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Maureen Austin

Independent Travel Planner

Maureen@ReachfortheMagicDestinations.com

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Most people would be surprised to know that my first visit to Walt Disney World was at age 1 and I didn’t make a return until I was hired there as a high school junior at the age of 16!  I worked counter service and merchandise sales in Fantasyland and it was creating magic for guests that made magic for me.  There are so many memories I have cherished over the years, each unique and memorable.  Walking past the castle at midnight on my 30th birthday, seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle for the first time on my 40th.  There’s also the time Mickey gently coaxed my then 3-year-old out from behind his dad for a picture and watching my 17-year-old daughter tear up while meeting Baymax. 

Since that time, I’ve spent hundreds of days at the Walt Disney World Resort.  For three years, my husband and our five children lived just 10 miles from the main gates and made countless trips as Annual Passholders.  In addition, since moving to Arkansas 10 years ago, we’ve continued to go back and visit Mickey and crew.  Two of my children are on the special needs spectrum and Disney Parks and Resorts is a vacation experience that has enriched their lives immensely. 

In addition to Walt Disney World, I’ve taken numerous voyages with Disney Cruise Line, experiencing all the magic there is at sea, including preview cruises of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. 

Fort the past several years, my family and I have also made trips to the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.  We love the nostalgic feel of Disneyland Park and the innovative and exciting attractions at California Adventure.

In addition to these incredible memories, I have been fortunate to be able to participate and finish a Disney Half Marathon, which challenged but deeply rewarded me beyond measure.  Running on Main Street at 5 am to the cheers of onlookers, digging deep in my happy place, is something I truly will never forget.

I have over ten years of travel planning experience and love the relationships I build with clients.  I truly believe a vacation is a valuable investment and deserves attention to detail as well as some careful forethought in order to ensure you get the most out of your experience.

I am a College of Disney Knowledge graduate and Universal Orlando Resort Specialist.

Maureen's Walt Disney World Favorites

Deluxe Resort:  Polynesian

Moderate Resort:  Port Orleans French Quarter

Value:  Pop Century

Park:  Magic Kingdom

Attractions:  Seven Dwarves Mine Train,  Soarin,  Toy Story Midway Mania,

Restaurants:  Garden Grill (EPCOT),  The Plaza (MK),  Sci Fi Dine in Theater (HS)

Stores:  Boutiki (Polynesian),  MouseGears (EPCOT)

Snack: Mickey Bar

Maureen's Disneyland Favorites

Park:  Disneyland

Attraction:  Radiator Springs Racers (CA),  Big Thunder Mountain (DL), Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (DL), Space Mountain (DL) 

Resort:  Disneyland Hotel

Restaurants:  Goofy’s Kitchen (DL Hotel),  Carthay Circle (CA),  Blue Bayou (DL)

Stores:  Dress Shop (Downtown Disney)  Disney Clothiers (DL)  Off the Page (CA)

Maureen’s Cruise Favorites

Ship:  Disney Dream

Restaurant:  Animator’s Palate

Castaway Cay Spot:  Serenity Bay

Maureen’s Other Favorites

Characters:  Mickey, Stitch and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Merchandise:  Kate Spade Disney and Mouse Ears- the sparklier, the better

Movie-  Steamboat Willie, Lilo and Stitch, Fantasia

Star Wars Movie:  The Force Awakens

Star Wars Character: BB-8