Whether or not you’re a Disney fan, being a Disney travel agent is an incredible job.
They can make good money from home helping people tailor their magical Disney experience, have a database that demystifies the job, and even get discounts on their travel.
Not only is it the perfect side hustle, but it can also grow into a core source of income with time and a strong clientele.
We’ll discuss the job, how much you can make, and what you need to start through this step-by-step guide on how to become a Disney travel agent.
- An Overview of Disney Travel Agents: A Primer
- What You’ll Need to Become a Disney Travel Agent [& Associated Costs]
- Is it Hard to Become a Disney Travel Agent?
- How to Become a Disney Travel Agent in 5 Simple Steps
- Reasons to Consider Becoming a Disney Travel Agent
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Gigs to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of Disney Travel Agents: A Primer
Disney travel agents specialize in helping people plan their Disney vacations. They help with everything that goes into a Disney trip, including personalized recommendations, accommodation, park tickets, and dining reservations.
They’re not Disney employees, however. Instead, Disney travel agents are independent contractors specializing in the five Disney destinations; Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Adventures by Disney, Aulani Disney Resort, and the Disney cruise line.
Being a Disney travel agent involves dedicating significant time to marketing efforts to find high-quality clients. Once you land one, the more personalized their experience, the better your chances of getting a referral through them and expanding your clientele.
How Much Do Disney Travel Agents Make?
A Disney travel agent earns a commission from Disney on the bookings they make for their clients. The commission rates range from 10% to 16% of the total vacation package cost. That’s usually around $200-300 dollars on a family vacation of four people.
Remember that this is a commission-based job, which can complicate some things.
For example, travel agencies receive a portion of your commissions. You also don’t receive payment until the destination has received the guest’s money, which means delays and cancellations can be quite an issue.
What You’ll Need to Become a Disney Travel Agent [& Associated Costs]
There are a few things necessary to become a Disney travel planner:
- Necessary paperwork: You must sign up as an independent contractor with a registered travel agency that deals with Disney. This shouldn’t cost anything, but some agencies charge people a small fee to accept them.
- Deep knowledge and love for all things Disney: The application process is quite competitive, and knowing Disney destinations inside out and on a personal level sets you apart from the agencies you’ll apply for. This won’t cost you any money but lots of time to research and study.
- Being familiar with Disney parks, resorts, attractions, and dining options: With up-to-date info about new attractions and limited events. Most top Disney travel agencies will even require contractors to have had a recent Disney vacation. If you’ve never been to a Disney theme park, getting accepted by a Disney agency is unlikely. This can cost as low as $300 for one person.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Disney Travel Agent?
There are no starting fees to become a Disney travel agent, just a lot of time and effort put into research and applications to Disney travel agencies.
You should go to Disney if you’ve never been, as that’s a requirement for the top agencies specializing in Disney. This could cost between $300-7,000 for a family of four.
Legitimate Disney travel agencies won’t charge you a fee to work for them. Instead, they’ll take a cut from the commission to cover expenses such as training and email hosting.
They also often require Disney Travel Agents training which is free to complete.
The only expenses you may need to start booking vacations may be for marketing purposes. This will be the biggest challenge for a new Disney travel agent.
Is it Hard to Become a Disney Travel Agent?
Being a successful Disney vacation planner can be challenging. It needs serious dedication and genuine interest in the job and the world of Disney.
It also needs someone who’s particularly good with planning and, ideally, has visited Disney multiple times.
That said, this job doesn’t require anything else. No specific education, money, or time commitment is necessary to get started.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Disney Travel Agent?
If you’re looking at established agencies specializing in Disney destinations, the application process can take quite some time. Most Disney agencies hire only a couple of times a year and get back to applicants after weeks.
But even with major agencies, you may be able to get started within 48 hours. Whether you start selling immediately depends on your existing networks, like friends and family.
How to Become a Disney Travel Agent in 5 Simple Steps
To get started, follow these steps to start planning great Disney trips for people:
Step 1: Learn All You Can
Building a solid foundation of Disney knowledge makes you an invaluable resource for your clients and the Disney travel agencies you’ll be applying to join.
So the first step is to immerse yourself in all things Disney. Read the books, watch the movies, and familiarize yourself with Disney parks, resorts, attractions, and dining options. Learn everything about Disney vacation packages, bus rides, cruise lines, etc.
Don’t forget to read recent reviews and Disney news regularly. This makes a huge difference, especially if you haven’t visited any Disney vacation destinations.
Travel agencies want an agent who’s also tech savvy, as they’ll spend most of their time on an online booking system.
They should also be knowledgeable about other theme parks, such as Universal Studio’s destinations. Look through the broad lines of these destinations and systems.
And you should also be learning all you can about digital and social media marketing. This alone can make you a success, so it’s worth investing time in it as early as possible.
Step 2: Prepare for Applications
The next step is directly researching the application process for Disney travel agent jobs, the hiring seasons, the questions agencies ask, and how to get ahead as an applicant. This step could also include understanding how travel agencies operate.
You’ll find plenty of resources online for this, especially on YouTube. Lots of Disney travel planners have started chronicling their work on social media.
Consider completing training and certification programs offered by an authorized Disney agency to add to your application, especially if you don’t have much experience as a travel agent or in Disney.
Step 3: Get Hired by an Authorized Travel Agency
Joining an authorized agency specializing in Disney vacations is the only prerequisite for planning family vacations. It’s also one of the trickier parts of the process since the agency you work with can make or break your performance as a Disney planner.
Research specialized agencies with an excellent track record and apply to become an independent contractor. An authorized Disney vacation planner has access to exclusive resources, training programs, and support from Disney.
This affiliation will give you the credibility and tools needed to provide exceptional service to your client. It also means getting them to notice your application is challenging.
That said, it’s worth the effort. Some agencies will go as far as to pay for your marketing expenses to get you started and also have a much better commission split.
Step 4: Start Marketing
Once an authorized agency hires you, it’s time to start marketing yourself as a Disney travel agent. How one goes about this depends on their strong suit and circumstances.
Some agents establish a strong online presence by setting up a website and utilizing social media platforms. Others start working with friends and family, expanding the circle of people who use their planning skills.
In all cases, don’t hesitate to tell your community that about your new venture; word of mouth and direct connections are often the most effective marketing strategy.
Step 5: Perfect Your Trade
As you start with your first few clients, testing out your workflow and tools is crucial. The two most essential tools a travel agent needs are customer relations management software and a powerful calendar/project management tool such as Notion or ClickUp.
Planning a vacation with a client often comes weeks before the time of the trip and the booking window. These tools will make all the difference in following up on bookings, reminding clients of any preparations necessary for their trip, and much more.
These details are essential. If you take to Reddit, you’ll see that negative experiences with Disney agents stay with the client for life. That’s why having tools you’re extra comfortable with to successfully manage your clients’ trips is necessary.
Reasons to Consider Becoming a Disney Travel Agent
Becoming a Disney travel agent can be amazing if you’re a die-hard Disney fan, but it also comes with some unique and attractive perks, such as:
- Most of your work can be from home: Aside from the occasional trips to some of the most magical theme parks on Earth, Disney agents can finish all their work from home.
- You control your hours: As an independent contractor, there are no office hours and no minimum amount of work. You have control over your schedule, which in turn affects the amount of money you can make.
- You get fantastic benefits: It can include discounts on entrance tickets, accommodation, dining, exclusive tours, etc.
- You get to make magic: One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is the connection you’ll share with fellow Disney enthusiasts and how happy you get to make people. It still gets overwhelming at times, but for the most part, being a Disney travel planner means your work will feel like a lucrative hobby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Degree to be a Disney Travel Agent?
No. To become a travel agent, you need a high school diploma, but you don’t need a degree to become a travel agent or work with Disney.
Can I Become a Disney Agent Part-time?
Absolutely! Many Disney vacation planners start part-time and gradually transition to full-time as their business grows and their marketing strategy bears fruit.
Similar Gigs to Check Out
Being a Disney expert requires a lot of love for the Disney world. This job might feel like a mismatch if this isn’t the case for you. Consider these instead:
- How to become a travel agent from home: Get all the perks of being a travel agent without the commitment to Disney.
- How to become a social media manager: Being a travel agent is half trip planning and half digital marketing. If you’re more interested in the latter, your skills can be more useful here.
- How to become an event planner: For the ones more interested in the planning side of things, event planning is a great option.
For Disney enthusiasts, this job seems like a dream come true and often is. However, it’s important to know that succeeding as a Disney agent requires much perseverance.
A quick search online will help you figure out how to become a Disney travel agent, but only a true Disney fan can provide an unforgettable experience for their clients.
Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share it with others interested in becoming a Disney travel agent.