Michael and Hillary Gore
When you enter Disneyland there is nothing so recognizable that a little girl could immediately know where she is; neither the bell of the train, transporting families to all their favorite worlds, nor the shops down Main Street shout "Disney" to a child. But when Michael and Hillary Gore first brought their daughter, London, to Disney it was when the castle came in full view that London realized where they were. Popping her
pacifier out of her mouth, the almost two year old stopped and proclaimed "look, mommy, Disney!" and Michael and Hillary both fell in love with the parks all over again through their child's eyes. Although it wasn't Michael or Hillary's first time traveling to Disney, it set in place the importance of taking time together for those rare and special moments and led into a career planning trips for others.
Michael and Hillary are no stranger to Disney. The couple met in college at Marshall University in West Virginia where they were friends at first and the pair both worked at the local Disney store through school. Michael was the manager, or "lead cast member" as he was called, and loved the ability to work for the company, especially with the added perk of traveling to the parks.
Soon the couple began to date and when they married they took one of their favorite vacations. It was the first time out of the country for both of them, and Cancun was the perfect destination. "We spent a week at a resort, it was just a great memory of spending that week together band getting to know each other even more and start our life together," Micheal recalls.
They have since built a life of travel and adventure: "we're hardly ever home on the weekends," Michael says. They have traveled together all over the US and have cruised and vacationed at all inclusive resorts, soaking up the sun. Warmth, Michael says, determines the destination for most of their trips, providing a nice relief from the cold West Virginia weather. Warmth, sports or musicals. Because of Hillary's love of sports and Michael's love of Broadway, the family specifically loves New York,
In 2012, when London was turning three, the couple wanted to take her back to Disney; back to the castle that stopped the little girl in her tracks. "Someone suggested that we call Natalie, [founder of Insider Travel Planners]' Micheal remembers. "Of course I thought 'why would I call a travel agent?' I worked at the Disney store for seven years, I worked at the Disney company and I had been 100 times before, so I didn't really need to use her. Hillary went ahead and booked with her and we kind of hit it off from there." Happy to have the insight and help from Natalie, the family continued to use her for their travel needs.
Last year when Insider Travel Planners was founded, Natalie asked Michael and Hillary to join the team. The pair - who love planning their own trips as much as they love taking them - jumped on board. "We want people to have the absolute best trip they can possibly have," Micheal says. "We want them to enjoy things like we do and we want to be able to do as much as we can to make their experience a good memory." The team just expects their clients to show up at the airport, everything else will be covered. Michael and Hillary love to live vicariously through the trips they plan for others, "we might not get to take a vacation but planning someone else's gives us a little taste," they say.
Although the pair is well versed and well traveled in many destinations, Disney will always be their favorite. For Michael's birthday, Hillary sent him by himself for a weekend at the park where Micheal could enjoy every tiny detail - which is exactly what he did.
Every time the family travels back to Disney together, Michael and Hillary not only get to enjoy the park they love so much, they get to experience it anew with their daughter, London. Each time they turn the corner on Main St, the iconic castle will come in to view at Disneyland. It's brick walls and blue stained windows entice dreams of a princess that must be kept within it's pink rooms, always just out of sight. The\ statues of Walt and Mickey are mere silhouettes in the castle's shadow, inviting a family into the magic of Disney, the magic of travel, the magic of memories.
Writer Credit: Eliyah Finkelstein