How do you become a Disney travel agent? Over 3,000 people search this question every month on Google.

That’s why, in this definitive guide, I’ll show you the exact steps you need to take to pursue this career path. I’ll also explore some important considerations before you embark on a career specializing in Disney travel. And I’ll answer some frequently-asked questions.

Let’s dive in.

For this article, I interviewed the owner of one of the best-performing Disney-focused travel agencies in the country. He told me what he looks for when hiring new agents. He also shared the traits and habits of his most successful agents.

I also relied on my personal experience. I spent nearly seven years as a Cast Member planning vacations at one of Disney’s reservation call centers. During that time I trained hundreds of other agents on how to do the job, too.

By the time you’ve finished this article, you’ll have all the information you need to be successful at booking and planning Disney vacations for others.

How to Become a Disney Travel Agent: 10-Step Process

A laptop with an open web browser displaying the employment page of a Disney Travel Planner website

1. Understand How Commission Works for Travel Agents

Commissions are the primary source of income for travel agents. It’s important to understand how they work.

Commission-Based Pay

Most host travel agencies categorize their travel planners as independent contractors.

For most agents, the sole source of income will be commissions from booking clients’ travel.

In other words, you will not earn a regular monthly salary or hourly wage. Instead, you’ll receive a percentage of the cost of each vacation you book.

Not all parts of the vacation package will earn a commission.

For example, at Disney World, you’ll generally earn commission on:

  • Hotel accommodations
  • Most multi-day theme park tickets (3-days or longer)
  • Disney Dining Plans (commission rate may be different from the rest of the package)
  • VIP tours and other select enhanced experiences

But you won’t earn commission on:

Commission is paid by the destination (such as Disney World), not the client. The client pays the same price they would have paid if they’d booked it on their own.

Commission Split

Disney pays travel agencies a 10% base commission for each Disney World vacation booked. The agency then gives part of that commission to the agent who booked the trip – and keeps the rest for itself.

The ratio at which the agency and the agent share the base commission is called the commission split:

  • Novice vacation planners usually start out receiving 50%-60% of the commission the agency receives for each booking (though some agencies pay less)
  • Over time, this can increase to around 70%-80%
  • Some agencies offer a better commission split for clients you find on your own (as opposed to leads given to you by the agency)

Here’s a realistic commission example for a $5,000 Disney World vacation:

  • Disney World pays the travel agency a 10% commission
    • The agency receives a base commission of $500 ($5,000 x 10%)
  • The agency then gives the travel planner part of the $500 and keeps the rest
    • An agent on a 50/50 split would earn $250 ($500 x 50%)
    • An agent on an 80/20 split would earn $400 ($500 x 80%)
Graphs showing the difference between an 50/50 Commission Split and an 80/20 Commission Split. (Graphs show same example data as preceding paragraph in article text)

Commission split ratios determine how much money you earn

A 10% base commission is standard for all Disney World vacations. The most successful agencies may earn a higher percentage on other types of trips (such as 16% on Disney Cruises).

As an example:

  • Disney World vacation: $5,000 x 10% = $500 base commission
    • 50/50 split: $250 for the agent
    • 80/20 split: $400 for the agent
  • Disney Cruise vacation: $5,000 x 16% = $800 base commission
    • 50/50 split: $400 for the agent
    • 80/20 split: $640 for the agent

Use our Disney Travel Agent Commission Calculator to see how different commission rates will affect your income.

Client Incentive Deductions

Some agencies offer booking incentives to potential clients. Maybe you’ve seen agencies offering a Disney gift card upon booking, or perhaps an onboard credit to use on a Disney Cruise.

When those are offered by an agency, it’s common for the value of that promotion to be deducted from the base commission before the remaining amount is split between the agent and agency.

Delayed Commissions

This is one of the most important things to know about working as a Disney travel planner.

Disney pays commissions after the trip is over. You don’t get paid when the client books the trip, only when they travel.

This means there can be a long delay between the time you book a trip and the time you get paid for it.

Timeline graph portraying the delay between a trip being booked and commission being paid.

Most people plan their trips far in advance. It could be several months – even a year or more – before you get paid.

For that matter, the client could cancel the trip and you would not receive any commission at all.

This can be discouraging to newer agents who don’t have many client trips lined up. You can easily feel like you’re working hard and not seeing any income from it.

This becomes less of a concern as you become more established. You’ll eventually have clients traveling year round and your income will be more steady. Stick with it!

Planning Fees

Recently, many planners have begun charging their clients a planning fee or research fee. These are non-refundable upfront fees to cover the work the agent will do for the client. It is especially common in smaller agencies which may not have a steady flow of bookings.

Agents who charge the fee say it protects them from “working for free.” (Creating trip quotes takes work, but agents don’t get paid if the client doesn’t book or cancels.)

Those who don’t charge fees say doing so would drive away potential clients. (The client could book the trip on their own without paying a fee.)

Whether or not to charge the fee is a business decision that is usually made at the agency level.

Our research shows most major Disney-focused travel agencies do not charge these fees.

2. Watch Out for Shady Travel Agencies

Sadly, not all travel agencies are on the up and up. Some are outright scams.

Here are a few things to consider.

What’s the hiring process?

Beware of any agency that automatically hires you without an interview. This is a strong sign that they have no minimum standards. They might be bringing you onboard just to charge you fees (see below).

It’s reasonable to expect a phone interview before being hired. Ideally, you’ll interview with the agency’s owner or senior manager. That’s a good sign they take their business seriously.

Do they charge you a fee to join?

Some travel agencies operate like multi-level marketing schemes. Others simply try to get as much money as they can out of the people they “hire.”

Potentially scammy fees include:

  • Charging you hundreds of dollars in startup fees (a major red flag)
  • Requiring you to pay monthly affiliation fees
  • Making you pay for your initial training

There are, however, a few legitimate fees you might be charged:

  • Errors & Omissions insurance. (This offers financial protection for booking problems.)
  • A small technology fee to cover licenses for client management software
  • FAM trips and on-site education may require a fee. (These are usually heavily discounted.)

Is their commission split fair?

We suggest avoiding any agency which gives you less than 50% of the commission earned on a trip. You are doing most of the work; we think you should get at least half of the money the agency receives for it.

Check their licenses and professional memberships

Some states require travel agencies to hold Seller of Travel licenses.

For Disney-focused agencies, Florida and/or California licenses are common. Agencies often post these license numbers at the bottom of their websites. You can check online to ensure they’re valid.

Disney travel agencies also typically join at least one of the major travel industry groups, such as:

  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN)
  • Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

3. Become a Disney Expert

Anyone who expects to be hired for this job must be well-versed in all Disney Destinations. Before you submit a job application, you should first brush up on your Disney knowledge.

How can you educate yourself?

There are tons of online resources to keep up with the latest Disney news. Read Disney websites, planning guides, and TripAdvisor reviews. Watch Disney YouTube channels. Browse the hundreds of resources published here on MagicGuides, such as our crowd calendars and transportation maps. Ask friends about their experiences and recommendations. Join Facebook groups and chat with your fellow Disney fanatics.

What should you learn about?

Becoming a Disney travel planner doesn’t just mean learning about Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Disney Cruise Line vacations are especially popular (and pay good commission). Adventures by Disney travels around the world. Someone might ask you to book Aulani (a Disney resort in Hawaii).

Go beyond the mouse

You’ll need to know about more than Disney. Most Disney travel agencies also book trips to Universal Orlando Resort. Maybe it’s time to brush up on their newest theme park.

Some agencies book all-inclusive Caribbean Resorts such as Atlantis, Sandals, and Beaches. You might also book Royal Caribbean cruises or other cruise lines.

Learning about these now will make you a stronger candidate when you apply.

4. Know the Characteristics of the Perfect Disney Travel Agent

Each Disney travel agency has its own set of criteria they require when hiring travel planners.

Among other things, you’ll need to be:

  • Passionate and knowledgeable about Disney theme parks
  • Well-organized and detail-oriented
  • Proactive and prompt when handling client bookings
  • Solution-oriented with a keen sense of customer service
  • Flexible and able to commit enough time to do the job right
  • Trustworthy
  • Tech Savvy
  • And more!

Want to make sure you have what it takes? Review our article on the Character Traits of Successful Disney Travel Agents. It has the inside scoop, direct from the owner of an Earmarked Diamond-Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency!

5. Pick the Agency You Want to Work With

We previously discussed the red flags of a bad travel agency. So what makes a good agency to work for? Here are a few things to look for when picking which agency you will apply to.

Learn about Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agencies

Some of the best Disney travel agencies are Authorized Disney Vacation Planners. This is an official designation from Disney. It simply means the agency meets the highest standards of service and sales volume in the industry.

ADVP Logo

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner logo | Image © Disney

This elite ranking assures clients that they are dealing with a legitimate, Disney-approved agency. And it gives potential travel agents confidence that they will be working for a reputable agency.

Learn about Earmarked designations

Some Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agencies also show a tiered Earmarked status. These include:

  • Earmarked Silver Producer
  • Earmarked Gold Producer
  • Earmarked Platinum Producer
  • Earmarked Diamond Producer
A series of logos showing travel agency Earmarked designations of silver, gold, platinum, and diamond. A set of Mickey Mouse ears in the corresponding color tops each logo.

Logos showing Earmarked Designations | Elements © Disney

These designations mean the agency is one of the highest-producing (selling) Disney travel agencies. Of these, Diamond is the highest level.

Joining a higher-tier agency has its benefits:

  • Disney issues more comp tickets and FAM trips to Platinum and Diamond agencies.
  • Higher-tiered Earmarked agencies also simply do more business than other agencies. That’s good for you as someone who works for commission!

If an agency is not Earmarked, does that mean it’s a bad place to work? Absolutely not (or at least, not necessarily).

You can find fantastic agencies who aren’t Earmarked yet because they’re brand new. Getting in on the ground floor can be quite lucrative as the business grows and new agents are added.

Just do your research; who runs the agency, for instance? We know of one newer agency, EnchantAway Travel, which was started by the owner of another major top-performing Disney travel agency. We have a feeling EnchantAway’s agents are going to be well-set-up for success despite it being early days.

Size Matters, But It Isn’t Everything

You might be tempted to seek out a huge agency with hundreds of agents. An agency that big must be successful, right?

We’ve found that the best Disney travel agencies are neither too small nor too large.

  • Agencies that are too small may not have the brand recognition or a marketing budget needed to bring clients to you. They may also lack the infrastructure, technology, or business savvy of larger agencies.
  • Agencies that are too large can also be problematic. If they have over, say, 200 travel agents, chances are you will get lost in the shuffle. You don’t want to be just another number, a faceless member of the team.

Rather than focusing solely on size, a better question to ask may be: how are their agents doing?

Good Support Structure

A good agency will make sure its agents succeed. You should have solid training. The owner should be available to answer your questions. An agency doesn’t have to be large at all to make this happen – they just have to be dedicated to their agents’ success.

The best Disney travel agencies have a good support network in place. They promote an open and friendly (i.e., non-competitive) dialog between each of the agents.

There will inevitably be agents who know more than you at the start. The best agencies to work for will embrace these learning opportunities and support you along the way. Before long, you might be mentoring new agents!

Do they Market Themselves?

Marketing is key to success in the travel industry. You will be primarily responsible for marketing your own services. However, some agencies also spend their own resources to market their brand and bring in new clients.

Larger, more established agencies may have a prominent social media presence or high Google search ranking. Some agencies even pay to advertise their brand at no cost to their agents.

The best Disney travel agencies even provide client leads to their full-time agents. It helps to work for an agency such as The Vacationeer which sends extra business your way.

Ask Their Agents

See if you can reach out to current agents at the company to get some feedback on their working environment.

Questions to ask include:

  • Do they like working there?
  • Is the owner supportive and responsive?
  • Is there open dialog among the agents?
  • How is the training?
  • Are they getting paid on schedule?

Getting the inside scoop from people who work at the agency can be very helpful.

6. Apply to Become a Disney Travel Agent

You’ve done all your prep work. Now it’s time to actually apply for the job.

Application questions will vary depending on the agency. Expect to provide basic contact information and work history. They also often ask how familiar you are with Disney destinations.

Screenshot of a Disney focused travel agency's application, with blanks asking for full name, email address, phone number, city/state, and why you want to be a Disney Travel Planner

A typical application to become a Disney travel planner

When filling out an application, remember to be professional. This is a job application, not a group chat. Would you hire someone who writes “I want 2 work 4 u”? And don’t forget to proofread everything before submitting. Double check your email address and phone number so the agency can contact you. Make sure you answer all questions completely.

Ready to Apply?

You can get started right here on MagicGuides. Get additional hiring tips and submit your application to our two recommended travel agencies by clicking the button below:

7. Be Patient

Now comes the hardest part – waiting to hear back.

In especially busy agencies, it could take upwards of a month to hear back on your application.

Don’t waste this time. Make sure you keep up with everything that’s happening at Disney and the travel industry while you wait.

If you get the interview (see next step), there may be more waiting afterwards. Don’t get discouraged!

8. Ace the Interview

If you’re fortunate enough to interview with an agency, you’ll want to prepare. Here are our top tips:

  • If it’s a phone interview, make sure you’re in a quiet area free of family and pet noises. For a video interview, be sure to dress nicely and be well-groomed.
  • Be “in place” and ready to go a few minutes early so you’re not rushing at the last minute.
  • It’s understandable to be a bit nervous, but try to be as natural and friendly as possible! Remember, you might never meet most of your clients in-person. Your interview needs to show how well your personality shines on a phone call or on a video chat. Be polite, engaged, and well-spoken. Speak clearly and don’t mumble. Don’t sound disinterested or distracted.
  • Be prepared with a pen, paper and a copy of your resume to reference as needed
  • Be ready to answer common interview questions. It’s surprising how many candidates aren’t prepared to answer:
    • Why do you want this job?
    • What do you think is your greatest strength?
    • What is your biggest weakness? (Tip: tell them how you’re working to fix it!)
    • What unique traits would you bring to this job?
    • When was the last time you visited Disney?
    • What’s your favorite Disney theme park?
  • Be sure to ask questions, too! A job interview is a two-way conversation. You should use it to determine if the travel agency is a good fit for you. You might ask:
    • What does a typical workday look like?
    • What are your schedule expectations for me?
    • What type of training will I receive?
    • What resources will I have to succeed?
    • What do you consider to be the sign of a successful agent?
    • What is your commission split and how often are payments processed?
    • Does anything about my work history concern you? (Tip: be prepared to respond!)
    • If an agent underperforms, how do you help them?
    • What is your timeline for filling this position?
  • At the end of the interview confirm that you want the job (presuming you still do). This can be as simple as, “I’m certain that this job would be a good fit. I’m excited to have the opportunity to join you.”
    • If you don’t like what you’ve heard, politely inform them that you’d like to remove yourself from consideration. No agency wants to hire someone who already wants to leave!
  • Be sure to thank the interviewer for the time they spent with you!

9. The Offer: Get Hired

We hope your interview goes well and you’re offered a chance to join your preferred agency.

But don’t get discouraged if you’re not hired. Competition can be steep and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad candidate. Find another agency and keep at it!

If you are fortunate enough to receive a job offer, it can be tempting to instantly accept.

  • Make sure to thoroughly review the offer to ensure it matches what you discussed.
  • You’re well within your rights to request 24-48 hours to consider the offer.
  • Whether you decide to accept the offer or not, promptly inform the agency of your decision.
    • If you’ve interviewed with multiple agencies, inform everyone else that you’ve accepted a position elsewhere. Agency owners do talk to one another – it’s not wise to burn any bridges.
  • Promptly return any requested documents during the onboarding process. Expect to provide photo ID, an I-9 form, and to sign an offer letter or other agreement.

And that’s it! With your skills and effort, you can build a career planning Disney vacations.

But! You still have work to do…

10. Market Yourself

Getting hired is a huge accomplishment, but it’s only the beginning! Now you need to build up a client base by marketing yourself. Your agency may provide some help, but you’re mainly responsible.

Friends and Family

A large group of friends and family is the best way to start. More connections mean more potential clients. Let everyone know that you’re ready to help them book their trips.

Don’t forget casual acquaintances, either. Your church, social clubs, and neighborhood are full of potential clients.

Many clients would rather deal with someone they know – even just a little – than a total stranger.

Social Media

Social media is a fantastic way to build a following. Successful Disney travel planners create dedicated accounts just to market their services. Facebook pages and Instagram accounts are common choices. Some agents have a large TikTok or YouTube following. And there are many other platforms.

Screenshot of Facebook's Business Page creation process

Consider creating a Facebook business page to market your travel services

Find the platforms you’re most comfortable with and begin posting. Invite your friends to follow you, and ask them to invite their friends.

Everything you post is another reminder to your followers that you are ready to plan their next Disney trip. Consider posting:

  • Special offers and promotions
  • News and updates from the destinations you book
  • Content produced by your travel agency
  • Sample trip itineraries and prices
  • Fun memes
  • Pictures and videos from your latest trip
  • Photos and testimonials from clients (get their permission first!)

The possibilities are endless! But remember: anything you post must follow Disney’s and your agency’s guidelines.

And remember, social media is social! Be sure to regularly interact with comments/replies. Respond promptly to direct messages.

Direct Marketing

Your agency may send email or postcards to your clients. In some cases, these are generic messages from the agency as a whole. Or they may appear to come directly from you. Either way, they keep your clients engaged and eager to book with you.

Screenshot showing marketing emails from a travel agency

Regular emails keep clients informed and engaged

Repeat Business and Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Do a good job planning people’s vacations and you’ll soon start to get repeat business.

Happy clients come back again and again – and they tell their friends!

Successful agents agree: repeat clients and referrals are essential to their success.

Remember, everything you do counts toward your reputation! Treat every client like a VIP every time and it will pay off for decades to come!

Considerations Before Applying To Be a Disney Travel Agent

Why You Should Become a Travel Agent for Disney: Cinderella Castle with the Walt and Mickey Partners status

If you’re on the fence about whether you should apply or not, here are some considerations to think about. I’ll weigh the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

Income Considerations

Travel agents who focus on Disney vacations can make good money if they’re willing to put in the effort. Being a Disney Travel agent is a job, not a hobby. And it’s a career in which what you put into it directly influences what you get out of it.

Disney vacation planners receive commission rather than a salary or hourly wage, which can be both a pro and a con. You can make virtually unlimited money (in theory). But you can also make… well, nothing. And having an irregular income can make it harder to budget for yourself.

The agents who are most successful financially are those who:

  • Are self-starters
  • Treat it as a full-time career
  • Build up a reliable client base
  • Regularly market themselves and build a social media following
  • Work with an agency that offers a favorable commission structure

Doing What You Love

If you are a Disney fanatic, being a Disney travel agent may sound like the ultimate dream. You spend each work day thinking about, talking about, researching, and booking Disney Destinations. What could be more rewarding than getting paid to do what you love?

That said, burnout is a real risk. If Disney is your work, then sometimes going to Disney can feel like going to work.

And you can’t simply walk away — if you get frustrated with planning your own vacation, you can take some time off and come back to it later. Clients, no matter how difficult, won’t be willing to wait for you to get your pixie dust back.

Work from Home… or Wherever

One of the best benefits of a job booking Disney Vacations is that you can work from wherever you like (within reason).

For most people, this means setting up a quiet corner or extra room in their home to serve as their “office.” Some agents are full-time RVers. Others might have a favorite café or local park where they do their best work. I know of at least one travel advisor near Orlando who sometimes works from Magic Kingdom or EPCOT!

Travel agents sitting at computers in the Men in Black: Alien Attack theme park attraction

You probably won’t be allowed to work from HQ at Men in Black: Alien Attack. But you might be able to visit!

Just make sure that working from home is right for you. On the surface it seems fantastic, but you have to be of the right mindset. You’ll need the discipline required to get everything done without a boss hovering over your shoulder. And some people are surprised to find out that they miss the camaraderie of office co-workers.

Flexible Hours

As independent contractors, travel agents generally have the freedom to set their own schedule. Prefer a day shift? More of a night owl? Need to pick up the kids from school? The flexibility of being a travel agent makes it all possible.

Just keep in mind that flexibility goes both ways. Clients may contact you early or late. There will be days you must be up at 6:00 AM Eastern Time to get the best possible dining reservations for a client. And your agency might have mandatory meetings or other scheduling expectations.

Those who have difficulty fully unplugging from work can find this bizarre schedule all the more challenging, leading to a sort of workaholism. For others, knowing that no one’s watching you “punch the clock” can lead to the temptation to sleep late and duck out early. Either way, your paycheck and mental health can suffer if you’re not disciplined.

Potential Tax Benefits

When booking Disney is your business, then visiting Disney can be a business expense!

Any Disney vacation you go on may be tax-deductible as a research expense if certain conditions are met. This ends up being a great perk for anyone that already spends a lot of time at Disney destinations. Other business expenses, such as office supplies and phone bills, may also be deductible.

Just remember that deducting business expenses requires that you keep very detailed records and receipts, and it can make your tax return much more complicated. You might even need to hire a CPA or other financial professional, which could eat into the savings.

Disclaimer: We are not accountants. Please consult an expert before attempting to write off these expenses.

Free Tickets and Discounts

Agents who sell travel are eligible to receive freebies and discounted travel opportunities.

Free Disney and Universal Tickets

Each graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge (Disney’s online training program) receives a free one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket each year.

A person entering Magic Kingdom park

Tickets are “on the mouse” for travel agents (once per year)

Travel agents who complete the Universal and U training program receive a free 3-Day Universal Orlando ticket.

Your agency may also receive Comp Tickets (complimentary theme park tickets). These are additional free tickets which may be given to travel agents as an incentive.

Discounts

Travel agents who have a valid IATA/IATAN or CLIA membership card can get discounts on Disney and Universal theme park tickets or hotel stays. Friends and Family discounts may also be offered.

But even free and discounted tickets can lead to more expenses. If you don’t live near the parks, you’ll need a hotel, maybe airline tickets, food money, and more. Consider tickets a nice perk, but not necessarily a major money-saving strategy.

FAM Trips

A FAM trip (familiarization trip) is a chance for travel professionals to experience a destination for themselves. For example, Disney World or Universal Orlando might invite agents to visit for free or at a discount so they can experience a new hotel or ride. FAM trips also help build comradery within a travel agency. They can be a great learning experience and are a lot of fun!

Travel agents on a FAM trip at Universal Studios

Travel agents on a FAM trip at Universal Studios

Top-tier agencies tend to receive more FAM trip opportunities than smaller agencies receive.

Some of the largest agencies even have on-site conventions for their agents!

A group of Disney travel planners at a panel discussion during an onsite convention

A panel discussion during an on-site convention of Disney Travel Planners

This is yet another reason to seek out a job with a high-level Disney travel agency. You’ll have access to more perks. But again, keep the potential associated expenses in mind.

FAQs About Becoming a Disney Travel Agent

How much do Disney travel agents make?

A well-established Disney travel agent can reasonably earn $50,000 per year, assuming that they:

  • Work full-time
  • Join a high-performing agency
  • Have favorable commission splits
  • Market themselves often
  • Receive additional leads from their agency
  • Have a steady stream of bookings
  • Have earned repeat business and referrals

The pay can be much lower or much higher depending on the number of trips booked and how much those trips cost.

Agents who just book a few vacations for family and close friends might make only a few hundred dollars per year.

It is possible (though not common) for exceptionally successful agents to make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When do you get paid?

Disney travel professionals get paid after their client has traveled. This may be anywhere from a couple of months to more than a year after the trip is booked. Some Disney Cruises are booked upwards of 18 months in advance.

What equipment and software do you need?

Almost everything you do for a client will either happen online or over the phone. That means all you really need to become a Disney travel planner is a computer with internet access and a telephone.

But there are some additional pieces of equipment that can make the job easier. See our Essential Equipment List for Disney Travel Agents for further details.

Do I have to join an agency? Can I become a Disney travel agent on my own?

It is possible to go solo as a Disney travel planner, but you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons.

Being an individual agent means you don’t have to split commissions with anyone. You get the entire amount for yourself. And you truly are your own boss.

But you won’t have any help marketing yourself or getting leads. You’ll start out with zero reputation and can’t “stand” on your agency’s established good name. And you’ll be solely responsible for following all laws and licensing requirements.

For most people, it makes more sense to join an agency – especially as a brand new agent. Solo Disney travel agents are rare.

Do I need an LLC?

Most travel agents are considered independent contractors, even when affiliated with a travel agency. As a result, it is often wise to avail yourself of the legal protections that an LLC provides.

Consider a worst-case scenario in which a client sues you for financial damages. Having an LLC may help shield your personal assets if a court rules against you.

Many agents also purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. This further shields them from potential financial liability.

Disclaimer: we are not lawyers and nothing here should be considered legal advice.

Do you need a license to sell Disney vacations?

Several states require a Seller of Travel license. Severe financial penalties may be levied against unlicensed agents.

The travel agency you work for should have a Seller of Travel license which covers all its individual agents. You might still need to complete an exemption form or meet some other requirements.

Depending on your local regulations you might need a business license. Check with your city, county/parish, or state licensing bureaus to verify requirements.

How do taxes work for travel agents?

Earlier in this article we mentioned that some of your expenses may be tax deductible. But what about income tax itself?

Most travel agents work as independent contractors for their agency. This means you probably won’t have taxes withheld from your paychecks. Rather than a W-2, you’re more likely to receive a 1099 form at year’s end.

You may need to pay quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid penalties at tax time.

Disclaimer: We are not tax professionals. Consult an expert for specific advice on your situation.

Do I need a College Degree?

A college degree isn’t necessary to become a travel agent. You don’t even necessarily need a high school diploma.

Do I need to go to Travel School?

Most Disney-focused travel agencies do not require their agents to have formal training such as travel school.

Do you need experience to become a Disney Travel Agent?

People who have already worked at travel companies are certainly at an advantage. But most Disney-focused agencies accept new hires who’ve never done any type of travel work before.

You will, however, need to have experience visiting Disney World. Very few Disney-focused agencies are willing to hire someone who knows nothing about Disney.

What’s the training like?

Disney, Universal, and other travel providers offer free online training on their products. You’ll be asked to complete those once you’re hired.

The training typically is just a series of online videos or slides, perhaps followed by a quiz. You can typically complete this at your own pace. It usually won’t take more than one or two days of your time.

Your agency may also have its own training. (That’s a great question to ask during your interview!)

And your training never really stops. It’s reasonable to expect regular refresher training on the destinations you book.

Can I work part-time?

It is possible to work part-time as an agent, but you’ll need to find an agency that supports it.

Most agencies prefer full-time agents rather than part-timers. The agency must commit a significant amount of resources to train and onboard a new agent. They want that investment to pay off with many bookings and large commissions.

There are, however, some agencies which are open to accepting part-time workers. As an example, Enchantaway Travel embraces part-time agents and happily hires them.

Just remember, your income potential will be significantly limited if you only work part-time.

Do Disney Travel Planners have to live in Orlando or Anaheim?

Not at all! You’ll want to visit Disney at least once every year or two (so you can keep up with what’s happening). But it’s not necessary to live in the shadow of Cinderella Castle!

Do Disney Travel Agents sell other destinations, too?

Absolutely! It’s common for most Disney-focused travel agencies to sell:

  • Disney Theme Parks
    • Disneyland
    • Disney World
    • Some international Disney theme parks
  • Other Disney Destinations
    • Disney Cruise Line
    • Adventures by Disney
    • Aulani
    • Hilton Head Island
    • Vero Beach
  • Non-Disney Destinations
    • Universal Orlando Resort
    • Universal Studios Hollywood
    • Royal Caribbean Cruises
    • Princess Cruises
    • Norwegian Cruises
    • Virgin Voyages
    • Atlantis Bahamas
    • Sandals Resorts
    • Beaches Resorts
    • And More!

This list might seem daunting. But remember: more options means more chances to book something for your client. And that means more chances to earn a commission!

Conclusion

When I taught Disney Traditions to new Disney Cast Members on their first day at work, there was one thing we wanted them to remember above all: “We Create Happiness.”

Being a Disney-focused travel agent is no different.

Every day, you’ll be sending people on vacation. They’ll be excited to talk to you – and you’ll be excited to talk to them. There’s really nothing like the feeling of knowing someone is having the time of their life because of something you made possible.

I wouldn’t dare promise that every single moment will be Mickey Ears and Pixie Dust. You’ll work hard. There will be early mornings, late nights, and hectic booking days. It requires discipline, initiative, and the right attitude.

But for most agents, those photos of happy clients smiling in front of Cinderella Castle make it all worth it.

I know we’ve covered a lot in this article. It may seem overwhelming or scary. It might even seem impossible. But, as Walt himself once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!”

I wish you the best possible success as you begin this journey. Go make some magic!

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