The first is that you must contact a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations and that it costs you nothing to use them! The second is that you should be aware of all discounts on Disney tickets, vacation packages, and special offers so you can take full advantage of them and get the most out of your Walt Disney World Vacation.
Now already you’re thinking, “But wait, if this travel agent is so great, can’t they just tell me every Disney discount that may apply to me?” The answer is probably not, because they can’t read your mind, and they can’t tell you what it is that you want. They can make suggestions or guesses about what discounts apply to you, but telling you how to run run your family vacation is not their job. Lucky for you, you can contact a good travel agent by phone toll free, and so you can spend time discussing your options with them. However, don’t bridge the gap from spending time to wasting it. It’s not just their time you’re wasting, its your own, too.
First, how do you spot a travel agent who is everything you need and more? How do you decide that they are ready to step up and become your full service, personal travel agent; your go-to for all things Disney?
Their website or advertisements should look reputable, well designed, user friendly and a bit expensive – not over the top flashy, distracting expensive, just clean, snazzy and efficient. A cheap looking website probably means that they have out of date information or that they are sub-par in some way or another. You can tell at least something about the book by its cover.
The agency should have a phone number you can call toll free. If this number is not available immediately, don’t panic. Often times, there will be about one to two steps in between. Many travel agent websites ask that you email them first with some information about your family’s vacation, including personal travel wants and needs summary. This will give them a better idea of what information to have ready for you, as well as some of your questions and concerns, which will waste less of both of your time. This helps the agent be prepared for when you to talk.
It is important to remember that with a good agent, you should be able to contact them fairly easily. If there are more than one or two steps, a runaround of any kind, or any fees before you can get a phone number, look elsewhere to find a travel agent who gives you full service vacation planning help. Travel agents are paid by the travel site, in this case, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, not by the traveler. You are spending enough money giving your family a memorable, magical vacation. Disney doesn’t want you to spend more on the planning process. This is why they provide a stamp of approval of sorts to travel agent websites with which they are officially connected – for example, often, they will have a small banner of sorts that declares them, “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.” Words like authorized and official are your friends when it comes to selecting travel agents. It provide you an assurance that the agents have received special training and know how Disney works.
So, in summary, please contact a travel agent who will let you talk their ear off toll free. Pretty easy advice to follow, huh?
Secondly, be aware of what discounts are available to you and your family, which ones apply, and which ones will save you the most money!
Booking in the Off Season
Booking your family’s Disney vacation in the “off season” – in late spring or late summer, for example, can save you 30% – 40%. Also, booking on certain days is cheaper. Weekends are most expensive, and so, if you are visiting Walt Disney World Resort for a week, don’t book Saturday to Saturday, book Tuesday to Tuesday or Thursday to Thursday. Your travel agent should be able to provide you with estimates in regards to the week you want to go.
Often times, you can find discounts if you have young children – ages 3 – 9. There are vacation packages you can book that will allow your young children to stay and play for free. Their theme park tickets, as well as their stay at select Disney resort hotels is free if you book a certain number of days. Ask your travel agent about it if you have young children who may qualify.
There are also special offers and discount tickets available specifically to members of the US Armed Forces. If someone in your family is in the armed forces, the cost of your Disney vacation could be significantly reduced. This would be a great thing to mention to your travel agent, as they can check for special offers available to members of the Armed Forces at that time. They may even have access to offers not made apparent on the website.
Florida Resident Discounts
If you live in Florida, you are a lucky duck! You can save up to 50% on your Disney vacation, including admission to theme parks, a stay at one of Disney’s resort hotels, and even Disney vacation packages, which are already discounted. Being a Florida resident gets you a major break as far as costs go – and after all, why shouldn’t it? How much should you really pay to go vacationing in your own back yard – so to speak.
Magic Your Way Package
Disney’s Magic Your Way Package base ticket gives you one park ticket per day per person covered by your package. In addition, you can add customization options, like the Park Hopper – which allows you access to all parks in a day, rather than just one, or the Water Park Fun & More option – which allows you access to Disney’s water parks and a few other smaller parks and attractions. You can also add a dining plan and the cost of your lodging into your magic your way package, whether it be the quick service dining plan and a stay at one of Disney’s value resort hotels, or the most deluxe dining and luxury resort hotel available. This package has the most wiggle room, so you and your travel agent will have much to talk about. This package can save you up to 50% on your vacation, all things told, and has many other advantages besides cost efficiency.
Other Packages and Discounts
There are other Disney World Discounts available, for example, becoming a member of Disney’s Annual Passholder Program, but this program has many benefits designed to stretch over the course of a year. It can be used at all theme parks, with both premium and platinum packages available, but if you are only planning one vacation, it may not be worth it. Ask your travel agent about if its right for you.
Your travel agent will become your lifeline in planning your family’s magical Walt Disney World vacation. Respect them as they respect you – don’t waste their time, but don’t be afraid to make good use of it. Questions are the key to well – answers! Ask questions and make sure your family’s vacation is all that you hoped for and more.