Should I Use a Travel Agency?


#1

Does anyone have some experience with the various Disney-authorized TAs? So far I've run into Small World Vacations, The Magic For Less Travel, and Dreams Unlimited Travel. I know that MouseSavers recommends SWV and that SWV has also provided some information for TP, but the other two TAs offer Disney gift cards if you book with them, which is definitely an incentive.

I tend to be very hands-on when it comes to planning my vacations, so I hate to give that up. On the other hand, a TA might be able to get me a deal that I might otherwise not be aware of or they might know when to jump on a particular discount to ensure I can stay at the hotel I want rather than my waiting too long for a better discount and perhaps missing out at being able to book at the hotel I want.

Is it worth it to use a TA or are the discount offers fairly predictable both in the types of discounts and in when they're released?


#2

If you are "very hands-on", you will regret using a TA. Not maybe, not possibly... WILL. That is not to say that TAs have nothing to offer. Far from it. But type a planners don't need them, are often hampered by them, and it will only lead to frustration.

There is no deal they have access to for Disney that you don't (apart from onboard credits for cruises). If you are hands-on (and who is subscribing to TP.com who isn't?), a quick glance at the historical discount data on mousesavers.com will give you a framework of when discounts for your vacation time are likely to release... and logging in here regularly when that period arrives will inform you of when exactly they will release.

Most TAs for the big agencies are staffed with part timers. What that means for the type A planner is you seeing things before your TA does, emailing them, and waiting (sometimes days) to see if they act on the opportunity before it dries up, when you could have just done it yourself immediately.


#3

I would definitely fit in the category of a Type-A planner. Our next trip is tentatively planned for March.

I check the TP forum nearly every day and get all the e-mails from MouseSavers as well as from several other sites and blogs. It would drive me crazy to have to wait several days (or even several hours) for a reply on something I could do myself.

Thanks for your reply.


#4

If you are going to Disneyland, Getawaytoday.com is good. I booked through them and got 1 free night at the hotel and 1 free day at the parks. They also have coupon codes from time to time on packages.


#5

Also - a TA can't book through Orbitz which is where I find the cheapest rates when stacking with Disney discounts and orbitz code.


#6

I am admittedly biased (I am a TA) but if that is your perception of travel agents then you haven't yet found a good one.

Regarding the OP, a good TA is a partner in planning and will take on as much (or as little!) of the process as you'd like. For example, on Sunday morning I'll be up at 5:45am to make ADRs for a client who is two time zones away, saving her from getting up at 3:45 on her weekend. In July, when fall discounts are released, I'll wait on hold all day to try to get it applied to her reservation so that she doesnt have to waste her time...

Just worth considering that not all TAs are created equal and many (especially here on lines) can be a great resource smile


#7

I am a totally involved planner. My TA and I work together. She just does all the hard work. I have done it all and this time letting her make my ADRs and FPPs. I am so much less stressed.

I guess the only drawback is the Orbitz thing.


#8

I have used MEI and Mouse fan travel. I research before booking.


#9

I know this is an old post, but curious about how one becomes a Disney TA? 🤔 Sounds like something I would be really good at. 😊