Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by drabison, Feb 24, 2013.
Which company would you use or have used, AAA or Small World Vacations? Any ideas?
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Do you belong to AAA? If you are interested, pm me and I can give you the name of an excellent AAA agent. I got her information from the boards. I have used her for probably about 8 years and she is awesome. I have never met her in person because her office is in SC, but it doesn't matter. She will do everything by email or phone call. I have referred multiple people to her and they have all been satisfied.
I use AAA because I have the AAA visa and I apply my rebates to the trip cost.
I have not used Small World Vacations but I have used AAA. I have never had a problem with AAA and my travel agent always researches all the prices and lets me know of any changes or specials that are coming up. I guess it would be a preference. I have a AAA+ card and figure I plan to use it for all it's worth. I have requested quotes from Small World and Dream Vacations. I always do comparisons. I seem to find a better deal with AAA.
If you are at Disney and find a bounceback, there is usually a good deal with that as well. But you have to already be at Disney for that. The choice is pretty much up to you. Do a lot of research and price quotes.
I'd be cautious of AAA - not the organization but the individual TA you deal with. Its important to deal with a TA that specializes in WDW so they can give you good advice and get you what works for you. Unfortunately some TA's will simply try to sell you the current "package".
I have no experience with Small World Vacations.
I'd suggest a third alternative, Dreams Unlimited. They are the sponsors of the DIS Boards and their agents are very knowledgeable in all things Disney.
I use AAA for our Disney vacations. I have found an excellent TA. She is very knowledgeable about Disney and goes out of her way to make sure she is getting us a good deal. She has taught me alot about Disney too.
She continually checks for deals from the time i book, up until i make my last pmt. This past trip we made several changes due to different deals being offered. The last change we made took $80 off the price of my trip.
I have learned alot from reading the dis, about bounceback, and will be paying attention when I go in a few weeks.
I used AAA last time and we are using them again this trip. They have given me better prices then all the popular companies. And I like the extras that they provide.
We do belong to AAA . My wife is happy with them but some of these sites seam to get better deals. We do get everything we want and the prices are better than what WDW offers. Hate to mess up a vacation to safe a dollar. We are going in Oct. so we will see and make a choice. Thanks
I'm a member of AAA and have let them bid out a WDW vacation package three or four times (including this year), and in all those instances, they've never been able to beat what I can reserve online myself directly with Disney.
The caveat I'd offer about AAA is that, despite their national organization, individual/regional AAA's operate with a good deal of autonomy. So when you hear that AAA from, say, Ohio is offering deal x, there's no guarantee that your AAA will get the identical deal, unless you specifically know the deal is a national offering. You might get it. You might not.
Additionally, the local AAA reps, while very nice, aren't always equally trained. I lost a lot of faith in them when we were going to buy park tickets through them at a local office for a vacation a few years ago, but none of them - mind you, none - could operate the ticketing system.
Two different staffers tried for literally an hour arguing with the computer, and they finally gave up, saying, "well, our normal Disney person isn't here right now, could you come back tomorrow?" Only thing was the AAA office was on the other side of town from us, had business hours that ended about 4pm, and I had taken a day off specifically to finish vacation details and didn't have the option of "coming back tomorrow" just because it was more convenient for them. I was taking advantage of AAA's promise that I could "come in and buy your tickets anytime." Not so much. And this wasn't some small, hole in the wall office - it was a large, main office serving the whole city.
We ended up going to a Disney store on the far north side of town and bought tickets from them - it was amazing: we were in and out in about ten minutes. We lost the half-percent (or whatever) discount AAA offered, but the aggravation factor more than made up for it.
This year, I thought AAA was going to get us a great deal - what amounted to an additional day at the same package price I'd booked directly, until a subsequent email exchange led her to tell me "oh, sorry, I punched in the dates wrong, its really $xx," which was exactly what I'd already booked. No savings. I was just thankful I hadn't cancelled the other reservation.
While I realize those were probably exceptional cases, and I'm certainly not saying never to use AAA, I am advising caution. These days, I keep an AAA card solely for hotel discounts en route, or emergency road service (heaven forbid I need it). I've kinda given up on their Disney offering.
We went through Small World Vacations in 2010 and dealt with Karen Nunn. She was absolutely fabulous! She made our ADR's and informed us when the free dining promotion came out. We plan on using them again on our next vacation. She answered hundreds of my questions and was there to help with every step of the process. Would recommend them to anyone!
I received a price fro SWV and it was the exact price I received from WDW. I really do like to look a person in the eye when I hand over money to them plus how the handle my question. Been to WDW over 20 times and I almost maybe understand what our family wants to do . So we still be checking thing out,time will tell.
I used Kim with Kingdom Magic Vacations! Best experience EVER! I started with her on a pop up on wdwmagic I think it was but either way, you can google them or even find them on Facebook!
I initially went to our local AAA office & was so disappointed that the TA couldn't muster up an ounce of excitement for us planning this first ever trip with the kids! I also found that going through Kingdom Magic ended up being cheaper than going through AAA! I started by making my deposit & a little bit here & there. I got an email in early January that she had found me a discount. Umm..yeah...a discount of over $500!! I chose to correspond via email as I wanted to feel in full control and feel no pressure. This woman has answered patiently over 60 email questions, changes to existing reservations (at least twice) & just today, per my request added another day in the park for me! The whole time she has been nothing but excited right along with me! I refer her to anyone who tells me they are interested in planning a trip. She answers my emails whether they are in her scheduled work hours or not. Just an amazing experience as it should be! Good luck making your decision!
Prior to becoming DVC members I used a travel agent for almost all of our trips. For me it was Dreams Unlimited, but I have heard good things about a number of the travel companies out there. My only advice is to use a travel agent that knows Disney (not just one that has read a guide book or two). Disney travel can be complex when it comes to getting the best deal and an agent that does not focus on Disney travel is far less likely to know all the in's and out's to getting you the best deal.
We used Leslie at Small World Vacations for our last trip. She was great until we booked. It took a while for her to get back to us when we emailed her PIN codes. It didn't seem to us that she was monitoring our deal. And, we never received our Mickey Mail. She swore she mailed it weeks before our trip, but we never received it. I didn't feel she offered us anymore insight than what I'd already learned from these boards. We booked direct with Disney for our upcoming trip.
Could someone PM the name/email/number of a good AAA agent?
I am using a TA for the first time ever for a WDW vacation...and we have gone several times in the past 8 years. I priced out Disney directly and Small World which actually came in HIGHER than Disney! I went with AAA and got a 15% room discount for early Oct 2013 at BC and since I was one of their first bookings of the year for their Jan promo, I got an additional $50 off per room (we have 2 rooms) PLUS 4 Cirque du Soleil tix, 4 tix to each water park and Mini golf and a photo album and tote! It was awesome! They will apply additonal discounts (instead of the 15% not in addition to) if they are better...
I was thrilled. I guess I will have to see how well she monitors for discounts...but I am planning to be right on top of it!
I am currently using SWV and am wishing I just booked the trip myself. I could have gotten the exact same deal using the Disney website, and the agent only emails me if I have a specific question I have asked her - she has never offered anything "above and beyond" for me to want to use their service again. When she booked my trip the first time she got the dates wrong, it's a good thing I noticed it. Also, her emails seem very rushed; one time I emailed her and asked 2-3 questions and she replied with an answer to only one. Next time I will NOT use them.
I used SMV, Kathy Atchue, and she was about $371 cheaper than when I priced it myself on Disney.com. Her quote also came in about $200 lower than AAA. I'm going May 7-13th if that makes any difference. I'm very happy with her. She's super quick to respond, I couldn't find a better deal on my own (and I am a bargain hunter), and I'm very happy with them.
I have used AAA several times and am trying SWV this time. My AAA TA retired just before I left on my trip last year. She was good always got me the adrs I wanted, would look for good airfare,etc. The TA she turned me over to was NOT a Disney person. I ended up giving HER information. When I picked up my Mickey Mail she said that there was something in there about something called photopass! I had to explain what it was and that I had already purchased it with a discount. I do like the extras that AAA has like the story time, preferred fireworks viewing and 10% off shopping discount. So far SWV has been good. I haven't seen any extras, but we are still a ways from getting our Mickey Mail! She has answered my questions and made my changes. I did end up making my own adrs and plane reservations.
I got a AAA quote, a quote myself on the website, and then a TA quote - and the TA saved me a LOT of money vs the other 2 quotes.
Don't know about AAA. Had recieved lots of quotes from ta's (including swv) and was not very impressed with them. Magical vacations will be able to give you deals no one else can. But who I really recommend is Nathan at pixie vacations. We have never been to Disney and are waffling about going this year. He has given me a lot of time and answered my many questions and e mails.
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