Planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be stressful y’all! When is the best time to go? Where should I stay? Dining Plan or no Dining Plan? Do I need Park Hoppers? Why not ask someone trained in this particular area? Booking with a Disney Travel Agent is FREE and can take away the stress of planning. Here are 6 Benefits to Booking Disney with a Travel Agent.
6 Benefits to Booking Disney with a Travel Agent
People often think that simply visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth is all it takes to ensure a fabulous family vacation. Sadly, this is incorrect. Those of you planning your Disney World vacation for the first time visit, heed my advice – you need to have a plan! Booking your Disney vacation with a specialized Disney travel agent can make all the difference in the world.
Any travel agent can book Disney Destinations packages. Always make sure you find a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, as there are the ones who will have the most knowledge on all of the deadlines and can best answer your questions.
How to Locate a Great Disney Travel Agent
The best way to locate a good travel agent is to talk to your friends and family. Find out the name of the travel agent they used for their trip. First hand referrals are the best way to go.
Another good idea is to perform an online search. Many travel agents work from their home offices so it isn’t always necessary to find someone local to your area. If you find an agent you are interested in, do additional research online. See if they have a Facebook page. Do they have any reviews there? Always, always do your research.
1. Disney Travel Agents offer Personalized Planning Services
When you book your vacation with a Disney travel agent, they become your main contact throughout the planning process. You will go to them with all of your questions and concerns. Your agent will then work with Disney on all the details. You will not need to contact Disney for anything as all communications will be handled between the agent and Disney.
If you book your reservations directly through Disney, you will speak with a different Cast Member each time you call. You will not be able to develop the personal relationship you can when working directly with a travel agent.
I’ve heard people say they don’t book with a travel agent because they don’t want to have limited access to their reservations. Your reservation details can always be accessed through My Disney Experience, which allows you to book, edit and change dining and FastPass+ reservations.
2. Knowledge Of Disney Parks And Package Components
Disney travel agents have successfully passed the Disney College of Knowledge courses and must recertify each year. The majority of travel agents specializing in Disney started working in the industry because of their passion for Disney travel. You will find that a lot travel agents own or write for Disney blogs and websites.
Walt Disney World is constantly growing and changing and agents must keep up with the latest news and details to pass along to their clients. One important detail is the ever changing refurbishment list. Disney is always having to update their attractions and resorts. They regularly post a list for travel agents to pass along to their clients.
3. Promotion & Discount Monitoring
Did you know that booking your vacation with a Disney travel agent can actually SAVE you money? This is a proven fact. How can you save money by booking with a travel agent? Disney often releases highly sought after travel discounts. Examples include Free Dining (usually in the Fall), Room Only discounts (up to 25% off), as well as the Play, Stay & Dine discount (typically offered in the Spring).
Disney only offers a limited number of promotions. If you book Disney with a travel agent they will have advance notice of the promotions and can grab them for you as soon as they are released (should they be available during your travel dates).
What if I booked my package before any discounts were released? You can still take advantage of the deal. If applicable to your travel dates, your travel agent will apply the discount to your package. Sometimes this process can take hours on the phone. Hours that your agent is on hold instead of YOU. Seriously, I have been on hold for over 6 hours before when Free Dining promos are released. True story.
DIStracted Tip: Disney’s prices are universal across the board. The price you pay for a Disney vacation package if you book through a travel agent is the EXACT SAME PRICE you will pay if you book directly through Disney.
4. Dining Reservation Assistance
ADRs – also known as Advanced Dining Reservations – are one of the most important details to any Walt Disney World vacation. Dining reservations open 180 days in advance and it is always advised you book your desired reservations on this date. This means if at all possible, you should start planning your vacation at least 7 months in advance.
Allow yourself time to research the different restaurants, details on the different Disney Dining Plans and their credits (this can be confusing), and the refurbishment list to make sure the restaurants are all scheduled to be open throughout your vacation. A good travel agent will be able to assist you with all of this.
Most Disney travel agents will offer to book your dining reservations for you. If this is something you prefer to do on your own, you will certainly be able to. Simply tell your agent you would like to handle the planning on your own. A lot of agents, myself included, are online at 5:00 am as soon as their client’s reservation window opens to make sure they get the reservations they want.
5. FastPass+ Assistance
I am commonly asked “What is a FastPass?” FastPass+ is a perk offered to any and all guests of the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney travel agents will explain the FastPass+ process and many will offer to book them for you. FastPass+ reservations are available to book online through My Disney Experience 60 days in advance for guests staying in Walt Disney World and Disney Springs resort hotels, and 30 days in advance for guests staying offsite.
Navigating the FastPass+ system can be confusing as there is a tiered system in Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
6. Many Other Possible Benefits
The possibilities are endless depending on the Disney travel agent you choose. Each agent has different specialities to offer. Some other common benefits to using a travel agent in the Disney vacation planning process include:
- Free travel quotes
- Detailed Dining Plan explanations
- Assistance in choosing a package
- Park navigation assistance
- Character location
- Airport Transfer Booking (Limousine or towncars)
- Stroller / Scooter rentals
- Grocery delivery orders
- Scheduling Childcare/babysitting services
- Assistance with Birthday/Anniversary Celebrations
- Booking Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique/Pirates League/Specialty Cruises
- Scheduling Golf tee times
- Scheduling Spa Treatments
- Assistance with runDisney (some agents specialize in this area of travel)
- Access throughout your trip for assistance
DIStracted Tip: Most Disney Travel Agents do not charge any fees for their services. There are some, however, that charge planning/concierge fees for itinerary planning. If the travel agent is going to charge a fee it should be advertised on their website. If you are uncertain, always ask before booking.
Have you already booked your vacation and realize you are overwhelmed? Many Disney travel agents will offer concierge planning services for a fee. Looking to travel to other Disney Destinations such as Disneyland, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line or Adventures by Disney? Most Disney travel agents specialize in these destinations also.