Family makes $10,000 mistake that almost wrecks Christmas Disney holiday

Mother left ‘distraught’ over error

Benjamin Parker
Thursday 21 December 2023 11:10 GMT
Disney bans selfie sticks

A simple mistake when buying a gift card led to one family’s dream holiday falling apart – leaving them almost £8,000 out of pocket.

Andie Coston’s parents were planning a big group getaway in 2020 before the trip was scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead, the 16-strong group decided to go away for Christmas this year, travelling to stay at a Disney resort.

“To save some money, my parents bought 10k of Disney gift cards to purchase our tickets and restaurant reservations,” Ms Coston explained in a video uploaded to TikTok.

“I went home this weekend and they were having problems loading the gift cards correctly and purchasing the tickets.”

It was then that the problem became clear. Instead of vouchers for a holiday, her parents had bought $10,000 (£7,916) worth of vouchers for Disney+, the media giant’s video streaming service.

The current cost of a standard Disney+ membership in the UK is £7.99 per month, or £79.90 for a year, which means the stack of gift cards could cover a subscription lasting for 99 years if purchased annually.

“We need help. It’s not about the money! It’s about getting the money in the right form,” she added.

The mistake was only discovered six days before the family was due to leave for their long-awaited holiday, and Ms Coston said that “the parks are selling out of tickets because it’s Christmas”, with her mother left “distraught” by the error.

The video has been watched more than 3.3 million times, with thousands of people sharing advice on how the situation could be resolved.

Fortunately, a little bit of Disney magic helped save their holiday.

Less than 24 hours after the video went viral, Disney contacted the family and was able to switch the Disney+ vouchers to Disney Parks gift cards.

“I am so glad we were able to get it resolved, especially for my parents’ sake. It was also good to hear that my parents are not the only ones who have experienced this," Ms Coston told People.

“I received many messages and comments from people telling me that they or someone they know have had similar experiences. I hope that this story makes more people aware of the card difference so no one else experiences this.”

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