Using a Travel Agent - Pt 1

A screen shot of my plans on My Disney Experience app.

A screen shot of my plans on My Disney Experience app.


Time to Start Planning!

It's the time of year to plan my family's Disney Vacation, and today I did it in a way I never have before. I called a travel agent!

Since "Mouse Ear for Everyone" has been released, I have met a lot of new people. Thankfully, one of them is Lesley Sawhook, a special educator/Disney travel agent. Obviously we have a lot in common (and we both have kids running track). We had lunch and she introduced me to the world of travel agents. Did you know their services are FREE? 

I really love planning our trips- but I wanted to experience this service, to share with my readers. So, today the summer discounts were announced for 2017- I called Lesley. She quickly sent me quotes for the resorts that make sense for my family. 

I asked for resorts in the moderate tier. With her research she told me the discounts are not available at The Port Orlean's resorts, and Coronado and Caribbean have A Lot of Construction right now. So she sent me discounted rates for the Fort Wilderness Cabins and Checked Animal Kingdom (deluxe tier) for fun. It's our lucky day- Animal Kingdom and the Cabins are virtually the same price! I asked her about Art of Animation- it was $200 more!! 

Now that we had pricing info from Lesley- We are excited about Pandora: Land of Avatar, and the new Rivers of Light Show at Disney's Animal Kingdom, so after asking all of my family- 

We picked a location- Animal Kingdom Lodge!! 

All I did was send a quick e- mail to Lesley, and I quickly received an e-mail from Disney confirming I had a vacation on hold.

After that I had 3 days to call her to confirm and give my deposit. I'm excited, so I called her right away to confirm. 

  • She took my card for the deposit.
  • Made sure I understood the My Disney Experience App and gave me my reservation number.
  • She asked about any dining reservations we may need.
  • We set a date to discuss FastPasses (THAT SHE WILL BOOK) a week or so before the date for FastPasses. 

Bonus- Any trip valued over $3,000 with Exclusive Travel Partners receive personalized bags for the kids and a $25 Disney gift card.

Again- All of this service (including booking FastPasses and dining) is FREE!





Exclusive Travel Partners

Lesley and Tim Sawhook recently opened Exclusive Travel Partners, a travel agency that specializes in Disney locations. Lesley has been an agent at a different company for years, and she and Tim were ready to branch out on their own. As a new company they are not officially authorized by Disney yet (that takes two years) but Lesley and their team of agents have many years of training and experience with Disney travel.

Lesley's experience as a Special Needs Educator helps her know exactly what accommodations you may need, and she can help you with that. Right down to specific recommendations for dining, attractions and rooms.

As I continue with our plans, I will keep you updated. So far- I think using Exclusive Travel Partners is a great idea!!

Here is their website. 


I believe travel agency's are a legitimate business and safe. BUT, I know there can be unethical people that run scams. Here's what to look for.

  • A Disney travel agent will only ask for a $200 deposit on room and ticket packages, or one night stay for just a room reservation- unless you are under one month from check-in.
  • You will receive an e-mail forwarded to you from Disney with a confirmation code.
  • Your confirmation card will work on the My Disney Experience web site or app. If it isn't working, call Disney. 

If a person offering to help you with Disney planning doesn't offer these things- Use Caution.

I will be updating our progress with each step of the planning!!