Losing our jobs... but still went to Disney! A Halloween 2009 TR - FINAL Update 3/1
Here's the links to the individual updates:
The Disney Commandments ** Look at how Terrible I am at Booking Airfare ** A "For-Real" Update (Sort of) ** A Mini Update ** Mail Call! ** A couple of things to share ** Plans for the F & W Festival** We're Outta Here!
Somewhere between the PTR and the TR:
More bad news ** The Flower Fiasco
The actual TR:
Arrival Day - added 11/20
Epcot; Day 1: My Very Own Drunk Story - added 12/18
DHS; Day 2: The Brown Derby is Overrated - added 12/27
MK; Day 3: We were on time for BOTH ADRs!! - added 12/29
AK; Day 4: Well we knew there would be a bonehead move in here somewhere... - added 1/11
Day 4 Continued: MNSSHP (Version 1) :thumbsup2 - added 1/14
Epcot; Day 5: Part 1 - added 1/22
Epcot; Day 5: Part 2 Dinner at San Angel Inn w/ pics! - added 1/22
DHS; Day 6: Lunch at Mama Melrose's - added 1/28
Side Note: more sad news :sad1: added 2/8
AK; Day 7: Backstage Safari; T-Rex, and One of the Dumbest Things I've Ever Done
MK; Day 8 - Our last day and MNSSHP On Halloween!
So does that title make me sound shallow??
Today marks one week since we got the news that we are going to lose our jobs. :sad2:
And we both work for the same company so I think that makes it worse. :confused3
Hereís the deal. We work for a health insurance company and apparently the company has been losing money steadily over the last few years. They were discussing a sale several months ago and debating on selling versus bailing ourselves out. They were calling it the ďStrategic Review Process.Ē There was a tentative deal made which fell through so we all just kind of forgot about it.
About a month or so ago, there was a press release posted to our website about the insurance industry as a whole. It was talking about how all of the CEOís took massive pay cuts to save their companies.
Except one guy.
Guess which company he was the CEO of? If you guessed my company, you would be correct.
He took a TWENTY PERCENT increase in pay. TWENTY percent INCREASE.
Keep in mind, he is already on the Forbes List. And he just increased his yearly salary to 4.4 million.
Just as an FYI, a friend of mine broke it down and came to the conclusion that if he works 40 hours a week (HA!) he would make over $2000 an HOUR. I barely break $2000 a MONTH. And I have to work a lot of overtime to get there.
So last Monday, there was a company wide email that went out with the subject line ďSuccessful Conclusion to our Strategic Review.Ē
Successful for whom?
Let me illustrate some minor details for you. If the new company bought our company in itís entirety, then we would all get to keep working and we would just change names. Instead, the new company bought our membership only, which means that when all of the groups renew their coverage, they renew with a new name. The new company has made it abundantly clear that they have no interest in any of the 500+ employees.
At this point, they are telling us that we have more than a year, but less than 3. Which is goodÖI guess. Except Iím looking forward more to the severance pay (approximately 5 months worth of pay in one lump sum) than going to a job where no one is motivated to try. Everyone feels defeated and quite frankly, we feel played. Our CEO makes money off the sale, plus his 20% pay increaseÖand we all get a pink slip. If he had put in an honest effort to try and save the company and we still failed then that would be different. At that point I would feel like we really tried.
Donít get me wrong, I really hate that job. Like, REALLY. But it was paying my rent (and for my WDW trips). All I can hope for is that the job market is better when my last day arrives. But in spite of our impending career doom, we are STILL going to WDW this year. Why? Well, for one thing itís already paid off. For another, it may be a long while before we get to go again.
But I digressÖ.is this a pre-trippie or what? I donít want to be depressedÖ or depressing for that matter. So off we go into the juicy details.
OK so here is the cast. Be prepared, itís long and you may get confused.
Me Ė Ali. Obsessive compulsive Disney planner and house cleaner. I hate cleaning. But itís so fun to have a clean house! Unless of course, True Blood or Heroes is on. In which case, all eyes (all two of them) are on the TV and I donít get jack crap done. Oh and Iím 26 and I love animals. I volunteer for a rabbit rescue, I have 6 rabbits of my own plus we foster when we can. And I have 3 zebra finches. And I really want a dog but SOMEONE who shall remain nameless is a big poopy head. Oh and this will be my 8th trip to The World. Oh and Iím terrified of spiders and I just found one on my printer and now I feel them crawling all over me and Iím totally freakin out.
DBF Ė (cough cough someone who shall remain nameless cough cough) - Lumar (weíll call him Poopy Head, I mean Lu, for short). Heís 25 and this will be his 7th trip to WDW. He helps me clean at the rabbit shelter, and occasionally he helps me clean the house.
I tried really really really hard to get my brother and his girlfriend to join us on this trip. My brother is in the Marines and he gets a 40% discount on WDW resort stays, plus his park tickets would be free AND he can get discounts on airfare. I threw away my worksheet but I think the lowest price I worked out for him and his girlfriend for 6 nights at POP was $350 for the room only. Then his park tickets, again, would be FREE, and he would only have to cough up another $100 for his girlfriendís park tickets. But apparently, you donít make big bucks stocking produce at Stop & Shop. So, in a nutshell, he sucks. And for those who choose to travel back in time and visit my trip report from October 2007, the girlfriend in THAT trip report is NOT the same girlfriend.
So now that I have thoroughly confused you, here is some more brain fodder.
We are flying out of Hartford, CT on Friday October 23. We will land in Orlando around 6pm (assuming that the weather is acceptable and no one acts like a fool and causes some other kind of unnecessary delay).
We come back to CT on November 1 (barf). I have no idea what time because I really donít care as much about coming back.
Oh and this will be our first time at Pop Century!
This past Saturday was our 90 day mark so I got my happy butt outta bed at 5:45am on a SATURDAY so that I could make my ADRs for the first time online at 6am. Just an FYI this was
BETTER than calling CRO (even though I usually like listening to Disney music as I wait on hold for 25 minutes). Seriously, I was DONE with my ADRís by 6:15am and back in la-la land by 6:25am. I got all of the ADRís I wanted although I have to be honest, we donít eat at any of the uber popular placesÖ.
Next up: Our schedule that is 100% absitively, posolutely, set in STONE!
Why hello stranger!
I am in.....again. HA:thumbsup2
Oh yes! I am in... after reading a sad story I saw that you are a True Blood fan and I am in. I love that show!!!
Can't wait to read those set in stone ADRs!
You can still any lingo or whatever from me....I don't care.....
I look forward to "hanging out" again!:thumbsup2
I hope all works out with the job sit.
Yes, it was weird... just weird. But oh well!
Eric is interesting to me, I heart him too but he's still... idk.
I can't wait until Sunday either :)
Well hello girl! I'm so sorry about your job. It really sucks. I've been laid off since Feb. 1st. I seriously doubt I will be called back. I start school at the end of Aug. As I recall, I didn't like school and I'm guessing at 40, I still won't.
I was wondering if I was ever going to hear from you again!! But yaaaaaay, You are back.:thumbsup2
For those who have never read a simba trip report I feel compelled to let you know, Lumar's favorite places to visit at Disney are, well, the bathrooms. You will find poor Simba sitting on a bench for undetermined amounts of time.
But that's okay. It gives her plenty of time to take notes to keep her trip reports VERY entertaining!
So, is there a MNSSHP on this trip??
You are going to LOVE pop. Have you requested an area. We got 1st floor, Hippy Dippy pool and I just loved it. It is so Disney.
I'm very excited for you! Since I won't be making it down any time soon, I will have to live through your report!:banana:
I'm in! Sorry about the job...I'm kind of in the same boat as you are. I'm looking for a teaching job but unfortunately around here I guess everyone else is too. :rolleyes: It's really frustrating!
Can't wait to hear more about your plans.
I'm happy to hear from you, and thank you for filling everyone in about what to expect from me! I'm actually at work right now and I laughed out loud to myself when I read that part about the bathrooms. People are giving me strange looks...especially since my seat got moved and I'm way over in the boonies by myself. So I start laughing and there is no one around me and...well...you get the idea.
The Disney Commandments
AKA Our Disney Schedule which is not open to interpretation. This is the way things are and this is the way they will remain. Even if it kills me!!
...or Lumar... ;)
I even bought a WDW Passporter this year. Like, for real. I always wanted one because they looked cool, but I never actually bought one before. So far, itís working out pretty well.
But I think I am defeating the purpose. :confused:
To me, the purpose of the Passporter is to keep all of your trip info written in one place so that you donít have 500 papers floating around with little tidbits of information. So other night, I went through all my paperwork and filled in all of the information into the PassporterÖ
but I could not throw away any of the loose papers! I was afraid that I had written down a number wrong, or missed something altogether. I sat at my kitchen table for 3 hours double checking and triple checking all of my information to make sure I didnít screw something up. At that point, I was finally able to get rid of some of the junk paper that I didnít really need (the 25 pages that Disney sent me to confirm and reconfirm my reservationsÖ.)
Based on past experiences, I am 99% positive that SOMETHING will change. But I'm going to try my darndest!
SooooÖ. Our flight to Orlando leaves Hartford, CT at 3:05pm on Friday 10/23 (please donít hijack my plane). We arrive in Orlando at 6:05pm, catch the DME bus to POP and head to DTD for dinner at Planet Hollywood for our 9:30pm ADR. Planet Hollywood is a tradition for us....it's our first meal of every Disney trip.
This is our basic plan design for the week:
Dinner reservation at 9 Dragons at 6pm - although I would much rather try the new Italian place. Iím trying to convince Lumar to let me change our reservation. I like 9 Dragons but I want to try new places!
Dinner at Brown Derby at 6:25pm. Weíve never been to Brown Derby before so Iím excited about this one. There is no Fantasmic this night but supposedly there are evening EMH. One website says there are, the Disney website says no.
Breakfast at Kona Cafť at 9:20am. This is another new place and I am super-dee-duper excited to try Tonga Toast. I really hope it doesnít suck. We have a dinner ressie for The Plaza at 4:55pm and then we get to watch Spectro and Wishes. Again, supposedly there are evening EMH this night.
Breakfast at Boma at 9am. This will be my third attempt to obtain the ever elusive Zebra Dome. I had a dream about being in line at Boma to get Zebra Domes and the person in front of me bought the last ones. Horrible. We have an ADR at Yak & Yeti for 4pm then itís off to MNSSHP! We havenít decided if we are dressing up for this one or not.
We have an ADR for dinner at San Angel Inn at 6:30pm. Again, Iíve been here twice and I kind of want to try something else but this is the one place that Lumar really wants to eat at so Iíll let it stay as is. And it is REALLY pretty inside. Supposedly there are evening EMH.
Lunch/Dinner at Mama Melroseís at 3:20pm. I wanted something laterÖlike around 4:30 but it was either 3:20 or 5 and since they ARE showing Fantasmic this night, I wanted to make sure we were out the restaurant in enough time to get a good seat.
We have the Backstage Safari scheduled for the morning. :woohoo: Itís a 3 hour tour (a 3 hour tourÖ.. :rolleyes1 sorry I always get the Gilliganís Island song stuck in my head when I say that), mostly walking, mostly outside. And you canít take any kind of pictures in any of the backstage areas. Iím hoping that there are some non-backstage areas where I will be able to take pictures of some really cool stuff. AK supposedly has evening EMH this day. We have never been there for EMH and I really want to experience it so I hope this is correct. EMH would end at 8am and we have a dinner ressie at T-Rex for 9pm.
Breakfast at Ohana (my most favorite breakfast in the whole wide world even though you have to wait for-freakiní-ever to get a table even when you have a reservation. I think the whole character thing throws everyone off because the people with kids wait at the table long after they are done eating to make sure they meet all of the characters and participate in the little parade thing. Our reservation is at 9am but I might look into changing that to 9:30am. I didnít make any ressies for dinner but we will probably go back to the hotel for a couple of hours around 4:30 or 5. Maybe grab dinner at POP and then we head back to MK for MNSSHP. We are definitely dressing up for this one!
So thatís what I have so far. Our flight leaves Orlando on Sunday 11/1 at 11:50am and we should arrive back in CT around 2:30pm. But who really cares about that part.
Since we will be there during the F & W Festival again, I tried to keep our days at Epcot ďavailableĒ so that we can eat a lot but still make it to our ADRs. One person on another thread suggested eating breakfast only during the F & W Festival and just eating around the world for the rest of the day.
But I like to have a plan (in case you didnít notice) so even if we donít make it to our dinner reservations, at least they are there if we need them.
hello i just found your PTR!! I am so sorry for the news about your job:( thats horrible this economy is so bad right now!! but at least you can de stress at disney:) I love your plans so far-- i see you are trying kona cafe for the first time-- we are too:) i gotta try that tonga toast:) i cant wait to read more!!
:wave2: I just found your PTR, I'm so sorry to hear about your job. I love your itinerary so far... Don't worry i love to plan too, I need to feel organized at all times. We are trying the Kona Cafe in exactly two days!!:woohoo:
I'm glad I'm not the only one dying to try Tonga Toast! Raecheal, enjoy your trip and let us know how Kona Cafe is!
Look at How Terrible I am at Booking Airfare
We are flying Southwest for the first time ever. Every plane I have ever been on has been Delta. Of course, I've only ever flown to and from Florida....so I'm still a newbie when it comes to flying. And I just have to say that I really suck at booking airfare.
On all of our previous trips, I booked everything all at once. And I was paying butt-loads of money for our airfare. We've flown with layovers a couple of times to make the prices cheaper but that was just a huge PITA. It was hectic, and it turned a 3 hour trip into a 6 hour trip.
So last year, I was reading on the DIS about some people that got these amazing deals on airfare. I asked how they got them, and most people told me the usual: Sign up for all of the websites, emails and miles cards you can. A few people even told me "wait as long as you can to book as they usually have last minute deals."
Obsessive Compulsive Planner says No Way, Jose!
So I waited for as long as I possibly could and I finally booked our airfare a couple of a weeks ago. No layovers…and I get to leave out of CT instead of driving to NY (which would not be a good way to start or end my vacation). I booked two tickets roundtrip for about $500.
This past weekend, I got an email from Southwest Airlines, advertising a BOGO sale. Yes, you read that correctly….buy one roundtrip ticket, get one free. :badpc:
Did I mention that the airfare I already purchased is NON REFUNDABLE?
Seriously, I’m horrible at this. Next time, we drive. At least I know that I will never miss out on a fantastic gasoline deal. :sad2:
I was just reading on another thread this morning that several people checked their flights randomly out of boredom, to find that their flight times have been changed. Some minor changes, a few drastic changes…I was afraid to check the Southwest website but I went on just a few minutes ago and after wandering around the website like a little lost duck for about 10 minutes, I finally found what I wanted and verified that our flights have not changed….so far.
You know, this is completely off topic, but I realized last night that this will be the first trip in 3 years that we have not had breakfast at Crystal Palace. I wonder if I’ll miss it? We put the reservation at Kona in it’s place. I hope that Tonga Toast is worth it.
PS – I changed two of my ADRs today. :rolleyes1
I’m glad I didn’t fill in all of that info in the Passporter yet.
I changed our 6pm dinner reservation at 9 Dragons to a 6:15pm reservation at Tutto Italia (Yay! I win!), and I changed our 9am reservation at Ohana to 9:30am. Nothing drastic but so much for written in stone, right? With Ohana, I figured that there is usually a long line to check in. If you get there right on time, then you have to wait in line and you end up checking in about 15-20 minutes late. Which means you getting a table is delayed 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer. So I changed the reservation to 9:30, thinking it will be easier for us to get there at 9am (to stand in line for check in) as opposed to getting there are 8:30am to check in.
Did I confuse you? :confused: Sorry.
Hopefully we will actually make it to our ADRs on time this year. :rolleyes:
everything looks good. i can't wait to book air. I like having everything paid and set about 3 months before the trip. I wait til the prices are good and book air. Usually it goes down a bit more after I book...but I think I'd rather have peace of mind...
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