Should you use a Disney travel agent?

Should you use a Disney travel agent?

(Article last checked: April 11, 2016)

Although general travel agents aren't needed as much anymore, destination-specific agents are still invaluable since they provide such detailed guidance on a specific place.

Unless people are willing to spend a lot of time reading and researching (like on this site!), I usually recommend they use a Disney World-focused agent (also called "Authorized Disney Vacation Planner").

However, there are pros and cons to using a travel agent. Here's my list to help you evaluate if using a travel agent is right for you.

Pros

Knowledge
This seems obvious, right? But when it comes to Disney World (the place that requires more research than any other destination), it can be a huge time and stress savings to rely on an expert to help advise you on your trip plans.

Free to you
It doesn't cost you any extra to book through an agent vs. booking straight through Disney. Disney pays commission to the agency that books you but at no cost to you.

Saves you money
Not only does it not cost you anything to use an agent, it can actually save you money because agents are aware of all new discount codes and will apply them to your reservation as they become available.

Dining, FastPass+ and other reservations booked for you
Many of the super hard-to-get dining reservations require being online or on the phone at the crack of dawn 180 days in advance of your trip. Disney travel agents will make these reservations for you, allowing you to relax and sleep in. They will also make all of your FastPass+ reservations for your trip and special bookings such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique as well.

Cons

Relinquishing control
Control freaks may not be comfortable relying on somebody else to book their trip. You really have to have a lot of trust that the agent will be diligent about making your dining reservations and staying on top of discounts.

Changes must go through the agent
If you want to make changes to your reservation that was booked through an agent, you have to go through the agent to make those changes. You won't be able to call Disney to make modifications.

Options are restricted
Disney agents use Disney's systems to book your travel. That eliminates some options that might make more sense for your family - things like renting DVC points.

A word of caution

If you spend an hour reading this site, you'll know more about Disney World than a general travel agent. I'd suggest using a Disney agent or doing it on your own.

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If you decide to go with an agent, I recommend the handpicked WDW Prep team at Key to the World Travel. You can fill out the quote request form on this site it'll go right to them.

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Leave a Reply

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Jeff B.

I travel for work and have travel rewards that I would like to use, would a Disney travel agent use my points that I was wanting to use for hotels or airfare?

Mikayla

My husband and I are wanting to book a trip for September 2017. When should we reach out to a travel agent to start planning?

Michele

Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. my answer is its never too early to start the magic!

Marguerite Snider

We are using g Key to the World Travel. Is it normal to “must buy” travel insurance?

Jody F

If you use an authorized Disney vacation planner, is it expected that you will tip them for their service? I know that Disney pays their commission but is a tip expected?

It should be noted that not all Authorized Disney Vacation Planners are free for their services. Yes, Disney pays a commission however it’s the lowest commission of any travel company available to travel agents.
For those looking for a Disney Specialist then start LOCAL. Check social media by typing in “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner + your location.” Then speak to the advisor. Any good advisor will require a phone conversation & possibly meet up. Travel agents aren’t online booking engines – it’s personalized service & expert advice. Disney is quite involved & ever changing.

Maureen Damer

We are using someone at Small World Vacations, and she told me due to privacy laws and MDE, I am the only one who can make fastpass reservations. Is this true?

bethanyfromak

How far in advance do you recommend contacting a travel agent? I mean, I’m really excited now, but our trip won’t be for over a year from now. 🙂

Rebecca

It’s funny you mention that the agent will make hard to get reservations for you… Mine told me that i would have better luck making the reservations because i could access the system earlier than she could. For me that was the point of getting an agent. Next trip i’ll be planning myself!

Audrey

How do I find a “real” disney travel agent?

Shannon, this is just the information I was looking for about a travel agency. I didn’t realize that there were Disney specified travel agents to help with things like Disney World. My husband and I want to take our kids to Disney World this year. This kind of travel agency could be beneficial to us.
Emily Smith

Tanya O'Neil-Urquhart

I was wondering if you could tell me if Small World Vacations is a good Disney Travel agency to work with?

Amelia

I’ve already booked rooms, but nothing else. Can the travel agent still help us out?

Aside from dining reservations, agents will also make your reservations for special tours, things like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Magical Express.

Amanda Braun

Has anyone heard of Destinations in Florida…says it is an authorized Disney planner but, want to make sure before I hand over money/ credit card info

ALL travel agencies have to have a business license, follow the Seller of Travel laws, and have insurance.

Robin

Hi. I’m just starting to plan a Disney vacation for April 2015 for 8 adults and 4 children. Do authorized Disney Vacation Planners also book air travel?

Natasha

So I am looking to do a Disney trip for about 10 people. I believe an agent will be my best bet. I need to get some advise on this please!!!!!!!

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