'; Today's Featured Agent: Missy Smith with 3D Travel Company - WDW Hints
Sunday 9 June 2024
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Today’s Featured Agent: Missy Smith with 3D Travel Company

Today I’d like to introduce you to Missy Smith, a Travel Specialist with 3D Travel Company!  Missy isn’t just another Authorized Disney Vacation Planner… as you’ll learn below, she has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Special Needs or Food Allergies at WDW.    

WDW Hints: Can you tell us some of your “favorites” at WDW?

Favorite Resort: Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Favorite Restaurant: Le Cellier, Via Napoli, and ‘Ohana (dinner)
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom® Park
Favorite Ride/Attraction: Soarin’™ Attraction, Expedition Everest® Attraction, and It’s a Small World® Attraction  
Favorite Character: Ariel or Belle
Favorite dessert (and where it’s found): Zeppole di Ricotta (Via Napoli)
Photo courtesy of Missy Smith
WDW Hints: What little known thing do you like to recommend to your clients to try at WDW?  

Missy: My 2 favorite hints to give my clients are 1) you can get free cups of ice water at almost every counter service at Walt Disney World® Resort, so you don’t have to use up your snack credits on drinks (if you don’t like water, you can bring little flavor packets of tea, lemonade, Kool-Aid, etc to add to the water) and 2) you can get autographs from Lady and the Tramp at Tony’s Town Square—you just have to ask!
WDW Hints: What made you decide to go from a “Disney fanatic” to an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner?  

Missy: A few years ago, my husband and I were going to Walt Disney World® Resort by ourselves, and I did a lot of research about for our vacation before we left. While we were there, I was telling him some of the things I had learned in my research, and he commented, “You know, you should be a Disney Travel Specialist.”  Well, the wheels in my brain started turning, and I thought it sounded like a fun idea.  
WDW Hints: When did you become an ADVP?  

Missy: I became an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner 2 years ago.  I discovered 3D Travel Company while doing some internet research on Walt Disney World® Resort and liked the things I learned about the Company—it was a small, family-owned company that had only been in business for a few years, it was made up of mainly homeschool moms (I’m a homeschool mom, myself!), and it is a company based on Christian principles.  I decided it was a great company that I would love to be a part of, so when Carol Beth Scott, the owner of 3D Travel Company, announced that she was hiring, I applied for a position with the Company and was hired!  Since joining 3D Travel Company, I have become even more impressed with the Company’s standards and family atmosphere.  The ladies and gentlemen I work with are some of my best friends!
WDW Hints: Do you find yourself going on Disney vacations more, less or about the same since becoming an ADVP?  

Missy: I find myself going on Disney vacations a bit more, since I became an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  Our Company sponsors a great event every September, The Ultimate Field Trip for Homeschoolers.  This is such a fun event, I don’t want to miss it!  If I were not an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I possibly wouldn’t make a point of going to Walt Disney World® Resort every fall (I do love it, though, so maybe I would!).
WDW Hints: Is there anything tedious about the job?  (I’ve heard of some agents waiting on hold for hours with Disney reservations – is that true?)  

Missy: Oh, yes, it IS true!  Whenever Disney releases a new promotion, I am up and on the phone by 7am, working to book new trips for clients and modify trips that are already booked, so I can save some money for my clients.  Sometimes, you can be on hold for several hours.  That’s one of the advantages of using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, though—they sit on the phone for all that time, so you don’t have to!  Probably the most tedious thing about my job, though, is having to get up at 6am to book dining reservations for clients (I am NOT a morning person!)—I’m just glad I live on the East coast, so I don’t have to get up earlier than that!  I love my job, though, so this is a minor price to pay to have a job I look forward to each day  J

WDW Hints: Do you book airfare for your clients?  

Missy: I can book airfare for clients, if necessary.  However, they can usually get better rates by booking their flights on their own.  Also, if they book on their own, it is much easier for them to select their preferred flight times and rates.
WDW Hints: What extra perks or special gifts do you give to your clients that other ADVPs may not give?  

Missy: First and foremost, I give my clients great customer service.  I treat your vacation as though it is my own, and do my best to make sure your vacation is Magical, from the time we start planning till the day you arrive home!  We send our clients links for a couple of discounts, to enhance their vacation.  We send you a customized itinerary for your vacation.  We also send you some insider information that makes planning your Disney vacation even easier, as well as a final travel packet with some great travel tips!  Best of all, I am always checking to make sure my clients are receiving the best price available for their vacation! 
WDW Hints: I enjoy booking my own ADRs right at 180 days out, if I were to book my vacation through you, can I still have control over my own ADRs or do you take over everything?  (In other words, do you allow clients to be involved in their vacation planning as much or as little as they want?)  

Missy: I am happy to get up early in the morning to take care of booking your ADR’s, but if this is something you prefer, that is no problem!  I’ll be here to offer my advice on your meal-planning, if you like, but you can do as much of your planning as you want.  I have clients who put together their own spreadsheets, planning out their entire trip, and just have me there to offer my expertise and take care of any minor details; I also have clients who give me their travel dates and have me plan out their entire vacation for them, so they don’t have to worry about anything.  I enjoy letting my clients decide how involved they want to be in their vacation-planning.
WDW Hints: What fun opportunities have you been given since becoming an agent?  

Missy: Since I became an agent, the most fun opportunity I have had is being a part of The Ultimate Field Trip for Homeschoolers.  It is an event that is fun for the whole family, no matter how old or young (we have toddlers and babies coming, as well as grandparents!)  And this year, we have a special guest joining us—Steven Barrett, the “Hidden Mickey Guy,” will be at our Mega-Meet to greet our clients and sign autographs!  The other great opportunity I had is that I got to go with another agent from 3D Travel Company to an onsite training at Walt Disney World® Resort last June for 4 nights and 5 days.  We got to tour several different Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, as well as visit some of the Parks and restaurants.  It was exciting to get to meet travel agents from all over the country who all have a love for Disney!  We even got to attend a couple of special events, planned just for us, including a nice buffet dinner, followed by Disney taking us to a private viewing area for us to watch llumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
However, I think the best opportunity I have had since becoming an agent is all the great new people I’ve gotten to meet and become friends with!  Not only have I developed great relationships with other agents at 3D Travel Company, many of my clients have become my personal friends—we see each other at homeschool events or other community events, we are Facebook friends…I’ve even met up with clients who are visiting Walt Disney World® Resort at the same time I am there!   Who doesn’t need more Disney-loving friends?!?
WDW Hints: If I buy 4 day Park Hopper tickets (2 adult, 1 child) through a trusted discounted seller, I save $18.71 compared to buying tickets directly from WDW.  This seems like a “pro” to me, but tell me what the disadvantage is…

Missy: Yes, you will save $18.71 up front on tickets, but you may be able to save so much more buying your tickets directly.  Keep in mind, if you purchase your tickets through me and Walt Disney World® Resort, you’ll be able to purchase one of the Disney Dining Plans, which can save you up to 20% off of the cost of paying for your food out-of-pocket.  If you purchase your Park tickets through an outside vendor, you will NOT be able to purchase a Disney Dining Plan.  If you’ve got young children, I’m sure you’re going to want to go to at least 1 character meal during your Disney vacation.  And, who wants to have to nickel and dime their meals on vacation, ordering the least expensive thing on the menu, or missing out on a Dole Whip or Mickey Mouse ice cream bar, just to save a few dollars?  With the Disney Dining Plan, you will get 1 table service meal credit, 1 quick service meal credit, and 1 snack credit for each night of your stay for you, your spouse, and your child, as well as a resort refillable mug (value of $14.49+tax each) for each of you.  The savings you’ll receive by purchasing the Disney Dining Plan will definitely outweigh the $18.71 you’ll save by purchasing your Park tickets from an outside vendor.
WDW Hints: What is the best advice you can offer someone going to Walt Disney World® Resort for the first time?  

Missy: Make sure you have at least 2 good pairs of shoes, and get them “broken in” before you leave for your vacation.  You may walk up to 9 miles a day at Walt Disney World® Resort during your vacation.  Sore feet do not make for a Magical vacation!  Go out and walk some with your family prior to your trip, so your body is up to the task.  Again, it’s hard to feel Magical if you’re feeling tired and sore.  Don’t feel like you have to do EVERYTHING—that’s what future Disney trips are for!  Get up early, beat the crowds, then go back to your resort midday and take a nap, swim, or just rest a bit.  Then, you’ll feel refreshed for dinner and an evening in the Park.
WDW Hints:  What suggestions can you make to someone who is traveling with a family member with Special Needs?  

Missy: I am actually a parent of a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome (a mild form of autism), so I have had experience with this.  Disney has a great program to help guests with Special Needs be able to enjoy a Magical vacation at Walt Disney World® Resort, just like anyone else.  I have been able to help my clients who have family members with Special Needs utilize this program, enabling them to almost feel like a “normal” family while they are vacationing.  Because of things I have learned from my own experiences, as well as from those I have worked with, I can offer some suggestions to these clients to make their vacation less complicated.  It’s actually amazing to hear the miracle stories of leaps and bounds that Special Needs children and adults have made during Disney vacations.  It truly is a Magical place!
WDW Hints: How difficult is it for someone with food allergies/sensitivities to vacation at Walt Disney World® Resort?  

Missy: I would have to say, Walt Disney World® Resort is one of the best places to vacation if you suffer from food allergies/sensitivities.  I find that the chefs at Disney work hard to ensure that everyone is able to have a wonderful dining experience.  Since becoming an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I have had a lot of experience working with guests with severe food allergies (peanut, tree nut, dairy, etc), as well as issues such as Celiac Disease.  I have seen firsthand how chefs at Disney work to keep their guests safe, while making sure that they are also very satisfied with their dining experience.
WDW Hints: What would you say is the craziest trip you’ve planned as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner?  

Missy: I actually booked someone’s complete weeklong vacation in a 24 hour period.  She called me at the last minute, wanting to go to Walt Disney World® Resort, and I was able to put together a Magical vacation for her to arrive 3 days later.  I’ve found that last-minute vacations can be a lot of fun to plan!  It can be more difficult to get great discounts that way, but I understand that some people just aren’t able to plan their vacations far in advance.  I still work to get the best prices for these clients, though, and they love the fact that I can work Magic for them that quickly.

WDW Hints: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Missy!!
Missy: It’s been my pleasure!  Thank you so much for letting me share with everyone!

Editor’s Note: You can contact Missy Smith through 3D Travel Company, or you can visit her facebook page!

Terri is owner, creator and an author for WDW Hints. She enjoys taking less-traveled paths of WDW and sharing her lesser-known discoveries with you!