About Us

“Writing is about using the full breadth of your imagination. Dare to use it. Think, believe, dream and dare.” – Walt Disney

It’s no secret the MouseQuest was started as a rag-tag bunch of Disney Parks Moms Panel rejects licking our wounds after receiving our latest “Thanks but no thanks…” email. No matter what the emails said, we knew we had tons of Disney Parks knowledge to impart even if we weren’t official members of the Panel. From that was born a podcast and then a blog.

Our goal with this site was originally to guide our listeners and readers in the quest for the perfect Disney Parks vacations. While that will still be our mantra, we are now expanding this blog in a brand new direction. No worries, we will still be giving you all that great Disney content but we will also be adding lifestyle content with posts about entertainment, home and family, and travel outside the Disney bubble.

Just like visiting the Disney Parks is an escape from the ‘real world’, it is our hope this content will transport you to a place where things are a little easier, a little funner (is that even a word?), and ultimately a little more MAGICAL.

Together we will journey to see what is just around the river bend.

MouseQuest Cast

Blog Manager/Editor

Sue Nowicki:

Sue NowickiI am a wife and mother of an energetic, athletic 17-year-old daughter who participates in everything from volleyball to softball to basketball. We have even dabbled in cheerleading, soccer and figure skating. I am also the team mom of eight other equally energetic 17-year-olds whose job it seems is to keep me on my toes. We currently live in New Carlisle, Indiana but I was born and raised in small coastal town in Maine called Phippsburg. I support my Disney habit as the Sales and Incentive Coordinator at a local community bank. I love helping my friends and family create magical Disney vacations and can’t wait to impart all the knowledge I have gained over the years to our MouseQuest followers. As a member of the Class of 2014 of the Disney Parks Moms Panel I had the honor answering guests’ questions during my tenure. Ask me anything!!

Writers

Amy Bechtol:

AmyBHi, I’m Amy Bechtol. I am a happily married wife and mom to four energetic kids. I have one prince and three princesses, ranging in age from 6-18. I work part-time, as well as volunteering at school and as a Girl Scout co-leader. I am a huge Disney fan! I have had the privilege of visiting Walt Disney World more than 30 times and Disneyland twice. I even introduced my husband to Disney and took him on his first trip when we were still dating. I have experienced Disney pregnant, with kids from infants to teens, with grandparents, couples, just myself and my 4 kids, and with friends. My love for Disney even inspired me to start running and complete the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2013! I am so excited to share my Disney knowledge and tips with everyone!

James Cameron:

jamesJames Cameron is a husband and father of two living in Long Island, New York.  Born and raised in New Jersey, James’s parents drove with their eight children to Walt Disney World nearly every summer.  At the age of 19, James worked at the Magic Kingdom as a Custodial Host as part of the Walt Disney World College Program.  He’s been married to his wife, Lisa, since 2005.  They have continued James’s family tradition of taking Disney vacations by visiting Walt Disney World and cruising on the Disney Cruise Line.  They joined the Disney Vacation Club in 2007.

James has applied to the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel 3 times as a WDW specialist.  He is an active member of DISBoards.com (“baseballmickey”) and DisDads.com, as well as a member of the Mickey Moms Club Super Group page and DisDads page on Facebook.

Kelly Collins:

kellyAs a former Florida resident, I’ve loved Disney from the time I was a child.  I’ve been lucky enough to have gone to Walt Disney World more times than I can count. In 2007, I also experienced my first Disney Cruise and a trip to Disneyland. I’m married to my best friend and fellow Disney fan. We’ve been blessed with a creative 11 year-old daughter and three energetic sons, ages 9, 4, and 2.  When I’m not busy juggling my family’s activities, I work as a labor doula and teach Childbirth Education.  I’ve recently starting running in hopes of attending a runDisney event. Now that I live in the New England area and don’t get to take as many Disney vacations as I’d prefer, I’m always thrilled to discuss all things Disney with family or friends planning their trips. I have experience with multi-generational and large group planning (up to 22 people).  I hope that I can answer your questions about “The Most Magical Place On Earth”!

Marge Gerwels:

Greetings! I’m Marge. I’ve been married to the love of my life, Kevin, for 15 years. We have five (yes, five) amazing children, Nathan-12, Nolan-9, Nadalyn-7, Nia-4, and Neriah-18months. I am a registered nurse but these days my nursing skills are primarily used at community vaccination clinics (clinics that provide free vaccines to uninsured/under-insured kids) and household emergencies. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 9 and was a fan from that moment onward. I have traveled to Walt Disney World as a kid, a teen, young adult, married-without kids, pregnant (in every trimester), and with kids ranging from 4 months to 12 years. Through these various life stages, I have accrued a variety of Disney planning and travel knowledge, which I LOVE to share. We became DVC members in 2009, which seems to have given us an excuse to travel to WDW MORE often.

Four years ago, I decided to see if I could run a 5k. To this day, I am still not quite sure what put that bee in my bonnet. I have never been much of an athlete, let alone a runner. In fact, growing up, my family was quite sedentary. This was a great challenge for me, both physically and mentally. After months of training, I ran my first 3.1 miles that fall and have been running ever since. What I did not anticipate when I began this little “experiment” was that it would be contagious. My little personal challenge has transformed my idle family into a family of runners. My three older kids are experienced 5k-ers. My husband ran his first half marathon this past summer and my sister is training for her third half marathon. What is probably the most amazing (and I am most proud of) is my Dad who ran his first EVER 5k in 2009 at age 56 and will be running his first half marathon this coming spring at age 59! Because of this transformation, our Disney vacations are often planned around runDisney events. We even made our very first trip this past August to California to run in the Disneyland Half Marathon. When I am not chasing kids around or planning my next Disney adventure, I enjoy photography and reading a good mystery.

Dawn Gosdin:

DawnDisney Dawn here, to help guide Disney newbies into full-on Disney dorks like ME! I’m forty years young & Disney dork body, mind & spirit. I’m married to my BFF Ryan & privileged to be a stay at home mom to our fifteen year old daughter Princess Peyton & our son future imagineer, thirteen year old Logan. In our eyes a family that Disney’s together stays together. We have enjoyed WDW many times, including the breathtaking Aulani Resort & Spa on beautiful island of Oahu. Disney is my outlet for creativity, positivity, & longevity. I’ve experienced Disney many ways: solo, as a couple and with family. I have experience with runDisney, Food & Wine & special holiday events, also this Summer, my family’s excited to experience our maiden DCL voyage on the Disney Dream. I’m here & ready to help guide your families Disney dream into a real life fairytale!

See My Blog: Dawns Dorky Disney Diary, Twitter, Facebook, Need a Travel Agent? Disney Dawn is Here!

Rich Grady:

RichHi everyone! My name is Rich Grady, and I am a Disney-holic. Okay, I’m actually a 40-year-old, stay-at-home dad with a loving wife and two wonderful children. My spare time is mainly taken up with running, reading, Scouts, and planning my next Disney vacation. Or any Disney vacation, actually. My Disney addiction started late – while I enjoyed the films as a child, I did not actually go to any Disney park until after I married my wife, who is also a Disney fan. The first time I stood on Main Street USA, and stared up at the castle, I was hooked, and I hope that I never recover. I am thrilled and honored to be included in the MouseQuest gang, and hope to share some useful tips, tricks and random trivia with everyone.

Rhonda Hare:

RhondaI am Rhonda Hare from Plano, Texas. My husband Michael and I have been married for more than 18 years and have a 12-year old daughter and a 9-year old son. Our Disney passion was born with our first trip to Walt Disney World in 1995 and has continued to grow through more than 30 visits to Disney World, 5 trips to Disneyland, 5 Disney cruises, 12 runDisney events, and 12 years as Disney Vacation Club members. I am looking forward to sharing my Disney passion and knowledge with our podcast listeners!

Corinne Leon:

CorinneHi!  My name is Corinne Leon and I’m another Moms Panel Hopeful!  I have applied eachyear since 2010, and made it to Round 2 each time, but no further.  I’ll keep trying until Imake it onto the Panel!  In the meantime, I am super excited to be a part of this amazingpodcast!  My family consists of my husband, our daughter, and me!  We live in Mississauga,Ontario, and I work full time for the Provincial Government in Toronto.  We have been luckyenough to have visited the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida over 10 times since 2007.We joined  the  Disney  Vacation  Club  in  2008  with  our  home  resort  being  the  beautifulSaratoga Springs Resort, near Downtown Disney.  Joining DVC was a great decision for us, aswe have really enjoyed staying at every DVC resort on site, as well as Disney’s Vero BeachResort.  When we travel to Florida each spring, we try to combine our WDW visit with aDisney Cruise Line cruise.  Since 2008, we have sailed on all 4 DCL cruise ships, and lovedall  of  them.  We really love planning our trips and we always try to include a few newexperiences each time.  A few of our recent “firsts” include staying at the Villas at the GrandFloridian,  cruising  on  the  re-imagined Disney Magic,  and seeing  the  Festival  of  FantasyParade on the very first day!  With so many new and exciting things on the horizon, it’s easyto see that we will be enjoying many “firsts” for years and years to come!

Amy Leto:

AmyMy name is Amy Leto. I am a 38 year old, married, stay at home mom of two boys aged 11 and 18. In my spare time I love to scrapbook, volunteer at school, and do fundraising for cancer research. But, what I love the most is helping friends and family plans their vacations to Disney World. As a lover of all things Disney, I am proud to call Disney World my home away from home. I visit Disney World at least once every year, and every single year I help plan dozens of Disney World vacations for other people. I have even created a booklet of tips and tricks that I share with all of my friends and family when I help them plan. Everything from Alice to Zurg can be found in there, and then some. It is my true pleasure to be a member of MouseQuest! I hope my tips and tricks will be a valuable treasure that will make your visits to Disney World the best times of your life!

Kate Melody:

kateMy love of all things Disney started so early I can’t even tell you when or how it happened, it’s just always been there.  My parents took me on several trips to Walt Disney World in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.  I distinctly remember a rainy day on Main Street USA meeting Mickey in 1981 when I was 4, and standing with my dad in line for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride while he explained our ticket book and what an A ticket was versus an E ticket.

Since then,  I have visited Walt Disney World as a school age child, a teenager with Magic Music Days, a newly minted college graduate, and as a mom.  My Mouseketeer gang includes my awesome husband of 10 years, my three school age sons, and after many wishes on a star, this year we were joined by our very own Disney princess.  We go at least once a year, and have been Disney Vacation Club members since 2009. As if going to Disney while pregnant, with a new baby, or 3 boys wasn’t enough, we often travel with friends and extended family. Our most recent trip included three generations of family for a total of 16 people, eight of whom were kids!

I am a firm believer that a little preparation for a Disney trip can make a good trip into magical vacation. I am often asked for help by friends, friends of friends, and even random people I meet in line at the grocery store! When not helping plan yet another pixie dusted vacation, or chasing four kids,  I work as an RN on a labor and delivery unit, craft, knit and crochet, write for my Disney themed blog, daydream of being part of the WDW Moms Panel, cheer for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and if I can find the time, I love a good book.

Marci Smith:

MarciBioHi Everyone! My name is Marci Smith and I am so happy to bring you the MouseQuest Podcast. My husband and I have been married for nearly 12 years and we make a great team. Raised on the West Coast he is a Disneyland native and enjoyed his first trip to WDW on our honeymoon. In 2006 and 2009 we welcomed two energetic, wonderful kids into the family and combined with our two crazy dogs, there is never a dull moment. We play together, laugh together, have adventures together, and as a family, share a love of the place where dreams come true.

My love of Disney began when my parents introduced me to Walt Disney World in the 1980’s. Those early trips created unforgettable memories that have fueled my passion and Disney nerd-dom. As a child I remember waking up at the crack of dawn to Mousercise with Kellyn. I also loved reading Disney Adventures magazines and for the longest time I saved an article written by Glen Keane because I wanted to become an animator for Disney. As an adult I have the privilege of sharing my love with those I love most and that brings me more joy than I could imagine. I am SO excited to share my love of all things Disney with our listeners!

Gayle Turner:

GayleIn 1955, two events happened that changed the world -Disneyland and I were both born. Five children, four grandchildren and millions of visitors later, I am happy to report that Disney and I are still going strong! Hi, I’m Gayle from beautiful Northern California. I am a mom, Grammy, teacher and I am a Disney-holic. I cannot remember a time when Disney was not a part of my life. My first trip to Disneyland was November 1995 and I can still vividly remember every detail of my mom trying to hold me while balancing on her too high for walking heels as she tried to board the World Famous Jungle Cruise. To this day, it remains my all-time favorite ride. Someday, when I grow up, I am going to be Captain of the Jungle Boat. To say I’ve been to Disneyland more than a few times would be an understatement I can remember the Matterhorn as scaffolding, and a time gone by when the showpiece of Tomorrowland, the TWA Moonliner was the tallest structure in the Park, even taller than Sleeping Beauty Castle. I rode donkeys (yes real, not animatronic) and traveled by stagecoaches pulled by horses through the trails of Frontierland., Disneyland and I have certainly transformed and changed over the last half century, but every time I walk through those magical gates, it’s as though I am experiencing it all for the first time. With enough memories and experiences to fill a lifetime it is my hope to help others create their own lifetimes of magical moments.

Liz Weimann:

lizHi! I am the mother of two little princesses, Isabella, 10, and Natalie, 3. I didn’t take my first trip to Disney World until I was an adult. My husband proposed to me on my first trip and I was hooked!We have been lucky enough to enjoy multiple trips a year ever since and we enjoy trying new activities each trip. We became Disney Vacation Club members in 2011 and we are so happy to call Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas our home away from home! We look forward to having many years of fabulous Disney experiences in the future!

DISCLOSURE (AKA The Boring Stuff)

This policy is valid from 16 September 2016

This blog is a collaborative blog written by a group of individuals. For questions about this blog, please contact Sue Nowicki (snowicki033@gmail.com).

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for some of our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Leave a Reply