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, nearly 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 as a Travel Advisor with Pure Magic Vacations, where I focus on Deluxe Disney vacations. In all my years of Disney travel (and 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 help many families to create their own magical memories by booking their memorable Disney Deluxe vacations. Visit my Disney travel page to learn more.
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 fan 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. 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 WDW for the first very first time in March 1972 (and we stayed onsite for three weeks).
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. As a TICO licensed Travel Advisor with Pure Magic Vacations, I focus exclusively on helping others to book their 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 operates at 1923MainStreet.com. This online shop features officially licensed bags, wallets, backpacks and accessories from brands including Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter and more. I am also author of a Deluxe Disney travel guide called The Very Best of Walt Disney World Resort.
A big part of my client service for Disney travel includes creating day-by-day itineraries specific to each family for their Walt Disney World vacations. 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 create their itinerary for the week, including which parks to visit on which days, a plan of attack for visiting the shows and attractions, and 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 destination). This is highly detail-oriented work, but my clients appreciate the effort and the fun stories and photos that they share after returning home make it all worthwhile.
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