I already miss Hawaii

Aren Elliott watches the sunset from the cove at Ko Olina.
Saying good-bye. Our monthlong adventure in Hawaii is almost over. We’re at Ko Olina today, where we’re checking out of a vacation rental property my family has fallen in love with. But we’re also excited, because for the next few days, we’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort (only four more Holiday Inn Resorts to go on our ambitious Away is Home project to visit every one).
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Disney promised me fireworks! Where are the fireworks?

It may sound insignificant, but to Mona Ogden, the fireworks at Disneyland are a big deal. She even spent $900 to upgrade into a “club-level” room at the Disneyland Hotel on a recent visit because they promised “a view of the Disneyland Park fireworks show from above with in-house soundtrack.”

“Night after night we planned around the supposed show time and hauled back to the hotel, up to this special room,” she says. “And nothing happened.”

What, no pyrotechnics?
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Hey, where did this resort fee come from?

Question: I checked into the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, and was unexpectedly charged a resort fee. I had booked the stay with my Starwood Preferred Guest points.

The desk staff could not have been less helpful when I questioned the fee. They advised, “It is mandatory on all rooms, whether paid with cash or points, and clearly indicated during booking.”

They also said the resort fee was required by Florida state law.
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Is this enough compensation? Disney totaled my minivan

As Joyce Dunne was checking out of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando recently, a cast member slipped her some bad news: Her Honda minivan had been damaged by the parking valet.

And how.

When she arrived on the scene of the collision, she found “pieces of the vehicle scattered everywhere.” Her van had been totaled in a collision with another Disney vehicle. Curiously, the driver had been “removed” from the scene, and when Dunne said she wanted to call the police to file a report, she was told she couldn’t because it happened on private property.

A Disney representative assured her the company would take full responsibility for the accident. But Dunne says the Mouse shortchanged her, leaving her car-less and without any recourse.

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The Travel Troubleshooter: Can I redo my Disney vacation, please?

Question: I recently booked a vacation package to Disneyland through Southwest Vacations, but I mistakenly entered the wrong date — September instead of December. We were away when the tickets were delivered, and I didn’t notice the error until it was too late. We were considered “no-shows” for our vacation.

This error is extremely unfortunate, since we planned this trip for my husband’s birthday. It was an honest mistake.

I contacted Southwest Vacations, and they said they would be willing to rebook our airline tickets and re-issue our theme park tickets, but that there would be a $500 penalty for the Disney hotel. Southwest asked Disney to waive its rules, but Disney hasn’t responded. I know they are under no obligation to rebook our package, but can you help us? — Pamela Metcalf Kunelis, Fair Oaks, Calif.

Answer: I agree, neither Southwest Vacations nor Disney was under any obligation to refund any portion of your vacation. The fact that Southwest had agreed to re-issue your plane tickets and theme park tickets was more than you — or I — could have asked for.
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