Help me decide what to say when Virgin make contact

I am booked for 2 weeks at WDW in August, from the UK, once in a lifetime trip for us and our 2 boys. It’s cost our savings, we even treated ourselves to staying at Yacht Club and I was enjoying planning being close to the parks and the amazing pool. :cry:
Even if WDW does reopen and the US reopens it’s borders, I really don’t want to go. As it’s a one off trip I don’t want the magic spoiled by masks (in 100+ degrees), pools potentially being off limits, no character meet and greets etc.
So, now I have to decide what to do…

  • August 2021 is out of the question, prices were showing an additional £4000 for the identical holiday!
  • I could try to rebook for next November. A couple of weeks ago I checked prices and could get the same holiday for about £700 more. However, last time I checked about a week ago the price was £1300 more than this Aug. I can’t afford to pay this. Now it’s saying no availablity for any WDW hotels for any dates in Nov 2021 so something’s going on;
  • I could leave the booking, hope that it’s cancelled by foreign office and then face the battle of getting a refund from them.

There are other reasons I’m torn about waiting to cancel or booking next Nov too…

  • I work in a school at lunchtimes so shouldn’t take time off during term time. However, if I rebook for next November I could hope they would allow it this once due to the circumstances;
  • next November my kids will be 14 and 9. If I cancel, get a refund and plan to go November 2022, both my boys will be in their final school years (one at primary, one at secondary) so not the best time for missing school, although it will be at the start of the academic year, not exam time.

As you can see I keep going back and forth over my options and it’s driving me crazy! I had started planning our days, just as practice of using the Touring Plans but now it makes me sad every time I get the books out. :frowning:

An extra £4000? My friend rebooked her August holiday for next August and it did cost more, but only £700, which includes an increase because her 9yo will turn 10 in Dec. Did you book with Virgin Holidays? They are right rip off merchants.

Would you consider staying at a moderate hotel instead?

It is with Virgin Holidays I’m afraid, they’ve had terrible reviews in dealing with all this. Yes, it was £4000 more but I knew it would be more in the anniversary year but that’s ridiculous! I’m also now wondering whether August isn’t the best time with the heat but I was trying to stick to school holidays before all this happened.

I was looking forward to being walking distance from two of the parks. I’d been planning on early starts in parks til just after lunch then coming away to use the amazing pool at Yacht Club. I also wanted my boys to have separate beds which limits hotels - most hotels are 2 queen beds only but Yacht Club has soifa beds in the rooms I booked.

Jumping on the buses several times a day doesn’t bother me but my husband isn’t keen. We stayed at All Stars about 20 years ago when it was just the two of us but those were the days when we would spend all day in the parks so just a bus ride there and back at the end of the day… My boys are likely to need more breaks I think.

But any advice and suggestions are welcome if anyone thinks an alternative hotel would be good. :wink:

If there was a £4000 difference, it has to have been a different type of room. Club level perhaps?

As for taking breaks, I would look again at that. And I am not suggesting dawn to dusk every day either! Maybe some days doing rope drop to afternoon, then back for a swim. You could head back on some nights for the evening entertainment.
And then other days, start later and go through to the evening.
In the heat you will need breaks, but I doubt the boys will need an actual sleep at that age. So cooling off with lunch or dinner at a TS restaurant, indoor air conditioned attractions, even watching shows at DHS and AK all have the same effect. Going for a monorail trip and checking out the resorts can be fun. Walking from MK to Contemporary and then taking a boat around Bay Lake, getting off at Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness, or heading to the Epcot resorts / a Skyliner ride from the Epcot International Gate is a similar idea.

Uber and Lyft are a cheap way of getting there if you don’t want to use the buses all the time.

With all that, the cabins at FW might work well. The beds are all in one room but there is also a sofa bed. And a full kitchen.

Port Orleans Riverside has rooms with 3 beds, so does CBR (which has the Skyliner). The POR main pool is fun, and the resort is beautiful.

If you want to change TAs, you could also look at a US based one. I know many who work for Kingdom Konsultants. they will have a full choice of resorts, which isn’t always even the case going direct with Disney UK. I would also book flights separately, although there are risks with that around it not being a package. That’s a personal decision for you to make.

Thanks @Nickysyme, the package for next August was exactly the same, garden view room, but that’s Virgin for you. They haven’t had staff available to speak to anyone but they have staff working to increase the prices online! :roll_eyes:
I may have to look at other hotels but it’s difficult as the site is showing no availability at all next November, no hotels at all. Either the hotels aren’t looking at new bookings or Virgin are unable to make bookings as they haven’t sorted their new flight schedules now they’re moving away from Gatwick completely.
Great ideas for breaks. I was planning lots of breaks due to the heat in August but if we changed to November we might not need as many.
In all honesty I hope we get cancelled so I can start again with another company. My biggest concern at the moment is that everything opens up with restrictions on PPE and lots of things unavailable to use but they say we can travel. Makes me feel quite ill when I think about the money involved and it just won’t be the holiday we booked. :grimacing:

November will be too far out I think.

You can book a room only 499 days out, even that’s too far just now. But you could get an idea of cost by looking for this November on the Disney site.

Agreed about November. Still warm but not the oppressive heat and humidity of the summer. I vowed we won’t go again in the summer holidays. I work in a school too, so know the problems only too well.

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What about Caribbean Beach? It’s a moderate but on the Skyliner, so that would get you right at the same two parks without having to get on the bus.

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@Nickysyme something up with Virgin site as showing no availability for August or Nov 2021 which I got results for a couple of weeks ago.
So frustrating, I just want this sorted, preferably cancelled so I can start again and start looking forward to planning again! I’ll look into alternative hotels but separate beds for the kids are must.

I second Caribbean beach as they have 3 sleeping surfaces (2 beds and a twin pull down) and would be significantly cheaper than YC. Plus having the skyliner hub at the resort makes Epcot and HS travel very easy and quick.

I’ll look into that, thanks. :+1:

I’ve looked at CBR with Tui and their pirate rooms only show 2 double beds?

Yes, the pirate rooms have double beds. They have rooms called 5th sleepers that have 3 beds.

Thanks @I_LikeWarmHugs I’ll have to keep looking as that room is not listed as an option on sites Ive looked at.

Virgin Atlantic is an incredible company.

A year ago they were my favourite airline and I wouldn’t even look at any others. In December last year, they broke their own rules to help me out with something. It was really generous of them.

Now I hate them.

My June flights have now been cancelled and I am entitled to a full refund. Except I’m not because I was hoodwinked into converting my flights into open flights. At no point did they say, “You don’t have to do this. You can get a full refund.” So now I’m effectively stuck with flight vouchers which may end up being worthless if Virgin goes bust.

They do owe me a couple of small refunds for technical reasons. They said it would take three months to process. That is simply not acceptable, indefensible and clearly policy to avoid paying out for as long as possible. No other company I deal with is behaving in this way. Walt Disney Travel UK is suffering as much as any other travel company, but they refunded me within three days, not three months.

I am very into customer loyalty. I reward companies that give good customer service and I punish those who don’t.

At this point Virgin Atlantic is pretty much dead to me. Despite being a Silver Member of their Flying Club and spending five figures in three years on flights in premium cabins.

Next time I’m booking a flight I’m paying for, I’ll look at British Airways website first.

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VA are doing themselves no favours with their service right now @mousematt.

They finally emailed us today to say our homebound flight was cancelled. Nothing about our outbound flight at the end of June. We’re starting the process of claiming a refund all the same. They are clearly not going to make this easy.

On calling them the keypad options were (I’m paraphrasing, but the gist was…) to claim a credit voucher press 1, to rebook onto another flight press 2, to ask for a refund noone is free to take your call. No joke!

I contacted several other companies we had reservations with today after getting the Virgin ball rolling. Expedia for car hire, for RPR booking, UOR for park tickets, both Disney reservations and recreation all dealt with our request for refund with no hassle whatsoever. When we rebook, I will gladly rebook with all of the above mentioned companies. Right now I’m minded to even opt for an indirect flight if necessary in order to avoid dealing with Virgin.

With one breath they are telling their customers that they will be there when they’re ready to rebook and just to take the credit voucher (which, with the price hikes are going to be worth even less come rebooking time), then with the next breath they’re crying to the government for a bail out. Do they really expect customers to still trust them?

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I think this is a really difficult decision with no perfect answer. I haven’t had to deal with Virgin at this time so don’t have a view on that.

Is it possible for you to go in May or June next year - the weather is still okay and if you do miss term time it is not in your eldest GCSE year. Prices are usually cheaper - especially in May before the UK and the US school holidays. I would also look at different hotels if you need to - while buses aren’t ideal they are manageable - we have been doing WDW with our girls since they were around 5 and usually took a break in the afternoon. They coped fine with buses - and remember that on a hot Florida summer day after a full morning you may only want to walk back to Yacht club from Epcot. You will need to take the skyline of bus from HS or have a 20-25 minute walk. Given the age of your children it is entirely possible that Epcot may be there least favourite park (but you never know of course). The Yacht Club is absolutely fantastic but I would look at other hotels if it was the difference between going and not going.