Family on room verenda
  • On Feb 28, 2023
    Rene from NY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    What is the main difference between visiting Disney World and going on a Disney cruise? We are trying to figure out which is better for our first experience.

    Hi Rene,

    My family loves both vacations at Walt Disney World and sailing on Disney Cruise Line. I highly recommend both! Let me give you some information about each and the differences I see between them. Then you can use this information to choose what is best for you and your traveling party.

    Both Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line offer so much to do. At Walt Disney World, you have four theme parks, two water parks, dining and entertainment right at your fingertips. On Disney Cruise Line, though you do not have the theme parks and water parks, you will be sailing to many different ports of call which offer a wide variety of activities at each destination. There are also tons of activities offered each day onboard the ships. There are many wide and varied itineraries to consider on Disney Cruise Line, so you could choose an itinerary that is most interesting to your traveling party. Essentially, there is no shortage of things to do at either Walt Disney World or on Disney Cruise Line!

    That said, both of these options also allow ample space for relaxation on your vacation, if that is what you prefer. At Walt Disney World, while you can access all of the theme parks and water parks, you do not have to do so. We have absolutely spent wonderful vacations simply hanging out at our Disney World resort hotel, enjoying the pool and the dining locations. The same can be said for Disney Cruise Line. While you can choose to take advantage of the ample schedule of activities on the ship and get off the ship for a Port Adventure at each port of call, you could also choose to remain on the ship during ports of call and relax by the pool or in one of the many lounges.

    One area which may make you consider a Disney Cruise Line sailing more is the activities offered by age range. Disney Cruise Line offers amazing Youth Activities. For children between the ages of 3 and 17, there are options offered for spaces that they can explore and hang out staffed by Disney Cruise Line Youth Counselors. These options are included with your cruise fare and offer high-quality, exciting youth programming for nearly all hours of the day! For children ages 6 months to 3 years (or 1 year to 3 years on Transatlantic, Hawaii, and Panama Canal sailings), you can book the "it's a small world" nursery. This lovely space can care for the youngest of cruisers; however, do be aware that it is an additional charge.

    Of course the cost of a trip is always a consideration. Depending on the length of stay and what you choose to do, you could create a Walt Disney World trip or a Disney Cruise Line cruise that would be more or less expensive than the other. I suggest that you head to each of the links I provided earlier to Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line and start to tinker with what kind of vacation you might want to see how much each would cost.

    Rene, I have come up against the space that I have to answer, and I'm not sure that I gave you - or myself - a definitive answer! The bottom line is that both Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line are wonderful vacations, and which you decide to do first really depends on you and your traveling party. Please do reach back out if we can help you further with this decision!

    ~ Mona Leigh
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Meet the Panelist: Mona Leigh, Maryland

I am a wife and mother who works in children's technology design and research. When I'm not at work or with my family, I'm often planning a Walt Disney World trip for my family or friends. I'm a Disney Vacation Club Member, and am excited to help you plan your Disney vacation!  Learn More About Mona Leigh

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