• Stephanie Perlick

Should you hire a travel agent for a Disney trip?



Walt Disney World is HUGE. Disney World covers 39 squares miles and is the same size as the city of San Francisco. There are 200+ places to eat, over 25 places to sleep ranging from the value-friendly to luxurious, 2 waterparks and 4 theme parks to play at with over 150 rides, attractions or shows. If this is your first trip or your tenth, it is helpful to have someone experienced help you with all the details and the immense amount of planning that is involved.

Enlisting the help of a travel agent to book and help plan your Disney trip can be a life-saver. There is so much involved with a Walt Disney World vacation that having one point of contact to answer all of your questions, to guide you through the process and to facilitate all of the planning will make your vacation stress-free. Here are all of the wonderful things a travel agent will do for you:

  • THEY WILL SAVE YOU MONEY (so you can spend more on snacks and souvenirs)  Before I was a travel agent, I used to think that booking through one would cost me more money. It is, in fact, the opposite. The price you pay directly through Disney or through an agent is exactly the same. The commission paid to a travel agent is already built into the price, whether you book through a travel agent or through Disney directly; so you should take advantage of what you're already paying for and have a travel agent do all the work for you! So, how do they save you money? If you are flexible with your travel dates, a knowledgable agent is familiar with when the least expensive times of year or days of the week to go are. They will spend the time to do cost comparisons for you to make sure you are getting the best deals. Also, Disney releases discounts on select travel dates throughout the year (i.e. Free Dining or room-only percentage discounts). If your trip was already booked and then a discount was released for your travel dates, your travel agent will apply the discount to your reservation. Travel agents stay up to date daily on Disney discounts and are proactive about ensuring their clients' reservations reflect all discounts. No need for you to have to stay up-to-date on Disney discount information, your agent will modify your reservation if a discount becomes available. A well-traveled Disney agent can also provide cost-saving tips for meals and snacks while in the park.

  • THEY WILL SAVE YOU TIME (so you can sleep in the days important reservations need to be made) You shouldn't have to do anything but contact a travel agent with your intended dates of travel and an idea of your budget and maybe some resorts or restaurants you're interested in. Your travel agent will spend the time scouting through the Disney booking system to find the best resort and dates that meet your needs. This process alone can save you hours or even days. A huge part of a Disney trip running successfully is having dining and Fast Pass+ reservations; and believe me, these things need to be booked way in advance. Your travel agent will wake up in the wee hours of the morning 60 days before your trip to secure your most important dining reservations. (Fast Passes are currently unavailable at Walt Disney World until further notice).

Your travel agent will be your go-to for any Disney-related travel questions or updates to your trip. This can save you hours of research of having to find the answer yourself or having to call Disney directly to make changes. When you call Disney, you will get a different person every time you call. You can also end up spending lengthy amounts of time waiting for a customer service representative. If you hired a travel agent, a quick call, text or email will get your situation solved immediately. Having a travel agent working for you is especially important in the current climate with constant changes and updates due to Covid-19. There were a few days in the spring and summer of 2020 that I spent 6-8 hours on hold with Disney to make changes to my client's reservations when Walt Disney World first announced it was closing and again when it announced it's reopening. Not only will a travel agent save you the wasted hours spent on hold, they can also keep you up to date with current policies, updates and changes to make sure your are prepared for your vacation. There are strategies to be able to get the most out of your time at the park, and a travel agent can provide advice as to how to best navigate the parks. Whether, you're a first-time traveler or experienced park hopper, your travel agent can save you hours of time, so you can just show up at Walt Disney World and have a magical time!

Walt Disney World can be extremely crowded at peak times, as seen here in Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios on December 27, 2018. Having a travel agent guide you through the best times to visit Walt Disney World or helping you strategize your park visit can be an invaluable resource.

  • THEY KNOW DISNEY AND THEY KNOW IT WELL Not only are Disney travel agents typically graduates of the Disney College of Knowledge, but they are usually avid travelers to Disney World. They understand the ins and outs of everything Disney related. They can provide personalized resort recommendations that meets your family size, interests and budget. If you want to purchase the Dining Plan, they can show you how to get more than your money's worth; or help you determine if it's right for your family in the first place. A travel agent can help you with a personal itinerary for the parks to make sure you hit all your must-do's. They have a lot of tips and tricks either from personal experience or research that they will be more than happy to share with you. Is it your first time to Disney? Traveling to Disney can be very confusing and overwhelming and a travel agent can be an invaluable resource. On of my recent trips to Disney I met a few people who were first timers and they had no idea what a Magic Band was or how to get fast passes; a travel agent would have walked them through all of the basics. Even if you've been to Disney many times, a travel agent stays current with Disney news and can still offer guidance. They will know about possible construction at resorts or new and exciting restaurants or snacks to recommend.

  • THEY PROVIDE TOP-NOTCH CUSTOMER SERVICE Most Disney travel planners didn't go into their career to make millions, they chose that career path because they are passionate about Disney travel. This passion makes them work very hard to ensure you have a perfect vacation. They should not only offer to book your dining and fast passes (as mentioned earlier), but assist with all of your other planning needs (guide your through park pass reservations, stroller/wheelchair rental, Magical Express scheduling, special occasion celebration assistance, etc.). If anything were to go wrong while on your vacation, you have an advocate in your corner. Simply contact your travel agent and go on enjoying your vacation, they will do the work of trying to resolve your issue. While it is very easy to go online or call Disney to book your vacation yourself, you can see there are so many amazing benefits to hiring a travel agent. If you hire the right agent, you will not only save time and money; you will have a trusted adviser that will plan your perfect dream vacation, accommodating your needs every step of the way. For a no obligation, FREE quote, contact Stephanie Perlick, Travel Agent from The Vacationeer, at stephanie.perlick@thevacationeer.com or visit her Walt Disney World© travel center web page for more contact information. The Vacationeer is a boutique travel agency that specializes in Disney, Universal and all-inclusive resort vacations.

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