Day 5, Wednesday, May 3rd. Our last day (sad face). I cant believe this is the last day of our trip. The whole thing went by too quickly! We have had an amazing time so far and there is not one thing I’d change. Well, there is one thing… I would not have rented the car from Budget. What a nightmare!
We overslept today. Yikes! I thought I hit snooze, but I think I turned off the alarm. We had plans to get to Magic Kingdom bright and early for an 8:15am dining reservation. Will we make it? Well, I woke up at 7. Jumped out of bed. Woke up my daughter and I hopped in the shower. I cant go without one – my hair is crazy enough when I wash it, but after sleeping on it all night – its pretty scary! So I took a super fast shower. When I got out my daughter was almost ready. We packed the rest of our stuff, did a walk through of the room to make sure we didnt forget anything and then headed out! We had a hard time pulling all the suitcases down to the RAC (Resort Airline Check-in or maybe its Remote Airline Check-in). Regardless, we had our 2 big bags, a rolling carryon bag and 2 stuffed backpacks. We made it! There was no line. This is a fantastic service. It’s like checking in at the airport, and supposedly they use the same computer system as the airlines themselves. They weigh your luggage, and put the sticker thing on. They check your ID, then print out boarding passes, adhere the luggage claim sticker on the back and give it to you. Whole process took maybe 10 minutes max.
Got out to the car about 7:40am. Threw our carry-on and the backpacks into the back seat. The trunk was still wet. Hopped in the car and guess what – it wont start! I thought maybe I left the lights on? Or maybe an interior light? The lights were set to auto, none of the interior lights were on. Uh oh! Lindsey, being her charming self convinced the security guy to come jump start the car for us. He came quick, but the car wouldn’t start with the normal jumper cables. He had another little thing that he used. Eventually the car did start. He said the battery was DEAD! But he said once we drive for a little bit it should charge enough to charge it back up. We had about a 20 minute drive to Magic Kingdom, and the charging gauge showed it was charging, so I felt like we’d be ok. The car still stunk – now in the back of my mind Im thinking the car had an electrical problem. I mean, I kind of thought that yesterday, too.. We made it to the TTC and parked. Crossed my fingers that that would be the last issue..
We were running pretty late for our reservation, and to be honest, I doubted we would make it. We parked at 8:10am. I knew they would hold the reservation for 15 minutes, so if we ran!!! We have 20 minutes to get to the restaurant. The Park doesn’t open until 9, so hopefully there wont be too many people getting there early… We walk over to security and there are a ton of people! Oh no. Its 8:20 by the time we get through security. Start heading up to the monorail – its not running yet. No bus either, we have to take the big slow boat.
That sealed our fate – no early breakfast for us. I called Disney Dining and told them what has happened, and that there is no way we’ll make it. She said they would hold it until 9am. Ok – we can make that! We got on the boat. It took a long time for them to load everyone. Headed over to MK, got off, went through the long entrance lines and into the park. They let EVERYONE in an hour prior to opening, but they can only go up to the hub area. People with dining reservations go to the left side of the hub and are let in. So that’s why there were so many people there so early! We checked in with the lady at the dining reservation entrance area and she let us in. By now it was already 8:45. I called and cancelled the dining reservation. I didnt want to waste this early arrival eating. Instead we got in line for 7 dwarfs. I was sad that we missed our reservation, but that’s life.. They cancelled it for us no problem.
We ended up in line for the ride about 10 minutes before the park opened. We pretty much walked on the ride. It is such an adorable ride! I love it. We were able to enjoy the lower crowd levels for a little while. We went over to ride Dumbo after this. Walked on. That whole area of the park was pretty empty. We had about 10 minutes until our fast pass for 7 dwarfs came up.
Yes, we were riding it again! So we got a little breakfast at Gastons Tavern. We got a chocolate croissant and a huge gooey cinnamon roll. Both were delicious! We gobbled them up! Rode 7 Dwarfs again. Then walked through Fantasyland to take a few more pictures of Its a Small World and Peter Pan. Rode Haunted Mansion, which had a 10 minute wait. Not bad!
One of my daughters friends Corey is here at Magic Kingdom today! What? Yeah! So we went up to Main Street to see them. They had fun chatting. He was there with his wife, daughter and his wife’s parents. We chatted a bit. It made Lindsey so happy to see him!
They took some photos and then we let them on their way. They just arrived and were anxious to start their vacation. From there we went to our Fast Pass for Space Mountain. Of course we took a bunch of photos along the way. The park was still not super packed, so that was nice. In fact it was predicted to be a 3/10 day at Magic Kingdom today. I wish I had more confidence in the car, I would have stayed longer in the park. But it was good that I had second thoughts – more later on that whole fiasco!
Off to Space Mountain. We love that ride! No wait. Fast Pass line went quick! After this it was time for our Peter Pan Fast Pass. I was afraid it would make my daughter sad, but she loved it. I know she left a piece of her heart here when she finished her college program and moved back home. I am glad that we were able to go back together. We went to play a little more of our Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom game, grab a few more pressed pennies and then head to Liberty Tree for lunch. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our table. We sat in the kids area and colored 🙂
We got our table and our server didn’t come for a long time. I was worried that this would be a really long meal. I was worried about the car, and couldn’t really relax. I was fine as long as we were doing something, but as soon as we sat down I just started worrying about it. When the server finally came over, I explained that we were kind of in a hurry. He was johnny on the spot after that. Brought the food out quickly and everything! I really appreciated it. We didnt eat all our lunch. I think I was still full from the cinnamon roll, and it was hot. But anyway, we mentioned that we didnt eat all our food hoping to have room for dessert, but we were both full. He said to my daughter – its your birthday – you have to have dessert! I am going to buy you dessert – which one did you want? So she got the Ooey Gooey whatever it was called. That was so sweet of him!!! We left him a big tip and headed out. It was about 2:30. I really was nervous about the car. I wish we had not rented it. A big grey cloud of worry was following me on this last day of this wonderful trip!
Moving on .. I wanted to get a few snacks / gifts for people so we stopped at the Emporium and shopped a bit. It was early in the day and the store was not crowded, which was nice. They had a Disney World backpack you could get for $20 – so I got one. Mainly because our other bags were full and I didn’t know where we would be putting this stuff that I was buying! My daughter got a few things, too! After this we left. We were sad to leave. Wish we had just a couple more days..
Now on to the Curse of Camaro fun. Some background – back in the 80s I had a Camaro IROC. I bought it brand new. It was an amazing car, when it ran. It was in the shop about half the time I owned it. Every time I turned around it had another problem. It was the most frustrating car I ever owned, and I have had some crappy cars. This car also has the curse, I think. We walked out to the car, and Lucille the Seal was in the window waiting for us! So cute! This could have really been an amazing car, if it wasn’t for the Camaro Curse.
Opened the car and put our stuff in the back seat. Once again it would not start. Oh no!! So we got out, walked back over to the TTC area where the security building was. The guy was super nice – we explained our dilemma, and told him where we were parked. He said he would send someone right over to jump start us. He said it would be just a few minutes. Ok, great! So we hurried back to the car. I figured I should pop the hood to make it easier for him to see us. Now the door wont open. What?? The keyfob doesn’t seem to do anything. But look – the windshield wipers are going – super slow motion. It is not raining, it was not raining today at all – no way I had the wipers on. Weird! I wanted to cry, but that would not have helped us!
I called Budget Roadside Service. This car has Onstar – so I think they can open the car remotely. Nope! Budget doesn’t pay for that service. I was on hold for about 20 minutes. Eventually the guy helped me get the car open. There is a key hidden in the keyfob thing – then you have to take the door handle apart to get to the area where you can actually use the little trick key. I got the car open. Yay! Got the hood open, but the car did still not start. The Disney guy had not come yet, so I asked the Budget Roadside guy to send someone out. I told him about the smell, and that I think the car has an electrical problem. He said he would send someone who could determine what was wrong, but it would be about an hour. I told him to please rush it if possible, that we had a flight to catch. Then I explained that I didnt think I could stop the car once it gets jumped to get gas. I knew we used half a tank of gas – what should we do? He said he would note our account so that we were not charged the fuel surcharge. That was nice of him!! He was trying to be helpful. I told him I had AAA and also Geico roadside service, and I could call them if the guy was only going to jumpstart us. He said the guy that he is sending would evaluate the car and if he felt it was an electrical problem, or something dangerous that they would arrange to bring us another car.
So we waited, and waited. No one came. My daughter walked back up to the TTC Security bldg, got us some water and asked again for help. The guy was surprised that no one came yet – called on the radio again. She walked back to the car. We waited and waited. It was 4:00 and no sign of any help. I called Budget again. I got a much less helpful guy this time. I wanted to know if we could leave the car there and take a taxi to the airport. The guy said that we could do that, but that we would be responsible for any and all charges/damages to the car until it was returned. He said it would be best if I drove it back. Of course, I would love to do that, but it wont start! He was really no help. I asked what would happen if they couldn’t jumpstart the car. I didnt buy the maintenance or repair insurance, so it would be up to me to get the car back. If I left the car there and the tow company did something to the car I would be liable. I asked when they would send someone to get the car. He had no idea. There is no policy regarding that. So if they leave the car there and Disney tows it, then I have to pay the impound? Yes! If anything happens to the car before it gets to them – then it is my responsibility. If the ultimate problem is an electrical problem and not just the battery being low – who is responsible? He doesn’t know.Why is it my responsibility that the car has a bad battery? What control over the battery life do I have? It’s their policy – when the car is in my control everything that happens is my responsibility because I didn’t buy the extra roadside coverage. I understand that if i do something to cause the damage, then yes, I am responsible – but if they give me a car with mechanical issues, that should not be my fault. I was getting nowhere with this guy! Finally I decided if I get that car started, no matter what happens I am going to drive it to the airport! If we miss our flight, i’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
I knew that I could still technically make it to the airport as long as we left by 5pm. Its about a 30 – 45 minute drive. Our flight was not leaving until 7. I wasn’t sure how long the whole car return / airport monorail thing / security part would take but I figured at least an hour. So if we left at 5, we should be at the gate by 6:45. Cutting it close, but we could do it.
Finally at about 4:30 the guy that Budget sent arrives. He tries to jump the car. Nothing. He said the battery is bad! He connects the battery to his truck battery, revs his engine for a while and we finally get enough charge to start the car. He said not to turn it off or it wont start again. It needs a new battery. He smelled the smell and said he also thought it was an electrical burning smell. Whatever was ‘burning’ was discharging the battery, but didn’t seem to be making anything else not work. The car was running rough, but it was running. As we were finishing up the Disney guy comes. I asked him what took so long – he said he came by twice. Liar! I was standing there the WHOLE time – no one came by. Well, two cars went by – Disney guests. Oh well – the car is running! I wanted to head directly to the airport! At 4:50pm we were heading out of the TTC parking lot. Waze was predicting that we would get to the airport at 5:35. Ok, not bad! Let’s go! We did end up hitting some unexpected traffic, but got to the car return area at 5:45. I explained to the guy at the Budget car return what was going on, that we were told we would not have to pay for the gas, and that he should probably take the car directly to whoever will be fixing it – if he turns it off, he will need to jump it. I gave him all the door handle parts and we were on our way. I hope they are able to fix the Camaro and get him back on the road!
We got through security, thanks to TSA Precheck in like 5 minutes. It was awesome. The normal line
had hundreds of people! Our line had 3 people. We were at the gate in plenty of time! We got there about 6:10. The flight was going to start loading at 6:35. So we had time to change clothes, clean up a bit and grab something to eat! I was still so stressed out – I was relieved that we made it, but I almost felt like I got a little heat stroke or something sitting in the parking lot for so long. I felt a little sick to my stomach. Mixture of extreme stress, sitting in the 90 degree sun for 2 hours, who knows! I had some water and tried to relax. We took our dramamine, put on our seabands and waited for them to start boarding. We were in row 21, so we were in the first group to board (after the parents with small children and the people who bought the extra space seats). Worked out well Put our carry-ons in the compartments, and sat down. We had a nice, quiet guy sitting with us.
Thankfully, we had an uneventful flight home. We slept a little, watched some tv, movies, listened to music, etc. Jet Blue is really a nice airline. I enjoyed the flight. They bring you snacks and drinks and if you want more, you just go to the rear galley and grab what you want. We landed early in LAX. My son came to pick us up. It was good to see him. Our luggage came out pretty fast and we headed home! Today was 18,871 steps. I think I should be able to add a few thousands for all the sweat due to the stress!
Possible safety issue parking at TTC. There are no security vehicles driving around. There are no emergency phones around. No signs with numbers to call if there is an emergency. There is no way to get help once you are out there in the lot. I feel like I may have gotten a touch of heat stroke out there .. waiting! It was only maybe 90 outside, what happens in the middle of August when its 110 and 100% humidity. Someone could get really sick sitting out there waiting for help. If the Disney guys are not going to come help you, they should tell you that so you dont sit out there in your car for hours, melting, waiting. I think that is what bugs me. They acted like they would be right out.. If I knew it would take 2 hours I would have found another solution. They acted like it would be minutes before someone would come. I understand they are not responsible to help people, but if they say they are going to help you – then they should really help you.
And as far as Budget goes. They charged me $90 for the gas, and they charged me $60 for the jump. Highway robbery! I will be fighting with them to reverse those charges. If they don’t stand by their word not to charge me for the gas, that will be the last time we use Budget. Not only did they give me a car with multiple issues, now they are charging me $150 extra for the joy of driving their crappy car! This whole ordeal has been way too stressful. I will just use Lyft or Uber next time I want to go somewhere and not use Disney transportation.