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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Glass Slipper Challenge Weekend: Part 1

Yes, I know that the Glass Slipper Challenge was over 2 months ago. But you try being pregnant with baby #4. Better late than never right?

Where can I start with this weekend? This weekend was a disaster in the making from before the get go. I had completed the Tinkerbell 10k and Half Marathon unofficial challenge in Disneyland just 5 weeks prior. While being pregnant during those races certainly slowed me down, I finished those races with no issues and had a great time at the parks with some great friends around those races.
Glass Slipper weekend was to be a trip for just my husband and me. Normally my race weekends are girls weekends, but my hubby deserved a break too, he agreed to do the 10k portion with me and my mom was more than happy to come stay with our 3 kids while we had one last hoorah before welcoming baby #4. Signs that our weekend might not go so well began very early in the week, before we even left for our trip.

Monday night, t-minus 4 days before hubby and I left for Walt Disney World, the stomach flu hit our house, and it hit it hard. Within an hour, my husband and 2 older kids went from "I'm not feeling so hot." to projectile vomiting all over my house. I cared for them from a distance and prayed I wouldn't catch it myself. I slept in a different bed Monday night, only to get into a fight with a house plant early Tuesday morning and ending up with a scratched cornea. There I was on Tuesday, 4 days before I was due to complete 19.3 miles, with over half my family puking and half blind.
By Wednesday, things started to look better. A trip to my eye doctor gave me some ointment that healed my eye right up and the stomach bug seemed short lived, both kids affected went back to school and my husband went back to work. I felt good and my 2 year old showed no signs of being sick. I continued on with cleaning and preparing for my mother to arrive. She arrived safely and Thursday morning, hubby and I were set to depart.

I woke up Thursday morning and finished getting ready, and got the kids off to school. I noticed a little queasy feeling brewing but hoped it was just a touch of morning sickness, as I still saw it come and go at that point. It wouldn't be long before I realized this was not the case. We barely made it into the next state when I started feeling more sick and body aches started. I had  not only caught the stomach bug, but I caught it while starting a 9 hour long car ride, 2 days before my races. I'm not sure I've never had a more miserable trip.

But that wasn't all. We had our room booked at the Contemporary Resort, a room only reservation, and standard Disney protocol is to pay any remaining balance upon check in. I called for our remaining balance so I could get my gift cards ready, and Disney's automated line said our balance was paid in full. I started to feel more sick, as worry about how our bill was paid and the stomach bug did not make a good combination. I spent quite a long while on the phone, waiting for Disney to tell me how it was paid, as I had not completed check in and had been paying our balance with gift cards in the months leading up to our trip. They finally told me that I had put a credit card number into My Disney Experience over a month prior, and it billed to that card. Things went from bad to worse. I put the debit card for a not often used account when ordering our Magic Bands, kind of as a place holder, because it prompted me to add one for room charging privileges. I figured it was no big deal, and that we would switch to our main card when we checked into the resort. There was no money in this account and if Disney had billed to it, we would be hit with overdraft charges(which I highly doubt Disney would have given back). Cue a freak out.

There was absolutely nothing they could do over the phone. We would have to fix it upon check in at the resort, where they could reverse the charges. But this absolutely didn't help me as we were still 6 hours away. We had to scramble to find a shared branch credit union somewhere in BFE South Carolina, to transfer money from our main bank. Did I already mention I had caught the stomach bug? I already wanted to roll over and die, I felt so awful, now I had to find a random bank, stand in line and transfer money to cover the unauthorized Disney charges. This added another hour or so onto our trip, a trip already so miserable for me. It was pure hell.

We finally arrived to our resort at around 8pm(a 9 hour trip turned into a nearly 12 hour trip thanks to my illness and the bank detour).

I could barely manage standing at the front desk, and if looks could kill, poor Cast Member Tad would have been dead and buried. My attitude was a lot less than magical. It turned out, in Disney's infinite wisdom, they checked in many of the guests without their consent. They figured it would "expedite" the check in process. Those with credit cards on file(and mine was never really on file, at least not for check in and billing purposes) were billed accordingly. Definitely uncool Disney.
Although online check in is only available within 10 days of a trip, I was told I had checked in online over a month prior to that date. While they were able to reverse the charges and straighten things out, they did absolutely no more than offer a "We're sorry about that." after I stood at the desk, weak, shaky and trying not to vomit for almost an hour. I was extremely disappointed, especially given we were staying at one of the most expensive resorts on property. As loyal as I have been to Disney over the years, I most certainly did not feel the appreciation.

But straightened out, we finally were able to get to our room. We were all the way in the south wing, not in the main tower. This was another disappointment. When you think of the Contemporary, you think of the big resort with the monorail running right outside your door.
But if you don't study the resort well, you could find out that you are spending hundreds of dollars a night to stay in a wing off of the main building, with no views and a nice long walk to the monorail. Naturally, this is where our room was. I really feel like it was a waste of money. If I wanted no view of the monorail, with a long walk to our room, in an ordinary building, I could have saved several hundred dollars and stayed at another resort.

Feeling sick, disappointed and not very magical, we trudged to our room. We passed DisBroads Patty and Tania on the way, and they carefully avoided me to stay far away from what I had. We said our hellos and gave our air hugs, but I just wanted to go to bed. We got to our room, which was very nice and spacious(just not in the main tower), and my silver lining for the day waited for me. DisBroad Julie felt so sorry for me, the fact that I was sick, my nightmare of a billing snafu, and a very long drive, that she picked up a pair of the runDisney New Balance shoes for me at the expo.
They sure were snazzy. After what was one of the longest days I'd had in awhile, I settled in for sleep. I had hoped I would feel better in the morning and that I could put the miserable first day behind us. The good news is, I did feel better the next day. The bad news is, the bad juju was not behind us. You'll just have to wait for my 10k race report to hear all about that.

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