Meet Rebekah Craig, mother of 2 beautiful boys, proud wife to her active duty military hubby, huge Disney fan, and now a Disney Travel Planner.
Honestly I had zero knowledge of what a Disney Planner did, in fact I just thought they were travel agents. So for years, I basically didn’t pay attention to that part of the industry to find out more about it. I always just planned our vacations, but I also had a little more time to do it then most full time working parents. With all the Fastpasses, reservations getting booked up 180 days out..etc I can’t imagine trying to plan everything after a full day at work. Half the time you have to stay up till the wee hours of the night to book stuff as soon as they open up and it always seems to be on a weekday.
2015 rates for all Disney destinations will be released tomorrow, July 30 2014, so I thought it would be a great time to find out what exactly a Disney Planner would do if i wanted to book something on the 30th. Enter fellow military spouse, Rebekah to my rescue. She might have needed rescuing from me 🙂 I asked her a few questions and some are probably super silly, but I know i can’t be the only one that knew nothing about Disney Planners. Or am I? At least I know something now.
What made you decide to become a Disney Planner?
As a military family who spends much time apart, we deeply cherish our family moments together. Disney has played a big part in making those moments magical. After our first deployment, we used a travel planner for our Walt Disney World vacation. We had an amazing time and I knew from that moment I had discovered what my dream job would be… to help others experience this magic.
Are you a Travel agent?
No, I am considered a travel planner. The difference is that I provide more services and support. I also am not a ticket broker so the price you pay at Disney is the same so if they just want tickets, I recommend they buy them on their own. Of course military tickets can be purchased on base at the ITT office. (But I can still do all other military pricing stuff) Also, my business in particular keeps searching for new specials that crop up and automatically have the price adjusted. When they dropped the pricing for Fall/Winter last week we had agents on the phone for more than 2 hours to adjust the pricing. We also do dining reservations so our clients don’t have to stay up till midnight waiting for the reservation 180 days out. We know what parks are going to be busy which days. And we treat each client as an individual (looking at their likes and dislikes). No two families will have the same plan. Finally, when clients are in the park they can even text us for help. Pros like you don’t need the planning as much but families who are new to Disney often feel overwhelmed with the whole thing, that’s where we come in. Not every planner is the same, but this is the stuff the company, Ears of Experience, I am affiliated with does. Ears of Experience is one of 20 travel professionals that are ear marked with Disney to help improve Disney Travel/planning.
Why would someone want to go to you for planning?
This is a FEE-FREE service! I have extensive training with Disney destinations and vacation planning. I focus exclusively on Disney destinations so I can be an expert for your dream vacation. Not every family is the same. I tailor your itinerary based on your preferences to provide a customized, magical experience.
Everyone can book vacations themselves, but you basically take ALL the work out of planning, and reserving?
Yes, you can book this yourself, however for no extra cost to you; you get my constant watch for the best discounts, hard-to-get dining reservations and a personalized itinerary. I will continue to monitor your reservation for extra savings all the way to your final confirmation.
Are all Travel Planners the same?
No, not every Travel Planner is the same. Some planners charge fees for their services. Others only book the rooms but don’t offer a personalized itinerary. Furthermore, not everyone specializes in Disney exclusively and may not know the tips and tricks for navigating Disney destinations.
Personally I feel the whole 3 rides in 1 park at a time, is a bit stressful to try and coordinate with everything else. We like to sleep in and not schedule our day while on vacation. Can you book Fastpasses for clients? If so, do you need to access their personal My Disney Experience account?
Yes, and yes….for first time clients we can set up the MDE for them as well. Usually people like to book their own fast passes, and it’s good for them to become familiar with the program so they know what to do once in the parks. We don’t want to take the fun out of the vacation – just the stress and fast passes can be fun. We do give suggestions on times based off their needs (such as your desire to sleep in)
Can you plan trips for Disney Vacation Club members?
Unfortunately Disney Vacation Planners cannot book DVC members (they have to go through normal DVC channels).
I love that our luggage is delivered to our room and we don’t have to worry about getting them when we land in Orlando. If someone is working with you do they still need to call Disney and provide their flight information or can you do that too?
Yes, the Magical Express bag tags I order when booking the reservation. So that will be covered by me.
What about Cruises and Adventures?
A couple things to remember about the cruises and adventures – it’s pretty much all inclusive (dining, etc). Also, booking with a planner can save you some money and you can choose just to book and not go with the full planning aspect. It’s the planners job to also keep ahead of specials and adjust the price if possible when a special comes available after booking.
Can you give me a quick break down of what you would provide?
Personalization: I will take time to get to know your likes and desires and base your itinerary on that, along with tips and tricks just for you.
Expertise: Not only have I graduated from Disney’s® College of Knowledge but I am part of a network of agents with Ears of Experience, LLC who are constantly visiting Disney and sharing all the new finds with our clients.
Assistance: I am available before, during and after your vacation. You can even text me while you are in the parks.
Dedication: I will continue to monitor your reservation for extra savings all the way to your final confirmation. I will also help make your special occasion magical, finding the perfect resort hotel and dinning reservations.
What’s a good tip you would give someone before going on vacation?
Grab ponchos at Target or the Dollar store prior to your trip. They are compact, easy to store and COST LESS than the ones sold in the parks. I keep my four in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. This way, after it rains the other items in my bag stay dry and I don’t have to struggle with trying to fold them back down.
To sum it up, you get a personal concierge for free!!! Why did I not know about this?! Thats what i get for running by Disney planner booths all these years. Its stressful for me to plan our vacations and to find out I can have someone stress for me…SOLD! As a military wife, I think Rebekah found the perfect solution for all those deployments. What better way to keep your mind busy by doing Disney stuff. You know how us Disney fans get all giddy and happy when we talk Disney. For Rebekah, I imagine this is like everyday magic away from the stressers of a military life.
Rebekah’s website, www.PlansWithMickey.com, will be up and running next week as it is under construction at the moment. In the meantime, if you want to get a hold of her and ask her more questions or have her plan your next spectacular vacation, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
THANK YOU REBEKAH CRAIG FOR PUTTING UP WITH MY ELEMENTARY QUESTIONS…be prepared for more from me..hahaha