Are you looking to plan a Disney vacation? A Disney travel agent can be the difference between a smooth vacation and a stressful nightmare. But how do you know the difference between a true travel professional, and someone who is just a Disney fan that has a new hobby? Here are 10 questions to ask when choosing a Disney travel agent.
Do you have positive referrals, reviews, or references? A professional travel agent should have a list of people who have already used their services. You can easily find these on social media. Check out the “Reviews” section of your agent’s Facebook page. Look at their personal page to see if their guests have tagged them with comments. Can your agent point you to any of these reviews? Also, look at the reviews for the company they work for. This will be an indication of the type of service you should expect.
How Long Have You Been a Travel Agent? This is a very tough profession. It demands a lot of hours. Many “hobbyist” don’t survive the industry because they don’t understand the commitment it takes to be a good planner. While a “new” travel agent should not be discounted (see the next question), someone who has been in the industry for at least a year (if not longer) is more likely to be committed to being a “professional” as opposed to making travel planning their hobby. Your family deserves a professional.
What Training Have You Received? Our first piece of advice is to look beyond an agent saying they’ve completed the College of Disney Knowledge. While this is a great training course, every agent should have completed it (if they didn’t – run!). However, look beyond this. Does their agency provide additional training? Does your agent attend these trainings? Have you attended on-site training? Do you attend training webinars? Do you keep updated with all the new Disney information? How do you receive this information? A true professional will take advantage of every training opportunity presented to them. Also….having solid training can be a great offset to question #2 if you are working with a newer agent.
How Many Times Have You Visited Disney destinations? If your agent isn’t visiting a Disney destination at least once a year, then it might be time to look elsewhere. On-site experience is the best way for your agent to bring back tips and ideas to make your vacation more Magical.
When Was Your Last Visit to a Disney destination? Things change rapidly at Disney. For instance, in just the last year, Walt Disney World has added at least 4 new shows, an entire new land (Pandora), new attractions, a new shopping district, and several new restaurants. If your agent isn’t experiencing these changes, then how do you expect them to provide the best information to you?
Tell me about your Agency? Believe it or not, there are agencies that operate at the “hobby” level. Ask very specific questions about the agency. How many agents are there? How long have they been in business? Are they an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency? How many guests do they serve? What training do they provide? These are all great questions to make sure that your travel agent is grounded with a solid and reputable company.
Do You Provide Tips and Planning? It’s important that you know what to expect from your Travel Agents. Many agents who specialize in Disney destinations go far beyond just booking the vacation. Does you agent offer you tips and guidance? Are they able to provide expertise for all your Disney questions? Do they assist with dining recommendations and reservations? Will they offer itinerary assistance? Will they give tips and guidance about FastPasses? These can be very valuable added services that can make your vacation stress-free and even more Magical.
Do You Over Promise? Beware of the agent who says “When a discount comes out, I will automatically apply the discount for you”. Disney does not always offer discounts, and when they do, they are often for limited dates and limited availability at the resort. What your agent SHOULD promise you is to move your reservation to a discounted room if one becomes available. A good agent will help you plan your vacation to your budget. If a discounted offer becomes available that you qualify for, then that will be a bonus. Just be careful for the agents who will “over-promise” something that they may not be able to deliver.
Do you use the Disney Dining Plan, Memory Maker, park hoppers? If your agent is making recommendations that you purchase various vacation components, and they’ve never used them themselves, how can you be sure that the recommendation is truly what you need? Ask your agent if they’ve personally used these products. If they haven’t, be sure to ask why not, and why they are recommending them to you.
How Many Hours do You Work Each Week? Being a Disney Travel Agent can be a second job for many, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work hard and put in many hours. Ask your agent if they are committed to putting in the time to properly service you and your family. Will they get your dining at 180 days? Will they have your documents to you on time? Will they be available during their stated business hours to answer your questions? The answers to these questions will give you an indication if your agent is a true professional or if this is just their “Disney hobby”.
There are many great travel agents, both within and outside our company, that will treat you well. Trust that your My Mickey Vacation Travel agents are called “Dream Designers” for a reason – we are all here as professionals to service you and make your vacation as Magical as it can be.
Contact our Dream Designers today to plan your next vacation !