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Sunday, November 17, 2013

VIP Blues

My husband and I have had a Disney World VIP Main Entrance Pass for years and have always felt privileged and grateful for free entrance into all the parks... until this year. Two weeks ago, I tried to take daughter, son-in-law and baby into Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival. At the gate, I was told our pass, which normally expires in December, had been "voided" months ago and that we should have had it replaced with a new blue pass. This was the first I had heard of any such thing. The man who told us this said he didn't know whether Guest Services could help, but we could try. 
Off to that line, a dozen or so long. A young man in a plaid vest asked what we needed help with, and I told him. He said Guest Services had nothing to do with main entrance passes, and I should call "Main Entrance Pass Information." He gave me a slip of paper with the phone number on it.  The young lady there asked for our home address and said she could find no record. I told her the pass came to us through Florida Hospital. She asked for its address. Nothing. Finally, she put me on hold and consulted a superior. Guess what: their office didn't handle our type of pass at all, and I  should call Community Relations. 
That number yielded a long recorded list of possibilities, none of which involved passes. I pressed O to speak to a representative. Another recording, and, guess what: this office is not open on Saturdays. So, the man at the gate didn't know what Guest Services does, Guest Services didn't know what Pass Information does, and Pass Information doesn't know that Community Relations is closed on Saturday. I waylaid another young man in a vest and asked to speak to someone with some authority. He insisted too that Guest Services couldn't do anything for me. He suggested that we go ahead and buy tickets in the hope that we might be reimbursed after Monday. Uh huh. I did not ask out loud "Just how stupid do you think I am?"
All righty, then, WDW, you successfully kept out three adults who were ready to splurge on food and drink. We took our dinner money to Steak 'n' Shake and wore paper hats and posted FB photos and got free refills on our sodas. The Oktoberfest Burger was yummy, and the staff oohed and aahed over the baby. The money I might have spent on creme brulee, I used to give our waitress a big tip. She seemed to have a better grasp of what it takes to make a person feel like a VIP.
The words above are an expanded (and slightly more smart aleck) version of the email I sent to WDW guest relations. The automatic "yourmessageisveryimportanttouswe'llgetbacktoyousoon" email came right away. That was Nov. 4. Today is Nov. 17. I'm still a Person, I suppose, but not Very Important. More like Virtually Ignored.