View Full Version : Book it myself vs. DU, etc.
04-30-2005, 08:10 PM
We will be staying at WL next May with our daughter for her 5th birthday. 2 Adults, 1 Child.
What are the pros and cons of booking myself (have always done in the past) vs. using DU (used them for DCL once) or another company?
We plan to buy AP if it helps with the room rate and we also have the Disney Visa.
Hope to get ressies at Princess related events and maybe Pirates too.
04-30-2005, 09:01 PM
Definitely go with DU!!! I've always used them, even though I end up doing most of the planning myself. The advantage to using them though is that they'll know right away when codes come up and will be sure to snatch them up for you. They're also notorious for getting those hard to get (princess) reservations. Since it's not costing you anything, and they most definitely will allow you to do your own planning if you want to, I'd definitely go with them. You can't lose!!
05-01-2005, 07:23 AM
Well, the best thing about using a Disney travel agent is that when those AP rates come out or any general public codes, THEY will be the ones on the phone switching your ressies, not you. If you scroll back to the posts from when the most recent AP's came out you will see that people are sitting on the phone for 1-2+ hours trying to get the rates. THe travel agents will also make all your PS's for you and handle any changes.
05-01-2005, 10:12 AM
I think I prefer planning myself.
My first trip was my Disneymoon; I used a AAA travel agent (she's my cousin) and she did a very good job. I'm the type of person who likes to really be in control of everything. Also even though travel agents claim they are always looking for discounts (I'm not saying that they aren't) I just don't know if they really always are, especially if they have a lot of clients.
I was worried that it would be too much of a hassle to have to plan myself but really all I did was book my flight and call Disney to book my tickets and hotel. I've called 2 times to do priority seating and book my Segway tour and have been on the phone for about a total of 45 minutes.
I probaly didn't get the absolute best deal but I don't think I did too bad. I'm having a good time planning my July vacation. Also, even though your travel agent says that you can contact them as much as you want; I feel funny asking them to change things...but that's just a weird thing I should get over.
05-01-2005, 10:52 AM
I've used Dreams Unlimited quite a few times, and LOVE them!!! I like being able to "control" my vacations too, and have definitely been able to do that even using DU. As you approach your 90 day window, each morning you can open up your DU file and see which PSs your agent was able to get for you. My agent has always been able to get me whatever PS I wanted, and at the time I wanted. And she was able to change my PSs every time I asked, with no problems! She has even been able to get breakfast at the castle with Cinderella for my little Princess!! Any time I had any questions, I just e-mailed her, and usually within a couple of hours I had my answer!! If you need any information, again just e-mail them and you'll have your answer!
I used DU again for our trip in Dec and she was able to get me the Candlelight Processional PSs with no problem at all (and like the above poster stated, I didn't have to be on the phone for hours the first day the PSs were released!!!) And when I got a code, they called and applied it to my hotel reservation with no problems!
I have also done many trips myself and I have to say, I am a pretty good travel planner!!!! Sometimes, it is nice to let someone else do the work for you!!!
Have a great trip!!!!!
05-01-2005, 10:54 AM
You need to be comfortable letting someone else be in control - if you can, they will do all of the work for you, make all of the calls, etc.
Many respond very quickly to emails and can call you too.
Also even though travel agents claim they are always looking for discounts (I'm not saying that they aren't) I just don't know if they really always are, especially if they have a lot of clients. The ones I have worked with stake their reputation on offering this service. They setup call lists of those who are booked and waiting for discounts, their travel dates, reservation numbers, etc, and are on the phone at 7am everyday. If they have lots of clients, they usually have a good staff of agents able to make these calls.
Just take a look thru these boards for all of the great testimonials that are offered for DU, Dream Come True Vacations, Small World, etc - they build their business on offering exceptional service that make people talk - and therefore send new clients their way.
Granted, there are only a certain number of rooms offered at discount, and they may not be able to get everyone a reduced rate, but I am certain that they are on the phone everyday making the attempt - their business depends on it.
Also, even though your travel agent says that you can contact them as much as you want; I feel funny asking them to change things...but that's just a weird thing I should get over. That is what they get paid for and they expect it.
05-01-2005, 11:18 AM
We used Small World Vacations (Teresa) for this trip and I loved it! We planned the first two trips on our own, and this one has been so stress free! I love that I can be as involved as I like, I made all my PS's myself, but Teresa was available to do it for me if I had wanted. We are using the dining plan this trip so we weren't able to secure any discounts (no pins for us), we would have paid the exact same amount had we booked it ourselves, but not having to call and deal with CRO. etc. was great. I'd gladly give someone else the commission on the trip especially since it cost us nothing and had the potential to save us money- as she would have been on the phone for me had codes come out for our trip time. I will never book my own Disney vacation again, Teresa @ Small Wolrd is my gal! (Love ya Teresa! :))
05-01-2005, 04:33 PM
My upcoming trip in August is actually the first trip I ever made on my own because I was able to get better rates than my travel agent and I had no problem. It's just a matter of whether you have the time to do all the work.
05-01-2005, 05:21 PM
Dreams is great! We have a Disneyland trip booked with them and got an e-mail a couple of weeks ago that a new promotion with lower rates came out and they rebooked it for us saving us hundreds of dollars. Great service!
Highly recommend Dreams (had Susan Haass). You still have control in that you are doing all the planning - they just do all the calling for you. We are going this May and Susan got us AP rate for the whole trip (poly 8 nights and akl 6 nights). When I wanted to add a night, I just emailed her. For PS's I made a list of all I wanted, with the times, emailed her, and then they do all the calling. You may remember threads of people with long waits on hold for PS. Highly recommed them.
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