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The Best Disney Travel Agents Share Their Booking Secrets

The Best Disney Travel Agents Share Their Booking Secrets

Disney World is the scale of San Francisco. Disneyland accommodated 18.7 capital-M million guests in 2019.1 It’s no marvel that vacationers search excessive and low for the most effective Disney journey brokers to assist plan and guide their Disney holidays!

HAR had some extremely good and resourceful journey brokers share golden nuggets (extra like a goldmine) of knowledge for reserving Disney journeys.

Whether you’re a veteran agent or beginner, reserving a Disney Cruise, Disneyland, Disney World, or an Adventures by Disney trip, we’re right here to provide you just a few extra assets so as to add to your bag of tips. Thanks to those stellar brokers, you’ll have the equal of a Lightning Lane move on the subject of insider data on reserving Disney.

Here’s what to anticipate!


  1. Should you guide Disney?
  2. Disney Early Reservation Date Calculator
  3. Getting previous the ten% fee factor
  4. Putting collectively a Disney value quote
  5. Communicating about Disney journeys along with your shoppers
  6. Disney with toddlers (ideas in your care-taking shoppers)
  7. Disney journey brokers on reserving direct vs. tour operator
  8. Keeping up with Disney information
  9. [FREE DOWNLOAD] HAR’s Disney Booking Cheatsheet

Should You Book Disney Vacations?

Frankly, a few of the journey brokers I spoke with and emailed are die-hard followers of Disney holidays. Nikki Miller of Travel With Nikki informed me she has visited Disney World a complete of 42 occasions and obtained married there.

However, whereas reserving Disney is probably not for the faint of coronary heart, the key is that you simply don’t essentially must be a fanatic your self to guide Disney.

If you assume Disney doesn’t mesh along with your area of interest, you is perhaps shocked. Disney has their palms in plenty of completely different journey markets together with journey journey, adult-only experiences, weddings, honeymoons, and extra.

Sarah Bergman’s company is an ideal instance of how Disney would possibly intersect along with your present area of interest. Her company tailors her Disney holidays to runners. Last 12 months, 90% of her enterprise was particular to race.

Here’s what Sarah’s needed to say about coordinating runDisney occasion weekends, “We’ve worked very hard to form a great relationship with the team at runDisney, and are able to send hundreds of runners to each coast to participate in these events. We contract bibs and rooms in advance and build custom packages for our runners. This has opened up a huge world of clients for us, and these clients keep coming back!”

Because Sarah’s area of interest has generated repeat shoppers, now her runDisney gross sales make up roughly 75% of her gross sales. So whether or not you do cruise, romance journey, golf, spa, or journey (the checklist goes on, my good friend), opening your door to Disney would possibly provide help to faucet right into a broader consumer base.

Disney Early Reservation Date Calculator

Since issues refill quick, it’s essential to prioritize bookings within the order you might want to guide them. Don’t know what these deadlines are? Well dang, do we now have one thing superb for you: a Disney Advanced Reservations Timeline Cheatsheet. All you might want to do is select which Disney product you are reserving and enter your consumer’s arrival date on the high, you then’ll see the earliest date you’ll be able to guide lodging, actions, and add-ons in your chosen Disney product!

Getting Past the ten% Commission Thing

Crystal Hurley Smith, Envoy Travel Disney Specialist
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It’s no secret within the journey agent neighborhood that Disney holidays require plenty of work to plan. But, at 10% fee, Disneyland and Disney World packages are on the lowest finish of the fee spectrum. For some brokers, that’s an enormous turn-off. (Read extra on journey agent commissions right here)

Read more: Disney Travel Planners – Magic Guides

Agent Crystal Smith mentioned some great benefits of promoting Disney no matter decrease commissions, “When I first started my business, I thought Disney wasn’t worth the effort because of the lower commission levels for Disney Resorts. Now, I realize, Disney vacations are never budget vacations so it’s certainly worth my time to be a Disney expert. Plus, some of those initial Disney visits turn into annual visits and sometimes Disney cruises.”

“When I first started my business, I thought Disney wasn’t worth the effort because of the lower commission levels for Disney Resorts. Now, I realize, Disney vacations are never budget vacations so it’s certainly worth my time to be a Disney expert. Plus, some of those initial Disney visits turn into annual visits and sometimes Disney cruises.

Now, more than ever Disney is a best seller for families. Domestic travel is much more attractive after the past 2 years so families are spending more and taking larger vacations.”

Putting together a Disney price quote:

Crystal offered some great details to consider when giving your client a Disney vacation quote. So the first four points below I’m basically quoting Crystal’s awesome advice, word for word! Credit where credit’s due!!!

1. Be Honest! Disney isn’t cheap

It will never be cheap. That’s just fact. Don’t allow them to go down there with unrealistic budgets, thinking they are going to eat breakfast in their room, pack a lunch every day and not spend any money in the park. Money will be spent, so be prepared!”

2. I never give a bare-bones quote.

Even if they seem to want the absolute cheapest, I still give them options. I start by getting detailed feedback from my client on what they want to experience. The children’s ages, likes, and dislikes, or all the family members, adults included. I ask if they are the type that opens the park, closes the park, or sneak out after lunch for a nap at the resort? etc. Then based on that feedback, I start preparing my quote. I always quote Disney resorts, never off the property. Unless my clients are very specific, I usually quote a Deluxe resort, a moderate, and a value resort. That seems like a lot, but for families that are shopping, they can quickly see there’s not always a huge difference. Many times, they choose the more expensive resort. I use the compare tool on the Disney travel agent site, it allows you to compare 3 different properties and print a nice PDF.”

3. The moving parts of a Disney vacation quote:

Here’s what Crystal keeps in mind when putting together a Disney quote:

  1. Resort
  2. Ticket package (maybe Park Hopper)
  3. Disney Dining Reservations
  4. Memory Maker Photo Package
  5. Insurance
  6. Ground Transportation

4. Break it Down

Putting together a Disney package isn’t a one-and-done deal when it comes to hashing it out with a client. When discussing a Disney package with a client, you want to avoid sticker shock or a deer-in-headlights stare. Planning and booking Disney is complicated enough for a Disney expert, so imagine how confusing it must be for clients.

Nikki offered a great strategy for how to parse out information to clients, “I try to only talk about the most upcoming cut-off dates for dining, park passes, etc.” Since eating reservations, magical extras, and specialty experiences be made as much as 60 days earlier than, she’ll focus on these add-ons earlier than park methods and Lightning Lane reservation processes.

Tips on talk with a Disney consumer

Denise Lorentzen, Dreams Travel Consulting Disney Specialist
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—Denise Lorentzen of Dreams Travel Consulting, an independent contractor with Gifted Travel Network

The Disney Client:

Regarding the Disney client, Nikki told me, “[When] working with Disney, you’re working with a lot of emotions. It’s almost like you’re working with someone’s wedding. It might be only one or two trips they take with their family, so they really want to create an amazing experience.” So whether a client is going to Disney for the first time or wants to pass along childhood Disney memories to their own children, the stakes for booking a Disney trip can run high.

Selling the Magic

Disney Specialist, Denise Lorentzen, owner and travel consultant at Dreams Travel Consulting, elaborated on highlighting the magic of Disney when talking to a client, “My best tip for selling Disney World (or any Disney vacation) is to sell them on the ‘magic.’ I indulge them in how they will feel when they first see the castle or that first time their little ones hug Mickey. Selling the experience is the best way to connect with them and makes this an emotional decision. They don’t want to buy a package, they want to have a special personalized travel experience.”

Get to Know your client

Read more: 10 Reasons Disney Travel Agents Make Your Trip Incredible!

Tip to selling the magic-start with understanding if this is the first visit or have they been before. I like to find out what type of lodging they are used to staying in (Best Western, Hyatt, etc). That way I can match them to a few resorts. Then I like to explain the resorts I recommend to show them how amazing they are. Show them the magic in the resorts. When I discuss the parks with them, I like to pull out a few things in each that will draw them in and excite them.

When you’re booking with kiddos, they need to be qualified as well! Denise recommends, “Make positive you recognize the ages of children, and I prefer to ask about favourite characters.”

Read on for more tips to share with clients on tackling Disney with toddlers!

Disney with toddlers (tips for your care-taking clients)

If you’re working with clients who will have toddlers or kiddos in tow, you will need to take the communication piece one step further. For example, if you’re client will need to return to their resort or hotel for a midday break (or two), you’ll want to consider the location of their lodging in relation to the theme parks they plan to visit. Will they have enough time to re-enter the theme park? Are they okay with a half-day lounge by the resort pool? How do their scheduling desires align with their lodging needs?

So much to think about when it comes to Disney with toddlers! I decided to reach out to Disney family travel expert, Dina Farmer. She talks about how to manage expectations, offers tips on how to find quiet corners of theme parks, and warns against skipping naps (don’t skip the nap!).

Dina Farmer, Tips on Disney with a Toddler
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  1. When traveling with a toddler to Walt Disney World try as much as you can to stick to their schedule. If your baby or toddler naps every day don’t skip that nap. Pencil it in!
  2. You may have to leave the parks be sure to head out of the parks BEFORE your child’s nap time to get them ready to go down for a nap. Take this time to nap yourself or take a shower after a wonderful morning at the parks.
  3. If your baby or toddler will nap anywhere then do more relaxing things like getting a cup of Jeofrries Coffee. Enjoying a quiet meal with a baby or toddler napping or just hanging out until your little one wakes up in one of Disney’s Quiet areas such as Hotel du Canada in the Canada Pavillion in EPCOT or Tomorrowland Terrance in The Magic Kingdom.
  4. If your toddler or baby has a strict eating routine make sure to download the Disney Genie app and use the mobile order app to get food at traditional meal times for your family.
  5. Disney has a Baby Care center in all 4 of its theme parks. This is a place to unwind and get away from all the noise! They offer private nursing rooms for breastfeeding moms, changing tables with a women’s restroom, microwaves and highchairs, a main room with a TV, AC, and a table and chairs to sit at, and finally, an on-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and clothing for purchase. If you happen to forget anything or have an accident Disney has you covered!
  6. Keep your expectations low, when visiting the parks it can be really sensory overload for your baby or toddler so fully expect your days to be short or punched with lots of breaks.
  7. Remember to have fun. This is why you are at the parks. While you can easily get caught up in wanting to see and do everything it’s okay to not! Enjoy your time there and create memories that will last a lifetime and then book another trip!

Disney travel agents on booking direct vs. tour operator

We have so much love for tour operators and the value they bring to agents. But when it comes to booking Disney, all the agents I spoke with recommended booking directly through Disney. Here are two main reasons why:

  1. Pricing Control: A Disney travel agent knows it’s not your average destination. Disney is such a behemoth in the travel industry, and they have complete control over its branding and pricing. This means that promotions come directly from Disney. So the Disney travel agent will always get the bottom line when booking Disney directly.
  2. Handling Client Concerns: If a Disney travel agent books through a tour operator and things go south for your client, Disney will not work with you. So another advantage to booking directly through Disney is that you’ll be better able to field customer concerns should they arise during your client’s Disney vacation.

Do you book Disney through tour operators? We’d love for you to play devil’s advocate. Let us know in the comments below!

Keeping up with the Disneys

Nikki Miller, Travel with Nikki Disney Specialist
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Disney is continually altering, so because you’ll be reserving journeys (particularly cruises) eons prematurely, you’ll actually wish to ensure you’re staying updated on Disney information. In addition to following Disney’s press releases, you will wish to maintain your fingers on the heart beat of Disney blogs to ensure you’re within the know.

Maybe information like swapping out the Wishes Firework Show is not any biggie to the typical Joe, however for a Disney specialist, it is a massive deal. If you have got a consumer that’s anticipating to see that firework present, you’ll have to allow them to know. Take it from the professionals:

Nikki supplied just a few methods to ensure you’re protecting your finger on the heart beat of Disney’s fixed evolution.

1. College of Disney Knowledge: A Disney Education

College of Disney Knowledge is a free on-line coaching program that is administered by way of Disney Destinations. Most (if not all) of the Disney journey brokers I spoke to “attended” College of Disney Knowledge (CDK) through Disney’s agent portal.

While the CDK isn’t necessary to promote Disney, journey brokers who do full it’s going to have entry to particular Disney perks together with agent resort charges and entry to selective Agent Experience Programs (AEP).

Read more: Should I Use a Travel Agent for My Disney Trip or Disney Cruise?

While College of Disney Knowledge could present an incredible basis for information, Nikki emphasised the significance of getting your personal private Disney journey expertise(s)—*ahem* coming from an agent who’s been to Disney 42 occasions—to get a deal with on insider data comparable to what rides to go on when which rides you’ll positively wish to use a Lightning Lane and different nitty-gritty journey particulars.

2. Tap right into a neighborhood of different Disney Advisors:

Nikki is part of a number of Facebook teams that concentrate on Disney. Some are open to the general public, and a few are personal with extra rigorous eligibility necessities.

You can hunt round for a disney-specific journey advisor group by yourself. But since so many advisors books Disney, it is a welcome matter basically advisor teams as nicely.

3. Read Disney News:

Nikki supplied just a few assets she subscribes to remain on the heart beat of Disney modifications.

  1. WDW News Today
  2. Disney Tourist Blog

4. Keeping Clients within the Loop

Nikki supplied an ingenious solution to maintain shoppers within the fold of those up-to-the-minute modifications. She creates a Facebook group only for her Disney shoppers to tell them of any modifications that may affect them. Having a segmented Disney group on her Facebook web page helps in just a few methods:

  1. Save time notifying a bunch of shoppers reasonably than contacting them one after the other.
  2. Since Nikki sells greater than Disney, posting these updates in a bunch (reasonably than on her journey company web page) prevents guests from considering she solely books Disney.

It’s dang enjoyable to have a neighborhood of people that share a love of Disney magic!


Disney eating is one more main element that’s continually altering. New eating places crop up. Some shut. Nikki contributed to HAR’s Disney Dining Resource that tackles this matter particularly!

The article will provide help to keep abreast to modifications in Disney’s eating program and provide help to make knowledgeable recommendations to your shoppers.

HAR’s Disney Booking Cheatsheet [PDF Download]

This cheatsheet is a synopsis of many gadgets on this article! A one-pager for all the nice data on this very article. Want a duplicate in your desktop? Easy. Just obtain it beneath!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Thank you a lot to our journey agent Disney consultants. Crystal Hurley, Denise Lorentzen, and Dina Farmer . . . thanks for weighing in to make this useful resource tops! A really particular thanks to Nikki Miller, who rigorously reviewed and edited this text to ensure all the things is updated. (Because did I do know that FastPass+ turned Lightning Lane? Of course not!)

Didn’t discover your reply right here? Well do not fret, this text isn’t the tip all be all. In reality, you’ll be able to contemplate this the rope drop to reserving Disney. Though I could not costume up in lavish Princess costumes2 to steer you deeper into Disney territory, there’s positively extra to return.

Check out our different assets together with Disney Cruise, Disneyland, and Disney World—and we now have just a few magic tips up our sleeves of our personal, so keep tuned.

Do you have got just a few tips of your personal? Blogs you prefer to comply with? Facebook teams you want to affix? Marketing Secrets to getting shoppers on board with Disney magic? Don’t be shy! Weigh in beneath!


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  2. I might be satisfied. Especially should you play up the pirate angle. ↩

Read more Best travel agent to book disney cruise – Indochina Airlines

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