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-   -   booking with online travel agent vs disney direct (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3023775)

1153rsmith 11-20-2012 09:57 AM

booking with online travel agent vs disney direct
 
I am currently booked through an online travel site for Art of Animation, but have found the room on the disney world site for the same per night. Taxes are actually a little cheaper at disney than the travel site.

My question is, is there an advantage with booking directly through Disney, or does it matter? Does it help you get upgrades, PINs, etc?

I wouldn't change simply for $3, but if it would open up other perks, I would.

angelbear425 11-20-2012 10:03 AM

If you are booking a package (tickets, room, etc) you will get the Magic Your Way Package along with it. You get Disney luggage tags, coupons for Planet Hollywood along with a free gift from there, free min golf tickets, etc. if you just book the hotel room, I'm not sure if there are any added benefits.

shaynar 11-20-2012 10:11 AM

Another key thing for me is that if you buy through an online site they "own" your reservation. If you need to change it you must go through them (if you would even be allowed) and not sure to their cancelation policies.

Purchasing through Disney will allow you to change your reservation - on your own! - as well as apply promotions (if there are any) and you can cancel outside of your 45 days if need be. Plus that way you can add on dining plans or tickets and have it all in one place.

For $3 I would just suck it up and go through Disney. Plus you can probably find that in change if you start looking through your couch now :D

aaarcher86 11-20-2012 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shaynar (Post 46752093)
Another key thing for me is that if you buy through an online site they "own" your reservation. If you need to change it you must go through them (if you would even be allowed) and not sure to their cancelation policies.

Purchasing through Disney will allow you to change your reservation - on your own! - as well as apply promotions (if there are any) and you can cancel outside of your 45 days if need be. Plus that way you can add on dining plans or tickets and have it all in one place.

For $3 I would just suck it up and go through Disney. Plus you can probably find that in change if you start looking through your couch now :D

That's definitely the biggest thing in my opinion.

It can be frustrating to want to ask questions or change or request something on your reservation and be told you need to go through the travel agency that booked it. I like having the control of my own reservation.

It's not always bad to go through a travel agency, but if you have a question you want answered immediately and they're closed, or have an issue, you're kind of out of luck. Disney is open 365 days from 7a - 10p on the phones.

1153rsmith 11-20-2012 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shaynar (Post 46752093)
Another key thing for me is that if you buy through an online site they "own" your reservation. If you need to change it you must go through them (if you would even be allowed) and not sure to their cancelation policies.

Purchasing through Disney will allow you to change your reservation - on your own! - as well as apply promotions (if there are any) and you can cancel outside of your 45 days if need be. Plus that way you can add on dining plans or tickets and have it all in one place.

For $3 I would just suck it up and go through Disney. Plus you can probably find that in change if you start looking through your couch now :D

Actually, Disney is $3 cheaper than the online site, and it all is in the taxes and fees line. The online site must charge a $3 service charge or something. I can cancel my reservation through them for 2 more days. I am just trying to figure out if it is really worth it. Since I am not booking any sort of package, it may not be worth it. We leave in a week anyway. It is not like I am going to be doing alot of changes between now and then.

aaarcher86 11-20-2012 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1153rsmith (Post 46752160)
Actually, Disney is $3 cheaper than the online site, and it all is in the taxes and fees line. The online site must charge a $3 service charge or something. I can cancel my reservation through them for 2 more days. I am just trying to figure out if it is really worth it. Since I am not booking any sort of package, it may not be worth it. We leave in a week anyway. It is not like I am going to be doing alot of changes between now and then.

If you're leaving in a week I'd avoid the hassle and maybe explore your options next time. Within a week, nothing is going to change.

Enjoy your trip :thumbsup2

Takasa 11-20-2012 11:44 AM

My 2 cents I don't think I will ever turn over my reservation again. I wouldn't change it now either your to close, the only perks I know of are AAA and they have to be reserved like ADRs.

I did because of the perks, with AAA, The special fireworks seating (blacked out), epcot story time, diamond parking (not sure if this is even that great since we are staying onsite). I was also hoping to get a price break but no luck.

Kimberle 11-20-2012 05:14 PM

I booked my next trip with Dreams Unlimited. My agent was able to obtain an AAA discount for me. I was unable to obtain it on my own.

nkereina 11-20-2012 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angelbear425 (Post 46752038)
If you are booking a package (tickets, room, etc) you will get the Magic Your Way Package along with it. You get Disney luggage tags, coupons for Planet Hollywood along with a free gift from there, free min golf tickets, etc. if you just book the hotel room, I'm not sure if there are any added benefits.

You will get these things whether you book direct with Disney or with a travel agent. The travel agents book Magic Your Way packages also.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Takasa (Post 46752760)
My 2 cents I don't think I will ever turn over my reservation again. I wouldn't change it now either your to close, the only perks I know of are AAA and they have to be reserved like ADRs.

I did because of the perks, with AAA, The special fireworks seating (blacked out), epcot story time, diamond parking (not sure if this is even that great since we are staying onsite). I was also hoping to get a price break but no luck.

If the fireworks viewing is blacked out, I am assuming you are traveling during a busy time of year which would also explain the lack of discounts. Typically, booking with AAA will get you the AAA rate which is not really significant, as well as the perks you mentioned, plus a discount card that allows for discounts at various stores and restaurants. If you know what you want and don't want to change anything, no harm in booking with AAA for these extra perks if you are a member.

However, if you're the type who made need to cancel, are wavering on your resort choice, or need to check back to apply future discounts, its probably easier to book with disney yourself.

loinsley 11-20-2012 06:27 PM

I have booked with Dreams Unlimited Travel for three big trips....my agent Dorothy has been amazing....I feel like I know her...I've never met her!

GusGus77 11-20-2012 06:46 PM

I would think booking with dreams unlimited is a bit different than going through a regular travel agent. They are familiar with Disney and know the ins and outs of Disney that a typical travel agent (even ones that say they specialize in Disney) don't. I have heard many horror stories about people booking Disney trips through AAA. We got info from them last year just because we wanted the travel brochure for my daughter and my parents wanted info since they will only go through AAA when they travel. i was shocked to see the info was 2yrs out of date! So even though they said they specialize in Disney none of their info was current and I knew much more than the travel agent did!

In your case with room only and being so close to your trip I think it is common courtesy to stay with your current travel agent.

Sue M 11-20-2012 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1153rsmith (Post 46752160)
Actually, Disney is $3 cheaper than the online site, and it all is in the taxes and fees line. The online site must charge a $3 service charge or something. I can cancel my reservation through them for 2 more days. I am just trying to figure out if it is really worth it. Since I am not booking any sort of package, it may not be worth it. We leave in a week anyway. It is not like I am going to be doing alot of changes between now and then.

I would leave things as they are.

I've used Disney Specialized TA, and booked myself. The price has always been exactly the same booking a wdw package or room only booking with TA or WDW.

The benefit of using a TA who specializes in Disney, ESP for newbies, is that they are knowledgable, and know when Disney puts out discounts the moment they come out, are on the phone when Wdw phone lines open, at 7:00 am, getting you the discount, and are never closed or away when wdw promos come out. If they are away, your file is given to another agency, and you will be notified and given a contact phone # and email. I say this because I've heard horror stories of people going with regular TAs who know nothing about Disney promos, and aren't available when they come out.

You can change, cancel whatever with Disney authorized TAs same as you would with Disney. Easy to make payments, just send them an e mail telling them the amount of payment you want.

I really see no negative booking with a Disney Specialized TA.

1153rsmith 11-21-2012 08:38 AM

Just to clarify.. this was an online travel site, not a travel agent. I don't know if I can give the specific one, but it is your priceline, hotels.com, hotwire.com types.

You all have given great information, and next time, I will probably just book directly with Disney unless there is a significant price difference in the room rate.

Regarding Dreams Unlimited... I have used them on 3 cruises, and they are FANTASTIC. If I booked packages, I would definitely use them.

jennybdis 11-21-2012 09:51 AM

I book through a TA who specializes in Disney travel. I do all of the legwork on the site with pricing out my reservation so as to not drive her crazy, and I handle all of my own reservations and stuff--but that's just me. She's more than willing to do it for me. I book through her mainly because I'd like her to get a commission rather than Disney.

One of the other perks of working with her is that she will search to see if I have any pin codes. Last year, we had one (and didn't know it) and we saved a ton of money on our vacation.

Sue M 11-21-2012 09:52 AM

Oh! I would just leave things. Unless there was a sig price diff. I'd not use that type of agency for wdw travel in future. But that's just me. I agree with just booking yourself or going with a Disney Specialized agency.


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