WDW after makes more sense...to us.

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by scribega, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. scribega

    scribega Where's Perry??

    Jul 12, 2007
    One of the many things I see on the DCL threads is that people enjoy going to WDW first then the cruise instead of WDW after the cruise. We booked our first Cruise/WDW trip for this September - 4 night aboard the dream. The WDW before or after issue got me thinking. So I analyzed it.

    Cruise then WDW
    Sat. - leave house about 6am and drive down to Downtown Disney. Do dinner and other things and then head to hotel by port.
    Sun - cruise starts
    Thur - cruise ends, drive over to WDW, check in and be to park by 11.
    Friday and Saturday - parks
    Sunday - a 2-3 hours in park then head home.
    So in the above we do a 4 night cruise and 3 nights at WDW. We get two full days at WDW, one mostly full day and then one with a few hours. In this scenario I would only need to take 5 days off from work.

    WDW then Cruise.
    Thurs - leave house about 6am and drive to WDW. Check in and at parks probably about 3pm.
    Friday & Saturday - parks
    Sunday - park for 2-3 hours and then to port.
    Sunday - Thurs - cruise.
    Thurs - leave cruise and then head home.
    So in the above we do a 4 night cruise and 3 nights at WDW. We get two full days at WDW, 1 half day, 1 day with a few hours. In this scenario I would need to take 6 days off from work.

    Doing the Cruise then WDW seems less rushed and gives us more time plus that little extra time at DTD.

    Love to hear comments and other people's experiences.
  2. DznyCrzy11

    DznyCrzy11 "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference wh

    Jun 28, 2011
    We are also doing our first cruise/WDW split this year. Option 1: Stay at WDW 8/31 until 9/5. On 9/5 leave for port and return from cruise on 9/8. Option 2: Leave port on 9/1, arrive back 9/5 and check into WDW until 9/8 or 9/9 (planning on going with 9/9 for right now). We chose option 2 in case we do not love the cruise at least we know we love WDW, lol. Plus, I wanted to do something different for our anniversary and we'll be on the cruise then so it works great!! Going to WDW afterwards just sounds better to me.

    Sent from my GalaxyS II
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  4. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    This is the same conclusion we came to as well. The timing of the cruise answered the question for us because we only want to use 5 vacation days. I think I would prefer wdw first, but at least now I still have something to look forward to when I get of the wonderful ship.
  5. DizneyNutz

    DizneyNutz DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2004
    When DW and I go to WDW we always try to have at least a day and a half to get unpacked and rest before returning to the real world. While fun and entertaining, WDW is also exhausting. I think most people want to have the exhausting WDW part first then get on the ship and have a more relaxed and pampered atmosphere. Although there is plenty to keep you busy on the ship, it is still a more pampered experience. If you do the ship first, you will be going from a more relaxed mode into controlled chaos of rope drops, walking long distances just to stand on your feet in lines. Then it is time to drive home needing a vacation to unwind from your vacation. You will have to be the one to decide between getting the most experience out of your trip or which order would be most enjoyable for your family to experience it. Wishing you a Magical Trip. :cool1:
  6. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

    Jun 29, 2001
    I would do either (and we have done both before) but we prefer to do WDW first as we take WDW commando style and look forward to relaxing on the cruise.

    Also, there was a reason that when DCL did the official land/sea combo package they ALWAYS had the WDW portion first. One of the main reasons was to alleviate your possibly missing the cruise due to late or delayed flights getting into MCO. If you do WDW first and your flight is delayed or cancelled the worse case scenario is that you miss some resort and/or park time (much less logistics involved)....if you have the cruise first and your flight is significantly delayed or cancelled you can miss the ship and that means a whole lot of logistics to get you to the next port.

    So, as long as you book an early enough flight and or are driving it should be no problem but just something to think about.

  7. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

    Oct 27, 2011
    We also did "surf & turf" rather than "land & sea" - it really was just the timing that dictated it for us. We wanted the 4-night cruise rather than 3-night, but had to fit it all into the same calendar week (plus weekends). So doing WDW first just didn't "fit" our parameters. I also had heard that cruising last was preferred, but we loved our vacation. As I have heard others mention, WDW after the cruise helps to prolong the Disney feel rather than the immediate let-down right off the ship. But then again, there is always that let-down whenever we head for home.

    Enjoy your cruise!
  8. disneydork3

    disneydork3 Obsessed with Disney

    Mar 11, 2012
    Either would be fine I mean what could be wrong with a Disney vacation. We did a 5 night cruise in June and WDW after. It was our first cruise buy 7th WDW trip. The one thing I will say is that we were so relaxed after the cruise that it was a big adjustment to make. The cruise is nice because everything is an elevator ride away. WDW was lines, waiting for transportation, crowds and paying for our meals without our server waiting on us :rotfl2: So as long as you go into it knowing that you'll be relaxed and then busy, you'll be just fine!!
  9. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Feb 25, 2003
    This is what we have found to be the case for us after 8 cruises combined with WDW or DL. After not having to deal with the crowds or lines on the ship, WDW kind of ruins the relaxing mood we have after the cruise. We have planned WDW after twice. The first time we went with friends and it was okay, but DS had strep the morning we got off the ship so wasn't quite as fun for him. The second time we never made it to the park. The kids fell asleep on the way to Orlando after a delayed departure after the PC cruise, so we just went to the hotel and were able to get an early check in so we could nap, then spent the evening at DTD before our flight out the next day.

    You don't say what kind of tickets you have. We only go to the parks on days we can stay from opening until closing. We use 10 day NE passes. You would be using four days worth of tickets but only spending three days worth of time in the parks.
  10. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    For a Sun- Thurs cruise with a car for the OP that makes sense.

    Out of driving range brings other considerations into play. for us:
    First, travel allowances for any delays
    Second, time change of 3 hours
    Three, family in area (4 hour drive one way)
    Four, maximizing the cost of airfare by including the family visit (need minimum of 2 weeks vacation to pull it off, plus weekends on both ends)

    Our scenario includes a flight from Seattle and having to allow for any delays due to weather. Our cruise was Dec 8. We flew out the 6th.

    Direct flight to MCO (one per day) Leaves around 9am pacific time and arrives MCO 5:15. (Have to head to the airport from our house at 5 am)
    Non direct flights left earlier and arrived later.
    We flew out two days before just in case of flight cancellations, weather, snow or ice. Figured once in the air we have a good chance of both us and the luggage arriving on time. This plane basically flies there and then flies back in one day. Best chance of avoiding delays. Advised not to fly in with less than 24 hours before boarding the ship on the dis.

    One time we did the overnight redeye (weekend only)and we were exhausted. That was a wasted day and everyone was cranky, not in true DIsney spirits.
    For the cruise, with the time difference, we wanted one morning to sleep in and be rested. Fear of being too exhausted to hear an unusual alarm clock/non functioning alarm clock.

    What we did
    Flew in on Thursday for Sat 7 day cruise.
    Post cruise 4 night WDW stay, then family 6 night (7 nights) stay
    2 night post family stay WDW with late arrival
    Flew home

    We were so spoiled on the cruise and had such fantastic servers that the parks were a let down in comparison.

    On the pros of precruise stay
    Excitement is high and everything seemed fantastic.
    Allowed time for any lost luggage to catch up before boarding the cruise.
    Taking the DCL transport from resort made the anticipation even better.
    One con- maybe- being too excited about the cruise to enjoy it- the "Are we there yet?" concept

    Pros of postcruise stay
    Time to get your landlegs back.
    Last minute shopping. Time to mail things home

    Cons of postcruise stay
    You notice the difference in food and cleanliness more. Fantasy was so new it had the new ship smell. WDW seemes old and tired in comparison afterwards.

    For us, the best flight home is after 5pm. Flying home day of disembarkation would be a very long day. Leaving on a non direct flight gets us home at the same time. Makes for a nice leisurely lunch.

    Our plan for next time.
    Fly in, stay the night. Go to DTD. Sleep
    Get rental car. Go see family.
    Return to park do the vacation then.
    Do the cruise.
    Stay max 2 nights post cruise. (that gives us one full day and 2 partial days)

    Hope that helps someone else process what would work best for them.
  11. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Feb 25, 2003
    Definitely a let down to have to actually pay for everything in the park after you have had 7-days of just ordering it onboard. :scared1: Of course, you have already paid a lot for that to be included, but it gives the illusion while on the cruise. ;)
  12. NWmom

    NWmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    When we made our plans for this last trip, we forgot to include tickets in our plans. When we added up buying tickets-- since portions were broken up any longer length of stay passes did not make sense- the various shorter passes with reduced park time cost more than an annual pass.

    (have to add we were also there in September and are DVC)
    We ended up purchasing annual passes.

    In future we will plan that part better as well.
  13. fredgirls

    fredgirls DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2009
    Of course you have to do what logistically makes the most sense for your family and situation.
    Personally we wouldn't do WDW after the cruise again.
    When we did the parks before, we were excited, and the lines didn't seems so long.
    Afterwards there were a few things we noticed.
    1) We still had sea legs and didn't feel great. Some of the rides weren't pleasant :goodvibes
    2) We felt so relaxed and wonderful coming off the cruise, but 2 days in the parks and we were frazzled again!
    3) We had never noticed before at wdw, but after the cruise the parks seemed dirty? I don't know...just not so sparkling!
    4) The accommodation also seemed cheap and old. Guess we were just spoilt!
    5) Suddenly you feel the food is really expensive! I remember having a counter service breakfast the first morning - kids had a waffle and it came with a couple of pieces of bacon. Our youngest said 'Please can I go back for some more bacon' But that was not an option! :goodvibes They'd got used to the cruising' style!

    We still had a good time, but it was not as 'magical' immediately post-cruise.

    Just our experience.
  14. CruznLexi

    CruznLexi DIS Veteran

    Mar 20, 2005
    I have done them both ways we are DVC and the points are less during the week which has a big part of it. In Dec we did the 3 day dream and 1 day pre stay and 3 nights at post. Had a great time.
  15. MichelleVW

    MichelleVW <font color=green>I call them "the people that liv

    Dec 13, 2005
    I've done both and before works better for me. We did a 4 night cruise and then 4 days in the parks in January. I was "landsick" for the first 2 days after the cruise and constantly felt like I was still moving. It made the parks a little less enjoyable!
  16. robandkelly13

    robandkelly13 DIS Veteran

    Aug 28, 2008
    We have done it both ways, and we prefer WDW then the cruise. When we did the cruise prior to the World, we were wondering where the kids club was on day 2:rotfl: It's difficult to go from the laid-back relaxation of a cruise to the running of the parks. I love the parks, but I think it's best to do them first and unwind on the cruise:thumbsup2 Have a great trip!
  17. Lisavince3

    Lisavince3 Mouseketeer

    Aug 14, 2012
    We just did WDW pre-cruise. I think with my anticipation of the cruise I also had the "are we there yet?" feeling and couldn't fully appreciate our time in WDW. Also, for the first time ever, I agree with PP, the parks seemed a bit dirty and many areas were looking outdated. I was thrilled to later see the immaculate Dream and it was such a fun, relaxing way to end our trip!
  18. closetmickey

    closetmickey DIS Veteran

    Oct 2, 2009
    We've also done it both ways. Preferred the parks after the cruise, otherwise it was just too depressing to get off the boat!
  19. darkwing818

    darkwing818 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    We've done it both ways, and after 9 cruises, we've found the best for us is to do 2 days before the cruise & 3 to 4 days at WDW after the cruise. It's a 12 hour drive for us, so getting to WDW a bit early goes along way for our pre-cruise psych. Then spending a few days at the parks & the resort pools is a good way to chill out before driving home :moped:. Trust me directly home after getting off the ship is no picnic :scared1:.
  20. my2princessgirls

    my2princessgirls DIS Veteran

    Jan 10, 2006
    Same here! Our first cruise we did a week WDW first, followed by an Eastern cruise, then home. We were so sad leaving the ship!

    The second cruise we did a week at WDW, followed by an Eastern cruise, then a couple more days at WDW. This was better since it gave us something to look forward to.

    Last year we did an Eastern cruise followed by a week at WDW and it was so much better! We weren't tired starting out the cruise from being at WDW all week, and we had something to look forward to getting off of the ship. We will be doing the same thing in May except that we are finally trying the Western itinerary.
  21. mom2jcg

    mom2jcg Mouseketeer

    Jan 12, 2013
    This was our experience as well. We did the four night cruise, then four nights at WDW. We have always felt that service at WDW was extraordinary, but the cruise goes beyond that. Exactly the way I would put it, a little less magical. Plus, it seemed that the cruisers were more polite and well behaved. Our first lunch at WDW, my 9 year old got run over by a large man with a backpack who was trying to get our table. To add to that, I actually ended up with walking pneumonia after the trip. My personal opinion is that is was too much for us, and we decided we would do either/or but never again would we do both. Time of year could have had something to do with it, as Labor Day crowds at WDW were bigger than we were used to when we travel mid September.

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