Disney Devastation

As I sit here typing this I’m looking across the room at Cody, my son with autism, happily watching YouTube videos on his laptop, headphones on, oblivious to the news I have to tell him.  Literally since we returned home from our last trip to Walt Disney World in December 2007, he has asked almost every single day when we are going again. If you have a child with autism or know one, you know that I’m not at all exaggerating for dramatic effect.  When the opportunity for a conference to combine my love of blogging and social media and a chance for my family and I to travel to Disney again, I was so thrilled.  We weren’t able to attend the first conference held earlier this year due to short notice and financial reasons so I followed the Disney Social Media Moms account on Twitter and kept my eye out for the tweet, the one with the link to registration form when it became available yesterday.  I was there with two laptops and an iPad, all with the constantly refreshing screens.  I can’t count how many times I was in, but bumped out, then in again.  Finally, though, it happened.  I was in and finished the entire registration process, even entering my credit card information.  There were requirements of blog, Twitter, and Facebook information and I entered everything necessary and received an immediate email with this included:
We are currently reviewing your registration. All registrants will be verified prior to registration confirmation.
I read that as I was in on time and as long as all my information checked out okay, I’d be confirmed and verified. 
A while after my registration was complete I saw a tweet from the Disney Social Media Moms Twitter account that simply said, registration is now closed.  Okay, I thought, because I was in way before that time.
Last night my husband and I looked at the amazing resort where the conference was to be held and even showed it all to my boys.  We talked about how generous it was of Disney.  All the while, though, in the back of mind I was worried.  Worried that somehow I wouldn’t be verified.  Cody and Nick’s excitement distracted me, though, so we talked about it more before going to bed last night.
Then today was the big day.  The day the confirmation emails were to go out and the lucky ones would be told they were “in.”  I was feeling pretty confident, overall, but wanted to see that email.  And then it came.  And I saw it.  On my phone while sitting with Cody next to me in the car and waiting for Nick to come out of his school.  It said (I’m paraphrasing because I can’t bare to pull it up again) – thank you for your interest, but the registration was filled before you registered.
I immediately broke into to tears, with my head turned to one side so Cody wouldn’t see.  Nick got into a silent car.  I didn’t look back at him(like I usually do and ask about his day) because he’s super sensitive and the sight of my tears would have been difficult for him.  We pulled into the driveway and I wiped my face and rushed them inside.  Then the most gut-wrenching thing happened.  Nick come over next to me and plopped down on the couch, netbook in hand, his browser on the Walt Disney World site with the question, “hey Mom, what hotel are we staying at again?” I shortly told him we shouldn’t talk about that right now and asked him to go do something else.  He walked away and I cried even more.  Now because I was so horrible to him. 
This whole process was confusing, emotional, stressful, and maddening at some times. 
Some might say I shouldn’t have told my kids.  Maybe not, but I truly wish this was handled better by Disney. 
I still haven’t told them.

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