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A Brutally Honest Moment


I need to be candid for a moment.


I attended an in-person Universal training event today. It was held here in Denver. I've attended several Universal trainings before, all in Orlando, and I have learned something new- well, many new things- each time. So I was really looking forward to the training today.


I was fortunate to attend training with Nicole, a fellow agent at Middle of the Magic Travel. Nicole and I have been friends for years. We met through our agency. We've spent time together at Universal, Disney and even here locally. I've got great memories (and pictures) of Nicole in Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood, in her Gryffindor outfit, complete with striped kneesocks and pigtails. We took the most epic canoe adventure ever at Disneyland. She's fun to hang out with, and I knew we would have a great time today.


Four ladies holding canoe paddles at Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes, at Disneyland
Disneyland Canoe Team!

Training was hosted by two Universal Business Development Managers. One of the two was Derek, Middle of the Magic Travel's own manager. Derek has been working with our agency since I started. He is our connection to the Universal company, and we've worked with him over the years on training and support. Derek has personally taken me on majority of my Universal hotel tours, and he's been a constant in my travel advisor career.


I usually go to him for training in Orlando, so it was fun to see him on my home turf. It even snowed a little bit this afternoon for the Florida folks.




Training was great- fun, engaging, and I learned a lot of things. Plus, I got to refresh and test my current Universal knowledge, which is vast. But I also got something else: a strong sense of pride and longevity.


See, the travel industry can be a tricky business. Most advisors don't last past the first year or two. To really be effective, you need to be constantly researching, training and visiting these destinations. Things change frequently at the theme parks, so staying current is crucial to ensuring your clients have their best vacations possible. And not everyone has the drive to keep up.


On top of that, travel is having a moment. Travel is in its Avon-Mary-Kay-MLM-wannabe-travel-influencer era. Recently, everyone who went to Disney or Universal once or twice and had fun has decided they, too, want to be a travel advisor. And make no mistake, there are plenty of large agencies out there who are willing to take them. With no experience or training, these newly-minted enthusiasts will become one of hundreds or even thousands of nameless agents, just a number in a database somewhere. These large agencies hand out credentials with little to no requirements (usually just buy-in money), and off they go! This is why you've seen so. many. people you know suddenly becoming travel agents. And while they may have had a great time planning their own family's vacation, that doesn't make them a Disney or Universal expert.


Experience does. Training does. Firsthand knowledge does.



I take my job very seriously. Yes, the theme parks are fun, but a vacation is an investment for clients that should be handled with care and attention to detail. My clients are spending their hard-earned money, cashing in vacation time they've saved up. They're taking time off of work, school and other commitments. And besides that, they're looking forward to their vacation. They have hopes and expectations and want it to be the best vacation possible.


And so do I. That's why I train and tour and visit. That's why I get regular updates from Disney and Universal. That's why I've stayed in and toured every hotel. Ridden all the rides. Eaten at all the restaurants. Taken all the different transportation. And why I never stop learning.


Because what's right for one family's vacation is not what's best for another. Each vacation is different, and it's important that I know the differences between times of year to visit, location and proximity, hotel amenities, theme park ticket options, how to book various types of reservations, and yes, even the best ways to navigate the parks. I am chock-full of the "tips & tricks" that people regularly search for online. Because I am absolutely obsessed with the theme parks and all the ways to have the best vacation experiences. And I want each of my clients to go and have the time of their lives.


And I am one of the OGs of the travel industry. And damn proud of it, too. I've been doing this for more than 8 years now. I have seen it all. I watched the theme parks close and the cruise ships dock in 2020, and handled every single cancellation and refund. I almost lost my entire business during Covid. I have survived several shake-ups at our little family of an agency. I made it through revenge travel. And I'm still here. Middle of the Magic Travel is still here. And we've been doing this since way back when.


Middle of the Magic Travel is a small, tight-knit family of an agency. I am proud to be one of only 40 agents in this elite group. Our agency owner Traci goes above and beyond to ensure we have all the training and tools we need to make magical memories happen. And she maintains close relationships with our managers at Disney and Universal. Among hundreds of agencies, our BDMs know Middle of the Magic by name. They know Traci, and they know me.



So, yes, I am still "doing that travel thing". Yes, travel agents are still a thing. And we are more relevant than ever. With so many choices, and so many decisions to be made, savvy travelers know the true value of working with an experienced professional, to ensure their trip is everything they're dreaming of.


That's what I do. I turn dreams into precious memories. I have the best job in the world. And I couldn't be more proud.



If I have helped you plan a vacation in the past, thank you. Thank you for trusting me to be a part of your magic.


If we haven't planned together before, I would be honored to help you. I promise to do everything I can to make your vacation as magical, memorable and hassle-free as possible.


And if you're a fellow travel advisor, thanks for reading my rant.











 

As always, I am here to help you design your dream vacation. If you've got planning questions, I am here to take away the hassle and guesswork. Schedule a Zoom call or phone appointment with me any time, and let's begin!




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