Monday Poll: Have you ever used a travel agent to book a Disney vacation?

This week’s poll is a little different – have you used a travel agent to book a Disney vacation? If yes, what did you think of the experience? What worked well for you when using a travel agent? What didn’t work so well? How could the experience have been better? If no, would you consider using a travel agent for a future vacation? If not, why wouldn’t you want to work with a travel agent? Let us know what you think in the comments (and I promise, no one will solicit you based on your responses to this post).

15 thoughts to “Monday Poll: Have you ever used a travel agent to book a Disney vacation?”

  1. I’m going to have to abstain from this pole. I’ve never used a Travel Agent to book a WDW vacation (and with owning DVC, I doubt I ever will). However, our Disney Cruise this October was booked with a travel agent, but I can’t say good or bad until after everything is said and done.

  2. I used a TA to book my Disney Cruise in 2009. Honestly, the only reason I did it was because they offered me onboard credit for doing so, and it didn’t cost me anything to use an agent. But everything went great! She was very professional and responsive and I had no complaints whatsoever.

  3. I have never used a travel agent…but have been the “family” travel agent…and I am considering being a TA as a side career. As I do enjoy planning Disney trips for others just as much as I do for myself.

    Would consider using TA for a cruise or a West Coast / Hawaii trip.

  4. We’ve used TA for the past 4 or 5 trips and love it. I’ve referred a ton of people to our agent and they all love her too. Here’s why:
    1. It doesn’t cost any more than booking it directly through the Disney site.
    2. If you book through a Disney TA and the price changes they can do the work to adjust your res.
    3. She books our ADRs for us. By about 200 days out we usually know what we want We let her know and she calls and gets them for us. (the value here has diminished a bit because you can now make ADR’s online.) She still performs a little ADR magic though.
    4. When issues arrise during the trip, you have someone to call who can work on them for you. We trapped at WDW marathon weekend. She was able to call our resort to check on prices for us/extending our discount and when that didn’t work she found us something in the range we wanted to pay. (its vacation you don’t want to spend it dealing with that stuff)
    5. She’s good at letting us know if we need to change our reservation (add a day) to take best advantage of new specials when the come out.
    6. She buys me a Starbuck giftcard for everyone I refer to her.

  5. I voted No, and can’t imaging using one, only because I really, really enjoy the planning efforts myself. I know I’m in good company here, but when I book I actually find pleasure when I can improve my own reservations (ie found money!). I know I’m sick, but I also enjoy doing this for my other non-Disney (gasp!) trips as well. I do use a lot of resources (Trip Advisor, AAA, etc.) but for me this is the added enjoyment of anticipation for the vacation.

  6. @ Brian. I don’t think using a travel agent = No planning. DW and I really enjoy planning and going back and researching stuff. You can still do all that when you work through a travel agent and you have an additional advocate/ set of eyes looking at ways you could save money.

  7. We used a TA for our Disneymoon, mainly because we were both so foreign to Disney World at the time (we were one of those people who thought Disney World was one park). She was great, in the early stages. But once we got a Birnbaum’s Guide (on her recommendation), we handled the rest of the steps (as far as ADRs, tour plans, etc.). So, basically, all she did was recommend a resort and got us the tickets and dining plan. She also did little things like getting us VIP viewing for Illuminations and Fantasmic!

    Now that my wife and I both know a lot more about Disney, we book through the Disney site. Like a lot of you, I just like the planning aspect of the trip. We may end up using MEI/Mousefantravel for our next trip, just because we’ve heard so much about them.

  8. we used a TA for our first trip, in ’07. we knew that we could book our trip ourselves but did not want to miss any of the details (such as food). We figured our trip would have fewer problems this way. We were correct, our first trip went smothly. The only negative about our TA expirience was that she did not explain the DDP to us. We knew nothing about ADRs and did alot of counter service (this wasn’t too bad). We (meaning my DW) had to ask a ton of questions at check-in, to understand the DDP.
    For our second trip we were a little more confident and booked it ourselves. Our upcoming trip will be our first DVC trip, we are hoping that we haven’t made any mistakes.

  9. Ian: I’m starting to get a better understanding for that. As I have read more about some of the side TA posters on this and our other discussion, it has made me think that I might be suited to doing this as well. It also stems from the fact that I’m a bit of a control freak (according to DW and everyone else) and giving up the “power” to someone else is something I would have to reconcile with. 🙂

  10. I used one for our October trip! OK it was me but that besides the point. My TA is a heck of a guy! Never argues with me and givcs me what I want.
    Seriously though, I ve never used one for any kind of travel. I do love to plan and I love helping others plan as well. I think I have it down pretty good. Every trip we try a new place to eat so we are getting a good list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. Like most I like to “drive” when it comes to planning our World trips.

  11. I have always used a travel agent for all of my Disney Vacations. I started out using a TA on my 1st vacation, simply because I did not know how to do it myself. She was great and made me excited to go to Disney (as I was not particularly interested at the time). My love grew out of her excitement and help in planning out trip. She made it so easy to go, even though I planned every aspect, but she did the hard work like calling and getting the ADR’s for me and even calling me to tell me she saved me $700 on a new discount that I had not even heard came out.

    She always gives a little token of appreciation such as a gift card for a coffee shop for our flights, or last time since we drove she brought some pins for the kids. After my 2nd trip I was such a planner that I really did not need to utilize her, but still did simply because of the simple touches that she did for us.
    It is all about the little touches that made me use a TA for everytrip.

  12. DNSYFREAK. I completely agree. On our first trip our had embrodered ears in our room waiting for us when we arrived, on another trip it was a bech bag with goodies in it on a third trip it was a disney blanket. She also usually sends our kids Can’t wait to see you postcards from Mickey. Little things like that really add to the magic.

  13. I like to plan everything out and I’ll make all our ADR’s on my own, but I used a TA for our trip and my family has always done so in the past. We go through AAA and have had no problems with them. I like the “Disney” agent there, although she did give me some information this last time about ADR’s that isn’t exactly correct. It just makes me realize that I’ve done a good job of doing my homework and knowing what’s going on.

    The main reason we go with AAA is because it doesn’t cost any more and there are some small perks to it. We are AAA members which doesn’t matter as you can still book with AAA Travel if you aren’t, but we like to use them for some of the extra perks, such as the AAA preferred parking areas and we drive so we always like to get the driving directions that they print off for us so that we can see where there are any construction areas or anything like that. Another benefit this year was that I booked during Disney month so we get a Disney gift card that we can use for a TS meal since we’ll be doing those out of pocket.

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