Living and breathing Disney for a living sounds like the stuff dreams are made of, right? While it is an incredibly fun career with some sweet benefits, remember it's also a job. At times, it can be a stressful one. After all, the magic of a family's Disney vacation has fallen into YOUR HANDS. No pressure there! In reality, there can be a lot of pressure on you. Whether by the guest or just self-imposed because you want to be the absolute best, provide the most incredible service and ultimately get referred to again and again.
So before you embark on any journey to become a Disney travel planner, it's important to decide if it's truly a goal, a dream or just a fleeting whim. That means asking yourself some tough questions and being really honest with your answers. There are some undeniable traits required if you are to be successful.
If you cannot, with certainty, answer YES to the following five questions, you might not be ready to get on that path just yet.
Am I an organized person? Organization, attention to detail and management skills are non-negotiable when considering a career in travel planning. Anything and everything you can do to avoid "dropping the ball" should always be done. If you are a cross all the T's and dot all the I's type, you're on your way!
Can I function in the early hours of the morning? Particularly with the Walt Disney World Resort, many of the most important functions of a Disney travel planner happen in the early morning. Starting at 6:00am ET, you'll need to be at the ready to secure dining reservations. At 7:00am ET, is when FastPass+ selections can be made. With the ever growing popularity of the Disney World theme parks, these tasks become more and more challenging. Not being ready to work for your guests at these hours in not an option. If you call yourself a morning person, then let's call that two cheers for you!
Can I work hard without making any money (for a while)? The career of being a Disney travel planner is a very LONG game. Travel planners work on commissions and commissions aren't paid until AFTER travel is COMPLETED. Not booked. With a Disney vacation typically being planned 6 months or more in advance, it could take up to a year (depending on when your guests travel), to see a commission check come in. If you plan to work on building up your travel business as a side-hustle and don't need the extra income immediately, that's three things telling you to go for it!
Can I be objective about rejection? Not every potential guest that comes your way is going to book a vacation with you. Some will ask you to prepare a quote or several quotes then suddenly stop responding. This is part of the nature of the business of sales. It happens to all travel planners, all the time. When you are first starting out however, that rejection can really eat at the confidence level. It's important that you be able to rise above it and keep working at it. If you can take so-called "tire-kickers" in stride, shrug off rejection and know that another opportunity will come along, well then, you are amazing and this just might be the right career for you!
Am I a people person? In today's world where face-to-face and even voice-to-voice interaction is almost obsolete, it's still a requirement that you are generally happy to meet and talk with new people. Even in the written word, your attitude comes across loud and clear. If you really want to be successful, you've got to enjoy working with, servicing and talking with people. It's essential to not only BEING in business, but GROWING your business. To succeed, you must build a know/like/trust foundation with your clients so they refer you. Word of mouth referrals are gold to travel planners. If you don't wait until the neighbor goes inside before you go check your own mailbox, mark this one a yes! (Unless it's one of THOSE neighbors)
Of course there are many other things to consider before embarking on any new adventure, but consider these five as qualifiers to help you decipher, if you truly believe being a Disney travel planner is what you were meant to do.
Did you answer YES to all five? If so, what are you waiting for? Take the next steps! There is no better time to get started than right now. "Start doing" as Walt would say!