Planning any vacation can be intimidated, but planning a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort can seem completely bewildering. There are 4 parks, 2 water parks, the Disney Springs shopping area, and 28 or so resort hotels. Deciding what to fit in to a 6 day vacation is overwhelming for some. Luckily, there are friendly folks out there whose job it is to help you navigate the waters, called Authorized Disney Vacation Planners. They will book your vacation, meals and extras. This seems like a no-brainer, but there pros and cons as with anything. Here are some things to think about.
- Expertise. Let’s face it, a Disney travel agent knows way more about Disney than you. That is their area of specialty and that’s why they do what they do. If you can’t or don’t want to invest the time and energy into researching all Disney has to offer, you should go with a pro.
- Saving Money. That’s what this blog is all about, right? If you decide to go with a travel agent, know that it costs you absolutely nothing extra. In addition, they know all the specials going on throughout the year and will make sure that you will benefit from them if your vacation qualifies for a discount.
- Peace of Mind. Not only will a travel agent book your hotel and tickets, but let them know your dining preferences and they will make your advance dining reservations (ADRs), which, trust me, can be a major hassle, since the window for reservations opens at 6am 180 days before your arrival date. They will be better at snagging those hard-to-get Fastpass+ reservations too.
- Giving up control. Like being in charge? Well, going through a travel agent might not be for you. Like I said, the travel agent will book everything for you, leaving you out of the loop for micromanaging dining times and Fastpasses. If you love researching the best restaurants and activities for your family trips and Excel spreadsheets make you excited, count on planning your own vacation.
- Not as much flexibility. I personally like to have my vacation plan evolve as time passes. I may change my dining reservation several times as my plans change. With a travel planner, you can’t constantly change your mind.
- You might spend money on things you didn’t know existed. Your planner might recommend extras such as Cirque du Soleil or the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. They should never pressure you to add extras, but knowing about all the choices might tempt you to exceed your budget. In such cases, it’s better to plan yourself, keeping yourself within your budget (more or less.)
So, as you can see, using an Authorized Disney Travel Planner is a personal choice and is not for everyone. I’m a person who likes to learn everything about my travel destination (I’m currently obsessed with Youtube videos about the Disney Dream, in preparation for our 2017 cruise!) So, for me, I enjoy planning everything myself. Let me know what you think. is it worth the peace of mind to leave the planning to a pro, or are you a DIY vacationer?