Super-Organized, Passionate and Ready to Plan – Introducing New Small World Big Fun Agent, Jody Everson
Jody Everson recently joined the crew at Small World Big Fun. We sat down to chat with her to find out more about her Disney expertise.
I’m from South Georgia, and I grew up going to Disney World and Universal because it’s really easy and drivable. We even had a high school graduation night at Disney World! After high school I attended the University of Georgia for undergrad and then the University of Texas, Austin for grad school. For the past 10 years, I worked at the University of Texas at Dallas in higher education.
My husband and I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. As my daughter got older, I decided it was time to plan our family’s first Disney vacation. We are in the princess phase, after all!
From “Kinder-Moon” to Star Wars, Jody Has You Covered
While I was working at the university, I spent 15 months planning for our first vacation. I was that person who was reading every Disney blog, every post, asking questions… I was super thorough, and the vacation went really smoothly. Eight months later, my daughter was about to start kindergarten, so she and I went on a girl’s trip back to Walt Disney World.
Along the way, during the planning of those two trips, so many friends were starting to do the same thing. But, they were very overwhelmed every time they opened a Disney blog or brochure. They didn’t know where to even begin, so they asked me for help. At the time, I was assisting eight or nine families with their planning because I’m so familiar with the property. And, I know which blogger or Facebook group would know the answer to a specific question.
Why Jody Joined Small World Big Fun
When my daughter started kindergarten, I didn’t really want an out-of-home job anymore, and my husband was starting to lean towards support of that plan as well. One day, I said to him, “You know what would be my dream job? Being a Disney planner… being a travel agent.” He said, “You’re already helping a lot of people with this, so why not make a living doing what you love?”
I am such a planner, I am exceptionally organized, and I am super thorough. I also don’t like the answer “I don’t know.” There’s always an answer, so let’s find it. Fast forward to this past summer when I said, “I’m really going to pursue this plan.”
So, I started researching travel agencies in my general area that specialize in Disney trips and came across the Small World Big Fun website. I filled out a form on the website, and really didn’t expect to hear anything back. But I did! When I talked to Cindy Minor, the owner, something felt good from the start. I went through agent training in September and met my new friends and co-workers.
Let Jody Take the Stress Out of Disney Travel Planning
Since I have kids that age, my expertise is with families with elementary aged kids. But, I can (and do) plan trips for everyone from a couple of recent college graduates taking a celebratory trip to grandparents taking their four grandkids to Disney.
I give all of my clients a printout of what we’ve booked in terms of their dining and their fast passes. Their schedules also outline optional, but really fun, things to do, such as times of shows, parades and the fireworks. I also train my clients on how to best use the My Disney Experience mobile app and show them how to judge wait times to make the most of their time at the parks.
Jody’s Top 3 Tips for Disney Travel
- If your kids are on the younger side (six and under), reserve a stroller. The strollers at Disney parks can accommodate kids up to 55 pounds. Not only will it be a great thing to have when you hear, “I’m tired of walking…” but also because it’s fantastic for carrying all of the inevitable stuff you’re going to collect every day. And, it’s a great place to put your coffee.
- Plan ahead. I’m talking call me to start your planning seven or eight months before the vacation. Especially if you want to do character dining or signature dining. Those types of things have to be booked six months in advance. I will wake up at five in the morning to make your reservations for you. You don’t even have to think about it. When you plan that far in advance, it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll make your trip exactly how you envision it.
- If you’re going to Walt Disney World, stay on property. Staying on property at Walt Disney World will make your life so much better. It’s so convenient. All of the hotels are themed, Disney cast members work there, you get amazing service. It may cost a little bit more, but you’ll save so much time.
Jody’s Favorite Disney Attractions
My very favorite ride at Walt Disney World is Soarin’. It’s like you’re flying over the world! I can get motion sickness but this ride doesn’t bother me at all. Hands down it’s my favorite attraction. I’m not really a fan of the thrill rides, so my other favorites are Peter Pan, It’s a Small World, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Because I have a six-year-old daughter who still thinks princesses are magical, the meet and greet with Disney princesses is like no other experience. The princesses make each girl or boy feel like the only kid in the world at that moment. Bonus tip: I had my daughter’s name printed on the front of all of her shirts and the princesses would say her name as they approached her. She thought it was so cool that they knew her name.
Dallas’ Disney Travel Planning Expert
Planning a Disney vacation doesn’t have to be overwhelming, stressful or “just too much.” At Small World Big Fun, we’re serious about providing good service. And, the best part is that our service is completely free. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. If you’re in the Dallas area (or even if you’re not!), give me a call at 912-281-5639, email me at email@example.com, or go to our website to get your free quote. I look forward to working with you!