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Old 02-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #16
sunshine1974
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Originally Posted by CaliDisneyMama View Post
Sure I found it on Mousesavers.
Thank you!
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:10 AM   #17
CaliDisneyMama
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Just an update: I did book the room yesterday, but it was significantly cheaper going with the Orbitz code than with Disney directly. The CM I spoke with was awesome, and played along perfectly when I told her that I had little ears in the room and needed to speak in code, which was fun, but the best she could do (and I asked for best available rate and then if there were any promos) was rack rate. So I booked through Orbitz and saved $55.

I'm SO excited to have it done, and I can't wait for our first Disneyland Hotel experience, even if it's just for one night at the end of our trip
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:48 PM   #18
papamouse1
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Wow!! I don't know how I missed this response. I normally might not even respond, but I wanted to make sure I cleared up any confusion my choice of words might have created

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Originally Posted by Iceman93 View Post
With all due respect, papamouse, you're a bit biased in offering that advice. In this day and age I can't imagine using a travel agent, particularly for something as simple as a one-night hotel stay. And your statement about what each is focused on is flawed--Disney call center agents don't get any commission, and I've found them cheerful as all get-out to find me great rates.
Here was my original comment...

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Originally Posted by papamouse1 View Post
Honestly, the best way to avoid this whole scenario is to work with a Disney Vacation Specialist at one of many reputable agencies you hear about on the disney boards.... like Dreams Unlimited right here on the boards. I am with FTJ, and they are just like all the others... the difference between an an Earmarked DVS and just calling direct is the call line folks are simply interested in getting people booked and move on... DVS agents are more focused on spending time with the client from the booking right up until the trip...
I apologize if I made it sound like Disney CM's don't do a good job or work to help you. Truth is, I think the Disney CM's are very helpful and try very hard to do what they can when I have to use them. The main point I was trying to make is that with a Disney CM, as soon as they find something for you that works & you want, they book you and move on. The difference is with "earmarked" specialists (at least the ones I know... can't speak for all of them) like DU, etc. they will continue to monitor your reservation right up until you take the trip. If a new discount comes up or if they find something they missed, they will update your reservation and save you money or whatever they can do to make trip better. The CM's simply can't do this for you. The DU agent I used in the past save me $$ on more than one occasion.

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Originally Posted by Iceman93 View Post
A travel agent DOES work on commission, so the more expensive a room they book, the more cash they pocket.
This is absolutely true... we do make commission. It is very important that people understand the client does NOT pay any commission to the agent, the company does... but logically it makes sense, if I book you for a nicer room/resort I could possibly make more money. Just so you know, this is EXACTLY what Disney CM's and the online booking engine try to do. In fact, one of the MOST infuriating things I have dealt with in booking trips as an agent is that the Disney site never gives you the cheapest price. I was doing a ressie just the other day... young couple taking family to DL for 1st time with extremely limited budget. I clicked on the "Good Neighbor" hotels choice & selected a choice. Every time it would come back showing that hotel booked it would offer me the Grand Californian as an alternative!! Seriously? I am looking for the cheapest hotel and your alternative is the MOST expensive!!
I had to keep asking over & over 1 hotel at a time and finally I found 3 of them that were available. Why didn't the online show me one of those instead of GCH?

But here's the thing, I can't think of a single "earmarked" agent I have met or spoken to who hasn't said the very same thing... we absolutely DEPEND on return customers & satisfied customers who brag to their friends about their "agent". If you try to gouge people, I don't think you will last long... but that is just my opinion. This young couple I mentioned e-mailed me back and said they found a killer price and wanted to know if I could beat it. It was a deal through one of these vacation factory sites that sometimes buys packages in advance, and they were trying to clear their inventory with a killer price. I checked it out, told her it seemed legit and that if she was comfortable with them, she should jump on it quick. Told her that if she had any questions about the trip or dining or trip planning, go ahead and ask me, even if she didn't buy from me... I figure, good care = future customers. She called me back and paid the extra $50 to book with me. Guess what? That is the exact kind of care I experienced and have seen out of the other "earmarked agents" I have dealt with. Hopefully we all understand that to be successful & to actually enjoy dealing with the garbage that comes with this job, we have to enjoy making people happy... and I really do! This is fun!

So if I sounded like I was trying to toot my horn, I apologize... I am just very proud to be a part of this fraternity of agents. I am sure there are some bad apples in the group, but I still say best way to book is through a Disney specialist...


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Originally Posted by Iceman93 View Post
I'm not saying you're like that at all, and I suspect that most Disney-focused travel agents really do enjoy helping their clients get the best deals and have the best time they can. But I think Disney's own agents do that, too, and for a one-night stay at a hotel I just can't see the value to adding another middleman to the equation.
Thank you and I hope I never do become like that... while I definitely can see your point for a one night stay... there really isn't much extra we can do for you.
The only thing I might add is there is (in my opinion) real added value to having a personal agent you can text or call if something comes up or you have a problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by papamouse1 View Post
Honestly, the best way to avoid this whole scenario is to work with a Disney Vacation Specialist at one of many reputable agencies you hear about on the disney boards.... like Dreams Unlimited right here on the boards....Save yourself the hassle of having to try and manipulate them to just do their jobs (they should offer you best discount right off the bat), just with a good DVS agent and get the best rate right off the top.
My original intent was to encourage the PP's who were talking about trying to call back, get a new agent, ask different questions to get a different rate. Truth is they really can't manipulate the system. The rate is the rate is the rate.. Now the rate may change or they may eventually see another way to do it they missed the first time. But you can't really "trick" the system to get a better rate


Hope that clears up my words a little. Like I said, using the Disney CM's will not be a worse experience... they are great, well-trained, and have exactly the same prices as we do...
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CaliDisneyMama View Post
Just an update: I did book the room yesterday, but it was significantly cheaper going with the Orbitz code than with Disney directly. The CM I spoke with was awesome, and played along perfectly when I told her that I had little ears in the room and needed to speak in code, which was fun, but the best she could do (and I asked for best available rate and then if there were any promos) was rack rate. So I booked through Orbitz and saved $55.

I'm SO excited to have it done, and I can't wait for our first Disneyland Hotel experience, even if it's just for one night at the end of our trip
That is awesome! It is true, especially if you are booking late, you can often find some better rates than you can directly with Disney. Part of this is companies like getawaytoday or expedia secure a certain number of rooms directly, then down to the end, they start dropping prices to clear their inventory.. you can't guarantee availability but if you are booking really late and just for a night or 2, definitely pays to at least check expedia, etc. You never know

It always feels good to get a deal

Have you seen the DLH since the remodel? We were just there over Thanksgiving, and it was really nice!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #20
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Thanks for coming back to clarify your position, papamouse. You sound like a wonderful travel agent! I admire anyone who takes as much pride and has as much passion for their jobs as you clearly do.
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