The 2019 runDisney race season goes on sale in July and once again, Park and Preston Travel will have race bibs, 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.
*** This information reflects the 2018-2019 race season. Please visit this post about buying runDisney bibs through a Travel Agent for the 2019-2020 season. ***
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.
And if you are totally new to runDisney, check out this post that covers pretty much every runDisney question you might have!
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 have 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.
runDisney Bib 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 to another runner. They will need to purchase a package, and there will be a small fee included with the transfer, but- hey- that’s better than losing out! 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 runDisney deferrals are a dead deal now.
But see the transfer option above. You can still get your money back when you book with a TA who contracts for bibs.
runDisney Bib Refunds
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 so the general rule is NO, we don’t do refunds. 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.
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.
runDisney Bib come with 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.
Annual Pass Holders Exemption
If you are an AP holder, there are options for you to waive the ticket requirement. Huzzah!
However, these are very limited. We can only book a certain amount of DVC/AP/Locals as bib only purchases. See above: this is Disney’s rules, not ours!
This is new for 2018-2019. We don’t require everyone in the room to be an AP any longer but your non-AP holder roommates will need to purchase discounted tickets at a later date. Win all around!
DVC runDisney Bib Sales Through a Travel Agent
If you are a DVC holder: GREAT NEWS.
We have just gotten the go-ahead to book bibs for DVC members who have confirmed DVC room reservations.
I’m going to repeat this, though: These are very limited. We can only book a certain amount of DVC/AP/Locals as bib only purchases. See above: this is Disney’s rules, not ours!
Here’s how this works:
You MUST verify your DVC reservation 90 days before the event (so you don’t have to have a current reservation at the time you request your bib) – and you MUST verify AP 30 days before.
If you aren’t DVC but staying in a DVC reservation that’s fine! We can work with that.
If you aren’t AP then you’ll still need to buy a ticket- so keep this in mind.
We do add a small fee to the purchase price of the bibs to cover administration costs.
Bibs are transferable, but if a DVC reservation is transferring to a non-DVC reservation person, they have to get the whole package.
Got it? If you have questions, let us know.
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
Alright- who’s ready to runDisney in 2018/2019? Let us know how we can help!
If you decide not to work with a travel agent on your next runDisney race, I’m still here for you.
Check out this runDisney registration tips post: it covers the NEW registration process starting with the July registrations for the Marathon weekends.
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)