Travel Agents for Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

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USING A TRAVEL AGENT FOR YOUR WALT DISNEY WORLD VACATION

Almost anyone—including people who have been to Walt Disney World dozens of times—can benefit from using a travel agent to plan and book their Disney trip.

Using a travel agent for Disney World is free, costs you nothing extra, can help assure a great trip if you don’t have the time to plan it yourself, can save you a lot of time and trouble, and might even save you money!

HOW DISNEY TRAVEL AGENTS WORK

Travel agents are compensated by Disney for booking your travel. This does not raise prices to you—you pay the same prices (or less—see below!!) as you would have if you booked your Disney World trip yourself.

The way it works typically is that you begin with their on-line quote system, and fill in contact info and whatever you have already decided about your trip— your dates, preferred hotels, budget, ticket preferences, dining thoughts, etc.

It’s ok not to be sure about this stuff—as long as you are sure you are going, have some possible dates, and a sense of what you can spend, your travel agent will be able to help you with the rest!

Your travel agent will then get back to you with a quote. You will then work with the travel agent to fill in the details, or revise everything if you have a mismatch between your budget and your dates or hotel preferences. Once all is sorted out, the agent will then do your final booking.

The best travel agents won’t stop here. Among other things, the best will keep track of new Disney World discounts as they emerge, and rebook you to take advantage of them. This can save you thousands of dollars.

They will also provide itinerary advice, maps, and other fun and useful stuff.

HOW TO FIND A TRAVEL AGENT FOR YOUR DISNEY VACATION

Disney World is complicated, so not just any agent will do. You need one that has had extensive training from Disney, and experience in the resort hotels, dining venues, and the parks themselves.

As in most things, your best guidance is to ask people you trust for recommendations. If that doesn’t work, most of the major Disney fan sites have sponsorship or affiliation agreements with Disney-specialist travel agencies.

For example, this site has an affiliation with Destinations in Florida Travel. Moreover, if you use them as your travel agent through a link for this site–like this one–then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.

If you want to make sure you have a good agent, you could test them with a couple of questions—e.g. which is more appealing to most kids, the Wilderness Lodge or the Grand Floridian? Which period is less expensive—early December or over Christmas? (In each case, the first option is the right one.)

WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHAT NOT TO EXPECT

Your travel agent should be able to put together and book for you a great combination of tickets, resort hotel, and dining venues, based on the preferences you express, your budget, and your subsequent discussions.

The more you know about Walt Disney World going in to these discussions, the better the agent will be able to help you.

Your travel agent can also help you with off-Disney stuff—for example, tickets to Universal Studios and Sea World, or rental cars.

After you are booked, the best agents—such as those at Destinations in Florida Travel–keep an eye out for Disney discounts and deals that may apply to your trip, and will let you know and re-book you if they can save you some money. People have saved thousands through services like this.

These days, some travel agents charge a fee for doing your air travel as well, and others don’t do flights at all, since airlines no longer pay them commissions.

You should be pretty committed to going to Walt Disney World before you start working with a travel agent.

The reason for this is that if you don’t go, they don’t get paid.

If what you need is planning advice before you can commit, let them know that. Some will help you for a fee, and some of these will then refund that fee from their commission if you actually go. You can also find help in finding trip planners on this page. Leave it to Genie is another great option.

WALT DISNEY WORLD ITINERARY LINKS

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24 comments

1 Marianne La Porta { 10.04.12 at 3:31 pm }

I need 5 brochures for Disney World We have clients booked who want a brochure and gelse they will need. Jacqui Perri is the one who booked the pkg

2 Dave { 10.04.12 at 4:22 pm }

Hi Marianne, I think you are in the wrong place…I’m just a guy with a website…

3 Debra P. Ackwood { 10.24.12 at 10:01 am }

I would like to plan a bus trip from Baltimore, MD to Disneyworld in Florida for Springbreak 3/29/13 – 4/4/13. We would like tickets included in the price for at least 3 parks

4 Dave { 10.24.12 at 12:56 pm }

Hi Debra, if you’d like help form a travel agent fill in the form you’ll find on the right. However, you should know that that’s a really bad time to go, the parks and hotels are very crowded and hotels very expensive.

5 Jane { 11.25.12 at 2:21 pm }

Hi! We want to do a trip to Disney World for 4 days and a cruise for 4 days. We have 4 children ages 7,9,9,11 and 6 adults. We would like 3 rooms. When is the best time to go? We are thinking in 2014 so we want to be ready when the prices come out in July. Is this the smart way to do it?

6 Dave { 11.25.12 at 2:44 pm }

Jane, my thoughts on the best times in 2014 at WDW are here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/15/2014-weeks-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-order/ However, they aren’t built with any thoughts of a cruise–e.g. December may be too cool for a cruise, and the Oct/Nov dates are still in the hurricane season….so you might want to look at the first good spring dates on that list. (For more on weather and when to go, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/ )

Three rooms is one approach, but there are WDW villas that sleep groups as large as yours–in one villa, or in two. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/20/deluxe-options-for-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/

7 Linda Tisdel { 01.21.13 at 5:53 pm }

Hi! My husband and son and I would like to visit Disney World in March for spring training. Is there a good hotel/theme park(s) package deal for 3 adults?

8 Dave { 01.22.13 at 7:18 am }

Hi Linda, the only deal that’s out now is this one: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/01/03/new-walt-disney-world-discount-mid-february-through-mid-june-2013/

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9 Bethany { 04.10.13 at 1:31 pm }

Thanks for the information on travel agents. Do you know anything about Small World Vacations?

10 Dave { 04.10.13 at 3:24 pm }

I’ve heard good things about them, Bethany, but don’t have any personal experience with them…

11 Jenna { 05.17.13 at 10:42 pm }

Hi there! We went to Disney World for the first time last year and went back this year as well. We had a blast! And we’re kinda getting the hang of the things and finding our way around all the parks :-). Here are my questions: first, we are going to plan a trip to Disney world again in 2014 and I was wondering if they (Disney or travel agents) let u pay monthly and how much time do they give u, 6 months or longer? Fortunately we have been able to pay for our other trips upfront, but may not be able to do that for our next trip. Also, we had a terrible experience with a cast member at our resort this past trip (art of animation). It was in the arcade, and one of the employees was just flat out rude and disrespectful. We called and complained to guest relations immediately after the incident and I even followed up with an email once we got back. I am awaiting a response back. I am not a moocher or trouble maker by any means, but I was wondering if I could and should ask for some kind of discount voucher for that resort? I would definitely hesitate to stay at that same resort because of that employee. I do not want to take advantage of Disney’s pride in customer service excellence, but I paid over $5,000 to have magical experience :-), and that cast member certainly put a damper on our trip. Just wondering if u had experience with that and if it was even legitimate to ask for or expect any type of coupon/resort discount. Any suggestions are appreciated!
Thanks

12 Dave { 05.19.13 at 6:52 am }

Hiya Jenna! Well, if they haven’t responded to your letter, I doubt you’ll get anything out of them…Disney has a couple of different payment programs depending on what you buy. Both involve paying a deposit to start with, with full payment due either 45 days before you arrive or the day you arrive, depending on what you bought. But I’m not sure about a monthly payment plan…

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13 Adam { 09.11.13 at 4:42 pm }

Hi Dave,

Can you please explain the difference between using a third party travel agent like Destinations and booking through a Disney agent. thank you

14 Dave { 09.12.13 at 10:12 am }

Adam, either way someone deals directly through Disney to make bookings etc. If you use a travel agent, it’s them; otherwise, it’s you…

15 Cecilia { 10.12.13 at 1:56 am }

Hi There:) If I would like to plan a Walt Disney trip but would like to talk about making a payment plan of some sort like you mentioned in one of the comments here, what website do I visit or what phone number can I call? Thank you for help! Great website by the way!

16 Dave { 10.12.13 at 9:20 am }

Hi Cecilia, I’m not aware of any payment plans…

17 Jane { 10.23.13 at 1:13 pm }

I was very jazzed to use Destination in Florida per your recommendation, but I’ve asked them for a quote three times since August and I still haven’t received one! They keep emailing me back telling me that they’ll “start work on that right away.” I’m going to go with someone else.

18 Dave { 10.23.13 at 1:34 pm }

Bummer, Jane. In the circumstances, I would go with someone else too. Can you email me the agent’s name and I’ll forward it on to the bosses? davidhobartyfv@gmail.com

19 josh { 03.19.14 at 3:37 pm }

Does Disney not offer any honeymoon specials anymore?

20 Dave { 03.20.14 at 7:51 am }

Josh, I don’t track such so don’t know.

21 Carmen Williams { 04.21.14 at 8:25 pm }

We are planning a trip for jan 18 2015. Will a travel agent be able to help with possible special mobility needs?

22 Dave { 04.22.14 at 6:47 am }

Carmen, possibly…renting scooters or chairs for the duration is straightforward

23 Laura { 06.20.14 at 3:13 pm }

Hi Dave.
I am in the process of gathering information to book my first Disney trip next year. I am incredibly nervous about booking as there is no much information to take into consideration. I live in Canada, and I would like to find a Disney specialist to guide me through things. Can you recommend a great Disney travel agent in Canada?
Your site is wonderful and so helpful!
Thank-you so much!

24 Dave { 06.21.14 at 3:49 pm }

Hi Laura, sorry but I can’t…but I’ll see if I can find a recommendation from someone else! meanwhile you might find this handy: The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

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