Agent Life: Magical Vacation Planner’s founders driven to reach goals: Travel Weekly

Jamie and JJ Eubanks, the couple behind Magical Vacation Planner in Mitchell, Indiana, have one goal: They want their agency to be a recognizable national brand, and they have a solid plan to get there.

“A goal without action, it’s just something that’s on paper,” Jamie said. “We set goals, but we know how to get from point A to point B.”

This includes some strategic partnerships that Magical Vacation Planner or MVP has recently promoted, such as with Nascar driver Chase Briscoe and TV host Denella Ri’chard.

“JJ and I are both very goal oriented and we have some crazy goals,” said Jamie. “But we don’t just set goals. We look at them and say, ‘How are we going to get there?'”

MVP, now a top seller with brands like Disney, Universal, Apple Leisure Group, Sandals and Royal Caribbean, has been a story for years.

Jamie always wanted to work for Disney. But in 1992, while she was in college, a friend introduced her to JJ, who was then playing basketball professionally in Italy. The two kept in touch through letters and phone calls, and when he returned to the United States, they began dating. They married before his next season started, and when she graduated, Jamie began traveling with him.

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That lasted 14 years, and throughout that time Jamie was never far from Disney World. She brought books about Disney with her on her travels, and as the internet took off, she spent time planning her next vacations. Then JJ made the decision to retire while still at the height of his game.

He got a job at a company in her area, and Jamie ended up working as a bank teller, but after being passed over for several promotions, she decided to look elsewhere. Already known in her circles as the “Disney Lady”, she found the travel industry and founded her agency.

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“It really just started as a passion and this connection to people,” Jamie said.

She initially only sold Disney, directing other deals to other agencies. Then, four or five years later, friends wanted to join her, and she started bringing them on board as independent contractors. Over the past 16 years, MVP has grown. While the agency doesn’t disclose its number of ICs, JJ said its membership conference attracts about 600 each year.

A recent retreat from the Magical Vacation Planner team leader at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

A recent retreat from the Magical Vacation Planner team leader at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Photo credit: Courtesy of Magical Vacation Planner

MVP caters to consultants who are new to the industry and guides them through an in-house training program called MVP University. It specifically doesn’t take anyone who has worked for another agency.

“We’re actually expanding the travel industry by developing the consultants that are coming in now,” said JJ.

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This year, JJ said, MVP has doubled its pre-pandemic sales. With this growth has come a reorganization: three Vice Presidents oversee the businesses (MVP Parks, MVP Cruising and MVP Getaways) and a COO helps with organizational leadership.

In addition to training, it offers its agents a full marketing suite and support.

And now Jamie and JJ are working to spread their brand across the US. They recently sponsored Briscoe, the Nascar driver who, according to JJ, “shares the MVP culture” as he is a positive and humble person. They used an outside consultancy to identify opportunities for the agency. Nascar has 90 million fans, JJ said, or more than a quarter of the country.

“If we’re striving to make MVP a household name, this has been a great platform for us,” he said.

MVP also sponsors Ri’chard’s television show Traveling With Denella Ri’chard.

“I think this is about to explode,” JJ said of the show.

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