Nov 24 was my sons 12th birthday and happens to be on Thanksgiving. My family decided this year no one was going to cook a full dinner and I found a reasonable restaurant in Downtown Disney, that was suitable for everyone. But a lunch rather than dinner suited everyone better. On entering the parking lot for Downtown Disney at approximately 1:45, I took an automated ticket that stamps the exact time you arrived. You have 3 hours of "FREE" parking. For an extra 2 hours of "FREE" parking, they require you sit at one of their restaurants and show this receipt upon leaving. I am a Disney Annual Pass Holder for several years now, but usually use the 6 story parking garage when I come with my 4 kids. So I wasn't fully aware of the extra 2 hours you get or other rules which I will explain later.
As we finished our lunch at about 3:30 I looked for my parking ticket to double check if I needed it validated. I panicked as I checked my pockets and took everything out of my purse. Double checked everything and even a third time. I could not find it! But thinking I just paid a lunch bill over $200 for 11 people I though It would be no problem to show this to the guard stationed at the exit booth and explain what happened.
He had no part in trying to be friendly, courteous or understanding of the situation. I was certain I was not the first person to lose a parking stub. But he was adamant that a lost ticket was going to cost me $30!
$30! I just paid over $200 plus tax and tip to the restaurant! I told him I wasn't going to pay $30 for parking my car when I just paid so much for lunch. His words to me were "We don't know if you got here at 8:00 a.m and you parked here all day. I told him that I arrived about 1:45pm had lunch so I was under the 3 hour "FREE" parking limit. Didn't believe me. He added "well lets just say you got here at 10:00 am so I would just pay $12:00. "NO!" I wasn't going to pay anything! I told him I will turn around and try and speak to someone in the Downtown Disney area and try to resolve the issue. 4 cars had to back up to let me back up.
I left the kids in the car and returned to the restaurant to try to get some help. The clerk in the gift shop gave me a number, which I called and found out it was only a "lost and found' number. They were sympathetic but not helpful. I noticed a couple of gentlemen in the next car getting out there music instruments. I thought to myself that they must be Downtown Disney musicians and they might get "FREE" parking because of this. I approached them and told them what happened. I asked for their parking ticket and they were very friendly and gave it to me. I was very appreciative and thankful for their help. I jumped in my car and was happy to be on my way.
Or I thought!
The window or building I was at just minutes earlier had closed and so I proceeded to the next window and handed him my ticket. I was expecting for the guard to lift the arm of the gate so I could leave. He immediately said to me that the ticket I have was not mine. I must have looked puzzled and really didn't know what he meant. It wasn't my original ticket, but a ticket I got legitimately. He made a claim I found it on the ground and that it was not my ticket. I told him that I didn't find it on the ground but he insisted I did. I asked him point blank, "Are you calling me a liar?" I was stunned he was making a big deal out of it. He asked for my receipt I had earlier (he saw what happened earlier at the other window) I explained that this ticket has less than 3 hours and he didn't need my lunch receipt. I gave him the receipt anyway and he checked the times on both the ticket and the lunch receipt. The times were stamped different. The lunch receipt had about 2:15pm and the parking ticket had 4:20pm. He said that this was somebody else's ticket and insinuated I stole it. I exclaimed " Are you calling me a thief?" I told him the tickets are to park one car in one space and do not clarify any brand of car for each ticket.
He showed what must have been a supervisor as another man who was very intimidating insist that I created a "fraud" I told him, In your mind maybe but I did not steal or find it that it was given to me. he questioned further whom I got it from and I told him. he wanted a description of them which I told him I didn't remember. Not that I was protecting anyone form getting into trouble as I believed these "parking attendance were desperately trying to intimidate me. This guy was big and rotund. He was glaring at me and wouldn't stop staring at me. I told him flat "STOP STARING ME DOWN!" he said he wasn't but continue to glare at me. I told him to get a supervisor but instead he called security. I turned off my engine and waited for them to arrive. I told them they were holding me hostage and the guard said, "No, just pay the $30 and you can go!" Isn't that holding me hostage I thought? How could they think I was being fraudulent? If I had made a copy of a ticket or stole it from someone, yeah then I would be fraudulent. But getting it from someone who didn't have to pay was legitimate. No one lost their ticket so someone else would have to pay the $30
After 15 minutes waiting for security, my son, who's birthday it was, was crying. I felt so bad as the other family members were waiting for us to arrive. I caved in for my sons sake and paid the $30 but told the guard he would be hearing from my attorney. he commented he would love to hear from him.
I drove away so pissed but felt my sons happiness was more important than trying to prove a point to those jerks who thought they were real cops.