Should I Use a Travel Agent for My Disney Trip or Disney Cruise?

Four theme parks. Two water parks. Over 200 restaurants. Over 20 hotels. One super-important vacation. Where in The World do you start?


Honestly? 10 years ago I might not have recommended using a travel agent. Planning your Disney trip was do-able…and even fun. But today, things are different. With fastpasses that need to be booked 60 days in advance, dining that needs to be booked 180 days in advance, over 30 hotels on property and hundreds off property, dessert parties, tours, activities, and more…it’s just plain overwhelming to try to figure it all out. Disney World is the size if Manhattan…and just as packed with options.

So when a friend or family member comes to me wanting to plan an upcoming Disney trip, I swiftly give them the name of a trusted travel agent. And don’t worry — that’s what I’m going to do for YOU, too.

Cinderella Castle

Cinderella Castle

If this is your first Disney vacation, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed.

If you’ve been to Disney before, you may have a general idea. Maybe a specific idea. Maybe a very specific idea, including a spreadsheet and a three-ring binder detailing every move your family will make once they pass beneath that magical archway.

But regardless of where you fall on this planning spectrum, using a Travel Agent might be a good idea.

Why Used a Disney Travel Agent? Here's Just a Few Reasons!

Why Used a Disney Travel Agent? Here’s Just a Few Reasons!


You may think it costs more. And that there are hidden fees they don’t tell you about. And that’s honestly what I thought, too. But as it turns out, Travel Agents don’t cost you a penny. EVER. They work on commissions from their suppliers (e.g. Disney), so you pay no extra fees and can spend more time anticipating and enjoying your vacation. It’s a win for the Agents (who genuinely love doing this stuff) and a win for you.


Travel Agents, especially those considered “Authorized Disney Vacation Planners,” know what deals are out there ahead of the rest of us. If a new deal comes along after you’ve already made a reservation (e.g. Free Disney Dining), they can rework your existing reservation to save you some cash. They can also run the numbers to see which deal is going to be the better value. They do the math for you. And the best part is, they’ve been doing this a REALLY. LONG. TIME.

So they probably already know what deal is best.

Before it’s even announced.

Disney World Free Dining


Your agent’s got your back. They can advise you on resort choice, vacation package, and tickets that will suit your family’s unique needs. Overall — they make sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish. They’ve been there and done that, and they can tell you the most stress-free way to have your best vacation ever.

If you’re staying on Disney property, your agent can make reservations with Disney’s Magical Express, the free hotel shuttle service, so that your travel is seamless.

Epcot's Spaceship Earth

Epcot’s Spaceship Earth

Now let’s talk reservations, fastpasses, and planning for when you’re actually on Disney property! Here’s where a Travel Agent can be a super-valuable asset. Disney travel agents know:

  • The most popular restaurants and when they need to be booked
  • How to get those super-coveted reservations
  • Alternatives to those restaurants if they’re full
  • What rides, attractions, and events will suit your family’s unique needs
  • How to help you plan an extraordinary trip within your budget
  • How to craft a trip where you get to do everything you want to do…and still get enough sleep and real, honest-to-goodness “vacation” time when you’re NOT chasing your brood around the theme parks.

An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner can make suggestions for you based on which park you’ll be in for the day, whether you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, and what types of foods your family will…or won’t!…find appealing.

In short, they’ll help you narrow down those 200+ restaurant choices, hundreds of ride choices, activity options, and more, and make sure to help you hand-craft the perfect vacation for YOUR family.

Jumbo Mickey Waffle with Caramel Banana Sauce

Jumbo Mickey Waffle with Caramel Banana Sauce


And your Agent’s support doesn’t stop when you get to your resort. No matter what problems arise during your getaway—if your shuttle is canceled, your room isn’t ready, or you need to find a doctor—your Agent knows who to call to put your vacation back on track. S/he’s just a phone call or text message away no matter what goes down!

So whether you’re a spreadsheet-toting Disneyphile or a first-timer at the Disney rodeo, consider a Travel Agent. You may just be surprised by how much magic your Agent can conjure up just for you!


What you get:

1. A highly-qualified Agent with expertise in planning your dream vacation

2. Savings of time and money

3. A trouble-free trip

4. No fees or charges—ever

Ready to go, but not sure who to choose? We highly recommend Small World Vacations, and here’s why:

Small World Square Banner

DFB highly recommends Small World Vacations for your trip to any Disney park, resort, or cruise ship.


I’ve been friends with Sue Pisaturo, the owner of the agency, for years. And SWV is also highly recommended by three of my most trusted colleagues — Len Testa of and the Unofficial Guide book series, and Don and Sarah Munsil of These are people who KNOW DISNEY and have been in the Disney travel arena for dozens of years.


Small World Vacations is one of the biggest Disney-focused agencies in the world, BUT all of their highly-qualified agents work full-time. This is exceptional in the travel planner arena. It means that all day, every day, Small World Vacations agents are planning Disney trips for clients — learning everything they can about how to create magical vacations and getting the depth of experience necessary to make sure your trip is a dream come true. It may sound like a little thing, but it offers huge benefits when it comes to working with an agent.


Sue sent me, like, a million testimonials to share with you, but I just took the ones off the top.

I wanted to take a moment and RAVE about a wonderful associate of yours. She is professional, polite, prompt, knowledgeable, kind, literally everything you would want in an employee and a person. None of us have ever experienced Disney before, so we were initially a bundle of nerves. I went to the site and put in some information, and was promptly responded to by Marion. She found us a wonderful resort, park hopper tickets, and the Disney dining plan. I was stunned. Literally 98% of the stress and work I would have had to do….she already did! She saved us $1000. — Jenni

I am a very hands on planning type person and I have always planned our vacations. I decided this time to give you a try. Best thing I could have done. Beth was able to handle the booking part, which is the tedious part of the planning. Then she was able to get me free dining for my trip, which saved me a ton of money. She answered all my questions very promptly as well. — Cindy

I just want to write to let you know how happy I am with the work Tracy is doing for me for our upcoming 9-day family trip to WDW in July. This is the second time we’ve been there but the first time we’ve ever used a travel agent. The experience has been amazing. Not only the service she provides and the instant updates about special offers, discounts, etc. but the kind and professional spirit in which she works. She is prompt in returning emails and always so very helpful. We’re not “Disney experts” by any means so I’ve sent her several emails with pesky questions, asking her opinion about things, etc. In each response, I feel she went over and above to give me detailed and thoughtful answers and touring tips.

I would heartily recommend her to anyone who seeks the services of a Disney travel expert. Kudos to Small World Vacations and to the wonderful service your agency provides. You’re fortunate to have someone like Tracy working for you! — Wes


Yep — if you do decide to book with Small World, you just note that you heard about them through Disney Food Blog and you could get a special, unique surprise! Click here for current details!

But note that ALL clients who book with Small World Vacations and purchase a standard or deluxe Disney Dining Plan will get a free copy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book…no matter what!

It’s time to get started! Simply head over to Small World Vacations and Let the Magic Begin!