I have a confession to make. Before I became a Magical Vacation Planner, I never used a travel agent. I’m a do-it-yourself kind of girl and I did do my college internship at Walt Disney World, so I thought I could handle it. I was wrong.
The first time I took my kids to Walt Disney World, I was overwhelmed. We didn’t understand Fastpasses, I didn’t know what an Advanced Dining Reservation was, and I didn’t have a clue what time to arrive or how to plan my day. Did we have a nice time? Yes, but I had no idea how much better it could be.
Here are a few things I recommend looking for in a Disney Travel Agent:
Wait, what? Yes, that’s what I wrote. Do not use JUST an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
In this day and age, there are several travel agencies that specialize in Disney Travel. But keep in mind, that not all travel agencies are created equal. You want to use and Authorized Disney Vacation Planner that is from a high-level Earmarked agency.
What does it mean to be Earmarked? Disney’s EarMarked Program is reserved for those agencies that have met their strict qualifications, demonstrated a high level of sales and kept up with all required destination training.
There are five levels of an Earmarked agency. Bronze (the lowest), Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond (the highest). To reach Diamond status, you have to be one of the top three sellers of Disney Vacations. It is a very elusive award. I only know one agency who has reached that status, Magical Vacation Planner.
After you narrow down an agency to work with, now you have to pick the right agent for you. You should always choose an agent that has visited the park or resort you are visiting. Disney is special this way, you really cannot fully understand it until you go there. You want someone with experience that can offer you relevant information, tips, and tricks. If you are working with a Disney Planner who hasn’t personally experienced it, find a new Disney Planner. You can thank me later.
Find an agent who just doesn’t do everything for you, but also educates and advises you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have someone do all the work for you. However, what happens when you are in the park and you do not know how to use Genie+ you just missed or cancel that dining reservation that is way too early in the morning? If an agent doesn’t educate you on the processes of Walt Disney World and the Disney World app, you may find yourself feeling a little helpless when you want to make changes to your schedule.
I learned my lesson the hard way on this. I used to do everything for my clients. I saw it as my duty. The problem was that when something went south, they would call me and be terribly upset and confused.
I realized that I needed to educate my clients like I would my friends who going to the Parks. I wouldn’t do everything for my friend, but I would certainly tell them how to do it. You learn from doing. By making this small change, I now see empowered clients who do not fall apart when things aren’t so magical.
Some people think I’m crazy for sharing all of my personal tips and tricks. The common question from my agent friends is,"If you share all of my tips and tricks, why would the client still need you?” I believe there are a few reasons my clients would still need me.
First, I have been to Walt Disney World with my family over thirty times and I know all the ins and outs of the parks and resorts. Second, I know about the special events, the VIP tours, and many other out of this world options that can be added to a vacation to make it special. A Disney advisor is invaluable. Third, when you book through my agency you get extra values added to your vacation including luggage tags, discounts, and free recreation options. Fourth, I monitor all the specials that are going on at Disney and if my client’s reservation fits, I automatically apply the discount. And last, but not least, I develop a relationship with my client and share in the excitement of planning their vacation. All of theses reasons and more keep my clients coming back.
What do you look for when you are seeking a Disney Travel Agent? What are some qualities you think are necessary? Share your thoughts with me.
Until next time my friends!
Have A Magical Day,