I’ve been to Walt Disney World a few times.
- I’ve had trips that were disasters.
- I’ve had trips that were amazing.
The difference wasn’t in the number of days we stayed, the hotel accommodations, the number of attractions we saw, or the amazing dinners we ate.
The difference was an amazing Walt Disney World Travel Agency.
To understand it better…here is a little background.
The Time We Didn’t Use A Walt Disney World Travel Agency
The overview: This trip was suppose to be the ULTIMATE FAMILY VACATION. My mother had saved and gifted us (with her and my dad) a 5-day trip to Walt Disney World Resorts. She talked to some friends, made some decisions, used her local travel agent, booked a property on-site and made arrangements.
Why It Was A Disney Disaster
1. We didn’t know SQUAT about Disney World.We were Disney Babies. We knew nothing. We didn’t realize in order to have the TIME OF YOUR LIFE AT DISNEY, you need to do a little preparation and have a plan. I wish I could tell you that you can be completely spontaneous at Disney…but the truth is, if you want to see Elsa & Anna, ride Space Mountain, have dinner in Cinderella’s Castle, and see the fireworks…you need to have a plan otherwise you waste half of your vacation in lines, eating bad food, and are too wiped out to see the fireworks.
2. The travel agent we used didn’t know anything about Disney World. So not only were we Disney Babies, but I’m pretty sure our travel agent didn’t know anything about Disney World either. Had she have been a Disney Expert, she would have told us (or advised us STRONGLY) that it was a STUPID idea for all six of us to stay together in one cabin at Wilderness Campground due to the amount of walking, the swimming pools being far away, long waits for busses, and we’d all be staying in the same room. #nuffsaid
3. No one explained the Disney Meal Plan and Snack Credits to us. We had Disney Dining. HOORAY! Because our agent wasn’t an expert, we never really understood how the meal plan and snack credits worked. My kids ended up eating chicken nuggets and french fries for almost every meal and we arrived home with close to 20 snack credits on our cards.
4. I cried a lot. This was the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH and I cried every day. It was a combination of this being a trip of a lifetime for my mom, coupled with no one knowing for sure what we were doing, and add in an OCD family that likes to have a plan that works. It was a hot mess.
So fast forward nine months, to a completely different experience.
The Time We Did Use A Walt Disney World Travel Agency
The overview: This was the DO OVER trip from the ULTIMATE FAMILY VACATION. (I was going to make Disney the happiest place on earth for the Snyder Family, damnit.) I talked to friends. I did research. I found Magic Mouse Travel and Dana became my Disney BFF. We booked a 7-day trip to Disney World and stayed on-site.
Why It Was Amazing at Disney
1. Dana and Magic Mouse Travel did all the work. Dana booked my dining reservations, fast pass reservations, character experiences, room, and travel to and from the airport. And even better, she made me a daily agenda with which parks to go to, what rides to ride, and where we were eating. (My OCD planning self was so happy!) It was like having my own personal concierge.
2. Magic Mouse Travel knew their stuff. Hubs and I did research this time around, so we knew we wanted to do and see certain things at Disney World. We let Dana know, and she helped us plan those events. Many of the super hard-to-get dining reservations require being online or on the phone at the crack of dawn 180 days in advance of a trip. Did we do that? Nope. Dana did. Plus, she also let us know about a couple of things we hadn’t read or heard about before because she is at Disney World for training almost every single year.
3. They got us the best deal. I was skeptical of an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. I thought it would be MORE expensive than if I just booked the trip myself, but after getting a quote from Magic Mouse Travel and one from Disney website..they were the same price. Also, Magic Mouse Travel suggested going a week after our “proposed” date because we would be receiving a promo for FREE Disney Dining. That little adjustment saved us close to a thousand dollars on food and snacks and I wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for them
4. Magic Mouse understood me and my kids. Before our trip, I had a personal meeting with Dana and we went over everything. She made sure that I didn’t have any questions and assured me that if something hit the fan, I could call her whenever, and she would work to get it right. And then gave me a gift to give my kids as a thank you. How cool is that?
Dude. Disney is expensive. Period.
And I’ve experienced the do-it-yourself-with-a-not-as-knowledgeable-travel-agent and the work-with-a-travel-agent-who-knows-her-stuff. You want to work with a Walt Disney World Travel Agency. (Because there is a difference.)
You want someone who is working hard to provide you with the best trip imaginable. You want an amazing Disney experience.
The price of your trip will be the exactly the same if you try to do it yourself or if you ask for help, so why wouldn’t you use FREE help of a Walt Disney World Travel Agency?
If you decide to go with an agent, please know that I trust Magic Mouse Travel completely. You can fill out an interest right HERE and it will go directly to them.
Disclosure: Magic Mouse Travel is a partner of RedefinedMom. However, the written remarks and opinions, as well as my awful trip to Disney and how Magic Mouse Travel gave me an awesome re-do are entirely my own. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.
Amy Drake says
I too used Dana at Magic Mouse Travel. All I can say is she was AH-MAZING!!! Our trip was perfect and I owe it all to her! I will definitely use Dana at Magic Mouse Travel the next time we go!
Amy – Dana (and the whole team) is the BOMB! They make going to Disney SO easy.
Tasha Tranbarger says
We used Magic Mouse Travel this summer for a quick 2 night stay at Disney and it was fabulous. Maralee and her girls are awesome. Wouldn’t do it without them.
And I love that they are moms (and dads) just like us…they really get it!!
I am so thrilled to read this! I am working with Dana right now and thus far the experience has been great. I can’t wait for our trip!
You’ll LOVE Dana!!
Denise williams says
I have used Dana twice for trips and have recommended her to several people. We have never been disappointed. She is the best!
Would they plan a Lego vacation? I told my son that we would look into going this year but I haven’t any idea where to start.
They will. They do vacations across the nation, and can help with a LEGO one.
We have been to disney 5 times over a period of 20+ years. (Our children take a school sponsored band trip to Disney every 4 years, thus the span of 20+years). Things change ALOT in 4 years! I have spent a month researching all things Disney, my husband is completely leary of using an online booking company. Any reassurance to using one of them would be helpful. Thanks!
Cathy – I know the hesitation is that you will “pay more” if you use a travel agent, but with Disney, it’s the complete opposite. You pay the SAME PRICE regardless if you book online through Disney or use a Disney Expert like Magic Mouse Travel. And the benefit of using Magic Mouse is they do all the leg work for you (booking dining, planning which park which day, booking hotel, making arrangements). For the same price, why wouldn’t you want your own personal concierge?
Can you explain how your experience with Disney Dining was different the second time around? On my last trip, I was so frustrated with the rule that kids must eat off the kids menu. It would be different if there were reasonable options on the kids menu, but as-is, most kids menus at quick service restaurants were not much more than chicken nuggets or mac and cheese. Those things are okay once in awhile, but I want my kids to eat healthy. What did you do differently the second time around?
Kristen – A little known fact was given to us during the end of our first trip and that is that Disney counts a quick service meal (not sit down dining) as a credit, regardless of what you order. So a Kid’s Meal is one credit. A grilled-veggie panini is one credit. Once we learned this, we started ordering all of of meals off the “adult” menu from quick service. With that being said, for sit down dining, the kiddos still have to order off the kid’s menu. Also, Magic Mouse gave us a ton of recommendations and my husband did a ton of research…all of those things combined helped us to have an awesome dining experience our second time at Disney.