Above and Beyond: Professional Disney Dreamers and Doers

agent-prep-program

By Kat Wolfe, Creator of the Agent Prep Program and Plussing It Membership

Should you ever see a social media post aimed at the Disney fan base asking, “Should I use a Disney Travel Agent for my vacation?” fill up your Figment popcorn bucket and settle in for the comments. Strong opinions abound and range anywhere from an enthusiastic “Yes, 100%” {tags favorite agent}, to a foreboding “No, they’re useless!” {shares horror story}, and everything in between. Debates, even heated arguments, get started within the replies. It’s wild and disappointing. Disheartening, even, for travel agents (who do feel things) to witness while the old “one bad apple” theory attempts to discredit the relevancy of their profession. That’s just not nice. Especially so for those just becoming Travel Agents Specializing in Disney Destinations. (That’s our official title, by the way…we don’t refer to ourselves professionally as Disney Travel Agents… but everyone else does.)

In the ten years I’ve been working with travel agents, whether as a colleague or a mentor in the Get Down to Disness Agent Prep Program or Plussing It Membership, I’ve never met a “bad” one. Have I met under-trained, misguided, and overwhelmed agents that inspired the creation of those programs? Yes. But at the core of our community, you’ll only find wonderful, caring, and hard-working individuals with a deep love of Disney that want to serve their clients and serve them well. The kind that anyone who is invested emotionally and financially in their vacation experience really, really wants as a planning partner.

What many people don’t understand about professional Disney vacation planning is how consuming the work can be, especially for theme park visits. Late nights, early mornings, available at a moment’s notice-sometimes even on our own vacations, staying apprised of the frequent policy and procedural changes, weather delays, flight cancellations, understanding any and all factors that might affect a client’s experience, price watching to ensure nobody is paying more than they need to, Lightning Lanes, virtual queues, Disney Genie, Disney Genie +… it’s dizzying. All the while nurturing each client so they feel as if they are our only one. Stressful, unpredictable, demanding, magical, fun, exciting, and rewarding. That’s the job, and we love it.

When I started the Plussing it Membership for established travel agents focusing on Disney and Universal destinations, I created a creed of sorts so everyone who joined knew exactly what they were getting into. I think it summarizes pretty well who travel agents are and what we stand for. It goes like this:

We are Disney dreamers and doers. A community of professionals driven by a shared love for the Disney life and common goal for living it well. We are fueled by passion and purpose. We serve others better than we serve ourselves. We push beyond our fears and doubts because we know growth can’t happen in our comfort zone. We know that to go far, we must go together. We share ideas, uplift, and unequivocally support one another. On days when we feel defeated, we dig deeper and use any doubts to fuel innovation. We go above and beyond. We are committed to success. We are determined. We are courageous. We are travel agents.

If you’ve ever found yourself Googling “Disney Travel Agent jobs” or “Disney Travel Agent training”, and want to show the world (heck, just show yourself) that you can be a professional vacation planner and the creed above doesn’t scare you, GO FOR IT! But, don’t go for it alone. Like any career, you need guidance, support, a defined path, and to be shown the who, what, where, how, why and why nots in order to be successful. Listen, anyone can book a vacation, but not everyone knows how to plan a good one or build a business. Embarking on a new career atop a strong foundation is the key to professional longevity in any field.

However, if you’re not at all interested in the travel agent life, I encourage you to support someone who is. That can be as big as booking your vacations with them to as little as liking/sharing social media posts. Just a small token of encouragement goes a long way for people who work tirelessly to make the break from reality for other hard-working humans the best it can be. And supporting friends is just nice to do.