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Old 04-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #31
goofy78
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I'm thinking AAA is not considered a "TA" by reading the previous posts. I've previously booked my trips myself but for our upcoming trip I decided to get a quote from AAA. They offered a 15% off room only (Beach Club) so I booked with them. I've since linked my reservation on Disney's website and will be having IPO book my dining reservations. I could do it myself but will let them do it for me. Looking on the Disney website it appears the Beach Club is almost fully booked so if a discount for my dates comes out from Disney, not so sure my room will be included. So I am more than happy I booked with AAA with their discount and I don't one bit feel as though I'm not in control.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:37 PM   #32
danceintherain
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Originally Posted by JustAKid View Post
I'm not quite sure this is the place for this, please move to a new home if necessary...

Can anyone who has booked both ways tell me which they liked better, either going through a TA or just booking the pieces seperately yourself and creating your own package?

Also, will a TA book an off-site hotel/timeshare condo/private home for you?
I think a TA can book on off-site hotel for you, but authorized Disney TAs get paid through a commission from Disney, so I'm not sure if it would make sense for them to do this. Other TA's certainly could...

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Did any of you who did both find that you saved/spent more money one way in comparison to the other?
We spent probably exactly the same for all our trips. I know there is a Disney TA company out there who can offer deeper discounts by booking large numbers of rooms through Disney, and offering them to clients, but the "extra" discount isn't always available.

Since I've started actually "planning" my Disney vacations, I've done 2 with a TA and 2 without.
The first experience was fine, but I felt as if I was pestering my TA too much. Two or three different discounts I qualified for were released from the time I booked 6 months in advance and my trip. To this day, I'm not sure if I chose the right discount. Disney math can be really frustrating sometimes. We still got a really great deal, but that didn't have that much to do with the TA.
I chose all my ADRs and she booked them for me right at the 180 day mark.
It saved me from making the phone call myself (this was before the online system).
Everything went fine. The only minor hiccup was that when we went to check in to our first ADR of the trip, it was under the wrong name. I had all the confirmation numbers with me, so it was fine. I don't know if it was the TA's fault or Disney's.

The second experience has been better. I have a friend on here who became a TA, and I thought it'd be nice for her to get the commission and to have someone I can refer friends to if/when they want to go to Disney and stay on property. While I'm perfectly happy giving them advice myself, sometimes it's better to get it from someone else.
This trip wasn't booked until around 3 months out, and I made all my ADRs on my own online before even booking my room through the TA. All the applicable discounts were out at the time, so I knew which one was the best (Armed Forces Salute) for us.
Recently, she got all our trip documents in the mail and our flights were mixed up (my sister is flying from a different location). She immediately got on the phone and sorted it out, so our new documents were on their way quickly. She also sent a few extra goodies along with the standard stuff.

Ultimately, I HATE talking on the phone. Disney is better than a lot of places, but it's still easier for me to communicate via the internet. The Armed Forces Salute discount has to booked over the phone, so I figured if I was going to be making a phone call anyways, I might as well make it to someone I already know ok and like (I called her once to give her credit card info).
If I had done it myself, I may still have run into trouble with Magical Express and had to make a phone call then.

Ultimately, I know I can do it all myself, but it's nice to know that someone else is getting a little something from me booking through them.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:39 PM   #33
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A TA may not be able to get a better deal than an individual could get on their own BUT in many instances a TA may know of a Tour Operator who is offering discounts that their client is unaware of. For instance in the Toronto area we have a supplier (I'm not sure if I can mention their name??) who packages flights with the WDW land portion and in many instances kids fly free etc.... It is definitely worth consulting a TA who knows about these specials
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:55 PM   #34
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I've done both. I'll never use a TA again. I know more about the ins and outs than most travel agents, and I like having ultimate control of my reservation.
This. I've done both and I know more about booking than most TAs. If I was going to use a TA it would be one that specializes in WDW and will rebook you when the discounts come out.

I probably won't use a TA again because I like to plan and be in control of my reservations.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #35
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I have always booked our trips by myself. I am a total research person. B4 we book anything I have to have all the information I possibly can on every detail!

This trip In August we are using a travel agent only because of the insane deal they were offering. But I still feel like I am in control. If I felt I was going to need to change where we r staying I would have never booked. But I can see our trip right on disney experience, I booked all our dinning plans myself. And even called disney directly to ask questions so it really only the money that the agency is dealing with .

I have to say they have been awesome, quick respond too
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:37 PM   #36
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I've done it both ways. Currently, I have a TA that I like and that's who I use. I work, I travel a lot for work, I have small kids, etc. There are certain ADRs that I want and the "perfect" time that require making at the very first moment on the 180 +10 day. I can't always do that. Enter the TA. I tell mine what all I want and he takes care of it for me. He even checks for cancellations if I didn't plan the trip over 180 days out and usually gets me in when and where I want to be. It saves me a lot of time.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #37
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I've always booked my own, but I found myself needing a little more help last summer when I was booking a trip to DL for October. I'm sure it has to do with it being smaller, but the DL side of the DIS just didn't have all the help the I was needing, so I booked through her. She was, down to the penny, the same price as if I had booked it myself. I still made my own ADRs, but I had her expertise if I had a question. (Their version of EMHs gave me a headache.)

I booked our vacation back at the middle of March for this summer at WDWD, but, when the deals for this summer came out last week, I contacted her because I didn't have the time to sit on the computer for a couple of hours to find the better price. In the end, she saved us about $500 and several hours. I still have my own ADRs and we had already booked our own airfare through Southwest.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #38
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I've done both as well. I don't mind the research so I thought doing it myself was best. Then a friend of mine became a Disney authorized travel agent. She is on these boards, but TA's aren't allowed to say they are TA's on here. She works for a company that does get exclusive group rates for certain times of year and she is sometimes able to offer a gift card or something extra that I can't get directly from Disney on top of the discounts. She doesn't offer those just to me, they are offered to everyone she books for.

She stays on top of all the happenings 365 days a year, whereas I just look at this stuff when I'm starting to plan a trip. She is great at giving me the updates in a nutshell without me having to scour the boards for hours searching for what I've missed. She also sends out little weekly tips to her clients about Disney, as well as helps them create an itinerary (picking which day to go to which park) and even offers to do a customized park tour plan for them.

It's unfortunate, but not all TA's are created equally. If you are lucky enough to find a good one, they are worth it, but a bad one can certainly leave a sour taste in your mouth.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:59 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamkat1820 View Post
I have always booked our trips by myself. I am a total research person. B4 we book anything I have to have all the information I possibly can on every detail!

This trip In August we are using a travel agent only because of the insane deal they were offering. But I still feel like I am in control. If I felt I was going to need to change where we r staying I would have never booked. But I can see our trip right on disney experience, I booked all our dinning plans myself. And even called disney directly to ask questions so it really only the money that the agency is dealing with .

I have to say they have been awesome, quick respond too
This is what I did too for my upcoming trip. My TA had a special that we took advantage of. I did my own ADRs because I wanted to have control and make changes myself if needed (already made 2 changes).

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Old 04-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAKid View Post
I'm not quite sure this is the place for this, please move to a new home if necessary...

Can anyone who has booked both ways tell me which they liked better, either going through a TA or just booking the pieces seperately yourself and creating your own package?

Also, will a TA book an off-site hotel/timeshare condo/private home for you?
I made all my own Disney trip planning and reservations, then I had AAA take over the reservation for me. I like being in control of what's booked, but I really love my AAA perks. AAA does do arrangement for off-site hotels, but not private homes or timeshare rentals, at least in my local club.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #41
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I would not use any old travel agent for a Disney trip. There's too much involved. Unless you're extraordinarily busy and don't really have time to sit on the phone with Disney, I say do it yourself.

The only exception to this is AAA. If you are a member, it's worth booking through them for the extra perks. Unless you are the type that changes their resort every 5 minutes, then there's no reason not to.

As for booking a private home, most travel agents will not. As PPs have said, they are paid by commission so private listings/rentals and some time shares will not pay commission. The only exception to this would be is if they are renting it out through a company but even then, a TA might not want to mess with it. TAs rely on commission, kickbacks, promos, and friends they have with different vendors/brands. If it's something they aren't familiar with, they might not want to get involved.



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I'm thinking AAA is not considered a "TA" by reading the previous posts.
AAA is just a much of a travel agent as any other... IATA certified, paid commission, etc.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #42
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I have been planning our Disney trips for years and love it so I have always been one that would never use a TA, I like how someone else said they like to own their trip, and have access. I totally agree.

However, now I AM a part of an authorized Disney travel agency and I totally see the benefits of using one. If you truly love all the planning and work and having immediate access, than no its probably not for you. However we do get access to discounts and deals quicker than the general public as well as being able to get through to Disney quicker. We also do all the work of waiting on the phone and spending our time to get those coveted ADRs so that you don't have to. And in some cases there may be agency only room blocks which can save you a great deal certain months of the year.

I do think it all depends on the person. I think the average diser probably wouldn't use one, just because they have a passion for the planning. Most of my clients don't one to be bothered with trying to make multiple reservations and planning things out or they just don't know alot about it and don't care to!
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:46 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamkat1820 View Post
I have always booked our trips by myself. I am a total research person. B4 we book anything I have to have all the information I possibly can on every detail!

This trip In August we are using a travel agent only because of the insane deal they were offering. But I still feel like I am in control. If I felt I was going to need to change where we r staying I would have never booked. But I can see our trip right on disney experience, I booked all our dinning plans myself. And even called disney directly to ask questions so it really only the money that the agency is dealing with .

I have to say they have been awesome, quick respond too

I agree with the above--we probably got the same deal through the same agency They did the hotel reservation for me, but I did my own flights and dining. I don't mind having the agency book the hotel for me, but I really like to handle my dining reservations in case I want to change something. I have not used an agent before, but took a chance due to the really good deal that they were offering. So far, I have been very happy.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:13 PM   #44
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I have a TA that I like and I use them but it's not for their knowledge. I know as much, if not more, about what is available. I do like having them make all of the calls for me as I can't always call during the day or be on hold while I am at work. I make my own ADR's though. I want to make sure I get what I want. To be honest the main reason I go through the TA is the free gift they offer. I'm paying the same if they book or if I do, but if I get free stuff I'm all for that even if it's not much. This year my daughter will receive a free autograph book (the one you can buy at the parks) and a $20 gift card. Another TA that I know that a friend uses is currently offering gift cards in denominations of $50 - $100 depending on the total of the package booked.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:20 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamkat1820 View Post
I have always booked our trips by myself. I am a total research person. B4 we book anything I have to have all the information I possibly can on every detail!

This trip In August we are using a travel agent only because of the insane deal they were offering. But I still feel like I am in control. If I felt I was going to need to change where we r staying I would have never booked. But I can see our trip right on disney experience, I booked all our dinning plans myself. And even called disney directly to ask questions so it really only the money that the agency is dealing with .

I have to say they have been awesome, quick respond too
I think I got the same insane deal as well. We had the TA just book the Resort. I still did our flights & ADRs. In the past, i have always booked everything myself, but his was too good of a deal to pass up. The TA has been very quick with her responses & got us our disney confirmation quickly. I've still been able to link everything in My Disney Experience app. This will be our 1st deluxe stay & we are super excited.
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