To TA it not to TA that is the question??

adamkat

2005 WDW, 2012 WDW, 2015 DL, 2020 WDW
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Howdy all. So we are trying to get back to WDW after 8 years.
so much has changed and there is so much information out there my head is spinning
What are your thoughts on doing it all yourself or using a TA?
good bad and the ugly? TIA
 

TammyLynn33

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
I think if you are on here and able to research you are more than able to do it yourself. Everyone here is so helpful
As are Disney when you call to book then you have time to pay it off too.
If you do decide to go travel agent way make sure it’s a Disney specialized agent if you want them to be of any benefit .
good luck whatever you choose
 


  • ottawamom

    The "Air Miles" Lady
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2005
    @adamkat , you can do it. Just start with your dates and where you want to stay. Fastpasses, ADR's and all that are all down the road. One step at a time.

    Pick your dates
    Choose your resort
    Make travel arrangements
    Decide on the # of days you want to go to the parks
    Then come back with lots of questions.
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    I would 100% go with a good TA for the first trip back. Even if you decide to figure out fast passes and dining yourself they can still help by keeping an eye out for discounts etc.
     
  • adamkat

    2005 WDW, 2012 WDW, 2015 DL, 2020 WDW
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2015
    Ok here is another question and good point TammyLynn33,
    We don't have a credit card so how can one make payments if I book myself on the WDW site?
    If we went with say a Dreams Unlimited TA are they only based out of the states??

    Ok that is two questions
     

    hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    Ok here is another question and good point TammyLynn33,
    We don't have a credit card so how can one make payments if I book myself on the WDW site?
    If we went with say a Dreams Unlimited TA are they only based out of the states??

    Ok that is two questions
    Disney giftcards :) you can buy them in CAD and either consolidate them onto one card (up to $1000 CAD) and apply that way. You also save the exchange fees (2.5% ish)

    As far as I know Dreams Unlimited is based in the US. I have not used them but obviously they sponsor the board so it would be a decent one to use.

    Personally I only use a TA if I am going to get a discount of some sort from them. I prefer to be in charge of my own Dining reservations and fastpasses… perhaps I'm a bit of a control freak :)
     

    princess_jamie

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2015
    I would definitely go with a Canadian agency that specializes in Disney vacations (look for an Earmarked agency). It's their job to stay current and on top of all the Disney details and they will help you with all the details! You can always do as much or as little of the planning yourself but why not have an expert give you guidance for free!
     
  • kiford

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2012
    Is it cheaper to e mail an US based TA and let him/her call Disney and stay on hold for a while, than to call yourself?
    There's no cost to you so it doesn't matter. For us, it's availability and knowledge that's more important. Our TA (local) has booked for us for over 15 years. Even if we just book a room-only reservation at WDW (we have APs now), I still prefer to have her do it. If there's a problem with anything, I only have one point of contact and she'll spend the time on the phone. She knows who to call, what to ask for, what I should expect, and has the weight of the agency behind her. For us, that's valuable. We also get our travel/health insurance from her. For non-WDW trips, she's been able to hold a business class flight for us for 48 hours at the original price (which nearly tripled right after I confirmed booking), got cancel-for-any-reason insurance for that particular flight for no extra cost, and we routinely get information and notices from her about new potential vacation options, reminders about scheduled payments and just general all-around knowledge from her that I might not have known but which were useful.

    We still book all of our own ADRs, FP+, cruise excursions and onboard activities, and we do research on our own. We just like having a TA who has our back. We chose to go with a local person since I can drop into the office if I need to pick up luggage tags or information, I can sit down with her to go through things, and there's an office that I can drop into and talk to someone else if she's not available. I'm not personally in favour of having an e-mail only agent (though I do a lot with her by e-mail). But it depends on what works for you.
     

    isabellea

    Combining beach and Disney!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    Tracey Heinrichs is a Dreams Unlimited Agent and lives in Canada.
    Tracey is my TA for DCL cruises. She's good.

    For WDW or DLR I prefer to be in control of my reservation. I don’t like the idea that my reservation is owned by the TA and I have to go through them to do any modification.
     

    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    given the never ending headaches we've had with our current reservation (here now) do not book with a travel agent unless they've actually been here and are certified as Earmarked as mentioned above. Also find a Canadian based one so you'll have the protection of whatever your province's agency is called , Ontario is TICO. You want someone who is willing to get up at butt crack of stupid o'clock to make your adrs and FP when those days roll around

    OR book it yourself with tons of help from all of US 🤪

    btw, we're still waiting for our TA to book our adrs and FP ... wonder when that will happen 🤔
     

    adamkat

    2005 WDW, 2012 WDW, 2015 DL, 2020 WDW
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2015
    There's no cost to you so it doesn't matter. For us, it's availability and knowledge that's more important. Our TA (local) has booked for us for over 15 years. Even if we just book a room-only reservation at WDW (we have APs now), I still prefer to have her do it. If there's a problem with anything, I only have one point of contact and she'll spend the time on the phone. She knows who to call, what to ask for, what I should expect, and has the weight of the agency behind her. For us, that's valuable. We also get our travel/health insurance from her. For non-WDW trips, she's been able to hold a business class flight for us for 48 hours at the original price (which nearly tripled right after I confirmed booking), got cancel-for-any-reason insurance for that particular flight for no extra cost, and we routinely get information and notices from her about new potential vacation options, reminders about scheduled payments and just general all-around knowledge from her that I might not have known but which were useful.

    We still book all of our own ADRs, FP+, cruise excursions and onboard activities, and we do research on our own. We just like having a TA who has our back. We chose to go with a local person since I can drop into the office if I need to pick up luggage tags or information, I can sit down with her to go through things, and there's an office that I can drop into and talk to someone else if she's not available. I'm not personally in favour of having an e-mail only agent (though I do a lot with her by e-mail). But it depends on what works for you.
    excellent point I hate being on the phone. Lol
     

    ottawamom

    The "Air Miles" Lady
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2005
    There's no cost to you so it doesn't matter. For us, it's availability and knowledge that's more important. Our TA (local) has booked for us for over 15 years. Even if we just book a room-only reservation at WDW (we have APs now), I still prefer to have her do it. If there's a problem with anything, I only have one point of contact and she'll spend the time on the phone. She knows who to call, what to ask for, what I should expect, and has the weight of the agency behind her. For us, that's valuable. We also get our travel/health insurance from her. For non-WDW trips, she's been able to hold a business class flight for us for 48 hours at the original price (which nearly tripled right after I confirmed booking), got cancel-for-any-reason insurance for that particular flight for no extra cost, and we routinely get information and notices from her about new potential vacation options, reminders about scheduled payments and just general all-around knowledge from her that I might not have known but which were useful.

    We still book all of our own ADRs, FP+, cruise excursions and onboard activities, and we do research on our own. We just like having a TA who has our back. We chose to go with a local person since I can drop into the office if I need to pick up luggage tags or information, I can sit down with her to go through things, and there's an office that I can drop into and talk to someone else if she's not available. I'm not personally in favour of having an e-mail only agent (though I do a lot with her by e-mail). But it depends on what works for you.
    So glad you have such a great TA. Not all TA's are created equal. I'm a bit of a control freak and prefer to do it myself.
     

    tinkerone

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2007
    Here's my two cents, which is probably what its worth. Many years ago DH and I had booked a DCL cruise using Dreams as our TA. I decided on that trip to get the agent to book us a week in WDW as well, since I had always booked WDW by myself this was all new to me. Then I had several other families wanting to meet up with us for our week at WDW and they asked me to book for them and make any needed arrangements. I booked their packages myself, no point in getting the TA to do it. It was all good.

    Then out came free dining. You know that you often have to jump on this deal quickly or your room/resort could be sold out. I sent off an email to our TA requesting she look into this for us and make the change. It was hours before I heard back from her and it was a mass email, looked like it was sent to all her clients, stating she knew the deal was coming out, please stop emailing her. If she could get the deal for any of her clients she would let us know then. If she couldn't then sorry.

    So while I waited for the TA to get back to me with an answer I managed to get my other families reservations changed right away. We did end up getting the free dining on our reservation but it was a long 24 hour wait before we were informed. I could have made that change and not worried about it myself IF I had owned the reservation.

    I will never use a TA for booking WDW again, I don't like the feeling of losing control of it. If a deal is coming up I don't want to wonder if the TA will be to busy to get it for us. There is no advantage for me, I can do everything they can. So can you.

    Also, I have a local TA I sometimes used for travel to other countries who had the Disney Certificate that was issued saying she was a Disney specialist. She had been to Disney ONCE! You really don't have to do much to get that certificate stating your a specialist so if your using one ask questions about their knowledge.

    If your worried about the long distance, I downloaded Hangouts which is a app that allows you to do long distance. I have used it to call from serval countries, saves a bundle.
     

    TammyLynn33

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2008
    Yes ha ha about Disney certification is look for recent framed photos of the TA at Disney with her kiddos or his kiddos or loved ones it would mean more to me

    Here's my two cents, which is probably what its worth. Many years ago DH and I had booked a DCL cruise using Dreams as our TA. I decided on that trip to get the agent to book us a week in WDW as well, since I had always booked WDW by myself this was all new to me. Then I had several other families wanting to meet up with us for our week at WDW and they asked me to book for them and make any needed arrangements. I booked their packages myself, no point in getting the TA to do it. It was all good.

    Then out came free dining. You know that you often have to jump on this deal quickly or your room/resort could be sold out. I sent off an email to our TA requesting she look into this for us and make the change. It was hours before I heard back from her and it was a mass email, looked like it was sent to all her clients, stating she knew the deal was coming out, please stop emailing her. If she could get the deal for any of her clients she would let us know then. If she couldn't then sorry.

    So while I waited for the TA to get back to me with an answer I managed to get my other families reservations changed right away. We did end up getting the free dining on our reservation but it was a long 24 hour wait before we were informed. I could have made that change and not worried about it myself IF I had owned the reservation.

    I will never use a TA for booking WDW again, I don't like the feeling of losing control of it. If a deal is coming up I don't want to wonder if the TA will be to busy to get it for us. There is no advantage for me, I can do everything they can. So can you.

    Also, I have a local TA I sometimes used for travel to other countries who had the Disney Certificate that was issued saying she was a Disney specialist. She had been to Disney ONCE! You really don't have to do much to get that certificate stating your a specialist so if your using one ask questions about their knowledge.

    If your worried about the long distance, I downloaded Hangouts which is a app that allows you to do long distance. I have used it to call from serval countries, saves a bundle.
     

    samsteele

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2014
    IMO I wouldn't give up control of either the booking or reservation to a TA. There are many nuances to WDW experience with a TA as many are more experienced with Disney cruises than the parks. Much more work and time intensive for a TA to book WDW and promise to complete your ADRs and FP+. Some agencies either don't have the time or incentive to do it diligently. My Disney Experience with time sensitive booking windows for ADRs and FP+ is a time black hole for many TAs who can't justify the required time spent on a single client. When it goes off the rails, and the TA doesn't have the time to make you the priority amongst hundreds of clients and get you that coveted ADR or FP, you wear it. She still has the commission. She may not get your business next year but she has hundreds of clients who are less demanding and frankly don't know any better. WDW has made managing its Orlando reservations a nightmare for most TAs regardless if they are Disney smart or not.
     

    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    Here right now and the saddest thing i heard yesterday was a poor mom with several kids in tow and a rather frazzled dad trying to get into the Fast Pass line for Haunted Mansion and she obviously reached her limit and tears started trickling down her cheeks. She was clutching a handful of hard tickets and pleaded with the CM to help her figure out how to use them ... seems her TA had told her the tickets would let her just get into anything she wanted, whenever she wanted. Oh, and that they could just go anywhere and eat at anytime they were hungry.

    There are some amazing travel agents out there who are willing to put their hearts into planning your trip like their own but i believe there are more who only do it for the cash
     



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