Questions Travel Agents get asked.

Why do I need to Work with a Travel Agent when I can book my vacation with Disney on their website?

You have no idea how many times I have heard that. And I always say in return, “if you have the experience and training in Disney travel, you don’t need a travel agent”.

But how many people really know what the best resort is for their budget, their family, or even for the magical experience the resort may…….. or may NOT provide. A trained and experienced Travel Agent that specializes in Disney travel does!

I will use myself for example. Before I became a travel agent I had been to Walt Disney World several times. And each trip became better than the last.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will know a little about our history with Mickey. But not everybody has so I’ll recap a part of it for you.

Patti and I met late in life. She was a lifelong resident of Rochester, NY, growing up in the city with her parents and a brother at a time when moms stayed home while the dad earned the money.

I grew up in much the same situation except I grew up in a country setting about 150 miles from Rochester with my parents, my sister and brother.

We both had married our high school sweethearts shortly after graduation.

I had received the “Greeting from your President” letter and enlisted in the USAF to avoid the draft. And like every other young man back then, I thought I was going to die in Vietnam so why not get married before I left.

Patti was a single Mom from the time her son was very little, working hard to provide for her son. She didn’t have the time or the money for a vacation.

I was in a similar situation before I met her. I worked hard to provide for a family of a stay at home mom and two kids. I worked in a factory and played drums every weekend, sometimes as much as three or four nights to earn the money to make sure my family had it better than I did growing up.

Patti and I had both grown up watching Disney programs on TV our whole life. We were lovers of the original Mickey Mouse Club. In fact, I even had a crush on Annette…. like every other red blooded American boy.


The next picture is more like what attracted all the boys like me! I won’t deny it or lie about it! See for yourself.

OCT 9 1977, MAR 21 1980, JUL 23 1995 Below, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as they were during the Beach Party era. Right, Elleen Mintz, one of seven Annette look-alike contestants, screams as the audience votes her the winner.
Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as they were during the Beach Party era.

I moved to Rochester, NY on July 3, 2000 and looked into Patti’s eyes that same evening over dinner. I fell in love with this wonderful, witty, fun and beautiful woman very quickly. I thank God today for bringing us together when he did. We started dating on July 4, 2000 and were married in April, 2002.

Our first time at Walt Disney World was in March of 2001 while visiting friends about an hour north of Orlando.

And Patti and I both wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom so bad during our time in Florida. So we went and bought a one day ticket and arrived just before “rope drop”. We spent the entire day in the Magic Kingdom until closing time and fell completely in love with the park.

We loved the Magic Kingdom so much that about three days later we talked our friends into going to Epcot with us for the day. And guess what? We loved it just as much!

When we were married in April, 2002, we purchased a Disney Land and Sea Honeymoon from an agent at AAA. We spent four nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort. We enjoyed every park on that trip and then went on a three night cruise on the Disney Wonder.

We were completely hooked on being at Walt Disney World. We started to save money on everything just so we could go back. We put money into a special account at the bank. Instead of going to the movies or out to dinner we saved that money for our next Disney trip.

We even tried our luck staying off site when we wanted to return to Walt Disney World. In desperation, I found a flight, hotel and four day park tickets through a website for about $780 in 2004. The hotel was clean and comfortable but that’s the best I can say for the trip. After that experience, we vowed to NEVER again stay off site.

The following year I was lucky enough to win an all expense paid trip to Walt Disney World from McDonalds. I was early for a business meeting and getting hungry so I stopped for lunch. I was craving a quarter ponder with cheese but I kept hearing Patti’s words about trying to eat healthier…… so I ordered a California Cobb Salad.

It had a game piece attached and as I revealed the prize I was saddened to learn that I wasn’t an instant winner, but if I entered the code on a website, I might win. I did enter…. and I won. Patti and I won our round trip airfare, our resort stay at the Polynesian Village and four day park hopper tickets. We went and enjoyed everything about Disney once again. The only money we spent was for food and souvenirs.

We have been every year since, sometimes twice a year and we’ve never stayed off site again. We’ve stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter more times than we can count and love the resort.

About four years ago we bought into DVC through the resale market. We purchased a small contract for Boardwalk Villas and then a smaller one for Saratoga Springs to allow us one trip every year and two trips every other year.

Once you are known as that “Disney guy” by friends and family, you start getting asked to help plan trips. And then you find out how much fun it is to help plan trips! That’s when you finally decide to become a travel agent. I enjoyed the training almost as much as being there and I found it very easy to pass every course that Mickey says I need to pass to become an agent specializing in Disney travel.

So let’s get back to the main subject here…… should you book your own trip or should you get help through a travel agent?

Which travel agent should you use?

Should I use a travel agent that specializes in Disney Travel?

If you book your Disney trip by yourself, you are not going to save any money. In fact, you might even pay more because you don’t know about specials that are being offered. You might not even know which resort is the best to stay at for your budget, your comfort or your families desires. But I bet I know it!

The same applies when you book through a travel agent that does not have any personal experience with Disney travel. You don’t know how many times I hear about that after the friend or acquaintance has already booked with another agent and then asks for my help.

After speaking or emailing my clients I know exactly which resort….. which tickets…. dining plan or not……. and which other add-ons they could afford and would enjoy.

At that time I go in and price out a couple of different packages for them based on my knowledge and training. I present them with at least two different options and let the client decide.

Once we have agreed and my client is booked, the service does not stop there.

I help them with daily planning based on park hours and crowd forecasts. I help them by booking dining reservations and fast passes if they want to. Sometimes they prefer to book their own dining and fast passes, but I’m always just a phone call away for advice or help.

From time to time, Disney might even offer a special that will help make the trip more magical and save my client some money. Travel agents hear the news first and often times I’ve put my clients into the new package before they hear about it.

What does this service cost you? Absolutely nothing extra. I never charge a planning fee. The price you would pay to Disney if you do it direct is exactly what you will pay. Disney pays me for my service, not you. Mickey trains me and pays me!

So why would you try to book your trip to a Disney destination? Why would you risk not having a magical time because you picked the wrong resort…. the wrong tickets…… the wrong dining plan? You will still be in charge! I’m only going to use my former mistakes and experience to suggest the right package for you. All you have to do is say yes or no! You are the boss!

Tell me what your dreams and desires are and let me put together a trip that will make you love Disney as much as I do. Maybe after as many trips that I’ve experienced you might even become a Disney travel agent. But until then….. let me help.

Contact me today and let’s get started!

Up and Up Travel Business Card


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