Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan and Leslie Lowry.
Hi Dan and Leslie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
We took our first trip to Disney World in the summer of 2012. Our oldest, Aidan, was six and Jennings had just turned one. Dan told Leslie to plan to do everything she wanted to do because this was going to be a one-time thing. To say we fell in love would be a massive understatement. We started taking multiple Disney trips a year, from Disney Cruise Line to theme parks, to Aulani Resort in Hawaii. Leslie became a part-time travel agent specializing in Disney destinations in April 2015 as a way to stay connected to Disney in between trips. At the time, Dan was in the Army National Guard part-time and worked as the Director of Facilities at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK. Leslie had been a Registered Nurse since 2002 and began teaching nursing school after earning her Masters in Nursing Education in 2012. Life was… full. But it obviously wasn’t full enough because Dan had the bright idea to start a new Disney-focused podcast as a husband and wife team.
We launched Addicted to the Mouse on March 2, 2017, as a hobby to, again, stay connected. What first started as a fun thing to do as a couple that we really didn’t expect anyone to listen to started to pick up steam. We committed to a firm schedule of posting one new episode a week. As we grew and Leslie saw increased leads for new clients wanting to plan Disney vacations from the podcast, we increased the frequency of episodes to two per week and started to focus on uploading quality vlogs to YouTube, capturing our family vacations on the channel, WorthMelting4. By 2019, we were addicted to more than the mouse. Dan and Leslie had cruised to Alaska, frequented Universal theme parks, and tasted wine in Napa Valley. We were addicted to family travel and focused on saving as much as we could to explore the world. We eliminated all debt, sold our house, paid off our car, and made a plan for us both to quit our jobs and travel the world.
Then, March of 2020 happened. After months of canceling everyone’s vacations Leslie had booked (including our own to Europe) we found ourselves in the middle of a thrown-together road trip that July. While driving, we started talking about how exciting and fun it would be to change our focus from traveling the world to starting our own travel agency and moving to our favorite place. As soon as we got home, we started Fantastical Vacations and made plans to both quit our jobs by January 2022 and move to Orlando. We began looking for houses to either build or buy and started interviewing some of the most amazing Disney fans we knew to work with us in building up the agency. As of this writing, Fantastical Vacations has 27 amazing travel advisors that focus on Disney, Universal, and Cruise Lines. We are closing on our dream home in Windermere in three weeks and will soon call central Florida our home.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not. Starting a travel agency and planning to quit two good-paying jobs in the middle of a pandemic… let’s just say… raised a few eyebrows. Not to mention, both of our parents live within minutes of where we are in Oklahoma. So, the fact that they have been largely understanding through our decision to move our family over 18 hours away to follow a dream that is pretty risky is fantastic. I mean… quitting to build a business centered on travel during 2020 isn’t the safest business model.
As you know, we’re big fans of Fantastical Vacations. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We own a travel agency, Fantastical Vacations, that plans vacations for our clients and their families. All of our travel advisors specialize in Disney destinations, Universal Resorts, all major cruise lines, and some all-inclusive locations. Our services are 100% free to our clients because we only get paid by suppliers after a client completes a vacation through the form of commissions that are included in the price of the trip, whether or not the client books with us or with the supplier directly. What sets us apart is our experience, attention to detail, and unparalleled customer service. We are up at the crack of dawn booking hard to get reservations as soon as they are available. From booking reservations as soon as they are available to handle any issues that might come up for our clients so they don’t have to, we are here for them.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
While we are extremely excited to embark on this journey, we are even more excited to bring everyone along with us. We love creating content for the podcast and our YouTube channel. We are putting this entire experience on both channels, Addicted to the Mouse and WorthMelting4, to bring our subscribers along with us. We want this process to be an interactive experience and to hopefully help anyone that dreams of moving to Orlando and following their passion.