The 2018/2019 runDisney race season goes on sale in January and once again, Park and Preston Travel will have race bibs, discounted tickets, and hotel options for you. But why should you purchase through us? Here are five reasons to buy runDisney bibs with a travel agent.
So many runDisney runners avoid using a Travel Agent.
I get it; I was once one of you.
But then I used a travel agent service for a bib once and learned a few things.
And then I became a travel agent who sells bibs and learned even MORE things.
And since I’m still a blogger, I’m passing these nuggets on to you.
Five Reasons to Buy Your Bibs From a runDisney Travel Agent
Here’s the official blurb from runDisney.com about travel providers:
Why book with a runDisney Travel provider?
There are many benefits to booking your runDisney trip with one of the Travel Providers participating in the runDisney Travel Provider Program:
- Personalized guest service and communication from our Participating Travel providers.
- Guaranteed and specially-priced Runner Packages, even if races sell out.
- Specially-priced Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel rates.
- Specially-priced Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Park Tickets.
- Ability to pay for your Walt Disney World® Half Marathon Weekend vacation over time*.
- Ease of mind – leave the travel planning to the experts so you can focus on your training!
*Every Travel Provider is different, so please be sure to contact them directly for specific payment options.
Yes, all that is true. And yes, at Park and Preston Travel, we can help with payment plans.
But here are a few more items that are not included in the official runDisney blurb.
Our Services are Free When you Buy runDisney Bibs With a Travel Agent
You aren’t going to pay extra when you buy through a travel provider, and in some cases, we might be able to get you a better deal.
Park and Preston has discounted room rates and discounted park tickets.
We work for you; we don’t work for Disney.
That means that we want to make your trip special and your race magical.
We will stay on the phone to make the changes or send those emails to get clarifications, so you don’t have to.
TRANSFERS, DEFERRALS, REFUNDS
The official runDisney policy states there are no transfers, no deferrals, no refunds. No, no, no.
Park and Preston says: yes, no, and maybe.
We CAN help you transfer your bib. As a travel provider contracted with runDisney, we are allowed that grace.
Buying straight through runDisney locks you into your purchase.
If an injury happens? Kiss that expensive Dopey bib buh-bye if you visited runDisney.com to get your bib.
We can’t defer your bib since deferrals are a dead deal now.
But see transfer option above. You can still get your money back when you book with a TA who contracts for bibs.
I hesitate to share this, but hey, I’m transparent, and my boss is in Mexico.
We can consider individual circumstances for refunds.
There have been instances where someone bought a bib one day and got a positive pregnancy test the next. And we said Mazel Tov and refunded the bib price.
Look- we get it.
Life happens and in certain circumstances, we will do what we can to help you out.
We can’t refund everyone, and we can’t promise it will happen, but we can promise to work with you as best we can.
INSURANCE When you Buy runDisney Bibs With a Travel Agent
We sell travel insurance to protect your investment, and yes, that includes the cost of the bib.
You have every intention of running this race but something crazy in your life happened, and the doctor says you may not travel to Disney for the event.
Through runDisney direct, that’s money lost. Gone. Disappeared and never to be found again. You won’t be able to purchase travel insurance if you purchase your bib on rundisney.com
If you elect travel insurance when you purchase your bib through a travel provider such as Park and Preston, that claim can be submitted and money returned.
TICKET AND ROOM REQUIREMENTS (GROAN)
Yep. We have them. But hear me out.
This gets a little tricky, but be assured we do our best to do what’s right for YOU.
We are beholden to runDisney’s rules per our contracts, however.
Walt Disney World Races: all bibs must be sold as a package that includes bibs, tickets, and rooms.
Don’t be scared: you were going to book a room and buy tickets anyway. You know it, and I know it, and heck, Disney knows it which is why they required it.
If you are an AP holder, there are options for you to waive the ticket requirement. Every guest in the room must be on the same ticket package, however, so if only one person has an AP – they will be required to purchase a ticket.
That ticket can be used at a later date, or the value of the ticket can be used when the Annual Pass is renewed… so it’s not completely wasted money.
If you are a DVC holder, sorry, we can’t book DVC rooms in the place of the room requirement. #WhompWhomp
ONE POINT OF CONTACT When you Buy runDisney Bibs With a Travel Agent
Have you ever called Disney or runDisney? And hung up, called right back, and gotten a totally different Cast Member who gives you a different answer?
Uh huh. I know, it’s frustrating.
With a travel agent, you have one point of contact.
If we don’t know the answer, we have people that will get us the answer!
People that are not just the front line phone folks, either- we know people.
I cannot stress this enough: our relationships help you get what you need.
AND- not only do we love Disney, and we sell Disney, but we also runDisney.
Your team at Park and Preston Travel has run about a gazillion races between the three of us. Last count we came up with over 35 race weekends since 2011, multiple races each weekend. That’s a lot of magical miles, yo!
This means we are the Hokas on the ground if something should go wrong while you are at the race.
BONUS HONESTY ALERT
The whole travel agent process can sometimes be a pain, especially for the folks who have run all the races before.
I’ll admit it. It takes a lot longer to accomplish the same thing in certain circumstances. runDisney’s processes run a bit slower than the (mostly) well-oiled machine that is the Disney direct website.
It’s why I avoided going the TA route for bibs for many years.
This booking process can involve more people and can sometimes take a bit longer since we are working directly through runDisney and their processes.
But I hope you see how some of the benefits can outweigh the extra steps sometimes involved. Including the fact that we are working directly with runDisney!
Some examples of how being our client can benefit you:
We’ve been able to get extra bibs for clients when Aunt Jane decided to run Princess last minute; we’ve been able to nab an elusive kids race bib here and there.
We have the relationships & contacts that help make magic happen- relationships that can’t be forged through Active.com, just sayin’!
If you have any questions, send them my way. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend will go on presale at the Disney World Marathon in January. Before you stand in line at the expo, consider this post and send me an email if you have questions.
Important note about the presales for Wine and Dine happening at the 2018 Marathon weekend: these are packages booked directly with runDisney, they are not the same as our contracted packages described above.
Rooms are rack rate. Tickets are not discounted. And the bibs do NOT include the option to transfer your bib. However, you can elect travel insurance at the expo.
Additionally— ANY Travel Agent can book these Expo packages for you (including us! We are happy to handle that if you wish!) but keep in mind this is a different animal than the contracted runDisney bibs that Park and Preston can offer.
Alright- who’s ready to runDisney in 2018/2019? Let us know how we can help!