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  • anthony1828


You have decided to take a trip to the most magical place on earth. Now it’s time to start the planning process. There has been an enormous number of changes to planning a Disney World trip in the past year, and I thought it would be helpful to give you an updated guide.

Throughout this guide, I will also be mentioning how an experienced travel advisor can help make your Disney World trip as seamless as possible. When looking for an experienced travel advisor, I highly recommended a travel advisor that specializes in Disney Destinations. Let’s be clear, there are TAs that state “I am certified Disney Travel Advisor”, and that’s great but you may want to vet them a bit further. A certified Disney travel advisor has taken and passed a program called Disney of College Knowledge. Unfortunately, that does not make them an experienced Disney traveler. Many agents can also state that they are an “Authorized Disney Travel Advisor,” but this just means that they are a part of an agency that has achieved a certain level of sales for Disney Destinations. Do your research! Look for an agent who not only books Disney travel but also frequently travels to Disney Destinations themselves. A travel advisor who has firsthand traveler knowledge of Disney is much more valuable to you the client. They have navigated and experienced much of what you are looking to plan, which will place you far ahead of the “do-it-myself” Disney guest.

So how do you know the agent you are working with is the right agent or experienced enough for Disney World Travel? Here are some great questions to ask the agent:

When is the last time you went to Disney?

If the answer is anything longer than a year, you may want to find a new agent.

How many times have you traveled to Disney?

The BEST agents travel 2-3 times a year. You want real-time advice and with Disney Destinations this is a must. If your agent saying “well an agent in my agency…” you may want to find a new agent.

What types of services do you provide?

Look for an agent that meets your level of need. Do you want them to make dining reservations for you? Be able to advise the right times to visit a certain park? Do you want them to be available to you during your trip? You need to find the right fit for your desired level of service.

Before hiring an agent, get to know them, and THEIR Disney knowledge and experience. You will know during the conversation whether they are experienced and the right fit for you.

Here are some great ones...

Now let’s get to the actual planning!

STEP ONE: Decided that you are going to go, and when to go, and HIRE a travel agent, no matter your level of experience with Disney.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get as a travel advisor. When should I go to Disney World? The answer to this is not simple. To better answer questions I ask my clients the following:

- Are you working around a school schedule?

- Are you willing to have kids miss school to save money?

- Do you want to be down there for a particular festival or holiday?

- Is weather a concern for you?

These are just some of the questions I ask as a travel advisor when pinpointing when a guest should travel.

Let’s however answer the eternal question is there a low season when it comes to Disney? The answer is complicated.

First, the perception of being busy is all relative. If you have never been to Disney, then you might think any amount of crowding is busy. If you go all the time, a 30-40 minutes wait for main attractions might seem low to you.

Second, with proper planning and flexibility, you will most likely find that you never really notice the crowds because you have the reservations you need and there will be minimal waiting for you for dining and other experiences.

Third, there are times when fewer people travel, but that is not to say that there won’t be busy weekends here and there. One of my favorite times to travel is in January and February. The temperature is nice, and there tend to be lower crowds. Festival of the Arts in EPCOT is increasingly becoming more and more popular drawing more and more people. See it’s complicated.

How an experienced travel advisor can help:

They will be able to have an in-depth conversation about when is the best time for your family to go. Answer various questions about the different seasons and festivals. Upcoming events and openings that might affect crowds.

SETP TWO: Decided on a hotel, and there are many options.

There are so many options in this area. Do you go Deluxe, Moderate, or Value? What area do you want to stay in? There are many more questions in this area before settling on a decision. While it is helpful to get recommendations from friends and family, keep in mind, the goals and family make-up might have impacted where they stayed and where they stayed might not be the right choice for you.

How an experienced travel advisor can help:

They will get to know you and your family. Ask the right questions to narrow down the choice. Steer you away from ones that might be undergoing refurbishment or construction impacting the noise on your trip.

STEP THREE: Decided on Park Days and make Park Reservations

Disney has implemented a new park pass reservation system, and it is here to stay. It used to be enough to just have a ticket, but now you must decide what park you are going to go to and make a reservation for that park. If you don’t know what this is and you haven’t hired a travel agent, reverse course and find one!

How an experienced travel advisor can help:

They will provide advice on which parks you should go to and when based on your family's particular trip and goals. Here is an example: Are you going to candlelight processional? Then you’re going to want to Epcot on that day. Also, the advisor will know that Monday is the busiest day at Magic Kingdom general because a lot of people start trips on Sunday. An experienced travel advisor will be up to date on the latest trends and happening to steer you to the right park each day.

STEP FOUR: Decided on Dining Reservations

Check out one of favorite dining experiences, Space 220, check out our review here!

There are 1000’s of options when it comes to dining. Disney has everything from quick service to table service to fine dining. You’re going to want to start looking at your options at least 65 days in advance. If you are staying on property, your booking window will open up 60 days out for the entire length of stay.

How an experienced travel advisor can help:

They will provide advice on which restaurants to go to when. They will work with you to get the highly desired dining reservations. The amount of ways an experienced TA will help in this area is countless. From a TA perspective dining has recently been a NIGHTMARE. You are going to want a second pair of hands on this step of the planning process, trust me!

STEP FIVE: Plan some fun extras

There are a ton of extras that can be added to a trip. Just takes little research to find them and add them on to make your trip magical. Maybe a VIP Tour or an after-hours event, these magical enchantments can help create a trip of a lifetime.

How an experienced travel advisor can help:

They will provide advice on which magical extras are the best value and which ones would be perfect for your Disney vacation.

One great extra is the Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties, check out our review here!

Well, that is a VERY, VERY simple breakdown of how to plan a Disney World vacation. Event the most seasoned Disney traveller can benefit from using a travel agent. Liking booking everything on your own, that's fine, support a small business and let the agent doing the booking, you can do everything else yourself! Many people begin to plan years in advance, but if you want a quick getaway, that can be achieved too! Just make sure you set the right expectations and hire an experienced travel advisor to make your trip even more magical, after all, their services are COMPLIMENTARY!

See you on your next magical journey!

Looking for help booking your next magical adventure, reach out to one of our expert agents for an obligation free quote.

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