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Does using a free travel agent really help?

LittleMerman

Well-Known Member
I've never used one to plan a Disney trip. The main reason I would love help from an agent is to book the dining reservations I want. Is that something they can help with and are they successful at getting the ones you ask for? Thanks for any advice.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Yes in most cases. And now with major changes unless you are keeping up with those changes you can miss out on getting the trip you want. A lot depends on the quality and experience of the TA you go with. Like anything there’s good ones and bad ones who can get you what you want and are able to be on top of your trip plans. Especially for those who have no or limited understanding about how to plan a successful Disney trip a TA is vital. There’s only so much time travelers have to gather knowledge and understand the process.
For those who are experienced and enjoy planning on their own, they can go without and do fine.
 
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Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Yes, but make sure you work with one that specializes in Disney. I use the travel sponsor for this forum, @Kingdom Konsultant .

What I like most is once I book with them, I am done. There is no searching for discount codes or banging the phone at the wee hours of the morning trying to get dining reservations or to have a promotion applied to my reservation. My TA does all of that. All I have to do is go on the trip.
 
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Figgy1

Premium Member
Yes, but make sure you work with one that specializes in Disney. I use the travel sponsor for this forum, @Kingdom Konsultant .

What I like most is once I book with them, I am done. There is no searching for discount codes or banging the phone at the wee hours of the morning trying to get dining reservations or to have a promotion applied to my reservation. My TA does all of that. All I have to do is go on the trip.

Yes. And @Kingdom Konsultant is highly recommended .
What they said!
 
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I've never used one to plan a Disney trip. The main reason I would love help from an agent is to book the dining reservations I want. Is that something they can help with and are they successful at getting the ones you ask for? Thanks for any advice.
Personally, I would just have my ducks in a row and make dining ressies on my own as soon as I can! I don't think agents have magical powers, but check out PAM @ Kingdom Konsultants
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
It depends. We used a TA for a couple of trips. The second time around, it just so happened that the TA had multiple clients they were trying to get reservations for, all on the same morning. For once, my tendency to take a belt-and-suspenders approach paid off, and I ended up booking all the ADRs we needed myself because I knew some of the places on our wish list (CRT, 'Ohana) would be tough, and I was worried the TA would forget. The TA apparently took care of some other clients first, and when I e-mailed them some 20 minutes after the ADR window had opened to let them know I'd already taken care of everything, they said they were just getting ready to start on our ADR wish list. By that time, of course, half the restaurants I'd booked had become unavailable, so if we'd relied solely on the TA for our ADRs, we'd have missed out.

YMMV. I certainly recommend a TA to anyone planning their first WDW trip, as the process is so complicated and a good TA can do a great job helping you hone in on your must-dos, and figure out the best way to get them accomplished. After the first trip or two, it's up to you whether you feel more at ease letting someone else take care of the details -- or whether the lack of control makes it more stressful for you.
 
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KTK

Member
I use to never use a travel agent until three years ago. It is so nice to wake up on the morning you are to make dining reservations and find that all of your dining reservations have been made. They get 100% of your dining reservation requests. Also depending how much you spend on your Disney trip, they give you free touring plans as well. They also go above and beyond your trip. When my son broke his leg and needed surgery, they sent a Disney blanket to help cheer him up. It was very thoughtful and unexpected.
 
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Cowboy Steve

Premium Member
I would echo the sentiments of many - TAs do make the trip a lot easier - specially if you are visiting for the first time, or do not like the sometimes 'nose to the grindstone' process of doing it all yourself. My sister and I are planners by nature... and we absolutely love doing our due diligence before each trip and diving in to the planning process. BUT, this isn't for the meek or inexperienced. If you have any reservations (no pun intended) about doing it yourself, let an agency with Disney experience do the heavy lifting for you. It is well worth it to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
 
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ladydi

Active Member
I have used a TA since our first trip with my kids. I tend to make my own reservations and plan out our days but our TA was a lifesaver when I unexpectedly got a job and had to move up one trip about a month and a half before travel. My sister used the same TA who helped her get home from Florida when she was impacted by a hurricane and her Disney cruise returned to port three days ahead of schedule. It’s the unexpected things that add to the value of having a TA.
 
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Stevek

Well-Known Member
We used AAA for our first trip, when things like free dining and other perks were available. The 5 trips since, I've just booked on my own vis the Disney World site.
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I checked AAA for ticket prices and they are about the same...no big discount!

If you want truly discounted tickets go to undercovertourist.com
ALWAY THES BEST PRICE
We've saved quite a bit, buying tickets from Undercover Tourist over the years. (Germane to the topic at hand though, I do recognize that if one is using a Disney travel agent they adore -- especially if it's a family member or friend -- and they want to maximize that person's modest commission -- they might choose to buy their tickets via the TA, directly through Disney, even if it costs a little more.)

Undercover Tourist is one of several reputable discount ticket sellers. FWIW, if you're shopping discount resellers and there's another one with a better price for what you need, I've found this touringplans tool -- which aggregates rates from Undercover Tourist and others, and even plays around with ticket start dates to get you the best deal that covers your intended visit dates -- to be handy. https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/ticket-calculator
 
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Dave B

Well-Known Member
Just ballparking it, how much do you save buying tickets from Undercover Tourist vs a package with a room and ticket discount? I cant imagine it is a lot or anything? Maybe if you are booking a room without a discount or booking a room offsite? I am just curious on a 8-10 day ticket how much you would really save? I appreciate any information
 
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Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Just ballparking it, how much do you save buying tickets from Undercover Tourist vs a package with a room and ticket discount? I cant imagine it is a lot or anything? Maybe if you are booking a room without a discount or booking a room offsite? I am just curious on a 8-10 day ticket how much you would really save? I appreciate any information
Not a lot especially if you are looking at a ticket length of only a few days. The breakdown is at the link below.


Also just FYI...ticket prices are not discounted when you book a package. An identical room only plus tickets and a package will usually be within a few bucks of each other.
 
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Dave B

Well-Known Member
So it looks like you save about $65--$77 per person on a park hopper ticket, ( depending on water option and all that ) if I read that correctly, so for a family of four, you would potentially save $260--$308 if I am doing the math correctly, that is pretty good deal, looks like I am booking room only moving forward, what are the pitfalls if anything from doing it this way, @Weather_Lady ? or anyone else who has experience with this
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
So it looks like you save about $65--$77 per person on a park hopper ticket, ( depending on water option and all that ) if I read that correctly, so for a family of four, you would potentially save $260--$308 if I am doing the math correctly, that is pretty good deal, looks like I am booking room only moving forward, what are the pitfalls if anything from doing it this way, @Weather_Lady ? or anyone else who has experience with this
The promotions that Disney runs are inconsistent. Sometimes they'll offer a discount only when booking a package. Other times they'll offer a discount only when booking a room by itself.
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
What @CaptainAmerica said. If you buy tickets separately, you won't be eligible for any discounts that require you to book a package. You can still take advantage of room-only discounts. Also, if you opt to modify (upgrade or extend) your tickets after linking them to MDE, you'll have to do it onsite (can't do it online, as you can with some tickets purchased directly from Disney). Other than that, there's no downside.
 
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