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Anyone book with a travel agent instead of through Disney?

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I’ve always booked my WDW vacations through a travel agent so that I can make payments, and they sometimes price match certain aspects of the trip. However, they now aren’t doing price matching and I’ve just been informed that you can pay in installments to Disney as well. Anyone have any tried and true reasons for using an agent instead going through Disney? How close to your arrival date is your final payment due to Disney?
 

scorp16

Well-Known Member
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I think it's all relative to your specific situation. Personally, I don't use one for Disney. However, I do see the value of using a Travel Agent for their knowledge base and convenience. If you're comfortable enough to navigate around the "world" with the planning and booking aspect of it (and know to continue to check for rate drops and promos after the time of initial booking) and feel that you understand the "in's and out's" - then I guess it comes down to cost.

If you are getting a lower rate through a TA, then use the TA. If the rate is lower through Disney, then book direct.

There are also a few intangibles, based again on your specifics. It's akin to asking whether you should buy "Travel Insurance". A lot of people don't. They figure "I'm not cancelling" - but what happens if they get a flat tire on the way to the airport and miss their flight. Trip Interruption comes in pretty handy in that case. I had a friend who refused to buy TI even for international travel. I asked him one day: "You know if you get sick, break your leg, or have any other type of medical mishap - your insurance coverage generally doesn't cover you if you're out of the country - TI does". He's been buying TI ever since. Those are the type of things where a knowledgeable agent comes in handy.
 
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monothingie

Mean Girl Man since 2005
Premium Member
I’ve always booked my WDW vacations through a travel agent so that I can make payments, and they sometimes price match certain aspects of the trip. However, they now aren’t doing price matching and I’ve just been informed that you can pay in installments to Disney as well. Anyone have any tried and true reasons for using an agent instead going through Disney? How close to your arrival date is your final payment due to Disney?
I’ve done both plus I’m also DVC. When going non-dvc I now exclusively work with @wannabeBelle from @Kingdom Konsultant. I’ve found it’s just so much easier working with an experienced Disney TA. Let me repeat an experienced Disney TA. The most important thing though is to be clear with your TA as to what you want to do and what your budget is. They know the ins and outs of Disney and will get you the best deal and selections without the hassle of you doing it.
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I’ve done both plus I’m also DVC. When going non-dvc I now exclusively work with @wannabeBelle from @Kingdom Konsultant. I’ve found it’s just so much easier working with an experienced Disney TA. Let me repeat an experienced Disney TA. The most important thing though is to be clear with your TA as to what you want to do and what your budget is. They know the ins and outs of Disney and will get you the best deal and selections without the hassle of you doing it.
Had no idea that we had Disney TAs on the board. @wannabeBelle would you mind if I reach out to you for help?
 

monothingie

Mean Girl Man since 2005
Premium Member

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
I always use a TA mainly because if I’m at work, or dealing with my crazy kids, my TA can do things like fast passes, ADRs etc. Our last trip was in September of 2016 and the day free dining was released, my TA was online at 4am, ready to go. When I woke up with my kids that morning, I had a message from her that free dining had already been applied to my trip. It was such a relief! I love Disney planning and I will always use a TA.
 

Monty

A legend.
Premium Member
I've done both. The real advantage to using a good TA is they will keep an eye on sales/special offers and upgrade or add them to your bookings. For example, @wannabeBelle changed my reservations for Saturday when an AP rate came out. Because it didn't require a change in the "type" of room I'd booked, she did it "automagically". Had the new rate required a change in room type, she would contact me with what I had compared to what's available and let me decide. I like doing my own ADRs and FP+, but sometimes I can't be available at the precise time and Marie will take care of whatever I need.

In one case, Marie and Pam @Kingdom Konsultant quite literally saved the day! My son and I were doing a Land & Sea trip and while we were on the Cruise Line bus from POFQ to Port Canaveral I noticed Morgan didn't have his suit bag with him. He'd left it in the closet in our room. I panicked. I texted Marie, she called the hotel and asked them to locate the bag. She suggested texting Pam, who was already at the Port and Pam coordinated with the Concierge desk. Between the two of them and a little Disney "magic", the suit bag was brought on board and delivered in plenty of time for Morgan's romantic dinner with his Fiance at Remy's.

So I involve a TA when it makes sense. :)
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Well-Known Member
Disney is easy to book yourself...there’s really no secrets you can’t find with an hour of research.

But...BUT...using the wholesale blocks to get steep (40%+) discounts on rooms is more than worth it.

I book friends and co-workers myself (rogue) when asked. Knowing the system it’s easier for me to look and do than explain half the time...
 
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J_Krafty24

Active Member
The biggest reason I book through a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations (NOT an agent from a random local travel agency or AAA). . .

The day free dining was released I sat down to breakfast and had already received and email from my agent that free dining had been added to my trip an I was all set! (We had discussed my wanting the deal if/when it was offered when I booked a couple months previously). Then I came to these forums and read about how so many people who had booked without agents had spent the last two hours on hold with Disney and trying to get the website to load.
 

Hcalvert

Well-Known Member
I've always booked directly through Disney. You have to pay in full one month before you arrive. You don't have to make any payments after your initial deposit if you don't want to and just wait to pay it off right before your month before due date (which Disney has clearly stated in your confirmation and on MDE). I have no problems with travel agents, but I know if you book through them, they are the only ones who can make changes. I guess I don't mind doing it myself and I actually enjoy it. I have read several of Pam's posts and her agents are knowledgeable, seem very pleasant to work with when planning a vacation, and come highly recommended by past customers.
 

hapihart

New Member
I've done both and for me the control issue is definitely a consideration. When I tried a "Disney" travel agent last year, it wasn't a good experience. She was lax, didn't do much for us at all. I had to remind her of deadlines, i.e. dining & Fast Passes, and when a new discount came out, I had to ask her about it to get her to check on it for us. I would not do it again. I felt like she was totally ineffective and did nothing more than I could have done myself with minimal effort. I'm guessing I just didn't get a very good agent, but I'll do it myself from now on.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
Experienced Disney guest here... Yes, I could book on my own. Disney's web site is very easy to use (when it works!). I actually did book one of our four trips on my own this year, but only due to a special circumstance, and I had to work with a CM on the phone. The other three trips I used @wannabeBelle because she is such a wealth of info, and has spent valuable time educating me on Disney over the past few years of booking with her. I even converted a bounce back reservation into her name so she would get the commission.

An experienced TA can help with key days, booking discounts, etc. I know that Marie will be watching the sales for me and alert me to deals for our remaining two trips. It may take some time to find the right TA for you, but when you find him/her... I think it just helps make your trip more magical.

That said, I do prefer to book my own FPs and dining. Not that Marie has not offered, but I enjoy the planning and like control over this part of the trip. What can I say... I love spreadsheets and detailed plans.
 

JillC LI

Well-Known Member
I have booked through Kingdom Konsultants for years and they're great. I decide what I would like, and they do the leg work of pricing it out for me and booking it. When a discount pops up, they call and apply it for me. I book my ADRs and FP+s because I'm too much of a control freak to relinquish that! LOL.
 

bethram

Well-Known Member
In addition to all the benefits listed already, I like the little bit of extra pixie dust I’ve gotten from my TA. I’ve used two different companies and when they sent my travel documents they also included park schedules for our travel dates, a drawstring bag, and either an autograph book (when my kids were younger) or a Hidden Mickeys book. I don’t know if all TAs do it, but I appreciate it.
 
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