Mike Belobradic: The Disney Traveller
Disney travel has been a part of my life since I was four years old. That first trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1966 is also one of my first memories.
Since then I have taken nearly 100 trips to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, more than 10 trips to Disneyland Resort in California and numerous trips to Disney beach resorts in locations such as Disney Aulani in Hawaii and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Florida. Typically we take two to three Disney-related vacations each year.
With over 50 years of Disney travel experience, I put my expertise to good use for many years as a Luxury Travel Advisor, where I focused on Deluxe Disney vacations. In all my years of Disney travel (always staying in Disney resort hotels on Disney property), I have only ever stayed in Deluxe Resorts. As a result, I know these properties exceptionally well, down to the nuances of specific rooms and parts of the resort. I have helped many families to create their own magical memories by booking their memorable Disney Deluxe vacations. Now, I provide my insights and expertise full-time through the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.
Growing Up Disney: The Early Years of Walt Disney World Resort
The Disney experience was very much a part of my life from the very beginning. It would be fair to say that I grew up on Disney, thanks in big part to my father, who was the original Disney traveler in our family.
Once Walt Disney World opened in Orlando on October 1, 1971, the Disney Parks experience was suddenly in very close range to our family here in Ontario, Canada. My father wasted no time in taking advantage of Walt Disney World’s proximity — having a Disney resort within driving distance was a big thing for us. True to form, less than six months after Walt Disney World opened its gates to the world in October 1971, we visited Walt Disney World for the first very first time in March 1972 (and we stayed onsite for three weeks that year).
That was the beginning of a tradition that would never change.
For the next 13 years or so, our family made the annual spring pilgrimage to Walt Disney World — for three weeks each time. After graduating university, I continued the tradition. Now, with a family of my own, we remain regular Disney travellers (yes, we do visit other places as well!). For all of our Disney vacations, we have always stayed at a Deluxe Disney Resort on Disney property (the only way to go) and over the past 40+ years I have continued that trend of multiple annual visits. My nine-year-old daughter is already far ahead of my pace!
I have experienced the growth of Walt Disney World firsthand — from a single park (Magic Kingdom) and three resort properties, into the massive vacation kingdom that we know and love today. In fact, I even had a part in a 1976 Disney promotional video that was filmed at Walt Disney World while we there one spring in the early ’70s. My mother had to sign a release and off I went to play a (tiny) role in helping to promote this “new” vacation destination to the world. Recently I found that video online and was able to catch a glimpse myself driving one of the Disney SeaRaycers along Bay Lake.
As I entered into the business world later in life, I came to appreciate not only the great times we have at Disney Parks & Resorts, but I also grew to admire the Disney approach to doing business and guest relations. I have studied Disney from a business perspective for many years and I incorporate a good deal of their business model into my own work.
Sharing Disney Travel Advice with Others
When it comes to Disney travel specifically, I love to share my knowledge and experience with others. Through my Luxury Disney Travel Blog, I focus exclusively on helping others learn more about the merits and magic of Deluxe Disney vacations. I enjoy sharing the Disney travel wisdom that I have acquired over the past 40+ years of Disney travel so that you don’t have to worry about making the wrong choices or feeling overwhelmed by all of your options.
In addition to Disney travel, I also founded 1923 Main Street®, which was the very first version of my Disney Travel Blog. For a brief period of time I also sold officially licensed Disney bags, wallets, backpacks and other items through 1923 Main Street, but the brand has now been re-integrated into my Finer Side of Travel™ and Luxury Disney Travel Blog site. I am also author of a Deluxe Disney travel guide called The Very Best of Walt Disney World Resort.
Even though I am no longer a licensed Luxury Travel Advisor (preferring to focus on blogging about luxury travel), I still provide one service to select Disney travelers: itinerary planning. Having a well conceived itinerary is the most important part of a Walt Disney World vacation. I make it a point to get to the know the families that I work with and the unique likes (and dislikes) of all the children. I then suggest an itinerary for the week, including which parks to visit on which days and suggestions for booking their FastPass+ selections and dining for the week. I also provide my clients with numerous tips and tricks to ensure that they got the very most out of their time at the “vacation kingdom.”
When it comes to Disney travel, everything that I do is aimed at ensuring that everyone gets to experience what they most want to see and do on their Walt Disney World vacations (and other premium Disney destinations). It can be highly detailed work, but it really makes a difference in the overall success of any Disney vacation.
Are You a Disney Traveller?
As a Luxury Travel Blogger, I write regularly about upscale Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest news and insights on luxury Disney travel.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Luxury Disney Travel Expert