Is The Vanishing Inc. Magic Retreat Worth It? HONEST REVIEW

After attending one of Vanishing Inc's Retreats for magicians, Max reveals everything you know about the hybrid magic lecture vacation setup.

Is The Vanishing Inc. Magic Retreat Worth It? HONEST REVIEW
Joshua Jay & Andi Gladwin at a previous Retreat

Have you ever dreamed of going to a magic convention in a Costa Rican jungle? What about on a safari, Alaskan cruise, or in the Tuscan countryside? Gone are the days of banal hotel ballrooms–with The Retreat, VanishingInc has turned the magic convention on its head. But is it worth it? We’ve got all the details below:

How it Works:

Designed to accommodate both magicians and their partners/parents/siblings, The Retreat is part destination vacation, part magic convention, part hangout, all in a picturesque location. Each retreat is limited to a small number of people, usually averaging 30-40, and features two “headliners” who lecture and perform throughout the trip. VanishingInc pulls top talent, like Guy Hollingworth, Danny Garcia, Luke Jermay, David Williamson, and Jim Steinmeyer (just to name a few). They seem to be organizing one United States and one international (relative to the US) retreat per year.

What is the Magic Like?

While The Retreat doesn’t come close to matching the volume of a traditional magic convention, they make up for it in intimacy. And that’s the point. There are two headliners (plus VanishingInc co-founders Josh and Andi, who typically present something at each retreat), and you’re guaranteed hours of close-up access to all of them. They’re there for you, which means even if they don’t cover something you wanted in a lecture, you can ask them about it while on safari, or whale watching, or on a hike.

So much of the magic value comes from sharing meals and casually hanging out. It’s like being at summer camp–you have nothing else to do and no one else to talk to, so you bond very quickly.

Seriously? Should I bring my partner to a magic convention?

Magic can easily alienate people who don’t practice it. But Josh, Andi, and George specifically designed The Retreat so that everyone feels included. At least half the day is spent doing non-magic events that take advantage of the unique location (literally, we went on safari with Guy Hollingworth and Danny Garcia six times). And spouses and partners frequently sit in on the lectures. In fact, many partners walked away with a deeper appreciation for magic precisely because they were included so well.

Is the Destination Worth It?

Full credit to VanishingInc; they aren’t skimping on the locations. They opened with Costa Rica in 2019 and followed it up with a full African safari. The Italian retreat was in the mountains of Tuscany, and the Alaska cruise this September sounds exquisite. This means that you’re getting a full-fledged destination vacation out of a magic retreat, which, let’s face it, you can’t say if you go to Blackpool. The Retreat is fully a vacation, and it’s one of the reasons it’s so appealing for partners as well.

Is the Price Reasonable?

You get what you pay for. Prices for The Retreat have increased significantly since Costa Rica, but so has the quality of the trip. Let’s face it–Alaskan cruises aren’t cheap (magician+guest is more than $10,000). The simple way to look at this is: It’s worth the money if you have the money to spend. VanishingInc makes sure that you’re taken care of 24/7, that you eat amazing meals catered to dietary restrictions, that you get to learn from some of the best magicians in the world, and that you have once-in-a-lifetime adventures. It’s absolutely a big toll on the bank account, but I haven’t left a retreat hearing anyone who didn’t love it (I went to South Africa and Tuscany).

In Conclusion

If you have the budget and you like magic, you should absolutely go, and bring a guest. If you have someone in your life who’s always supported your magic, they deserve to be brought into your world. It is just as fun to meet the non-magicians as the magicians. There are also a few surprises we deliberately didn’t mention–after all, what would be the point of going if you knew everything that would happen? As of writing, there are extremely limited spots for the Alaskan cruise, and you can get details here.