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Old 05-06-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
mimichan
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Booking with AAA or WDW?

We are planning a trip to WDW later this year and wondering if it's better to book our rooms with AAA or directly with WDW Travel? I know that if I book with AAA I only need to put down a $200 deposit with the balance to be paid later. Does anyone know if booking with WDW has the same perk or would I have to pay for the entire thing up front? We are planning to stay on WDW property. Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Booking with WDW:

With a room only reservation you pay a deposit equal to 1 night and the rest is due when you check in.

With a package, you pay a $200 deposit when booking and the rest is due 45 days prior to your arrival.

We prefer to book directly with WDW because we like to have control over our reservation. If booking through a travel agent/agency, they own the reservation and everything has to go through them. That's just our personal preference.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
mimichan
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Thanks so much for the speedy reply! Does anyone know if booking through AAA is worth whatever perks they have? The packages cost the same whether booking through them or WDW but I know there are a few perks that AAA offers. I'm just not sure which way to go?
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mimichan View Post
Thanks so much for the speedy reply! Does anyone know if booking through AAA is worth whatever perks they have? The packages cost the same whether booking through them or WDW but I know there are a few perks that AAA offers. I'm just not sure which way to go?
You're welcome. I don't have any experience booking with AAA so I can't help you there. Hopefully someone who has will be along to help.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #5
Sue M
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I would book either directly with WDW, or with a Disney Specialized TA. It is Disney who sets payment policy, whether you book with them, AAA or any TA. For packages it's $200 deposit, and payment in full 45 days before arrival.

Disney does release discounts, and Disney Specialized TA agencies know the minute they are released, and are on the phone getting you the best price.
I book myself or sometimes go with a Specialized TA. I find it very easy to work with them, I like to make monthly payments, whether its a room only or package. All I have to do is send off an email to the TA and it's done.
I always book my own flights, and ADRs, regardless of how I book.

AAA is a general Travel Agency, and isn't actively watching Disney to know when discounts are released. You would have to do your own work, then phone them to ask for them to apply discount. IMO this takes away the perk of going thru a TA if you have to do the work anyway.
There are some exceptions, and some AAA TAs are very good with Disney, but they seem to be the minority.

If you are new to WDW and booking, I highly recommend using a Disney Specialized agent. They have a lot if knowledge, and will do the Disney Math to figure out the best price & promo for you, can advise you on the resorts, dining, park plans, etc.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #6
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I booked via AAA. We got Diamond parking, some freebies (mini golf, etc) and a $50 Disney gift card and canvas bag.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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It's definitely worth looking into booking your package with AAA if you are a member. You get a slight discount with AAA rates on both tickets and room, and it comes with added benefits such as the diamond parking, a discount card, StoryTime experience, preferred viewing area for Wishes, etc. If you know what you want to book and aren't the type who will call to change something every week, then might as well get the AAA benefits!
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansdad View Post
Booking with WDW:

With a room only reservation you pay a deposit equal to 1 night and the rest is due when you check in.

With a package, you pay a $200 deposit when booking and the rest is due 45 days prior to your arrival.

We prefer to book directly with WDW because we like to have control over our reservation. If booking through a travel agent/agency, they own the reservation and everything has to go through them. That's just our personal preference.
I STRONGLY agree it can be a real pain in the a_ _ when you want to make changes and your AAA agent is on vacation!
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
lanejudy
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See what AAA offers with their packages - sometimes it isn't even anything you'd end up needing or even using.

It is possible to get AAA discount for a room-only reservation without booking through AAA. However, to get a AAA package you need to book through them.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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AAA or on your own

We booked our last trip thru WDW site, but the previous thru AAA. Here's what I think...if you have a good AAA agent and there aren't any other deals out there, AAA gets you some discount, albeit small, plus the parking pass. Our agent is a Disneyoholic like I am. I did my own ADR's online -- all you need is your Reservation number. When a deal came up, she changed it for me. So, it is DEFINITELY agent dependent. When I did it myself, it was pretty easy and I did a package and did it all online, with the exception of booking an ADR and Cinderella's Royal Table extra special deal. If your agent is Disney-familiar...go with it. If not, you can still use your AAA discount on any nondiscounted Disney pkg.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue M View Post

AAA is a general Travel Agency, and isn't actively watching Disney to know when discounts are released. You would have to do your own work, then phone them to ask for them to apply discount. IMO this takes away the perk of going thru a TA if you have to do the work anyway.
There are some exceptions, and some AAA TAs are very good with Disney, but they seem to be the minority.
This isn't always accurate. AAA does have agents who specialize in Disney vacations. I always use AAA for my Disney trips with the same agent I've used for over 10 years now. She's amazing! She knows everything that the Disney booking agents know (from some of the stories I've read on here, maybe more!) and she contacts me with new discounts...I don't have to lift a finger. It's all luck of the draw, and if you're lucky enough to get somebody who knows what they're doing.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:43 PM   #12
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I booked this week with AAA because I wanted to get some perks out of our membership.

Here's what I got so far: an agent who told me part of the AAA exclusive perks are luggage tags, DME, arcade card, Mini Golf Voucher, etc (all stuff that comes with your Magic Your Way Disney package)

Then I notice the fine print on the ad stating that in order to recieve the other "perks" ie Story time, and preferred Fireworks viewing, you must PURCHASE a package with dining. technically I purchased a package but recieved FREE DINING, so she still hasn't gotten back to me on whether or not I will recieve that particular perk. I want to know, because I have heard you have to reserve your spot for the fireworks or storytimes, which fills up quickly. I would rather have control over my own reservation, so if I am not getting those two "perks" I will be cancelling and booking myself as I have always done.

I booked my ADR's myself 3 weeks ago, before I evn had a package, because I fell over a GREAT airfare, and decided to book my trip from there.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:58 PM   #13
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I have AAA & have purchased my AP's with them, but I prefer to book my own vacations as we only book the room. I do my own ADR's based on what parks we're doing what day. I'm a control freak when it comes to my vacations & don't want to have to work through a TA, especially since I'm a Florida resident and have been going to the parks since the first month WDW opened. JMHO.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue M View Post
I would book either directly with WDW, or with a Disney Specialized TA. It is Disney who sets payment policy, whether you book with them, AAA or any TA. For packages it's $200 deposit, and payment in full 45 days before arrival.

Disney does release discounts, and Disney Specialized TA agencies know the minute they are released, and are on the phone getting you the best price.
I book myself or sometimes go with a Specialized TA. I find it very easy to work with them, I like to make monthly payments, whether its a room only or package. All I have to do is send off an email to the TA and it's done.
I always book my own flights, and ADRs, regardless of how I book.

AAA is a general Travel Agency, and isn't actively watching Disney to know when discounts are released. You would have to do your own work, then phone them to ask for them to apply discount. IMO this takes away the perk of going thru a TA if you have to do the work anyway.
There are some exceptions, and some AAA TAs are very good with Disney, but they seem to be the minority.

If you are new to WDW and booking, I highly recommend using a Disney Specialized agent. They have a lot if knowledge, and will do the Disney Math to figure out the best price & promo for you, can advise you on the resorts, dining, park plans, etc.
That's not necessarily true about not actively watching for discount codes. I know for myself personally ALL I do is book Disney travel and I happen to work for AAA. So I devote my time making sure my clients get the discounts the minute they are available. I also leave it up to the client if they want to make ADR's they are more than welcome. If not, I am more than happy to be the one making the reservations for them. Yes we may "own" the reservation, but a good agent will allow you the freedom to book your ADR's and should be available to make any other changes you need (resort/date changes, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bankgirl05 View Post
I booked this week with AAA because I wanted to get some perks out of our membership.

Here's what I got so far: an agent who told me part of the AAA exclusive perks are luggage tags, DME, arcade card, Mini Golf Voucher, etc (all stuff that comes with your Magic Your Way Disney package)

Then I notice the fine print on the ad stating that in order to recieve the other "perks" ie Story time, and preferred Fireworks viewing, you must PURCHASE a package with dining. technically I purchased a package but recieved FREE DINING, so she still hasn't gotten back to me on whether or not I will recieve that particular perk. I want to know, because I have heard you have to reserve your spot for the fireworks or storytimes, which fills up quickly. I would rather have control over my own reservation, so if I am not getting those two "perks" I will be cancelling and booking myself as I have always done.

I booked my ADR's myself 3 weeks ago, before I evn had a package, because I fell over a GREAT airfare, and decided to book my trip from there.
I see no reason why you wouldn't get those perks. I've booked clients with FD this week and they have all gotten fireworks viewing and the storytime...
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellyShellfish View Post
That's not necessarily true about not actively watching for discount codes. I know for myself personally ALL I do is book Disney travel and I happen to work for AAA. So I devote my time making sure my clients get the discounts the minute they are available. I also leave it up to the client if they want to make ADR's they are more than welcome. If not, I am more than happy to be the one making the reservations for them. Yes we may "own" the reservation, but a good agent will allow you the freedom to book your ADR's and should be available to make any other changes you need (resort/date changes, etc).

I see no reason why you wouldn't get those perks. I've booked clients with FD this week and they have all gotten fireworks viewing and the storytime...
Well my agent doesn't know what she is doing then. Could you PM me and give me suggestions on how to handle this? I really don't want to cancel and take a commission away from someone (especially in this economy) but I want to make sure my hassle is worth it.
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