Personally, when we picture a travel agent we picture a 90’s style office with posters of tropical destinations hung up on the walls. But, that is no longer the reality of a travel agent! While there are many different types of travel agents, today we are focusing on one specific type: a Disney travel agent.
First things first. They are completely free. In this article we will explain exactly how this is true, a little more about agents, the pros and cons of booking with an agent, qualities a good agent should have, and we’ll end with a gallery of travel agents to help you find the perfect fit for you!
Who can book with a Disney travel agent?
Anyone staying at a Disney resort or a Good Neighbor hotel can book with a travel agent. If you are staying at another offsite location, a travel agent cannot offer their free service to you.
How is a Disney travel agent free?
One of the most confusing parts of travel agents is how they are free! It definitely seems to good to be true. But, they actually aren’t free. They just are paid by Disney, not you! Disney reserves a specific amount of every reservation to be paid to a travel agent. So, every time you don’t use a travel agent Disney collects that fee. If you do choose to use an agent, Disney pays the commission at no additional cost to you.
Pros of Booking with a Disney Travel Agent?
Booking with a travel agent comes with a lot of pros.
1. Travel agents are experts on all things Disney. They can recommend restaurants, rides, resorts to stay at, special experiences, and more. Especially for those who are new to planning their own trips, having an expert on hand to help can be a huge stress reliever. They can also help you plan your itinerary for the day if that is something you are interested in.
2. A travel agent can save you money. The service is free, but with it you can end up saving a lot of money! Travel agents stay up to date on the active deals and discounts Disney releases, and can help rebook your trip for special deals like free dining.
3. They do the dirty work. If you’ve ever tried to book your reservations 180 days in advance, or your fastpasses 60 days out, you know the stress of not getting what you want. It’s a travel agents job to try to help you get your top picks for dining and fastpasses, and they’ll be the ones continuously checking for availability, not you! They’re also the ones who book your hotel for you and any other special events.
Cons of Booking with a Disney Travel Agent?
Despite the fact that there are quite a few pros of booking with agents, it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t discuss the few cons.
1. Not all of your options are available through a travel agent. If you want to stay offsite, or rent DVC points, (both may be more affordable), a travel agent cannot help you with this. However, they can book Good Neighbor Hotels which is another great alternative!
2. If you want to make changes to your reservation, you cannot call Disney and do this. The travel agent is the only one who can contact Disney to make the changes.
3. If you like to have a close eye on the planning process, and don’t love giving up control, a travel agent may not be the best option for you. But, something to note is that the agent can do as much or as little as you want. If you prefer to make all the fastpass selections and dining reservations, you can. Just talk to your agent!
What are the qualities and services a good Disney travel agent should have?
A good travel agent should first and foremost communicate with you. There should be an easy way for you to reach out to your agent with questions, whether it be the phone or email. And, the agent should respond in a timely manner. Not necessarily within a few hours, but depending on the inquiry, they should respond within 24-48 hours during the work week. Before you book with an agent, as them their policy on communication. Do they answer questions on weekends, or is it more of a typical 9-5 schedule?
A travel agent should listen to your needs and questions without getting frustrated. If you can sense that your agent isn’t interested in answering questions, or gets frustrated with them, they may not be the agent for you. Booking a Disney trip can be stressful, so you want someone who is willing to take the time to help you and ease the planning process.
A travel agent should be detail oriented. There are tons of different “deadlines” to remember, like booking fastpasses, dining, and events. The travel agent should not miss a deadline, and if for some reason they do, they should do everything in their power to resolve the issue. (That being said, travel agents are people too, and if someone makes a mistake they are usually more than willing to try to make up for it!)
A travel agent should be knowledgeable about Disney. You should take the time to make sure the agent you are booking with is the right fit for you. If you want to book a cruise, or a trip to Disneyland, you might want an agent who has experience with those type of trips. If you have a family, you might want an agent who books frequently for families or even has kids of their own and understands the stress of traveling with a family.
Find the perfect Disney travel agent for YOU
Does that list overwhelm you? There’s thousands of agents out there, and it’s important to find the right fit for you. So, we reached out to our social media followers for their recommended travel agents. Below you’ll find a list of these agents, with a picture, name, contact information, years of experience, and why you should book with them!
Take your time going through the list and find the perfect agent for you.
Name: Aena (pronounced Anna)
Agency: Believe Vacations (http://believevacations.com/)
Years of Experience: One as a professional travel agent, but several planning mine and friends’ trips for fun
Why you should book with Aena: Walt once said, “First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.” My love for Disney began as a young girl who believed in the magic of a little mouse and endless possibilities. Now with a family of my own, I’ve perfected the ins and outs of Disney vacations. My travel expertise and passion is to help others discover their love for Disney, no matter their age. With a sense of adventure and compassion, I understand how overwhelming planning a trip can be. Whether you are planning a family vacation, a friends’ trip or a solo getaway, let me share a whole new world with you; one filled with faith, trust, and pixie dust!
Name: Anna Lemmons
Agency: Magical Enchanted Vacations, an Earmarked Disney travel agency
Years of Experience: 3 as an Earmarked/Authorized agent, but over 6 years of Disney planning experience.
Contact: Anna Bross Lemmons
Magical Enchanted Vacations
Why you should book with Anna: I use to work at Walt Disney World as a Resorts Concierge, so I’ve had plenty of experience making Disney vacations magical for hundreds of families.Although I’m not local, we visit several times a year-whether to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. There’s nothing I love more than spending time in the parks, taking photos, new notes, and gaining more knowledge to assist my clients. I make it a personal goal to stay at a new resort and eat at new restaurants/complete new tours, experiences, dining experiences, etc. each time we visit the parks in order to have the largest variety of experience and information to pass along to my clients.
First time Disney visitors are my favorite to help plan! There is nothing better than starting from scratch and educating Disney newbies about their resort, tickets, dining, and other options. Waking up at 6 and 7am to score those coveted, magical dining reservations and favorite fastpass selections makes me giddy! I truly love to piece together the puzzle of one’s dream, Disney vacation. From trips for toddlers, to thrilling trips to teens, to Disney fairytale honeymoons, I have experience planning all types of trips from start to finish.
I can be as hands on, or hands off as my clients desire. I am dedicated to searching for the best, possible offers to save my clients the most money- and of course my services are always 100% free! They can just sit back, relax, and anticipate their vacation while leaving all of the details up to me.
Name: Ryan Noppinger
Agency:Capture the Magic Vacations
Years of Experience: Official travel agent since August 2018, but many years of trip planning experience for friends and family
Contact: Website: Capture the Magic
Why you should book with Ryan: I completed a Disney College program so I know all the tips and tricks to planning a Disney vacation and getting you the best vacation package or deal for your whole family. I also know the parks like the back of my hand and know how to get around Disney with ease. Let me help make planning your next Disney vacation less stressful and more magical!
Why you should book with Lauren: Hiya pals! My name is Lauren and I currently live in Charleston, SC but my real home is Walt Disney World. I became an Annual Passholder for the first time in 2018 and have since fallen even more in love with the magic of the parks. I’ve been obsessed with Disney ever since I was a little girl watching Lion King and Little Mermaid on repeat practically every day of my childhood. I actually watched Lion King so much that I wore out the VHS twice! The pure fantasy of the all the music and movies has shaped who I am as an adult and I hope to share some of that passion with others!
To me, the most magical thing about Disney is how it brings people together; families and strangers alike. I’ve made so many new friends and loved ones through a shared obsession of Disney and for that reason, it will always have a special place in my heart. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my passion for Disney with others and ever since I became a Disney Travel Agent, I can put that to good use by creating personalized magical vacations! I can’t imagine a better way to spread some pixie dust than by helping someone make the most magical memories ever with their loved ones.
You could say that making dreams come true is my favorite thing to do! I can most commonly be found taking Instagram pictures while eating a Mickey bar and rushing to the next Fastpass. And, I can also be easily spotted by the mouse ears on my head and I am shamelessly excitable around firework shows! You can get to know a little bit more about me and follow along with my Disney adventures by following me on Instagram @girlmeetswalt
Name: Taryn Lau
Agency: Goldgell Getaways
Years Experience: 6
Contact: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/
Why you should book with Taryn: Not only have I planned multiple trips for others, but we’ve also been to Disney MULTIPLE times ourselves. We always stay on property and have stayed at multiple Disney Resorts. My 10 year old son also loves to give his recommendations for people who are booking trips with kids!
Name: Shelby Mason
Agency: Academy Travel & Mickey Vacation
Years of experience: 1 year of Travel Agent Experience, but a lifetime of Disney experience!
Contact: Instagram @srm_academytravelaffiliate
Why should you book with Shelby: I love all things Disney! I come from a family that loves Disney as well. In fact, I have spent my entire life traveling to the Disney parks and going on the Disney Cruises. I love sharing my expertise and experiences with my clients to help make their trips magical!
Also, I have younger siblings and young cousins, so travel with kids is not an issue when it comes to knowing when and what they best things to do are!
Name: Lauren D’Ambra
Agency: Dream Travel by Lauren, LLC
Years of experience: 13
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why you should book with Lauren: I am very detail oriented and know Disney Destinations exceptionally well. I’m an Earmarked Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, a title designated to select travel agencies by Disney. I specialize in family vacations, adult-only vacations, whether it’s birthday, graduation, Disney wedding (I was a Disney bride myself!), honeymoon, babymoon, anniversary or just because, as well as luxury Disney vacations!
Also, I provide concierge level (dining, FastPasses, tours, Bibbidibobbidi Boutique, shore excursions, etc) service to my clients to provide the most magical vacations with the most magical Disney memories!! I frequent Disney World multiple times a year & also attend frequent onsite training across all Disney Destinations throughout the year to stay up-to-date on the newest happenings.
Why you should book with Renee’: I participated in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World for the fall and spring semesters as well as done over 15 runDisney races and have been to Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
Why you should book with Alyssa: I used to work at WDW on Splash and Pirates of the Caribbean. I also worked for the Disney Store. I have 4 kids and have taken them to the parks DL and WDW since they were toddlers and the Disney Cruise. Last trip was with my kids in August. I drove from Texas all by myself with 4 kids to WDW!
Why you should book with Stephanie: I currently live 5 minutes from Magic Kingdom, my family moved here a year ago. Disney is my passion and I love being able to share it with others. I have two small children and have been taking them both to Disney since they were 6 months old. They now go several times a week. It never gets old, we simply love being there and enjoying the magic together. I plan all of my clients’ vacations just as I would my own. I want them to be able to spend more time making memories with their family and less time worrying about all the little details.
Name: Amanda Perkins
Agency: Academy Travel, an Earmarked Agency
Years of Experience: 2 officially, but planning my own trips and family and friends Disney trips for 14 years!
Contact: Phone: 443-258-3633
Mail: P.O.Box 1605, Easton, MD 21601
Why you should book with Amanda: I truly enjoy planning Disney vacations! I’ve been planning my own, and family & friends trips for free for years, ever since my own Honeymoon in Disney World 14 years ago. I love being a Disney Vacation Planner because it gives me so much joy when I’m able to make my clients happy.
When I tell them I was able to get the restaurant or Fastpass they wanted, and I can just see their happy faces in the park, and imagine the magical moments they will have! I know all the little tips & tricks that I share with my clients, once they book with me, from the most kid friendly restaurants to the best and worst bathrooms throughout the parks (Norway in Epcot is the best!) I also offer my clients that I’ll help them book their restaurant reservations & Fastpass+ if they’d like me to! And because I’m with an Earmarked agency, which means we’re Mickey Mouse approved, my services are FREE to my clients!
Name: Sydney Delpidio
Agency: Fairytale Journeys
Years of Experience: New to being an official travel agent, but a former WDW cast member and lifelong visitor!
Contact: Email: email@example.com
Why you should book with Sydney: After years of visiting WDW, I’ve been on so many types of trips. From senior trips to big family vacations to couple’s getaways, I’ve planned for/done it all! I am also a current Annual Passholder so I’m constantly trying out my itineraries to maximize play time and minimize wait time! My blog (www.mouseteens.com) is all about my Disney humor, adventures, and knowledge, and now my Disney Travel Planner experiences as well!
Name: Kristy Ouellette
Agency: Mickey Guru Travel Company, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency
Years of Experience: Celebrated our 5th anniversary this year
Contact: Email: Kristy@MickeyGuru.com
Why you should book with Kristy: We pride ourselves on being highly responsive and focused on our clients experience – from the moment they book their trip through their return home. We help with as much, or as little, as each client likes so no two trips are the same. We have nearly 30 agents located all around the country that work on our team.
Name: Damon Vinci
Agency: Mickey Guru Travel Company, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency
Years of Experience: 2 years, but planned trips for friends and family for years!
Contact: Instagram: @mickeygurudamon
Why you should book with Damon: People should book with me because I’m all about all things Disney. I’ve been to all of the American parks and both sizes of their cruise line. I’m a dad of girls so while I have the experience of taking girls to Disney, I also have a dad’s perspective on the parks and cruises. I love all things Disney and can’t wait to talk more about it with you!
Why you should book with Julia: I absolutely adore my career…and I know that it is truly my calling! I love my clients like family, and put my whole heart into planning each and every trip! Also, I work for an amazing company, and we strive for excellence in all we do! I’ve been a Disney Girl (as my mom calls me) since the tiny age of 6 months when I first visited Disneyland!
I have grown up visiting Walt Disney World each year, and it is truly such a huge part of who I am! My family and I have a 10 day trip coming up next week, and will be back again in mid-May! Also, I am a WDW AP holder and truly just love living the Disney life! I’m a wife and momma (two cutie kiddos Olive and Ezra), and my husband and I also own our own Photography business!
I just LOVE life, LOVE people, love making new connections, and of course, I LOVE Disney. Mostly, I am living my dream as a Travel Specialist! I strive to be my clients’ biggest advocate, taking care of each and every detail, all while just loving on them along the way! This life is short, it is SO worth it to be doing something I absolutely LOVE!!
Why you should book with Grant: I have just entered the Travel Agency world but am an avid Disney follower and traveler! I will take care of you and fellow guests to make sure you get the best experience possible!
Name: Whitney Dedmon
Agency: Small World Big Fun
Years of Experience: 1 year
Contact: Email: Wdedmon@smallworldbigfun.com
Why you should book with Whitney: I’m a WDW AP and have traveled to WDW every year since I was 7! So, I know all the ins and outs of planning a Disney vacation!
Wrapping It Up
We hope you found this article helpful! If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments below or email us. If you’re a travel agent you would like to be added to the list, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org