When I had kids, I vowed that I would make good on a promise that my parents, for various reasons, couldn’t keep: I was going to take my kids to Disney World.
But when our three kids were little, money was tight for my husband and I. After clawing our way out of welfare, we had just barely bought our own house.
To get my family to Disney, I had to use every single thrifty strategy I could muster… and it worked. In 2008, I achieved one of my parenting goals: be successful enough to meet Mickey and eat my weight in popcorn in front of Cinderella’s castle.
Getting my kids to Disney wasn’t just a family vacation… it was my signal that I had made it. I had ditched the poverty, divorce and trauma (there was a shootout at a McDonalds) from my childhood and built a better life for my kids.
I would go on to use my own proven tips, tricks and work-around strategies to help my clients as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner from 2010 to 2014. I loved that job! I got to talk all day with people who were just as excited about Disney World as I was… and effectively make their Disney dreams come true.
Corporate opportunities would lead me away from planning dream vacations. My work with a local marketing agency turned into a position as Creative Manager. I worked with some amazing people in the marketing office, but there wasn’t time anymore for my Disney vacation planning on the side.
Then, in 2016, a health event lead me to reevaluate my life: I was actually working myself to death for just a couple of weeks of vacation a year. My marketing team needed me, but what did I need? I had to change my stress level, and to do that, I needed change my lifestyle.
Well, not right into the castle, but close enough. I now enjoy a life near the beach with a senior editor position at The Penny Hoarder, where I help our readers save and make money… just like I did as a Disney vacation planner.
For fun, and to keep my marketing chops fresh, I visit Disney World just about once a week and post my adventures on Instagram and here on my Disney blog.
I love to pass on my first-hand knowledge of Disney to help someone else save money, eat the best food and have those can’t-miss experiences. Because someone’s trip might be their first… and it might mean more to them than just a family vacation.
Join me on my adventures and get my tips that can build a better trip. Disney World is always changing, so you never know what might turn up!