A year ago, my great childhood friend and owner of our company, Mary-Morning Radcliffe, sent me an email saying “Congratulations” and “Welcome to our Team!” And just like that, I had achieved an amazing goal of mine to “work” for Disney. I’m not on stage nor pushing a button to send the roller coaster in motion nor did I move to Florida. But I still get the opportunity to make families smile by booking dream vacations through the many different avenues Disney provides. It’s been a tremendous blessing this year and I thought it only appropriate I made today’s post about it.
Welcome to Believe Vacation’s Top 10 where today, I’ll take a personal look at my initial year as an Authorized Travel Agent for Believe Vacations. For this list, I have 10 things that really stood out in my initial year that proves that I made a great decision accepting this position.
10) It’s a Great Company – With all apologies to the Number 10 being the lowest number in our ranking system, our company, Believe Vacations, was the first thing I wanted to mention. With agents from all over the United States, we are in constant communication on a daily basis. Some of us know each other from past lives but with this company, you feel like everyone truly is family. We talk on the phone, send messages and like each other’s social media posts. And if we’re truly fortunate, we take trips to Disney together!
9) Those darn Top 10 posts – Poor Mary-Morning! When she agreed to let me help with the website, she had no idea I’d take over like I did and for that, I constantly apologize. In my opinion, the best online articles are lists and countdowns. Looking back, we’ve had some pretty decent readership with these articles. We haven’t even had to use click bait by saying “you that you won’t believe #6!!” But we hope the articles have helped you plan, learn what we think is the best use of your time, money and resources and also give you the indication we are experts in Disney planning and our free quotes and advice are worth it!
8) Tests and learning are fun – To officially get clearance and begin booking trips, you have to go through tests. But this is not Trigonometry or World History; you get to watch videos on the Disney Parks, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and many more. THEN, you get to take tests. As you can imagine, the videos and materials are well-produced, informative and throw in little bits of Disney magic throughout. It keeps us up-to-date and informed on changes in the parks and on the properties, but really just entices me to take my next trip!
Photo Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line
7) Disney Cruise Booking – Enough about how I benefited this year; let’s switch to actual things about Disney that I had to learn this year and it starts with my first Disney Cruise. I had never thought of a Disney Cruise before, let alone booked one. The process was amazingly simple! I was able to find 3 cabins in a row, book boarding times, book character meet and greets, switch dinner times and more. Through the use of Disney Cruise Line‘s website and talking on the phone to Cast Members, I was able to give my family the trip of a lifetime.
6) Disney Cruise Service – Let me correct myself, the Cast Members aboard the Disney Dream were able to give my family the trip of a lifetime! I always knew Disney Parks were the standard bearers for customer service. I’ve read a few books and attended training classes on how they make the magic work. But believe me when I say that the men and women of the Disney Cruise Line are unbelievable! From the personalized attention to the proactive engagements, to the ones who take your order to the ones who literally “babysit” your children with smiles on their faces, they set the bar when I think how I’ll always want to be treated and how to treat others.
5) Free Dining – I had always heard about it and wanted to try it on a vacation with my family but we’ve never had the opportunity to book a Disney Vacation during this offer. One of my families was able to take advantage of the deal and according to them, it’s worth it. To save a few dollars yet maintaining healthy and timely eating habits is important for all, especially for children. Just like the Disney Dining Plan in general, it’s nice to know you will not incur any extra expenses during your vacation as long as you adhere to the provisions of the plan. And to sit back and enjoy a slab of ribs at Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom and realize it’s free? What a truly magical feeling!
4) Discounts – For a Disney Travel Agent, the most fun days are when deals are announced and you start seeing it in emails and on social media. Room discounts, free dining, kid-sized packages, and others make for interesting days in our world. We put out feelers to family and friends who told us they are interested in Disney vacations and sometimes, these deals help us convince a family to use our expertise and plan it for them. All we’re trying to do is save you money, we promise!
3) Cast Members always great on the phone – We live in a day and age where we can have conversations via written word instead of oral communications (wait, did we go back in time to the days of writing letters?!). And with that comes the comfort of chatting with customer service reps online rather than speaking on the phone. But with Disney planning, sometimes you have to call and actually speak to a Cast Member. What amazes me is that even though I am the lowly agent and not the actual paying customer, the friendliness and service stays the same. I have never had a bad Cast Member on the phone. It’s amazing; they treat me like I’m the actual customer! Once again, Disney customer service continues to impress and set an impossible standard for the rest of us to live up to.
2) Disney caters to all – Planning for my families, conversing with my colleagues, speaking on the phone to Cast Members and actually being on Disney properties has taught me that there truly is something for everyone. From a business mindset, to have something for every age, gender, socio-economic structure and ethnicity is amazing. Much research goes into the entertainment, design, cuisine, sights and sounds (sometimes smells and feels) of every aspect of Disney properties. The same can be said for each unique vacation plan. What I enjoy may not be the favorite of another family and another family’s go-to attraction might be one I never considered in the past. Again, that’s the true magic of Disney. Talk to 30 different people and you’ll get 30 different preferences!
1) It’s not a job – If you look at man hours to write the posts, research the parks, plan and manage multiple vacations and do it with a smile, most would be scared to fully commit to it. That’s why I never say this is a job. This is fun! This is a dream! To be able to channel my love for Disney into words on a website, into plans for families and assist in create memories for a lifetime is an amazing feeling. And to think, it all started with a mouse!
Hope my love and passion has shown through in this post and feel free to leave comments in the section below. Always remember, there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!