Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Lesley Sawhook – an agent with Pixie Vacations – and owner of the website Destination Magic! Lesley was actually “nominated” for this interview by one of her clients, David! That speaks volumes, doesn’t it? And talk about “Small World…” – Lesley and I are both writers for Chip & Co.! What a fun coincidence that she was brought to my attention for this “No-Fee Disney Agent” series! Without further ado, here’s our interview with Lesley!
Lesley: Favorite Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge, it’s simply breathtaking!
Favorite Restaurant: Top 3: Teppan Edu, LeCellier and Yachtsman Steakhouse
Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride/Attraction: Rockin’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios or Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom
Favorite Character: Mickey Mouse (of course : )
Favorite dessert (and where it’s found): Dole Whip Float at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom
WDW Hints: What little known thing do you like to recommend to your clients to try at WDW?
Lesley: Lately I’ve had a lot of clients with little boys looking for something special so I give them tips on how to get their child enrolled in Jedi training academy.
WDW Hints: What made you decide to go from a “Disney fanatic” to an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? When did you become an ADVP?
Lesley: I had planned my friends and co workers trips for Disney for years and when people started coming to me offering to pay me to write their personalized itineraries after they had seen what I had written up for their friends I decided it was time to pursue my dreams to help others on a professional level and so I found Pixie Vacations and it’s been a wonderful partnership.
WDW Hints: Do you find yourself going on Disney vacations more, less or about the same since becoming an ADVP?
Lesley: More. As an agent I am actively involved in training so I go down to Disney to do tours of the resorts with the agency. I also want to experience new things so I can help my clients plan great trips. For example, we have been on the Disney Dream two times but when a great rate on the Fantasy popped up I jumped on it because I want to experience those ports and the ship for myself to help my clients plan amazing vacations. I also plan on going to Disneyland in 2013 so I have more first hand knowledge about that as well.
WDW Hints: Is there anything tedious about the job? (I’ve heard of some agents waiting on hold for hours with Disney reservations – is that true?)
Lesley: Well, that is why using an agent is so valuable. I am the one on hold every time you want to make a change to your reservation or change dining time. Yes, I do spend hours on hold with Disney per week. I also am available to my clients 24/7 unlike booking through Disney directly. So my clients can email me, call me or text me at any time and they know they will hear back from me quickly. This does occur during my own family vacations as well but it is part of the job and the service I give my clients and I pride myself in that.
WDW Hints: Do you book airfare for your clients?
Lesley: With Pixie Vacations we only book airfare that is sold directly from Disney but I do help my clients search for affordable airfare and then set up Disney’s Magical Express for Disney World, research the most affordable transfer options for Disney cruiseline and set up transfers to and from the airport for Disneyland vacations as well.
WDW Hints: What extra perks or special gifts do you give to your clients that other ADVPs may not give?
Lesley: I have won two sales contests our agency has held earning my family of 4 a free Disney cruise and a 2 night stay at the Grand Floridian resort. My sales helped the agency achieve the status of Authorized Disney Vacation Planner this past year and that was a very proud moment. Most recently several of the top agents from Pixie Vacations were hosted for 3 nights at the Beach Club by Disney and we were given some fast passes to use during our park time, we toured many of the resorts including the new Princess rooms at Port Orleans and the CARS suites at Art of Animation and I was awarded my very first “Mousecar” award for my sales with Pixie Vacations. The award sits proudly on my desk!
WDW Hints: Thank you so much for your time, Lesley!