You’ve decided, it’s time to book your Disney vacation. You’re excited and overwhelmed and weighing all of your options. Do you book it online? Do you price shop? Do you look for someone that’s going to give you a credit for booking with them? c Do you spend hours online searching for prices so you can be sure you’re getting the best one only to find out you’ve been comparing apples and oranges because some include a hopper option and some don’t? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an expert help you through the process that is regulated and licensed by the Travel Industry Council of Ontario? What would that service be worth to you?
Many agencies (including Pure Magic Vacations) advertise customized service as part of the booking process at no additional cost. This service includes fastpass and dining selections, advice on attractions customized to your needs or advising you on the best stateroom category for your family on your first cruise. The business model of these agencies is similar to that of the Disney Company itself – provide excellent service to your clients and they will come back.
There are sites where you can book your travel online yourself, or book through one that will take your ‘order’ and offer you little in the way of planning guidance. They may offer you a small incentive to book with them because their business model is built on volume instead of value. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this model, it all depends on what is important to you. With a purchase like this where you are spending your money and valuable vacation days, do you want an order taker or an expert to guide you?
The other important piece of the booking process is security. I’m not referring to medical or cancellation insurance, I’m talking about regulations and governance around agencies so that not just ‘anyone’ can call themself a travel agent. You’ve heard the horror stories of people paying money for a vacation only to find out that their money is gone, along with the agent that sold it. The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) safeguards consumers against these types of things.
From the TICO website:
When you purchase your travel services from a TICO registered travel agency you are protected by an industry financed Travel Compensation Fund. Subject to the Regulation, the Compensation Fund reimburse consumers when they do not receive the travel services purchased due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of either an Ontario travel retailer, Ontario travel wholesaler or due to the failure of an airline or cruise line.
What recourse do you have with a US based agency if you don’t get the services you paid for? Who do you contact? What do you do? In the United States you call the police – in Ontario, you call TICO.
When you’re ready to book your Disney vacation, the 2 important things to look for?
- The TICO symbol
- An agent with extensive personal Disney experience.
What do you think? Is experience something that you would value when booking your trip?