A 70-Year Subscription to Disney+ Threatens a Family’s Long-Awaited Dream Trip to Disney World

castle disney plus cards
Credit: Becky Burkett/TikTok/@aofthecoast/Canva

One Illinois family waited more than three years to take their dream vacation at Disney World, but a costly mistake by some well-meaning grandparents meant there would be no such trip.

disney world magic kingdom cinderella castle during daytime with visitors standing in front of castle

Credit: Becky Burkett

Andie Coston and 15 members of her family had been looking forward to visiting the Walt Disney World Resort since 2020, but when the pandemic rendered all of Disney’s theme parks around the world non-operational, the family’s trip of a lifetime had to be canceled. But after more than three years, Coston’s family dream vacation was finally becoming a reality, and this time, they planned to go to Disney World for Christmas.

“We finally planned it for this Christmas,” she explained in a TikTok video. “All 16 of my family members were going. To save some money, my parents bought 10k of Disney gift cards to purchase our tickets and restaurant reservations.”

woman and disney castle

Credit: TikTok/@aofthecoast

Coston’s parents kindly purchased $10,000 in Disney gift cards to help the rest of the extended family purchase tickets, allowing them to then make dining reservations as well. But when she arrived at her parents’ home, she said something was wrong, as they were having issues loading the gift cards and buying admission tickets for the family.

“I went home this weekend, and they were having problems loading the gift cards correctly and purchasing the tickets,” she said, showing a stack of gift cards that her parents were attempting to load. 

disney gift cards disney plus

Credit: TikTok/@aofthecoast

Then it became clear to Coston: her parents had bought $10,000 in Disney+ gift cards, which were only available for use on Disney’s streaming platform, not at any of Disney’s theme park resorts.

Immediately, Coston took to TikTok in a desperate plea for help to get “the money in the right form,” as she knew that the $10,000 in gift cards her parents had would not get them into the parks. But she did note that the gift cards would pay for access to Disney+ for 70 years.

@aofthecoast Do I have a story for you! PLEASE HELP! Note that the purchaser is not familiar with Disney Plus and did not know the difference! Honest mistake. It is not about the funding of the trip. It is about finding someone who can help us transfer the money into the correct gift card so we can make it to Disney! @Disney Parks @Disney+ @Disney #ohno #fail #disney #disneyworld #disneyplus #disneyfail #help ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

“We leave in 6 days, and the parks are selling out of tickets because it’s Christmas,” Coston captioned her TikTok video. “My mom is distraught, Dad frustrated, and the kids worried we won’t get into Disney.”

Coston’s desperation, her dire situation, and her pleas for help went viral overnight.
Coston explained in her video that the error happened because her parents don’t subscribe to any streaming channels, so they didn’t realize there was a difference between Disney+ gift cards and Disney gift cards. “It was an honest mistake,” Coston said.
But there was another problem: because her parents had been attempting to load the gift cards to Disney’s gift card website to purchase Disney World tickets, the numbers on the back of the cards were scratched off, meaning the cards were not eligible for a refund.
Disney+ Disney Plus

Credit: Marques Kaspbrak on Unsplash

In her journey to find a solution online, Coston discovered that her family wasn’t the only family who had been faced with the nightmare scenario. As followers responded to her video, some shared that they, too, had faced a similar dilemma with Disney+ vs. Disney gift cards.

“That’s been a comfort to my parents,” she shared, but she added that Disney should remedy the situation by making the cards more easily distinguishable from one another.

Less than 24 hours after her initial TikTok video was posted online, Coston says a solution presented itself when Disney reached out to her family and assisted them in turning their Disney+ gift cards into Disney Parks gift cards–dollar for dollar. 

castle disney plus cards

Credit: Becky Burkett/TikTok/@aofthecoast/Canva

“I am so glad we were able to get it resolved, especially for my parent’s sake,” Coston said in an interview with PEOPLE. “It was also good to hear that my parents are not the only ones who have experienced this.”

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

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!