How to Become a Disney Travel Agent

Have you ever thought of becoming a Disney travel agent but don’t know where to begin? Well, we are here to help. This article explores the ins and outs of how to become a Disney travel agent, including the benefits and drawbacks of working in this profession. We also explain the best Disney travel agencies to work for and the types of things a travel agency looks for in the hiring process.

We hope these insights will give you a better chance of landing a Disney travel agent job at one of the premier agencies.

1. Know the Benefits of Becoming a Disney Travel Agent

Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack

Here are some of the main benefits to becoming a Disney travel advisor:

Making a Good Income

First and foremost, being a Disney Travel agent is a job. You have a responsibility to your client to provide them with excellent service and you are paid for the service you provide.

Disney travel agents receive a commission for the trips they book, rather than a set salary or hourly wage). Depending on how many trips you book and the total dollar value of the trips, you can certainly make a good income in this profession.

Commission-based jobs typically reward those who are self-starters and put in the time and effort to find new clients. See the next section to learn more about how commission works in this industry.

Doing what you Love

To a Disney fanatic, being a Disney travel agent may sound like the ultimate dream.  Your days are filled with thinking about, talking about, researching, and booking Disney Destinations. What could be more rewarding than getting paid to do what you love?

As Confucius said: “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

This certainly applies to being a Disney travel agent! You’ll be immersing yourself in Disney while creating magical Disney trips for your clients

Working from Home

Nearly all Disney travel agents work from home. This means no traffic delays, no commuter expenses, and you can sleep later and start dinner earlier. You just wake up and you’re at the office! What could be better than that?

Flexible Hours

Disney travel agents are considered private contractors and have the freedom to set their own hours. This type of job gives you a level of independence seldom found at other jobs.  That said, you must be prepared to accommodate your client’s schedules as much as possible.

For example, you will be expected to make your client’s dining reservations on their behalf. Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days prior to their arrival date, starting at 6:00 am EST. This means that you’ll be expected to wake up early in the morning to make these reservations for your client. Tables at Disney’s popular restaurants fill up fast so good Disney travel planners will put in the extra effort to make sure everything is done correctly and efficiently.

Sometimes a client will call or text in the early morning or at night. You are expected to respond as soon as you are able to.

With a few exceptions, being a Disney travel agent is much more flexible than most jobs.

* For the Disney agencies with the best schedule flexibility, our recommendation is The Vacationeer for full-time agents and EnchantAway Travel for those seeking part-time work.

Potential Tax Write-Offs

There are some possible tax benefits to being a Disney travel agent. Namely, any Disney vacation you go on may be tax-deductible as a research expense. This ends up being a great perk for anyone that already spends a lot of time at Disney destinations.

Please note that we are not tax experts and we urge you to consult a tax advisor before writing off these types of expenses.

Free Tickets and Discounts

Disney wants the people selling its vacations to understand them well, so travel agents may be eligible for free or discounted tickets and experiences.

Freebies

Disney travel agents are eligible to receive free tickets and discounted travel at Disney and Universal properties.

Each graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge receives a one-day Park Hopper ticket for Walt Disney World (one per year).

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

Comp tickets are complimentary tickets given to travel agencies as a way to promote their resort. These tickets often end up in the hands of travel agents.

Discounts

Travel agents with valid IATA or CLIA membership are eligible to receive discounted Disney and Universal theme park tickets and hotel stays. Friends and Family discounts are also available.

FAM Trips

FAM trips invite travel professionals to the park so they can learn first-hand what an area has to offer. They also serve as a way to build comradery within a travel agency. FAM trips can be a great learning experience AND a lot of fun!

FAM trips are either free to the travel agent or heavily discounted.

When it comes to Disney, the top-tier Platinum Earmarked Disney travel agencies or Diamond Earmarked Disney travel agencies typically receive more FAM trip opportunities than do the smaller agencies. This is yet another reason to seek out a job with a high-level Disney travel agency (you’ll have more perks and freebies coming your way).

2. Understand How the Commission Works for Travel Agents

EPCOT's Spaceship Earth

Let’s discuss how commission works in this industry.

Commission-Based

Most host travel agencies categorize their travel planners as “independent contractors.” This means your sole source of income will be a commission from booking the client’s travel. In other words, you will not have a salary or wages to rely on. Rather, the number (and cost) of trips you book will determine your income.

Commission Split

The commission split between the host agency and travel agent varies with each Disney agency. Agents usually receive a higher commission on clients they find themselves vs. leads given to them from the agency. Novice vacation planners can expect to have a 50-60% split with their host agency to start off with, and up to around 70-80% as the agent books more and more trips. The best percentage splits you can expect to find will be around 80/20 (agent/agency).

We recommend that you steer clear of any agency that pays out less than 50% to begin with. After all, you’ll be doing the bulk of the work and we think you should be fairly compensated (50%+) for your efforts.

Since Walt Disney World pays travel agencies a 10% commission rate on booked travel, this means that a best-case scenario on a $5,000 vacation would result in $400 commission to the booking agent ($5000 x .10 = 500 x .80 = $400). Some agencies charge their agents an annual E&O (Error & Omissions insurance) fee – as well as other fees – so be sure to research what you are expected to contribute before signing up to work with a host agency.

* For the Disney agencies with the best commission splits, our recommendation is The Vacationeer for full-time agents and EnchantAway Travel for those seeking part-time work. Both offer agent splits of up to 80%.

Delayed Commissions

When a Disney travel agent books travel on behalf of his or her client, Disney pays a 10% commission to the host agency, and then the host agency forwards the agent’s share of the commission to him or her. Be aware that Disney does not pay out the commission until AFTER the travel has been completed. Therefore, expect a lengthy delay from the time you book a vacation until the time you get paid.

In most cases, this lag time usually takes anywhere from a couple of months to up to a year, depending on how far in advance your client books their vacation. Many people who research “how to become a Disney travel agent” may be unaware of this drawback.

3. What to Look For as you Research Disney Travel Agencies / Jobs

Disney's Monorail Transportation System

Becoming a Disney travel agent can be a fun and rewarding career path. However, many new Disney travel agents are unaware of the pitfalls and challenges they may soon encounter. Here are a few things you should expect when applying for Disney travel agent jobs.

Look for Red Flags

Avoid Disney travel agencies that are run like multi-level marketing schemes. If you encounter an agency with upfront training course fees, registration fees, etc., this should be a red flag. These types of agencies are usually more interested in making money off you from the get-go than making you a “valuable team member.” Training should always be provided by your host agency – free of charge.

Most Disney travel agencies do charge a small technology fee or E&O insurance. These types of fees should never exceed a few hundred dollars.

Legitimate Disney travel agencies will have IATA (International Air Transport Association) and/or CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) accreditation and require their agents to complete the College of Disney Knowledge (an online course for Disney travel agents to learn about different resorts, cruise lines, etc.).

Learn About Authorized Disney Vacation Planners

You may notice that some Disney travel agencies promote themselves as Earmarked Authorized Disney Vacation Planners.

The Earmarked Travel Agency designation simply means that Disney recognizes the agency as having high sales volume. Furthermore, you may encounter designations such as Earmarked Platinum Producer and Earmarked Diamond Producer agencies. These designations mean that these agencies have been selected as the highest producing Disney travel agencies in the business. Simply put, they sell lots more vacations than the other guys.

Agents working at these high-performing agencies may get better benefits, such as more comp tickets and FAM trips than are provided to Earmarked Gold, Earmarked Silver, and non-Earmarked agencies.

So if an agency isn’t earmarked, does that mean it’s a bad choice to work for? Absolutely not (or at least, not necessarily). You can find fantastic agencies who aren’t Earmarked yet because they’re brand new; every oak started as an acorn, after all.

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 agency, EnchantAway, which is newer but 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

It might seem like the best thing to do is latch yourself onto a travel agency that has hundreds and hundreds of agents. After all, an agency that big must be successful, right?

The more important question for you as a potential new hire is: how are their agents doing?

All too often, agents in this situation can find themselves completely lost in the shuffle – just another number, a faceless member of the team who only hears from their leader if there’s a problem.

For that matter, if an agency has 10,000 clients and 1,000 agents… How much business does each individual agent get over the course of a year?

The best Disney travel agencies will make sure you succeed. You should have good training and 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 employees’ success.

Like in most professions, you want to be paid attention to, feel a sense of comradery, and be as effective in your job as possible.

Good Support Structure

That brings us to our next point. The best Disney travel agencies have a good support network in place. They should promote an open and friendly (i.e., non-competitive) dialog/communication system between each of the agents.

There will inevitably be agents that know more about certain destinations, while others will know less. If you are just starting out as a Disney travel agent, it’s understandable that you will have plenty of questions. The best Disney travel agencies won’t just throw you to the wolves to fend for yourself, but rather, support you along the way as you learn the ropes.

The best Disney travel agencies will make sure you succeed. You should have good training. The owner should be available to speak with you directly to answer your questions, address your concerns, and support you through your journey. You should also have the ability to communicate with your fellow travel agents and work through issues together.

See if you can reach out to a current employee and get some feedback on the company. Do they like working there? Is the owner supportive and responsive? Is there ongoing dialog and comradery among the agents?  Getting the inside scoop from a current employee can be very helpful.

Do they Market Themselves?

Marketing is key to success.

As a Disney travel agent, you will be always be the primary person responsible for marketing your own services. However, some agencies spend their own resources to market their brand and bring in new clients for their agents.

The best Disney travel agencies are always those that are in a position to provide client leads to their full-time agents. The more trips you book the more money you will make. Therefore, it helps to work for an agency that brings extra business your way.

Best Disney Travel Agencies to Work For

Here are our recommendations for the best Disney-focused travel agencies to work for:

Best for Travel Agents Seeking Part-Time Work

Not many travel agencies are willing to hire someone who is only looking for part–time work. But EnchantAway Travel embraces part-time travel agents. As a result, they offer some of the best flexibility around.

  • Choose How Much Time to Devote: EnchantAway doesn’t just hire full-time agents – it also welcomes part-timers. So it’s perfect for those who simply want to make a bit of extra income. The choice is up to you: have lots of clients, or book trips for only your close family and friends. Just remember that whether you have one client or a hundred – whether you work a 5-hour week or a 40-hour week – you must be totally committed to serving the clients you do take on.
  • Hours That Work for You: Prefer a day shift? More of a night owl? Long lunches with friends? Need to pick up the kids from school? It’s all perfectly fine at EnchantAway! Just keep in mind that some Disney things happen at a certain time and you’ll need to be ready for those as they arise. A great example is getting up early one day so you can snag the best possible dining reservations for your client as soon as their booking window opens.
  • Work From Home… or Wherever: You’re not tied to a specific location with EnchantAway. Work from home, a cafe, your RV, or practically anywhere else in the United States with reliable internet and phone service. EnchantAway is proud to be a remote-first organization that understands you don’t have to be in a cubicle to be successful.
  • Support and Resources: EnchantAway was started by the owner of one of the top performing (total sales) Disney Travel agencies, so you can be assured that they know how to help their people succeed!
  • High Commission Ratios: EnchantAway agents are eligible for commission ratios as high as 80% (meaning you could get as much as 80% of the money the agency earns for completing the booking). Some other agencies pay 50% or less.

Best for Travel Agents Wanting to Work Full-Time

Those who intend to treat their travel planning work as a full-time career have more options than those who only want to work part-time.

As mentioned in the previous section, EnchantAway Travel offers great flexibility and resources to its agents. We made them our top choice for part-time agents but you should certainly consider applying with them even if you want to go full-time.

But if you feel that you are an exceptionally-qualified candidate who is capable of extremely high performance, you should also consider applying with The Vacationeer.

Here’s why we feel The Vacationeer is the best host agency for exceptional agents seeking full-time work:

  • High Volume, High Quality: The Vacationeer prides itself on hiring the best people and keeping them busy! As a prestigious Earmarked Diamond level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, they book thousands of Disney trips for their clients every year and provide concierge-level customer service.
  • Peak Performance With Personal Attention: The Vacationeer accomplishes its impressive sales levels with a group of about 100 agents; some agencies at the same tier might have ten times as many agents. At The Vacationeer you won’t be lost in the shuffle – they’re sized just right to personally support their agents while making sure everyone has plenty of business.
  • High Commission Splits: Vacationeers are eligible for commission splits of up to 80%, some of the best splits around. And because the agency books so many trips, they receive a higher commission rate on certain types of trips such as Disney cruises. All of that translates to more money in your pocket than you might find elsewhere.
  • Exclusivity: Less than 5% of those who apply are selected to be part of this elite agency. Make the cut, and you’ll know you’re among the best of the best! That’s not merely a point of pride – it’s a great way to surround yourself with experts who will help you become an even better agent.
  • Marketing and Leads: The most successful Travel Agents market themselves with a strong social media presence and great one-on-one rapport with their clients. The Vacationeer takes it a step further: they aggressively market their agency and agents to ensure a steady stream of leads will come your way.
  • Work from Wherever, Whenever: Working with a remote-first travel agency like the Vacationeer means you’ll never be told that it’s time to return to the office! You can pick a work schedule that meets your needs (as long as you’re taking excellent care of your clients), and you can work from pretty much anywhere in the U.S. that has reliable internet and phone service.
  • Excellent Reputation: The Vacationeer has more than 700 5-Star reviews on Google. And they’ve been quoted as travel experts in news coverage from CNBC, Washington Post, Travel & Leisure, Good Housekeeping, and other media outlets. All of this helps your potential clients know that The Vacationeer is the place to book a Disney vacation.
  • FAM Trips: As a high-performing agency, The Vacationeer offers many opportunities to send its agents on FAM trips and training opportunities in the parks and on the cruise ships.

So, by now perhaps you’ve decided which agency you want to work with. But you still have some work to do! Read on for the next steps in your journey!

4. Brush Up on your Disney Knowledge

Disney's Coronado Springs front desk

As a Disney travel agent, you will be thought of – and called upon – as a Disney expert.

Anyone who expects to be hired as a Disney travel agent must be well-versed in all Disney Destinations. Before you can even think of submitting a job application, you should first brush up on your Disney knowledge.

What can you do to educate yourself?

There are TONS of online resources to keep up with the latest Disney news. Read Disney websites and TripAdvisor reviews. Watch Disney YouTube channels. Ask friends about their experiences and recommendations. Join Facebook groups and chat with your fellow Disney fanatics.

A Disney travel planner’s universe of knowledge should never be limited to just Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Someone might ask you to book Aulani (a Disney Resort & Spa), Disney Cruise Line vacations, and/or Adventures by Disney. How well do you know these destinations?

Furthermore, most Disney travel agencies book trips to Universal Orlando Resort. Do you consider yourself an expert on Universal? Maybe it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of Universal parks.

Your breadth of knowledge may need to expand even further beyond Disney and Universal, depending on which destinations your travel agency books.  Sandals & Beaches Resorts and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line packages are something you might be required to know about.

5. What do Disney Travel Agencies Look For When They Hire?

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Each Disney travel agency has its own set of criteria they require when hiring travel planners. Here are some of the most common characteristics Disney travel agencies seek from potential job candidates.

Marketing Savvy

For the most part, Disney vacation planners are on their own to find client leads. Some of the larger, more established agencies may have a prominent social media presence or high Google search ranking, in which case you may get some client leads handed to you. Some agencies pay to advertise their brand – at no cost to their agents – so this certainly is a bonus from an agent’s standpoint. However, for the most part, Disney travel agents (especially part-time agents) are responsible for finding their own clients.

Reminder: The Vacationeer pays for advertising to bring leads to their full-time agents (at no cost to the agent). Apply to The Vacationeer here.

Friends and Family

It helps to have a large circle of friends, family, and acquaintances to pitch your services to once you become a Disney travel agent. Since your compensation is entirely commission-based, an effective marketing strategy will be key to your success. Having a large circle of friends and family to market to should help you hit the ground running.

This is especially helpful if you intend to work as a part-time agent who won’t have as much time to devote to marketing yourself to strangers.

Experience

If you’ve been a travel agent before, then your chances of being hired are much greater right out of the gate. This is especially true if you have Disney travel experience.

It’s still very possible to get hired as a Disney vacation planner with little to no experience. Disney travel agencies are always on the lookout for new talent, but they’re not going to hire just anyone.  You have to play up your experience even if it’s limited to just booking your own trips.

Some Disney agencies might ask you if your friends and family seek out your advice when planning their Disney vacations. If you’ve never been a travel agent before, this is where you can show a Disney agency that you at least have some related experience in doling out advice and planning Disney vacations, albeit unpaid and unofficial.

Good Communication

Like many sales jobs, Disney travel agent jobs require good communications skills. Effective agents are calm, cool, and collected, as well as upbeat, articulate, and helpful. This doesn’t just apply to phone conversations, but also to the written word.

Since much of your communications with the client will be done through email, make sure you proofread everything you write before pressing the “send” button. It’s not always easy to convey a pleasant tone via texts and emails, so avoid writing anything that sounds abrupt, angry, or unsympathetic. Be timely with your responses and helpful with your advice. Clients can be sensitive.

When applying to a Disney travel agency, do your best to convey these positive traits.

Detail-Oriented

Clients depend on Disney travel agents to take the headaches out of planning and booking their trip. As their travel planner, these hassles now become your responsibility. You must possess excellent attention to detail when you book travel, as one slight error can complicate or even ruin a Disney trip.

Well-Organized

Disorganized travel agents are bound to encounter confusion and mix-ups at some point. Having a good organizational system in place is key to keeping all your information in order as you juggle multiple client trips at once. Keep your information easily retrievable in case a client calls with questions. You will need an efficient system to track all the key dates, dining reservations, payments, etc. The worst call you can make to a client is “I screwed up.”

Proactive and Prompt

Not only should Disney travel agents be proactive and prompt in addressing their client’s questions and concerns, but they should also be proactive and prompt in re-booking the client’s vacation package if a new Disney promotion is launched. You will be looking out for the best interests of your client, so if a deal pops up that can save them some money, be ready to act!

Passion

It’s no surprise that Disney travel agent jobs require a passion for Disney Destinations. This isn’t just another job to pay the bills – this is a Disney job! There are so many Disney fanatics out there, so why would any agency hire anyone but a genuine Disney enthusiast?

Employers like enthusiasm, so try to be expressive and enthusiastic when you apply for Disney travel agent jobs.

Knowledge

We mentioned this before but we can’t stress it enough. Disney travel agents must be well-versed and insightful when it comes to Disney Destinations. Therefore, agencies want to know if you’ve actually been to some of these places you’ll be promoting. Expect to be asked which destinations you have been to, and when. Some agencies may ask you to write about your favorite aspects of certain Disney Destinations.

Product knowledge is also key to deciphering what a client wants. If someone who’s never been to Disney wants to know about “the restaurant in the castle,” you need to know that it’s called Cinderella’s Royal Table so you can book it for them. And if they want something that’s not available, you’ll need to think about the best alternatives that can still give them the experience they want.

Commitment

Next, agencies will want to assess your commitment to the job. Most Disney agencies are looking for people who aren’t bogged down with lots of commitments. An ideal job candidate would be able to devote as many hours as possible to grow their business and be highly attentive to their client’s needs. Becoming a Disney travel agent may entail morning, afternoon, and nighttime phone calls or correspondence, so having this flexibility and availability is important to a host agency.

Character Traits

Most Disney travel agent jobs require a strong work ethic, professionalism, ambition, positivity, independence, business-mindedness, seriousness, fun, etc. In a nutshell, they want all the good qualities and none of the bad!

Customer Service Skills

Disney travel agents must possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and be comfortable “meeting” new people. Travel agents should balance calmness and friendliness to put the client at ease while also having the confidence/forcefulness to make decisions and close the sale, so to speak. You do not want to alienate potential clients with a bad attitude or a sales pitch, but you shouldn’t be wishy-washy in the process.

Tech-Savvy

No one wants to hire someone living in the dark ages. Disney travel agencies want you to have a quiet home office and reliable technology to work with. This means good cell phone service and high-speed internet access. You will be using an online booking system and talking to clients throughout the day, so Disney travel agencies will make sure that your technology is adequate and your computer skills are up to the task.

Social Media Presence

Social media plays a major role in marketing these days. Therefore, effective Disney travel planners should not only be computer savvy but also be social media savvy. It helps to have a large friend-base, to begin with, because the more connections you already have established, the more potential clients are just one instant message or Facebook “share” away.

Successful Disney travel agents create Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), BlueSky, Threads, Instagram, and/or TikTok accounts devoted entirely to marketing their Disney travel services. Every update will remind your followers that you are the go-to person for planning their next Disney vacation.

6. Apply to Become a Disney Travel Agent

it's a small world ride at Disney World's Magic Kingdom

So you’ve brushed up on your Disney knowledge, know what types of Disney travel agencies to look for, and learned what agencies look for when hiring. Now what?

Once you have identified a few agencies you’d like to work for, it’s time to actually apply for the job. Application questions will vary depending on the agencies. Remember the types of things we’ve outlined when filling out the application. Proofread your answers before submitting them.

There are many agencies which devote themselves to Disney Travel, but we do have some recommendations of the best agencies to work for.

If you want to work part-time, your best bet is likely going to be EnchantAway Travel.

If you’re an seeking full-time work, you should apply to EnchantAway Travel or (for exceptional candidates) to The Vacationeer.

 

Whatever agency you choose — be they one of our recommendations or any other — remember to be patient once you’ve submitted an application. It could take a month or so to get a response.

Be wary of any company that hires you right off the bat without follow-up questions and a phone interview. Ideally, you will speak directly with the owner of the company so you’ll have a good idea of who you are going to be working with. Be sure to have YOUR questions ready, too.

7. You’re Hired!

Disney's All Star Movies Resort

If you are fortunate enough to get the job – congratulations  However, don’t take it if you’re not ready to commit to it or you don’t have a good feeling for the travel agency.

You want this to be the most magical job you’ve ever had, so use your discretion.

Good luck!

Other Considerations on How to Be a Disney Travel Agent

Disney Skyliner gondolas over Caribbean Beach Resort

Here are a few more things to consider.

How do you Find Disney Travel Agent Jobs?

We suggest you start your online search by googling phrases like “Disney travel agent join our team,” “Disney travel agent jobs,” “Disney travel planner jobs,” etc. You may be surprised at how many Disney travel agencies exist and how many are seeking new agents to join their teams.

Which Disney Travel Agencies do we Recommend?

We recommend The Vacationeer and EnchantAway Travel as our top picks to work for. Each agency is outlined earlier in this article.

We hope that you found our How to Become a Disney Travel Agent article helpful. Good luck on your quest to enter the Disney travel industry!

For more Disney-related articles,  feel free to browse through Magic Guides extensive list of pages like How to Plan a Disney VacationDisney World Map, and use our Disney World Crowd Calendar to book your clients once you become a Disney travel agent!