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Disney World or Disney Cruise: Which Should Be Your Next Trip?

October 13, 2022

Whether you choose a trip to Walt Disney World or a vacation with Disney Cruise Line, you can’t go wrong!  Both offer magical vacations with your favorite Disney characters, but which may be a better fit for your family?  Let’s take a look at the perks of each of these vacations!

Walt Disney World

When you think of a Disney vacation, many people automatically envision Walt Disney World and Cinderella Castle.  With 4 theme parks and 2 water parks, there’s no shortage of things to do!

Fun Attractions

Of course a big part of Walt Disney World is all the rides!  From thrill rides like the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror to more classic rides like It’s a Small World, Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Pirates of the Caribbean, there are attractions for every member of your family.  The closest you get to an attraction on the ships is the AquaMouse water slide aboard the Disney Wish.

Incredible Nighttime Fireworks Shows

Walt Disney World Fireworks at Magic Kingdom
Photo Credit: Disney Tourist Blog

While Disney Cruise Line ships do have fireworks on Pirate Night, it’s hard to beat the scope and grandeur of the fireworks shows in the parks.  Disney Enchantment in the Magic Kingdom and Harmonious in EPCOT will be around until the end of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration.  This means that in 2023 there will be new fireworks shows to look forward to!

Rotating Festivals

EPCOT has several festivals throughout the year, including the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, and EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.  With so many festivals happening in EPCOT, there are nearly always new treats and drinks to enjoy!

Wonderful Resorts

Copper Creek walt Disney World

For many, especially DVC members, the resorts play a large role in a Disney trip.  With their unique theming and beautiful locations, each of the resorts add to the immersion in the Disney bubble.  Although the staterooms aboard the cruise ships are wonderful and comfortable, there’s no denying that there are more options in room size and theme at Walt Disney World.  

More Options for Dining and Shopping

The ships have some great restaurants and shopping, but the variety pales in comparison to what Walt Disney World has to offer.  Disney Springs alone has 103 places to shop and 66 restaurants and lounges!

Disney Cruise Line

On the whole, Disney Cruise Line vacations are much more relaxing than any trip to the theme parks.  There’s no rope drop or running around, but you still get to explore some great destinations!  

Less Planning

One of the best parts about going on a Disney cruise compared to a Disney park trip is that there is much less planning involved.  There are no park reservations, no dining reservations to make (unless you wish to book specialty dining like Palo, Remy, or Enchanté), and no need to wake up early to book Genie+ selections at 7am each day of your trip.  

A Nearly-All-Inclusive Vacation

Other than specialty dining experiences, alcoholic beverages, tips, and excursions, most of your trip is all paid off before you board.  All the rotational dining, buffets, and Broadway-style shows are included in your fare.  For those of you who were fans of the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll take comfort in knowing you can order just about anything from the dinner menu without an extra fee.  It really does make your trip feel more carefree.  

Outstanding Service

The cast members in Walt Disney World are fantastic, but the ones from Disney Cruise Line really go above and beyond in providing personable service.  Part of that stems from having the same cast members rotate with you for each of your dinners and having a designated stateroom host, but they truly make you feel welcomed and even like family.

Amazing Destinations

Photo Credit: Disney Tourist Blog

Disney Cruise Line offers great itineraries to the Caribbean, Bermuda, Alaska, and the Mediterranean.  Plus, Disney recently announced at D23 that the Disney Wonder will head to Australia and New Zealand in October 2023.  There will also be a new itinerary that will take passengers from Australia through the South Pacific, including American Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Hawaii.  

More Manageable for Families

While Walt Disney World is clearly a family destination, Disney Cruise Line makes it even more convenient for families to vacation.  There’s fun for all ages, especially with the immersive and highly-themed kids clubs.  (This can also give the parents a chance to enjoy some adult time.)  Moreover, the compact nature of being on a ship means less ground to cover, unlike in Walt Disney World where you can easily log miles of steps each day. 

Whichever trip you choose, the DVC Rental Store can help you plan.  For trips to Walt Disney World, check availability or browse confirmed reservations for DVC stays.  The DVC Rental Store can even help with discounted park tickets, discounted VIP tours, and even more with their Dream Vacation Planners.  For Disney Cruise Line trips, look into the Disney Cruise Swap Program.  Maybe you can enjoy the best of both worlds, and plan your own land and sea vacation!

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