Who doesn’t dream about going to the most magical place on earth?! The last time I went to Disney World was when I was 5 years old and I wish I could tell you all I remember, but I don’t. The only thing I remember that haunts me until this day was not flying down on the Dumbo ride in order for my dad to take a picture. YES, I still remember that and feel sad that I never took that picture!
I always wanted to go back as an adult, but you know how that goes– always making excuses. When I had my daughter I knew a trip to Disney World was in the very near future!
Of course before booking you have to do some research on who you’ll book with, which hotel would be better suited for your family and the packages. Join me as we start planning our first family vacation to Disney World! Every Wednesday I’ll have a Walt Disney World post touching on every part of planning our family’s vacation from step one to step done; from research to relax; and every little magical detail in between.
This week we’ll look into who we can book with–
Disney.com *What we chose*
No smoke and mirrors. Your vacation package is everything you desire it to be. You choose your destiny; You have control of saving money or spending a little extra on certain aspects of the vacation an agent might not take the time. The what you see is what you get vacation booking. Easy to navigate. And the chat section answered a lot of my questions. Their lodging booking only pertains to Disney Property Hotels. If you would prefer speaking to someone verbally and setting up your vacation, than Disney has an EXCELLENT team of individuals who run reservations. They really excel in the Magic of Mickey. I really didn’t feel pressured into ANYTHING. And our agent was truly informative and offered her advice in where we could save money. We initially wanted a much more expensive package, but our agent was able to pack so much more into a more affordable stay. It was warming.
• Disney Resort Hotel Packages
•Park Tickets & Park Perks (Hopper Pass + Water Park + Memories)
•Dinning Plans (various options for all budgets)
•3rd Party Airline Reservations (via JetBlue)
•Transportation Options (Including Magic Express; Complimentary bus service from airport to resort)
Does not have a contract with Disney anymore. Same prices as Disney.com
Expedia & Travelocity
If you don’t plan on staying on Disney property, they offer a large selection of affordable hotel/motel options. Expedia and Travelocity excel in grabbing the best deals in your lodging (off Disney only) and Airfare. Where they lack are the perks of Disney that only Disney can offer; Dining Plans, transportation, etc.. There are other 3rd Party options to acquire cheap park tickets. But this can become what I call a piece operation, having to distribute your money through several different hands in order to put your entire vacation together. For me, it was so much easier just to put it from beginning to end with one agent; being Disney direct on the phone. But if you’re looking to stretch your dollar and pack in the absolute cheapest vacation stay, you might find it through this route.
Issued an agent that assists you in setting up your vacation. They use standard Disney.com prices, trying to find you the best possible deals. I found it to be the same as packaging my vacation on Disney.com for the same price, but less wait time. Waiting for an agent to contact you upon a vacation quote request took longer than actually researching things yourself or spoke with the automated chat system on Disney.com. They compile the same packages Disney.com do.
My Recommendation; Learned about them after solidifying our reservation – I really wish I would have found this team earlier in my planning stages. They’re similar to DreamsUnlimited in the fact that you’re assigned with an Agent. Although DreamsUnlimited says “the agent will be your agent until the day you check in”, I found too many articles of people saying that they just sold them on the package and that was that. Never really followed up. Unlike those comments, I could not find one negative remark about SMV’s agents. They have a quick response in packaging your quote and they REALLY dig to the bottom. They take specials and add in discount codes plus sprinkle in deals and put together really nice packages for your family. Unlike ANY agency out there, these people TRULY know the Disney experience. So when they advise something, they’ve 100% experienced it firsthand and that’s what SWV prides themselves on. Upon receiving my quote, I found that the prices were closely comparable to what I booked directly with Disney, but there’s one HUGE separation. As Disney allows you to change your reservation right up until the day you check in, you’re able to hunt for those great deals and change them as you go. But YOU have to monitor all these changes. SMV’s agents are in the know on everything going on and SOMEHOW get a hold of those magical Disney bulletins on all discount codes, upcoming package deals and changes. So instead of you hunting this info down and altering your stay, their Agents drop you a friendly hello in email and make recommendations in upcoming changes that could enhance your family’s stay or lessen the financial burden.
Only you will know your budget and the time you have to research and prepare. You could ‘one-stop-shop’ with Disney and spend a little extra; book everything individually to really stretch your dollar and hunt the best prices; hire a free agent through certified agencies. Only YOU will understand the wants and needs of your family. And sometimes it’s in your best interest to just stop and look around first. The easiest route might not exactly be for you.
Do you have recommendations to add on?