Why should I use a travel agent to book a vacation when it is so easy to book online?
We get this question ALL THE TIME … We could list tons of reasons, but in the interest of time, we’ll just stick to the Top 5:
- We work for you for FREE. It costs you exactly the same amount for us to book your trip as it does for you to book it on your own. Disney pays us a commission without passing that cost on to you — so there is no need for you to even price shop!
- We can save you MONEY. We work incredibly hard to make sure you are getting the best possible price for your vacation. We are always watching for discounts and special offers and will do our best to get available discounts applied to your vacation, even if you have already paid a deposit. And because of our close relationship with our travel vendors, many times we can get special discounts and amenities that are not available to the general public.
- We will save you TIME. Did you know that if you do an internet search for “Disney World” you will find over 74,600,000 entries? Do you really want to spend time sorting through all of that when all you have to do is pick up the phone or send us a text to get a fast, accurate answer? Not only that, but we will be the ones up at 5:00 a.m. 180 days before your vacation to make your dining reservations. We will be the ones planning your park itinerary to make sure you maximize your time and keep you out of the lines. We will be the ones to make sure you know how to use the latest Disney technology to get the most from your vacation. We will even tell you what to pack!
- We are HERE TO HELP when things don’t go as planned. No one likes to think of having trouble on vacation, but let’s face it – it does happen. If you book your vacation on your own, you are on your own.
- We are EXPERTS. Small World Big Fun was founded in June 2008, but our owner, Cindy Minor, began planning Disney vacations for families way back in 2001. 18 months after we opened, we became an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. This designation is given by Disney to select agencies to recognize their extensive knowledge of all things Disney and for the high level of value they provide to their clients as a result of their expertise. We achieved Gold Level Status in 2014. Cindy Minor, the owner of Small World Big Fun, served on the EarMarked Travel Advisory Council from 2012-2014.
How does this work — do we meet in person, or is everything handled online?
Because we have clients all over the country, we are certainly capable of handling many details online, but we really prefer to get started with a phone call so that we can get to know each other! We want to learn a little about your preferences so that we can plan the vacation that works best for you. We are also happy to arrange a face-to-face meeting if that is what you prefer — in person, or via Skype!
Do you charge any fees? How do you get paid?
Small World Big Fun does not charge fees for our services when you book your resort or travel package through us. When we book the vacation package, we are compensated by the vendor. They pay us, so you don’t have to! It’s the best deal EVER.
Do I have to pay in full at the time of booking? Can I pay the balance out over time?
A deposit is needed to guarantee your reservation. The amount of the deposit will vary depending on your vacation destination. After that, you can make payments however you like — a little each month, or pay it all at the time the final payment is due. It’s totally up to you!
Do you only book vacations to Walt Disney World?
Gosh, no! If you don't believe me, take a look at our Destination pages! If you don't see what you are looking for, give us a call!
Do you book flights?
We will only book flights when they are included in a vacation package. If you need help with flights, please give us a call.
Is it worth it to take a small child who won’t remember anything?
This vacation is just as much about YOU as it is about your children. We’re all about planning experiences your kids will remember for the rest of their lives, but we want this to be unforgettable for you, too! After all, you are the one paying for the vacation. (In the 20+ years we’ve been in business, not one time has a child called to provide the credit card to pay the final payment.) We are willing to bet that some of your most precious vacation memories will be of experiences your child may not remember.
If I have already booked a trip, can I still get a discount?
We work incredibly hard to make sure you are getting the best possible price for your vacation. If a discount is released that includes your dates of travel, we will do our very best to apply it to your existing reservation.
Do I really need to plan so far ahead?
Ideally, we’d like to begin planning a Disney vacation at least 7 months in advance. This gives us time to firm up the vacation details so that we can begin making plans right when the 180-day window opens for Advanced Dining Reservations. If you just don’t have that kind of lead time, we can certainly plan your vacation in less time (our record is 24 hours notice!), but the more time we have to plan, the easier it will be for us to secure the most popular reservations.
If you are thinking about a non-Disney vacation, we still like to have as much lead time as possible, especially if you plan to travel during the holidays, spring break or the peak of summer travel season. Booking well in advance means that we have a better chance of finding the best price!
My husband doesn’t want to go …
Well, bless his heart. We’re sure his idea of a Disney vacation involves huge crowds, long lines, screaming kids, and giant buckets of money that he might as well just throw in the garbage. Look. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We know how to turn a cranky, Disney-averse husband into a happy Disney Dad! If you knew some of the dads that we have converted, you would be impressed. (Due to our strict adherence to client confidentiality, we can’t name names, but if we could, and if you knew these people, you would be impressed.)
I don’t want every single minute of my vacation to be planned.
We agree! Some of your best memories of your vacation will come from experiences that you cannot possibly plan.
The good news here is that we don’t have to plan every single minute for you to experience a relaxing vacation. We will plan a few things, but we also have lots of tricks to structure your itinerary in a way that allows you to be focused on FUN, not on the details of a schedule.
Can I still do all my own planning?
Hey, far be it from us to deny anyone the joy of planning a vacation! The planning is definitely part of the fun! If you enjoy the planning, we will do as much or as little planning for you as you prefer. We will still be on the lookout for any applicable discounts. We are here as a resource for you to help you and your family have the best trip possible.
I’m celebrating a special occasion — can you help me with that?
Hey — we are all about Big Fun! Give us a reason to celebrate and we will give you lots of options to make your occasion extra special!
What if I booked my trip on my own, but I REALLY feel like I need your help!
If it has been less than 30 days since you paid the deposit on your vacation, we can request to take over your reservation — this way, Disney pays us to work with you so that you don’t have to. If it has been more than 30 days, please give us a call anyway! We REALLY don’t want anyone to have a disappointing trip. We may be able to point you in the right direction. In some cases, we can provide itinerary planning services, but there will be a fee involved.
Questions that you really should ask ….
What exactly is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner?
An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (ADVP) is a designation given by Disney to select agencies to recognize their extensive knowledge of all things Disney and for the high level of value they provide to their clients as a result of their expertise. In short, this means that Disney recognizes us as an expert.
What are the most important things I can do to prepare for my trip?
We had a really hard time paring this list down, so we're just gonna include them all!
- Review your itinerary and travel plans before you leave to make sure you don’t have any last-minute questions.
- Check-in online for your flight 24 hours in advance!
- Remember that the transitions (getting from one place to another) are often the most stressful parts of the trip. Have a strategy to help minimize stress. Your Small World Big Fun Travel Advisor is here to help!
- Realize that there is no way you can see it all in one trip. Let go of the minute-by-minute schedule and RELAX. This is, after all, a VACATION!
What kind of identification is required for children to fly?
Identification is not required for children under age 18 traveling on a domestic flight. If you have a child under age 2 and you do not plan to purchase a seat for that child, the airline may require proof of age. Everyone traveling internationally via air must have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. Many destinations require that it be valid for up to six months after your return date. Be sure to talk to your Small World Big Fun Travel Advisor to understand the requirements for your particular trip.
Does anyone ever have a bad time at Disney?
Taken at face value, this seems like an insane question to ask. However, it is possible to have a less than magical experience. People who show up without a plan, or with unrealistic expectations, are setting themselves up for major disappointment. This is why working with a Small World Big Fun Travel Advisor is so important. We want you to leave the parks planning another Disney vacation rather than regretting the one you just left.