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View Full Version : What's your experience booking accommodation and tickets online / phone


jenshell75
06-07-2010, 09:41 AM
Help !!!!!!

I am planning a trip for my family for December 2011, the dates we are looking at is December 8 - January 9.

Can anyone tell how they found booking resort accommodation, dinning plans and tickets over the net or over the phone. Was it easy - any problems - or should I use a TA.

Could you send me any links if you have them, as I am sure I can get :better prices booking myself ( if you think I am wrong please let me know) as I am only guessing at this stage.

Also I have been told that there are 14 day passes available??? however I can not locate this on the WDW site.

I am stressed and confused. LOLLLLLL lucky I still have more than 1.5 years to ensure the best planning to have the best holiday.

Many Thanks Jen :) :confused3

Kalice
06-07-2010, 11:05 AM
I booked accomodation online, but did ADR's on the phone. With the hotel, as there was an offer introduced I converted my room only booking to a package that included tickets and also added the dining plan (did this by phone too. I booked dining res on phone as we wanted hoop-de-doo and the fantasmic package that couldn't be booked online. Once I had my bookings I did muck around online a bit to change times for some bookings. I needed to do this as I was avoiding parks with EMH, and we didn't park hop. We had 9 day passes as part of our package, we didn't book park hoppers or waterparks and more at the time of booking as you can add them when you're there. Due to the freezing January weather we didn't waterpark (we were at The Beach Club resort so the one day of good weather Stormalong Bay was fantastic). Kids loved the pool and the activities with the staff. The cast members on the phone were great, I was a bit nervous when I was asking for a discount that I found here on DIS. It was not yet available to the general public, but it all went smoothly.

Sharkmeister
06-07-2010, 04:57 PM
For our past two Disneyworld holidays, we used Dreams Unlimited. I chose to go through them for a couple of reasons. 1) They will make all the ADR's for you, so there is no long wait on the phone to the US. 2) They will coninue to check for discounts and then apply these to your reservation.
They are now like my Disney travel agent in the US.

If your going to be there for that long, (even 14 days), it may be worth looking into an Annual Pass. There are other discounts that come with the AP too, including shopping discounts at various Disney stores.

lovintheland
06-07-2010, 05:57 PM
I can't comment on DW but for Disneyland i would definately book everything yourself online rather than use a travel agent. You will save heaps. Although we often take the quotes we get to Flight Centre and then they beat them :thumbsup2

DizOz
06-07-2010, 06:04 PM
I would never use an Australian TA to book Accomodation and tickets. Agree with Shark, we used Dreams Unlimited to book our next trip. We are staying at DL, WDW and going on a Disney Cruise. They managed to book all 3 for us and the price was the same as I could get going direct to Disney or doing it myself online.

Added benefits were they also applied any new discounts that became available between me booking and going on our trip. So far our price has fallen approx $2500 since we booked.

Also they did all our ADR's, arranged transfers and park tickets. I have gone back a few times to amedn our booking and that has been no problem.

We have been allocated one TA who looks after all our bookings and I communicate wuth her via email. I usually get a response back with 2 hours even on weekends.

Compare that to Australian TA's the price the past few tiems we have gone has always been at least $1000 more than going direct to Disney. Also Australian TA's I have found have had very little knowledge of the properties and packages available.

shushh
06-07-2010, 06:40 PM
DizOz summarised it nicely.

We are using SmallWordVacations (along the same vein as Dreams Unlimited) for our upcoming trip to the US (WDW and cruise). Our TA is fantastic. Everything has been so easy. We do everything via email, and she's quick to respond. We've made several changes, applied discounts, added people, taken away people and it was no hassles.

For our recent Disney cruise, we used Dreams Unlimited. Once again, easy and great prices.

Would NOT use an Aussie travel for WDW or Cruise. No comparison in knowledge, price and service.

Ms. Shuttergirl
06-07-2010, 07:06 PM
I'm going to use a US TA as well. I'm going to go with Bob and Kimberly at www.mousetalestravel.com.

dollarmite
06-08-2010, 12:20 AM
I've also used Dreams Unlimited, and would definitely recommend them.

Count me as another who would never use an Australian TA. Our local TA quoted me a price for the WDW portion of last year's trip that was so much higher than anything on line that I laughed out loud when I saw it. (Luckily I was in the privacy of my own home when I read the email, or it could have been embarrassing in person).

As for the 14 days pass, we bought ours from www.expedia.com.au. They are located under "Attractions" at the top of the expedia page. It was only a few dollars more than buying a 5 day pass.

I've also used expedia to book non-Disney hotels, transfers and attractions and never had any problems. I do compare prices with the actual hotel website though as occassionally they are cheaper, in which case I'll book direct.

As for airfares I generally find the cheapest deals on the actual airline website itself, altough we did use expedia.au for one of the US domestic flights.

jenshell75
06-08-2010, 12:58 AM
OMG thank you to everyone that has replied. I can't believe how helpful Diser's are!!


I will definatley check out - expedia for the 14 day tickets :banana: thanks Dollarmite :thumbsup2

Now that I have a few names of US Travel Agents I will look into them as well as the Dreams Unlimited travel, SmallWordVacations, Mousetalestravel.com. Thanks shushh, DizOz,Ms. Shuttergirl :lovestruc

Sharkmeister, lovintheland & Kalice - and a big thanks to you guys too, your information and experience is fantastic and is sure going to help make our holiday very special and affordable.:santa:

jen :)

gregpso
06-08-2010, 03:27 AM
[QUOTE=jenshell75;36910544]Help !!!!!!

I am planning a trip for my family for December 2011, the dates we are looking at is December 8 - January 9.

Can anyone tell how they found booking resort accommodation, dinning plans and tickets over the net or over the phone. Was it easy - any problems - or should I use a TA.

Could you send me any links if you have them, as I am sure I can get :better prices booking myself ( if you think I am wrong please let me know) as I am only guessing at this stage.

Also I have been told that there are 14 day passes available??? however I can not locate this on the WDW site.

Booking on line is easy and cheaper or just ring them up they are very friendly and do understamd the Aussie accent. No need for a TA. Save money but cutting out the middleman. Do airfares on line too .. we saved around $400 by booking on line. re dinning plan we are getting free dining in Sept (maybe you could go in Sept Oct 2011) they will have free dining then too

No need for stress any questions can be answered here

cola
06-08-2010, 04:53 AM
I would only use a Disney specialist for Disney stuff, which pretty well rules out Australiain travel agents.

Every time I've tried to organise stuff by phone, it's been a challenge. Business hours in Florida are the middle of the night here, so not the easiest to remeber to ring, and if they ask you to call back in an hour......
I don't have a thick Australian accent (I've had English people tell me I don't sound like anyone on Neighbours or Home & Away, it's a very mild Australian accent), but I've found with a lot of American call center type calls they can't understand a mild Australian accent. That and the time zone make calling a bit more frustrating than you might expect.


Depending on how much you are travelling around in America and how big your party is, just a word of caution about baggage charges. Over the last year it seems like most of the internal US airlines have added checked baggage charges. Most of them will waive the checked baggage charges if your itinerary starts outside of the USA. Just something to watch out for when booking your flights as separate tickets from different websites/airlines rather than the one ticket, particularly with different flight numbers going through hubs if you don't get direct flights from LAX or SFO, it can quickly add up. If you are lucky they will let it slide and not charge you, but you can't rely on it, most of them let you pre-pay the checked baggage fee at a discount, but then you miss out on the chance of them not charging you, Catch 22.

PrincessInOz
06-08-2010, 05:31 AM
I used SmallWorld Vacations to book my WDW accommodation. The "extra" that I got on top was that they booked my ADRs and one specialty cruise for me as well (they don't get commissions for ADRs or specialty cruises, just accommodation, tix and dining packages). No need to stay up for odd hours for timezone differences - and I know you can manage ADRs via the Disney Website directly - but not everything is on there (yet).

For everything else, I used Trip Adviser and Expedia for checking up reviews on accommodations.
I found that ringing the hotel/resort direct or going in directly via their website provided the best pricing in about 75% of the cases. When Expedia went on sale, sometimes their pricing was much better; but I don't like paying for the "extra person" charges plus "additional" charges going through Expedia.

The other website that sometimes has good pricing for Orlando is HotelKingdom.com.

I always keep my longhaul boarding pass and a copy of my e-ticket - so far I've never had to pay for any additional baggage charges when I show the airline worker both.