Disney World castle

Review: BEST Travel Agent for Disney World & Disney Cruise Line

You’re planning a trip to Disney World and maybe with Disney Cruise Line and wondering, is it worth getting a travel agent for Disney? Yes – for some things. Let me explain what and why.

First, I’ll share our context. For our family’s first visit to Disney World, we embraced the full Disney experience. Week one: We stayed at a Disney World resort hotel and visited the parks. Week two: We (finally!) took our first Disney cruise, which we booked last minute.

You should also know that my Disney travel agent review is from the perspective of a control freak. I like to plan my own trips and don’t quickly surrender this to a travel agent. 

But I was happy I got a travel agent for Disney World and Disney Cruise Line.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links to excellent travel-related products. If you use the links below to make a purchase, we’ll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

WHY you should get a Disney travel agent

If you’re considering getting a travel agent for Disney World and Disney Cruise Line, it helps to know this: travel agents cannot undercut Disney prices. So, you’re not going to find cheaper prices compared to booking directly with Disney.

Then why should you get a travel agent for Disney? A Disney travel agent can increase your VALUE.

Here are the benefits of getting a travel agent for Disney:

  • Monitoring Disney discounts after you book and applying them for you. This alone is a great reason to get a travel agent. (Yes, this actually happened to us, saving us $333.)
  • Gifts cards to use at Disney World.
  • Onboard ship credit on Disney Cruise Line.
  • Easily add or remove items from your Disney World package, like photo and dining plans.
  • Insider tips and information, which is especially helpful for first time visitors.
Kids Travel Journal Printable for Early Readers, family road trip printables

WHAT to book through a travel agent for Disney

From my experience and chatting with other Disney vacationers, it’s worth getting a travel agent for Disney costs only. You might save a bit more cash or planning time if everything is booked with a travel agent, but you lose the ability to deal directly with services if plans change.

Here’s my recommendation on what to book through a Disney travel agent:

  • Disney World Resort hotel: Our travel agent monitored deals and discounts and applied them to our Disney reservation. She saved us $333, which I never would’ve known about. And I don’t enjoy asking services for a discount. Another nice surprise: Our Disney travel agent gave us a Disney gift card.
  • Disney World package: A Disney travel agent can easily add and remove items from your Disney package as you decide or have budget for add-ons. Booking your Disney World hotel and park tickets together as a package doesn’t really save you money, but it gives you a better cancellation policy. For our trip in January 2024, cancellation for a Disney World package was a full refund up to 30 days before check-in and a $200 fee up to two days before. You don’t get this on expensive park tickets alone. Also, it was easy to add a dining package later through our travel agent.
  • Disney Cruise Line: Since Disney Cruise Line’s policy forbids agents from undercutting their prices, the benefit of booking your Disney cruise with a travel agent is the agency’s added value. For example, an onboard ship credit or gift card. Compare these gifts from different Disney travel agents to decide which gives you the best value. See my recommendations below.
  • Ground transportation to Port Canaveral: This process of getting from a Disney World Resort hotel to Disney Cruise Line in Port Canaveral was such a smooth process when we booked with our travel agent. Don’t mess with what works.

Essentially, I recommend getting a travel agent for booking anything Disney specific. Disney is such a mega company that it’s easy to feel lost in the planning process, and a Disney travel agent makes it easy, feel more personalized, and gives you insider tips and tricks you wouldn’t know as a first-timer.

EPCOT (Photo credit: Park Troopers from Unsplash)

That said – still do your own research. Only you know which Disney World Resort hotel suits you best, and which Disney World park experiences are most important to you. And only you know if a dining plan or photo pass is worth it. To support you, here’s my review of my family’s first visit to Disney World.

For anything non-Disney, I recommend booking yourself. This gives you flexibility to deal with them directly if plans change. This includes:

  • Flights
  • Non-Disney hotels
  • Non-Disney ground transportation
  • Reserving strollers and food delivery

FYI: A family we met booked flights and their non-Disney hotel through a travel agent, and regretted it. First, when the flight was cancelled, it was quite the headache rebooking during the travel agent’s working hours. And their non-Disney hotel location and rate wasn’t as great as ours.

Kids Travel Journal Printable for Early Readers, family road trip printables

Best travel agent for Disney World and Disney Cruise Line

I’m SO happy in my choice for a Disney travel agent that I’m excited to share this with you.

We went with Dreams Unlimited, and our agent was Mary Tesch (see her Facebook page). I picked Dreams Unlimited because they provided the best value to our original Disney Cruise Line booking. But they ended up being a great choice for booking our Disney World vacation, too, for all the benefits I already mentioned above.

What impressed me the most was how Mary handled our last-minute Disney Cruise Line booking. (We had to cancel our original booking.) The morning we flew out to Disney World, I emailed her asking to put our cabin on hold, which she did immediately. Then late that evening, after we were settled at our hotel, she called me to finalize the booking. Long AFTER her office hours were over.

It’s tough to find such helpful service like that.

Disney’s Castaway Cay (we loved it!)

But in deciding which Disney travel agent is the best fit for you, consider the following:

  • Your specific booking costs (including insurance, transfers, hotels and taxes). Some agencies gift you according to some versus all of these costs.
  • How you prefer to receive this “added value.” For example, as a gift card to Disney or elsewhere.
  • If you’re a Costco member. It might not be worth getting a Costco membership just for Disney, but an existing membership can make it the best value.
  • If you prefer an in-person Disney travel agent versus corresponding online or by phone.

Dreams Unlimited included taxes in their Disney Cruise Line onboard ship credit, which ended up being the best value for us even compared to Costco. Their Disney World Resort hotel gift card was also a nice surprise.

So, what do you think? Did I miss anything? Please share in the comments below!

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Featured photo credit: Gui Avelar from Unsplash

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