The difference between a travel agent and a travel planner….

A Disney Travel Planner is different than a travel agent or even another company that calls themselves Disney Travel Planners, but they really just took on a different title.  They will hear what you want and they will book your vacation.  Some go an extra step and will book your dining reservations and FastPass reservations.  They will do this without a fee, which is fine because they spent less than an hour “planning” your vacation.

Here is how my service is different:

10454968_340880799370619_8588557228214924072_oI am a Disney addict!  I can’t even count how many times I’ve been to Disney, but I do know that I went 6 times in 2014.  I also took classes and graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge, so I have attained a special knowledge about Disney Destinations.  The combination of the classes and personal experience make me a Disney Specialist.  You want me to book AND plan your vacation!

We will have a consultation and I will learn about your specific family and your wants and needs out of your Disney vacation.  You may have been to Disney before, maybe even multiple times, or maybe this if your first time.  You might have some ideas of what you want to do, but if not, I will ask questions to figure things out.  If you want to proceed with my services, you will pay a planning fee.  This fee isn’t for me to book your vacation….anyone can book your vacation.  This is for me to plan your vacation of a lifetime!

I take everything I have learned about your family and I come up with a proposal for your trip.  I research the best time of the year to visit Disney World, if you don’t already have a time in mind, and I will present you with a couple of weeks that would be good options, along with  2-3 different resort options that will fit your family.  After you make your resort decision, you sit back and let me do the rest of the work.Cinderella's_Royal_Table_Sign

In the background, I will be researching which days are best for each park.  Next comes planning and booking your dining reservations, which must be done at exactly at 6am EST 180 days before your trip –  especially if you want to get a coveted reservation for breakfast with Cinderella or a dinner at Be Our Guest.  I can pretty much guarantee you, your travel agent isn’t going to be setting their alarm early to wake up on their day off to book your dining reservations at 6am!

Next is booking your FastPass+ reservations, but prior to this, I have FastPassPlus_90strategically come up with a plan to get you all of your most important FastPass+ reservations, in the best possible daily plan.  I know when it is the most important time to have a FastPass+ and when you can skip it. 

Once everything is booked, I compile a packet of information for your trip.  It will include a detailed, daily itinerary with all of the important information you need to know.  It will have all of your confirmation numbers, a schedule of rides and attractions and when you should experience them in order to minimize your wait, and it will contain tips and tricks to having the best vacation ever!

If you are interested in learning more about what I can offer to you, please click on the Contact button above.    I would love to plan your Dream Disney Vacation!

Best Wishes!!!

2 Reasons People Hate Disney!

You wouldn’t expect a Disney Vacation Planner to write a blog post like this, but let me assure you, this is a MUST read before you go to Disney!

If you ask anyone who has been to Disney and NOT enjoyed themselves, I’m betting their vacation went a little like this:

We're going to Disney“Hey honey, let’s go to Disney!” They surprise the kids, pack up their stuff and off they go.  (Probably not quite that last minute, but they didn’t do any research or planning, because they didn’t know they should.)  I know some of you are sitting back thinking, HUH?? We can’t just show up at Disney World and have fun!?  Unless you want to be the family walking around, yelling at your kids and not having any fun – you need to RESEARCH and PLAN!!

Now, back to our family – they get to Disney on one of the busiest days of the year, about 2 hours after the park opens, thinking they will miss the early crowds trying to get into the Magic Kingdom by arriving late.  They grab a map and try to figure out where to go.  They walk inside the gates and they are suddenly in a massive swarm of people.

They can’t see anything around them, they can’t focus on all of the beauty of Main Street, and they don’t take time to smell the Disney magic – Disney pumps different scents through the parks to enhance the experience, but when you’re so focused on the masses of people, you may be missing out.

dapper dans

They stop and watch the Dapper Dans, with their enchanting four part harmony for a bit and finally decide that instead of looking at the map, they’ll follow the crowds and just go with the flow instead – this is vacation after all, they have all of the time in the world!

They arrive at the first attraction they see, wait to get in, and finally experience their very first Disney attraction – Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.  At just over 20 minutes, and a somewhat “dated” attraction, they walk out a bit disappointed.  (**see note on this below)
EmmaThe kids complain that they just want to ride some rides, but it’s now just past noon and everyone is also getting hungry.  They pull the map out and try to figure out where to go.  They walk 10 minutes to the Liberty Tree Tavern, only to be turned away.  They didn’t know the
restaurant has been booked up for months.  They walk to their second choice and again, it’s booked all day.  It’s now 1:00 and mom and dad are yelling at each other and the kids are crying because 1) they’re hungry, 2) they’re HOT and 3) they haven’t even done anything yet.

They find a bench and sit down to collect themselves and review the map.  They take a vote and everyone decides to head to Dumbo.  Finally!  They are going on a ride!  The kids are so excited and jumping up and down and mom and dad aren’t yelling anymore….life is good!

Then they get there.  Ugh, the wait to get on Dumbo is over 90 minutes!   They feel defeated!  “I’m not waiting an dumbohour and a half to ride a flying elephant around in a circle!”, exclaims Dad.  The kids start crying.  They really wanted to go on Dumbo!

Mom pulls the map back out, locates the Tomorrowland Speedway and sees it’s not too far away.  She is hoping if they get out of Fantasyland, they’ll have better luck.  They walk through the masses of people, trying to get from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland and they finally get through after about 15 minutes.  They have sweat dripping down their faces, they’re exhausted from walking back and forth all over the park and they just want to ride a ride! Again, they walk up to the Speedway and see the wait is over an hour.  Their vacation has just been ruined and they will now tell everyone how horrible Disney World is.

 As you can see, the 2 reasons people hate Disney – the lack of RESEARCH and PLAN.

So, you’re ready to research and plan a Disney vacation, but where do you start? First, you need to research the best COmputer frustratedtime to go. Then you need to research which park to visit each day because the crowd levels can be drastically different from day to day and park to park.  You want to make sure you pick the right one or you will be miserable!

You need to book your restaurants 6 months in advance and decide what FastPass+ reservations to get 2 months in advance, but how do you know which ones are good?  You could spend hours researching the best restaurants, more hours researching the best FastPasses to get, but even with the best research, you still haven’t experienced it so you can’t figure out how to put it all together.

This is where you need to rely on a Disney Travel Planner.  This is different than a travel agent or even another company that calls themselves Disney Travel Planners, but they really just took on a different title.  They will hear what you want and they will book your vacation.  Some go an extra step and will book your dining reservations and FastPass reservations.  They will do this without a fee, which is fine because they spent less than an hour “planning” your vacation.  If you want to see how my services are different, please read the blog post lined below:

The Difference Between a Travel Agent and a Travel Planner

***Regarding the Carousel of Progress, please note, this attraction is considered a tribute to Walt’s Legacy and you should experience it; however there are better times to enjoy it – such as when the baby needs a nap or in the afternoon when it’s really hot and you just need to sit down in the air conditioning for a bit.

How it all started…

I was sitting around, a little bored one day and I started researching my next Disney vacation.  I’m a bit of what you would call a Disney-addict!  In 2014, I took 6 trips to Disney World!  Most of these trips were with my children, but I confess, I did take some trips without them.  (Shhh….they don’t know!) However, while I may love Disney, I also love planning Disney vacations!  The hours of researching the perfect trip, the detailed plans of where to be and when to be there, the restaurants to enjoy, the crowds to avoid….I love it all!!  It’s like a puzzle that I have to fit together perfectly in order to create the perfect vacation!

So as I was saying, I was sitting around and thinking about my next Disney vacation and my husband came up behind me.  Uh oh!  We just had a conversation about how we needed to cut back on the vacations because we (okay I)  went a little overboard this past year.  I knew he was going to make a comment as soon as he saw the website, so I quickly came up with a response – “Since I love planning Disney vacations and I’m so good at it, I’ve decided to turn it into a business! I can use all of my knowledge with Disney and Food Allergies to help create amazing vacations for OTHER people!!!”  I thought he was going to laugh at me and tell me how foolish it was.  Instead, he immediately smiled and said he thought it was a great idea!  Whoa! Could it really be this easy to get him on board with this venture??

Over the next couple of weeks, I would talk about my new venture with friends and family and I was met with similar reactions. Everyone thought it was a great idea!  I had been planning Disney vacations for them for years, why not expand it to everyone?!

Shortly after that, I saw an ad from The Enchanted Traveler looking for new Disney travel agents.  I thought this may be my time, but then I saw the level of interest that was generated from this ad.  I thought there would be no way I could set myself apart from every other person that was interested in this position.  So I waited a couple of days, tried to formulate the perfect proposal and then submitted my application.  I knew I had a successful business model – Food Allergies AND Disney vacations – it was a market that was wide open and I had so much knowledge about it!

I have 4 children that have food allergies.  I have had successful Disney vacations with a child that couldn’t eat ANY food and was solely dependent on a feeding tube, a child that had only 5 foods and then children that were free of the top 8 allergens.  If I could plan a successful trip for my family, I could plan a successful trip for every family!

If you are interested in hearing about how I can help you and your family plan your next Disney vacation, please click on the Disney Travel link above to be directed to my contact form.