Sam just recently moved to Lexington, KY with his partner and family and is thrilled to now help families and fans plan their most magical vacations.
He was inspired to become a Disney Store cast member in his hometown of Huntington, WV after being approached by a cast member on Main Street to witness the Cinderella castle’s “Goodnight Kiss.” He was recognized as an ambassador and trivia champion at his Disney Store.
Other than being a self proclaimed Dis-nerd, he enjoys Harry Potter, shopping, holidays, and experiencing haunted attractions such as those at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Whether it’s a weeklong family vacation or a weekend getaway, Sam is excited to customize and plan your trip to suit you and your family’s needs
Hi, Sam! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Sam and I’m new to The Charming Travel Co. and Lexington, KY. I’m originally from the Huntington area of West Virginia where I worked in retail management/customer service for more than 10 years (the majority being with Disney Store). In my spare time I enjoy crafting, shopping, researching theme park tips and entertainment, and of course traveling! I also enjoy spending time with my partner and family and LOVE the Holidays! (Especially Halloween!)
Why did you become a travel planner?
I have a great passion to make other people happy. I remember wanting to be a cast member after witnessing a magical moment at Walt Disney World. I felt called to work at my hometown Disney Store as soon as I got back home! When I was a cast member with Disney Store, I would get the most enjoyment out of making magical moments for guests such as hosting themed events where kids learned how to use the force and pose with lightsabers, or celebrating a special anniversary or birthday. The serendipitous chance of having the opportunity to become a travel agent came up when I was checking up Gina and her family at the location I was working at the former location in Lexington, KY. I had no idea I was speaking to an agent, but trying to make the sad moment of a store closing have a bright side, I mentioned my ambitions to become a travel planner. The rest is history
What are you most excited about with the future of travel?
Universal Orlando adding a fourth park (or third dry park) is pretty exciting! I’m also excited about what travel opportunities await in the not too far distant future! If going to outer space becomes more affordable in the travel industry, I imagine it would be a great place for a spa! Imagine how relaxing it would be to literally have no (weight) gravity on your shoulders! Just remember to bring water.
How has your travel planning evolved over time?
Having your own experiences impacts your judgment on what others should do when they go to the same destination. From the first trip I planned for myself to the first trip I planned for a client, I realized depending on the needs of the client and their family not all advice is treated equally. Different people go at different paces; some people like to plan every moment while others like things to occur organically. I’m here to customize your vacation depending on your travel style, needs, and making sure you’re satisfied with your time spent. Over time I have realized that different travel strategies work for different people. My job is to figure out what works best for you!
What advice would you give someone going to Disney for the first time?
The most important thing to remember when you’re on a Disney vacation is to have fun with your family! Walt Disney World is a big place and you may not get to do everything all on one trip. Think about what is most important to you and your kids now and what in park adventures they can encounter during the day without overwhelming them and making your family exhausted. Make your most wanted things to do a priority and plan around them. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and stay cool by taking mid day breaks in air conditioned attractions or go back to your Disney resort in the middle of the day to refresh and recharge for evening and nighttime entertainment the parks offer. Let your Charming Travel Co. agent help you through any questions you may have, and oh yeah did I mention? – Have fun!
Which Disney/Universal park is your favorite?
The Magic Kingdom is my favorite park because it treasures so many memories from my family and friend vacations. Every time I’m there I truly feel like I’m at the place where dreams come true. In my opinion it is also the most diverse park in ambiances and experiences! You can visit a Haunted Mansion, fly in outer space, go back in time and voyage through a world of swash-buckling pirates, and feel like royalty by befriending princesses, princes and their friends in an enchanted land where magic is possible and no dream is too big!