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View Full Version : Who to book through?


DisneyFanatic09
08-11-2012, 10:33 PM
Is it better to book my disney hotel through disney, a travel agency, or an online website such as travelocity expedia etc. Pros and cons would be nice! Thanks DISers!

disney516
08-11-2012, 10:42 PM
My parents have planned all of our trips when we were little, so I don't know what they usually used. However, I went to Disney three weeks ago with my best friend to celebrate our graduation from high school and we planned and booked our whole trip. We booked everything directly through Disney. We used a package which included 6 nights at Caribbean beach, seven day park hopper and water park add on tickets, the dining plan, and our plane tickets for 3,052 dollars, which to us definitely seemed like a steal. AAA package price was 4,225 with the same options. We were very happy with the service Disney gave and loved every minute of it.

vicky33006
08-11-2012, 10:49 PM
I started out planning this trip using a TA, but we had some major problems, so I had to fire her. Mainly she just wasn't knowledgeable about Disney at all and so I decided to do everything on my own. While it makes me a little nervous to do everything, I have to say the agents at Disney have been awesome. They answer every one of my silly questions and they do it with so much patience. Also when you use a TA, the reservation belongs to them. This means you can't call Disney and do anything with your reservation at all. I didn't like that. So...that was a lot of rambling to tell you that I'm planning the trip with Disney on my own, and I feel pretty comfortably doing so. Happy planning! :cool1:

navywifetill2002
08-11-2012, 10:52 PM
We're using a Disney Travel Agent. I could have done it all myself on line but I liked her service (plus she offers a gift card for booking with her). The prices she got at the exact same ones as I could have gotten on line but she kept watch for the promo I wanted, resort I wanted, etc and took care of all the details. If prices or a better deal would have come up she would have applied the discount and then let me know I saved money without me having to do anything:thumbsup2 I ended up booking my own ADR's but she was willing to get up at the crack of dawn at my 180 day mark to get me the ressies I wanted.

If you'd like my TA's information feel free to PM me:)

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 12:17 AM
I started out planning this trip using a TA, but we had some major problems, so I had to fire her. Mainly she just wasn't knowledgeable about Disney at all and so I decided to do everything on my own. While it makes me a little nervous to do everything, I have to say the agents at Disney have been awesome. They answer every one of my silly questions and they do it with so much patience. Also when you use a TA, the reservation belongs to them. This means you can't call Disney and do anything with your reservation at all. I didn't like that. So...that was a lot of rambling to tell you that I'm planning the trip with Disney on my own, and I feel pretty comfortably doing so. Happy planning! :cool1:

Them owning it is one thing that does worry me.... Im thinking maybe doing it with a TA because of the lovely DISer down below (her TA sounds wonderful) but still iffy about going through it.... with just about all my options haha.

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 12:20 AM
My parents have planned all of our trips when we were little, so I don't know what they usually used. However, I went to Disney three weeks ago with my best friend to celebrate our graduation from high school and we planned and booked our whole trip. We booked everything directly through Disney. We used a package which included 6 nights at Caribbean beach, seven day park hopper and water park add on tickets, the dining plan, and our plane tickets for 3,052 dollars, which to us definitely seemed like a steal. AAA package price was 4,225 with the same options. We were very happy with the service Disney gave and loved every minute of it.

See... I've planned all of my WDW trip too... but thinking maybe I could get a better steal with a TA ...? im going to try all three and compare them. Thanks for the info!

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 12:22 AM
We're using a Disney Travel Agent. I could have done it all myself on line but I liked her service (plus she offers a gift card for booking with her). The prices she got at the exact same ones as I could have gotten on line but she kept watch for the promo I wanted, resort I wanted, etc and took care of all the details. If prices or a better deal would have come up she would have applied the discount and then let me know I saved money without me having to do anything:thumbsup2 I ended up booking my own ADR's but she was willing to get up at the crack of dawn at my 180 day mark to get me the ressies I wanted.

If you'd like my TA's information feel free to PM me:)

Whenever you get a steal.... without doing the work sounds great to me! Hopefully she can do the same for me :) I did send you a PM :)

NHKristy76
08-12-2012, 06:37 AM
I typically plan all of my trips by myself because I like to have all the details at my fingertips.

I did choose a TA from Dreams Unlimited to manage my upcoming multi family trip. There are 4 families going so it was a bit harder to manage and I wanted someone else to be responsible for monitoring new discounts that might pop up. I have to say, I'm already sorry that I went this route... The woman is certainly nice enough but either she doesn't know as much about Disney as she should (given her job) or she's a really bad communicator. I can't figure out which...

Mamu
08-12-2012, 06:50 AM
Since finding this web site, I've been booking through their travel site Dreams Unlimited. I've never been disappointed in their service. Any questions I may have are answered right away. Plus they have always gotten me the best deal on our stay. :thumbsup2

OKW Lover
08-12-2012, 07:58 AM
I'd also suggest Dreams Unlimited. Their agents are very knowledgeable about Disney and will continue to look for better deals after booking.

Full Disclosure:
Dreams Unlimited is jointly owned by the Owner of the DIS Boards.

Mousemommy1
08-12-2012, 08:20 AM
Is it better to book my disney hotel through disney, a travel agency, or an online website such as travelocity expedia etc. Pros and cons would be nice! Thanks DISers!

I have booked all of our trips myself since 2000. I am too much of a control freak to leave my trip planning up to someone else, and it would drive me crazy to have to leave a TA a voicemail about changes or a discount and wait to hear a call back. With the Internet, you have everything a TA has as far as discounts, etc...you just need to be on the ball.

mickeynut1
08-12-2012, 09:17 AM
I have always booked our trips directly through Disney and have never had a problem. I like doing it myself not only because it's very easy and you have complete control over the reservation, but planning is half the fun for me so pricing things online and then calling to book is exciting for me. Using a TA is good if you don't have the time or don't want to take the time to research, call, etc. But as the pp said, using a TA means they own your reservation until you check in so any changes you want/need to make, any payments you make, etc. have to all go through the TA. One way isn't better than another, it's just what you feel comfortable with doing. Good luck and happy planning :wizard:.

Kcags
08-12-2012, 09:56 AM
We had the worst experience EVER using a TA last year. She tried selling us on rooms with great views, etc. so she could get more of a commission. And, when the free dining offer came out, she said she applied it to our trip. When I looked into it, our trip dates did not match the ones needed for the free dining offer. So she screwed that up too. By the time she fixed it, there were no standard rooms left. Planing a Disney vacation is pretty easy. Unless you would use a TA that specializes in Disney alone, I would def. do it yourself. You may need to do a little research and to know what you want. Also, if you ever want your balance and to change anything about your trip, you have to go though your TA to do it. If you call, they might be off that day so it is a big hassle. If you book it yourself, you deal direfctly with Disney!

nansmama
08-12-2012, 10:26 AM
I've had both good and bad experiences using Disney-specific TAs. In the end, as with anything else, it just depends on luck. My first TA was awesome and responsive, and my second one didn't seem to care at all. If you're worried, you'll probably find it more reassuring to plan everything yourself. Disney makes it easy. I have done it several times on my own with no issues.

I wasn't going to use a TA ever again after my last experience, but a good friend of mine just got certified as a Disney specialist, so I'm using her. Since she was already my friend, we have great communication and I can trust her. She's already saved me time, and I'm giving her a good practice run for her new career. Win-win. ;)

kathylovesmatt
08-12-2012, 10:59 AM
We've been going to WDW every other year, since we got married in 2003. For our honeymoon, I booked with Disney and will never do it again, too much hassle. We now use AAA, book it in January and go in October. By booking it in January, we pay on it little by little, kinda like putting it on lay-away. We use the same TA every time, she's wonderful and keeps a lookout for discounts and other things. The off years we do a Carnival Cruise, which we book thru her as well.

greeneggs1082
08-12-2012, 11:19 AM
I've gone to WDW 4 times for vacation since 2006, and each one of those I planned and booked myself directly through Disney. The first one in 2006 I didn't know very much, and booked the room at rack rate, even though we were Florida residents. But, I've learned a lot since then and it is really easy to do yourself. It was actually really easy that first time, too, I just didn't know about discounts then. I don't think I would feel comfortable going through anyone else, especially with that "they own the ressie" bit.

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 01:34 PM
I guess it does depend on luck in the end.... I think the primary reason to do it with a TA for me would be to make sure im not missing any discounts. I booked everything so far in my own this year except for my room I know that room specials pretty much end on the 14 of this month ahhhhh so I just need to decide on which route.

Thanks for all the input DISers!

sue_gowin
08-12-2012, 01:39 PM
I always say go through a travel agent. Saying that, I would take some time to make sure you're getting someone with a lot of Disney experience. A good Disney travel agent will stay up-to-date on discounts/promos, and will apply them to your booking to save you money! Also, they will give you priceless advice and suggestions. Another thing...if something happens to go wrong, or you need to cancel, or you need to change the booking (whatever the problem may be), your agent will deal with all the "mess" of it all, and will save you a lot of stress. Good luck!

OKW Lover
08-12-2012, 02:50 PM
I'd just add that its important to recognize that those recommending a TA ares saying (or implying) that it should be a TA with good Disney knowledge. Not all agencies or individual TA's have the extensive Disney knowledge that you would expect.

franluvsbubba
08-12-2012, 03:11 PM
I go to Dis every year & have always, up until this year, planned using Dis. This yr I had gotten an email frm Kingdom Magic about the free dining promo. I called thm just to find out wht the cost wld b. The lady who I spoke to was so nice & knowledgeable about Dis( I knw this because of my knowledge of Dis). I hav her email & FB info and hav nvr had a prob getting in touch w/ her. It's not been a better or worse experience thn going through Dis tho. It was disconcerting to knw tht she had control over my resv. I was paranoid tht she cldve been a fake& I wldve put all tht money out. Thankfully tht was not the case, and I'd be happy to use her to plan other trips.

shdoss23
08-12-2012, 06:19 PM
We booked our last Dis vacation through a TA with Our Laughing Place and it went so smoothly. She handled everything from the character dinner reservations to some odd-ball requests that we had and pulled it all off without a single hitch. She was awesome and we are trying to decide right now whether to use her again or go with a DVC points rental.

JimS4210
08-12-2012, 06:53 PM
I have booked all of our trips myself since 2000. I am too much of a control freak to leave my trip planning up to someone else, and it would drive me crazy to have to leave a TA a voicemail about changes or a discount and wait to hear a call back. With the Internet, you have everything a TA has as far as discounts, etc...you just need to be on the ball.
:thumbsup2 This. I gotta admit, I like doing everything myself. I like finding room discounts, planning my ADR's etc. Plus we're always tweaking our ADR's and I know we'd drive a TA crazy with the canceling and rebooking of our reservations! :lmao:

Jim

teedee
08-12-2012, 07:04 PM
I have always planned my trips by myself up until my upcoming trip. I used a Disney TA who'se trip reports I've enjoyed here on the Dis for years. So far I'm thrilled with her. She offered perks I couldn't get on my own and always replies promptly to any questions I have.

Terri

skriegerjr
08-12-2012, 07:53 PM
I have booked all of our trips myself since 2000. I am too much of a control freak to leave my trip planning up to someone else, and it would drive me crazy to have to leave a TA a voicemail about changes or a discount and wait to hear a call back. With the Internet, you have everything a TA has as far as discounts, etc...you just need to be on the ball.

You have everything except the benefits that some TA offer...such as exclusive AAA benefits, like the AAA Diamond Parking Pass (great for anyone who drives/rents a car) and AAA Storytime, which, in our opinion, makes it worth having AAA handle our booking for every one of our trips. An exclusive benefit Disney offers to AAA guests as a thank you for all the business AAA sends them every year, it is a private, intimate visit with one of the characters, with a story written especially for the event, illustrated by Disney Animators. The character reads the story to the kids in a theater setting, then spends one on one time with each child...poses for pictures, you never feel rushed, it's awesome. I guess this wouldn't be a draw if we didn't have two young kids.

I've priced every single one of our trips direct with Disney, and with AAA, and AAA was always less, except when free dining was involved. And even then, their price was the same as direct with Disney, but still included all the usual AAA benefits plus the FD. We love our AAA agent, she's booked all of our trips, plus my sister's and dad's trips too. She always responds promptly to email/calls, and has never refused a request. She even offers to make dining reservations for us as well. My wife always books then herself, but it's nice to know she would do it if we asked or needed?

Sent from my Toshiba Thrive 32GB using the DISBoards App

aprestwich
08-12-2012, 09:53 PM
As a former travel agent, I can honestly say that it's a profession that will go the way of the dodo. All the tools and discounts are out there on the internet to find deals. I'll be perfectly honest that most travel agents are making so little money on your vacation that to actually spend a great deal of time researching to save you money ain't going to happen.

Disney pays a travel agent about 8% of the value of the trip excluding dining as I recall and flights for sure as airlines rarely pay commission anymore. Most agents then split that with their agency getting prehaps 40% of the commission. So on your $2500 trip they are probably making $80.

The other primary advantage of booking direct is that YOU own your booking, can modify it and do as you see fit with it. If you use a TA, you will not have access to talk directly to disney about your reservation.

If you are smart enough already be reading the DIS, then you are for sure going to be able to handle booking direct!

Just my 2 cents as usual.

Andrew

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 10:34 PM
We booked our last Dis vacation through a TA with Our Laughing Place and it went so smoothly. She handled everything from the character dinner reservations to some odd-ball requests that we had and pulled it all off without a single hitch. She was awesome and we are trying to decide right now whether to use her again or go with a DVC points rental.

Mind PM the name of your TA if I decide to go with a TA haha im still shopping around for.my options
... even though I only have 2 days to book.

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 10:35 PM
I have always planned my trips by myself up until my upcoming trip. I used a Disney TA who'se trip reports I've enjoyed here on the Dis for years. So far I'm thrilled with her. She offered perks I couldn't get on my own and always replies promptly to any questions I have.

Terri

Haha again as I've mention think you could PM her name? She sounds wonderful!

DisneyFanatic09
08-12-2012, 10:37 PM
As a former travel agent, I can honestly say that it's a profession that will go the way of the dodo. All the tools and discounts are out there on the internet to find deals. I'll be perfectly honest that most travel agents are making so little money on your vacation that to actually spend a great deal of time researching to save you money ain't going to happen.

Disney pays a travel agent about 8% of the value of the trip excluding dining as I recall and flights for sure as airlines rarely pay commission anymore. Most agents then split that with their agency getting prehaps 40% of the commission. So on your $2500 trip they are probably making $80.

The other primary advantage of booking direct is that YOU own your booking, can modify it and do as you see fit with it. If you use a TA, you will not have access to talk directly to disney about your reservation.

If you are smart enough already be reading the DIS, then you are for sure going to be able to handle booking direct!

Just my 2 cents as usual.

Andrew

Omg so under paid! Be so very appreciated for their work!

scottmel
08-13-2012, 08:30 AM
I too love doing it myself but for June 2013 a really nice TA that has been mentioned on the boards was able to get a block of rooms at my fave resort area at a discount with the ability to get the dining plan without tickets. So since this is something I couldn't accomplish myself I booked thru her. I too am a huge control freak over my own stuff and will make my reservations, etc. but DH and DD really wanted the dining plan this summer but we have 10 day NE tix so couldn't book the plan thru disney but could thru her. So the week matched my week so it worked out so far!