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Old 04-07-2013, 08:46 PM   #46
jw50
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It is also important to understand that a TA is just a travel agent, i.e., they are booking reservations, packages, tickets (using your credit card) as your agent. Even a Disney Authorized Vacation Planner (a TA that has completed some online training) is just a TA that may be more familiar with what Disney offers at WDW, DLR, DCL, etc. It does not mean they are an expert on the attractions, rides, etc. at WDW or DLR. Most TA will not book airline flights because the airlines no longer pay commissons. A TA can book your ADRs for you but they get no commission on that work, so they are only doing it to provide you with an additional service, most would be more than happy for you to do the ADRs yourself. The Disney TAs do have a dedicated phone number they can use to book rooms and packages but for ADRs they have to call the same number you would call or book them online just like you.

There are some highly knowledgeable people that in addition to being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner will provide you with detailed itinerary planning services to assist you in making the most out of your vacation. They can take care of just about everything for you (except usually airline reservations) and can provide you with detailed touring plans. Of course they provide this service for an additional fee.

You also need to understand that once your reservations have been made there is actually a disincentive for a TA to save you money since that would result in a smaller commission for them. Many will do whatever they can to save you money since they hope that doing so will result in repeat business or referrals.

So yes there are advantages and disadvantages to using a TA or itinerary planner and it is really up to you if the services they provide are appropriate for you.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:53 PM   #47
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A local travel agency hosted a Disney Cruise Line event and we decided to attend. Having cruised DCL before, we were appalled at how much incorrect information they provided prospective clients. We knew much more than they did.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:00 PM   #48
Sue M
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Originally Posted by World Showcaser View Post
This is very timely discussion for me. I have a vacation booked with WDW already, that I booked myself. But I got curious the other day if a travel agent could find me a better deal. So, I filled out the form to get a quote from a popular travel agent that specializes in Disney Vacation. It was recommended on a popular Disney information site.

The first problem I encountered was how slow this process is. It took 24 hours just for someone to get back to me and say that they'd be working with me. It took another day or two to get the quote.

When the quote came back, it wasn't nearly as good of a deal as I had found for myself. I was sure they would at least match what I was paying.

I asked her if she had heard any rumours of upcoming deals for the time of our trip. She answered saying she would have no way of knowing this. Ummm...if I know that historically deals are offered at my time of travel, she should know that too. She's the so-called Disney expert, after all.

She also kept trying to change my travel dates even though I told her they weren't really flexible.

On the quote form, she asked for a range I was looking to pay. She wrote me back and told me it was impossible, even though I had a deal that was just that with Disney.

So...no. I wouldn't bother with the travel agent. My little experiment proves their uselessness.
I hope you don't feel they are all like that. I've used 2 different agencies, and both TAs were very knowledgable, and knew usually a day before when promos were being released, and were very helpful.
Sorry you got such poor service.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:06 PM   #49
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I used to book WDW trips myself but decided to try a friend who is Disney TA. Since then I have always booked with her. If a deal comes out, she automatically looks to see if the deal will apply to our current reservation without me having to ask her too. It is so nice getting an email with the new lower price.

If I want to make my own ADRs that is fine, which I do most of the time. I did have her make a CRT ADR for me one time since I was going to be on an airplane for most of the day.

When we get our documents, there is always little extras to help out. She will include park times, hand sanitizer, drawstring bag, zippered bag for the documents, autograph books for the kids, coloring sheets and crayons for the kids etc.

In the end it depends on what you prefer.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:17 PM   #50
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I used a Disney certified TA for our 1st trip. I knew nothing about planning a Disney vaca, and hadn't found DIS boards yet. She did fine.

Trip 2 is a MESS, and resulted in 2 families pulling their reservations from the agent and transferring them back to Disney (a new policy, thank goodness for us!)

I booked with the TA again for our Sept trip, and even recommended her to my cousin who booked through her. She screwed things up for my cousin BIG TIME! This TA has embarrassed me by being terrible! The appeal for my cousin was the TA would book the ADR's. My cousin sent a brief list of her "wants" a day prior to the 180 day mark. This agent took it upon herself to book totally different stuff. (Example- Castle for dinner instead of breakfast, booking Bipitty Boppity instead of Pirate adventure cruise for the kids, told her Raglan Road was a bad choice because "they could see Irish dancers in Michigan" , and skipped it all together (my cousins kids do Irish Dance- thus the reason for wanting Raglan Road), booked Crystal Palace for dinner instead of a pre-park opening breakfast, didn't get BoG, and more). My cousin received the ADR list via email from the TA, and spent the next 3 hours on the phone with Disney getting everything fixed (it all worked out- even got BoG!). My cousin contacted Disney and asked that the reservation be pulled from the TA, and transferred back to Disney due to the headaches and hassles this TA created. Disney did, indeed, pull the res from the TA. Well....the TA called and cancelled all the ADR's my cousin made. These were reservations that the TA didn't even make! My poor cousin has spent HOURS on the phone with Disney fixing all this woman's mistakes.

As for my reservations: the TA gave me so much bad info- and after seeing her screw up my cousins ADR's- I didn't let her book mine! I was able to transfer my res back to Disney too. This TA tried to book me at a preferred room rate to stay in my requested non-preferred building at CSR. Prior to my changing to CSR, she booked me in a Royal Room and requested a building that does not even have Royal rooms in it! She turns out to NOT be as knowledgeable as she originally claimed. Not only did she add no value- she messed stuff up!

Now, I am fearful that she will mess with my ADR's! She has just enough info about my reservation to access the ADR's and make changes, like she vengefully did to my cousin!

Short story long: keep control of your reservations by booking yourself!
Sorry about the rant...I'm just so upset about this! My story shows that even a recommended TA who once did a good job can still screw stuff up!
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snorkelyn View Post
I used a Disney certified TA for our 1st trip. I knew nothing about planning a Disney vaca, and hadn't found DIS boards yet. She did fine.

Trip 2 is a MESS, and resulted in 2 families pulling their reservations from the agent and transferring them back to Disney (a new policy, thank goodness for us!)

I booked with the TA again for our Sept trip, and even recommended her to my cousin who booked through her. She screwed things up for my cousin BIG TIME! This TA has embarrassed me by being terrible! The appeal for my cousin was the TA would book the ADR's. My cousin sent a brief list of her "wants" a day prior to the 180 day mark. This agent took it upon herself to book totally different stuff. (Example- Castle for dinner instead of breakfast, booking Bipitty Boppity instead of Pirate adventure cruise for the kids, told her Raglan Road was a bad choice because "they could see Irish dancers in Michigan" , and skipped it all together (my cousins kids do Irish Dance- thus the reason for wanting Raglan Road), booked Crystal Palace for dinner instead of a pre-park opening breakfast, didn't get BoG, and more). My cousin received the ADR list via email from the TA, and spent the next 3 hours on the phone with Disney getting everything fixed (it all worked out- even got BoG!). My cousin contacted Disney and asked that the reservation be pulled from the TA, and transferred back to Disney due to the headaches and hassles this TA created. Disney did, indeed, pull the res from the TA. Well....the TA called and cancelled all the ADR's my cousin made. These were reservations that the TA didn't even make! My poor cousin has spent HOURS on the phone with Disney fixing all this woman's mistakes.

As for my reservations: the TA gave me so much bad info- and after seeing her screw up my cousins ADR's- I didn't let her book mine! I was able to transfer my res back to Disney too. This TA tried to book me at a preferred room rate to stay in my requested non-preferred building at CSR. Prior to my changing to CSR, she booked me in a Royal Room and requested a building that does not even have Royal rooms in it! She turns out to NOT be as knowledgeable as she originally claimed. Not only did she add no value- she messed stuff up!

Now, I am fearful that she will mess with my ADR's! She has just enough info about my reservation to access the ADR's and make changes, like she vengefully did to my cousin!

Short story long: keep control of your reservations by booking yourself!
Sorry about the rant...I'm just so upset about this! My story shows that even a recommended TA who once did a good job can still screw stuff up!
If this TA just works for a company and is not the owner, then you need to file a complaint with the owner.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor3297 View Post
If this TA just works for a company and is not the owner, then you need to file a complaint with the owner.
Nope, she's the owner.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:58 PM   #53
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I used a TA for the first time for my upcoming Aug/Sept trip. I am using her just for the rate I got at YC. I just couldn't pass it up, no way could I get that rate by any other means. I did everything else myself.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:25 AM   #54
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If you do book with a TA then use one that specializes in Disney. I have never had any issues with TA's that specialize in Disney. And I have never been charged any fees so I don't know why some people are talking about fees. A Disney specialist can get you the lowest costs at the time of booking. Same cost as I can book myself. But I prefer to give my local TA small business the booking. Of course I know the TA so I want to help their business. As for dining reservations you can still do those yourself if you prefer. If you want as few people as possible involved with your booking then do it yourself.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:36 AM   #55
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Wow, Sue M, you judge all TA's by your experience with one bad TA? I use a friend TA who is a true Disney expert and they know their stuff. My TA is very useful and I have seen some thank you notes from some of her clients. I am sorry to hear you didn't find the right Disney expert. It is similar to finding the right attorney or CPA, for example. Bottom line it comes down to what works best for you. Most people who respond to these TA questions seem to talk up how they like to book themselves. And some like to diss TA's. My friend tells me that these are not the people they want as clients anyway so it is best that we each find our comfort zone.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:39 PM   #56
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Wow! Thank you one and all for your responses and sharing your experiences. I think for us, DIY is the way to go. Planning this thing on my own is stressful due to the plethora of information and research involved, but it doesn't sound like using a TA will alleviate any stress, which was the appeal.

I'm sorry to those of you who used a TA and had such terrible experiences. Maybe a group of us DISers should start our own TA company. Haha!
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:16 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickeylivesinseattle View Post
Wow, Sue M, you judge all TA's by your experience with one bad TA? I use a friend TA who is a true Disney expert and they know their stuff. My TA is very useful and I have seen some thank you notes from some of her clients. I am sorry to hear you didn't find the right Disney expert. It is similar to finding the right attorney or CPA, for example. Bottom line it comes down to what works best for you. Most people who respond to these TA questions seem to talk up how they like to book themselves. And some like to diss TA's. My friend tells me that these are not the people they want as clients anyway so it is best that we each find our comfort zone.
um, I think you have me confused with someone else's comment. I posted that I had good experiences with 2 TAs.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:40 AM   #58
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:52 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vek239 View Post
A local travel agency hosted a Disney Cruise Line event and we decided to attend. Having cruised DCL before, we were appalled at how much incorrect information they provided prospective clients. We knew much more than they did.
I used a TA once who was adamant that only resort guests could get and use FPs as they are 'linked' to your room key!!!!

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Old 04-09-2013, 12:57 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snorkelyn View Post
I used a Disney certified TA for our 1st trip. I knew nothing about planning a Disney vaca, and hadn't found DIS boards yet. She did fine.

Trip 2 is a MESS, and resulted in 2 families pulling their reservations from the agent and transferring them back to Disney (a new policy, thank goodness for us!)

I booked with the TA again for our Sept trip, and even recommended her to my cousin who booked through her. She screwed things up for my cousin BIG TIME! This TA has embarrassed me by being terrible! The appeal for my cousin was the TA would book the ADR's. My cousin sent a brief list of her "wants" a day prior to the 180 day mark. This agent took it upon herself to book totally different stuff. (Example- Castle for dinner instead of breakfast, booking Bipitty Boppity instead of Pirate adventure cruise for the kids, told her Raglan Road was a bad choice because "they could see Irish dancers in Michigan" , and skipped it all together (my cousins kids do Irish Dance- thus the reason for wanting Raglan Road), booked Crystal Palace for dinner instead of a pre-park opening breakfast, didn't get BoG, and more). My cousin received the ADR list via email from the TA, and spent the next 3 hours on the phone with Disney getting everything fixed (it all worked out- even got BoG!). My cousin contacted Disney and asked that the reservation be pulled from the TA, and transferred back to Disney due to the headaches and hassles this TA created. Disney did, indeed, pull the res from the TA. Well....the TA called and cancelled all the ADR's my cousin made. These were reservations that the TA didn't even make! My poor cousin has spent HOURS on the phone with Disney fixing all this woman's mistakes.

As for my reservations: the TA gave me so much bad info- and after seeing her screw up my cousins ADR's- I didn't let her book mine! I was able to transfer my res back to Disney too. This TA tried to book me at a preferred room rate to stay in my requested non-preferred building at CSR. Prior to my changing to CSR, she booked me in a Royal Room and requested a building that does not even have Royal rooms in it! She turns out to NOT be as knowledgeable as she originally claimed. Not only did she add no value- she messed stuff up!

Now, I am fearful that she will mess with my ADR's! She has just enough info about my reservation to access the ADR's and make changes, like she vengefully did to my cousin!

Short story long: keep control of your reservations by booking yourself!
Sorry about the rant...I'm just so upset about this! My story shows that even a recommended TA who once did a good job can still screw stuff up!
I'm sorry that this happened to you and your family. Our TA (who we will never ever use again) sounds like yours

Out TA has only booked our cruise thankfully. If I was to call Disney direct could I transfer it back to Disney? It's paid in full. Could I transfer it to another, better, agent?

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