
Now listen, we Brits, love love love Wal Mart!! It’s a shopping Mecca for food stuffs and toiletries at prices a fraction of what they cost here in the UK. We each have a trolley (cart to you) and fill it to the top with Sharpies, Jergens, Little Debbies, oh all sorts of bad for you stuff!
So although this was not a ‘Disney’ day we did spend the rest of the day recovering from the journey by the pool, and then headed off to DTD to the EOS for our tea- I just love that place, and of course it was just as good as always.
Those first few days we did the mall at Millennia, and the other malls scattered around the Buena Vista area, and did some almighty shopping- we did eat once at the MAM at the Cheesecake Factory which is also very good, and stopped by the Krispy Kreme outlet to buy a dozen for Paul and Chelsey, I, believe it or not don’t care much for KK so I don’t eat them…….

The first ‘park’ day we had was to Sea World. For those who have never ventured there, I always find Sea World such a nice gentle park. Its not too big, and it doesn’t take too long to get around.

There are some spectacular shows there, and the horticultural displays are really beautiful.
Dare I say, I actually find the catering amenities and the standard of food available far superior to Disney.
We had a lovely day there, the weather was pleasant and we had tea in the POR food court and sat in the lobby people watching- don’t forget, we are ‘foreigners’ we like watching and listening to you guys ( y’all speak kinda funny)!…………and I guess you like watching (and listening) to us too!!

But hey you want to know the Disney stuff right?? Ok here goes- and if you dont then guys…please feel free to stop me now!


#2

Please ignore the dates on the photos, this was a new camera, a Wal mart special, and so it took a little getting used to!


#3

Whoa, why the stink with Dollar? What made him yell at you? :huh:

I can’t wait to hear the nicer details! :wub:


#4

Wow, what a start to your trip, I’m hoping it was all good from there. What was the problem with the Dollar guy?


#5

I’m thrilled that you got your $1000 from Dollar. I am ready for us to take back lousy customer service, and get the good stuff back… Everyone should learn from Disney-even though they are not perfect, they are the best at this…

Please continue with your TR. I want to hear it from a “foreigner’s” perspective. I always wonder what other countries think of us- really… Please tell us what happened on your trip… You can do all 25 days if you want- you would win the marathon TR award…


#6

Dixie Please go on with your trip report in all it’s detail Including your incident with the Dollar guy. I am sure others here deal with Dollar and would like to know of your problem so they can be aware of it and be prepared. Love the photos and do not spare any details…


#7

Yay!! A Dixie report!!


#8

I’m so glad your back and ready to start your TR. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would love to hear every detail about your amazing 25 days!!! :happy:

I would love to go for that long, maybe someday:angel:…but until then…I can certainly live vicariously through your TR!!!:laugh::laugh:


#9

More, more!!! I love TR’s!


#10

Oh goodie! I am so glad that you are posting this report. I want to hear ALL about it. I would have paid money to see you make that money a mess at Dollar…lol


#11

tap, tap, tap aye, aye, aye
I don’t know what to make of this Splash Mountain mess :rolleyes::nonono2::rolleyes:


#12

yea… well you’re doing better than me. We went in September and I haven’t posted one yet :ohmy::redface:


#13

[QUOTE=Dopey;897308]tap, tap, tap aye, aye, aye
I don’t know what to make of this Splash Mountain mess :rolleyes::nonono2::rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

Ok fill us in on the back story to that quote. Keep the TR coming!


#14

Great Pics Dixie~ What was wrong with the car?? Sorry to hear about the start and Yes… Walmart is AWESOME!!!


#15

Oh thanks everyone!

OK the Dollar incident first- and this is slightly condensed because its loooong… we always rent from Dollar, we have rented from them for the past 17+ years at least. So much so, that one year, a nice Dollar associate suggested we had their Fast Line card, it means you have all your cc details on file and jump the line.
After an 8.5 hr trip this is very tempting and so we did- apparently its mainly American citizens who have this card- but thats by the by.

(By the way, I have just read this back, its not condensed its a book sorry-you’ve been warned :))

Oh another thing, because there is no Fast Line ID number on the Dollar UK site, we always, alwaysuse the Dollar.com site which is USA. Funnily enough sometimes the rates are more favourable on this site, this may be because of a public holiday or similar.
Anyway, the Chrysler 300 is a real fancy car here in the UK and Paul had always wanted to drive one- we got one for 25 days for $1005 USD which we thought was excellent-

On arrival at OIA Paul went to sort out the car whilst Chelsey and I got the baggage.
Paul was gone ages, and I went over to see why as there was no line. The delectable D***y (Dollar associate) was telling him there was no way could he have this car for that price-he said that this price was because the car had no insurance on and the correct price with insurance was now $2300 USD (the insurance was more than the rental!!). He went on to say, that he didnt know how we had the Fast Line membership that was for US residents only and we couldnt have booked through Dollar.com, he added the web site alone would ‘know’ that we weren’t American and wouldn’t let an International booking go through.
I explained, or tried to explain I had used the Dollar.com site for many many years, he never looked at me, and it was obvious he didn’t converse with women- he just shook his head at Paul in an exaggerated fashion and said not possible, not possible.

Paul then asked politely if we could see a manager. A very dishevelled man came across accompanied by an equally dishevelled associate. They listened politely to D***y and nodded in agreement. Then in a very slow and deliberate manner the manager said " Mam, you should have used Dollar.co.uk" I said but I have booked with you many many times always using Dollar.com because of the Fast Line, No no no he said whilst shaking his head and smiling in a condescending and patronising fashion, that is just not possible!!

He then leaned across, took hold of my hand, and whilst patting the back of it said " Heres my card, if you want to discuss this further, call me" and he and his associate walked away.
At this Chelsey came over and said " whats going on- those two men just called you a dumb b***h" and were laughing at you and dad"
D***Y heard this and carried on shuffling papers, and although incensed I thought Let it go Karen, we are on vacation, lets just get this sorted and get out of here.
I said to D***Y look, is it possible to change the car to a less expensive rental? thats such a huge jump from 1005 to 2300- and it was at this point he jumped from the chair, leaned over (well nearly leapt over) the desk and shouted, and I mean shouted whilst jabbing his finger at a photo card of cars " This is all you will get for that sort of money, what do you expect for that sort of money-I have already told you three times you shouldnt have had that car for that price"
The two Dollar associates working at his side both looked aghast, I was open mouthed, Paul and Chelsey were looking for a suitable hole to crawl into as they know no one shouts at Mummy and gets away with it!! and all the people waiting for their baggage around the carousels all looked towards me.

In a voice, even I didnt know I had, I said (In my best British Princess Diana accented voice How dare you!!! How dare you speak to me like that- who on earth do you think you are talking to- How dare you, you rude ignorant young man”

He stepped back, and I think, aware of everyone else around’s reaction immediately apologised to me, but I wasn’t having it, I had never been spoken to like that ever- I was seething, in fact I had to walk away at one point as my eyes were brimming and I didnt want him to think he’d made me cry- but he had.
I told him I did not accept his apology to which he kept saying he was sorry, but I could not accept it- he made me look a fool in front of an airport full of people- we were tired and fractious and I knew he was trying to rip us off, but by this time my brain wasn’t working and I just wanted to get out of there.

To cut a long story short, Paul paid the extra money (and worried about it for the rest of the holiday) D***Y rang down to the pick up place and spoke in another language (very rude again) when we went down, all the associates came out and stared at me- the Chrysler was filthy, with chips and scratches on the bonnet and boot.
We made the associates note these defects as I felt that old D***Y wasn’t finished with me yet.
Inside the car was dirty, and when we turned on the air con, the car stunk of stale cigar smoke and did for the next 25 days.

When we came back, I wrote to Dollar USA (no reply) Dollar UK (replied) and Orlando International Airport and Virgin Atlantic as Dollar are their preferred partners in car rental. The lady from Dollar UK, also told me I couldn’t have used Dollar.com!!! (too tired to argue with this one!! I must of imagined I used .com) …but agreed to have my complaint looked into.

Oh, I missed a bit out, the insurances he insisted we needed were un-necessary- as I thought, I already had paid for them. One of them when I got back home and researched was for the loss of golf equipment!

Anyway to wrap this long tale up- we got our full rental refunded (just over 1000 dollars) and of course the un-necessary insurance payments refunded too- and a voucher for a free rental with no expiry-

So, although this was a nice outcome, the fact was that it took me a few days to get over this incident- I am a woman of 51 years who is not used to be spoken to dis-respectfully by anyone- It had been almost two years since we had been in the USA and we were so happy to be there and after this incident the bubble temporarily burst!
Chelsey was upset at hearing her mum being called a name, and Paul fretted for the whole of the holiday about the payment on his card…oh and the irony was that the additional Dollar charge on his credit card came in the post while we were away- Paul not only had to pay a £12.00 late fee, but £37.00 interest on the Dollar charge when we returned home- talk about rubbing salt in the wound!!

Paul even said at the airport we’d of been better off buying an old banger, riding it round for 3.5 weeks and then leaving it when we went home- it would have been cheaper!!

And of course I am sure you might say we should have just cancelled the booking with Dollar and incurred a cancellation fee- and you’d be right- except we didnt think of that- we were tired, confused, and intimidated and we were also in another country where, although we had an inkling that he was wrong and we were right, we were not entirely convinced about which insurances we needed- in my country if you kill someone driving without insurance you might get a slap on the wrist, in the USA its the orange jump suit!!

In all my correspondence, I reiterated, that ok you may be right maybe I should of used the UK site, however, that does not give anyone the right to scream at me in an airport full of people or for a senior position person to call me a b**ch.

That said, the customer service to follow up the complaint was superb both in the USA and here in the UK.
Anyway guys thats it, the full shabang- I’ll be interested to hear what you think- thanks for taking the time to read it anyway xx


#16

[QUOTE=Dopey;897308]tap, tap, tap aye, aye, aye
I don’t know what to make of this Splash Mountain mess :rolleyes::nonono2::rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

Oh no- even I dont know what that means…yet!! :ohmy:


#17

Keep it coming!!


#18

OK its almost midnight onn this side of the pond= so I’ll bid you all good night and carry on tomorrow- i enjoyed doing the TR so far, and thank you for your kind and encouraging comments xx


#19

Dixie, call it the difference in our cultures, or just my ignorance but what does D***y mean? I am so curious, I think I may have found my new favorite word, but I need to be more informed. If you cannot write it here, can you pm it to me?

On another note… Good for you for standing up to those unprofessional jerk! They acted completely unacceptable! Glad you got the refund!


#20

Dixie, I’m excited to hear all about your TR…but I have to say…OMGosh!!! :eek::eek::eek: How incredibly rude that Dollar employee was! I commend you for keeping your cool the way you did. I’m glad they compensated you, but OMG!!!:eek::eek::eek:I can’t get over the way those employees behaved. I hope someone…aka the :nonono2: manager had disciplinary action taken against him for his behavior and completely disgusting remarks!:mad:

Now, back to more wonderful things…your TR!:happy: