As Disney fans we can always expect a barrage of questions from friends and family when they begin planning a trip to the vacation kingdom of the world. Naturally we explode with excitement and being to talk endlessly about the happiest place on earth until we are out of breath. But for many visitors, trip planning can quickly become extremely overwhelming. That is, unless they are working with Colleen Bentley…
When did you discover your love for Disney?
Colleen: I started going to Walt Disney World at a young age with my family, so it’s always been a huge part of my life! My true love and obsession - let’s be honest - probably developed when I was around 14 and started taking over the trip planning for our family.
Tell us about your background and what led you to start WDW Park Planners?
My background is in business and marketing, which I’ve worked in for the last eight years and still do! I’ve always wanted to start my own business, so it was natural to combine my business dreams with my love for Disney World.
When did you launch? Anything help you take the leap?
I launched my website and business in September 2018 after we got back from our family trip to Walt Disney World. Starting a Disney business had been in my head for years, but I never knew what it would really look like.
I did know that I wanted to help other families experience Walt Disney World the way our family does - enjoying every bit of magic. Watching people wait in excessive lines (180 minutes for Flight of Passage) was something we had never done, but this was where I saw my business opportunity.
After that summer trip to Disney, I decided to start a “Park Planning Service” to share my Disney World expertise with other people. So then I got started!
What services do you offer to someone planning their vacation?
My goal is to help families traveling to Walt Disney World “Make Every Minute Magical.” Which really means I help them get the most out of their time in the parks and personalize their WDW experience to fit their family’s needs.
I get the question a lot of whether I’m a travel agent – I am not. Instead, I call myself a “Park Planner.” Once someone books their travel to WDW, I take it from there! I do all of the pre-trip planning work: dining reservations once they’re within the 180 day window, Fast Pass+ selections once they’re within the 60 or 30-day window and then create a custom day-by-day itinerary for their group.
Can you share one of your top tips your guests?
Plan ahead! In order to get the most out of your Disney World experience, it’s so important to plan ahead. Contact me to talk about planning for your upcoming Disney trip!
What’s next? What do you want people to know?
The WDW Park Planners business has been growing since I launched, so my goal is continuing to get the word out! The Park Planning service is for those looking to get more out of their Walt Disney World experience - whether it be first-timers or regulars.
I love doing partnerships and collaborations with other Disney businesses and influencers, so send me an email if you’re interested in teaming up! Check out my blog to see who I’ve partnered with recently :)
Mickey Bar or Mickey Pretzel?
Dole Whip or Citrus Swirl?
Favorite Disney restaurant?
Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs! As a former competitive Irish Dancer for most of my life, I LOVE this spot. The musicians and dancers are some of the best in the world, and the food and drinks are delicious!
Favorite park and attraction?
Ride: Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom
Favorite holiday in the parks?
I’ve been to WDW during the Christmas season many times, and am going for Halloween for the FIRST time ever this fall! So I guess that makes my current answer Christmas, but ask me again after October!
All time favorite fireworks show?
I love the new Happily Ever After fireworks show, but for sentimental reasons, I have to go with Wishes.
Who do you want to see interviewed next?
Little Treasure Packs & Co! April makes the CUTEST Disney-inspired fanny packs for kids and adults. Fanny packs are a game-changer for the parks :)