Because my Disney recap posts have been quite lengthy in words and pictures (sorryyyy!), let’s cut straight to the chase in this post. 🙂 If you and your family have dates penciled in for when you’d like to shoot to go to Disney, or maybe you’re like I was and just dreaming of one day going, I have one super important tip to share that I want to shout from the rooftops!
#1 Tip for Planning Your Dream Disney Vacation
My #1 tip for planning the Disney World/Land/Cruise of your dreams (!) is to actually not do much of the planning at all, but let a free Disney travel agent do the work. 🙂
I am so so so pumped to tell you about our experience working with Alicia Nauman with Ears of Experience. She’s one of those people that I’ve never met in person but has such a special place in my heart. She gave us the gift of a stress-free, fully-planned vacation with just enough wiggle room and flexibility.
Alicia has been reading my blog for a while, and she emailed me last fall offering her free services since she’d read that Hadley loves Disney and princesses so much. We have never worked with any kind of travel agent before because I assumed most of them cost money (and they do), so I had no idea that someone could actually help plan our Disney trip for free. To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought to use a travel agent since we’ve been to Disney several times before. I decided to tuck away her contact info anyway and let her know that we hoped to go sometime in the next few years.
Fast forward to February 22nd, when I thought of the crazy idea of doing a quick trip during Jamie’s upcoming four-day weekend at the end of March. I emailed her to see if this was even possible, and she sent me back a super speedy reply 20 minutes later.
She was so approachable and immediately made me feel like I wasn’t totally crazy for wanting to plan a Disney trip one month out. 🙂
Within one hour, she’d created an email chain saying “The DeSpains go to Disney!” and had a whole slew of resort options for us. ONE HOUR! This made it so real and I started getting so excited. I had the conversation with Jamie that I mentioned in another post, so once he agreed to move forward, we booked flights. We sent Alicia our flight information and she took it from there!
The three main reasons why I’m so glad we used a travel agent:
- Disney is changing all the time. They are constantly trying to keep up with the times and make improvements in every single thing they do. Though we’ve vacationed in Disney before, we didn’t know that so much had changed in just four years. Travels agents keep up with that stuff and are knowledgeable of every single resource Disney has to offer to make your trip flawless.
- She booked our room, dining plan, fast passes, and dining reservations, leaving me with extra time to do other things instead of constant research and reservation-making.
- She knows about every little thing that Disney offers. I had no clue about the Memory Maker, dining plan, normal wait times, or different kinds of resorts. She filled us in on all of that, so we didn’t feel clueless in the slightest.
Five main reasons that I’m so glad we used Alicia specifically:
- She emailed me back 24/7, usually within 15 minutes (no exaggeration). She even spent her Friday night on the phone answering a million questions that came to me out of nowhere. I kept telling her that I felt so bad that she was working on a Friday night, but she was truly happy to be on the phone and answering all of my questions that were easier to answer that way than via email.
- She is a Disney fanatic herself and vacations there often! She has had personal experiences doing everything Disney has to offer, so she is able to offer first-hand experience with rides, restaurants, shows, resorts, and more.
- She is so genuinely helpful. She sent us a huge binder with a ton (A TON!) of helpful tricks and tips that Jamie and I excitedly poured over. We felt like little kids as we happily read through everything she sent along. She also included a delicious treat as a sweet extra touch. 🙂
4. She is so incredibly thoughtful. She went down to Disney a couple weeks before our trip, and she texted me while she was there asking me who Hadley’s favorite princess was. I told her Rapunzel, and a couple days later I received a video message for Hadley from Rapunzel that she’d recorded. You should have seen Hadley’s face! She made me feel like she was so invested in our vacation and kept all of our interests in mind. She was just so wonderful. I can’t say that enough.
5. She’s a military wife and knows about every single military discount there is. Holy smokes! She scored us the very best prices in as many aspects of our vacation as she could. Not only does she know military discounts, but she knows about all discounts period! I’m telling you – the girl KNOWS HER STUFF! You have to get in touch with her. 🙂
A few things to note:
- Alicia works with all families, not just military families. 🙂
- She can book every Disney Destination – Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise, Aulani Resort in Hawaii, and Adventures by Disney.
- Alicia is currently booking Disney World packages through the end of 2017.
- 2018 packages will open this summer, but she keeps a list of people that would like quotes as soon as they are available.
- Military discounts are typically renewed for the following year in early Fall, but she can apply the discount to an already booked room based on availability.
- She is booking Disney Cruises all the way through September 2018 and prices are better the further out you book.
Ready to get in touch with Alicia and get an obligation-free quote?
You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, visit her website, or you can email her: firstname.lastname@example.org. All you have to do is say “I want to plan a trip!” and she will take it from there. If you email her today, you could be booking a trip by tonight or tomorrow! She’s seriously that good and that fast! You won’t regret it. 🙂
To read my Disney posts from the beginning, start here.
Note: While this post is sponsored by Alicia, it’s obvious by our trip recap posts that these opinions truly are my own. I’ve been recommending her to friends and family like crazy and am so glad to share her with all of you.
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo