You may think you've booked a trip with a "Disney Travel Agent" but I promise you - you have NOT!
Every day, I witness the confusion on social media as brand new, baby travel agents who've signed on to sell for a "Disney" agency that didn't teach them and will not train them to know better go out in the world with a false message. They tell people they are a "Disney Travel Agent." These people know not what they do.....but it's wrong! They are wrong! They're lured in by ads touting the ease of booking your friends, the fun of planning vacations, the promise that "You already help people with their Disney plans, why not get paid for it?" At the end of this way-too-easy hiring and way-too-quick training process, they emerge & tell the world I AM A Disney Travel Agent. And they're wrong.
Because some agencies bring aboard literally hundreds of agents, even if they do include The REAL TRUTH - There is NO Such Thing As A Disney Travel Agent - those agency owners can't possibly keep track of everywhere their people go, what they say and how they say it. We have a relatively small team of around 30+ agents & I certainly can't promise that none of them have ever been confused to the point where they accidentally missed the many memos telling them how it works before we found out & helped them understand. It's confusing!
So, how does it work? And why are YOU asking? Chances are you've found your way to this article for one of two reasons:
- You're investigating your travel options and want the very best, well-trained experienced agent to book your trip.
- You're investigating your job options and want the very best training, team support and chance for success.
Either way, you're in the right place & I'll tell you why. But first, let's answer the burning question:
When an agent books a vacation, they are typically either an owner of an agency or an agent who works as a contractor for an owner of an agency. Becoming an owner is easy - succeeding is hard! Becoming an agent for one of the many pop-up agencies is easy - succeeding is hard! A few established agencies have set themselves apart by offering tremendous training, mentoring and support, and getting an offer to join one of those agencies can also be hard, but it should be! Because once you become a member of their elite team, you have the training and tools available to you to help you succeed! We pride ourselves on being one of those agencies.
Agencies who sell X amount of product via Walt Disney Travel Company will usually be offered a contract to become an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. My agency - 3D Travel - has been an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for many, many years. But here is the thing - we are not a "Disney Travel Agency" and none of us are "Disney Travel Agents" PLUS none of the individual people at 3D Travel are "Authorized Disney Vacation Planners" - the distinction belongs to the agency, not to the agent.
Established agencies with seasoned agents not only know the rules, they are THRILLED to follow them! What do I mean by that?
AS wonderful as Disney is, we do not work for Disney. No agent or agency works FOR Disney. We are thankful for our relationship with Walt Disney Travel Company and treasure many relationships we've developed with various cast members who work in the travel industry as part of WDTC. But while they are employees of Disney, WE are NOT!
If you call in to book a trip directly with Disney, will you have an advocate who will help you find the best value for your trip? Absolutely not! You've reached a call center. They can certainly be kind to you & help you understand some answers to specific questions, but they're not helping you plan a vacation that fits the needs of your family. That takes time both on the phone and off the phone, via email and in the early hours, making sure you have the very best available. If you have another question when you hang up after chatting with the Disney Call Center, you can't call them back and reach the same person. You start all over again! They certainly aren't going to check in with you to make sure your dining, tours, moments and plans are in place!
You see, we know our place in the scheme of things and being independent of Disney keeps our loyalties undivided. We know who we're working for - and it's our clients! Not Disney. No. We are NOT Disney Travel Agents. We are travel agents who specialize in Disney Destinations and Cruises & we are GREAT at it! And how do we know we're great? Because we have happy and satisfied clients.
There is no greater brand to partner with than Disney. I agree! But I still think our brand is better. In fact, I know it is! Our team knows, without a doubt, our brand is more important to our clients than the Disney brand. We all know it's more important that potential agents and clients know all about US - 3D Travel - than about whether we are just one of the hundreds of specialized agencies or I am one of the thousands of agents who specialize in Disney. Why? Because who we are shows our clients & agents joining our team exactly what they're going to get in the relationship.
Our brand was built on giving more than we receive, integrity and care, advocacy and creativity. We've never lowered our standards and always push ourselves to grow to the next level. We opened our doors the year the Earmarked Program creating Authorized Disney Vacation Planners was created. We add agents slowly, mentor them an average of two to three years, provide internal leadership and offer incredible training in not only destinations but also marketing and sales. In short, we create agents who reflect the incredible company we built - and that's saying something!
And honestly, we do it better than they could. Our structure is built to service our clients. Disney is a business that demands profitability for its shareholders. Our loyalty is in different places.
So, when I see someone say they're a "Disney Travel Agent" I wish better things for them and for their clients. I wish they could have an agency to help them launch. I wish they could learn to better serve their clients with independence. I wish many things. And now that you know the truth, you can make better choices in who you choose for a relationship. I hope you don't choose a Fake Disney Travel Agent or Agency. Your trip & your time are worth much more than that!