Should you use a Travel Planner for your Disney or Universal Vacation?

When deciding to plan a Disney (Walt Disney World Resort®, Disneyland®, Disney Cruise Line®, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa®) or a Universal Orlando Resort™, there are a lot of details that go into planning. Planning can be very time consuming researching all the details. The "How To's" and the "What's best." Not to mention, it can become overwhelming very quickly. Using a Disney or Universal Travel Planner can help you navigate all of this very quickly and efficiently.

Walt Disney World Resort®

Walt Disney World can be especially overwhelming. There are a ton of details to consider when planning a Walt Disney World vacation. From dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations, special ticketed events, resort specific details, exclusive experiences like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or a 1st hair cut at the Magic Kingdom, VIP tours, Behind the Scene tours, the list goes on. And what about the specifics of 180 days vs. 60 days vs. 30 days? What's the difference between a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Deluxe Resort, or a Deluxe Villa? Do you need a dining plan, and which one? Did you know there are now 4 Dining Plans? Keeping this all straight and deciding what's the best fit for YOUR family (not what your neighbor said you should do) can truly make your head spin. We (travel planner) are here to help you sort ALL of this out and remind you of important dates and deadlines.

Universal Orlando Resort™

Universal Orlando can be intimidating as well to plan. Did you know that Universal Orlando Resort™ has three parks? Do you know the difference between a 3-Park, 3-Day Base ticket, and a 3-Park, 3-Day, Park-to-Park ticket? Do you know what is an Express Pass or an Unlimited Express Pass? Did you know that Universal Orlando offers a dining plan? Three actually! Did you know that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is split between 2 parks? What is Universal CityWalk™? Did you know that Universal Orlando Resorts™ has 4 levels of resorts? This is just scratching the surface of what there is to know about Universal Orlando Resort™. Having a travel planner will certainly make planning your vacation easier. Not to mention a better experience overall. Extenuating Circumstances

If the reasons above are not enough to make you want to use a travel planner when booking your Disney or Universal vacation, then what about those extenuating circumstances? What do I mean by this? Hurricanes, job loss, a death in the family, issues at the Orlando International Airport, and unless you've been living under a rock, you are familiar with the fact that all Disney and Universal have closed the parks due to COVID-19. Did you know up until COVID-19 Disney had only closed Walt Disney World Resort ® for a hurricane? And even then, it's only been for a day or two. What do you do if you have a vacation planned during the time of the park closures? If you booked with a Disney Travel Planner, THEY will hold your hand, talk you through your options, and help you make sure you are making the best choice for your family. Sometimes this means moving your vacation to a new date. Sometimes this means canceling your vacation altogether. Either way, we will be the one calling Disney to expedite this change. With the recent closure due to COVID-19, the hold times with Disney were as long as 5 hours. If you booked this vacation on your own with Disney direct, you would have to hold for 5 hours. If you booked with a Disney Travel Planner, they are the ones on hold. Not only does booking with a travel planner save you valuable time, but it also gives you peace of mind and reassurance. It also gives you someone that's invested in your family's best interest. We want to help you do what's best for you, even if that means canceling your trip. What our clients are saying Last year, there was a horrific accident at the Orlando International Airport, which shut down the airport for several hours that day. No flights were coming in or out. My client and I were in touch throughout the entire process. Due to their flight delay out of Indianapolis, they were running the risk of missing their dining reservation at Chef Mickey's, the ONE reservation that was on their "must-do" list. I called Chef Mickey's to inform them they had a reservation and explaining their situation, and they would likely be 30-45 min late. Here's what my client had to say, "Thank you for all of your help throughout the process. You being available to talk through the mess during our arrival was soooo comforting. I was impressed at how easy Disney made our "weird" situations. I babbled on to the poor hostess at Chef Mickey's that first night about who you'd talked to, and what happened at the airport, and she barely even batted an eye. We were seated before we could even do the photo op ". - Dana H. Micci and her family fo six haven't been to Walt Disney World Resort® in over ten years. Her four adult kids are between the ages of 20 and 30. She realized this could be the last time her family takes a vacation with all of them together. Not only did they want to go to Walt Disney World Resort®, but they also wanted to add on time at Universal Orlando Resort™. She started the planning process on her own until she realized she was overwhelmed by all the changes that have taken place since she last visited. She reached out to me, expressing her feelings of anxiety and fear that this was too much and couldn't possibly pull together. I assured her it could and we would work together to make sure this trip was a magical vacation her family wouldn't forget. In the end, we found resorts that would comfortably accommodate six adults for sleeping and getting around daily. Here is what she had to say, "Kellie has been amazing planning our family’s Disney World and Universal Studios vacation. We are a family of 6, all adults, and have not been to Disney (our favorite vacation spot while the kids were growing up) in years! Things have changed, and she has guided us through the entire process of where to stay, Disney bands, dining reservations, fast passes, etc.! She has been patient with my numerous emails and conscious of our family budget. I highly recommend Kellie if planning a Disney and Universal vacation!" - Micci H. Just recently, I had a client scheduled to travel to Walt Disney World Resort® for spring break. Unfortunately, their trip fell during the closure (COVID-19) Disney is currently experiencing. For them, it was simply deciding what the best dates were going to be to reschedule their trip for a later date. Once I had that information, I was able to take it from there. I spent about an hour and a half on hold waiting to speak to someone to reschedule. My call dropped just as a Cast Member came on the line and having to call back and start all over. If they had been booked direct, this would have become my client's frustration. Since I already know their dining and FastPass+ options they want (because I scheduled dining and FastPass for their original trip), I will simply redo these reservations when the 180-day and 60-day windows open. Again, if they booked on their own, they would have to do this. All credits and money due to the client were also handled during the rescheduling phone call. I'm sharing one of my client's experiences. Our agency as a whole had many clients we were working with, so COVID-19 didn't ruin their dream vacation. Many hours spent on hold trying to rebook for different dates. Guess what...this didn't cost our clients a penny! Nope! These services; hand-holding through uncertain times (airport or closed parks), booking of Dining Reservations, reserving FastPass+, making sure the client gets a refund for the new trip price, calling, sitting on hold only to have to call back because the call dropped, Holding for over an hour and a half (sometimes longer). Reassuring, talking and learning what our clients want most out of their vacation. Taking the anxiety out of the planning process and actually making the planning fun! These perks are all included when booking directly with a Travel Planner and they cost our client, not a penny extra. Their trip is the same cost whether they book with Disney direct or decide to work with us. So I ask you again (politely, of course)....should you use a Travel Agent for your Disney or Universal Vacation? Kellie **The opinions within this post are my own and no financial compensation was provided in exchange for this review

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