Disney Cruise Line vs. Walt Disney World: Which is the right Disney vacation for you?

in Disney, Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World

Disney cruise line & walt disney world

If you’re a Disney lover, then a Disney vacation is probably on your bucket list. Many Disney fans are annual passholders to the theme parks or are Castaway Club members on Disney Cruise Line, making Disney Parks and cruises their regular vacation destinations. But most are able to take Disney vacations nearly as often, such as once every few years or even once in a lifetime. If you don’t often get the opportunity to travel on a Disney vacation, you may be deciding between whether a Disney Parks vacation or a trip aboard Disney Cruise Line is the best choice for you.

We’re rounding up our best tips to help you if you’re wondering whether a vacation aboard Disney Cruise Line or to the Disney Parks is right for you. Keep reading to find out the benefits of each Disney vacation and why you should choose if you can only pick one.

But before we begin…

Planning a vacation can be overwhelming, especially if you’re planning a Disney vacation. And whether you choose to go with Disney Cruise Line or Walt Disney World, there are many options to choose from in the planning process. What travel dates are the best for you? What type of restaurants are you wanting to try? Do you want to save money or are you willing to splurge? What experiences do you want to have? There are so many questions that you’ll have to ask yourself when planning a Disney vacation, and an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner can help. We always recommend Academy Travel for all of your vacation planning needs. Click here for a no-obligation quote so you can chat with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner about your next Disney vacation, wherever it may be.

Why choose Disney Cruise Line?

If you want to relax…

Yes, Disney can be relaxing. But the most relaxing Disney trip is one aboard Disney Cruise Line. You can experience amazing spas (including a room that simulates the rainforest! Yes, please!), breathtaking views, and even an adults-only beach on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. There are even private pools for adults and kids clubs for children, so your kids can have fun while you get some peace and relaxation.

If you want an all-inclusive vacation…

Disney Cruise Line truly has that all-inclusive feel. Sure, you can get the Disney Dining Plan and pay for all of your meals ahead of time at Walt Disney World. But when you take a vacation with Disney Cruise Line, you will have already paid for your vacation before your trip. Of course, fine dining and spa experiences come at an extra cost. But if you want to walk around the ship and only take advantage of everything that is already included in the cost of your vacation, you can do so.

If you want to explore the world the Disney way…

Disney Cruise Line provides guests with the adventurous feeling of exploring the world and adds a touch of pixie dust. You can visit the islands of the Caribbean, explore the natural wonders of Alaska, visit the world of fairy tales in Europe, and so much more. Yes, you can travel the world on your own, but there is something magical about seeing new places with your pal Mickey Mouse.

Why choose Walt Disney World?

Monorail over Epcot

If you want thrills…

If you and your family love rides and attractions, Walt Disney World is the place for you. There are countless exciting and thrilling things to do at Walt Disney World, from epic attractions like Flight of Passage and Tower of Terror to spectacular entertainment like Happily Ever After and Festival of the Lion King. You will never be bored at Walt Disney World.

If you want freedom to come and go as you please…

Disney Cruise Line is relaxing, but it can be limiting when it comes to planning your day-to-day. At Walt Disney World, you can come and go to the parks, resorts, and other locations on property. Walt Disney World is almost 50 square miles large, so there is so much to do and see throughout the entire resort. You can come and go from park to park, explore resort hotels that you aren’t staying at, and even spend an entire day at Disney Springs.

If you want a variety of dining options…

While Disney Cruise Line offers some of the best fine dining restaurants that Disney has to offer, there isn’t a wide variety of options. At Walt Disney World, that isn’t the case. There is a restaurant for everyone in your family, from the picky eater to the adventurous one and everyone in between.

So does it matter which one you pick?

disney world dining packages
Image copyright Disney

The short answer: no. Every Disney vacation is a magical one, and Disney does an excellent job ensuring that you feel right at home no matter what type of Disney vacation you choose. Whether you’re vacationing with your whole family, your small children, or just as a couple on an adults-only trip, you can have a wonderful time on Disney Cruise Line and at Walt Disney World.

When it comes to cost, the price of your vacation will depend largely on the experiences you want to have and the length of your stay. While Disney Cruise Line can be all-inclusive and convenient, it may be worth it for you to select a more budget-friendly option at one of Walt Disney World’s Value Resorts. If you want the most cost-efficient option for you and your travel party, calculate how much money you are willing to spend and see how far that can get you aboard Disney Cruise Line or at Walt Disney World. We highly suggest working with a travel agent or contacting Disney directly so you can get personalized help finding the vacation at the right price point for you.

Disney cruise line

If you’re interested in experiencing both a Walt Disney World and a Disney Cruise Line vacation, Disney offers Land and Sea Vacations, where you can combine a Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line vacation into one long trip. Because cruises vary in length and you can stay at Walt Disney World for as few or as many nights as you choose, this is a great option for those who want to experience both types of a Disney vacation in their own customized way. To learn more, visit the official Disney website or chat with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at Academy Travel.

Have you vacationed at Walt Disney World or on Disney Cruise Line? Which Disney vacation do you prefer? Share your experiences with us!

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