Do you use a travel agent?

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Bella's picture
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Do you use a travel agent?

I've always heard perks about using a Disney Travel Agent..but honestly I never have. I love planning and calling to make all my arrangements. Sometimes it can be frustrating to sit on hold forever or to get a CM who might not know as much about Disney as I do..but to me it's just so much fun!

Do you like to use a travel agent..have you ever used one..and what do you think the benefits or disadvantages are?

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mickey Bella


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I voted NO. The first time I went to WDW I used a travel agent and she fouled things up so bad that when I went to check in at All Star Music, they had no idea who we were and had no record of us. It was a Sunday and we were unable to contact our travel agent even though her office was open. The check-in cast members were FANTASTIC and gave us a room even though we did not exist as far as Disney was concerned. It was subsequently straightened out. After that I figured I could not screw it up any worse myself, so from then on I do everything myself, and that includes rooms, flights, annual passes, ground transportation or car rentals, ADR's, tours, etc. and I have never even come close to messing it up. crossfingers Of course I will give a lot of credit to DVC member services for their outstanding advice and help.

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Another no vote here. We have never tried using one but so far we have never had a problem doing it ourselves.

Tony's picture
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We book flights and accomodation through an agent, but then arrange everything else ourselves. Park tickets can usually be bought much cheaper from specialists in the UK than from the travel agents and they won't even have heard of some of the transport, dining or tour options.

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bali's picture
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I've never tried a travel agent, because it's part of the fun for me to plan it all myself. That said, I wouldn't mind some help with the early morning ADR phone calls/bookings and things like that! I would definitely consider a TA if I found one I could trust.

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May 2008 CSR mickey

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I voted yes...because I am one! wink

My clients tell me that the two biggest benefits to working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner are:
[OL]
[LI]Even if they are Disney veterans, they can plan things out and then let me do the work for them--e.g., making ADRs at 6:00 a.m. EST or putting together an itinerary;[/LI]
[LI]When booking through Disney directly, they would have to watch for future discounts themselves or else miss out on saving money. Disney won't call you when the price of your package could be reduced or you could get more features (e.g., free dining) at the same price you're paying now. We automatically apply the new discounts to packages, and I've saved my clients hundreds of dollars when they didn't even know there was a discount released.[/LI][/OL]
I often hear people say things like I see in this thread--either they want to do it themselves or they used an agent once and had a bad experience. That's why I tell my clients who seem to want more control that I'll let them do whatever they want to do, and I'll do the rest. As for having a bad experience, that's why you should always make sure your agent knows his/her stuff and is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

I have a post on my website that discusses this in more detail: Why Use a Disney Vacation Planner?

subvetss's picture
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We used an authorized Disney planer once by mistake. I had dialed a # from a web site and thought it was a Disney CM. The bookings were OK (just a room) but when we found that there was a new Fl. resident rate we tried to change the reservation and were told there would be a $50.00 canceling fee. With Disney there is no canceling fee if canceled before 6 days prior to res. date.
Like some others the fun, for us, is in talking to CMs.
Joe

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subvetss wrote:
We used an authorized Disney planer once by mistake. I had dialed a # from a web site and thought it was a Disney CM. The bookings were OK (just a room) but when we found that there was a new Fl. resident rate we tried to change the reservation and were told there would be a $50.00 canceling fee. With Disney there is no canceling fee if canceled before 6 days prior to res. date.
Like some others the fun, for us, is in talking to CMs.
Joe

Good point, Joe! Sounds like that TA booked a package for you instead of room-only. Ugh! I think I booked a package once, and I hated that I couldn't change anything without a cancellation fee for 45 days out. I like having my options flexible until the last minute! laugh

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You actually can change things within the 45 day window after final payment on a package. As long as the package amount doesn't go down, you won't incur a $50 change fee. If you add something, they won't charge you. That's why you want to set up a package with the minimum and then add--don't set it up with things that you might take off later!

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I guess I lied with my original post..I have used one once but I had to cancel that trip..I forgot about that. They were an authorized Disney only travel agency...but the only reason I used them was so they could get me the best deal on a MYW with dining package. I had heard too many horror stories about people not getting through and then rooms and dates being blacked out. This was when free dining just started. Now it seems they are a little bit better prepared for the masses on code release day!

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mickey Bella


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I know this sounds corny but I would really miss the emails from Disney confirming our trip and the cute little Disney envelopes that come in the mail with reservation info. I keep them all. I have no idea why, but I have a drawer full of that kind of stuff. But....since I have never used a travel agent, maybe you still get all of that stuff using them too. Anyone know?

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You will still get some of these, but the major portion comes when we send documents. They're in a Disney booklet full of your package inclusions, Magical Express book, and ME tags. If you have a room-only reservation, there's not as much fun stuff, though.

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First trip we ever made was without a travel agent and the second trip was with a CAA Travel Agent, and I will never do it without my TA ever again. She has been to Disney more times than either of us can count and last trip called me 6 times to tell me that we were saving more money than we first thought. She was SUPER and it was nice to know that she was always looking for better deals.

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JustCar wrote:
First trip we ever made was without a travel agent and the second trip was with a CAA Travel Agent, and I will never do it without my TA ever again. She has been to Disney more times than either of us can count and last trip called me 6 times to tell me that we were saving more money than we first thought. She was SUPER and it was nice to know that she was always looking for better deals.

That's a great experience! What's CAA?

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CAA is Canadian Automobile Association just our version of AAA

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And I gave her a list of the restaurants and dinner shows and events and our time frames and she made it all happen.
I have OCD but she made me really relax about it.

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JustCar wrote:
CAA is Canadian Automobile Association just our version of AAA

Oh, cool! Thanks for the info! I know the AAA can offer "diamond parking" at the parks. Does CAA do that, too? I'm always jealous of the diamond parking people! laugh

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Yeppers, they are sister agencies so whatever one offers the other does as well.

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Bella's picture
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JustCar wrote:
Yeppers, they are sister agencies so whatever one offers the other does as well.

nice! Diamond parking is always nice! I never drive to the parks but I might if I got that.

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We always use the Disney transport so I kind of laughed when she was telling me about it this time. mickey

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JustCar wrote:
First trip we ever made was without a travel agent and the second trip was with a CAA Travel Agent, and I will never do it without my TA ever again. She has been to Disney more times than either of us can count and last trip called me 6 times to tell me that we were saving more money than we first thought. She was SUPER and it was nice to know that she was always looking for better deals.

That's really nice to have someone watching to see if they can find more discounts. I bet the really good TAs are worth their weight in gold.

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I think Beth is DEFINITELY worth her weight in gold, if anyone from Canada would like her info just let me know.

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JustCar wrote:
I think Beth is DEFINITELY worth her weight in gold, if anyone from Canada would like her info just let me know.

You Candians have the nicest EVERYTHING! silly

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cdub wrote:
JustCar wrote:
I think Beth is DEFINITELY worth her weight in gold, if anyone from Canada would like her info just let me know.

You Candians have the nicest EVERYTHING! silly

LOL

Literally did laugh out loud, thinking of a scene from Canadian Bacon.

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Nope. I never do because I live in FL and it's easy for me to arrange everything.

I do remember when I was a kid that my grandparents booked a trip thru a travel agent for my very first on-site stay at Poly with Mom and it included everything.

But especially with the internet and owning DVC now, I do it all myself.

I don't want anything screwed up and you'd be surprised how it can happen sometimes.

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chriskre wrote:

I don't want anything screwed up and you'd be surprised how it can happen sometimes.

That's probably what keeps us from using one as well. We're very particular and we have no one to blame but ourselves this way.