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Book thru travel agent or myself???

Discussion in 'Disney Promotions and Celebrations--Current Promot' started by jorybella, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. jorybella

    jorybella Mouseketeer

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    Hi guys! Love your advice and need some now. We have always booked via a travel agent. But I am wondering what the difference is if I book it myself? Thoughts....
     
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  3. smartblnde

    smartblnde Earning My Ears

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    We have done it both ways, and I, personally, now prefer to make them myself.

    When you want/need to change anything, if you book directly, you can contact WDW reservations during more hours than a travel agent is available. I am SO a member of the instant gratification crowd.

    Also, I would think the travel agent would let us know if any discounts became available. I was wrong, and a 25 or 30 percent code came out while I waited for her to contact me. It did not really matter, but a TA may not keep you as informed as you may prefer.

    Finally, our TA did not tell us that when we changed ANY aspect of our res (made before the tix price increase) we would be charged the increased price. So, we added my daughter and were then charged the increase fee, even though we were adding a person.

    One more.... the TA gets 10% commission. WDW trips reserved through AAA get a 10% discount. So, there is 20% WDW isn't getting. When the discounts came out last week, there was a 5% discount for our room, but could not be combined with any other discounts.

    So, if you are a control freak and like instant gratification, I recommend 'DIY.'

    Hope you have a great time, either way!
     
  4. Jersey Dad

    Jersey Dad Earning My Ears

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    It's pretty easy to book yourself but I prefer to go with a travel agent. Yes, the agent gets a small commission but it also keeps them employed.

    If they are a good agent, I prefer Andy from Mouse Tales Travel, they are on top of the discounts and on the phone the morning a discount is announced.

    My agent was able to get us the discount the day it was announced and before I even heard about. He sent me an email letting me know how much we saved.

    Could you do this all yourself? Sure you could, but I prefer to let someone else handle and let them earn a few bucks that don't come out of my pocket.
     
  5. turnlisa

    turnlisa DIS Veteran

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    Make sure that if you go with a TA you go with one that is an Authorized Disney Planner. The problems described by the previous poster may be because their TA is not earmarked.

    An authorized planner should do all the things that the previous poster expected:
    * Tell you about discounts
    * Warn you if something is going to cost extra
    * There is no charge to you for their services. A good TA shouldn't charge you any extra to use them.

    TAs can be great about helping with other things as well, such as setting up ADRs, warning you about refurbs and helping with itinerary planning.

    Whichever way you go, have a great vacation! Remember that planning can be part of the fun!
     
  6. Hunclemarco

    Hunclemarco DIS Veteran

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    I've booked both personally and through AAA. Going through AAA will give discounts that booking ourselves wouldn't allow. If i have enough time in planning, i book AAA. If it's an unexpected, quick trip, i book myself.

    Also, Disney doesn't allow for more than one discount ever...so, if you're getting "free dining", you won't get a percentage off your room...or you won't get a double percentage discount on a room. Where both we and the travel agent would have to be alert is by checking to see if the percentages change for the better or worse. We'd expect the travel agent to do that, but i'm generally cautious and check up on these things myself as well. :thumbsup2

    ETA: I personally enjoy the planning process... i'll have the TA make the resort reservation, i do the rest! (when not doing DVC)
     
  7. jorybella

    jorybella Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much! I wasn't sure what the difference would be so thanks for letting me know. We do have AAA so I will probably book through their travel agent.
     
  8. weHEARTmickey

    weHEARTmickey Dreamin' of Disney.......

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    I am a travel agent who ONLY books Disney. I do know what you all are talking about with being concerned about a TA not checking your vacation for updated discounts, rates, etc... That happened to me before I became a TA! (It was very frustrating, but my trip wasn't booked with a Disney-exclusive TA) :headache:

    I'm not trying to "get your business" but I am here to tell you what a travel agent does... I book trips and ANY time a new discount comes out, I plug in my client's vacations to see which choice saves them more money. I saved someone almost $1,000 a while back, and I was happy to help them. If you are concerned with a TA saying "Oh, I don't want their trip total to go down because it will decrease my commissions," let me ASSURE you that the small amount of commission I would lose over getting my clients a greater deal is TINY compared to the gratefulness they have for my services. This is how we, as travel agents, get referrals & return customers! :thumbsup2

    I offer concierge services to all my clients (as do many Disney-exclusive TAs.) For example, I got up at 5:30am & was on the phone with Disney for 3.5 hours, and made 400+ phone calls to get some of my clients ADRs at "Be Our Guest." And I was HAPPY to do it! :woohoo: I "get my kicks" making my clients happy, and I'm sure most Disney TAs would say the same!

    I give a day-by-day itinerary to each client, along with a bonus for booking with me. Again, this is something most of us offer. But, I can tell you it's not a service you'll find with all TAs, especially those who book regular/non-Disney trips. My clients know they can call me 24 hours a day to ask 1 or 1000 questions. (The Disney phone line is definitely not open 24 hours a day!) ;)

    Remember, booking with a TA doesn't cost you one dime. Like Jersey Dad mentioned, yes you can book it yourself. But by booking through a TA, you are helping to employ other Disney fanatics, like yourself! :hug:
     
  9. jdevine14

    jdevine14 Earning My Ears

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    My family has booked both ways. I will say that last couple of times we have booked through Mouse Fan Travel. They are awesome!! We use Leslie and she is so on top of everything. I am always sending business her way and anyone who deals with her loves her as well. The nice thing about them is they dont take a commission they get paid through Disney. SO she is there for you and it doesn't cost you anything extra!!

    Look them up and give them a try you wont regret it.

    http://www.mousefantravel.com/
     
  10. smartblnde

    smartblnde Earning My Ears

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    @weheartmickey,

    I want YOU for my travel agent!

    If our agent had your approach, my earlier post would have been different. Our agent is certified for Disney, but only available during AAA hours. Not after 6pm and no Sundays. I am not one who would call incessantly.

    It would have been really nice to have been told our ticket prices were going to change when we added our daughter.

    I used to be an agent, and loved it. Just like in all career areas, there are good ones and there are bad ones.

    J
     
  11. weHEARTmickey

    weHEARTmickey Dreamin' of Disney.......

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    Awww, thank you! :goodvibes I would love to be your TA! I don't know the DIS policy for "soliciting business" and I certainly don't want to break the rules. I will send you a pm ;)
     
  12. DisneyMommyNewbie

    DisneyMommyNewbie Earning My Ears

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    Hey, I would love to get more info from you also!!!! I'm looking to possibly book a last min, well not last min....but in Dec for the free dining....could you pm me :)
     
  13. weHEARTmickey

    weHEARTmickey Dreamin' of Disney.......

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    PM sent pixiedust: You won't be able to pm me back until you get to 10 posts, though. ;)
     
  14. JustMeFran

    JustMeFran Mouseketeer

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    We decided, after getting quotes from AAA, Disney.com and Dreams Unlimited to go with Dreams Unlimited. AAA was more expensive then the other 2. Dreams was the same price as Disney.com BUT they would automatically be on the look out for discounts and apply them as needed and they have done an amazing job getting ADRs for us! No extra cost from us, they get their commission from Disney. Love them, and def will use them again and would recommend them to everyone!
     
  15. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    I think if you know what to expect going into both options, they can both be great.

    There are some travel agents (like the above poster) that love what they do, and do it very well. Others, not so much.

    I think the biggest complaint I hear is that people book through a travel agent and then proceed to call Disney to make changes, or ask questions, and then they get very upset when Disney directs them back to the travel agent.

    I personally always book myself, but I'm a Type A control freak :rotfl2:
     
  16. dizprincess717

    dizprincess717 LOVE: It will not betray you, dismay or enslave yo

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    I'm very pro-travel agent. Some agents work stricly on commission while others earn a small salary on top of commission, but either way by booking with a TA you're helping out the economy to keep them in business.

    I'm sure there are some duds out there that promise to keep checking for discounts and don't, but I trust my TA. She's on top of all the discounts and calls or emails me within a few days of the promotion.

    Ultimately it comes down to what you're most comfortable with!
     
  17. StaceyR

    StaceyR Earning My Ears

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    I, too, have both booked myself and used a travel agent. I prefer the agents from Magical Travel. They always keep track of the discounts after booking and will automatically change your reservation for you if it benefits you. The way I look at it is, it doesn't cost you anything out of your pocket to let someone else do all the tedious work, so why not? Especially if they will book your ADR's....thats a no brainer! :)
     
  18. Nebraska_Disney

    Nebraska_Disney Mouseketeer

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    After booking several trips myself, I went with a TA this time. Elyssa with MickeyTravels has been great. Like others have said, she is looking for discounts as they come out and is very active on her Facebook page with getting information out. I received a pin code and she made the call, waited on hold, and made the changes, all I had to do was send her the pin code and she did the rest. She was great with our ADR's as well. www.mickeytravels.com

    :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  19. lucifie

    lucifie DIS Veteran

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    This is my first time and I'm highly annoyed with my TA right now. I booked through her because she's an acquaintance and I figured I'd rather have her get the commission. She quoted me the same price I got on the WDW website, booked the reservations with the promise that she would keep checking for discounts and apply any that come up to my reservation automatically. I hadn't heard from her yesterday afternoon so I emailed her and she said she didn't see any discounts that apply to my dates, so I sent her the link to the SPD promo and said I was able to price it and this would save me about $600. She said she wasn't able to see it in the system because they had just update the system so she would call. Then she said she was on hold for an hour and had to get her kids so she would try again later. I still haven't heard from her nearly 24 hours later. It's still available for my dates, but it would be nice to get the confirmation that she had changed it. I'm tempted to book a new reservation on my own and cancel it if she comes through.
     
  20. aml3679

    aml3679 Kita's Mom

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    This is the first time we have ever used a travel agent and we are quite pleased. Kim Harkness from Dreams Unlimited Travel. They on book Disney vacations. Get no commission - their commission comes from Disney itself. Very quick to responds to requests. They make all of your ADR's.
     
  21. jcandherboys

    jcandherboys Earning My Ears

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    weHEARTmickey - I can't send a PM yet because I have only made 9 posts, this should be my 10th so maybe I can now but I would love to get a quote from you. I have always booked by myself and would like to know what your quote would be!

    Thanks!
     

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