Jen Patterson, Vacation Planner
A self-proclaimed "Disney nut", Jen has had a love for all things Disney since receiving a stuffed Mickey Mouse when she was a baby. She experienced her first Walt Disney World vacation at age 4, followed by regular Disney vacations in California and Florida ever since.
All of her early family vacations created a wish to work at Walt Disney World and in 1994, Jen did just that. As part of the Disney College Program, she took a semester off from school to spend the spring of 1994 working at EPCOT Center. Based at the Showcase Plaza, Jen was a Merchandise Hostess at Port of Entry. With a front row seat to every night's performance of Illuminations, she had one of the best perks a Cast Member could ask for! Wanting to experience everything Disney had to offer, Jen sought opportunities to work in a variety of spots: in the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland, at the Petting Zoo at Ft. Wilderness, in Dining at Disney-MGM Studios, and a day conducting surveys for Guest Relations at the Lake Buena Vista Marketplace (now Disney Springs). In addition to Showcase Plaza, Jen also worked in The Land, various merchandise carts, and EPCOT's Baby Care Center. One of her favorite things about the College Program were her roommates. Jen lived on the "international" side of the College Program-dedicated apartment community, with roommates from all over the world: Norway, France, Canada and Mexico. This living arrangement made for a unique and educational experience.
Jen returned to school following her College Program, ultimately graduating from Penn State University with degrees in Finance and Economics. Her work experience led her to Arizona and North Carolina, with positions in aerospace, banking and the airline industry. A Supply Chain Management professional, Jen displays expertise in business acumen and operational and financial analysis, coupled with strong organizational, leadership, and planning skills. An at-home-mom since the birth of her eldest child, Jen now lives in Edina, MN with her husband, two elementary-aged children and dog. She is actively involved in PTO and community organizations and loves exploring her adoptive home state.
Travel is a passion for Jen and is something she is passing along to her children; who are, of course, seasoned Disney visitors! Her attention to details have made for memorable vacations that usually include unique accommodations and off-the-beaten-path experiences. From a vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland to exploring a country halfway across the globe, Jen loves discovering new things, enjoying all types of foods and meeting people. Her extensive knowledge of and personal experience with Disney vacations make her a trusted resource, and she is excited to help you plan your next magical vacation.
Walt Disney World
Do your little ones need to burn off a bit of energy? Tucked away in the United Kingdom is a kid-sized hedge maze. Little ones love zipping through and the surrounding flower gardens offer a relaxing spot for adults to take a break.
Disney Hollywood Studios:
If you have young Star Wars fans, then you can't miss the Jedi Training Academy! But space for this experience is limited and the spots fill up fast. Make a beeline to the registration desk located in the Indian Jones Adventure Outpost when you arrive at the Studios.
I'm always surprised by how many people skip the Disneyland Railroad or only ride from Main Street to Mickey's Toontown. Take the round trip! The stretch of the ride from Toontown to Main Street will take you through a prehistoric land featuring audio-animatronic dinosaurs.