If you've ever been to Disney World or Universal Studios, you know that planning these types of vacations can quickly overtake your life. It can even start to feel like you have a second job as you try to navigate the logistics of planning. Figuring out the best days and time to visit the parks, planning meals, booking lodging, and then getting where you need to be when you need to be there takes up a lot of energy you'd rather spend having fun and relaxing with your family.
Recognizing the level of planning required for these types of vacations led John Bullard to build his company, Magical Enchanted Vacations.
In October 2014, after working as a pharmacist for 33 years, John traded his lab coat for flip-flops and began helping families plan once-in-a-lifetime vacations to places like Universal and Disney World.
As the president of Magical Enchanted Vacations, John oversees a network of travel agents that focus specifically on vacations to Disney World and Universal Studios, as well as some cruises. His company continues to grow and help families enjoy their leisure time instead of stressing out over logistics.
John started researching apps that were already on the market, thinking he might be able to simply direct his clients to a specific app that had all the tools he knew they needed. But unfortunately, he was unable to find anything remotely close to what he wanted.
As John was researching, he realized that he really wanted an app branded explicitly to Magical Vacations. Then, he could add that as part of his business offerings and build brand awareness among all types of travelers.
With a branded app, John could also be in control of customizing it based on how his clients used it. In addition, he wanted to add new features as clients requested them so the app could be as valuable and beneficial as possible to families as they were planning their vacations.
John came to Confianz in June 2021 with his idea for an app that would help families plan magical getaways and stay on top of all the details.
We began building an app for Magical Enchanted by gathering information and requirements from John over Zoom. Then, we signed an NDA and put together a work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS details all the parts of the app that need to be completed, along with the estimated hours each piece would take.
We began the project with the design phase. First, the Confianz development team took Magical's logo to build out the overall look and feel for the app. Next, our team suggested a compatible color scheme, fonts, button style, and more based on Magical's branding. The goal was to create a fresh, clean look that would be appealing to app users.
After John approved the app design, we got to work implementing the design into React Native so we could test it on iOS and Android environments.
Our app development team started working through our roadmap, starting with registration and authentication for users upon sign-in. We also created a user profile feature. While this feature is optional for users, it allows for tracking the number of users. It also allows the app to assign users a travel agent from the company's roster of over 40 agents.
The Confianz team met with John every week for two months to discuss progress. We showed John what we had completed the previous week and discussed what was on deck for the following week during these meetings.
We also showed him a demo of the latest progress on the app and answered any questions he had. Towards the end of the two months, John had an idea to add a new feature that would allow the user to add the app as a widget to their home screen. Then, they can view the countdown without needing to open the app, thereby creating a sense of excitement and anticipation. We were able to add this feature without adding a significant amount of time to the completion of the project. In about two months, John had gone from having an idea for an app to having an MVP.
Today, the app is currently available for both Android and iOS devices and is available for anyone planning a vacation, whether to Disney, Universal, or anywhere else in the world.
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