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Let’s All Appreciate TouringPlans Employees

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Here on this blog, you may have heard us extol the many virtues of Cast Members, who bring you the magic of theme parks. But today on Employee Appreciation Day, we’d like to focus on another group (actually three groups) of employees that help make your vacation magical … the people who work right here at TouringPlans!

Our Destination Specialists

TouringPlans as a company has been around a lot longer than our travel agency has. But wow, how our agency has grown! In just two years, we’ve been awarded Gold Earmarked status by Disney and Universal Orlando has named us a Platinum Agency.

Of course we couldn’t have done this without you, but we also couldn’t have done it without our fantastic team of Destination Specialists. These employees are all full-time travel agents who are dedicated to working towards a common goal — your vacation. We can’t say enough about their level of professionalism and what a privilege it is to work with them. You can read more about the individual agents on their profile pages.

Our Blog and Social Media Teams

A lot of those avatars and profile pics probably (hopefully?) look familiar from the taglines of our articles. What kinds of articles do we write? Well, as you probably know, anything and everything that we think will help you on your vacation!

Our blog and social media teams have a wealth of knowledge about Disney and Universal. What’s even more amazing is that most of us are mild-mannered regular people with day jobs by day, only taking on our super-TouringPlans alter egos to create great blog content on evenings and weekends! Thank goodness for modern scheduling software that lets you see freshly published content at 11 a.m., instead of 2 a.m. when some of us usually finish writing it.

Our social media team does actually spend a lot of their time in the parks. But don’t let that fool you into thinking they have an easy job. For every flashy pic they post of some yummy Festival treat, they’ve spent at least an hour standing outside a ride carefully counting the number of people who get off. And don’t forget – we’re all about helping you to avoid the crowds, but in order to do that we make them stand in line at some of the most crowded times to get us data.

Our Behind-the-Scenes Team

Some call our fearless leader Len Testa, and some call him Hank Lonely. But here he is, looking up to the less-visible people whose giant shoulders he stands on as they keep everything running. (How is he looking up to them and standing on their shoulders at the same time? I don’t know.)

Some of our customers know the faces of our Destination Specialists, and many also know the faces of our bloggers and social media team. But every day, people in less visible roles do the following jobs:

  1. Project management
  2. Software development
  3. Website development
  4. Content maintenance
  5. Statistical modeling and forecasting
  6. Payment and refund processing
  7. HelpDesk support
  8. Payroll
  9. Paying the bills

… and many other things large and small to make sure that when you load a crowd calendar page, there is a number on it, and when you send a Custom Touring Plan to the optimizer it doesn’t go into a black hole.

So David, Brad, Fred, Lynda, Gerelyn, Sufyan, Rehan, Laurel, and Len … this shout-out is for you. Thanks so much for everything you do.

Do you have a TouringPlans employee that you especially want to thank? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

13 thoughts on “Let’s All Appreciate TouringPlans Employees

  • I first discovered the Unofficial Guide in 2008 preparing for my own family’s first trip. The mathematical approach to touring the parks was intriguing and, not surprisingly, actually worked! Five years late when it was time to plan our next trip I discovered the website and blog and was even more blown away. I tell anyone who asks me for tips on a Disney trip to go buy the Guide and get a subscription to Touring Plans. The cost of each is a tiny fraction of the cost of a Disney Vacation and the best money that can be spent in preparing. Thanks to everyone on the Touring Plans team!

    • I’ll echo Derek! Thank you. Your commentary has helped make the blog a friendly and welcoming place.
      In case you were curious, your note above is #647 for you. That’s a lot of contributing!

  • I’ve loved reading the blog daily for years and feeling a bit of the Disney magic even though I’m not there. And it’s a great resource when I do go. Thank you everyone.

  • Thank you to everyone at Touring Plans! I am a bit partial to Mike because he has helped me with travel and Guy because of his Disneyland coverage but everyone is world class here!

    • Thank you, Angel! You know, I was out on a dolphin watch/snorkeling trip with Mike over the weekend. (True story – off Key West.) He somehow picked a skipper who said “On your right you’ll see a 10-foot hammerhead shark. Oh, and we’ll have you dropped off to snorkel in the next 15 minutes.” And I will never let Mike live this down.

      • Making a note of this!

  • I’ve been a fan since I discovered Len on a podcast a million years ago (yep, hyperbole). It’s been awesome to watch everything grow and get better and better. Thanks for all you do every day to keep the magic coming!!

  • When I was using the 2022 Unofficial Guide to Disney World to prepare for our September 2022 trip, I found a “problem” with driving directions to the parks. The GPS coordinates would have sent people to locations that were no longer entrances. I sent a generic email to Touring Plans support – and I heard shortly from Len Testa himself! I was very impressed that the head of Touring Plans would take the time to respond. Even more important, updates to correct the errors were posted on the TP website for book updates.

    And I’m proud that Touring Plans is headquartered in Birmingham, AL near where I live.

  • Thank you to all of the people at TouringPlans. My family’s vacations have been better since 2015 because of the fine work done by everyone! My retirement plan includes trying to work there in about 12 years…keep up the good work!


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