Starting off the WDW Prep, I thought it would be good to explain how Joe and I booked our Disney trip!
I have touched on this before in a post when I announced that our trip was booked but here is some extra information.
There are many ways to book a trip to Disney with all different agencies. We went with Thomas Cook. Thomas Cook is an agency we have used before and have never had any problems with, so we already felt comfortable in using them. We waited to book our trip when the free dining plan for 2020 came out.
There was a lot of discussion and debate about what dining plan to do or whether to even do a dining plan. But once the dates were out, we were looking and talking about it to figure out the best deal for us! It ended up that having the free breakfast was the best deal. Joe and I aren’t the biggest eaters and therefore, with the American food sizes, I knew it wouldn’t be worth doing the full dining plan because I simply wouldn’t be able to eat my money worth! With this in mind, we thought of ways that we could still eat what we want but also save money which resulted in paying for our food when we are there – let’s see how it goes and whether it was the right option!
So, we found a deal for free breakfast and a Disney hotel. I really wanted to stay in a Disney hotel since I feel like it adds more ‘magic’ to the holiday and makes it that bit more special and exciting. Plus, Joe has never stayed in a Disney hotel before so it’s something new for both of us. The cheapest deal was for the All Star Sports Value Hotel. Out of the value hotels, this was the one I liked the look of the most – I think the sport objects around the hotel look incredible! So, I was really happy that this was the cheapest hotel at that time.
We did have a panic moment where the price of the trip started to increase and therefore, we were on the phone to Thomas Cook trying to figure out if and when the price would go up again. It ended up that Joe called me and said ‘let’s go book Disney now’ simply because we didn’t want to risk it increasing anymore – do try to avoid the price increase, it’s sneaky!
I even remember the date we booked it…on the 28th of April, we went down to Thomas Cook in our local town and booked our holiday. They were super helpful, and I believe that when the free dining plan comes out, the staff actually have a lesson on the deals and how to find the best deals for people. The staff did know their stuff which made it much easier for us! When booking through Thomas Cook, it is very much an experience of we sit there, and they ask us a few questions and they do it all for you. This does make it less stressful. The questions our travel agent asked were what extras we wanted, if there was a specific room we wanted, what time flights; all the standard questions.
Within a few minutes, the holiday was booked, and it felt so surreal that it was finally confirmed. We had to pay 2 deposits and then the final pay will be 12 weeks before we go. For your information, they said that if needed we can cancel the holiday up to the day before we have to pay the rest of the money but you will lose the deposit you have already put down – I think this was £500 in total (my memory can’t remember these things).
I think booking an expensive, big holiday like Disney is helpful to do through a travel agent, whether that’s Thomas Cook or somewhere else. It just allows you to feel reassured that you’re booking the correct thing and obviously they book holidays for people every day, they know what they’re doing!
I think it’s very beneficial to look around at different deals and really do sit there and think about what is best for you and your travel party. It may be stressful and take some time, but it will be worth it when you aren’t wasting money or wishing you were doing something else.
Don’t rush and do take your time, but also be aware of price increase or rooms being sold out. It can feel like a real panic because you don’t want deals to change but I like to think of it as, whatever is meant to be will be. Everything happens for a reason, always remember that.
But yes, this is some information about how we booked our holiday. I still can’t believe it’s happening and now that I’m doing a year countdown on my blog to prepare and lead up to it, such a surreal feeling but I couldn’t be happier about it!