Losing our jobs... but still went to Disney! A Halloween 2009 TR - FINAL Update 3/1

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Simba22, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Here's the links to the individual updates:

    PTR:
    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

    Here’s 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 “Strategic Review Process.” 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 CEO’s 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 “Successful Conclusion to our Strategic Review.”

    Successful for whom?

    Let me illustrate some minor details for you. If the new company bought our company in it’s 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 good…I guess. Except I’m 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 increase…and 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.

    Don’t 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 it’s already paid off. For another, it may be a long while before we get to go again.

    But I digress….is this a pre-trippie or what? I don’t want to be depressed… or depressing for that matter. So off we go into the juicy details.

    OK so here is the cast. Be prepared, it’s long and you may get confused.

    Me – Ali. Obsessive compulsive Disney planner and house cleaner. I hate cleaning. But it’s 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 don’t get jack crap done. Oh and I’m 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 I’m terrified of spiders and I just found one on my printer and now I feel them crawling all over me and I’m totally freakin out.

    DBF – (cough cough someone who shall remain nameless cough cough) - Lumar (we’ll call him Poopy Head, I mean Lu, for short). He’s 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 girlfriend’s park tickets. But apparently, you don’t 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 don’t 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
    SO

    MUCH

    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 ADR’s by 6:15am and back in la-la land by 6:25am. I got all of the ADR’s I wanted although I have to be honest, we don’t eat at any of the uber popular places….

    Next up: Our schedule that is 100% absitively, posolutely, set in STONE!
     
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  3. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    Why hello stranger!

    I am in.....again. HA:thumbsup2
     
  4. lacrosse_lady72

    lacrosse_lady72 I

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    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!
     
  5. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Jordy!! :love: I was thinking about you last night when I was writing my first installment. I seriously actually typed out "hopefully i will have good trip mojo" and then i decided i didn't want to be a TR thief lol!! Glad you're here! I'm going to swing by you PTR today!

    OMG I heart Eric! Sunday's episode was so weird! I watched it again last night...that part when Andy came in and started screaming at Lafayette was so heartbreaking! But when Andy turned into Eric, that was just bizarre.... LOL I can't wait til Sunday!
     
  6. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  7. lacrosse_lady72

    lacrosse_lady72 I

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    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 :)
     
  8. ILMICKEY

    ILMICKEY DIS Veteran

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    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.

    Poor Girl!

    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:
     
  9. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    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.
     
  10. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Nikki! :hug: I was thinking about you when I was starting to write this! I was wondering how things were going for you. I want to try and get my certification before The End arrives, as the company is still approving tuition reimbursement...the problem is that I don't have the $1000 to pay for it up front. So we'll see what happens. Don't these people know that I live through credit?! GOSH.

    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.

    Hello and welcome! I'm not sure if I'm actually sorry about the company closing or not. I mostly feel bad that there are people that have been here for 20 years and this is all they know. We have people here that are in their 60s and have to work...what are they going to do, ya know? I know that things might be rough for a while, but at least I'm still at a point in life where I can bounce back. Thanks for tagging along!
     
  11. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    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, it’s 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 don’t 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 Passporter…

    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 didn’t screw something up. At that point, I was finally able to get rid of some of the junk paper that I didn’t really need (the 25 pages that Disney sent me to confirm and reconfirm my reservations….)

    Based on past experiences, I am 99% positive that SOMETHING will change. But I'm going to try my darndest!

    Soooo…. Our flight to Orlando leaves Hartford, CT at 3:05pm on Friday 10/23 (please don’t 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:
    Saturday 10/24
    Epcot
    Dinner reservation at 9 Dragons at 6pm - although I would much rather try the new Italian place. I’m trying to convince Lumar to let me change our reservation. I like 9 Dragons but I want to try new places!

    Sunday 10/25
    DHS
    Dinner at Brown Derby at 6:25pm. We’ve never been to Brown Derby before so I’m 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.

    Monday 10/26
    MK
    Breakfast at Kona Café at 9:20am. This is another new place and I am super-dee-duper excited to try Tonga Toast. I really hope it doesn’t 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.

    Tuesday 10/27
    AK
    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 it’s off to MNSSHP! We haven’t decided if we are dressing up for this one or not.

    Wednesday 10/28
    Epcot
    We have an ADR for dinner at San Angel Inn at 6:30pm. Again, I’ve 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 I’ll let it stay as is. And it is REALLY pretty inside. Supposedly there are evening EMH.

    Thursday 10/29
    DHS
    Lunch/Dinner at Mama Melrose’s at 3:20pm. I wanted something later…like 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.

    Friday 10/30
    AK
    We have the Backstage Safari scheduled for the morning. :woohoo: It’s a 3 hour tour (a 3 hour tour….. :rolleyes1 sorry I always get the Gilligan’s Island song stuck in my head when I say that), mostly walking, mostly outside. And you can’t take any kind of pictures in any of the backstage areas. I’m 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.


    Saturday 10/31
    MK
    Breakfast at Ohana (my most favorite breakfast in the whole wide world even though you have to wait for-freakin’-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 didn’t 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 that’s 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 “available” 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 didn’t notice) so even if we don’t make it to our dinner reservations, at least they are there if we need them.
     
  12. deslynnpatterson

    deslynnpatterson we will be married for 5 years:) and will be spend

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    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!!
     
  13. Raecheal

    Raecheal DIS Veteran

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    :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 in...popcorn::
     
  14. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Don't feel bad! :hug: At first I was a little worried but I just think back to all of the days where they made us drive here in 3 feet of snow, and all of the days when I was ready to leave before I even started. I just can't help but feel like this is what I asked for, and now I'm getting it. We'll be OK! Everything happens for a reason! At least, that's what I believe.

    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!
     
  15. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    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:
     
  16. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    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...
     
  17. lacrosse_lady72

    lacrosse_lady72 I

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    That kind of sounds like me, another OCP.

    I NEED to book my airfare before it's time to really plan out my ADRs also but it's more of a big deal since it takes longer to get to FL from the west coast.

    But lordy, do I know how a pain in the rear airlines can be. I wrote about my crazy experiences in my PTR and I hate airlines... but what am I going to do? It's not like I'm going to drive 3,000 miles :rotfl:
     
  18. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Good afternoon everyone! Just popping in to say hello!

    I started my new position today (within the same company) and so far it is pretty amazing! :woohoo: I'm getting the same money to do a much easier, less stressful job!

    80 days to go (not counting today since it's more than half over!) :banana:

    Ooh I forgot to ask - anyone know where I can buy good quality luggage for a good price? Even Walmart and Target want $60 - $70 for suitcase! I just need one big one since I broke mine last year :rolleyes1
     
  19. lacrosse_lady72

    lacrosse_lady72 I

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    Do you have any good Samsonite outlet stores around you? Or any luggage company for that matter?
     
  20. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    You know, I really don't know! :rotfl2:

    We do have 2 outlet malls around...maybe I'll check to see if they have luggage stores there...

    Thanks for the idea! Here I am searching on ebay.... :confused3

    In my defense, it's Monday, I'm tired (because I stayed up to watch the 11:30pm showing of TrueBlood) and I still have half an hour to go. Then I get to go home and figure out what the heck to make for dinner. I hate making dinner. I wish I go out to eat every night. Or at least order in. :rolleyes:

    ETA:
    :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

    OMG I sooooo live in Connecticut!

    These are 3 of the 4 "luggage" stores at the outlet malls:

    Coach
    Dooney & Bourke
    Kate Spade

    The fourth is a Samsonite store so maybe I'll check that out this weekend.
     
  21. lacrosse_lady72

    lacrosse_lady72 I

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    :rotfl: ... well, if you wanted to spend MORE, this would be a good place to go. :laughing:

    Another thing I could think of if your local outdoor store, idk if you have a REI around... they have expensive stuff but they also have very decent and durable REI brand stuff.
     

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