Millions of people visit Walt Disney World annually. For many visitors, every moment spent at a Disney park or resort must be well accounted for, which means that planning the perfect Disney vacation is something of an art form — or, at the very least, an in-demand skill. The desire to maximize time spent at Disney has spawned an entire market of Disney planning books, guides and podcasts. Some travel agents focus solely on planning Disney trips and are able to tell guests things like how to avoid waiting in line to get on rides and how to best get around the resorts.
Every week for the next year, each panelist will answer about 15 questions from eager travelers seeking advice on where to stay, which rides to go on, where to eat and how to activate wristbands, among other questions. In most cases the panelists will pull from their own Disney experiences and also do some research to see if there is new information available. Some questions may take 10 minutes to answer, others 30 — it all depends.
Each panelist has some kind of area of expertise: Disneyland in California, Disney World in Florida, Disney Vacation Clubs across the country or the Disney Cruise Line. Some have multiple specialties. They each already have some kind of plan for how they will fit the panel into their busy daily lives.
Tiffanie Sojourner, whose expertise is in Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and who works full-time in wealth management in San Diego, plans on answering questions after work and on the weekends. Clara Chlon, a pediatric newborn hospitalist in Cincinnati, Ohio, will answer questions on days off, after work and on weekends. Andres Villa, a special-education teacher in Ventura, Calif., plans to keep his evenings open to answer questions. (Dr. Chlon and Mr. Villa will also be answering questions submitted in Spanish.)
The kinds of questions the experts have to answer are typically detailed, with multiple parts. Online, one person recently asked the 2019 panelists: “What is a good value resort that offers theme park tickets for a 4 night stay over the Christmas holidays? Do they include any meals or package deals and if so are there any bundled offers?”
Another wrote in: “We are staying at animal kingdom with a 22 month old & a 5 month old. We plan on probably going to magic kingdom & animal kingdom this Friday & Saturday. Which day is better for which park? Also what are fun things to do with young toddler?”
The panelist position, while a Disney contractor role with an intensive application process, is not paid. In exchange for answering these questions every week, the panelists get a free stay at a Disney park or vacation club of their choice for five nights and can bring three people along.