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Old 05-23-2014, 01:37 AM   #1
MadiStan91
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Question Vacation Planner Role?

Hello everyone! I'm a DCP Attractions Alum (Spring Advantage 2013) thinking about going back and doing a second program. Although the application is not live yet, I'm looking into other roles. One of the roles I was interested in applying for was the vacation planner role. However, I don't hear about it too often.

Can anyone give me some help and a bit of information about what [I]eactly[I][I]you do for this role?

Thanks so much!

Madison
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
eadavis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadiStan91 View Post
Hello everyone! I'm a DCP Attractions Alum (Spring Advantage 2013) thinking about going back and doing a second program. Although the application is not live yet, I'm looking into other roles. One of the roles I was interested in applying for was the vacation planner role. However, I don't hear about it too often. Can anyone give me some help and a bit of information about what eactlyyou do for this role? Thanks so much! Madison
I was a Vacation Planner at the TTC for the Summer of 2010, arguably the most stressful season at the most stressful park. However, it was the easiest and most amazing experience of my life.

As far as ideal candidate, they want someone who is personable, good with computers, and comfortable with money handling. Experience in sales/marketing is definitely to your benefit though.

The training process is longer than most roles, about a week in the classroom (at Disney University) learning the computer system, sales process, and every possible transaction you can think of. Once you get to your location (one of the four parks, TTC for MK, placement is pretty even among the fours parks, you will be statused to one park, but can pick up shifts at the other parks), there is a great system in place to help new Vacation Planners hone their skills.

There is a sales incentive program (tickets have 'point' values associated, if you meet or exceed weekly levels, you are eligible for monthly prizes that range from $50-$500 in the form gift cards, free resort stays, electronics, etc.). My experience with this was very positive. There are two types of Vacation Planners, those who stress and try and squeeze every dime out of guests, and those who just want to help the guest by the ticket they will actually need and use, because lets face it, Disney Parks sell themselves. I was one of the latter, I didn't concern myself with the sales incentives and point values, I just focused on my guests, turned out I was the top seller most days in July when the parks were the busiest. If you do not meet the goals, they have Cast Members whose sole role is to help develop you in the sales process. They not only assist the Vacation Planners, but our Cast that work in the Disney Reservation Centers.

As far as hours go, yes,they have better hours than most other roles. A downside though, is that shifts are usually 6 hours. There are opportunities for OT by working as a Park Greeter and helping with PAC (Parade Audience Control) if you are statused to the TTC.

My CP in this role I would say helped catapault me into my current career with the Company, you learn how to interact with people from all over the world, not to mention to Disney Ticket segment, which will help you if you want to get into Guest Relations or Resort Concierge after your program. Talk with your managers early on and let them know what your goals are during your program. Many VP managers came from other Lines of Business and can help you network.

What will make you the most successful in the role will be going to the parks in your off time. Part of the 'sales process' is selling guests on the parks and what you can do inside each of them. Learn what you like, learn what other types of people would like. How would a family with infant kids enjoy the parks versus a Dad and 15 year old son?

As far as pay rate goes, it changes each year, but somewhere between $8.50 - $9, which is kind of in the middle. However, the working conditions are better than most and there isn't any real physical labor involved. You are sitting down in an air conditioned booth and get a break every 45 minutes, I did my program during the summer, so it was definitely worth it.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:18 PM   #3
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I don't frequent the boards but when I saw this post I had to reply. I've worked for Vacation Planning for about two years now, and have worked at both DHS and MK, as well as picked up hours at the other parks.

I'll second everything that eadavis has already written. There have been lots of changes over the last year and a half as My Disney Experience has gradually rolled out. We still do a lot of sales and processing of pre-ordered tickets, as well as upgrades to tickets based on rules that are set by the company. Also converting old paper tickets to the new RFID media. A lot of tickets require an extra validation step where a Guest must prove in some way that they are eligible to have a certain ticket type (generally anything with a discount or that requires demographic information to link it to the user), so Florida Resident tickets, a certain Military ticket, all Annual Passes, etc; have to come to a window to "activate" their ticket--even if they bought it offsite from AAA or from a military base. With the advent of online ordering, and various third parties being able to sell our tickets, we do a lot in addition to straight selling--however not every Guest knows or understands the entitlements or options that they have purchased, so Vacation Planners can spend a lot of time explaining and dispensing information and not always selling things. It is even possible that you may end up changing or upgrading tickets that a Guest has pre-ordered as a will call reservation. There is no time limit for a Guest interaction or a push for a certain number of transactions per hour or day. Individual Guest needs tend to lead you into anything from a quick process to a longer interaction or explanation.

I consider the hours to be very good compared to most anywhere in the parks. Schedules vary, especially for CPs, and there are a lot of 6hr shifts although longer shifts are not impossible to acquire. Most Cast work morning shifts and get out by mid afternoon; even if you're closing at MK you're usually out at 830 and usually earlier at the other parks. Being here long term I like that type of schedule, however some Cast that like to go out at night find early morning start times to be a hassle. As is common at WDW, lots of conditions affect schedules and workloads, so sometimes hours are plentiful, but during slower periods if you don't volunteer for additional hours, you may find yourself with around the minimum 30 hrs/wk.

The rewards program has also been outlined well--Vacation Planning is the only front-line role at the parks that has an incentive program on top of your base hourly pay, and there do seem to be some Cast that let the potential for said rewards get in the way of having good Guest interactions and matching the right fit ticket to the Guest. After letting rewards bog me down a few times early on I eventually moved on to view the rewards for what they are--a nice addition to your regular pay for when you exceed the expectations.

With the gradual proliferation of My Disney Experience, MagicBands--we are a role that has seen a lot of changes over the last year and a half with more expected to come. I would say that in addition to being comfortable working with computers and handling money, our most successful Cast are able to handle a large set of ticket rules, are open to learning how things tie in to My Disney Experience, and most of all being open to changes over time. Cast that are just coming in are only being trained the "newer" methods for doing things, and often struggle less as process changes come to pass. I also say that the learning doesn't stop when on-the-job and the related classes are over. You won't see every possible situation or scenario when a trainer is behind you in the booth, but friendly Coordinators or a Trainer on Duty (when utilized) are just a phone call away.

Overall, Vacation Planning is a great role for CPs that are willing to put in the time to learn something. Its also on excellent springboard for Cast looking to grow their career with Disney. Over the last two years, I have honestly lost count of how many Cast I know that went on to our Resorts (Front Desk and/or Concierge), PIs or Temporary Assignments (TAs) in Guest Relations, Ticketing Systems Admin, Ticketing Guest Services, Disney Resevation Center, Revenue/Currency Control, and other areas.
I guess I have a lot to tell about, but I hope this helps
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:20 AM   #4
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I'm currently on the Fall Advantage program as a Vacation Planner at Epcot! I just got out of training but I absolutely love being a Vacation Planner! You can read my blog posts for more info (link is in my signature below)
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #5
PrincessDream
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Lightbulb

You know, I never really considered Vacation Planning before, but you guys have changed my mind lol! I am hoping to return for a second CP or PI in Fall 2015 after I graduate and want to stay on with the company. Having to know so much information makes me nervous, but ironically I became a F&B General Teller on my last program so I already am used to a lot of responsibility and have the cash-handling experience. I guess I just have to believe in myself more. I don't want you to get more specific than your are comfortable, but I'm sure you have a cheat sheet with prices or something, right? Anyways, thanks for sharing your stories, it helps to know there is more than one viable pathway to my dream!
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
courtneylauren
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Originally Posted by PrincessDream View Post
I don't want you to get more specific than your are comfortable, but I'm sure you have a cheat sheet with prices or something, right? Anyways, thanks for sharing your stories, it helps to know there is more than one viable pathway to my dream!
All the prices are on our computer; you don't have to memorize anything! Although you begin to!
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by courtneylauren View Post
I'm currently on the Fall Advantage program as a Vacation Planner at Epcot! I just got out of training but I absolutely love being a Vacation Planner! You can read my blog posts for more info (link is in my signature below)
I'm going to be completely honest, the link to your Insta makes me want to be in Disney right now.

On another note, this thread has gotten me interested in this role for when I apply to the CP next semester.
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