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Old 01-04-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
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Disney Cruise or Disneyland?

Hi all! I posted this in the DL forum as well, hoping to get as many responses as possible...

Help! We have visited WDW several times and are looking for a new Disney experience. Our boys, ages 6 and 9, get a nice break from school in mid September 2013 and we're trying to figure out our vacation plans. I priced out a 4 day Disney Cruise on the Dream in a verandah room and the price comes to about $2100 for our family. It's a risk because that is smack dab during hurricane season.

We've always wanted to see DL in CA. I've never actually been to CA ever. We would be flying from GA, but airfare costs are not an issue since we fly on employee passes for cheap.

Any advice? I like the idea of going to DL in September due to lower crowds, but the cruise sounds fun too. I definitely don't want to do WDW in September...still way too hot and humid for me at that time.

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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I am a huge DL fan and a mid Sept trip would be amazing! We loved our cruise.Either would be great.

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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If you want a relaxing time, all-inclusive time, pick the cruise. If you want to go go go, I'd choose DL. Both will be an absolute blast, as Disney is the best at entertaining you!
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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DL would be a "new Disney experience", but maybe not the one you're looking for after WDW; for many people I've met the size difference is quite a shock and often a disappointment after WDW. It is only two parks and there is a lot of crossover when it comes to rides and theming. And I say this as a devoted DL AP! The changes made to DCA this year IMHO would be the only reason to choose DL over DCL if you are actually looking for "new".
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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I like DL better then DW... less walking and more rides But I would pick Dis Cruise over DL or DW any time and so would all three of my kids ages 7, 11, and 14. Regardless what you pick you and your family will have a blast... We are a go go go family and I still pick cruise...

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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I've been to DL in mid September and it was fantastic! Just check the refurb schedule before you pick your dates (usually at some point HM is down and it's better than the one at WDW from what I hear). With kids that age I would do DL, there is so much more magic in DL at that age.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kimberlyelayne
I like DL better then DW... less walking and more rides But I would pick Dis Cruise over DL or DW any time and so would all three of my kids ages 7, 11, and 14. Regardless what you pick you and your family will have a blast... We are a go go go family and I still pick cruise...
Ditto from me! Much prefer DL! September is a great time to go. I'd save the cruise for when you have time to do 7 nights and not risk the hurricane.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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We are going on our first cruise this April, so I can not really comment on that, but I wanted to support the comments for DL. My family and I LOVE DL. In fact we are going again this August. Nothing beats DL in my mind. September is an amazing time to go. Great weather, not too crowded. I would not want to risk a hurricane on the cruise at that time any way. I am sure that my family will love DCL as well, and we have always enjoyed going to WDW but there is something beyond magical about DL. It is the one place in the world that holds my heart. I can't explain it. Plus at your boys' ages, I bet they would LOVE cars land. My youngest little guy loves all the cars and getting his picture taken with Lightning. Good luck with your decision and have a great trip!

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #9
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Absolutely, positively go to Disneyland! It's wonderful and a really special place. And you can see the new Carsland! Go for it!

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:22 PM   #10
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Have you looked at any of the kids sail free options? I believe the offer code is DRM and there are September dates available.

I LOVE Disneyland but if I could afford a cruise I'd take that way before DL. Definitely check the calendar, great weather, low crowd like pp's have said.

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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We have been to WDW 5 years in a row and moved to ca in August. We quickly got APs for DL and neither my wife or me like it nearly as much as WDW. We'd choose DCL in a heart beat.

If you do choose DL, be prepared that it doesn't seem quite as "magical" as WDW. You see cast members in the wrong lands, the castle is tiny (shocked us). There are some pluses (Fantasmic, Space mtn). My vote still is DCL (with trip insurance).
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:42 PM   #12
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We are WDW regulars. We spent 2 days in DL a few years ago. We loved seeing it and comparing it to WDW. Love them both. With everything right together and low crowds, 2 days was plenty of time to see all of DL and CA. The first major difference was how close all the non-Disney hotels were. It was such a short walk. We stayed at Howard Johnson and would definitely stay there again. The second difference was how laid back everyone was. We were at the gate 30 minutes before opening and there was hardly any one there. We walked quickly to Toy Story Mania and were easily the first there. So different from WDW pace. We loved looking for the differences in the rides. Fantasyland and Toon Town were so much better! We loved being in the original park. Where else can you go for something different and still have all the wonderful Disney Magic?

You could also take some time and see the beach and some of Hollywood. The drive down to San Diego is easy. Great zoo there. So much to enjoy in California.

We have also been on a 3 night cruise on Disney. It was an awesome cruise. That was way too short. I said I would never do one that short again. We were so exhuasted when we got off. Did not like the Bahamas. I would stay on the ship if I went again. The entertainment, shows, games and service were incredible. I am not sure if you have ever been on a cruise but the pools are all small on a cruise ship. My kids were surprised at that. We are going on a 7 night in May and can't wait.

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MamaToDavis View Post
I like the idea of going to DL in September due to lower crowds, but the cruise sounds fun too.
I would think the Cruise would be less crowded during that time frame too.

I live in So Cal and visit DLR often. DLR is great... but if you have been to DW, you may find DL much smaller, hotels much more expensive and not as nice.

But there is so many other things to do besides DL... so if you really wanted to visit So Cal and do the many other things as well as DL, then a trip to So Cal is a great option.

But if I had to pick between DLR(and stay on site) or DCL... I would pick the cruise.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:58 PM   #14
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DL is a much smaller version of WDW with not as many parks and a big city surrounding it. Don't get me wrong, for its size and location Disney does a good job of extending the Disney magic. I just know that we were disappointed visiting DL the first time after visiting WDW many times previously - there just isn't as much to do. That being said, we have since returned several times and with more realistic expectations we now enjoy our stays. We do very much enjoy staying at the Grand Californian Hotel.

We've done both the DCL 5 night cruise to the Bahamas and the 11 night Mediterranean cruise. Personally I enjoy relaxing on board the ship and sometime our shore days seemed to be too busy. You get 6 to 8 hours on shore so not a lot of time to sight see. I did enjoy Castaway Cay.

All that being said, I think I would go with the cruise over DL.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:07 AM   #15
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We have not been on our cruise yet, so I can't say for sure, but I think since the cruise you are looking at is only 4 days I would go with DL. We visited this summer after only having been to WDW and absolutely loved it. I could not get over the laid back approach, it was so much more fun than we had at WDW just because I wasn't stressed out about being somewhere on time or seeing everything or allowing time to hop from park to park. You can also take some time to have a couple of beach days so you could still get that aspect of a cruise vacation.

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