Becoming a Disney travel agent may be how you plan to save money on your own Disney vacations or it may be an opportunity to start an exciting fun career. What could be better than helping families plan their vacations at one of the Disney resorts? It sounds like it would be a magical career!
Work As an Independent Contractor
You will be an independent contractor and work for one of the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners. As a contractor, you'll set your work schedule and work within the framework of the agency. Work for many planners is done from home, but some may also involve working from a specific location. The location will depend on the agency.
Agencies Are Accredited
An approved Disney planner will not only carry the official Disney logo for planners, but will also be an accredited agency either with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Some agencies are accredited with both organizations.
Requirements for Becoming a Disney Travel Agent
There are no specific requirements for becoming a Disney Planner. If you have a degree in hospitality or related field this can be of benefit to you in performing your job, but it isn't required. Any experience you have in vacation planning or as a travel agent will also be beneficial, but no experience is required, although some agencies prefer you have experience as a travel agent. Be sure you understand all requirements.
Register for Disney College of Knowledge
The Disney College of Knowledge is a free online self-directed Disney training program. The Disney travel agencies will require you to complete this program since it offers sales and marketing tips and explains various aspects and features found at Disney resorts that can help you better serve your clients. The course also shares tips on how to book vacations at Disney resorts and other helpful information.
Getting Started as an Independent Planner
Once you've completed the Disney College of Knowledge, the authorized Disney vacation planner company will either set you on your course as an independent contractor or will offer you additional free training. For example, Mickey Travels is one such company that offers their own brand of training, designed to help you get the most out of your career and better serve your clients. Keep in mind that each company operates independently, so you may not have any further training.
Your Duties as a Disney Planner
You will be responsible for booking client vacations at the various Disney locations, such as the amusement parks, Disney Cruises and of course, hotels and any other activity that requires a reservation. In many cases, you'll also be responsible for booking airfare and arranging for car rentals.
A Few Tips to Help You Succeed
It's often advised that you be familiar with many of the Disney locations, hotels, cruises, and parks. You're encouraged to:
- Know as much as possible about all of the Disney properties to better serve your clients
- Take a few Disney vacations, so you are better familiar with all aspects of the vacation package (You may be able to write off your trip as a business expense; check with your business advisor or accountant.)
- Register with Disney Travel Agents once you become an agent to stay up-to-date on all Disney Destinations
Your Earnings As a Disney Planner
You will work strictly on a commission basis. Disney Planner agencies don't all pay the same commission rates. Most agencies pay higher commissions on clients you bring into the agency than ones they refer to you. Some agencies will start you out with a 50/50 commission split, meaning you'll receive half of the commission that is paid to the agency.
Advancements in Earnings
Based on your performance, you may be able to increase your commission split. It depends on the agency. Some agencies can go as much as a 70/30 split with you receiving the higher percentage. Be sure you understand how the splits work and if there is a chance of an increase and what the criteria is to receive it.
How the Agency Is Paid
The Disney agency is paid a 10% commission on bookings. Your commission is then taken out of this payment. For example, if your booking is for $5,000, then the agency will receive $500. If you're on a 50/50 split commission, then you'll be paid $250 for the booking. If you're on a 70/30 split, then you'll receive $350.
Choosing to Become a Disney Travel Agent
You can see that the path to realizing a career as a Disney Travel Agent is fairly straight forward. You can contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to inquire about possible openings for independent contractors and could be on your way to realizing your dream job today!