What are Agency Exclusive Offers?
While most Disney authorized travel agents (officially called Authorized Disney Vacation Planners) are booking the same rates available directly on Disney’s websites, some travel agencies offer special discounted rates for Walt Disney World that are only available through their agency directly.
These bookings are treated just like any other Disney travel agent booking. The primary difference between booking directly through Disney and booking with a travel agent is that your travel agent will submit your payment to Disney for you and if you need to make any changes to your package, you will need to contact your agent–not Disney. Since your agent is using a Disney payment system, you can pay for your booking with discounted Disney gift cards and other travel rewards credit cards!
How do agencies get these special rates? They guarantee that they will sell a certain number of rooms during a designated time period, similar to a reserved room block for a convention. The travel agency is responsible for the room costs in their contract, even if they don’t sell out their rooms to their clients or a client cancels at the last minute. As you can imagine, many agencies aren’t willing to take this risk.
How Much Can You Save?
The biggest discount, and one that I’ve booked twice myself, is the Labor Day deal through Magical Vacations Travel. From about mid-August to the first week of September, Disney Deluxe resorts go on deep discount through these offers. I was able to stay at the Polynesian in 2017 for $266.63 per night and at the Wilderness Lodge in 2018 for $236.25 per night. Joe stayed at the Polynesian in 2018 for $291.38 per night. Disney’s promotion during that time period was for 25 percent off rack rates, a little over $400 per night.
As I mentioned, this is the deepest discount you can get, so let’s look at some other times of year. In February 2018 I stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter for $178.20 per night compared to the general public rate of $256.13 per night. The agency exclusive offer even beat the Disney bounce back price and Annual Passholder discount! In November 2017 we stayed at Coronado Springs for $167.06 per night compared to the general public discount of about $200 per night.
Do You Get a Discount on Park Tickets?
A big bonus of booking these discounted rates is that they also make you eligible for group park tickets that are sold at convention rates. While we can’t tell you what your exact savings will be due to the new variable pricing for park tickets, here’s what I spent earlier in 2018. For three day, one park only tickets the agency exclusive package price was $277.01 for an adult ticket compared to $305 purchased in advance from Disney. For four day, one park only tickets the agency exclusive package price was $335.48 for an adult ticket compared to $380 purchased in advance from Disney.
What about the Dining Plan?
You can typically add the Disney Dining Plan to any of the agency exclusive offers, except the Labor Day deal.