As you can see from the 31-Days of Disney posts I’ve been writing, we have experienced both the Disney Parks and the Disney Cruise Line. Shortly after we arrived at our stateroom on the Disney Dream, my husband said, “This is amazing. I don’t care if we never step foot in the parks again…this is the way we are doing Disney from now on.” Wow! That certainly tells you his view, doesn’t it? But, I want to break it down for you, and maybe you will see why we love both!
Advantages of a Disney Cruise:
#1: You get a bigger bang for your buck on a Disney Cruise. To compare it to a Disney vacation, you would need to stay at a Deluxe resort, have the Deluxe Dining Plan, and length of stay tickets. Seriously, I am not joking, the Disney Cruise is very comparable in price to that type of a Disney parks vacation.
#2: A Disney Cruise is a relaxing Disney experience. There is not the prep work, early booking of dining and Fastpasses, planning your park days, etc. like there are with a Walt Disney World vacation. You just get on the boat and go! It is so much more relaxing, with the Disney experience we have come to love. You certainly return home relaxed and ready for the next cruise!
#3: Characters are everywhere. We saw more characters on our 4-night cruise than we typically see in a 6 or 7 night Walt Disney World Resort stay. Not only are they in the common areas almost all day and into the evening, they are also in the kids’ clubs and sometimes just wandering the halls. We caught Belle and Cinderella both without a handler, walking about the ship. They happily stopped for an autograph and photo with my daughter.
#4: You wake up in a new place everyday. This is an aspect of cruising in general that I find so fascinating. You get to unpack once, and wake up in a new place every morning. Plus, you can get a little taste of different cultures and peoples and then move on to the next place. It’s a great way to see parts of the world without a lot of planning!
#5: The food is plentiful and amazing. There is so much variety of food, plus the rotational dining aspect, that you may not eat the same thing twice! Plus, the late night quick service and 24 hour room service add value to your cruise fare and experience.
Advantages to the Walt Disney World Resort:
#1: Attractions. Let’s face it, everyone who goes to Walt Disney World will look forward to taking a spin on Dumbo or a dive down Splash Mountain. You won’t have this on Disney Cruise Line. The closest you’ll get to an attraction is the AquaDuck :).
#2: There is SO much to do. I had mentioned before that there is a lot to do on a Disney Cruise Ship. For sure! But, at the same time, there is so much at Disney to see and do, that it is nearly impossible to do it all in a typical 6 or 7 night stay. It’s nearly impossible to be bored.
#3: There is plenty of room for everyone. An average family of 5 can stay in a very spacious suite or villa at Walt Disney World for a decent nightly rate. If you want the space of a suite or villa on DCL, you have to pay a pretty penny and either get connecting rooms or a Concierge Level suite.
#4: You can stay connected to family. While in the Disney parks, you can take advantage of free wi-fi all over Disney property. When you are on a cruise, you have to pay extra to have access to wi fi. Being out at sea isn’t good for connectivity, and you will be off line for the length of your cruise. This is not necessarily a bad thing…..but it may be a factor in your decision.
#5: Character dining. As of now, there are not a lot of character dining options on DCL. There is a Disney Jr. Breakfast and a princess tea party on longer sailings. However, if you want a true character dining experience, you will certainly find that at the Walt Disney World Resort.
So did I just make your decision harder or easier? Which do you prefer…Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line?