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Old 08-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
jorybella
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Book thru travel agent or myself???

Hi guys! Love your advice and need some now. We have always booked via a travel agent. But I am wondering what the difference is if I book it myself? Thoughts....
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
smartblnde
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We have done it both ways, and I, personally, now prefer to make them myself.

When you want/need to change anything, if you book directly, you can contact WDW reservations during more hours than a travel agent is available. I am SO a member of the instant gratification crowd.

Also, I would think the travel agent would let us know if any discounts became available. I was wrong, and a 25 or 30 percent code came out while I waited for her to contact me. It did not really matter, but a TA may not keep you as informed as you may prefer.

Finally, our TA did not tell us that when we changed ANY aspect of our res (made before the tix price increase) we would be charged the increased price. So, we added my daughter and were then charged the increase fee, even though we were adding a person.

One more.... the TA gets 10% commission. WDW trips reserved through AAA get a 10% discount. So, there is 20% WDW isn't getting. When the discounts came out last week, there was a 5% discount for our room, but could not be combined with any other discounts.

So, if you are a control freak and like instant gratification, I recommend 'DIY.'

Hope you have a great time, either way!
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
Jersey Dad
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It's pretty easy to book yourself but I prefer to go with a travel agent. Yes, the agent gets a small commission but it also keeps them employed.

If they are a good agent, I prefer Andy from Mouse Tales Travel, they are on top of the discounts and on the phone the morning a discount is announced.

My agent was able to get us the discount the day it was announced and before I even heard about. He sent me an email letting me know how much we saved.

Could you do this all yourself? Sure you could, but I prefer to let someone else handle and let them earn a few bucks that don't come out of my pocket.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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Make sure that if you go with a TA you go with one that is an Authorized Disney Planner. The problems described by the previous poster may be because their TA is not earmarked.

An authorized planner should do all the things that the previous poster expected:
* Tell you about discounts
* Warn you if something is going to cost extra
* There is no charge to you for their services. A good TA shouldn't charge you any extra to use them.

TAs can be great about helping with other things as well, such as setting up ADRs, warning you about refurbs and helping with itinerary planning.

Whichever way you go, have a great vacation! Remember that planning can be part of the fun!
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:11 AM   #5
Hunclemarco
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I've booked both personally and through AAA. Going through AAA will give discounts that booking ourselves wouldn't allow. If i have enough time in planning, i book AAA. If it's an unexpected, quick trip, i book myself.

Also, Disney doesn't allow for more than one discount ever...so, if you're getting "free dining", you won't get a percentage off your room...or you won't get a double percentage discount on a room. Where both we and the travel agent would have to be alert is by checking to see if the percentages change for the better or worse. We'd expect the travel agent to do that, but i'm generally cautious and check up on these things myself as well.

ETA: I personally enjoy the planning process... i'll have the TA make the resort reservation, i do the rest! (when not doing DVC)
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
jorybella
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Thanks so much! I wasn't sure what the difference would be so thanks for letting me know. We do have AAA so I will probably book through their travel agent.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Another perspective....

I am a travel agent who ONLY books Disney. I do know what you all are talking about with being concerned about a TA not checking your vacation for updated discounts, rates, etc... That happened to me before I became a TA! (It was very frustrating, but my trip wasn't booked with a Disney-exclusive TA)

I'm not trying to "get your business" but I am here to tell you what a travel agent does... I book trips and ANY time a new discount comes out, I plug in my client's vacations to see which choice saves them more money. I saved someone almost $1,000 a while back, and I was happy to help them. If you are concerned with a TA saying "Oh, I don't want their trip total to go down because it will decrease my commissions," let me ASSURE you that the small amount of commission I would lose over getting my clients a greater deal is TINY compared to the gratefulness they have for my services. This is how we, as travel agents, get referrals & return customers!

I offer concierge services to all my clients (as do many Disney-exclusive TAs.) For example, I got up at 5:30am & was on the phone with Disney for 3.5 hours, and made 400+ phone calls to get some of my clients ADRs at "Be Our Guest." And I was HAPPY to do it! I "get my kicks" making my clients happy, and I'm sure most Disney TAs would say the same!

I give a day-by-day itinerary to each client, along with a bonus for booking with me. Again, this is something most of us offer. But, I can tell you it's not a service you'll find with all TAs, especially those who book regular/non-Disney trips. My clients know they can call me 24 hours a day to ask 1 or 1000 questions. (The Disney phone line is definitely not open 24 hours a day!)

Remember, booking with a TA doesn't cost you one dime. Like Jersey Dad mentioned, yes you can book it yourself. But by booking through a TA, you are helping to employ other Disney fanatics, like yourself!
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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My family has booked both ways. I will say that last couple of times we have booked through Mouse Fan Travel. They are awesome!! We use Leslie and she is so on top of everything. I am always sending business her way and anyone who deals with her loves her as well. The nice thing about them is they dont take a commission they get paid through Disney. SO she is there for you and it doesn't cost you anything extra!!

Look them up and give them a try you wont regret it.

http://www.mousefantravel.com/
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
smartblnde
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@weheartmickey,

I want YOU for my travel agent!

If our agent had your approach, my earlier post would have been different. Our agent is certified for Disney, but only available during AAA hours. Not after 6pm and no Sundays. I am not one who would call incessantly.

It would have been really nice to have been told our ticket prices were going to change when we added our daughter.

I used to be an agent, and loved it. Just like in all career areas, there are good ones and there are bad ones.

J
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartblnde View Post
@weheartmickey,

I want YOU for my travel agent!

If our agent had your approach, my earlier post would have been different. Our agent is certified for Disney, but only available during AAA hours. Not after 6pm and no Sundays. I am not one who would call incessantly.

It would have been really nice to have been told our ticket prices were going to change when we added our daughter.

I used to be an agent, and loved it. Just like in all career areas, there are good ones and there are bad ones.

J
Awww, thank you! I would love to be your TA! I don't know the DIS policy for "soliciting business" and I certainly don't want to break the rules. I will send you a pm
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:21 PM   #11
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Hey, I would love to get more info from you also!!!! I'm looking to possibly book a last min, well not last min....but in Dec for the free dining....could you pm me
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyMommyNewbie View Post
Hey, I would love to get more info from you also!!!! I'm looking to possibly book a last min, well not last min....but in Dec for the free dining....could you pm me
PM sent You won't be able to pm me back until you get to 10 posts, though.
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2009-15 Days of Free Dining at WDW + Destin Beach ..~.. 2010-9 Days of Polynesian + Premium at Thanksgiving w/ Granny
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Dec 2012-8 days of Deluxe Dining at the Poly ..~.. Dec 2012- 6 Night Christmas surprise on Disney Magic
Jan 2013-1st trip to DISNEYLAND!! Disneyland Hotel ..~.. May 2013-8 days at Yacht Club/Grand Floridian/AKL/AoA!
Sept 2013-13 days Wilderness Club Level & AKL Club Level NOJ ..~.. Oct 2013 DCL HalloWONDER Cruise
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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We decided, after getting quotes from AAA, Disney.com and Dreams Unlimited to go with Dreams Unlimited. AAA was more expensive then the other 2. Dreams was the same price as Disney.com BUT they would automatically be on the look out for discounts and apply them as needed and they have done an amazing job getting ADRs for us! No extra cost from us, they get their commission from Disney. Love them, and def will use them again and would recommend them to everyone!
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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I think if you know what to expect going into both options, they can both be great.

There are some travel agents (like the above poster) that love what they do, and do it very well. Others, not so much.

I think the biggest complaint I hear is that people book through a travel agent and then proceed to call Disney to make changes, or ask questions, and then they get very upset when Disney directs them back to the travel agent.

I personally always book myself, but I'm a Type A control freak
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:08 AM   #15
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I'm very pro-travel agent. Some agents work stricly on commission while others earn a small salary on top of commission, but either way by booking with a TA you're helping out the economy to keep them in business.

I'm sure there are some duds out there that promise to keep checking for discounts and don't, but I trust my TA. She's on top of all the discounts and calls or emails me within a few days of the promotion.

Ultimately it comes down to what you're most comfortable with!
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