“Mike Belobradic is a Canadian Luxury Travel Advisor, Author and Blogger.
With over four decades of global luxury travel experience, Mike is well positioned to serve his client base with first-hand, expert advice. Mike’s unique area of specialty is luxury Disney travel (he has taken nearly 100 trips to Walt Disney World from Canada, along with ongoing regular visits to luxury Disney Resorts in Florida, California, Hawaii and beyond). Although luxury Disney travel is Mike’s true passion, his luxury travel experience extends well beyond Disney destinations. Mike is well travelled, having visited 49 of 50 U.S. States, all Canadian Provinces, much of Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii. Mike also lived in Nice, France for over a year, during which time he traveled extensively throughout Europe and north Africa, staying at luxury properties in nearly all European countries.
Before entering the field of luxury travel, Mike was a successful marketing, digital strategy and social media executive and also a High Net Worth Wealth Management executive. Mike leverages both his marketing and digital experience, and his success in working with High Net Worth clientele in his luxury travel business. Mike understands the luxury travel market and the needs of luxury travelers extremely well. He is very focused on providing a premium level of client experience in all that he does for his luxury travel clientele. As a lifelong luxury traveler himself, this includes insights and advice that traditional travel agents do not have about the unique luxury travel market.
As a travel author, Mike published his first article in Transitions Abroad Magazine in 1988, after living in Nice, France. Since then he has continued to write and blog profusely with a focus on luxury Disney travel. He is the creator of the Luxury Disney Travel Blog and also author the luxury Disney travel guide: The Very Best of Walt Disney World Resort.
Mike was born in raised in Toronto, Ontario and currently lives with his wife and daughter in Oakville, Ontario. Mike has also lived for periods of time in Nice, France; London, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Vancouver, B.C., as well as spending a significant amount of time working in Chicago, Illinois.
You can learn more about Mike’s travel background and experience on his travel resume page.”
My Disney Side
Disney travel has always been a big part of my life.
It all started at a very early age when my father (the original Disney fan in our family) first took our family to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California in the summer of 1966. As a four-year-old boy, standing before the gates of “the happiest place on earth” is one of my earliest childhood memories. That was my first experience with Disney magic and the Pixie Dust really stuck with us. So, once Walt Disney World opened in 1971 — and was much closer to home (on a relative basis at least) — things really began to ramp up for the Belobradic family when it came to Disney vacations.
You can also read more in this recent story published in the Oakville Beaver.
Visit my Disney Travel page to follow the rest of the Belobradic Disney story.
Everything Else: from Celebrity Photographer to Indie Music Label Owner
I have always had the desire to try new ventures to satisfy my creative and entrepreneurial side. Running in parallel to my business career were my outside interests (or “hobbies that pay,” as I called them), which I threw myself into driven by my personal passions. My outside activities and entrepreneurial businesses have proven to be valuable to me because running these businesses allowed me to test out marketing, sales and digital strategy approaches and various client service models. Most all all, though, it was all about having fun doing things that I love to do.
Here are a few of my creative ventures over the years:
- Professional Photographer. I discovered my passion for photography in Nice, France where I bought my first SLR camera. As a self-taught photographer, I began with special-event coverage and celebrity photography in the South of France, including red carpet events at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. I continued this love for photography back home in Canada in both Vancouver and Toronto, where I had many photos published in major U.S. magazines of celebrities who were quite big at the time. These included people such as John Travolta, Michael J. Fox, Rob Lowe, Madonna and many more. As my skills grew, my photography then developed into studio work, travel photography and unique portraits. Today I still love taking photos, but now I do it just for fun or for posting online in support of my outside interests.
- Snowboard and Skateboard Magazine Publisher. Board sports have always been a passion of mine, so when I started snowboarding in the early ’90s I saw a void in the marketplace for a grassroots snowboard publication that focused on the local snowboard scene in Ontario. With that in mind I launched 360 Spins Magazine in 1995. I spent most of my free time taking photos, writing stories, covering local events, interviewing riders and skaters, analyzing the boarding business, selling ad space, creating the layout of each issue, getting it printed (and then delivered) and much more. It was a massive amount of work and I had to figure it all out as I went along. But I loved what I was doing. Over the course of two-and-a-half years, 360 Spins grew from 500 copies of a four-page photocopied leaflet (distributed in four Toronto area board shops) to a 40-page offset printed magazine with 15,000 copies of each issue distributed nationally in nearly 100 skate and snowboard shops across Canada (and into parts of the U.S.). I had writers, photographers and advertising sales personnel working for the magazine and I made a lot a great friends in the industry. 360 Spins was one of my most fun endeavors of all.
- Longboard Skateboard Designer and Woodworker. In the late ’90s, a good friend of mine named Michael Brooke (author of The Concrete Wave) and I really started to get into longboard skateboards. It was a natural progression to get that snowboarding feel in the off season. Longboards are everywhere nowadays, but back in the late ’90s it was a totally different environment. No one in Ontario really knew what they were — until I featured them in 360 Spins Magazine, that is. The younger skaters of the day made fun of longboard skateboards and swore they’d never be caught dead on one. Funny how much has changed since then as you now see longboards everywhere — including younger skaters cruising and ripping up the streets. Back in the late ’90s I started my own company building custom longboard skateboards, which I sold through my website and shipped all over North America. That company was called MJB Design and my top seller was a longboard deck called the Thruster, which I modeled after a surfboard that I owned at the time. This little venture got me really interested in woodworking and before I knew it I found myself with a full production shop building high-end custom furniture. A custom woodworking business was born. You can still find my custom woodwork creations in fine homes around Oakville and beyond.
- Landscape Designer. Speaking of Oakville, when we first moved here we bought a new house and were faced with a barren property to landscape. Naturally, my creative juices kicked into gear once again. Not satisfied with the prospect of plunking down any old mundane garden features, my passion for landscaping and gardening led me to pursue and graduate with a post-secondary Diploma in Landscape Design and Horticulture from Sheridan College in Oakville. After that, I ran a successful landscape design business here in Oakville for many years.
- Indie Music Label Owner. I first learned to play guitar when I was 14 after picking up my sister’s abandoned instrument and a “learn to play guitar” book that I found in our piano bench. I became self-taught pretty quickly and played in bands on an ongoing basis throughout high school, university and beyond — even in France and Vancouver. Early on I played a lot of hardcore music and punk, but that eventually expanded to include country (quite the range, I know). My passion for music led me to start Cedar Trail Music in the early 2000s. This was my indie music label, which was mainly a country label and had releases from up and coming musicians. Cedar Trail Music allowed me to leverage my marketing and digital strategy skills, along with my media relations, music production and songwriting skills (I am a SOCAN member). Sadly, the advent of digital downloads (aka Napster at the time and similar sites) led to the end of this venture as it was a tough grind to turn a profit in the music industry at the grassroots level when people essentially wanted music for free (this was well before models like Spotify came along). Still, Cedar Trail Music was another one of my favourite sideline businesses and I had a great time running the company.
- BBQ Pitmaster and Formally-Trained Chef. My passion for cooking began (and remains) firmly entrenched in the world of smoking meats and all kinds of true barbecue (low and slow cooking over hardwood heat). I have spent a lot of time in the Carolinas and Texas over the years, so I guess it’s no surprise that true BBQ (different than grilled foods, which many Canadians call barbecue) is in my blood. I honed my craft with some skilled southern pitmasters and eventually started helping other Canadian BBQ aficionados to learn how to do it right — low and slow. I am a certified barbecue judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) in the U.S. and have a large outdoor kitchen here in Oakville featuring several smokers, a wood-fired brick oven and more. Wanting to learn more — and in an effort to round out my skills and experience — I enrolled in Culinary School and graduated with my Chef’s Diploma from Liaison College here in Oakville (Liaison College is a culinary school with many campuses and is the single largest trainer of chefs in Canada). Since those early days, my cooking addiction has expanded to include many kinds of outdoor cooking. As a purist, I most enjoy foods cooked over hardwood heat (rarely will I use a gas grill). What began with lip-smacking Southern BBQ has now grown to include Brazilian Barbecue and Hawaiian Barbecue dishes. It is now to the point that I sometimes have to buy an extra suitcase to bring back authentic woods from faraway place to use in my firepits (such as Kiawe wood from Hawaii, which I use to make authentic Huli Huli Chicken). And yes, you do have to declare wood and Canada Customs is going to ask about it.
Currently, I spend my time as a Travel Advisor with Pure Magic Vacations, specializing in Deluxe Disney vacations.
I also run 1923 Main Street®, an online shop focusing on unique licensed merchandise from Disney, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, Avengers, Wonder Woman and many more great franchises of heroes and villains. Feel free to drop by to take a look around. Have an idea for something you would like to see in the shop? Drop me a line to let me know.
These are just a few of my outside interests that have come together to provide significant extra experience for me over the course of many years.
Everyone Has A Story To Tell.
Luxury Disney Travel Blog