Who to book with? Travel agents/independent? Which sites?

Jkarrows

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 6, 2012
Well...I've flown three times with VA to WDW, and twice I've been moved. First time, Feb 2018, the return journey was moved back a day. I'd booked the whole package with Disney, who rang me and asked me what I wanted to do. I was able to extend the hotel reservation by one day, so that was OK, I just had to pay for the extra night. It was Pop Century so not too expensive, and the park tickets remained good for the extra day.

Second time VA moved the arrival flight forward a day. This time, flights booked separately with Virgin for Feb 2019. This was more awkward as my booked Disney hotel was no longer available for the extra night so I had to book a different resort for the extra night. Also, my dining plan and park tickets weren't extendable to that extra day as it was at that beginning of the holoday, not the end. Tickets now have a fixed start date when you book, but remain valid for as many days as necessary.

My flights are between Manchester and MCO.

Perhaps because I'm a single traveller I'm a target for moving as they find it easier to move me to free up two seats together, although once I noticed the whole flight had been cancelled anyway. But it's incredibly awkward when they do this, and there is no route to compensation or whatever, they are allowed to do this.
Wow, that's really strange, could be your a single traveler but that's really harsh, could be due to Manchester flights as never had this issue out of Gatwick or Heathrow.

Thought if your flight was moved you were entitled to compensation, would expect them to pay your hotel fee at least.
 

SomeDayMyPrinceWillCome

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Well...I've flown three times with VA to WDW, and twice I've been moved. First time, Feb 2018, the return journey was moved back a day. I'd booked the whole package with Disney, who rang me and asked me what I wanted to do. I was able to extend the hotel reservation by one day, so that was OK, I just had to pay for the extra night. It was Pop Century so not too expensive, and the park tickets remained good for the extra day.

Second time VA moved the arrival flight forward a day. This time, flights booked separately with Virgin for Feb 2019. This was more awkward as my booked Disney hotel was no longer available for the extra night so I had to book a different resort for the extra night. Also, my dining plan and park tickets weren't extendable to that extra day as it was at that beginning of the holoday, not the end. Tickets now have a fixed start date when you book, but remain valid for as many days as necessary.

My flights are between Manchester and MCO.

Perhaps because I'm a single traveller I'm a target for moving as they find it easier to move me to free up two seats together, although once I noticed the whole flight had been cancelled anyway. But it's incredibly awkward when they do this, and there is no route to compensation or whatever, they are allowed to do this.
I'm so sorry you've had that experience! That's so bad! I can't believe they won't offer compensation or anything. It bugs me that companies seem to penalise solo travellers :/
 
  • ~Piglet~

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2005
    I think previous posters have covered all bases about pros and cons of booking separately / packages. We've done both ways previously with no issues, booking separately does tend to be cheaper most times - our 2020 trip was coming out at silly prices for a package. Out of all the Value hotels I would choose the Pop Century over the All Stars. We've stayed at the Pop twice in the past and loved it. Buses seem to be more frequent and they definitely have the best music out of the three resorts we've stayed at!! Added bonus too is that if you want to visit AoA you can just walk across the bridge for a look around :)
     

    SomeDayMyPrinceWillCome

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2019
    Fantastic answers guys! What has now got me thinking is about staying at AS resorts or not. The next price up is AoA, but it's £500 difference for the two weeks. Is it worth it for that much?!? Also, what would happen if I booked AoA through a different site, such as Expedia? Would I still get all the perks of staying at the park, such as EMH and ME? Would I just ring Disney up?
     

    gismo1554

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2005
    So yes you get all the perks with no issue. Definitely worth checking other sites just in case. In terms of £500 difference to be honest I probably wouldn't pay that amount if I was solo. If it was more around the £250 then I would but I probably would just put up with the buses for thaat type and then spend the money on other things
     

    SomeDayMyPrinceWillCome

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2019
    So yes you get all the perks with no issue. Definitely worth checking other sites just in case. In terms of £500 difference to be honest I probably wouldn't pay that amount if I was solo. If it was more around the £250 then I would but I probably would just put up with the buses for thaat type and then spend the money on other things
    I think you're right - the only thing is I would have so much preferred AS Movies or Music over Sports :( Do they ever have more available if you ring up than on the website?
     
  • csimon

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2018
    I think you're right - the only thing is I would have so much preferred AS Movies or Music over Sports :( Do they ever have more available if you ring up than on the website?
    I don't think so. Disney UK is basically a travel agent and they are stuck with what they are given. While I was on the phone once, it was confirmed that their system shows them exactly the same as what we see.

    I know that we in the UK are lucky in that we get packages that are not available in the US and they are released earlier too (although they might be more expensive) but we have no choice in that what we see on the web site is what's currently on offer, no more, no less, and you can't ring to get other discounts or more room availability.

    Note that rooms and hotels aren't necessarily sold out. It's just that some resorts don't participate in some of the promotions that take place, or some room classes aren't offered. You basically have to accept what the current promotion is. When promotion periods end, you might find a different collection of choices, or choices may change partway through. You just have to keep looking!

    I've found it really frustrating that several times my preferred choice hasn't been available for the dates I wanted. Not that I waould want to, but I've noticed it's very very difficult to find any availability for places like Contemporary or Treehouse Villas in the UK, and other places, whereas I see DIS vlogs where they're always saying, oh there's plenty of availability at those places, and people can always get rooms at fairly short notice, but you can't get them even 18 months in advance from the UK.
     

    Jon84

    wdwaddictuk
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2015
    I don't think so. Disney UK is basically a travel agent and they are stuck with what they are given. While I was on the phone once, it was confirmed that their system shows them exactly the same as what we see.

    I know that we in the UK are lucky in that we get packages that are not available in the US and they are released earlier too (although they might be more expensive) but we have no choice in that what we see on the web site is what's currently on offer, no more, no less, and you can't ring to get other discounts or more room availability.

    Note that rooms and hotels aren't necessarily sold out. It's just that some resorts don't participate in some of the promotions that take place, or some room classes aren't offered. You basically have to accept what the current promotion is. When promotion periods end, you might find a different collection of choices, or choices may change partway through. You just have to keep looking!

    I've found it really frustrating that several times my preferred choice hasn't been available for the dates I wanted. Not that I waould want to, but I've noticed it's very very difficult to find any availability for places like Contemporary or Treehouse Villas in the UK, and other places, whereas I see DIS vlogs where they're always saying, oh there's plenty of availability at those places, and people can always get rooms at fairly short notice, but you can't get them even 18 months in advance from the UK.
    In addition, you could always book what they have, then when you check in, ask if you can be moved. Sometimes it's Large costs, sometimes reasonable, sometimes nothing at all!
     

    Cornish Lad

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    So I looked this year for September solo and ended up booking with Virgin Holidays as it actually worked out about £500 cheaper than pricing up separately. I got this during a sale though and normal price I haven't seen Virgin ever be that cheap. You can however get Magical Express included with any Disney hotel booking so could book Disney direct and then flight only though any company. Once you book Disney you have Magical Express you just need to let them know the flight times which I did via an online website I found a link to on here somewhere (search Magical Express and I'm sure you will find it). You have to do this even if everything is booked through a TA or Disney and in fact if you book through a TA (including Virgin) they will probably add on a paid transfer you don't need so watch out for that.

    I went with Coronado as I got free dining but don't think it is available at the time you are looking at. I'd probably however suggest Pop Century or Art of Animation over All Stars as the bus system to AS was a nightmare last time I stayed there.

    And yes if you book either with a TA or seperately you still get the 60 day in advance fast passes.

    Also going solo you might want to consider the dining plan just so that you've then factored in meal costs. I'm doing the QS as this fits better in with my plans. They are expensive but food in the parks is and if you are solo you are likely to be a little more restricted in terms of going off site etc.
    We always book via Virgin - not on line but through their local location and have always got a better price than those quoted elsewhere and even better than Virgin's own on-line price. My step-daughter went through the exercise recently and after spending literally weeks investigating all the options that were being advised on-line I went with her to our local Virgin rep and she was amazed at the price that she got for the family. The other bonus was that everything is "under one roof" so only one contact for information or the possibility of having to make any changes or requests and no fear of one bit of the booking getting screwed up by a failing airline for example.
     

    rbc2

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2019
    We've just booked up for next May and we ended up doing it direct through Disney. There was no difference if booking with them or doing the flights separate to the hotel (same flights), so for ease I just booked direct through Disney. I looked at other travel agents too but they worked out way more expensive once you add the park tickets on.

    I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks with our rough days and each hotel, how much all the food will cost, whether it's worth going up a notch to a moderate for the dining plan. In the end, we decided go 12 nights instead of 14, stay in All Stars and use the extra money on food and a day trip to NASA!
     
  • Tony Toon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2004
    I was unable to get availability anywhere here for POFQ at New Year 2018. We wanted to stay there for a couple of nights before checking in to SSR for a week on January 1st with free DDP. As others have said Disney UK have their allocation and once it's gone it's gone. I eventually booked with a US travel agent through the US Disney site. I could have done it myself but there was no saving so used one of the agents who advertise here. The final price ended up being cheaper than booking one of the Values via Disney UK.

    Mrs TT.
     



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