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MickeyTravels Agent Virtual Meet & Greet with Katey Varanelli

MickeyTravels is excited to bring back The MickeyTravels Agent Virtual Meet & Greet! We feature a different MickeyTravels agent on a regular basis. We’re proud to have the best Disney Travel agents in the world as part of our MickeyTravels team and this will allow you to get to know them even better. Today the spotlight shines on Katey Varanelli from Connecticut!

Name: Katey Varanelli

Where are you from?  Middlebury, CT (originally Charlotte, NC)

First memory of Disney?  My first memory of Disney is when I was probably four or five and there was a Disney store in our local mall. I used to love the tower of stuffed animals and dreamed of owning the big Mickey! Though my grandparents lived just 2 hours from Orlando, FL, it’s hard to believe that I never went to Disney World until a school trip in 8th grade.

What makes Disney MAGICAL in your eyes? Disney is magical to me because it is one of the few things left in the world that inspires both adults and children to suspend disbelief and live in the moment. The music, lights, characters, and icons of the parks bring the magic to life and create a sense of nostalgia that is unique to Disney.

Favorite Disney destination and why? Walt Disney World is my favorite Disney destination. After visiting only a few times as a teenager, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Disney magic and participated in the Disney College Program, living at Walt Disney World for over a year! Now Walt Disney World truly still feels like home and has so much to offer—from the theme parks to the many resorts and amazing restaurants—there’s always something new and exciting to experience!

Favorite Disney Character and why?  My favorite Disney character is Maleficent. I’m not sure why it always has been, but I used to make my grandma pretend to be Maleficent while I played Sleeping Beauty. She is my favorite character to see and meet in the parks, and I think it’s very cool when she turns into a dragon in the parade and in Fantasmic!

Favorite Disney Attraction and why?  My favorite attraction is Tower of Terror. I love that it’s thrilling and that the ride is always different since the falls are randomized. I also love the theming of the attraction and that the cast members act the part to make it creepy!

Tower of Terror inside Disney's Hollywood Studios

Favorite Disney Resort and why? My favorite Disney resort is the Boardwalk. I’m a little biased since I used to be a front desk cast member there, but the entire Boardwalk area is extra-magical and relaxing for me. During the day you can take a nice walk around the lagoon and the proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios can’t be beat. At night it comes alive with people out and about, entertainment, and great food. It truly feels like its own world within Disney World.

Favorite Disney Restaurant and why?  Such a hard decision! I have different favorites for every meal, but my all-time favorite is probably Artist Point. The food is delicious, and the ambiance that Wilderness Lodge provides is the perfect backdrop for a nice evening out.

Artist Point Wilderness Lodge

Favorite Disney Quick Service Restaurant and why?  Epcot wins hands-down for quick service in my book! There is so much to choose from, but I absolutely love Sunshine Seasons in the Land pavilion (next to Soarin’). They grow much of the food served there in the pavilion, and have lots of healthy choices and hearty meals that you don’t expect at a quick service location.

3 Disney characters you’d like to have dinner with and why? I would love to have dinner with Walt Disney himself (does he count?!) as well as Genie (maybe he would grant me a wish?), Mary Poppins (if Julie Andrews can come), and Ursula (I just think it would be very cool to meet her in person!).

Favorite Disney snack and why? Ice cream! It is often hot in the theme parks, and there’s no better way to cool down than with a giant waffle cone or cookie ice cream sandwich from the Edy’s Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA. It’s also a good value for a snack on the dining plan!

Favorite Disney Movie and why?  Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie. I love the music and Belle was my favorite princess when I was younger. I used to dress up as her every Halloween!

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

3 Favorite Disney Songs and why?  Disney has so many amazing songs, it’s hard to pick, but these three resonate with me the most: Beauty and the Beast, which I danced to with my dad at my wedding, Go the Distance (from Hercules), and How Far I’ll Go (Moana), which is a new favorite. If fireworks soundtracks count as Disney songs, then the music from Wishes tops my list and Illuminations is a close second.

Disney character you’re most similar to and why? I’m probably most similar to Rapunzel—a desire for adventure, a happy, slightly naïve spirit, and sometimes hesitation when I take a chance on something I’ve been dreaming of. I also wear a lot of pink!

If you could be one Disney character for a day who would it be and why? I would love to be the Evil Stepmother from Snow White in Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. Ever since I first saw the show in 8th grade, I was in awe of her sparkly robes and the fact that she shoots fireworks out of her head!

If you could work at one of the Disney theme parks, what job would you want and why? I was lucky enough to work in Guest Relations during my time interning at Disney, so I would want to keep that job! It was magical being able to help guests have the best vacation possible. I love creatively solving problems and going above and beyond for guests. If I could pick any job, I would want to be a VIP tour guide (which is part of Guest Relations) to take celebrities and special guests around the parks.

Walt Disney World VIP Tours

Best part about being a MickeyTravels Disney Travel Agent? I love sharing my passion for Disney with my clients and making magic for them. The best part is hearing the excitement in their voices when we discuss their plans. It makes me excited for them and energizes me!

Why should I book my vacation with you? There are so many Disney destinations and so many insider tips and tricks that you could easily make yourself stressed and overwhelmed. I want to help your family have a magical vacation that meets your specific budget, needs, and wants. From reservations and bookings to full service itinerary planning, I do as much or as little of the planning and coordinating as you want with a smile on my face while going above and beyond!

Contact me at for all my free Disney vacation planning services.  I can’t wait to hear from you and to help make memories that will last forever!

Disney Travel Experts

MickeyTravels, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, is proud to be one of a select few travel agencies in the world that has been designated by Disney Destinations with DIAMOND Earmarked status!

We’ve been so proud to be a Platinum level agency the last several years, and we are now ecstatic to be one of a small handful of agencies who have earned the elite Diamond Earmarked agency status for 2023! This is the absolute highest level that can be bestowed upon a travel agency by Disney!

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