Unofficial Guide Reader’s Survey – Best Travel Agents 2016

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TouringPlans logoThe results are in, and we want to thank you, readers, for helping us and your fellow Disney and Universal fans plan great vacations. We are so happy to bring you our Best Travel Agent recommendations for 2016.

The Methodology for Finding the Best Travel Agents

First of all, it’s important to know how we got this list. These recommendations come from you, not us. TouringPlans and the Unofficial Guide survey readers about their vacations and one (of the VERY MANY – really, thank you to everyone who takes the time to do this) sections of the survey concerns how the trip was booked. We ask if you’d consider the agent “an expert” on the destination you booked and if you’d recommend him or her to a friend. To make our list the agent has to have a statistically significant number of responses and 100% positive answers on one question and more than 90% on the other. That’s all there is to it. We don’t swing the votes. And this isn’t a “Top 15” list. If 50 agents had qualified, 50 would be listed. That only 16 out of 1900 agents listed in the surveys received qualified tells you a lot about the quality of work these people do.

We’ve published this list in the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for years, but wanted to add it to our web site this year. Some of these agents we know, several we have personally worked with, and some are brand new to us. We hope this helps you find a travel agent if you’re looking for one. (You’ll notice that some agents and agencies have a relationship with TouringPlans in the form of complimentary subscriptions for qualifying travel packages. This has no bearing on the survey results.)

Finally, without further ado, we give you the Best Travel Agents for 2016, listed alphabetically by first name.

 

Best Travel Agents 2016

Small World Vacations
Amanda is almost certainly not on the run from the FBI.

Amanda Hill

Small World Vacations* 
Online: www.SmallWorldVacations.com
Specialty: Walt Disney World vacations, Disney Cruise Line vacations and Disneyland vacations.

Contact Amanda for a quote: Amanda@SmallWorldVacations.com or www.SmallWorldVacations.com

Amanda in her own words: I have been an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Small World Vacations for 8 years and I LOVE my job! I thrive on the excitement and enthusiasm that guests express when planning a vacation to such magical destinations. My ultimate goal is to provide my guests with exceptional service, to build and maintain solid and long lasting relationships with my guests AND to save my guests as much money as possible on their vacation. I enjoy sharing tips, tricks and ideas that will help to create magical memories that will last a lifetime. My favorite Walt Disney World Resort is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. When I’m not planning trips for my guests, I spend my time with my family/friends/pets and enjoy planning (or dreaming of) my own vacations!


DarrenW-MVT
True story. Darren taught Mickey everything he knows.

Darren Wittko

Magical Vacations Travel** 
Online: magicalvacationstravel.com/darren
Specialty: Exclusive offers and group travel to Walt Disney World Resort

Contact Darren for a quote: darren@magicalvacationstravel.com
or use the request form: http://magicalvacationstravel.com/destinations/walt-disney-world/request-wdw

Darren in his own words: Since 2009 I have been helping people save money at Walt Disney World and I am thrilled to have earned the loyal support of my clients over the years. Everyday I’m privileged to have a part in making someone’s dream come true and to help bring magic to life. Everyone I work with is so excited to go to Disney and to me, there’s no better job in the world.


Debra Gordon Travel By Debra
Debra wants to start you on checking off your vacation bucket list.

Debra Gordon

Travel by Debra* (agent and owner)
Specialty: Group and multi-generational travel

Contact Debra for a quote: Debra@TravelByDebra.com

Debra in her own words: My philosophy is simple … I am your advocate and partner! My role is to listen to what you have to say and work with you to design the vacation that fits your wishes and needs. Everyone is unique and their vacation should reflect what’s important to them! What I really love is coordinating family and friend groups, helping grandparents take their kids and grandkids on an extended family vacation and creating trips that will cross off some of those “Bucket-List” items (it’s never too early to start on that list)! What sets a professional like myself apart is years of firsthand experiences. I have toured the ships, visited resorts, interviewed and screened suppliers. And, with more than 10 years of experience, 3000+ vacations booked, and my affiliation with MEI and Mouse Fan Travel, I have the professional knowledge you need to get the most out of your cruise, resort, tour, or Disney vacation!


HeatherC-MEI
Heather’s smile definitely says “stress-free” planning to us.

Heather Coursen

MEI – Travel & Mouse Fan Travel
Online: MEI-Travel.com and MouseFanTravel.com
Specialty: Europe, Hawaii, Cruises & Disney Destinations

Contact Heather for a quote: HeatherC@MEI-Travel.com; 818-748-8308

Heather in her own words: I have been planning vacations for 6 years, and nothing makes me happier than helping my clients plan the perfect trip and giving tips to make sure they go into their trip stress-free, informed and excited. Everyone needs to escape and see the world, and I am here to help! I’m a Disney girl at heart, and still get giddy when I have a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland coming up, but my favorite destinations outside of Disney are Hawaii and Italy and I try to visit as often as I can. When I’m not making magic for my clients you’ll find me exploring new destinations I haven’t been to yet, reading, or playing with my adorable Boston Terrier, Copley. Contact me when you’re ready to start planning your getaway!


JanP-MEI
If you book with Jan, you’ll be this happy too.

Jan Pepe

MEI – Travel & Mouse Fan Travel
Online: MEI-Travel.com and MouseFanTravel.com

Contact Jan for a quote: JanP@MEI-Travel.com, 770-676-0828

Jan in her own words: I have been a Travel Specialist for almost 10 years and find it a joy assisting my clients with their dream vacations. My experience includes planning travel to Disney destinations and Universal, hotels and tour packages in world-wide destinations, ocean and river cruising, and more. When I’m not planning travel for my clients, I enjoy spending time with my family, scrapbooking, jogging, reading travel books, and dreaming of my own next vacation. I would love to assist you with booking your next amazing trip!


Small World Vacations
Leigh’s contract rider was more than we could afford. But we did get the brown M&Ms out of her dressing room.

Leigh McCarty

Small World Vacations*
Online: www.SmallWorldVacations.com
Specialty: Disney Cruise Line (platinum cruiser with 15+ sailings), Walt Disney World Deluxe Villa and Deluxe Resort specialist (DVC owner in several properties since 2001) Special event junkie (If there is something new to try whether it’s a Rock’n Burger party or a Wild Africa Trek, for the good of my clients I’m signing up), Signature restaurant foodie.

Contact Leigh for a quote: Leigh@SmallWorldVacations.com

Leigh in her own words: As an agent for Small World Vacations the past 13 years, I have assisted thousands of guests and am proud to have helped them create lifetime memories with their families As a technology junkie I am excited to discuss the new platforms and enhancements that are now a part of a Disney vacations so you don’t feel overwhelmed. When not doing so I can more than likely be found at the Apple Store buying the latest gadget or reading about my second favorite enhancement to Disney…Food! Please feel free to contact me at leigh@smallworldvacations.com to help you plan your next Disney vacation, to talk tech, or even to talk turkey.


Mary H.
Mary H. is ready to help you plan your vacation!

Mary Hoffmann

Small World Vacations*
Online: www.SmallWorldVacations.com
Specialty: Family, Adult, and Solo Disney destination vacations

Contact Mary for a quote: Mary@SmallWorldVacations.com

Mary in her own words: I’ve been planning Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and Aulani vacations for guests for over six years and will soon be experiencing an Adventures by Disney vacation! I love helping my guests to create their own magical vacations while staying within their budget. I have many tips to share to help them make the most out of their vacation time and money. Contact me any time to start planning your fabulous vacation.


Mary N. is all ears when it's time to listen to her clients.
Mary N. is all ears when it’s time to listen to her clients.

Mary Nelson

AAA Carolinas* (serves clients in North and South Carolina)
Online: AAA.com (will direct you to your regional AAA site. AAA Carolinas and AAA Mid-Atlantic offer TouringPlans subscriptions to clients with qualified bookings).

Contact Mary for a quote: manelson@aaacarolinas.com

Mary in her own words: My first visit to Walt Disney World was in 1977. I’ve been in love with it ever since and have visited more than 25 times. My passion is helping my clients plan their Disney trip so they can make the most of their time at Walt Disney World – I want everyone to have a magical time! My favorite Disney resort is the Polynesian Village. It’s so convenient and well-themed – you feel like you’re in Hawaii and Disney at the same time! I am a full service travel agent at AAA Carolinas Myrtle Beach, serving clients in North and South Carolina. I would love to help make your family’s Disney dreams come true.


MikeR-TMFL
Mike wants you to be HIS guest.

Mike Rahlmann

The Magic For Less Travel*
Online: TheMagicForLess.com
Specialty: Disney Destination Specialist
Contact Mike for a quote: mike.rahlmann@themagicforless.com

Mike in his own words: I’ve been planning magical Disney vacations for guests for 7 years now. I’m the Host of the Be Our Guest WDW Podcast that can be heard every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at www.beourguestpodcast.com. I love visiting the Walt Disney World Resort multiple times a year with my wife and two daughters. I’m also a Gold Castaway Club Member with Disney Cruise Line, where you will find me sailing each summer. Finally, I love participating in runDisney events, and have completed both the Walt Disney World Marathon as well as the Dopey Challenge over the past couple of years! I would love to personally help you plan the perfect Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, or runDisney event vacation!


ShannonG
Shannon and her interns doing some very important research for your trip.

Shannon Griffith

Small World Vacations*
Online: www.SmallWorldVacations.com

Contact Shannon for a quote: shannon@smallworldvacations.com

Shannon in her own words: I have worked with Small World Vacations for several years planning all things Disney and well as onsite Universal Studios Vacations. My favorite Orlando Resort is Disney’s Beach Club Resort. I LOVE the pool and easy access to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. When I’m not planning vacations, I spend my time with my husband, 2 boys and my dog. We are at the baseball field a lot and also enjoy camping and kayaking. Please contact me to start planning your dream vacation.


SharlaM-MEI
Sharla claimed she “didn’t have a good photo.” We should all have such not good photos.

Sharla Manglass

MEI & Mouse Fan Travel
Online: MEI-Travel.com and MouseFanTravel.com
Specialty: Cruises, Caribbean, All Disney Destinations, Universal

Contact Sharla for a quote: SharlaM@mei-travel.com

Sharla in her own words: I have been planning vacations for clients for several years- mainly Disney, Universal, and cruises. I love getting the best value for my clients- from free dining to 50% off a cruise. Two of the best places I have ever been are the Galapagos Islands and Pompeii in Italy. I love to spend time with my family or go for a run when I’m not working. Contact me any time to start planning a great vacation!

 


Stephanie Hudson - MEI Travel
Booking with Stephanie is anything but a Terror.

Stephanie Hudson

MEI & Mouse Fan Travel**
Online: MEI-Travel.com and MouseFanTravel.com
Specialty: Family, Adult solo and group vacations (Land or Sea). Specializing in all things Disney.

Contact Stephanie for a quote: Stephanie@mei-travel.com

Stephanie in her own words: I’ve always loved traveling, just say “Go!” and I’m ready to explore. Combining that with my knack for talking on the phone and working with people, I began planning vacations for MEI & Mouse Fan Travel. Over ten years later, it’s been a perfect fit. Every day provides a new challenge and the chance to create magic and memories. I’ve been all over, from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Spain, Germany, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and a South African Safari! Also, I have enjoyed many cruises on Disney and Royal Caribbean. I’d love to help you plan your next Memory!


Small World Vacations
Sue founded Small World Travel to help clients like you have great vacations.

Sue Pisaturo

Small World Vacations* (agent and owner)
Online: www.SmallWorldVacations.com
Specialty: Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney and Aulani

Contact Sue for a quote: Sue@SmallWorldVacations.com

Sue in her own words: In 1992, while planning my first trip to Walt Disney World, I discovered that I loved researching Disney’s theme parks. As an outlet for my new hobby, I created and taught a class for overwhelmed parents planning a Disney vacation. This blossomed into to my career as a travel agent specializing in Disney Destinations. During my 20 years of “research”, I’ve made countless trips to Walt Disney World, Disneyland as well as multiple Disney Cruises and Adventures by Disney. I am proud to be a contributor to the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for over a decade.

Small World Vacations is a Platinum Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Our agents have helped over 300,000 families plan magical vacations since 1996. Small World Vacations is recommended by Mousesavers.com and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing US companies on Inc Magazine’s 5000 List for the last five years. At Small World Vacations, we love what we do and it shows. Contact us for a free price quote today!


SusanK-DreamsU
Susan is living the Dream working to make magical vacations for her clients.

Susan Kelly

Dreams Unlimited Travel
Online: DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com
Specialty: Family, Multi Generation Families, Adults and solo vacations to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Universal Studios Orlando, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland American Cruises.

Contact Susan for a quote: Susan@DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com

About Susan: From the start of my career in the travel industry in 1990, anything Disney was my favorite to sell. I have travelled to Hawaii, Canada, Iceland, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, the US and have been on over 20 cruises. My favorite resort at Disney World is the Animal Kingdom Lodge. After a long, busy day at the parks, coming home to the Animal Kingdom Lodge is peaceful and relaxing. I love the architecture and ambiance of the resort and how it immerses you into a new culture. When I’m not planning vacations for clients, I spend time with my husband Stan and my cat, Coda. My best advice to clients is to enjoy the moment you are in now while at Disney. So many get caught up in what is coming up next that they miss out on some of the best memories without knowing it. I would love to help you plan a Dream vacation, contact me at any time.


TabithaR
Tabitha is ready to make sure your vacation is Worth The Trip.

Tabitha Robinson

Worth The Trip Travel (agent and owner)
Online: www.worththetriptravel.com
Specialty: Family Vacations and Cruises
Contact Tabitha for a quote: tabitha@worththetriptravel.com

Tabitha in her own words: My attention to detail and dedication to extraordinary customer service began more than 15 years before I became a travel planner. Since then I’ve learned everything I could about Disney destinations and family vacations, traveling to Disney Destinations, pouring over Disney fan forums, answering questions on the Lines app and highlighting passages in my Unofficial Guide to amass every insider tip and trick possible. Using this expertise, I’ve helped more than 1500 families plan trips that were both incredibly special and saved tons of time and money. When I’m not planning trips I enjoy traveling to new destinations and revisiting old favorites, working in my garden, watching NASCAR, and volunteering in my community.


Tammy-Storybook
You would be Goofy not to book your next vacation with Tammy.

Tammy Whiting

Storybook Destinations* (agent and owner)
Online: StorybookDestinations.com
Specialty: Cruises and Walt Disney World
Contact Tammy for a quote: Tammy@StorybookDestinations.com

Tammy in her own words: I’m the owner of Storybook Destinations travel agency, an amazing team dedicated to ensuring you have a magical vacation. I’ve been writing here on the Touring Plans blog since 2011, and it’s no secret I’m a huge Disney Cruise Line fan! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Disney World and Disneyland, having spent many wonderful vacations at each, but after 20 cruises, nothing makes me happier than sailing with the Mouse! I’m an Air Force wife and I’ve lived all over the world, so I know I can plan your perfect vacation no matter where you want to go. Contact me today to start planning!


*This agency offers complimentary subscriptions to TouringPlans with qualified bookings.

**This agent offers complimentary subscriptions to TouringPlans with qualified bookings.

Laurel Stewart

Laurel has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1971 when she was negative-15 years old and running the Disney races since 2007. Her favorite attraction is Big Thunder Mountain.

One thought on “Unofficial Guide Reader’s Survey – Best Travel Agents 2016

  • June 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm
    Permalink

    Love Tammy W.! She was my TA from back when she still worked for another company. We had circumstances requiring many changes and cancellations. Super helpful from one trip to another. One of these days I am going to utilize all that Disney Cruise knowledge!

    Reply

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