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booking with online travel agent vs disney direct

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by 1153rsmith, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. 1153rsmith

    1153rsmith Mouseketeer

    I am currently booked through an online travel site for Art of Animation, but have found the room on the disney world site for the same per night. Taxes are actually a little cheaper at disney than the travel site.

    My question is, is there an advantage with booking directly through Disney, or does it matter? Does it help you get upgrades, PINs, etc?

    I wouldn't change simply for $3, but if it would open up other perks, I would.
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  3. angelbear425

    angelbear425 Member

    If you are booking a package (tickets, room, etc) you will get the Magic Your Way Package along with it. You get Disney luggage tags, coupons for Planet Hollywood along with a free gift from there, free min golf tickets, etc. if you just book the hotel room, I'm not sure if there are any added benefits.
  4. shaynar

    shaynar Member

    Another key thing for me is that if you buy through an online site they "own" your reservation. If you need to change it you must go through them (if you would even be allowed) and not sure to their cancelation policies.

    Purchasing through Disney will allow you to change your reservation - on your own! - as well as apply promotions (if there are any) and you can cancel outside of your 45 days if need be. Plus that way you can add on dining plans or tickets and have it all in one place.

    For $3 I would just suck it up and go through Disney. Plus you can probably find that in change if you start looking through your couch now :D
  5. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

    That's definitely the biggest thing in my opinion.

    It can be frustrating to want to ask questions or change or request something on your reservation and be told you need to go through the travel agency that booked it. I like having the control of my own reservation.

    It's not always bad to go through a travel agency, but if you have a question you want answered immediately and they're closed, or have an issue, you're kind of out of luck. Disney is open 365 days from 7a - 10p on the phones.
  6. 1153rsmith

    1153rsmith Mouseketeer

    Actually, Disney is $3 cheaper than the online site, and it all is in the taxes and fees line. The online site must charge a $3 service charge or something. I can cancel my reservation through them for 2 more days. I am just trying to figure out if it is really worth it. Since I am not booking any sort of package, it may not be worth it. We leave in a week anyway. It is not like I am going to be doing alot of changes between now and then.
  7. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

    If you're leaving in a week I'd avoid the hassle and maybe explore your options next time. Within a week, nothing is going to change.

    Enjoy your trip :thumbsup2
  8. Takasa

    Takasa Earning My Ears

    My 2 cents I don't think I will ever turn over my reservation again. I wouldn't change it now either your to close, the only perks I know of are AAA and they have to be reserved like ADRs.

    I did because of the perks, with AAA, The special fireworks seating (blacked out), epcot story time, diamond parking (not sure if this is even that great since we are staying onsite). I was also hoping to get a price break but no luck.
  9. Kimberle

    Kimberle <font color=darkorchid>WL Vet<br><font color=blue>

    I booked my next trip with Dreams Unlimited. My agent was able to obtain an AAA discount for me. I was unable to obtain it on my own.
  10. nkereina

    nkereina Wendy Darling

    You will get these things whether you book direct with Disney or with a travel agent. The travel agents book Magic Your Way packages also.

    If the fireworks viewing is blacked out, I am assuming you are traveling during a busy time of year which would also explain the lack of discounts. Typically, booking with AAA will get you the AAA rate which is not really significant, as well as the perks you mentioned, plus a discount card that allows for discounts at various stores and restaurants. If you know what you want and don't want to change anything, no harm in booking with AAA for these extra perks if you are a member.

    However, if you're the type who made need to cancel, are wavering on your resort choice, or need to check back to apply future discounts, its probably easier to book with disney yourself.
  11. loinsley

    loinsley Can we RETIRE here!?!?!?!

    I have booked with Dreams Unlimited Travel for three big trips....my agent Dorothy has been amazing....I feel like I know her...I've never met her!
  12. GusGus77

    GusGus77 Mouseketeer

    I would think booking with dreams unlimited is a bit different than going through a regular travel agent. They are familiar with Disney and know the ins and outs of Disney that a typical travel agent (even ones that say they specialize in Disney) don't. I have heard many horror stories about people booking Disney trips through AAA. We got info from them last year just because we wanted the travel brochure for my daughter and my parents wanted info since they will only go through AAA when they travel. i was shocked to see the info was 2yrs out of date! So even though they said they specialize in Disney none of their info was current and I knew much more than the travel agent did!

    In your case with room only and being so close to your trip I think it is common courtesy to stay with your current travel agent.
  13. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

    I would leave things as they are.

    I've used Disney Specialized TA, and booked myself. The price has always been exactly the same booking a wdw package or room only booking with TA or WDW.

    The benefit of using a TA who specializes in Disney, ESP for newbies, is that they are knowledgable, and know when Disney puts out discounts the moment they come out, are on the phone when Wdw phone lines open, at 7:00 am, getting you the discount, and are never closed or away when wdw promos come out. If they are away, your file is given to another agency, and you will be notified and given a contact phone # and email. I say this because I've heard horror stories of people going with regular TAs who know nothing about Disney promos, and aren't available when they come out.

    You can change, cancel whatever with Disney authorized TAs same as you would with Disney. Easy to make payments, just send them an e mail telling them the amount of payment you want.

    I really see no negative booking with a Disney Specialized TA.
  14. 1153rsmith

    1153rsmith Mouseketeer

    Just to clarify.. this was an online travel site, not a travel agent. I don't know if I can give the specific one, but it is your priceline, hotels.com, hotwire.com types.

    You all have given great information, and next time, I will probably just book directly with Disney unless there is a significant price difference in the room rate.

    Regarding Dreams Unlimited... I have used them on 3 cruises, and they are FANTASTIC. If I booked packages, I would definitely use them.
  15. jennybdis

    jennybdis Member

    I book through a TA who specializes in Disney travel. I do all of the legwork on the site with pricing out my reservation so as to not drive her crazy, and I handle all of my own reservations and stuff--but that's just me. She's more than willing to do it for me. I book through her mainly because I'd like her to get a commission rather than Disney.

    One of the other perks of working with her is that she will search to see if I have any pin codes. Last year, we had one (and didn't know it) and we saved a ton of money on our vacation.
  16. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

    Oh! I would just leave things. Unless there was a sig price diff. I'd not use that type of agency for wdw travel in future. But that's just me. I agree with just booking yourself or going with a Disney Specialized agency.
  17. dizprincess717

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

    I think the bottom line here is to do what you're most comfortable with. I am of the mindset that I would rather make my reservations thru a travel agent as it keeps local businesses in business. Disney still gets the majority of the money anyway, as agents only make a small % of your total vacation package.

    The key is to be sure you're 100% comfortable with a travel agent. Ask if they've been to Disney and when their most recent trip was. Ask what hotels they've stayed at (onsite AND offsite) and if they've ever used a Dining Plan, done MVMCP, etc., just to be sure they're not just saying "Oh, sure, I've been there before." Does the agent get excited when talking about Disney? Does the agent start giving you little tips and tricks right away? All signs of a really good agent who knows their stuff when it comes to Disney.

    A good travel agent will keep an eye out for all of the sales Disney releases and will re-book you under that promotion so you're never stuck paying the higher rate.

    Contrary to what other posters have said, the reservation DOES "belong" to you. The travel agent will give you either a 12 digit or 8 digit/letter WDW confirmation # so you can log onto Disney.com, enter in your confirmation # and pull up all of your information. So you can make dining reservations, etc. Even if you wanted to make changes to your overall reservation (change hotels, change room categories, etc.) you have to call Disney direct. All you have to do is call your travel agent and s/he will do all of the calling for you.

    I honestly see no downside in booking with a GOOD, knowledgeable travel agent. :thumbsup2
  18. Kristie911

    Kristie911 Member

    I booked through a Disney specialized TA because it was basically a first trip for us (I haven't been in 15 years). I liked it because she was able to give us some insights into resorts and travel. She has been amazing...and super patient while I pay off with gift cards! I can just e-mail her the information and don't have to call to apply them. I would probably use her again just because she's been so helpful.

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