View Full Version : Use a travel agent or plan it myself?

04-04-2008, 09:55 PM
I'm very organized and good at research. That said, do I need a Disney travel agent to plan a 3-5 day trip, or can I do this myself? I know that I want to stay at the Grand Floridian and I know that we're only going to the MK. The only value-add that I see is in making the dining arrangements, which is the only thing that really intimidates me.

FWIW, we're going in December with a preschooler.


04-05-2008, 01:03 PM
I'm using a TA now for our October trip, but I actually feel like I'd rather do it myself. I hate giving up control! One nice thing is that the TA will do all of my advanced dining reservations for me. My 180 day mark is this Tuesday, so that will be nice. And she'll be on the hunt for discount codes.

But if you subscribe to Tour Guide Mike (http://www.tourguidemike.com/), you can probably take care of everything on your own. Best $20 or so I ever spent!!! You can get $3 off the subscription if you sign in from the DisBoards (http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2).

There's also Touring Plans (http://www.touringplans.com/tp2/UG2_index.php?PageID=0), from the Unofficial Guide, which is only @ $8.

04-05-2008, 02:17 PM
You don't need a TA. Go to www.intercot.com they have an entire section devoted to all of the restaurants that are available including menus. Remember, some restaurants that are in other parks require a theme park ticket to get to the restaurant. Just a thought when making your reservations. Any questions just ask, i have done this about 30+ times. Enjoy.

04-05-2008, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the votes of confidence, and especially the intercot.com site--it is terrific! And takes a lot of the mystery about eating out of the game.

Right now, I'm planning on us eating breakfast at the Grand Floridian cafe before we head out to MK each morning. Do I need to make reservations for breakfast?

For lunch, I'd like to eat at the MK. Here is the short list. Do I need reservations for all of these?

Plaza Pavillon
Plaza Restaurant
Tony's Town Square
Columbia Harbor House
Cosmic Ray's

Also, do I need reservations for Downtown Disney spots, like Earl of Sandwich or Wolfgang Puck's Cafe?

How do I go about making these reservations, as well as California Grill or Chef Mickey's for dinner?

Thanks for your help!

04-05-2008, 06:46 PM
For every WDW restaurant, simply call 1-407-WDW-DINE.

Some of the Downtown Disney places you mentioned I think are counter service and don't take reservations.

I would reserve EVERY SINGLE sit down reservation ahead of time. With the Dining Plan, it is now almost impossible to simply walk up and get seated at a restaurant in a timely manner.

These are also counter service:
Columbia Harbor House
Cosmic Ray's

04-06-2008, 10:24 AM
I've booked with and without a travel agent. More recently, I've gone with a travel agency- Magical Journeys which is an online agency I found at Intercot. They are great b/c they will rebook your trip anytime a discount comes up. My agent already rebooked my August trip and saved me $200. That said, they do not book dining reservations. I actually prefer to do that myself anyway so that I can choose the days and times to go with our park plan. You cannot book counter service ahead of time, but you should definitely book Chef Mickeys and California Grill as soon as you are able or they will either fill up or you'll be eating dinner at 9pm!! Intercot is fantastic- learn everything you can from there before you go. By the way, the dinner reservationists at WDW are very nice and helpful when you call. Don't be intimidated.


04-06-2008, 10:45 AM
I concur that you do not need a travel agent for Disney. For another favorite website for Disney discounts, go to www.mousesavers.com.

04-07-2008, 07:39 AM
You can do it yourself!

When in Dec are you going? Reservations is easier to get in early dec vs the holidays.

Allears.net is awesome for looking at menus for each restaurant when planning. We did Chef Mickeys at the Contemporary, took the last seating for breakfast and the place emptied out... so the characters came over serveral more times! I also brought a white pillow case and fabric markers and the characters signed it since they had the table to lean on. My DD cherishes that pillowcase!

Crystal Palace is great to see Pooh and friends for lunch.

04-07-2008, 08:00 AM
For Columbia harbor House and Cosmic Rays you do not need a reservation, they are strictly walk up locations. For Chef Mickeys and California Grill and rec. having reservations. If you want to eat at a particular time I would make reservations at all locations that accept them, especially with kids, they cant wait an extra hr to eat so 180 days ahead of your check in date you can make the resevation. Just call the # and they will help you thru it, very nice and easy. Have a pen and paper handy so you can write the confirmation #'s down....Have Fun!

04-15-2008, 09:48 PM
i *just* booked our disney trip 11/10-11/17 thru AAA. it saved me about $200 or so than just doing it online myself w/no codes or disc.

plus thru AAA i can email or call my gal and she will do my ADR's for me, i just need to give her the list, times & dates and she'll call on the exact 180 day mark :)