Seven Questions is something new on The Disney Obsession. The idea takes its inspiration, in part, from the “Top Seven Must See” loop on Walt Disney World Resort TV. It also springs from my desire to, from time to time, invite a few special guests to answer seven questions so that you, “The Few, The Proud, The Followers”, and I, can get to know them better.
Now, that we’ve established that, let’s get started. Like many of you, I have a Facebook account. There I am privileged to be friends with a good many people who share my love of Disney. Two of those friends are Melanie and John Swoap. They both have a unique connection with Walt Disney World.
During a recent perusal of Facebook I ran across something that John posted referring to Blue Sky Journeys. Interesting name I thought. So I did a little digging and found that Blue Sky Journeys is a new venture begun by the Swoap household. It is, well, let Melanie tell you about it in this first installment of Seven Questions.
TDO: What is Blue Sky Journeys?
MS: Blue Sky Journeys is a company that helps plan your escape from your day to day (your vacation). We get to know each client’s specific needs and interests. We specialize in Disney vacations and are an authorized Disney vacation planner but we can take you anywhere you want to be. The “Sky is the limit” and no, that is not our slogan.
I consider myself a "vacation planner/concierge" as I don’t like the term travel agent. We do not stop after the room and tickets are booked. We go a little deeper than that. The fun part is planning the surprises!!
TDO: Why the name "Blue Sky"?
MS: Blue Sky came from two important things I wanted to covey in a company name. One is pertaining to Disney and the other for everyone else who just wants to escape.
Disney Imagineer's use the term "Blue Sky" to describe their idea meetings. No idea is too grand or too off the wall to be considered. Which is how I want our clients to feel. Ask and we will make it happen!
I used "Journeys" because I don’t want this to seem like just another vacation, especially when you are booking a trip to Disney ... it is a journey or "magical escape" if you will. And, isn’t everyone searching for Blue Skies when they go on vacation?
TDO: What prompted you to start BSJ?
MS: I absolutely LOVED my job being a Cast member for Disney. The experience was amazing. I worked as a club level concierge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and also facilitated classes there at the Contemporary and at DU (Disney University). My husband was offered a job back in TN, which was too good to pass up so we moved to Franklin (which we LOVE). But still … I have been missing those smiles of the little and big faces that came up to the lobby desk each day. Some actually brought me to happy tears knowing that by just doing something small (adding a little pixie dust) would make their world … and it did.
So to make this brief, cause I could go on and on about special moments I had with guests … I wanted to start this adventure because I miss creating magic for people everyday. With Blue Sky Journeys I can stay connected to the magic from a distance.
TDO: What types of services do you offer?
MS: Well I don’t want to spoil surprises so I will tell you the basics.
We provide what seems to be an overwhelming amount of possibilities to a seamless, easy, exciting adventure for you and your family!
We really do it all actually … tickets, room, airfare, advanced dining reservations and more.
- We start with a profile. We ask all the questions we need to find out how we can create magic for you.
- We plan the trip and are open to anything you could dream us to do.
- On our website we have the information you need to educate yourself before departing and a place to chat on “Figment’s Forum” to ask other fans what they love or could do without on their journey.
- You are sent a package from us with all of your important information you will need such as flight times, reservation numbers and an itinerary with your advanced dining reservations, reservation numbers and tips for you journey. As a bonus, in case you lose this information, our website holds your information on your very own personal calendar that you can access via phone or internet to log onto the site and retrieve while you are away!
TDO: Of these services, what would you consider your specialty?
MS: The magic … really. There is a lot to be said about people that care. With just a little extra thought and preparation for our guest, we make each and every trip magical. Creating lasting memories will make Blue Sky Journeys what I dream it to be.
TDO: You graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge, so you're a certified expert on Disney, but can you assist clients with other types of vacation planning?
MS: Oh yes. I am a traveler myself (Tokyo, London, Hawaii just to name a few) and to tell you the truth, and I don’t want to take anything away from the College of Knowledge, but my training at DU (Disney University) on WDW property was much more extensive. Being a facilitator for other Cast Members, a conference with the Disney Institute for the events planning committee, and touring the Disney Floral & Gifts location extensively has opened my eyes to everything you can offer guests. So we can create magic on all levels no matter where our guests want to go.
TDO: What is your favorite Disney memory?
MS: Man … My mom taking me on my very first trip and riding It’s a Small World. Everyone gets sick of that song but I can’t because of the memories attached.
Every trip really! Here is a secret … when we start missing Disney we watch the planning DVD’s. lol!
Oh and my favorite characters are Alice and Minnie.
TDO: I don’t often do this, but let me simply say, that if you don’t have a regular travel provider, consider visiting Blue Sky Journeys. Even if you do, give Melanie a call and see what she can do for you. I recommend it.
So much so that I know when I begin planning my next trip I will be contacting her. Yes, I can book my own tickets, my accommodations and even my ADRs. But it is so much easier when someone else handles the details for you and who wouldn’t want that special touch that a seasoned concierge could provide? I am looking forward to that.
And one last thing, John knows a thing or two about Disney as well. Be sure to check out the “Did You Know?” section of the site.
More to follow…