Going on a Disney vacation is EXPENSIVE. As in, “just getting into the park” can be well over $100 per person per day. So people look for discounts as much as they can.
Case in point, if you buy Disney gift cards at wholesale clubs such as Sam’s Club or BJ’s, you can save a little bit of money; about 5% or so, if you’re a member. $5 off $100 in gift cards isn’t much, but if you plan on spending several thousand dollars on your vacation and buying enough gift cards to cover it, you can save a few hundred dollars.
Anyway, Andie Coston, who goes by @aofthecoast on TikTok, recently explained the near-disaster that happened when they were planning a visit to Walt Disney World. She started by explaining that the big family trip was originally scheduled for 2020, but, of course, they had to wait because of the pandemic
“We finally planned it for this Christmas,” Andie explained in her December 17th TikTok video. “All 16 of my family members were going. To save some money, my parents bought 10k of Disney gift cards to purchase our tickets and restaurant reservations.”
“I went home this weekend [Note: she lives 8 hours away], and they were having problems loading the gift cards correctly and purchasing the tickets,” she continued. The video showed all the $100 gift cards her parents had bought – a pile well over 2 inches tall. The video then showed a big, BIG problem. The gift cards were all for the Disney+ streaming service. They wouldn’t be able to use those to buy park tickets.
From Disney Plus’ terms. First line:
Purchase, use or acceptance of this gift card constitutes acceptance of the following terms: This card is redeemable solely for monthly subscriptions purchased directly from Disney+ on DisneyPlus.com.
Despite that, Andie’s initial main concern was “getting the money in the right form.” Read: being able to switch the gift cards from being legal tender for Disney+ subscription service to something that would be accepted at the parks.
“We leave in 6 days and the parks are selling out of tickets because it’s Christmas,” she said. “My mom is distraught, Dad frustrated, and the kids worried we won’t get into Disney. Anyone know of someone who can help?!”
Here’s the video:
Do I have a story for you! PLEASE HELP! Note that the purchaser is not familiar with Disney Plus and did not know the difference! Honest mistake. It is not about the funding of the trip. It is about finding someone who can help us transfer the money into the correct gift card so we can make it to Disney! @Disney Parks @Disney+ @Disney #ohno #fail #disney #disneyworld #disneyplus #disneyfail #help
Of course, the video went viral, and people had many questions. So Andi cleared things up a little while later:
- It wasn’t a scam; her parents were both 78 years old and don’t use streaming services. They never noticed the difference between the Disney+ and regular Disney gift cards.
- They bought the cards at Sam’s Club (she didn’t know why someone let them buy that many gift cards for a streaming service. However she mentioned in a later update that they bought them online & there are no limits to gift cards purchased online)
- The family was trying to contact people to try to get this fixed
- This trip would be their one shot to take their kids to Disney
By the next morning (Monday the 18th), Andie’s video had gone viral, which was apparently not something she was prepared for (she’s obviously unaware of the hoards of Disney fans out there who eat stuff like this up LOL). She had even more questions that she felt the need to answer:
- Why did she and those of her generation “let” their parents by the cards (because Andie is a social worker and knows her parents are cognitively fine. It was just a matter of their not being aware of streaming services and the difference between Disney gift cards and Disney+ gift cards. Save for that misunderstanding [and not realizing something like that misunderstanding even happened], there was no need for anyone to step in; they’re independent adults)
- Several respondents’ parents experienced the same thing. Or they themselves did. Just not $10,000 worth 😉
Update: My parents arent the only ones.
You may be wondering, why they couldn’t just return the tickets to Sam’s Club and trade them in for regular Disney gift cards? Because they had scratched off the numbers and put them onto Disney’s website (so they could combine the amounts in order to use them to buy tickets, pay for meals, etc.). Once the numbers were scratched off, they were non-returnable.
Fast forward a little and by the end of Monday, Andie was still getting comment after comment. So she decided to shut off comments. However she did hear from a friend of hers, as well as some Disney workers and former Disney workers who also agreed this sort of thing has happened many times before, and they’d be able to work it all out in the end.
Finally, there was some good news – Disney had contacted Andie’s parents and said they were turning the $10K of Disney streaming gift cards into $10K worth of Disney Parks gift cards.
So, all’s well that ends well, and I guess Andie’s family will be able to enjoy their Disney vacation in a few days (well, as much as they can during the resort’s busiest time of the year). Good for Disney for being willing to work with them. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s good for TikTok, which allowed the post to go viral and help give it attention to the right ears.
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