As I've outlined with my series of posts, our Disney World trip last November was an incredible experience. It was made more so this way because of all the plans that my wife put into the trip. She spent hours and hours and it definitely paid off. However, on a week long trip, it's inevitable that you'll have issues that no amount of planning could have avoided. As much as they try to prevent them, Disney World problems exist.
Here are a couple of things that threw us for a loop and how we responded to them.
The Late Snack Delivery
I'm a frugal guy. I know how expensive Disney World is for just about everything. That said, we looked at various ways to save money while we were there. One money saver was trying to get a good deal on all the snacks I knew that we'd need.
We had just recently joined Amazon Prime. I looked into what they could offer. It urns out that as Prime members, we have access to the Amazon Pantry. This is a service where you can order lots of things like snacks and water. You do pay a nominal shipping fee, but it's charged by the box, not by the item. You also don't get 2-day shipping, but it is normally pretty quick nonetheless.
We decided to use this. We even called Disney to find out the specifics about whether our hotel would handle this. It turns out it's a pretty common thing. Theygave us the details we needed. We also got a tip that we can have the shipment show up before we arrived.
Our arrival was on a Saturday, and when we placed the order, it was set for a Thursday delivery. Perfect, right?
When Wednesday morning rolled around, I figured it was a bit odd that it was still preparing for shipment. Since it was our first time with Prime, I assumed it was OK. After all, it's Amazon, right?
Amazon Isn't Immune To Problems
Well, it turns out that Amazon had problems too!
Our shipment went out but with a new arrival date of the following Tuesday. Yikes
We were shocked and very disappointed. After all, the stuff arriving that late meant that we would have several days without the snacks and water, and we'd have way too much of it given that we'd have a few days less than planned to use it. Since it'd already shipped, we couldn't even cancel the order.
We ended up dealing with the issue with a two step approach
My wife spoke to someone at Amazon and explained the situation.
They explained that there had been a glitch in the Pantry system, and the problem that we had experienced was pretty widespread. Basically anybody that used the system over the day or two period that we had was going to see delays. There was no way they could re-ship the items to arrive sooner, and of course they couldn't cancel it. But, they did refund the full order amount, provide an additional $5 credit, and they had no problem with us keeping the order. So, essentially we got the entire order for free. Plus $5!
We doubled up.
My wife was part of a number of Facebook groups where people talked about the trip and shared ideas. One thing that she'd found was a local grocer that would deliver to your hotel. We had looked into them prior to Amazon but they were more expensive, so we went with Amazon instead. After we realized we'd be a few days with no snacks, we revisited them. We ended up placing an order, and even had a code for free delivery, which was normally around $10 or so on top of the higher price.
In the end we ended up with a ton of snacks and water. We ended up taking a lot of the snacks home (we still have a few pouches of Goldfish crackers, some applesauce pouches, and some other odds and ends), and left the remaining bottled water in the hallway before checkout.
About That Free Backpack
When we were packing for the trip, we realized that we would need something to carry stuff around to the parks for snacks, things to wipe off with, autograph books, and other various stuff. We found a backpack that my wife had received for free, and I was assigned the task of wearing it around the parks.
For the first couple of days, all went well and there were no issues. On the third day, after we got back to the room, I was changing my shirt, and my wife pointed out that I had some weird marks. I looked in the mirror and saw that it looked like a rash on my right shoulder and under my armpit, in the area where the backpack was.
Strange. But it didn't hurt or bother me in any way so I kind of forgot about it.
The following day I went about my business and wore the backpack again.
This time when I got back to the hotel room and changed my shirt, I knew there was trouble. The two or three small areas had turned into five or six big areas. And now they were rubbed raw.
Then they started to hurt.
Then the blisters started to form.
And that's when it got really painful.
Many Days Left And I Was Hurting
The big problem wasn't that we still had a few days left. For that, it was no big deal not to wear the backpack. I could just start carrying it around. I also started thinking that maybe taking a free backpack wasn't the best idea, especially when, after that, I noticed lots of other people wearing backpacks, but with better straps and additional straps to better spread out the weight, which presumably I didn't have.
No, the big problem was that I had already inflicted the damage and because of the position of where all the wounds were, there was no possible way I could bandage them or cover them up. See, anywhere near your arm moves around a lot, and any type of band aid, gauze tape, or otherwise peels off right away after you start moving your arm around.
So the last couple of days of the trip were very uncomfortable. Because some of the wounds were under my armpit, I was walking around with one arm a few inches away from my body. I brought antibiotic cream and petroleum jelly to try to keep it from rubbing the shirt fabric anymore than it had to.
I had my Fitbit with me and we were walking between 15,000 and 18,000 steps per day, just about every day. That's a whole lot of rubbing. By time time we left, I was raw, and the blisters were popping, and it was…ugly.
Long Term Fix
It was really only after I got back and was able to get back to work and minimize my movement that it was able to start healing. Even then it took about two weeks before I could even go back to the gym (think about running and all the back and forth that each step takes…yikes).
I found it very strange that it only happened on one arm. I figure I must carry more weight or handle things differently. It also, I think, was the strap that I put on last and took off first anytime it went off or on. Maybe that has something to do with.
It didn't put too much of a damper on my vacation, but it definitely made things a bit more uncomfortable, that's for sure!
Readers, what unexpected circumstances have thrown you for a loop on vacation, and how did you end up dealing with them?