Disney Vacation Planning as a job?

TweedleMe

DCP Fall 2013
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
I am currently a college student and was wondering where to look for getting a job in Disney vacation planning...I don't mean working for Disney, I mean working for a website or company and I personally plan family vacations. I was thinking of starting my own website, but I'm not sure how well that would work out and how I could get customers. Thoughts?
 

MCoryB

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
I am currently a college student and was wondering where to look for getting a job in Disney vacation planning...I don't mean working for Disney, I mean working for a website or company and I personally plan family vacations. I was thinking of starting my own website, but I'm not sure how well that would work out and how I could get customers. Thoughts?
A good place to start is by Googling "authorized Disney Vacation Planner" and visiting the travel agency websites that appear in the results. Most of them have a section on the site that lets you apply to become one of their agents. They will generally ask about your Disney experience and some will present you with a list of questions so they can get a feel of how you would approach a customer's needs. I personally applied with about a dozen of them and didn't have enough Disney trips under my belt.

If one of these agencies deems you worthy of joining their ranks (and you can generally do this from anywhere you may be, even if not in their same city), you'll have to sign up at DisneyTravelAgents.com using their IATA number and complete the Disney College of Knowledge (I've done it, and it's relatively easy). And it is through that site that you'd be booking official Disney packages (Disneyland, WDW, Adventures by Disney and the cruises as well). Your commissions, once a customer has completed their trip (which you know may be months or years down the road), would be sent to your host agency and then your cut would be forwarded to you.

Without existing travel agent experience, you will definitely want to join one of these existing Authorized Disney Vacation Planners, and although you'll be largely responsible for growing your own customer base, some of these companies will forward leads to you when someone contacts them to plan a trip. OR, if you want to sell other types of travel as well, you could sign up with another host agency like OutsideAgents.com and gain access to a multitude of different booking engines. That's what I did, but I've realized the biggest drawback is that you do a lot of work now and don't get paid for it until much later.

Good luck!!! :)
 

rapunzels

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
While McoryB's suggestion is a good one, don't let the authorized disney planner thing discourage you. I've had PLENTY of people tell me I should be a disney planner. Plenty of people would still love to have someone help them out with plans, even if they are not "authorized", and still pay for it. I'm sure I'll get plenty of snarky comments for suggesting you not be an authorized agent and get paid for it, but so be it.
While I'm not the techie in the family, I think there is a way to pay to have your website pop up at the top of searches based on wording someone would type in a search bar. I don't know the limitations, or how you would do that, but recall my DH once saying something about being able to do that.
 
  • Kidgoingon40

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2012
    I am also very curious about this. I am stay at home right now, and I would love to have something to do during the day that could bring in a little money. Of course, I am a HUGE disney fan. I love planning trips for my husband and myself, and I have helped out friends before.

    I looked up and read some of the web sites for the authorized disney travel agencies and read about becoming one, and it doesn't sound too hard to do. I guess I am just apprehensive since most of the stuff I have seen before that include working at home with phone calls seem questionable...this seems legitimate (as long as it is authorized dealer of course).

    Has anyone on the dis done this before and can give us some more info? :worship:
     

    MCoryB

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2011
    TweedleMe, I apologize for neglecting to mention that you can definitely do it by not joining a host agency, and that's by charging a client for your services, which would allow you to earn money up front. If you join a host agency and gain access to DisneyTravelAgents.com, then you make your money as a commission. This way, you can offer your services for free to the customer. Otherwise, they would pay out of pocket for your expertise, in addition to their already-expensive vacation. And depending on how much you choose to charge for this, it may or may not be as much as the commission you could make as an agent. While some customers may be more than willing to pay for someone else to do all the legwork, I believe there are many more who would rather do the research themselves than pay extra.

    Rapunzels, I sincerely hope you don't view this response as a "snarky comment." I just want TweedleMe to be fully aware of the different options.

    Another perk to becoming an actual agent is that you may be entitled to free Disney park tickets and discounted packages once you've earned a certain amount of commissions (depending on your host agency's rules). That's a pretty cool perk, if you ask me! And, you may even get to take a free Disney cruise someday as well.
     

    TrueEeyore

    Dasani Girl
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2005
    I am also very curious about this. I am stay at home right now, and I would love to have something to do during the day that could bring in a little money. Of course, I am a HUGE disney fan. I love planning trips for my husband and myself, and I have helped out friends before.

    I looked up and read some of the web sites for the authorized disney travel agencies and read about becoming one, and it doesn't sound too hard to do. I guess I am just apprehensive since most of the stuff I have seen before that include working at home with phone calls seem questionable...this seems legitimate (as long as it is authorized dealer of course).

    Has anyone on the dis done this before and can give us some more info? :worship:
    I've done it and now I work for a travel agency. I ended up getting my IATA card and I get a very generous discount on Disney trips. I love planning vacations and it's definitely worth it. Getting authorized is very easy if you love Disney and know a lot about it. Just google and find some agencies and apply. You usually don't need any previous agent experience.
    Good luck!! :wizard:
     

    kaligal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2009
    Other than all the government forms, fees and taxes that any business has to have / deal with (which a good accountant and a halfway decent lawyer could do for you...all except writing those checks!), all you need to be a travel agency is an IATA number...I think.

    I'm not 100% positive, but I think that's all you need.

    And whatever you do, do NOT have a business without having all that crap...especially paying the taxes. The IRS is not well known for understanding and forgiving.

    Good luck!
     
  • Kidgoingon40

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2012
    I've done it and now I work for a travel agency. I ended up getting my IATA card and I get a very generous discount on Disney trips. I love planning vacations and it's definitely worth it. Getting authorized is very easy if you love Disney and know a lot about it. Just google and find some agencies and apply. You usually don't need any previous agent experience.
    Good luck!! :wizard:
    Thank you so much for the info! That sounds pretty good. :cool1: I would just be thrilled to get a little money working from home. I was looking around at some different agency and saw some possibilities. I am definitely thinking about applying.

    Do you usually have to have a separate land line to do this? I live in apt, and i don't think they would be very happy with me getting a second phone line installed...:(
     

    TweedleMe

    DCP Fall 2013
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Thanks for all the responses! Very encouraging...
    I really would like this as a job and possibly even a career. I have been to WDW over 17 times not including when I worked there for 5 months. I have eaten at almost all the restaurants and stayed at almost all the hotels. I'm probably going to apply to several sites and if none of those work maybe think about starting my own, I could even start it with some people at DIS...I really wouldn't charge near as much as travel agents and stuff charge because I would even do it for free for people I know.

    How many official authorized Disney vacation planners are there?
     

    alicia080979

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2009
    I love the timing of this post because I have been researching the same thing. I have been planning trips for others as well our trips for 3 years now and realized that I should probably look into making it a business because I love doing it so much. Thanks for the info so far...keep it coming!
     

    TrueEeyore

    Dasani Girl
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2005
    Thank you so much for the info! That sounds pretty good. :cool1: I would just be thrilled to get a little money working from home. I was looking around at some different agency and saw some possibilities. I am definitely thinking about applying.

    Do you usually have to have a separate land line to do this? I live in apt, and i don't think they would be very happy with me getting a second phone line installed...:(
    I actually only plan for friends, family and word of mouth. Unless you have tons of clients, you won't really make a living out of it or need another phone line. I mainly do it for the perks and I genuinely like planning vacations.

    If you find yourself with tons of clients (good for you!) then you can see about getting another landline, but honestly, I don't think you'll really need one. I do a lot of my communicating by email! :)
     
  • TrueEeyore

    Dasani Girl
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2005
    Thanks for all the responses! Very encouraging...
    I really would like this as a job and possibly even a career. I have been to WDW over 17 times not including when I worked there for 5 months. I have eaten at almost all the restaurants and stayed at almost all the hotels. I'm probably going to apply to several sites and if none of those work maybe think about starting my own, I could even start it with some people at DIS...I really wouldn't charge near as much as travel agents and stuff charge because I would even do it for free for people I know.

    How many official authorized Disney vacation planners are there?
    Tons! ;) You first start out working for an agency, do the College of Disney Knowledge using their IATA number and by completing that, you become authorized to sell Disney vacations and you get to use Disney's agent site. Once you get a certain amount of commission, you then get to apply for your own IATA card, which entitles you to get special discounts.

    By the way, you won't charge for your services. If you book someone a trip with Disney, they will pay you directly (or if you work for an agency, they'll get the commission and give you your cut). Your client won't spend more by using you, that's the beauty of it!
     

    kaligal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2009
    Thanks for all the responses! Very encouraging...
    I really would like this as a job and possibly even a career. I have been to WDW over 17 times not including when I worked there for 5 months. I have eaten at almost all the restaurants and stayed at almost all the hotels. I'm probably going to apply to several sites and if none of those work maybe think about starting my own, I could even start it with some people at DIS...I really wouldn't charge near as much as travel agents and stuff charge because I would even do it for free for people I know.

    How many official authorized Disney vacation planners are there?
    Travel agents don't charge people. But they also don't plan the entire vacation.
     

    TweedleMe

    DCP Fall 2013
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Wow, there really are so many. Looks like I have a long week ahead of me. I hate filling out applications, however it is so much easier knowing that I really am passionate and a fit for the job. Wish me luck! and good luck to everyone else who is trying! One day we can start a DIS Travel Agency...
     

    dzy76

    It all started with two little girls in Disneyland
    Joined
    May 11, 2008
    Um-- Isn't there already a Dis travel agency? It's called Dreams Unlimited. I booked my next vacation through them:confused3


    Seriously, love the post, this is what I have been thinking of doing. Only part-time, though. Can't afford to give up the day job.

    Hey Pete, can I work for you?:worship:
     

    TweedleMe

    DCP Fall 2013
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Um-- Isn't there already a Dis travel agency? It's called Dreams Unlimited. I booked my next vacation through them:confused3


    Seriously, love the post, this is what I have been thinking of doing. Only part-time, though. Can't afford to give up the day job.

    Hey Pete, can I work for you?:worship:
    Oh haha, did not know that, well maybe I'll just call it
    TweedleDis Vacations
     

    Kidgoingon40

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2012
    I actually only plan for friends, family and word of mouth. Unless you have tons of clients, you won't really make a living out of it or need another phone line. I mainly do it for the perks and I genuinely like planning vacations.

    If you find yourself with tons of clients (good for you!) then you can see about getting another landline, but honestly, I don't think you'll really need one. I do a lot of my communicating by email! :)
    Thanks for answering my questions! :) One of the authorized travel sites I was looking at said you had to have a separate phone line to work for them - and i was like "what???" So I just wanted to see if that was common. Glad it isn't!

    I would just like to have a little extra money coming in to put towards disney trips! Anything would be great :cool1: The perks you mentioned would be absolutely wonderful, too!

    I love planning vacations, so I think it would be something I would enjoy...the only thing I definitely know I would need to work on is I get kinda nervous to talking to strangers on the phone...so that would definitely not be good for this! I am so much more comfortable with email :rotfl:
     

    TweedleMe

    DCP Fall 2013
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Thanks for answering my questions! :) One of the authorized travel sites I was looking at said you had to have a separate phone line to work for them - and i was like "what???" So I just wanted to see if that was common. Glad it isn't!

    I would just like to have a little extra money coming in to put towards disney trips! Anything would be great :cool1: The perks you mentioned would be absolutely wonderful, too!

    I love planning vacations, so I think it would be something I would enjoy...the only thing I definitely know I would need to work on is I get kinda nervous to talking to strangers on the phone...so that would definitely not be good for this! I am so much more comfortable with email :rotfl:
    I'm the exact way, I have some anxiety problem with phone calls and strangers, but I am assuming most of the exchanges would be done through e-mail.
     

    Kidgoingon40

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2012
    I'm the exact way, I have some anxiety problem with phone calls and strangers, but I am assuming most of the exchanges would be done through e-mail.
    I am so glad to hear I am not the only one! :goodvibes E-mail is definitely my friend! :thumbsup2


    I actually just went ahead and sent an application into one of the authorized Disney travel agencies, and it sounded like pretty much all of their correspondence is over e-mail, so that is a plus! :banana: I'm crossing my fingers!
     

    TweedleMe

    DCP Fall 2013
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    I just sent over 10 applications!
    I'm not exactly expecting any good news because I know they can only hire so many people, but I am also not relying on getting hired. All I can do now is wait, and look for more places to apply. I would try to get a job as a travel agent locally but I am not interested in being a travel agent, I am interested in being a Disney travel agent :earboy2:
     

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