You are thinking of booking a trip to Disney World. Maybe it’s your first time or you haven’t been since 1985 when there were only two parks. What could be so hard? Go on the website or call (you may be on hold for a bit). Then, plug-in your dates, pick a hotel, add some tickets, maybe a dining and—voilà–you are all set. You’ll arrive with the kids, check-in, run to the parks with the kids, ride all the rides, maybe get some dinner at a table service restaurant, go back to hotel, and get a good night sleep.
Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s not that simple. You see, Disney World has lots of nuances, some of which you may not know about unless you go frequently. Did you know there are three tiers of accommodations on Disney Properties? What about the fact that you actually have to book dining reservations for table service restaurants in advance? Perhaps you didn’t know about the Disney extras or the special events Disney offers? Disney has VIP services, dessert parties, and special events that require a separate ticket. For example, Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween party requires an additional ticket and wrist band to attend. I have seen visitors that were totally unaware and had to leave the Magic Kingdom, screaming children in tow. You may not be able to get on all of your favorite rides in one day, but there’s a chance you can get on the ones you really want by booking a Fastpass in advance. Never heard of a Fastpass? Well then, you may want to contact a Disney Travel Planner before booking your trip.
Hiring a Disney travel planner is like having a Disney expert by your side at all times. Did you know that Disney travel planners get a Disney degree through Disney College? Travel planners then must continue training with updates and additional education to stay accredited. Think of it as a PhD in Disney-ology.
I love to travel with my family; we have been fortunate enough to travel all around the globe with our kids. But the place that keeps bringing me back is Disney World. I could go to Disney every year—and, maybe, even more than annually. Disney is my happy place; I feel like a kid when I get there, and cannot wait to see and do it all. I love it so much that I wanted others to love it as well. So, I became a Disney travel planner. My passion is planning perfect Disney vacations, so that they feel the same love and wonder.
Disney Travel Planning: No Cost
Going through an accredited planner doesn’t cost you a cent. Disney recognizes that people who work with planners are happier and more likely to come back, so the service takes no fees from you, the consumer. While a few agents charge fees but they are both usually upfront about their service fee and are in the minority. A planner knows how to harness the best rates and specials available and connect you with them. Be suspicious of any planner that claims that he or she can get deals no one else can.
Disney College of Knowledge
The Disney College of Knowledge is a training program on all things Disney that all Disney planners must take. It’s a comprehensive, module-based training system that give planners detailed information on everything from food to hotels. We learn everything we could ever want about the parks. We also get trained on Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, and Adventures by Disney. Additionally, I’ve done onsite visits and training at both Disney and Universal. For example, when the new Star Wars Land, Galaxy’s Edge, opened, I spent hours learning about its history and ins-and-outs.
Knowledge of All Things Disney
A good planner will take time to get to know you and your family. They will find out if your kids love princesses or thrill rides. They will get to know your budget and connect you with packages that will accommodate it. Planners will get a feel for what your perfect day looks like, and then place you in the right hotel for your family. They will figure out what Disney dining is right for you. Perhaps you want character dining and buffet only? A planner can help you to create those dining experiences.
Most of us are busy with work and kids. Good travel planning takes time and energy. That’s where a planner comes in. They will be the ones to spend time working with Disney to ensure best possible reservation that fits your needs. Need to make modifications? Let the planner do it. Want the best Fastpasses and dining? A planner know what day you are able to book those sought-after Fastpassesand do it for you. The same goes for dining; a planner will be prepared to reserve you the best meals the day reservations become available for your vacations.
Always Looking out for New Deals
Did you know that Disney will periodically drop great deals for visitors? They may offer 30% off your stay, or sometimes entice visitors with free dining plans. It’s a Disney Planners job to look out for these deals and help you get the best deal. Perhaps you booked before the deal came out. If that’s the case, a planner will call to modify your reservation to include the deal. This saves you money. Usually there’s talk among all planners before a deal comes out, so planners are ready for it. Once it drops, we are the first on the phones to get your Disney package modified.
Know the Parks and Rides
Disney travel planners are Disney-obsessed and go to Disney at least annually. We are familiar with all the rides and the layout of the parks. This is helpful when planning an itinerary for your family. Planners can map out your day based on ride location and what would make the most sense to maximize your time in the park. Planners also know the ins and outs of all rides and which rides would be best suited for your family. Our obsession helps you have the best experience while visiting Disney.
Fastpass and Dining Booking
Did you know you get three ride Fastpasses you can book 60 days ahead if staying on Disney property? A Fastpass is like a ride reservation; you get to essentially skip the line and head right onto the ride. Did you also know that some ride Fastpasses are really hard to get, and if you book them on the Disney website the day they become available, you won’t get one? The planner has some tricks of the trade to make it most likely to happen. If, by chance, they cannot get the ride you want, a planner will spend the next weeks and months before your trip working to make it happen.
A planner will be able to book your dining reservations based on your food preferences. If you want a character breakfast and try schnitzel in Germany for dinner, a planner will make sure to figure out which dinning locations are best based on your daily itinerary. Like Fastpasses, if dining isn’t available, planners will take the time to go back in and check to see if anything has opened up. A lot of times, reservations do open up and a planner will be able to book it, so you don’t have to spend the time checking.
One Point of Contact
Every time you call Disney, you will speak with a different cast member. That means that every time you need to re-explain your needs and requests. A planner will get to know you and your family. Want to make a modification? No problem; email or call your planner and they will take care of it for you. Need to change your hotel or add a guest? No problem, email or call your planner and they will do the work for you. A planner is your one-point of contact for your entire vacation planning before and while you are there.
I love Disney and love sharing what I’ve learned. If you are planning your own trip, I can help. Check me out at alison-wishesandwizardstravelco or email me at alison@
A Disney travel planner does all the heavy lifting for you at no cost to you.
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