First Time DL Trip

As an anniversary trip in 2023 we’d like to go to DL for a few days and then continue on to Aulani. We’ve been DVC members 20+ years so we’ve got WDW down to a science, but know nothing about planning a DL trip. Since we are DVC members, most travel agents don’t (can’t?) want to help us plan this trip. We’re looking for any advice / suggestions so we don’t mess up this special trip. Thank you.

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Maybe I don’t understand the issue… Why won’t a TA help you? I’ve used TA for tickets only and/or room only. I’m not a DVC owner, so I don’t know all the details.

I recommend you check this thread out:

Also, read the pinned Genie+ thread. Lightning Lane is your friend at Disneyland! Definitely recommend.


Here’s the Genie+ thread. Just read the first post. I try to keep it up to date.

Jeff pinned some great threads! I honestly don’t think you need a TA to do Disneyland. Are you thinking about booking (or trying to book) Gran Cal using your DVC points? That may be difficult unless you own there. There’s another thread somewhere comparing off-site or good neighbor hotels. They can be a great alternative to on site and some of them are just as close. Not as close as Grand Cal, but as close as the others. At least until PPH gets it’s bridge/walkway direct to the park!


The entrance and walkway are open! I don’t know if there’s a bridge yet. This reporter wasn’t staying at the hotel so they couldn’t get that far.

A TA’s time is generally taken up by helping those guests who book with them, and are only paid for their time after the guest travels on that booking and the trip is completed.

That said, tickets are one form of booking, so a person that would purchase tickets by way of a TA would have some access to assistance around planning.



If you’ve planned WDW you’re going to find DL a cake walk. It’s far, far less complex and complicated. Though park reservations and G+ are still a thing - but you can get recommendations around those things right here where you’ve found us.


I misread. I though OP said they “won’t” help due to some DVC clause. Thanks!


I don’t think you need a TA either. If you are a pro with WDW, DLR should be a piece of cake, just like others have said. When we go to WDW, I spend months on end planning. There are lots of printed notes, spreadsheets and if/then flow charts. I leave for WDW with finalized if/then flow charts and notes for each day.

When I went to DLR last November after being away for 9 years, I just read up here and asked some questions. I had some notes and broad plans. I winged in. That was right before Genie+ was available. I did the same thing in February this year when Genie+ was in place. I arrived 15-25 minutes before the parks open each day. One day I went left in DL and closed out CA. On day 2, I started out in Pixar Pier, moving to Carsland, then Paradise Garden, and Avenger’s Campus before closing out DL. On day 3, I started off with all the rides in Fantasyland that did not have Genie+, and then picked up attractions I didn’t get the other 2 days, and added attractions I wanted to do again as wait times were tolerable at either parks. I find the pace more enjoyable at DLR than at WDW.

Ask questions and read trip reports!


Thank you everyone for your responses. To clarify my comment regarding not getting assistance from a TA, I was informed by Dreams unlimited that they couldn’t / wouldn’t assist us primarily (the way I understood it) because they would only make a commission if we booked a hotel (not DVC) and purchased tickets to DL through them. Since DL is just a piece of the whole trip we’re planning, I’m guessing it’s not worth their time / effort.

I feel confident that I could plan this if it was just DL, but since we’re doing a multi flight trip with multiple destinations, not to mention this is a special trip and I don’t want to mess it up :sunglasses:, that’s why I was thinking a TA could be helpful.

So I think I understand what’s happening… you don’t want to book your hotel or tickets with them, you just want their help with everything else?

I can 100% see them denying to help in that situation because you wouldn’t actually be a client of theirs. They don’t charge a fee for planning services or provide those adhoc. It’s mostly a courtesy to their clients who need/want the assistance. The only way they make money is by Disney paying them a commission on their sales. No sale, no commission, no assistance.

Maybe you could work with a traditional travel agency or AAA for your other needs and they could offer some assistance.

Yes, I understand about the commission and I don’t expect them to help me for free, but if I’m booking a hotel and purchasing tickets for DL then I would think they should make something. We’re in the process of checking other alternatives. I just wasn’t sure if others have done what we’re doing and had suggestions.

Are you using DVC points for Aulani or paying cash? My Disney TA also did my Aulani booking when I went.

So you will book DL hotel /tickets with them, but also want them to help you with the DVC/Aulani portion of the trip too?