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Old 05-07-2012, 09:26 AM   #31
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I'm doing it both ways this time. First time with a TA. I originally made our Wilderness Lodge reservations myself. But then someone I know became a Disney TA so I transferred the WL ressie to her. I've since had her do a split stay at WL and AKL, make ressies for MVMCP, KTTKT, an ADR, and the Sunrise Safari at AK. It's been very convenient. I just email her and she does what I ask.

But I have made the air and car reservations myself. Getting a third pary involved in those parts is asking for trouble regardless of how competent the TA is.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:28 AM   #32
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I always plan our trips myself. However, I havd done extensive research into planning a Disney Vacation. You will find most of the information here on these boards to help you. I see that you want to go this fall, first thing I suggest is to decide if you are staying on or off property, then next decide about the dining plan. If you are wanting to take advantage of dining, then it is important to get your dining reservations set EARLY. They take reservations 180 days in advance, and most places can fill up quickly. This means that you will want to know the park hours for your week, and then decide which parks you plan on for which days..........go from there to select your dining.

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:31 AM   #33
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The operative word here is "good" TA. Make sure you find a good one who specializes in Disney if you're going to go that route. Years ago, I used AAA twice for my trips (two different agents) and they messed it up both times. Even though i used AAA, I did all the planning and just presented it to them. Still, they managed to get it wrong.

I love planning my own trips, but if it was going to be a grand gathering or something more complicated, I would give Dreams Unlimited or Small World a try. Good luck to you!
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:35 AM   #34
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I think the biggest con is if you are new to WDW haven't done a lot of research, you can get wrong info from a TA that doesn't specialize in Disney. So if you do decide to do a TA I would recommend getting one that specializes in WDW. Personally, I like to book everything myself.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #35
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I planned/booked our first trip in 07 with kids and grandparents and it was fine. Ditto in 08.

In 2010 I found a TA with an "agency exclusive" for the time period we were going and saved 50% on a room at the Poly! But I booked my own flights.

This year, I used the same TA .... their prices for the package we chose did indeed match the price you could get at the WDW website ... I booked my own flights again. I also always book our own dining reservations. The benefit to me was they could advise me of any "agency" exlcusive dates for my trip, monitor trip for better offers, etc. No cost to me, so why not?

Again, they are an "authorized" Disney vacation TA, and specialize in Disney. I think that's important if you're going with a TA.

Then again, I joined Disboards in 2003 and spent 4 years prepping for our first trip! :-D
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #36
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I used to use a TA, but don't anymore.

Found out that it's extremely easy to book things myself.

The other things is, once I used a TA to book the hotel, etc. We decided we wanted to switch to a different resort during our trip, and couldn't, because Disney reservations couldn't change our reservation since it was initially booked by a TA.

The other thing is that the TA that I previously used, charged a fee to book the reservations. I think it was $25 or something like that.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:40 AM   #37
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I'll be going for the 3rd time this July, and by myself. I much prefer planning myself so a) I ensure I get the best deal and b)I fully know what's going on. I also have checked out travel agents but they are always more expensive, in my opinion.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:40 AM   #38
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I use a AAA Travel Agent. It's funny, because any other time I'm traveling, I do it all myself, but for Disney, I don't mind working with a TA. Of course, it helps that the one I work with is really great. Also, the only way to get a AAA package discount is through AAA, but I think that even without that, I would still use her. She really knows Disney - which is the most important thing.

I can also still view my reservation online and I was able to make all my own ADR's. So while technically, the TA now "owns" my reservation, I don't feel like I'm inhibited by that. I also book the entire trip on my Disney Visa, so I don't have to worry about "making payments". It's all paid and I just make the payments to my credit card.

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Old 05-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #39
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We also use Dreams Unlimited. Not because I can't do it myself, but trying to keep up on all the discounts, price maneuvers, and booking ADR's and special attractions (like Wishes Desert Party) are a huge time sink (especially if u want to do it on the first day it opens up: i.e. 180 days out for table service).

With a family size of 6, it is easier to work with a TA to get what we want (or Need).

Also: at a fair price of $0, it is affordable.

There are plenty of Disney specific agencies out there.. I go with who and what I know. Now my entire family uses the same agent and so do most of my colleagues.
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