December 2018 Features

The Pixie Planner: Magical Vacations Do Come True

“All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust,” according to Peter Pan. But if you’re trying to get to Disneyland instead of Neverland, you may also need The Pixie Planner.

Shana O’Mara is your valley fairy godmother when it comes to planning the vacation of your dreams. Specializing in all things Disney, Shana and her team of travel agents work all the magic, so you can just reap the rewards.

The Pixie Planner is a local vacation planning business run by a local Disney-obsessed mom and operated out of her home. She works around the clock with eight other travel planners to research, plan and book ultimate vacations for her clients.

“We provide full service travel planning and concierge services,” said Shana. “Our main goal is to find the best deals for our guests.” The Pixie Planner spends countless hours searching every avenue until they can find the best value for each specific client request. “We can usually match or find more affordable deals than other planning services.”

Aside from hotel, flights and park tickets, full service planning also includes pre-travel meetings, assistance with any changes in travel plans, teaching clients the best times to book flights, activity bookings and plenty of tips on how to maximize time in the parks, including making use of the fastpass system, buying Magic bands, finding the perfect food stops, and using the Disney apps. These ‘Disney Boot Camps,’ as Shana says, are hosted in person or online via face messaging.

Not only does The Pixie Planner strive to find the best deals, they also provide special services that most other planners do not, including discounts on one-day park tickets (we’ve all tried, with no success…) and on-call planning services duringher client’s vacations. Not only does she plan and book everything in advance, but she continues to assist guests even while they’re away and enjoying her work! Guests have called her from the middle of a park asking for recommendations on the nearest restaurant with a short line among other ‘in-the-moment’ needs. She truly makes her service unique by navigating her guests through the park in real time.

“My first Disney trip was in the womb,” Shana joked. “Since then, I’ve gone hundreds of times. We are annual pass holders and I go about ten times a year with my 11-year-old daughter. Of course we go for the fun but also so we are always up to date on everything happening in Disney. We try all the food, stay at different hotels and document everything so we can take it back to our customers.”

Shana started The Pixie Planner in January of 2016 because of her love for Disney and her knack for finding great deals. Since then, her business has taken off and she has sold over a million dollars in total travel and helped over 600 families plan their dream vacations. All her independently contracted planners are Disney enthusiasts who help create magic for her growing clientele.

“Disney is our gateway vacation, including all Disney parks, resorts and cruises,” Shana said. “But we can also plan other trips, such as all-inclusive Caribbean vacations, Hawaiian getaways, European adventures; there is really nothing off limits to us.”

No matter the requests or the budget, The Pixie Planner offers free quotes and will never charge more than a 10% service fee.

Now that The Pixie Planner has seen success as a business, Shana’s most recent goal is to launch a non-profit called The Pixie Promise, to help families travel who are working without vacation time.

“Everyone deserves a vacation and this has been on my heart for a while,” Shana said. “I want to be able to help those who are not allowed vacation time off at work. My plan is to select worthy families, send them on vacations and reimburse their trips plus the cost of missed work time. I am currently looking for families to nominate so that once this non-profit gets off the ground, we will have some deserving families to help.”

The Pixie Planner has already given back to the community through donating services to foster families and also raising money for a breast cancer patient to pay for her entire vacation.

Shana loves her job and enjoys creating magical family experiences. The Pixie Planner is a successful start to any Disney vacation. Together, you can make some travel magic.

By: Rebecca Kaye


Rebecca Zaner

Rebecca Kaye has written many stories throughout the valley and enjoys having the ability to share community news, journeys and achievements. Holding a Bachelor of Music, Rebecca’s favorite place to be is the stage. Having been a singer all her life, Rebecca is now in pursuit of a professional performing career, singing pop and musical theatre (rebeccakayemusic.com). Visit her on YouTube to see her latest music videos. She is also an avid photographer and enjoys taking pictures as a hobby. Check her out at Rebecca Kaye Photography (rebeccakayephoto.wix.com/rebeccakaye). Rebecca can be found spending her free time exploring and traveling with her family..

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