Back in 2016, when I first started Planning The Magic, I never thought I would become a Disney travel agent. At all. In fact, my perception was, there was enough, I should just work with someone great at it!
At the end of my Disney on a Budget book, I used to suggest a travel agent. At this point, I can’t even remember who it was but he was highly suggested and had great reviews.
I knew Disney Travel Agents could help but the only experience I had with one was not great. Let me tell you about that experience.
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I was 21, in college, and trying to save enough money to be able to afford a Disney trip. And I was on this website about Disney deals called MouseSavers. On this website, they suggested a Disney travel agency, (note, a company of agents not a single agent), that will remain unnamed.
So I filled out their long quote request form. It took a few days but I did receive an email back with a quote for a vacation package… THAT WAS WAY OUTSIDE MY BUDGET.
A few things here, I am not knocking this company. They’re a very successful Disney travel agency with good reviews. I am giving you my personal experience and opinions.
The quote request form was way too long.
But for good reason, because these folks were uninterested in talking to me so they wanted to make sure the form gave them all of the information they needed.
We all think our situations are unique and special, including me, and so when I received that quote, it wasn’t a package that I felt suited what I was trying to do.
I also did not appreciate that I was dealing with what seemed like automated system messages and not a person.
So I didn’t use them. I did hours and hours of Disney planning work on my own including at least 400 hours of learning. Totally worth it because it bought me a few steps closer to where I am today.
Ok, thanks for the story but what is a Disney travel agent?
A Disney travel agent is someone who specializes in booking Disney vacations.
This includes Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani (a Disney Resort & Spa).
There are two types of travel agencies that book Disney vacations:
1. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz or
2. Brick and Mortar travel agencies usually have a physical location but can be compared to “local owned” businesses. Think your local farmers market vs your nearby large chain grocery store.
The vast majority of Disney travel agents work for brick-and-mortar agencies.
Some of the larger agencies are: Mouseketrips, Small World Vacations, Dreams Unlimited Travel, Kingdom Magic Travel, and many more.
Krystel, are you or are not a Disney Travel Agent?
I most definitely am!
And though I don’t get to meet most of my clients, I am part of a locally owned travel agency that makes sure each and every person gets individualized attention.
I want to discuss my process more with you in a big but just know that I connect with someone looking for a quote about 5 times before I actually send a package over.
Do you know what I also pride myself on? Transparency and honesty. I sometimes have to tell someone that I would not be a good fit for them and direct them to where they could get what they are looking for.
There’s no sense in me force-fitting a Disney vacation and taking away from someone else but also keeping that family from more accurate help.
Why you should work with a Disney Travel Agent
If you are considering working with a Disney travel agent, here are some reasons why it may be beneficial for you:
You don’t have to do the work- A lot of people like the idea of someone else doing all of the work. All you need to do is show up and enjoy your magical vacation.
You get an expert opinion- A travel agent who specializes in booking Disney vacations will be able to give you an expert opinion and help you make the best choices for your family.
You may save money- A good travel agent will be able to find discounts and deals that you may not have been able to find on your own.
You’ll have someone to help if something goes wrong- If something goes wrong with your vacation, you’ll have someone to help you fix it.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of what a Disney travel agent is and why you should work with one! 🙂
So how does the process of working with me work?
There are definitely a lot of nuances depending on the family.
For example, I can plan every single detail of your Disney vacation or I can plan only what you want me to. If you don’t feel like waking up at 6 AM to make Disney dining reservations and you just wanna send me a list of what you want that’s fine. But also, if you have no idea where you want to eat and you want advice, booking, and everything else that comes with it… That’s OK too.
Now that you know that the experience can differ between vacation packages I will give you a general overview of how it works.
The first thing that happens is someone puts in an inquiry form that I link here. Or it’s a client that I’ve worked with before and they shoot me a text or send me an email.
Once that happens I have a foundation to start asking the right questions, as now I have a good idea of what’s important to you.
There are some generic questions that everyone answers for me such as if there are any resort preferences from the beginning.
However, at this point, I’m going to respond to the travel inquiry form with an email with questions. I’m also going to provide a link to set up a call with me if you want, and my personal phone number for texting. This is what I’m talking about when I say individual attention and personalized vacation planning.
Based on the response I receive to those questions, which is now the second time you’ve reached out to me (because the first time was the form that you filled out). I will know the level of seriousness to book this vacation.
The truth is that a lot of people put in travel inquiry forms just to get a quote so that they could see how much a Disney vacation would be if they wanted to go on one. It’s not someone who actually wants to go on one at this time.
This is fine but creating a quote takes a lot of time for me so I’m probably not the best resource to get costing, you can definitely do that on the Disney website.
We will go back and forth with questions and comments and have a pretty cool conversation, which will also give us the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit. I am very very friendly.
I will then create a vacation package that I think would be a good fit but we will edit and go back and forth until it’s just right. And then in order to book a vacation, you can take advantage of the payment plan where only a deposit is necessary or if you want you can pay for the entire vacation upfront.
At this point, I’ve done only maybe 10% of the work that it takes to get someone to Disney World the way I would like them to go. There’s so much more that comes with working with a Disney travel agent.
My goal is to get you exactly what you want in the price range that you want. And then add a lot more value without cost to you.
I want to get you a package that you can never imagine having in the timeframe or the budget that you’re looking for. I do want you to say WOW at just the booking of the package which remember, is only 10% of what’s going to happen.
Once you book that package that’s when we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of the vacation, we will discuss crowd calendars, park hours, and what day is best to go to which park. I will provide suggested touring plans… These are plans that pretty much tell you how you should navigate to park on the day you’re going. I use software to create them.
I also will take into consideration the ages of everyone in the group and what rides and experiences are on your must-do list. This touring plan again is something that we can go back and forth on to perfect.
Don’t forget that there are other things that have to happen such as ordering MagicBands (if you want), online check-in, dining reservations, Genie +, etc.
I can give suggestions, I can book everything, and when there are issues, which there will be, I will be the one spending the time on the phone trying to figure it out.
2 Hour Phone Calls with Disney
Just to give you an example, I recently booked two vacations on the same day and when I went into either of the My Disney Experience accounts to set the vacations up, someone was missing from each of those vacations. Which meant I couldn’t set anything up.
This was super nerve-racking to me because they were going during the week of Independence Day and I wanted to get the park reservation that they wanted for July 4.
As you can imagine the park reservations go quickly because it is a major holiday and Disney has great fireworks for the Fourth of July.
I ended up spending almost 2 hours on the phone with Disney because I started with the travel agent line and then I had to be transferred to more of an IT helpdesk line. It was a lot of waiting but we were able to fix the situation and I got them what they want for the 4th of July. Those are things you don’t need to do, I will do them for you.
All in all, this is a brief description of how the process with me works.
LGBTQ+ Disney Travel Agent
I am a queer Latina with caramel-colored skin and a preference for what most would call “tomboy” attire. I mention this to say, I’m different (and proud of it).
Most people don’t care or are unphased by what makes me different but when I get to work with people who are similar, I feel a sense of relaxation and understanding.
For example, when I say “My Fiance and I” to a straight male, they always assume its a him. When I say “My Fiance and I” to someone of the LGBTQ+ community, they don’t assume which means I don’t have to correct or explain.
I say this because as a Disney Travel Agent, I am proud that I can align with many minority communities, and give them that sense of “let out a deep breath, this is going to be ok.”
I hope this gives you more of an understanding of why it might be beneficial to book your next Disney trip with me. If not, that’s ok too! I completely understand that people like to do things themselves.
But if you ever do need help or someone to take over, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to help you plan your magical vacation!