Disney, Family Travel, Travel Professional, US Destinations

Why Work With a Disney Vacation Planner?


My love for Disney began when I was young and never missed TV Show the Wonderful World of Disney, and the Mickey Mouse Club on Television. Yes, I was a Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeer fan.  M-I-C-K-E-Y … (Why, because we like you!) …M-O-U-S-E.  

Growing up on the west coast, my family has visited Disneyland and CA Adventure Park several times beginning in 1985.  The first trip to Walt Disney World was in 1997 followed by double digit visits after a military move to the gulf coast of Florida. Our first Disney cruise was on the Disney Magic in 2002 with a great Florida resident rate – it’s a favorite!  

As a Florida kid, advisor Kim traveled to Disney World at least twice a year for most of her first 20 years! Epcot opened her mind to a world of exciting travel destinations and, as an adult, she has had the fortune to visit several European countries including France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Ireland… all inspired by the visits to Epcot themepark.  


  1. Are you searching for the best value for your family vacation needs. 
    • Here’s a secret… everyone wants the best value, even luxury clients want the best value. We help you get the most out of your vacation by advising on where to spend your dollars according to your desired experience, and where to save them. We book Disney vacations year around.
  2. We know the Disney Destinations and can advise you well, and if there is ever a question or situation we haven’t yet experienced, then we have the contacts to locate the official answers for you. 
  3. We must perform a the in-depth College of Disney Knowledge certification and renew every year with updates. We keep up to date on Disney specials, happenings, changes (Disney is constantly changing), and upgrades to the Disney destinations and cruise itineraries. 
  4. We take the stress out of planning your Disney visit.  With an individualized itinerary, Fast Pass selections, Dining Reservations, and much more.  All you have to do is show up and experience all that a Disney Vacation has in store for you.  As little or as much hands on assistance as you prefer. 
    • Note: Some folks love doing the Fast Passes and Dining Reservations – excellent!  You should.  However, having a second pair of eyes to look over your itinerary and say, “This plan may not work, and this is why you may want to consider an alternative.”  
  5. We provide you with insider tips to make your visit more enjoyable. 
    • Is that Fast Pass for the Frozen sing along necessary – no, not really since it’s such a large theater generally everyone gets a seat.  Of course we can’t possibly know every tiny detail but we really do our best to think about your experience and what will work best for you.
  6. We visit the Disney Destinations at least once a year, if not more.  With Kim living in Jacksonville, and my son living in Orlando, it’s easy to visit. 
  7. We love the Disney quality and understand that intrinsic happiness that you receive from visiting a Disney Destination – you’re just happy to be there! You may feel like Julie Andrews twirling on the mountain top in the Sound of Music – okay that might be only me.
  8. We give back to our local community with every vacation package booked with our agency.  Schools, churches, food banks, and homeless shelters receive a portion of our earnings. Your vacation has a ripple affect.
  9. You don’t have to go it alone. As a more personalized service to you, we are there for you before, during and after your vacation.  We don’t just book your trip and hand you the invoice.  We consider your vacation as important as if it were our family vacation. YOU are our VIP. 
    • ​This means, WE answer your questions personally via email, phone, text, IM – instead of you sitting on the line with a different Disney cast member for each question. 
    • This means WE look for lost luggage tags instead of you having to find out what happened.
    • This means WE hand any problems with your room reservation while you go and enjoy the theme parks.
    • This means WE help out when you’ve missed the ship in the port of call instead of figuring it out on your own.  

​With all this said, we also understand that your vacation is YOUR own.  You have complete control over what you do and when you do it.  We offer our expert advice and personalized service and it’s your choice to utilize that information and assistance.  So, go ahead and deviate from the plan… you may just discover some unexpected fun.  ;0)


Adding to this, Disney Destinations values travel partners.  The Walt Disney Travel Company has sales managers specifically assigned to work with travel agents/partners.  Disney knows we must adhere to their standards of quality and care for each vacation we plan and service.  

Disney wouldn’t spend so much time and money on sales managers, in-depth trainings, in-person training events, providing brochures, and more if it wasn’t important to the guest experience.  They don’t have to because they have over 50 million visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort every year! They do so because they value the work force and guest experience that travel planners bring – it’s a valued partnership. We’re happy to be part of this partnership since 2013.

Having a Vacation Planner is Included

Did you know the commissions paid to travel partners are already factored in to the cost of your reservation? True story!

Regardless of where you book your Disney Destination reservation the commission is included.  So, what happens if you book direct?  Disney keeps those funds. What happens if you book online?  Well, that online travel agency receives the full commission and you do all the work.

Many Disney Travel planners charge a fee for their services on top of the commission, and why not, they are doing a ton of work for you.  This varies by agency so be sure to inquire.

When NOT to use a Disney Travel Planner

There are only a few times when I’ve advised someone to book direct with Disney.  After all not everyone wants to work with a travel planner, and that’s okay.

  1. If you want no help with your vacation and want to do it all yourself. 
    • Some people love the details and are perfectly content with handling those.  There’s nothing wrong with that!  This doesn’t mean you couldn’t book with a travel advisor as they would be your back up should something go wrong.  Personally, I like having a safety net even if I don’t utilize it. 
  2. If you want to lie about your child’s age, or the number of people in a room. 
    • Yep, this has happened.  I have a colleague who delivered client documents and the “9 yr old” was actually a 14 yr old boy with facial hair.  Jaw drop!  Or a client who booked direct because I wouldn’t lie that her 4 yr old twins were under 3 yrs. Yea, no way they could pass for under 3 yrs. 
    • With that said, Disney has ways of discerning these things and can actually make the guest pay for the accurate age of the child… or check out early. 
  3. If you want something that isn’t even possible.  This means you are looking for Sail and Sand Travel to work for free by giving back our commission as a discount for servicing your reservation.  Disney sets the cost and doesn’t allow discounting.  Do you work for free? 
    • This is a major “no-no” with Disney as they are very brand aware and if caught the travel agent will no longer be allowed to sell Disney products and destinations.
    • We wouldn’t risk breaking our working relationship with Disney to provide a discount to anyone. 
    • We love on our clients with making sure your reservation is properly set up, if there are any special things you need, making sure your documents arrive, and the Magical Express is reserved, personal touches along the way, and adding little gifts to make your trip all the more Magical. 
  4. If you don’t want to be “bothered” with communication.  Like any other career field we aren’t mind readers and need good communication. We ask a lot of questions about your family dynamics and any concerns, food allergies, medical issues, etc. Some travelers don’t want to provide information but simply want their reservation booked.
    • We have to have good communication in order to service your vacation to the fullest.  Otherwise it could mean disaster and you having a blah trip. (Ex: You’re allergic to seafood?  Why didn’t you tell me? The Coral Reef is the worst restaurant to have a reservation!)  You get the idea.  We ask questions to best understand the situation, your travel needs, and to recommend specific things that would enhance your trip.

I hope this post has helped you to understand how a Disney travel planner works and when it’s a good idea to utilize our services for your next Disney Destinations vacation. 

Until next time…

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