Steve Cantafio is a Disney Travel Agent, a DVC owner since 2007, and a co-host of the podcast, Wandering the World With Walt. In this episode, Steve shares his wealth of knowledge in multiple areas of Disney travel. His passion for Disney began about 16 years ago when he was the father of one child and now works as a travel agent and is a parent of two teens. Steve shares his breadth of knowledge with his best tips for making the most out of the Disney experience. Episode 155.
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Steve went to Disney World as a child three times. His family stayed in the Contemporary in the late 80s and then the Grand Floridian on the next trip a couple of years later. After a lengthy hiatus of 15 years or more, Steve took his own family for the first time in 2004. The Disney magic overtook him during the afternoon parade in Magic Kingdom. He unexpectedly started crying, overwhelmed with the wonder of the moment. From then on, his passion for Disney brought him to his job as a Travel Agent, podcast host, and DVC owner.
The first trip to a DVC villa was in 2005 at Saratoga Springs. Steve and his wife had a baby and a toddler and brought his parents along to help. They stayed in a two-bedroom villa. They loved the layout and location of Saratoga Springs. After staying there two more times in the next two years, they took the tour and bought into DVC to ensure that they would take a trip every year and be able to have the DVC accommodations.
Steve shares that he would listen to Disney podcasts while running, which led to signing up for a Disney half marathon. Over the years, he has done several RunDisney events. In 2010, while in Epcot, he overheard a couple on their honeymoon lamenting that they couldn't find a dining reservation. At that moment, it clicked for him that he wanted to be a travel agent to share his love and knowledge of Disney with others. He has been a Disney Travel Agent with MEI since 2010.
Steve shares that as a DVC owner and travel agent, he knows both sides of Disney Travel. While he does not often provide services for DVC members because he cannot sell them packages, he does sometimes help with tickets or dining plans. He specializes in helping non-DVC families navigate the confusion of planning the trip, booking packages, and doing touring plans. As a DVC owner, he has lots of personal experience to draw from in his service to his clients.
Steve has stayed at most of the DVC resorts. Saratoga is his home resort, and he and his family love staying there most of the time. They have also stayed at Beach Club, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, and Kidani. He looks forward to a trip to Aulani this summer. Grand Californian and the beach resorts are on Steve's bucket list. Additionally, he has utilized banking and borrowing to have more extensive trips and has also utilized the RCI system with points.
Find Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://mei-travel.com/stevec
If you listen to our interviews, you'll find a lot of travel agents are DVC owners. Disney typically provides one discounted trip a year to travel agents. However, because they're fans and they need to keep up with the latest changes and events at Disney, most do go multiple times a year and that makes them ideal candidates to save money with DVC.
Show notes by Annelie Heinen.
Audio editing by David Kluver.
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