Elizabeth comes from a small town in the middle of Oklahoma where, as a kid, she spent her time running down dirt roads. In her town, vacations weren’t really something most families did. After graduating high school, she got married and then went to college in Florida, where she graduated with a degree in criminal justice. She and her husband have two boys ages 13 and 7, and both boys started their Disney adventures at age 2.
Unlike her kids, however, Elizabeth’s first trip to Disney didn’t happen until she was an adult. She says, “There was absolutely no planning involved with our first visit and it was an absolute mess! We jumped in the car and drove the six hours with a then-2-year-old. We waited in lines and we had ZERO dining reservations, but we were at Disney!” As crazy as that trip was, it kicked off Elizabeth’s love for all things Disney. Her family is now a member of the Disney Vacation Club, so they split their time planning and traveling between the parks, as well as on Disney Cruise Lines at least once a year.
“Our friends and family took notice of the fun we were having on our Disney adventures,” Elizabeth says. “They started asking me for help with planning their vacations, and here I am! I tell people all the time that Disney Vacation Planning is my fun job.”
Elizabeth prides herself on being an excellent researcher and says she loves to get to the bottom of an issue or formulate ways of getting things done. Her abilities make her a natural as a Disney travel agent. She starts planning her family’s trips years in advance. In fact, her vacations are planned out to 2020!
When she decided to become a travel agent, she conducted a lot of research and landed on Small World Big Fun. “When talking with Cindy [Minor, owner of SWBF] I felt like this was the place for me,” she says. “Cindy understood what I loved about Disney, and she understood that I had a desire to help families fall in love with Disney.”
Elizabeth loves helping families discover and delight in the magic of Disney. “These days, everyone stares at an electronic screen. At Disney, you interact with one another, talking, laughing, and enjoying yourselves. That’s the magic I see when I go to Disney.”
As the mom of two children with a significant age gap, Elizabeth has a great deal of knowledge about managing the parks and FastPasses when the older kid wants nothing but roller coasters and the younger one wants to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Elizabeth’s Top Three Tips
- Stay on property! It is so much more convenient.
- Value resorts are great for saving money, but certain ones only offer double beds, which can be a big issue for families if they do not know this!
- Don’t stress! She says, “You’ve asked me to plan your vacation for a reason, let me stress while you go have all the fun!”
Elizabeth’s Top Three Disney Attractions
- Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith. “I love the music, but the added speed is by far the best part.”
- Peter Pan’s Flight®. “Peter Pan is one of my favorite Disney characters, so it’s only fitting that I love the ride, too!”
- Splash Mountain®. “I love the story as you float along.”
Planning a Disney Vacation
Because she’s a Disney pro, Elizabeth says she’s often surprised when she sees how little some people know about Disney vacations. “I’m still shocked when someone asks me for a Disneyland quote, and once I send them all the information they realize they actually wanted a quote for Walt Disney World.”
Many people have the mistaken belief that a Disney vacation is too expensive. They often say that they’ve looked into it and think it’s not doable. Elizabeth strongly disagrees and says, “They just need the right person to help them figure everything out. That’s why I love doing what I do! I love helping families figure out that the magic is there, and they can experience it, too.”
One of her favorite trips she’s planned was for a family of five. The family had never taken a vacation together, but they had the opportunity to go to Florida as part of a work trip. One of the children is very young and has Type 1 diabetes, so the family was adamant about not wanting to go to Disney World. Elizabeth and her family had recently visited Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and they loved it. After discussing this option for a vacation with the family, they decided to book it. “I have heard from this family numerous times since and they always tell me how in love they were with the resort and how impressed they were with the added care given.”
If you’d like to plan a vacation with Elizabeth, you can reach her at [email protected] or 405-694-9387. And remember, all the services of Small World Big Fun are FREE!