Visiting WDW after cruise?

Jen81NYC

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Hi, I planned a surprise first trip to WDW for my kids for April 2020, which obviously didn’t happen. Last week I finally rebooked for April 2022 (16th to 23rd) even though I’m anxious about how crazy busy it will be. My kids will be 6.5 and just turned 9 during the trip (original trip was intended as a 7th birthday gift!) However, my in laws just informed us they’re treating the kids and grandkids to a 3-day Disney cruise from April 15th to the 18th to celebrate their 50th anniversary and I’m at a bit at a loss now. Is it too exhausting to do a cruise and then the parks for a few days?? Will my husband divorce me? Due to school schedules and dislike of FL heat, spring is the best time so I’m not sure what to do.

Will the DC provide so much Disney magic the kids won’t care about the parks afterwards? I’m grateful for the free DC of course but I’m not sure where that leaves my original WDW trip plan and would love any input! Note that I’ve never been on any cruise (any, not just Disney) and haven’t visited the parks since I was a teenager.

thanks!
 

Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
I have no experience doing DCL & WDW but... Go for it :)

You don't have to go crazy in WDW. Take a slower pace. Pick some stuff and don't spend the entire day in the parks. Show up late or leave early. That way your family doesn't get pooped out and everybody stays happy ::MickeyMo
 

Makmak

...
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
I’m in the camp where the order doesn’t matter but the pace does. As a pp said, if you take it easy you’ll be fine. If you try to hit every single meet and greet and show on the cruise you’ll go crazy. On our last cruise there was a “once in a lifetime” family on the DC and the mom was insisting the kids do every single thing to get pics. The kids were exhausted, everyone was crabby. We cruise a lot and cruises are intentionally set up with a lot going on, often scheduled closely or simultaneously. So if you read ahead, take into account your particular group needs, make reasonable plans for parks you’ll have fun.
 

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  • mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    Hi, I planned a surprise first trip to WDW for my kids for April 2020, which obviously didn’t happen. Last week I finally rebooked for April 2022 (16th to 23rd) even though I’m anxious about how crazy busy it will be. My kids will be 6.5 and just turned 9 during the trip (original trip was intended as a 7th birthday gift!) However, my in laws just informed us they’re treating the kids and grandkids to a 3-day Disney cruise from April 15th to the 18th to celebrate their 50th anniversary and I’m at a bit at a loss now. Is it too exhausting to do a cruise and then the parks for a few days?? Will my husband divorce me? Due to school schedules and dislike of FL heat, spring is the best time so I’m not sure what to do.

    Will the DC provide so much Disney magic the kids won’t care about the parks afterwards? I’m grateful for the free DC of course but I’m not sure where that leaves my original WDW trip plan and would love any input! Note that I’ve never been on any cruise (any, not just Disney) and haven’t visited the parks since I was a teenager.

    thanks!
    What I would recommend is to do WDW first and then end the trip with the 3 nights cruise. Much more relaxing that way.

    If you are worried about the total lentgh of the trip, you can always make the pre-cruise trip a bit shorter but treat your family with an hotel upgrade (ex: moderate if you originally planned to go value, or deluxe if you originally planned to go moderate). Sometimes, when we pay more for a stay, we tend to plan a little bit more down time to take advantage of the resort.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    I understand that sometimes the calendar just doesn't fit to do parks followed by cruise. That is my preference, but we have done it the opposite, with the parks following the cruise. Pick your highlights for each park and know that you can't do everything in a short post-cruise visit. If DH is really reluctant, maybe chose a resort where he would enjoy hanging out while you and the kids go to the parks. The post-cruise visit continues the Disney feeling, rather than early debarkation straight to the airport and home, which can feel like "ugh, vacation is over."
     

    hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    I've done both ways (Disney then Cruise and Cruise then Disney), can't say it makes that much difference. Cruises tend to be more relaxing however a 3 night cruise would be the least relaxing of the cruise lengths, especially if it's your first one, you will want to try and do "everything" which can be overwhleming. I'd say you could maybe get some of the character interactions done on the cruise and then not need to do them in the parks.
     
  • Quellman

    Donald Duck
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2014
    I've done both ways (Disney then Cruise and Cruise then Disney), can't say it makes that much difference. Cruises tend to be more relaxing however a 3 night cruise would be the least relaxing of the cruise lengths, especially if it's your first one, you will want to try and do "everything" which can be overwhleming. I'd say you could maybe get some of the character interactions done on the cruise and then not need to do them in the parks.
    Absolutely Agree with tis reasoning. I have done cruise/WDW both ways. I've also done back to back cruises a 3/7 and a 4/3. Three night cruises are barely time to unpack before you have to repack. For the OP, it honestly doesn't matter what order they do it in for terms of 'relaxation'. Granted I think cruising second is generally preferable for our family. No need to plan your day, stand in ride lines etc. Food on demand. Lounging, finding activities and trivia. Kids clubs.

    I also agree with the 'do everything' mentality by first time cruisers. The ships energy is very different on a 3 nighters vs even a 4 nighter. Could be because it is over the weekend, so more people are able to try it out.
     

    AgentMama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2016
    Do whatever order works for your family. We've done both and think either way is a good time. The trip and speed are whatever you make it. If doing WDW after DC fits best in your plans, you'll still have a good time.
     

    Jen81NYC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2020
    Thanks, all! Unfortunately, it has to be cruise and then parks (if I do parks) because of the way school break hits. Should I just give up on the WDW trip? I was so excited about it for last spring and had so much prepared and done but now it seems daunting and since the in laws are not keeping it a secret, it’s not really the fun surprise trip I originally planned. Agreed that a 3-night cruise does not seem relaxing tbh but I guess it’s in laws’ preference. Aah..so conflicted! (First world problem i know!). It just feels like stuff i was excited about (meet and greets, for ex) will kind of be done by the cruise? Even fireworks, right?
     

    Jen81NYC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2020
    I've done both ways (Disney then Cruise and Cruise then Disney), can't say it makes that much difference. Cruises tend to be more relaxing however a 3 night cruise would be the least relaxing of the cruise lengths, especially if it's your first one, you will want to try and do "everything" which can be overwhleming. I'd say you could maybe get some of the character interactions done on the cruise and then not need to do them in the parks.
    Thanks! Tbh, I don’t think I’ll try to do everything on a cruise (I’m lazy) but maybe I’m a secret cruise person and I’ll want to. I don’t even know what there is to do! I just assumed it would be lots of pool time plus Disney characters around but sounds like that’s not accurate!
     

    hdrolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2014
    Thanks! Tbh, I don’t think I’ll try to do everything on a cruise (I’m lazy) but maybe I’m a secret cruise person and I’ll want to. I don’t even know what there is to do! I just assumed it would be lots of pool time plus Disney characters around but sounds like that’s not accurate!
    It's hard to say how Covid restrictions will play into cruising once they start back up but there is always something to do, or not, on a cruise. With a 3 day you will likely not have a seaday, probably two parts. Castaway will be lovely for a beach day and probably pretty easy to enjoy. On the ship itself, yes, there are pool but they get crowded. There will be activities for the kids, and meet and greets with the characters. You can probably find some daily planners from previous cruises to see what might be likely, but again, covid... it may be different when things start back up. Honestly? It's your choice, you can relax and just enjoy the ship and go with the flow, or plan things down to the minute... much like any Disney vacation :)
     

    Jen81NYC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2020
    It's hard to say how Covid restrictions will play into cruising once they start back up but there is always something to do, or not, on a cruise. With a 3 day you will likely not have a seaday, probably two parts. Castaway will be lovely for a beach day and probably pretty easy to enjoy. On the ship itself, yes, there are pool but they get crowded. There will be activities for the kids, and meet and greets with the characters. You can probably find some daily planners from previous cruises to see what might be likely, but again, covid... it may be different when things start back up. Honestly? It's your choice, you can relax and just enjoy the ship and go with the flow, or plan things down to the minute... much like any Disney vacation :)
    Thanks! That’s helpful. My main motivator of planning the original trip so much was “how to do fun stuff while minimizing time in lines bc my two boys can be royal pains”. Is there the same possible “waiting around for fun stuff” issue with cruises? Similarly, any planning for WDW trip will have that in mind too. I just know how kid whining/meltdowns can derail stuff so i made sure to plan early reservations and FPs. Staying at poly to maximize transportation options although tempted by Contemporary, that kind of thing.
     





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