Local families out thousands after booking vacations to Disney World

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Several families are out of thousands of dollars after booking what they thought was a discounted vacation to Disney World.

In March, Bethany Grove and two of her friends booked trips to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“A total of 13 people were going,” Grove said. “We’ve been paying on them and they’ve all been paid in full, I believe since May.”

Only the group recently discovered that all three families still owed balances of several thousand dollars.

“For a trip that was quoted at $2,700 for my family, it is still showing a balance of $4,300,” Grove said.

They booked the vacation through a Murfreesboro woman who told them she had an aunt who works at Disney.

The woman said she would be able to use her relative’s cast member discount, according to Grove.

“We understand she lost her discount through the cast member, but did not notify anyone,” Grove said. “It started out as just trying to be a friend and help other families, but she got way in over her head.”

Grove and her two friends filed fraud reports with Murfreesboro police.

“Between myself and our two friends it’s over $15,000,” she said.

Since the woman who booked the trip hasn’t been charged with a crime, News 2 is not identifying her.

Grove said she knows of other families who successfully booked trips through the woman, which is why she and her friends were hoping to cash in on the discount.

At least four other victims who are parents or work at Brown’s Chapel Elementary School also booked trips with the same woman, according to Grove.

“There are several other families that went to Disney this week for fall break, all the teachers from Brown’s Chapel who had trips booked through her; they had to pull money out of other places to pay for it,” Grove said.

The victim believes the woman is still booking trips to try and cover the unpaid balances.

“What we have gathered is that she is robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Grove said.

She said the woman has spun a web of lies and she and her friends are tired of the excuses and want their money back.

“There has been a lot of lack of communication,” Grove said. “There have been a lot of questions that have gone unanswered. There is just too much back and forth, her stories are not adding up.”

The victims told News 2 that six to seven families from an Alabama church have reached out to them through Facebook, saying they too paid thousands of dollars for the discounted vacation, only to find out the trips were not booked or they had outstanding balances.