Are you on your way to Disney World right now? You may run into your neighbors. This week is often known as New Jersey Week in Disney, because so many families use the NJEA Teachers Convention days off as a great time to see Mickey!
If you’re planning a future Disney vacation, chances are you’ve talked to family and friends who’ve already been there, looking for advice about how to do it right.
Planning a Disney vacation has become so complicated that sometimes people become overwhelmed and end up not having the experience they wanted. There are so many parks, restaurants, resorts, rides and characters meets-and-greets, it’s can be difficult for the first-time Disney traveler to know what will be best for their party. Luckily, Glen Ridge mom Kimberly Anwar and her team at Magic Family Getaways can help.
Anwar started Magic Family Getaways in 2015 with a passion to help families create unique and unforgettable vacations. What started as a solo operation out of Montclair has quickly grown to a group of 20 travel advisors located in NJ, PA, OH, MO, MA and CT. In addition to booking family travel to destinations all over the world, Magic Family Getaways’ primary focus is as a Disney Vacation Specialist, and the organization is also an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. The team has visited Walk Disney World more than a thousand times, so they know what they’re talking about!
Anwar didn’t start out as a travel agent, however. Before beginning her business, she spent more than 16 years working in the asset management industry. After taking some time off to start her family, she returned to find this was no longer the right career path for her. By creating Magic Family Getaways, she was able to stay home with her boys, now 18, 14 and 9, while working her own hours and building a client base.
As the business grew, Kim was able to use her expertise in marketing, sales and client service to continue to help families plan their dream vacations by partnering with Disney. Disney’s training program, along with Kim’s and the other agents’ own travel experiences, allows everyone at Magic Family Getaways to educate their clients before, during, and after their vacations. Whether it’s someone’s first trip to Disney or their 10th, there’s always something new to learn, and helping clients navigate their way through the various levels, price points, resort options, meal plans and more ensures families are able to do Disney how they want and in a way that works for them.
When asked what her favorite thing, Kim says that’s a tough one to answer. She’s visited the parks a few times per year for quite some time, and she’s lost track of just how many times she’s been. She’s experienced everything there is to do as part of her training and she’s often invited to openings of new experiences and press events. This makes it easier to help clients find what they’ll want to experience but harder to pick just one favorite.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is one of the newest attractions at both Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and Disney World in Orlando, FL. The Star Wars area is about 14 acres in each park, making them both something to behold. Activities include Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Light Sabers, and Droid Depot, where visitors can design and build a customized droid. Fans will also enjoy Oga’s Cantina, for “local beverages and curious concoctions.”
The most often asked questions for the agents at Magical Family Getaways are what time of year is best for a trip to Disney and how far in advance should the trip be booked. Kim’s advice is to find the dates that work for your family. The parks are often more crowded during the popular times like spring break, holidays, and summer, and Disney knows how to fill the park based on the calendar. But by knowing when a family can travel and the approximate budget available, agents can help plan a trip that works. The more time you have to prepare though, the more that can be done.
For example, a year in advance is more than enough time, but it can secure your preferred dining and resort options. Popular restaurants often fill up about six months in advance and character meals are often fully booked a few months out. A fun trip can be planned with only a few weeks before travel, however, it does become harder to obtain FASTPASS on short notice.
One of the great things about working with agents such as Magic Family Getaways is that they can help park visitors navigate the Disney app, modify their plans, and figure out the best things to see. They can also teach clients through the planning process about how the parks work. Once clients understand the flow, how long activities take, how to schedule for waiting, and how the app can help, the experience will be even better. Agents can also keep an eye out for discounts and upgrades, even after trips are booked, and they are often the first to know about new parties, nighttime activities, and other special events.
Magic Family Getaways offer all their services free to their clients. Because Disney pays the agents’ commissions, they can provide their knowledge and expertise at no cost to their clients. While some might be apprehensive about using a travel agency to plan their trip, many find they save time and money, resulting in an even more enjoyable trip.
Kim offers this great trip to Disney travelers: “Don’t try to see it all. The parks are big!” Instead, she says, figure out what’s most important this time around and then plan to go back to see more on your next trip. People should enjoy their vacation and quality time together without stressing about cramming everything in at once.
Whether you’re looking to visit California, Florida, Adventures By Disney, or a Disney Cruise, Kim and Magic Family Getaways can help you plan a magical, memorable experience. To learn more, visit magicfamilygetaways.com.