I get this question very often, and honestly the answer depends on what type of experience the family is seeking. A Walt Disney World vacation and a Disney Cruise Line vacation are both great family fun, but the two are just so different!
Walt Disney World
Talk about non-stop, walk till you drop, totally exhilarating fun when you talk about the Castle because that is exactly what happens in Walt Disney World!
So Much to See and Do!
The four parks are a feast for the senses with colorful performances, a variety of fireworks shows, themed restaurants, and of course, the ride attractions where our favorite Disney movies, books and characters come to life! Riding the classic rides with your little one or the thrill rides with your oldest is a special moment to remember forever. You can encounter a huge variety of characters and princesses so no matter which character or show your child is into at the moment, you will likely have a chance to meet and visit the special one for a photo op. With each season comes a different party or festival! Halloween and the six weeks leading up to the holidays bring specially themed offerings with parties, parades and over the top decorations.
You Must Pre-plan!
The Walt Disney World resort area offers so much that it can be overwhelming to try to fit it all in within the visit. You must pre-plan and strategize to make the most of your time. Gone are the days when you can just show up and dine at the most sought after character dining locations and walk on all of the mountains! You need to do your prep work (well in advance) if you are going to have a magical time! Traveling with a preschooler? Pre-planning is especially important!
The Nostalgia of It All!
Walt Disney World is a special place that is a part of the American culture. It has evolved over the years, but that unique sense of old time nostalgia is very much alive on Main Street and beyond. Take the time to visit the older attractions (such as The American Adventure in Epcot and the Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom) and your children might see something come alive that they just learned in history class.
Disney Cruise Line
If you are looking for a more relaxing vacation, Disney Cruise Line is a wonderful choice!
Slower Paced (if you want it to be!)
There are many activities offered onboard and at the ports of call. You can opt in and pack your day with fun activities or opt out and relax. Swimming onboard, kids’ club activities, movies, live shows, cooking demonstrations, sports simulators, the sports deck, family dance parties, character meet and greets and more are offered. Feel free to join or to just relax by the pool and enjoy the wonderful service and atmosphere. At the ports, you can schedule port adventures to fill your day or you can stay onboard for lunch and a spa treatment. We have done the Nassau port adventures on past cruises so now we stay onboard and enjoy the ship while many of the other guests are out for the day. Go at your own pace and make it your own! As my teenager says, the cruise is more about you!
Built In Child Care!
When the children visit the kids’ clubs, the parents get time alone! There is a spa onboard, an adult only restaurant, adult pool and lounges for parents to have their own fun in the evening hours. Kids’ clubs stay open late enough for you to catch the comedian or musical performance in one of the lounges. I recall waiting on my little one to finish up his dance party in the kids club at 11 pm so that I could go to bed! There are two kids’ clubs, a tween club and a teen club in separate areas. Something for everyone! The couples villas in the spa provide that much needed quality time with the hubby!
The magic of Disney is very much a part of the cruise. While you will not be riding park attractions, you will encounter the characters and princesses again and again and in a more relaxed atmosphere. Lines are not as long and crowds are not an issue getting to the characters. The service onboard is excellent as your dedicated dining servers and room host get to know you and your children well enough to sprinkle extra magic to make your cruise personal and special. Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line offering fireworks at sea! The magic is mobile, and you can visit far away destinations such as Alaska and Europe in a relaxed and family centered environment!
What are the similarities?
*Great family time where the kids are unplugged from the devices.
*Major holidays are peak travel times so rates are higher.
*There are a variety of options and price points, and there are tips for finding the best options for your family. For the cruise, the various ships and stateroom options can be overwhelming. For Disney World, various resorts and package options are confusing! Neither are one size fits all!
*Using a travel planner at Castles and Cruises Travel will make your decision and planning process much easier! It does not cost more to book through a travel agent, and you will have a dedicated planner to personalize your trip and serve as your point of contact from beginning to end.