Planning a Disney vacation, especially one on a small budget, can be a huge undertaking especially if you have never been there before. You might think travel agents are a somewhat extinct commodity and have gone the way of the dinosaur, but it is actually quite the opposite! In this age of being able to access all things day or night on your internet browser, it seems like it would be easy to find the best deals.
In reality, planning a trip can be an extremely stressful and confusing undertaking. You can spend hours online searching for deals on flights and hotels, hopping from one website to another in pursuit of the perfect price. This kind of process leaves you stressed and more confused than before you started.
Top Reasons to Use a Disney Travel Agent
1. Disney Travel Planners Know the Deals
Travel agents often have access to deals you will not find on-line or elsewhere. They know the best times to travel, when certain destinations are offering promotions and what red tape applies to each promotion. Agents have insider information that isn’t available to even a master online researcher and they have insight on the best way to pay off your vacation and insider tips on where to save and when to spend. Depending on the agent, some even offer extra perks for certain destinations.
2. Disney Travel Planners Automatically “Upgrade” You to the Best Promotion
Let’s say you booked your vacation for October in January and then Disney came out with free dining for the resort you are staying at for the length of your stay. The agent will automatically apply any available savings, including the free dining promotion, to your itinerary saving you money.
3. They Help Plan the Vacation Itinerary
This is often invaluable when you are visiting a foreign country or a US destination with a lot to see and do. For example, a trip to Walt Disney World can be a massive undertaking. Between choosing a hotel either on or off Disney property, looking at different package options such as tickets and dining, and incorporating Disney’s Magic Bands and FastPass+. It is overwhelming and you may not even know where to begin. Travel agents spend a lot of time studying and attending training on destinations which brings real tangible value.
A planner can help plan an itinerary with your travel needs in mind. You will actually get the most out of your vacation days without feeling lost or out of your comfort zone.
Travel planners can do as little of the itinerary planning or as much planning as you would like them to do.
4. Disney Travel Agents Can Make Fastpasses and Dining Reservations for You
Instead of you waking up at 7 am Florida time to grab the Fastpasses 60 days out, the travel agent takes care of that for you. That pretty much guarantees your best chance to get the ride Fastpasses you want.
Your travel agent can also book dining reservations at 6 months out as well as tours and special events like the super popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Some agencies have special tools to find those hard to get reservations such as Cinderellas Royal Table and California Grill.
5. Your Travel Agent Can Help You Figure Out if the Dining Plan is Right for Your Family
The Disney Dining Plan is not right for everyone. An authorized Disney vacation planner can save you a lot of money by either helping you get the dining plan or deciding that you would save money by paying out of pocket. Some people end up with so much extra food credits at the end of their vacation because they did not realize how much food the plan includes.
6. Disney Travel Agents Take Disney Gift Cards
A lot of Disney vacationers buy discounted Disney Gift cards as a way to save money on their vacation. Your authorized Disney Travel planner can accept those gift cards as payment. You can get discounted Disney Gift Cards from Sam’s Club, Costco, and with a Target Red Card Debit card.
7. Disney Travel Agents Fix Problems
Mistakes happen, problems happen. Disney is not always rainbows and sunshine. You can call your travel agent and they can fix the problem while you continue having fun on your vacation.
When Covid-19 caused Disney World to shut down, the phone lines to contact Disney World were hours long. If you used a travel planner then you did not have to wait forever to find out what was happening with your refund or vacation rescheduling. 2020 proved using a travel agent, especially when their services are free is so valuable.
8. Using a Disney Travel Agent is FREE
Some people are afraid of using a travel agent because they think they’ll be charged extra for the agent’s services and expertise, but it is actually the opposite! Travel agents make their income through the travel suppliers and are paid by the destinations they book.
One thing to realize here is that if you book on-line or with the destination directly or on your own, you are paying for agent services whether you use an agent or not. The fees that travel companies pay agents are built into their pricing.
Find a travel agent you love and let them get to know you and your family and your travel preferences. It will be an invaluable resource when you plan your vacations. A skilled travel agent with the knowledge of the destinations knows all the ins and outs and can prove invaluable so you can actually enjoy your vacation and not need the dreaded “vacation from your vacation”.
9. You Support a Small Business
Disney travel planners are small business owners and when you use their services you are supporting their small business. Most travel agencies are run by people – not by boards, not by stockholders, not by algorithms. And so you get a different kind of care and quality in their service because their work is a reflection of themselves. When you book a vacation with a Disney vacation planner you get to be a contributor to the realization of someone else’s dream!
I am a concierge vacation planner with Favorite Grampy Travels. My goal as a travel planner is to meet your travel needs and I am passionate about that. When you reach out to me for a quote I spend time trying to get to know what you are looking for, what your needs are, and how I can meet those needs within your budget.
Post Originally Published June 23, 2014.
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