How do you book your vacation?

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pinkflamingotravel's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2013
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How do you book your vacation?

I know a lot of you are DVC members but we are not. Are there ways to get cheaper rates? Every time we've traveled I've booked from Disney direct, except for this last time and I bought lodging from David's Vacation Club Rentals. I looked at Funjet and they want to put me in a hotel I don`t want. They don't have all Disney properties listed. I'm so confused! confused

JMUDukz's picture
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I've book both through Disney direct and through Small World Vacations. I've found both to be equally easy. For SMV, I went to their website and filled out a quote form. I indicated the discounts I thought we were eligible for (including AAA) and she got back with a quote in less than 48 hours. My travel agent (I think her name is Lisa? they assign you someone close to where you live) took care of setting up everything...ME, our changes to the guests, and made sure to get us in a good building, close to the lobby (without paying for a preferred room). I did know what resort I wanted when I sent off for the quote. Easy! You do have to take a leap of faith, as everything is done by phone/email and not in person, but it was really easy. The travel agent makes their fee off of Disney, so there's no additional charge for you. I've seen some travel agents that say they will make your ADRs for you as well, not sure where the fun is in that!

I think booking through Disney direct is pretty easy too, I've done that mostly these days b/c I've gone through the rundisney phone number for the race discounts. Disney is really patient about helping you price the resort(Drunk you want and figure out what works for you. Both going through Disney direct and a travel agent, I believe I put down the deposit and paid the balance closer in.

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pinkflamingotravel's picture
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I'll check Small World Vacations and I'll check our local travel agent too. Thanks for the info, I'm always looking for a good deal. awesome

JoAnn C's picture
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For my annual November trips, I've been booking through AAA. For my February 2014 trip, I booked through Disney using the runDisney number.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Before I was DVC I booked directly through Disney. I used a TA last year and had lots of problems, in the future I would use a TA again, but probably chose another one.

pinkflamingotravel's picture
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We're members of AAA I'll check them. We'll also check our local TA, we've had good luck with our Mexican vacations booked through them.

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We always book through Disney directly. I guess I jut like being in charge of my own destiny! Ha.

MrHub's picture
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We book through Disney directly. The CM's are always so friendly and feels like they really get into helping. We have never had a problem doing it that way. The only difference's if heard with doing it directly vs. going through a travel agent is, if there are any problems or issues, or you need to make changes while your on vacation, a lot of time Disney will not make the changes through you, you have to notify your travel agent and have them contact disney to make the changes. Now I have had no personal experience with this, I've just heard a number of people mention they went through this.

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The first two trips to Disney we booked through a travel agent. I felt pressured to stay at the hotels they recommended and found out later I could have gotten a better deal. I then discovered how to book through Disney direct using the Disney resort web site and getting quotes that way. Also the web site at the bottom of the page lists special offers. Our travel agent wasn't even aware of any of the special offers and we had to insist on her calling Disney and finding out. Until we became vacation club members I would constantly check the resort website for up to date deals and call Disney to find out if we qualified. They were always happy to accommodate me and change my reservations as need be. I also found that I could make payments for my trip as there is a deposit needed and you have a certain amount of time to pay in full.

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I book myself through Disney either the website or on by phone. I book all of my trips not just Disney myself. I have no problem using travel agents & used the same for years but with how easy it is to research, plan & book travel now I just do it myself.

Magic Days's picture
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Joined: 11/02/2012
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We book with AAA. The discount beat the one WDW sent us.

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WDWfanatic's picture
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I am DVC, now, but sometimes stay on cash, and I also use Small World Vacations. Love my girl there! Costs nothing extra for me and puts money in her pocket all at the same time. I book with her, pay my deposit, and when something comes up she calls me and tells me how much I will save if I take the deal, as will most Disney Authorized Travel Agents.

I did book through my own travel agent the first time, she is not trained in Disney, we missed a lot of things going through her. She didn't do anything wrong, she just didn't know. We totally could have gotten a better deal. But I can't blame her, I had no idea either.

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pinkflamingotravel's picture
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I'll check Small World too.

Becks534's picture
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I usually book through my travel agent at Magical Journeys. The Fabulous Ms. Wendy (which is what we call her) has been doing our trips since 2005 and booked our honeymoon cruise for us. I'm pretty sure she wangled our super-awesome upgraded stateroom for us and we had on board credit gift from her. It's not that I can't book it myself, it's just so much easier to let Wendy price it out and check for discounts, etc. muchlove

pinkflamingotravel's picture
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Thanks

Kristen K.'s picture
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Wendy = Awesome.

Mandy's picture
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My DB and I used AAA for our Disney Trips before coming locals and we had no issues with them.

Eeyore's picture
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We book via a Disney TA who also owns like a million points for DVC. I rent points or book a room through her. If we book DVC, she gives me a kickback on anything else we book through her. Our Disney Cruise, she split her commission with us because we booked DVC with her too.

I've also used Disney directly too. Nothing wrong with that! We get military discount anyway, which is better than what any TA can get us. 40% off deluxe! (Which is still not cheaper usually than renting DVC points)

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We've always used a local TA (both when I lived in NY and in NC). But this time we booked via Disney directly. I will say that I feel like I got a bit of a better package deal ($$wise) from the TA, but I found it a lot easier to work with Disney directly on our special requests. It has been such a pleasure to work with them, I have decided that's what we will do going forward. I am a cheapskate, normally, but I never mind paying for excellent service.

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We tend to stay at the same hotel at Disney, the Best Western on Hotel Plaza Blvd. right there next to DTD. So I book through their website with my loyalty card. Which is usually cheaper and I get the points.

I fly a lot for work and in the past, usually on AirTran so I have a few million miles to use for my tickets. I find out how much my wife's will be then buy a Visa gift card with my points. Buy her ticket with that gift card, and earn points back doing it that way. I usually get back about 75% of the points I spent on the gift card with her ticket purchase so it's a pretty good trade off.

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We always book online thru Disney directly. You just have to make sure you are getting the special offers, cause it's not automatic (learned that the hard way). I've then had to call to make some changes, book a tour etc and the CM's have always been fantastic on the phone. We do the same for our flight - as JeffC says, I also like to be in charge of our own destiny!!

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coreyp's picture
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My family always went online, or just called, but when my DW and I went last September I booked my last trip through Between the Ears Travel. They did everything for us and it was awesome! Dinner reservations, writing a daily guide to use in each park if we wanted because it was my first trip without my family, and my wifes first trip in general, and it's all FREE, they get paid by Disney, not me. I don't know if travel agents do dinner reservations, or how much they cost (never used one), but I was really happy with them.

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We have always booked online thru disney ...we enjoying planning our Disney trips from maping out a game plan in the parks planning our meals around the parks we are in half the fun is planning your trip Smile

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We are dvc members so we do it on line ourselves, but I know people that have used Kingdom Magic Vacations and they are great and do everything for you and are officially recognized by Disney. The president is in Disney all the time and has an awesome blog every week that you can watch about all his trips. Google travel with Rick

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We have booked with Disney directly and also through Delta Vacations....I found that Delta Vacations was a few dollars less than booking through Disney, but both times were great! Delta Vacations also let us know about the free dining that was in the fall last year during our stay which I wasn't sure if they were able to get the same deals as booking though Disney directly. I think for our honeymooon we will book through Disney directly unless we end up renting DVC points.

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