Disney Do-Over Vacation Sweepstakes Top 3

Did you ever plan a trip to Disney without a travel agent that was just a nightmare? A trip that everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong? We know that planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be stressful, time-consuming, and very costly! We are looking for the absolute worst Disney vacation horror story. That’s why we launched our Disney Vacation Do-Over Sweepstakes! For the last several weeks we have been receiving entries and making our list for the top 3!

After reviewing nearly 200 entries in our Disney Vacation Do-Over Sweepstakes we have narrowed it down to the top 3 entries. Now, we need your help to choose a winner! Below you will find the top 3 entries for the sweepstakes. Take a look over the 3 very different entries and come back to the post on Facebook to cast your vote. You must comment on the original Facebook post to enter. We have posted their exact story from their entry below.

We will continue to take votes for the winner until Monday, November 25th at 5pm. At that time we will announce the winning family at the completion of voting. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Entry #1

Michele Wingert: This March 13-16, 2019 I had planned an amazing Spring Break for myself, my three children and their boyfriend and girlfriend. However Colorado was in store for a history making bomb cyclone that hit northeastern Colorado and resulted in DIA shutting down. The last flight to go out was the one 40 minutes before ours. We hurried to reschedule getting our flight rescheduled to the next day and drove that night to my daughter’s apartment to be closer to the airport. I called the hotel explaining the act of God that hit however the hotel said I was too late in the day and would still be charged for the night. Even though we weren’t able to make that day, I built hope and excitement in my children and myself for the next day. I barely slept checking to flight status. We were getting ready to drive to the airport when we received the notification that our flight was canceled again. All flights up to ours that day were canceled and with the same tragic luck as the day before , this time they canceled all flights up to ours but started back up with the one 20, yes 20 minutes after. I frantically tried to get us another flight and after being on hold for 3 hours with sobbing children and at times sobbing myself, there were no flights until later the week when our tickets and hotel would have already expired. We spent the next four days snowed in and sleeping on my daughter’s floor eating the food I had packed for the trip as the electricity went in and out. I vowed to the kids that we would still find a way to go. The ticket deal I purchased ended the last week May and therefore I would need to take my kids out of school and get another week of vacation but I had invested so much and more importantly had promised them. I them spent the next 4, yes four hours on the phone with Priceline and the hotel. Priceline told me that even though it was an natural act of God it was the hotel that would need to be willing to give me the refund as they could not. The hotel then told me that I would need to contact Priceline. The four hours and going back and forth resulted in Priceline refusing saying the hotel said no and the hotel saying they would just change the date but not give me the refund and this was only because I was literally sobbing. The date was changed for May, unfortunately my middle son and his girlfriend had finals they could not miss and both of them didn’t get to go. Not only was I out the money for their flights but they were extremely disappointed as was I. I decided to get a rental car and used another travel site for that. Upon getting to the rental company, to my surprise, I didn’t have a credit card and therefore they demanded I paid $600 as a hold on my debit card and it would be charged to my account and refunded to me when returned the car. I am grateful I had the extra money but I didn’t have enough for that and our meals which resulted in my daughter paying for most of our meals and us eating the snacks I brought as meals instead of food at Disney. We weren’t able to buy anything extra and I had to say no to souvenirs and snacks when I wanted so badly to say yes. The time we had at Disney was good, but it wasn’t what I had wanted or promised and lacked my children and had so much added stress. Upon checking out, there should have been a zero balance, the March booking was to be moved to this May trip and I had already paid for the entire thing once. I had called the Assistant Manager several times and assured it would be nothing more than what I already paid. The lady at the front desk was looking at the computer and whispering to the woman next to her alerting me that there must be an issue. Since my children had already witnessed the disaster at the rental car company and all my angst due to no money for food, I asked them to go to the car and wait. I tried to calmly explain the situation which I had dealt with multiple times to the front desk clerk but she wasn’t able to assist and said she would need to charge me for the entire stay…. AGAIN and then have the manager call me. I was out the plane tickets, the deposit for the rental car and now being charged double for the hotel stay. In tears and shaking, I got to the car knowing the $600 deposit was what I would use to cover the hotel charge until it all got straightened out. We dropped off the car and the young man handed me the folio where I say that I wouldn’t be receiving the $600 back would be $500. He said he had no manager in since it was a Sunday but could let someone know on Monday. We landed safely but I spent the next two weeks on the phone with both the hotel and the car rental company trying to get my money back. I was so stressed the entire time that we really didn’t get to experience the magic of Disney like it is suppose to be. It is my dream to be able to have a do-over where all my children can be there and we can enjoy and not feel the money, travel, reservation stress that ruined what should have been a vacation of a lifetime.

Entry #2

Jenna Newbegin: My family planned a trip to Disney in late January 2019, a week before our son’s 1st birthday so we could meet up with his grandparents who live in FL and have an early birthday celebration at the Happiest Place on Earth. The chaotic nightmare that ensued was indeed memorable, but not in a good way. The following tale documents our terrible trip, plagued by extreme weather conditions and an awful illness that swept through our family that I wouldn’t wish on anyone: the dreaded Adenovirus. Our trip was supposed to begin on the morning of Sunday January 20th so we could spend a few days with my husband’s parents in Nokomis before driving to Orlando early on Wednesday, but Winter Storm Indra had other plans in store for us. Over a foot of heavy, wet snow was predicted for our area with temperatures set to plummet below zero, creating an arctic nightmare. Ahead of the storm’s arrival, the airport cancelled all flights for Sunday and Monday and rescheduled us on a Saturday evening flight so we could get out ahead of the storm. Excellent – we’ll skip out on shoveling and escape the sub-zero temperatures! Wouldn’t you know it, an hour before we were scheduled to leave home for the airport, we received notice that Saturday evening’s flights had now been cancelled and we’d need to reschedule again. At this point Logan Airport was dealing with 2.5 days of cancelled flights and we couldn’t get on a flight to Tampa ahead of our Disney plans for Wednesday, so we instead flew directly to Orlando on a flight that didn’t land until 7:30pm, unfortunately missing the entirety of our first day at Disney. On Thursday, our first full day in the parks, I had planned for everyone to get to Hollywood Studios well ahead of rope drop so we could be near the front of the under-caffeinated zombie-like horde making their way to Toy Story Land. Upon waking, I drew back the curtain of our hotel room to see palm trees blowing nearly sideways with wind-driven rain pummeling the pavement. This was not the typical fast-moving afternoon thunderstorm that I was familiar with; the chilly rain, wind and lightening continued for much of the morning, well past rope-drop which led us to swap out our long-anticipated morning plans in Toy Story Land for an inside breakfast buffet. Once skies cleared, mid-morning, we chose to visit Epcot (my favorite park) to introduce our son to some ‘easy’ rides such as the Frozen, Nemo…..and I’ll stop there because he was so traumatized from those two rides that we opted to forgo the remainder of our Fast Passes for that day to prevent further emotional scarring. We instead took a leisurely stroll through the World Showcase to indulge in the delectable variety of ethnic cuisine and adult beverages, starting with the Choza de Margarita in the Mexico Pavilion. As I walked up to the counter to order, I looked back to my husband to take his order and met eyes with his; the look of desperation coming from his sweaty pale face told me all I needed to know. I’ll spare the details, but the remainder of our trip around the World Showcase meant not straying more than few minutes from a bathroom and finding lots of benches in the shade for him to recoup between bathroom visits. To top things off, as we stopped in Germany so I could introduce my son to one of my go-to Disney snacks (a frankfurter with warm sauerkraut and fresh chips), my mother-in-law left her purse hanging on the back of a chair underneath the clock tower. It took until we reached France for her to realize it was no longer hanging on her shoulder, so we found ill-husband another under-utilized bathroom while the rest of us frantically retraced steps to each pavilion in search of her purse. Thank goodness a kind stranger had sat down at the table after us and stayed put, knowing someone would eventually come looking for it. After the panic attack my mother-in-law suffered and my husband’s declining health status, we opted to cut the World Showcase short and head back to the Dolphin Hotel through Epcot’s back exit. That evening, we were fortunate enough to make plans to meet up with my husband’s cousin and his wife (who live in FL) for dinner since their earlier flight out of Orlando airport was cancelled due to the morning’s extreme weather and they happened to be stuck in Orlando for the day. Much to my husband’s disappointment, dinner plans in the Italy Pavilion had to be cancelled due to the fact that he was unable to get out of bed; the fever, chills, and body ache had set in. Not wanting to leave him alone in misery, the remainder of our party grabbed a quick bite at a burger place inside the Dolphin hotel and made a trip to the gift shop to buy a myriad of overpriced cold medicines, Gatorade, and bottled water. The next morning, out of sheer stubbornness, I dragged my sick husband and son to Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. After all, we were in Disney and we were going to make the most of it, dang it! The tummy troubles had ended (likely because he hadn’t eaten in 24 hours) but he was still feeling weak and dizzy with normal flu-like symptoms. As we walked out to the bus station to await our ride to the park, I noticed we were vastly under-dressed for the weather. It was 43 degrees with a wind chill in the mid-30’s and we were flippin’ freezing! We did not intend for the weather in Disney to mimic New England winter, and hence left our winter coats, gloves, and hats in the car when my dad dropped us off at the airport in Boston. My 11-month old son had nothing more than a lightweight Mickey sweatshirt to keep him warm, so we ended up finding a blanket in the back of my in-laws’ car and wrapped him like a little burrito so we could get to Fantasyland on time. A few cast members expressed that this was the coldest day they could remember in the last 5 years. The momentum that got us on the Dumbo ride, Winnie the Pooh, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin quickly faded and we found ourselves at the Sleepy Hollow food stand by 10am, my husband holding his head in his hands and my son beginning to show signs of imminent sickness. My in-laws met us there and we trekked to Adventureland to find the Jungle Cruise temporarily closed and my son fast asleep in his stroller. My husband and father-in-law sat with the sleeping baby while my mother-in-law and I went on Pirates of the Caribbean and watched the show in the Enchanted Tiki Room. After the Tiki Room, my husband shot me a pitiful look of exhaustion. Between his fatigue and my son’s sudden onset of illness, I knew it was best to leave and return to the hotel for the remainder of the day. It was at this point that a piece of my heart was breaking: I had so looked forward to taking my son on his first Disney trip and having him immersed in the magic and splendor of the rides, shows, parades and the little moments of magic that cast members create. I have only been to Disney a handful of times myself, but it is a place I hold near and dear to my heart with fond memories of family vacations throughout my youth. I had lost my mother to an aggressive form of cancer a year before my son was born and returning to Disney without her was a tough transition, but I wanted to share my mom and I’s passion for Disney with my son and create new memories with him. The next morning was our final day in the parks, and it turned out to be as lackluster as the previous two days. My husband and son had thick mucus blocking their airways, earaches, a junky cough, and red crusty eyeballs- clearly both were too sick to leave the hotel room, and my father-in-law who was also not feeling well stayed behind to look after them. I can’t even imagine the disappointment my husband felt having been in Disney for 3 days and not eating a single meal… not even his favorite snack, Dole Whip. My son didn’t even have a chance to taste how glorious Dole Whip is! My mother-in-law and I took the boat to Hollywood Studios and were able to get on the Slinky Dash roller coaster and admire the exceptional craftsmanship that went into creating Toy Story Land. I’m so saddened that I wasn’t able to share that joy with my husband or son, whose little eyes would’ve lit up if he saw his buddies, Woody and Buzz. As checkout time at the hotel rolled around and my husband and son were forced to leave the comfort of the hotel room, we packed the car and started the drive back to Nokomis to spend a few days at their home visiting with relatives before flying home. Sunday morning, we ended up in the Urgent Care near my in-laws home. My son and husband were both diagnosed with Adenovirus and double ear infections. Adenovirus feels much like the flu; its a virus that infects the lining of one’s eyes, lungs, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system, resulting in cough, sore throat, diarrhea, and pink eye. I fell ill with Adenovirus on Monday afternoon, with all those dreadful symptoms. The three of us were so miserable and uncomfortable but mustered up the energy to fly home that evening to recuperate in the comfort of our own beds. The illness lasted 3+ weeks in each of us, mutating from viral to bacterial, and we were under the weather well past my son’s 1st birthday on February 2nd which meant we only had a small get-together with family and a few close friends rather than the big party I had intended for him. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to Disney with my family and in-laws this past January, as I know that luxury is not available to everyone: I only wish we had all felt well enough to enjoy the time spent as a family, coupled with Disney Magic and a reprieve from cold winter weather, to create lasting memories of our first trip to Disney as a family of three.

Entry #3

Julia Owens: The vacation that immediately comes to mind when I think of horrible Disney experiences is my family’s spring break trip in 2015. We were living in Canada at the time and more than eager to escape to Orlando for some much-needed respite after 7 months of cold winter. I was a senior in high school, my younger brother was a sophomore and my sister was in 6th grade. The plan was for our family of five (me, my parents and siblings) to stay 3 days in Orlando to visit Disney and then spend the remainder of the week by the beach. My dad had gotten an amazing deal on a condo rental through a hotel rewards program, and we weren’t travelling with any young kids, so we were all very optimistic that this would be a low cost and low stress trip. All was well for our first night. After a long day of flying, we landed in the Orlando airport and made our way to our condo rental, immediately collapsing into bed. The next morning, my parents’ alarm went off because they had to attend a “short presentation” arranged by the condo company, which was one of the conditions of the great deal my dad had received for our stay. My siblings and I thought it would be a quick morning outing, so we hung around the condo watching TV for the morning, which quickly stretched into the afternoon. Close to dinnertime, my parents returned home absolutely livid. They had been more or less held hostage by timeshare sales people for the entire day, going through relentless rounds of pressure sales. This carousel of torture involved being sat down at a desk, insisting they did not want to buy a time share, and then being aggressively drilled by a salesperson trying to get them to change their mind. When one salesperson was finished, my parents would get a few minutes in the break room, where they spoke with other bewildered vacationers that had been caught up in the same snare. In the next sales session, the presenter would address every single thing that my parents had said in privacy in the break room. My mom swears there were hidden microphones! With all of that misery said and done, we hoped the vacation would get better on day 2- we were headed to Magic Kingdom! Optimistic Canadians that we were, we woke up at the crack of dawn, throwing on our shorts and t-shirts. Us three kids had made an agreement to be completely ready by 7:30 so that we could get to the park before the huge lines began. Unfortunately, my dad did not have quite the same plan. We are a family of notorious procrastinators and are late for just about everything- so of course this day would be no exception. My dad decided to answer a few phone calls from work before heading out and ended up stuck on the phone until 11:30. At this point the rest of us are upset and desperate to leave and have been pacing the house for hours throwing him dirty looks. During that time, we had also packed 65-pound backpack full of our lunches and were in the midst of bickering over who would have to carry the thing all day. We finally make it to the park around 12:30, the perfect time to wait in the longest lines of the day. Several of our favorite rides are closed for maintenance, and the classics like Space Mountain all have a 3 hour wait time. At this point, we are all harboring resentment over leaving so late and the Disney World cheerfulness is only serving to aggravate us even further. We also realize we have made a grave mistake with our clothing, it is only 59° outside. I spend the majority of the day shivering in my shorts and t-shirt and swear I am losing feeling in my hands and feet. The day winds down and by 5 o’clock we have only been on about 3 rides due to the wait times. Morale is suffering as we realize what a colossal waste of money this day was since we had missed half the day thanks to my dad’s phone call and there was no way we were getting on all the rides we had wanted to. It begins to get dark and increasingly cold, so we are speed walking from one indoor attraction to another to keep warm. My sister is extremely overtired and cranky, while the rest of us are fed up and want to go home. My sister decides at this point that she wants to stay for the fireworks. After staying for part of the fireworks, more irritation ensues as we try to leave before they are finished. She wants to stay until the end! My parents are not having that and more or less drag her by the hand towards the monorail. At this point, my mom accidentally steps on my sister’s foot and she begins audibly sobbing in public. Of course, though, we could not leave without taking a family photo! My only regret is that my parents aren’t in it. Check it out below. Each of our faces tells a story. A picture is worth a thousand words! 🙂

These are the top 3 entries! Don’t forget to come back and vote on our Facebook post now!