The Ultimate Guide to Become a Disney Travel Agent
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Originally Posted On: https://www.kalileivacations.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-become-a-disney-travel-agent/
We all know that planning a family vacation isn’t as easy as it seems. This is even more true when toddlers and young children are in the picture. Booking all the tickets, finding the right accommodations, and doing it all on a schedule can be a nightmare.
Not every family knows the basics or the factors to consider when planning a Disney vacation. Disney travel agents fill this gap and help ensure every family gets their dream Disney vacation. But how do you become a Disney travel agent?
You need to have passion, determination, and a willingness to help families. Being knowledgeable about all things Disney is a major factor too. To become a Disney travel agent, you need to know what skills you need and find a good agency to work for.
Read on for the ultimate guide to becoming a Disney travel agent.
What Does a Disney Travel Agent Do?
Before you become a travel agent, you’ll need to know what they do. A Disney travel agent does what most travel agents do. They help with booking all the relevant tickets and accommodations.
However, they also provide these services with a bonus. They focus on ensuring you have the best Disney vacation possible, specifically. Because of this, they’re more knowledgeable about all the available options for you.
They have inside knowledge, both as professionals and as Disney fans. Disney travel agents know about the parks and all their various attractions. This isn’t only limited to Disneyland or Disney World.
Disney travel agents can recommend good accommodations that fit your needs. They can also give you tips on where to go or what to see while you’re there. They’ll offer flexible travel experiences as well.
These include various Disney cruises, resorts, parks, and everything else, including spas. When you become a Disney travel agent, you get to share your love of Disney and your expertise. People and families booking their dream getaway will rely on you to help make the process stress-free.
You’ll help them book airline tickets and make sure they have transportation covered. A good Disney travel agent will also get them tickets or fast passes to the attractions they want to see. It’s important to work closely with your clients and to leave nothing to chance.
From when they take off to when they come home, you’ll help make sure each Disney vacation is one to remember.
What You Need
The most important thing you need to be a Disney travel agent is soft skills. These include patience and the ability to listen and handle people. Organizational ability and being detail-oriented are also very important.
While prior travel agent experience will go a long way, there are no actual educational requirements. Some travel agencies might ask for a bachelor’s degree, though. It does help to familiarize yourself with the industry and undergo some training.
Any certifications or experience you can attain will help your credibility. The College of Disney Knowledge is a good one. It’s an easy online course that teaches you about all the finer points of Disney vacations.
You can do a quick 30-minute test every year to renew the certification. This helps make sure you’re on top of your Disney A-game. The most important thing you need, though, is patience and availability.
You need to have the patience and ability to be there for your client when they need you. Everything about the booking and vacation has to get preplanned. However, that leaves you open to bad luck and things going wrong.
If a flight gets delayed or canceled or a rental car isn’t available when it should be, you need to be capable of stepping in to resolve the issue. To make sure the experience is as smooth as possible, you should do everything you can to help. “There’s nothing I can do” is never a response any vacationing family wants to hear from their travel agent.
Decide If You Want to Work For Yourself or an Agency
The vast majority of Disney travel agencies will want to hire you as a contractor rather than a salaried employee. Salaried positions exist, but you need to consider what you want before planning your next move. Working from home and yourself is rewarding but will require a few things.
You’ll need office space to work from and all the necessary equipment. This includes a computer, a headset to make and take calls, and reliable internet. As a contractor or someone who works for themselves, you’ll have flexibility in your hours.
Working from home is the ideal choice for those looking for a side-hustle but who don’t want to commit to a 9-5 office job. That said, you still need to be available to provide all the help your clients need. This can often feel like a full-time job.
Many aspiring travel agents prefer to work for an established travel agency instead. Finding one that specializes in Disney travel provides you with tons of experience. It also shows you the ins and outs of the industry and offers a sense of stability.
Since most of what you earn will come from commissions and not a set salary, the ball is in your court. You need to decide what kind of working arrangement works best for you.
Have Passion, Realistic Expectations, and Prepare for Uncertainty
To be a Disney travel agent, you need to be passionate about your job and Disney. You need to help families plan their vacations, but you also need to have realistic expectations. A lot of these revolve around planning for uncertainty.
When working as a Disney travel agent, you’ll rely on commissions. Because you only get paid after the trip is complete, it could take months to see the money. This can make things dicey for those looking to make this a full-time job.
The more you work and the more deals you close, the higher your pay will be. However, in times of uncertainty, such as the global pandemic, you need to prepare for dry spells. The good thing about Disney is that demand for it will always return.
In addition, if working from home or as a contractor, you are your own boss and can set where and how long you work. This does come with added stress as well. You need to be available at all hours to deal with any issues that might come up.
This can result in you working late nights or having tons of work all falling in around the same time. The lead-up to peak tourist season can be hectic. For this reason, you’ll have to use your A-game to find all the tickets and bookings your clients need on time.
It can feel grueling at times, but it’s worth it to help families have the best Disney vacations possible.
Look for an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Once you have everything else covered, it’s time to look for the right company to join. Doing so will increase your chances of success in the industry and is an important first step. Before attempting to strike out on your own, you should find a travel agency to join, but make sure they’re a good one.
Proper accreditation is crucial. When clients are looking for the ultimate Disney vacation, they don’t want stress. They want to enjoy their trip without the hassles of planning everything.
When looking for travel agencies, go with ones that Disney has granted certification. These “Authorized Disney Vacation Planners” have four levels of recognition. These are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Clients will prefer travel agencies that Disney recognizes and trusts. To have the best chance of success, you should try to apply to these agencies. Another thing to look for is whether your agency is international or US-based.
As the world economy pushes for remote work, you’re likely to be part of an international team. Make sure the company is a member of an international travel association. The two big ones are the CLIA and the IATA.
The first refers to cruise lines and the second for air travel. Being partnered with these associations allows you to offer full Disney packages. Many clients go with a travel agent because it’s easier and the packages are good value for the money.
Being unable to provide the best inclusive deals puts you at a major disadvantage.
Become a Disney Travel Agent
There are many things to consider when choosing to become a Disney travel agent. You need to be passionate, determined, and up to the challenges that booking a Disney vacation can bring. Finding the ideal travel agency is also important, as is deciding on your preferred working arrangements.
You’ll find that helping families plan the ultimate Disney vacay is worth it despite the work. At Kalilei Vacations, we’re experienced in providing top-notch Disney vacation experiences. Give us a call, and let’s bring a little more Disney magic into the world.