My Journey to Magical Vacation Planner

My journey to Magical Vacation Planner began years before I even knew such a thing existed. Early in my career, I began working for the Walt Disney Theatrical Group in NYC. It was the perfect blend of theater and entertainment, working in my favorite city, and my love for Disney. Eventually, I would move on to a position with Disney Publishing Worldwide, during which time my husband and I bought our first apartment in Westchester, New York, and had our first child, Graysen. We brought Graysen on her first of many Walt Disney World Vacations when she was six months old.

A couple of years and some life shifts later we made the decision that I would leave Disney to raise our family and support my husband on a new business venture. That Fall, when Graysen was almost two, we commemorated this big change with a Disney Vacation staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

The following summer we brought Graysen on her first vacation to Disneyland, where we spent time with dear friends and my former Disney colleague whose family had relocated to the West Coast. Her son Ethan had been in daycare with Graysen in NY and they had an adorable reunion in the park. We were lucky to go back the next summer too and spend time together again, this time with our newest addition, Chanse.  Just prior to this visit Ethan had been diagnosed with a diffuse pontine glioma, which was later considered DIPG, a particularly aggressive and difficult-to-treat brain tumor, typically found in children.

When Ethan and his family, including his two brothers, enjoyed magical Make-A-Wish visit to Disneyland a year after his diagnosis, the importance of a family vacation where families are able to escape reality and make happy memories hit me tenfold. What I did not know at the time is that this realization would lead me into something so amazing.

Never knowing where life may take you, I wanted to help all families fill their hearts with magical memories. I found myself researching how to become a vacation planner that specializes in Disney Vacations. The major standout was Magical Vacation Planner. I joined the team in 2015 delighted to help other families plan their vacations with the idea that it would also allow my family to enjoy our own annual visit to Walt Disney World. I could not have imagined at the time that a little over a year later I would be so busy that it would have swiftly become a full-time career.

When I joined Magical Vacation Planner my older kids were almost 5 and 1 ½. By the time our youngest, Sayler, joined the family in 2018 my mom-life and MVP-life were completely intertwined. Even the oldest doesn’t remember a time when Disney and traveling weren’t a huge part of our lives. MVP is just as much my career as it is theirs and they are affectionately referred to as my research team. In 2019 when I found myself happily and infinitely busy planning vacations not only to Disney Destinations but also cruises and all-inclusive resorts, we also found that we were spending a lot of time traveling between New York and Orlando.

When 2020 showed up, with a little push from the pandemic, we relocated to Windermere, Florida, just five miles North of Magic Kingdom.  Uprooting our lives suddenly was not easy, especially for the kids and during such a complicated time in the world. In time everyone adjusted, and in addition to the plentiful sunshine, we have found that we see more friends living here than we did with our busy lives in NY, including friends who are visiting from all over the country.  Sometimes taking that leap gives you a greater outcome than you could have anticipated.

If you would like help planning your next Theme Park Vacation, Cruise, or Getaway, or if you are interested in learning more about joining the team at Magical Vacation Planner, please reach out to Dayle at d.bland@magicalvacationplanner.com.

For more information about DIPG and Ethan’s journey, please visit https://www.chadtough.org/meet-the-kids/ethan-tacheny/.

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