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Old 03-06-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
Spyells
Why does a Walt Disney World vacation feel like an impossible dream?
 
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Hello, how is everyone?

I'm planning to take my family to Disney World for the first time in December 2014. My little brothers will be turning 15 that year and I want their birthday to be very special. I've been doing a lot of research on how to plan a successful Disney World vacation for years, but I've never had the money to see my biggest dreams come true. In two years, I just may have saved up enough and I want this vacation to be the best it can be. My family already knows we want to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and we even know which park we want to visit first. Some people say it's easier to have a travel agent plan the trip because they find the best deals. Plus, I want to do something special for my brothers birthday; however, I'm not sure how to plan special things or occasions at the parks so I need all the help I can get.

Can you guys give me suggestions on which Disney travel agencies and which Disney travel agents are the best? And which ones I should avoid? If you guys have horror stories I would love to hear them. This is a learning experience for me and I want to know what to be aware of. Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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Hi, Welcome to the DISboards!

This is a forum for Adventures by Disney, not Disney World, so I'm going to move your post to the Disney World Parks planning forum, where you're more likely to get the answers you're looking for.

Good luck on planning your wonderful trip!

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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I am sorry that I don't have a travel agent to recommend to you, but I wanted to say.... be sure to keep doing your own research, even if you use an agent. (You're well on your way to doing just that by being on the Dis!)

There are so many options and ideas for making your trip special. Travel agents might not be able to give you all of the information that might apply to your family's likes and dislikes. You can always book with them, then call and meet with them throughout the "waiting period" between then and your trip to make adjustments.

Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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We used Lisa R. from Pixie and Pirate Destinations for our wedding/honeymoon/Christmas trip this past December and we couldn't have been happier!!!

Lisa is not your typical travel agent-she specializes in Disney vacations. Lisa did everything from booking our trip, to answering all of our questions, to giving us great tips, to scouting out the best deals and saving us a few hundred dollars, she even helped us book our dining and entertainment reservations!! It ended up to be a perfect trip-completely stress free to plan and it was by far our best trip ever

I highly recommend Lisa R!! I couldn't have asked for a more helpful and sweeter vacation planner to work with. You can check her out here:

http://www.*******************************/lisa-r.html
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
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I've used Ears to You a couple of times. It's a small agency, and all the ladies are very good there. I've used Maureen. She's very good, and if for some reason she is away for even a weekend, she sent an e mail to me advising me she will be away, and the name of the co-worker who has my file while she is away. They always make sure you have access to them.

I've heard horror stories of some who have used a non- Disney agency, and the TA was away, when Disney put out a discount.

Whatever agency you go with, be sure they specialize in Disney Travel. They will have a sign on their web site that says Disney Authorized Vacation Planner.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:19 PM   #6
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Why does a Walt Disney World vacation feel like an impossible dream?
 
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Sayhello: I'm sorry about that. I wasn't sure where to post my question. Thank you for moving it for me.

Orangejax: Thanks for the advice. I'll make sure I keep doing my own research. And who knows, maybe I'll discover something my future travel agent wont.

Minniebride: Thank you for the recommendation. I love being able to view all of my options. I especially appreciate knowing which travel agent to ask for. I've heard some stories where people have gone to a good agency, only to get a travel agent who probably didn't even know where Orlando was. Lol!

Sue M: Now that's what scares me. I see there are so many different travel agents out there. I'll make sure that the agencies I look at are official Disney Authorized Vacation Planners. And thank you so much for telling me about that travel agency. There are so many out there that the small ones get lost in the crowd when I do internet searches.


By the way, I tried to quote you guys but the forum said my post count isn't high enough to include images.

Last edited by Spyells; 03-06-2012 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:10 AM   #7
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:16 AM   #8
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A travel agent that is all Disney like Dana above, can be very invaluable for planning a trip until you get the hang of it.

I can tell you from my experience, I chose a local travel agent and used Mary for my first three trips until I realized I could book directly from Disney. Mary was a very, very good travel agent, who knew about Disney, but was more of a cruise agent. But I was doing the land/sea package for the first three years, so I was happy with her choices for me.

The second trip, Mary was on a cruise with her husband about six weeks before I left and Disney called to let them know that my choice of resort would be closed for refurbishment (POR). At that time, you had to book them together, and in order to afford the trip, I had to book an inside cabin and a moderate level resort.

Another agent in the travel agency took the call and jumped into action. She proclaimed she was an expert on Disney, had been several times and stayed at the Dolphin. She was going to get me an "upgrade" and assured me she had booked me a room with a view of the fireworks on one of the upper levels. I was pretty stoked.

Being a novice at this, I was heartbroken when I got there and found out there were no mention of that upgrade; I was on the fourth floor facing the loading dock. Also, I was paying OOP for food and assumed I could only eat either at the parks or at the resort. I had no idea there were so many places to choose from at other resorts.

Well, I was awakened every morning at 6:30/7:00 am by trucks coming in and out of the loading dock. Wine was $9.00 a glass for a 3 oz. pour. The place was full of business persons and it felt very stuffy. There wasn't that Disney feeling I had gotten the first year at CBR.

The only saving grace was the Buffeteria which was about the only place I could afford to eat; thank goodness the rest of the meals were covered under my cruise portion.

Luckily, the next year, POR was open, and I stayed there and fell in love with it and have stayed there ever since, using myself as my travel agent.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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It's actually really easy to book it all yourself. Travel agent isn't going to get you any better deals then the ones on disney's website!
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #11
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I used Denise from Magical Travel, twice and will use her again next year.

She was WONDERFUL. Although I could have done the same thing she did, she did all the leg work for me! I would ask about the best scenario/cheapest way...including different lengths of stay/dining plans/resorts.
She also would keep me up to date on new deals.

I highly recommend her.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #12
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I have used dreams unlimited from this site many times and they are really easy to work with they have always gotten the best deal for us I have recommended them to everyone I know!
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyells View Post
Hello, how is everyone?

I'm planning to take my family to Disney World for the first time in December 2014. My little brothers will be turning 15 that year and I want their birthday to be very special. I've been doing a lot of research on how to plan a successful Disney World vacation for years, but I've never had the money to see my biggest dreams come true. In two years, I just may have saved up enough and I want this vacation to be the best it can be. My family already knows we want to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and we even know which park we want to visit first. Some people say it's easier to have a travel agent plan the trip because they find the best deals. Plus, I want to do something special for my brothers birthday; however, I'm not sure how to plan special things or occasions at the parks so I need all the help I can get.

Can you guys give me suggestions on which Disney travel agencies and which Disney travel agents are the best? And which ones I should avoid? If you guys have horror stories I would love to hear them. This is a learning experience for me and I want to know what to be aware of. Thanks!
I have used Dreams Unlimited in the past....love Shirley. Also used Magical Mouse...there are some good TAs out there that specialize in Disney stays. BUT...having said that, you need to understand that a TA isn't going to be able to really get you any 'good deals'...those deals are open to everyone. Keep checking on the discounts section of this board..you'll get the hang of it. Planning your trip is the absolute most fun...well, right behind going on the trip!!!

Last edited by goofy4tink; 03-08-2012 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #14
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It's really easy to book yourself, but if you need help I used Small World Vacations once. She basically just took care of everything that I didn't have time to deal with. Once you get the hang of it though its fun to book yourself
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #15
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Aaa

I have been checking prices for the last couple of weeks. I called Disney and Disney Unlimited but yesterday I went to American Automobile Association (AAA). My local office has travel agents. I like seeing the person and felt she was neutral since she did not work at Disney. Out of the three companies she was also able to get me the lowest price also you get a few extra if you book with them. Better viewing of the fireworks show and a couple of other things. Good luck, this process has been stressful to me too because I want it to be perfect.
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