First off, let it be said that neither a Disney World vacation nor a Disney cruise vacation is a bad choice for a trip. Both experiences have amazing Cast Members, wonderful scenery, fantastic amenities, and delicious food, so you really cannot go wrong with this decision! Either trip can provide you with a magical, stimulating, and relaxing vacation. However, there are a few factors that will help you determine which excellent trip is more well-suited to you and your traveling companions. Here are five things to consider when you are trying to decide between a Walt Disney World vacation and a trip with Disney Cruise Lines!
5) Age of travelers. When it comes to character interactions and attractions, Walt Disney World clearly has more, simply due to its size and scope. If you have young children and are looking for some memorable Character Meet n’ Greets, then the parks are probably the place for you. There will also be more rides and attractions that are kid-friendly on land, whereas a cruise might have some more mature activities (and obviously less roller coasters–although there are great water slides). Little kids will probably enjoy the parks more, so Walt Disney World would be ideal for a family vacation with children, but a trip featuring older children and/or adults will probably be a good match for a cruise!
4) Physical capabilities. Walt Disney World usually requires a lot of walking. This might not seem like startling news, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when picking your trip; after all, Walt Disney World has plenty of handicap-accessible experiences, but it is still geared toward pedestrians and roller coasters. On a cruise, the ship is doing the moving, not you, and the park pavement that might pose problems for certain injuries is not a problem onboard. If you have any sort of joint problems or handicaps that might be exacerbated by a lot of walking, then a cruise is probably a good choice for you! This is also a better choice if you have any extreme sensitivity to sunlight or heat, since the Walt Disney World Parks can be very warm and sunny; a cruise allows you to better control your exposure to strong light and temperature, since it is half indoors and half outdoors. (Note: this can go the other way, too. If you get claustrophobic or are particularly susceptible to sea sickness, then the parks would probably be more comfortable for you than the cruise!)
3) Previous trips. Have you been to Walt Disney World before? If so, then you can immediately remove any pressure to experience it. Previous experiences with Disney will also allow you to relax when it comes to travel arrangements or specific needs, because you’re already familiar with Disney employees’ amazing customer service capabilities. Again, no matter which format you choose–land or sea–you are certainly not going to be doomed to an unpleasant vacation. Disney’s magic–and customer service–is great on and off the water!
2) Desire for travel. Disney cruise ships ‘cruise’ to destinations, so obviously you will get to travel somewhere new while on the ship. If you have already been to Walt Disney World, and you are a victim of the ‘travel bug’, then a cruise is a great way to see new places while still absorbing some Disney magic! Try to go on a trip that takes you to Castaway Cay, Disney’s island–the island’s uniquely tropical version of Disney will remind you that this is no ordinary cruise!
1) Desire for Disney magic. Disney provides magical experiences to anyone who watches its movies, sings its songs, or goes on its trips, so that magic is certainly going to be a big component of a Disney vacation. If you are afraid that a Disney cruise will just feel like a regular, non-Disney cruise, don’t be; with music, Cast Members, dining, and enchanting décor, you will definitely know that you are on a Disney ship! If you want a strong, steady supply of Disney magic, then Walt Disney World is probably the place for you, but don’t turn down a Disney cruise just because you think that it would not be uniquely Disney–it would be!
If you really cannot make up your mind–or if you simply have the time and resources–then feel free to go for a hybrid vacation, with a few days at Walt Disney World and a cruise right afterwards! Once again, Disney seems to have thought of everything, so relax and pick any of these options, knowing that you’ll have the Disney magic no matter which trip format you choose. After you’ve made your choice, prepare for a great vacation, and for some more challenging (but fun!) decisions, as you choose a resort—or a cruise ship! Check out “Top 10 Packing Tips For Your Walt Disney Cruise.”
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!