Planning, budgeting, and traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Central Florida can be an exciting, tedious, and lengthy process, especially for international visitors. Unfortunately, for one family of four, their dream vacation to The World’s Most Magical Celebration ended in tears, stress, and a bill for £2,600 (approx. $3,150).
The Walt Disney World Resort welcomes millions of Guests each year. Even after the devastating effects of the global pandemic, the Florida Disney Resort, as well as Universal Orlando Resort and the state in general, is posting record visitor and tourism numbers. As capacity shrinks and the need for Park Pass reservations remain mandatory, visiting Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes precise planning and execution, even with the Resort-wide Park Hopper ticket option.
Every Disney Park within the Resort has seen massive crowds, long wait times for their attraction portfolio, and droves of Guests at rope drop, with every Park at some point selling out of Park Passes. After international travel restarted, Guests from all over the world once again descended on Orlando’s Walt Disney World.
One family traveling from the United Kingdom had their dream holiday tainted with disappointment and upset after an airline blunder caused them to miss their flight and fork out thousands for an alternative.
One report revealed that the Miller family had arrived at Birmingham airport excited to begin their dream family vacation, only for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to block them from boarding the plane to Orlando, Florida, and their trip to Walt Disney World. The airline had booked the family onto a returning flight and not an outbound flight, going on to insist there was no way for the Millers to board the plane.
KLM claimed that the booking error had not been registered on the system thus meaning that the Miller family was not informed prior to arriving at the airport. The blunder led to dad Sheldon Miller forking out £2,600 for a different flight with Aer Lingus, in addition to an overnight hotel. The father of two told Birmingham Live (via The Sun):
“After queueing for an hour we got to the check in desk and they told us we weren’t booked in to fly out but we were booked in to fly back and there was no way we would be able to board.
“At that point, our seven-year-old daughter burst into tears and our 13-year-old son wasn’t best pleased either, neither were we.
“We then spent three hours trying to speak to someone at KLM only to be told finally by a call centre rep we had to sort it out through social media as they couldn’t do it.
“I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life when it comes to business.”
It was not easy on the return journey either as the family’s woes continued, leaving them traveling via Virgin Atlantic from Orlando to London Heathrow to Amsterdam, and finally to Birmingham.
The Miller family had previously been scheduled to depart the UK on April 3, 2022, instead of May 30, 2022, however, due to an illness in the family, they decided to reschedule the trip. Mr. Miller said:
“No one has stepped up in any way. The whole experience felt like one massive pass the parcel, with no one at KLM remotely interested in our customer issue, let alone willing to take responsibility for it.
“We still not have had any communication from KLM about the refund of our Aer Lingus flight and airport hotel stay.”
While a trip to Disney World is a relatively magical experience, The Walt Disney Company’s Parks division has been marred with criticism lately through their introduction of the FastPass+ replacement — Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane — and their ever-increasing prices throughout food and merchandise.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for entertainment either as the Happily Ever After Cinderella Castle fireworks successor, Disney Enchantment, received a lukewarm reception. EPCOT’s Harmonious at World Showcase Lagoon fared slightly better but it would be Disney KiteTails at Animal Kingdom that would become the Disney Resort’s viral sensation.
Even so, Guests are still flocking to Lake Buena Vista for their own Disney experience. The Resort is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Have you ever had any major travel ordeals when venturing to Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments down below!
Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs.