The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Disney or Universal Travel Planner
So you want to become a Disney Travel Planner, but have no idea where to start?
Want to know the burning questions like “What’s the salary of a Disney Travel Planner?” “How long before I start making money as a Travel Agent?” or “Where do I even start?” I totally get it.
There is so little information about how to become a Travel Agent on the internet and it can be frustrating to find the answers you need.
I started my career as a Disney and Universal Studios Travel Planner about 3 years ago. And believe me, when I realized that people could make money by planning Disney vacations, I scoured every internet source available to me.
There really isn’t much out there and it’s tough to ask questions about the career in Facebook groups without being PM’d by a bunch of people trying to sell their Multi-Level Marketing scam.
I understand that starting the process can be intimidating. You’re basically starting your own business. I had to figure it out on my own but since then, I’ve planned many vacations for families and travel groups of all sizes.
It’s tough out there!
So, I put together a list of frequently asked questions that I’ve seen posted in Facebook groups and Disney forums over and over again.
Another article you’ll find helpful is my Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Disney Travel Planner that you can find here!
I also set up a free 5-day email challenge that details how to become a Disney Travel Planner in full detail. Each day I send you the next step to jumpstart your new Travel Agent career. You can sign up for the challenge here or via the form below.
What’s a Disney Travel Planner’s salary?
Host Agency Reviews states that Travel Agents with more than 3 years of experience made an average of $40,000, new Agents with less than 3 years made around $5,500, and Agents with 11+ years made $100,000+ in 2017.
I will note that these numbers are an average and can differ greatly from Agent to Agent. It also doesn’t single out Agents who specialize in Disney. Your salary depends on how much you put into your business!
A lot of Disney Travel Planners treat the profession as more of a side hustle and use the extra cash they earn as a vacation fund. Others have committed to turning it into a full-time business. This means working a full-time day job and building your business at the same time.
After about 3-4 years of hard work, you’ll most likely have enough clients to go full-time. For some, it takes longer and others shorter.
I made more than the average $5,500 in commission during my first year because I invested a lot in marketing and advertising.
How long before I start making money as a Travel Agent?
Generally, it will take you about 6 months before you start earning your commission. This includes the time it will take to find and book your clients and the time it takes to actually get paid. Travel Agents don’t get paid commission until the client has gone on vacation. (If they cancel, you don’t get your deposit.)
Then, it takes about a month for Disney or Universal to pay out the commission to your Host Agency who will then deposit your cut of the payment to your bank account.
This is why I choose to charge a planning fee. It gives your clients an incentive to not cancel their vacation or book it by themselves (leaving you without a commission) and it allows you to get paid some money upfront.
Charging a fee can be intimidating, especially when you’re a new Travel Agent. It’s hard to know how much to charge and how to go about it. Again, I give a lot of information about planning fees and how to use them in my free email course that you can sign up for here.
How much commission do you make when selling Disney or Universal vacations?
Disney and Universal vacations vary between 3% to 13% commission, depending on you’ve sold. And you have to remember that most Host Agencies will take a cut of your commission as well. I’ll list some examples to give you an idea, but these are subject to change.
Packages: Disney and Universal offer a 10% commission on vacation packages for their theme parks. Packages usually consist of hotel and tickets purchased together.
Tickets: Disneyland tickets range between 3%-7%, depending on the type of ticket. Disney World ranges between 8%-10%.
Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney: Between 10-16%, depending on the size of your Agency and what you’ve sold.
Disney VIP Tours: About 10% commission as well.
Do Travel Agents get Disney and Universal discounts?
Yes, you definitely get some benefits when you work with Disney and Universal. Disney Travel Planners receive free tickets once a year, some Resort discounts, and training benefits like tours of the hotels and Cruise Lines. Universal offers similar benefits. Other companies offer bonuses, discounts, and free travel as well.
The only catch is that you must have your own IATA or CLIA card to receive most of these benefits. Travel Agents usually earn their card by selling about $5000 in commission in one calendar year and they receive it from their Host Agency.
To learn more about IATA/CLIA cards (and what they are), check out this post by Host Agency reviews.
What’s it like being a Disney Travel Planner? What does the job entail?
The answer is: a lot.
There are so many fine details you need to pay attention to when you’re planning a theme park vacation. And there’s a lot more follow-up you need to attend to with your clients.
For most vacations, you’ll book the hotel, transportation, and give them a basic itinerary. For a Disney or Universal vacation, you need to go over resorts, transportation, dining plans, dining reservations, FastPasses, and everything in-between.
This is why the Disney Travel Planner profession isn’t going anywhere. Disney needs experts to plan these vacations for guests visiting the parks. Most people get so overwhelmed by the process of going to Disney World, they don’t want anything to do with the theme parks. Disney Travel Planners are there to take care of everything so they can actually enjoy their vacation.
Our work is so very important! If it wasn’t for Travel Agents, many people wouldn’t step foot into a theme park.
How do I get started and become a Disney or Universal Studios Travel Planner?
This is another long answer, so I wrote an extended post that answers this question in detail!
You can familiarize yourself with the full process in my article: How to Become a Disney Travel Planner
In brief, you’ll need to find a Host Agency and apply to it. This is the most important step and one of the hardest to do. Once you have a Host Agency then you can set up your marketing plan via social media, ads, and a newsletter that will attract and keep awesome clients. There are a lot of moving parts to the process so I suggest signing up for my email challenge below!
In addition to my article, I also have my free 5-day email course that walks you through the process in great detail. You can sign up for that here or fill out the form below!
Have any specific questions? Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer it!
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