Let’s just say I’m a hardcore planner - I know most of the ins and outs of putting together a WDW vacation, but I won’t go so far as to say I know it all. I’ve used TP extensively, follow this forum religiously, and feel almost 100% confident that I’ve got the best plan outlined for our October 2019 trip. That all being said, would there be any advantages to using a travel agent? I’d really like to hear some personal experiences here. Thanks in advance!
I have worked with a travel agent but only for specific room discounts or to have someone track upcoming discounts. I would never rely on a TA for FP, Touring, or dining advice. If I had questions I would go to chat or here.
As a hardcore planner myself, and as an agent, the only benefit I could see for you is that the agent will be notified of promotions 35 seconds before the general public and can apply them to your trip if it’s beneficial. (think free dining, or room+ticket discounts; ie “packages”) Most promotions have limitations, in room class/hotel and number available. As such, they “sell out” quickly. Having someone on the lookout can save money. They will also book your dining and FPP reservations for you, saving you the hassle of being online at exactly 6 or 7am est to book hard to get dining/rides. Of course, there’s no guarantee that there will be a promotion that benefits you or that they are able to get the dining/FPP (they use the same system the general public does). If you want to use a planner, and it’s been more than 30 days since you booked the trip, you’ll have to cancel and rebook. If it’s within 30 days, you can simply fill out a form and transfer the reservation to them. As an aside, the commission they make is received directly from Disney and does not change the cost you pay. And it’s super small, so please be nice to your agent.
Great info thanks!
I am using one for the first time for our 2019 trip and it is simply to get a discount. I enjoy the planning and want to make my own ADRs and FPP reservations. But I will gladly let someone else make the resort reservation when it saves me a lot of money She seems fantastic so I am sure if I needed/wanted her to do more for our trip, she would do a great job. It is nice to know I have a backup if needed because no one else in my family would have a clue how to make an ADR or FPP if I needed them to. They are very grateful for and encouraging of my planning efforts and appreciate the results, but have no idea how it all happens.
I’ve used TAs for agency exclusives or to get them the commission from Disney. Bonus is that TAs can be the ones to call Disney for you to make any changes to your reservation for discounts or to add/subtract a night etc., saving you time on hold listening to It’s a Small World on repeat. I make all my ADRs and FPPs myself.
We use a fabulous travel agent for all of our Disney trips. What I like best is that our agent (Laura) looks out for any promotions that would save us money and automatically gets them for us. It means that I don’t have to keep searching for discounts. She also makes our ADRs for us after discussing with me where we want to eat and the dates and times. She usually has a couple of suggestions for what we might like as well. Laura has always gotten us exactly the restaurants we have wanted at pretty close to our desired time. (The one exception was for Ohana when we had to eat about an hour earlier than we wanted, so not really a big deal.) We do our own fastpasses.
I’ll be making some final decisions about my 2019 trip in the next few weeks. If you could PM me your contact info, I’d like to get in touch with you in January.
Also, I’ve been noticing that many rooms are unavailable for the time I’m looking - Halloween week 2019. Do resorts really get booked up so far in advance?
It’s probably not the resort that is booked to capacity, but the promotion.
Here’s a thread that has all the authorized liner TA’s listed!