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Disney Cruise or Disney World

North Carolina
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Disney Cruise or Disney World

Hello,

I am trying to plan a trip for my 2 1/2 year old son. I am torn between the Disney Cruise or Disney. Which one would you recommend?

Laguna Beach, CA
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1. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

At 2 1/2 I'd opt for the cruise because it is easier and less stressful, but can't you do both? A cruise with a couple of days at WDW might give you a taste of what to see when he is a bit older.

Valley Stream, NY
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2. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

A 2 1/2 year old will enjoy either. Pick what the adults would prefer :)

Santa Clarita...
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3. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

Cruise! Much easier with a small child and more relaxing.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cocoa Beach
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4. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

Since you are close, I'm assuming that there will be other opportunities to return to Florida as your son gets older. Although I agree that the cruise is less stressful and physically demanding -- you are close to your cabin and can easily return for naps or to watch a movie -- the cruise involves at least a 3-day itinerary,including at least one day in a city's port (Nassau on the 3-4 day cruises, and multiple ports on the 7-day versions). Although you can opt to stay on the ship, any shore excursions are going to be more demanding.

As I recall, the on-board activities seem to be strongest for the school-age kids, but it's been a few years sine we were on the Wonder, which has now been replaced by the larger Dream and Fantasy at Port Canaveral.

A Disney cruise can be a wonderful experience, but isn't something that most people repeat year after year, so I'd make the most of it. I think an older child (starting around 5) might get more out of the cruise and be able to remember more. If it were me, I'd start with a few days' visit to WDW, staying at an onsite resort for convenience, and save the cruise until your son is a bit older. However, as the different opinions here indicate, it's really a matter of personal taste and you knowing what your son would enjoy most.

Edited: 16 June 2013, 11:16
North Bay, Canada
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5. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

Having done both and starting WDW with a 2.5 year old myself. If your going for your son to have the best experience I'd pick WDW for sure, if your going for you to have the best experience I'd go on the cruise. I picked WDW for your son because 2.5 is the age everything is so real, they are in awe when they meet the characters you won't get much of this on the cruise. You can enjoy character dinners, most ships don't have them. There are plenty of rides for young kids to keep your day full, on the cruise the most childrens entertainment is in the kids clubs where you'll need to leave your son while you go elsewhere, they do have scheduled times parents can visit in the club a few times a day. Im pretty sure 2.5 is too young for the clubs and you would need to pay to leave him in the nursery but not 100% sure. WDW also has resorts that you can relax by the pool, generally the pools are not crowded and you have several to visit at one resort, on the cruise the pool is packed on a sea day you will not be able to enjoy it at all. Last but not least WDW is half the cost of a cruise and for now your son will be free

Edited: 16 June 2013, 11:49
Tellico Plains...
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6. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

I would also vote for Disney World. You have more options at Disney world vs. cruise. The resort pools and splash pads are not going to be as crowded as the pools on the ships. Also you have more choices when you are dining.

Depending on when you are going the parks may not be as crowded as what a cruise ship may be.

Santa Clarita...
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7. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

I do more DCL cruises than park visits. Cruising is just easier, more relaxing, and fun for both of us. My son prefers cruising and was disappointed thst this upcoming Disney vacation was not a cruise.

There are actually more opportunities for character interaction on the ships in a shorter amount of time. Most of the ships have a character breakfast. We got pics with 8 different characters within an hour. No waiting in line. They came to your table. There are also multiple character meets thought the day and at night.

There are no rides so if you can't live without rides then cruising wouldn't be for you.

Kids must be 3 AND potty trained to use the cost-included kids clubs. This is a new rule. They used to allow them in if neither of those things waa satisfied but they are strict on it now. Under three they can go to the nursery for $6/hour. The nursery requires a reservation while the clubs are drop in and do not. So, to get the most benefit out of the cruise of wait until at least 3 and potty trained. My son's favorite Disney (out of the parks and cruises and Aulani) places are the cruise pools and the clubs. He goes to the clubs a total of 2 hours per day and has a blast. He'd stay all day if I let him. While he's there I either spend time at the spa, gym, on deck in the adult area with a book, or have a meal at one of the adult restaurants.

We've done 7-night and 14-night cruises. Best vacation ever.

Fishkill, New York
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8. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

You can't go wrong either way but I think Disney World is the way to go. You can still take advantage of the free 3 and under and there's lots more space to run around. The cruises are wonderful it's just a little difficult getting everyone ready in small quarters. There's a lot of sitting for meals & plays and I know my nieces are around the same age and 3 course dinners would be pushing it. But once he's 3 I'd say yes, definitely to the cruise! The activity rooms are unbelievable!

Nashville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

You and your child will have a wonderful time either way! My daughter was 2 years and 4 months on her first trip to Walt Disney World and loved every second of it. A cruise would be more relaxing, but you would be a little more limited as far as things to do. At 2 1/2, your child would be too young for Disney's Oceaneer Club. Walt Disney World would give you more options, but will be a little bit more work (lots of walking, longer days, etc).

Orlando, FL
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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10. Re: Disney Cruise or Disney World

The cruises are wonderful, but for reasons that under 3 are free at WDW, and, on the cruise, you'd have to pay for and schedule time at the nursery because he'd be too young for the free kid's club, then I lean toward the parks at that age.