It’s a common question that comes up often online, in Disney vacation planning discussion groups, and I even get people asking me directly: “Why should I use a travel agent when planning my Disney vacation?” And the answer to this is basically “There are lots of reasons why!” So if you are also wondering the same thing, let’s chat about this today.
Those Precious Disney Vacation Dollars: We are The Affordable Mouse and chances are, if you are reading this, you have scrimped and saved for a long time to plan your Disney dream vacation. Your money is important to you and you want to get the best possible price. You may even be looking for the “cheapest price” available. And we can help….sort of. I am all about saving money and getting the best available price, it is one reason why I started The Affordable Mouse in the first place. BUT…..I’m also going to be honest: cheapest is not always best. That old adage “you get what you paid for” is totally true! So when planning an affordable Disney vacation for my clients, it’s a delicate balance between getting them the best price for the best vacation for them.
So I work with my clients to discover what their needs are for their trip: When are they going? What are the ages of their children? What is important to them on this trip? Does anyone have any special needs? Have they ever been to Disney World before…and if so, when? Because all of these are important things to consider….and frankly, just as important as cost. It’s not a good vacation investment if, for example, you are booked at an All Stars with grandma, and then when you get there find out that she has trouble getting up the stairs to the room every night. So I find out their needs and then we determine best options to meet them.
Of course, I absolutely am looking at price too, and do the comparisons to see what will work best for my clients. I will see what the best promotions are available and work within their budget to create the best package at the best price, for their needs. Will it always be the cheapest thing out there? No. But it will be the best VALUE for their vacation dollars, and I think that is a lot more important.
Holy Mickey There’s a Lot to Know and Keep Track Of: Dozens of hotel options. Hundreds of dining locations. I should make my dining reservations WHEN? What is FastPass? (And what do you mean I should reserve those TOO?) What’s the deal with Memory Maker? Where can my girls find Anna and Elsa? What parades and fireworks should we see…and what should we skip? And on….and on….and on….
Guess what? We can help with all of these and THEN some! I take that stress away, so my Guests don’t have to worry about when their final payment is due, or how to schedule FastPasses (and when!). I’m with them every step of the way, to make sure that everything is planned as they wish it to be. Planning is the key to having a successful Disney vacation: just “showing up” and deciding what you want to do when you get there is not the way to make the most of your time….and your vacation dollars. I’m a firm believer that “Time is Money” so I don’t want my clients wasting time while in the parks. Again…..the best Value for your vacation dollars includes making the most of your time, and good planning insures that. I make that planning stress-free for my Guests.
You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Of course, you may love all the planning which is great! You may be subscribed to a number of Disney blogs and follow Disney Facebook pages and are part of Disney groups. You enjoy figuring out your dining, and what you are going to do when. But you know what? Even Disney veterans like having someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone (the same person every time!) to ask questions of, someone who they trust to provide current information and honest answers. And they love having the security of knowing that, should a problem come up, that same someone….who knows them, and all about their trip and their needs….will be there to help them. Sure, you can book your trip online with Expedia to get the cheapest price out there……but will that person who knows NOTHING about Disney, be there for you to help if you need it? To answer questions about the resort you are staying in? To help you figure out best times for your FastPasses? Will they even know what a FastPass is? And will that person from Expedia be there if your flight is canceled due to a snowstorm and you have to rearrange your entire vacation at the last minute? No matter how many times you’ve been to Disney, it’s nice having someone available to help….even if it’s just staying on the phone for hours to get a discount applied, so that you don’t have to.
Using a Travel Agent Costs HOW Much? Here is the best part…..booking your Disney vacation with a travel agent, costs you NOTHING, but you get SO MUCH in return! Someone who can help you as much….or as little as you want on your trip. Someone who will make sure you get the best price for the best vacation package for your needs. Someone who will make planning stress free. Someone who will get up at 6 a.m. ET to make your dining reservations. Someone whose job is to make sure that you get the most VALUE for your hard-earned Disney vacation dollars. Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? All that help, for free.
So maybe, the best answer to the question “Why should I use a travel agent when planning my Disney vacation?” is:
“Why WOULDN’T you?”