Disneyland or Disney Cruise?

Teacher who loves Disney

Earning My Ears
Jun 21, 2019
My husband and I have been to Disney World more times than I can count. We go almost every year for our anniversary and his birthday. For my 30th birthday in February we want to do something different. We haven’t been to Disneyland or on a Disney Cruise yet. At first I wanted to go to Disneyland, but after reading and watching videos about cruises, I am intrigued. Which one should we do?


Find the Rebel Scum!
Feb 8, 2013
Both are great but I recommend the cruise. We never went on one in the past before either. I get motion sick but everyone was talking about how great they are. We tried DCL in 2012 and have our 8th cruise booked now. Can’t believe we waited so long to try one 🚢⚓🚢⚓
  • ludari

    DIS Veteran
    Dec 4, 2010
    I live about 10-miles from Disneyland and as a AP holder I visit all the time. I'm also an avid cruiser and have sailed on DCL more than any other cruise line. Considering both your options I would lean more towards going on a Disney Cruise. Personally I feel you experience more of that Disney Magic on one of their ships. If you are leaning more towards a Disney Cruise I suggest you select at least 7 days or more if your budget allows. Here's an idea, why not sail on DCL on a Mexican Rivera Cruise departing from San Diego (yeah, I know you miss Castaway Cay) but then either before or after the cruise you can do a quick trip to Disneyland. Good luck with your decision.


    Earning My Ears
    Jun 22, 2019
    I agree with ludari - do both if you can!

    Years ago we booked a DCL trip out of Galveston but ended up canceling it. I still regret it, but something came up with dates and kids. I can't recall. But we ended up going to DL instead. :laughing:

    If you can't do both, I would say cruise because it's on my bucket list!

  • YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Sep 16, 2014
    The good news is that there's no wrong choice here.

    I was in the same boat as you a few years ago--hadn't ever been to Disneyland, hadn't ever done a cruise, had done WDW countless times. I ended up doing Disneyland and then DCL within the same year, and they're two hugely different experiences, and both worth doing.

    Disneyland is more similar to WDW in terms of being an on-your-feet vacation, the attractions, and so forth. I really enjoyed seeing what was the same and what was different, and it was weirdly satisfying to see the original versions of things. So if you wanted a WDW-like experience that has a few surprises for you, Disneyland's a great move. It's only half as many parks as WDW, true, but we happily filled the equivalent of four full days there.

    The cruise is a whole different animal. While a lot of the theming carries over and there are characters and so forth, it's a much different vacation feel--and a much slower one. You can keep busy throughout the whole day on the ship if you choose to attend lots of activities, but even then it's mostly sedentary stuff (trivia games, bingo, etc.). The exception is if you do Star Wars or Marvel Day at Sea; my own cruise was an MDAS itinerary and the actual Marvel day was very hectic and almost overwhelming--but tons of fun for me as a Marvel fan. I had a fantastic time on my cruise--while I don't have a burning need to do it again (at least not solo), I'm glad I went. The one anti-cruise thing I'll say is that I personally don't see cruising as a good way to visit other countries--you end up with extremely limited time in port, and the port area I experienced in Cozumel was extremely touristy with a lot of pushy salespeople. I had a better time when I went back to the ship and just spent the port day relaxing by the pool. That's partly down to one's traveling style, though; I like to be able to just wander, and it turns out that's not necessarily an option--you're probably better off making arrangements for an excursion or to go to a resort beach if you're going to get off the ship.

    Cruising Engineer

    DIS Veteran
    Apr 18, 2018
    If you are planning this for February, then go for the cruise. The Wonder, normally on the west coast during the spring, summer, and fall, will be in the Caribbean and not cruising the Mexican Baja. First and foremost, do what you can afford and plan from there. The Magic ports out of Miami, and the other 3 ships out of Port Canaveral. Have fun on whatever you choose. Check out the DCL threads for more cruise info.


    It's a WDW realty that not every moment is magical
    Mar 18, 2008
    If you've cruised at all before, I'd choose Disneyland. If you haven't cruised before....still edge to DL.

    You'll be amazed at how much less walking there is. You'll compare & contrast the 2 your whole visit. You'll comprehend the vastness of LA not circling around one entertainment entity. You'll get a sense of the chill, relaxed vibe that is LA. You've never seen that at WDW.
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