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Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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Travel Agent, Disney CRO (Central Reservations Office), or AAA?

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Making Trip Arrangements

A question that I am frequently asked is, "Should I use a travel agent, or make plans directly with Disney, or use AAA (or go with some other "package deal")?

The answer is yes!

If you're planning the "trip of a lifetime," you really do have time to investigate all of the alternatives.  You will be spending a lot of money on this trip, so it will pay big dividends (financially, emotionally, and otherwise) to determine the absolute best plan for YOU.

Therefore, I strongly suggest that you check all three.  Then you can decide what packages or combinations of "ala carte" options suit you the best.   Consulting with a travel agent won't cost you any money (the companies that are selling the packages and travel, etc. pay the agents a commission that is hidden to you).

I would suggest, too, that you carefully check out the "features" of each package deal. You'll probably find that there are a lot of things included that you won't even use. Although they make the list look impressive, if you don't use it, it's a waste.

If you've planned several trips to WDW in the past, you probably know exactly what you want in terms of plan features and so on.  In that case, you might skip the travel agent / package deal route and just make your own arrangements directly with Disney.   Certainly that's an option, but if bang-for-the-buck is still an issue, do the research!

Travel Help

MousePlanet is really oriented toward the do-it-yourselfer. We have a lot of information to wade through, though, so for folks that don't have the inclination to do so -- or are just overwhelmed by all the details of planning a trip to Walt Disney World, I highly recommend going to MousePlanet's travel page. On that page, you'll find (at the very bottom) banner advertisements from several of MousePlanet's official travel service advisors. Some of those companies specialize in helping travel planners sort through all the options and plan the perfect vacation.

You may also like to take advantage of MousePlanet's online booking services through TravelNow, one of the Internet's premier online booking companies.  You can book online from MousePlanet's travel page, too.

An Opinion Worth Repeating

Patricia A Thorpe (pattybob2@juno.com), sent me the following note:

...One other thing I've learned (the hard way) is that if you have any knowledge of WDW at all, book everything yourself after you've done your homework. Only you know exactly what you're looking to get out of your trip and, with all the resources on the web, including yours and Deb Wills' (your 2 sites have been my Bibles for a few years now), you really can do it yourself. I've not been real happy with the AAA travel agent I've used. I've given up and just decided to bite the bullet for the toll calls and make all my PS arrangements, etc., myself...

Another MousePlanet reader, Lisa Owens (lowens@zoomnet.net), shared this information:

Thank you so much for this wonderful web site! Just wanted to pass along some information. When I went to AAA to make my reservations the AAA agent was quoted a price from the WDW Travel Company. When I made a point of asking about the special discount code that is supposed to be in effect if you check-in 4/21- 6/22 I was able to get another $200 dollars off my package. I asked my AAA agent why she had not asked about the code and she said that they get faxes when discount codes all of the time but that they just figured that they would automatically get the lowest price. I'm glad I asked and she said she would make it a point to ask from now on. Your web site is how I found out about the code in the first place. Please encourage your readers to be pro-active when making their reservations. Thanks.

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Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide

Walt Disney World Update for a list of the latest WDW trip reports and WDW features by Mike Scopa and Sue Holland!

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MousePlanet® is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available at www.disney.com. This MousePlanet Web site provides independent news articles, commentary, editorials, reviews, and guides primarily about the theme park resorts of the Walt Disney Co. All information on this site is subject to change. Please call destinations in advance to confirm the most up-to-date information.