Although general travel agents aren’t needed as much anymore, destination-specific experts like Disney travel 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, we usually recommend they use a Disney World-focused agent to help plan trips.
However, there are pros and cons to using a Disney travel agent. Here’s a list to help you evaluate if using a travel agent is right for you.
Pros of using a Disney travel agent
This seems obvious, right? But when it comes to Disney World (which requires more research than just about 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.
Could save 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.
Can help with difficult situations
Good travel agents are able to help advocate for their clients in case things go wrong. Situations like issues with hotel rooms, illnesses during trips, items lost during a vacation, and many other things can pop up, and agents can super helpful in handling those for you.
Overwhelmed by all of the details of planning a Disney World trip? Agents can put together plans for your trip so you’ll know what to do when you get there. However, agent commissions are primarily made on hotel bookings so don’t expect most agents to be willing to plan your itinerary unless they’re also doing commissionable things for you as well.
Travel agents can often get better deals on group bookings since negotiating with the supplier is something agencies can do.
Cons of using a Disney travel agent
Control freaks may not be comfortable relying on somebody else to book their trip. However, you can do as much or as little as you’d like when working with an agent. Want to make your dining and FastPass+ reservations? You can do that. Just let your agent know what role you’d like to play.
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.
Not all options are available
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.
If you decide to go with an agent, we recommend you go with somebody experienced. You can fill out the quote request form on this site and it will go to a team of agents with years of experience to help you plan the perfect vacation.
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Thursday 8th of August 2019
Hey Shannon! I have been listening to your podcasts for a several years now and something I've been debating lately is becoming a Disney TA. While I have been researching it sounds like you need to belong to an authorized agency and you have to apply. How does one start this process? Google or a Careerbuilder type of website. I am an experienced planner having done corporate travel and event planning as well as wedding planning and Disney has become a huge interest in my life over the past 5 years. I think it's a great fit for my skills but seems like a hard thing to get into. I am an independent contractor so I have the time and the talent to do this, just don't know where to start!
Saturday 14th of October 2017
I’m a supercontrol freak and did all the planning for our first 5 Disney trips.
Last two trips, I decided to use certain well known Disney travel agency because they had 30% off POFQ (which is rarely discounted) and deep 30-40% off Poly & BC. This was significantly better than any Disney discount for this time period. Also I got 10% off park tickets and a free water park passes.
I didn’t really have to relinquish any control. I was emailed my Disney confirmation number, and my resort and tickets were automatically linked to MDE, so I could still make my dining ADRs and FP+ on my own.
The only thing I had to depend on them for was to enter my room location request which I emailed to them and requested it be entered exactly as written.
They only require one night room deposit on booking and cancelation policy is good with full refund of everything up to 5 days before checkin, lost deposit after that.
This works well for us when we aren’t renting DVC points. I’m not sure how many other agencies are out there that offer deep discounts like this on resorts or tickets.
Sunday 14th of May 2017
What about help with the Hawaiian Disney Resort??
Monday 12th of December 2016
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?
Tuesday 5th of July 2016
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?
Monday 26th of September 2016
Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. my answer is its never too early to start the magic!