Brief: A family with two young children want a four-day trip this summer to Disneyland Paris. They want to maximise the magic by staying in a Disney hotel, and would like park tickets and travel included.
Verdict: Detailed Disney know-how and good customer rapport put this winner ahead of the competition.
Winner: Thomas Cook
8 Central Approach, Letchworth
This shop looked very professional, with a neat and well-stocked set of brochures and smartly dressed staff. An agent offered help at once and asked plenty of questions to find out what I wanted.
She knew a lot about Disneyland Paris, but also checked a few details in a brochure and online. The consultant gave me a quote for three nights at the Hotel New York, staying on a full-board premium basis, for £2,020, from July 31.
This was a little above my budget but the agent explained that the package was better value than booking a lower grade and having to pay for extras in resort. She supplied me with all the details I required and seemed genuinely interested in finding me the best deal, but she didn’t put pressure on me to book there and then. I’d definitely recommend this agency to others.
Winning agent: Ann Tooley, travel sales consultant
"I’ve worked for Thomas Cook for 11 years since doing an evening course in travel and tourism. My favourite places are Mexico and the Turks and Caicos Islands. I’ve been to Disney once but some of my colleagues have been more recently, so we share tips with each other."
29 High Street, Royston
I liked the look of this tidy, well-presented agency, and was ushered over to a desk as soon as I went in. A friendly agent asked me lots of questions before starting to look through a brochure and check the Disney website. I was given a quote of £2,020 for full-board at the Hotel New York, travelling by Eurostar on July 31.
The consultant was quite knowledgeable and enthusiastically offered to look up other dates or answer any other questions I might have. I was impressed by the customer service and would be happy booking here – making Premier a narrow second this week.
18 Eastcheap, Letchworth
A polite staff member offered to help me straightaway. Unfortunately, the Disney booking website wasn’t working, so the assistant gave me a brochure and said I’d have to return or get a quote by email. This was disappointing as I expected the agent to call and obtain a quote by phone.
The emailed quotes were quite detailed: I was offered the three-star Newport Bay Club and four-star Hotel New York, from August 7, but I was surprised the price included insurance as this hadn’t been mentioned in the shop. It was a good package, but the customer service could have been better.
Want to know how you could have scored 100%? We look at some options to make Mystery Shopper's ideal itinerary
Disneyland Paris celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a packed schedule of events, so it’s the perfect time to brush up on your selling skills.
There’s a new nightly show projected on to Sleeping Beauty Castle, leading the audience through Disney and Pixar’s classic tales, along with fountains, fire, lasers and other special effects. There will also be longer opening hours, a new parade and new shops opening in Disney Village.
How to sell it
Clients can save up to 40% on Disney hotels and park tickets with a special anniversary offer, plus kids under seven stay and play free (valid for arrivals until November 7, including tickets for both parks and a free Fastpass).
This offer closes on April 30, but keep an eye out for other deals throughout the year. Be sure to highlight that customers are getting a special price and exciting new attractions – you’re more likely to close the sale if they feel they’re getting a good deal.
Mystery Shopper was impressed by the Hertfordshire agents’ attempts to upgrade to full-board by showing how it offered better value, and there are plenty of ways to upsell even the most basic package.
Children will love star-spotting at Planet Hollywood, in the heart of Disneyland Paris (adults £24, kids £13; attractionworld.com).
For a bit of culture, suggest families add a day in Paris. Try a hop-on, hop-off bus tour (one-day pass, £26 for adults, £13 for children) or a Paris bike tour (£23 each, both dosomethingdifferent.com).
Thomson offers four days’ B&B at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge from £1,590 for two adults and two children sharing a family room, including Eurostar travel on July 28 and hotel transfers.
0871 231 3235
Leger Holidays offers three nights’ half-board at Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe with a two-day Park Hopper ticket for £1,416 for two adults and two children, including Eurostar travel on August 24.
0844 504 6251