Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Apr 7, 2011
    Mary from TX Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    trying to figure out which is best 4 family of 6...2 adults, 2 teens and 2 younger ( 6 and 3). We live in TX. Going to a theme park or the DCL. What is the best time of year to go? Which is more cost effective? Little ones want characters. Older ???

    Hi Mary!

    That's a very hard question. In fact, I think only you can answer it. A vacation to Walt Disney World is very different from a cruise on the Disney Cruise Line. Walt Disney World is a very active vacation with a lot of walking, waiting in lines, going on thrill (and easy) rides, watching shows, having to pick from an unbelievable number of great places to eat, etc. It can be done at a hectic pace or at a very slow pace. 

    A Disney Cruise Line vacation, on the other hand, is in my opinion relaxing by its very nature. After all it is just a ship (but a very large ship, especially the Disney Dream), whereas Walt Disney World is basically the size of San Francisco, California. I personally find the cruise more peaceful and I can take things at a much slower pace. You still get a touch of Disney, especially the world famous Disney service, but it's not like the theme parks. 

    For both vacations, the best time to go is, unfortunately, when children are in school! That's when the theme parks are less crowded and for both vacations, historically when the prices are lower. My favorite time to visit Walt Disney World is basically any time except for summer, but my absolute favorite time is early December when all of the holiday decorations are up. With regards to a Disney Cruise Line vacation, I think any time of the year is great, though some of the islands in the Caribbean do get fairly hot in the summer time!

    I recommend picking up the book "The Complete Walt Disney World" by Julie and Mike Neal and the PassPorter book "Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call". There are a lot of guide books for Walt Disney World, but Julie's and Mike's book is, in my opinion, the best for a first time visitor. For a Disney Cruise Link guide book, nothing comes close to the great book PassPorter has! In fact, the PassPorter guide has a section comparing a cruise to a visit to Walt Disney World!

    Write back if you have any more questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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