Disney Cruise vs. Disney Land
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  1. #1
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    Default Disney Cruise vs. Disney Land

    Ok so we're getting back $4k in a tax refund. We have a few small bills that we were going to pay off, but since our kids are 7, 6, 6, 2 and we've never been on vacation, we decided to go on vacation. We live in Pa and are going to drive down to Florida. I've never flown and not too crazy about it, and the thought of dragging four kids under 7 through an airport doesn't thrill me. My husband has driven to Fl several times for work and doesn't mind that 12-14 hours of driving. Anyway we wanted to go on a Disney Cruise. A 3 day Mexican cruise is around $3500. I also considered staying outside of Disney in a cheaper hotel and going daily, but DH would rather do the cruise. Any thoughts, cheap ways to go about either. thanks

    Oh we're probably looking end of summer.

  2. #2
    Registered User Neeley's Avatar
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    Disney Land is in California so I thnk you mean Disney World if you are going to be in Florida. That will ake a difference when researching prices, discounts, etc...

    We have been more times than can count, at least once a year and often more. If we do a 14 day trip we spend around $4500. If we do a smaller scale trip and stay between 7-10 days we spend between $3000-$3500 (we are a family of 4 and both kids are considered adults since they are over age 10). We do not cut corners when we go. This is one time a year when the word "No" is not used. We eat all meals at the diffferent Disney restaurants, lots of snacks, pin trading, t-shirts, etc.... Plus, we go when the rates are the highest (Christmas/New Years are when the rates skyrocket). Going in the summer is much cheaper. The rooms on site are heavily discounted. Also, joining AAA is well worth it. You get a room discount for the different Disney resorts that can really add up. So, my point is, if you wanted to do a trip for a lot less you could very easily. You don't have to spend $4000 to go to Disney.

    I do not cruise due to a huge fear of boats so no advice on that aspect.

    I would reccommend you look at certain websites like www.Mouseforless.com, www.WDWinfo.com (has many great links and the best Disney forums. - you can get great advice there), www.Allears.net, www.mousesavers.com

    You can actually stay at a value resort on Disney property and it can be cheaper than staying offsite. My uncle is General Manager of one of the largest and most exclusive hotels in Orlando. We can stay in the three room Presidential suite (with all of the luxeries you could imagine) everytime we go down for free but don't. Because in our opnion it takes away from the experience. Staying on-site is by far the way to go to get the real, full, Disney experience. It's so fun to come back to your room and have a cute pair of ducks made from towels and wash rags sitting on your dresser, or the kids teddy bears and dolls are arranged like they are having a tea party at the little table.

    When you stay off-site you have to pay $10 per day to park at Disney, you do not get to take advantage of Extra Magical Hours, etc... The benefits to staying onsite are numerous. Plus, you don't ever have to drive one bit if you stay onsite. Disney has a wide variety of transportation options like the busses, the boats, the monorail, etc....There is so much more to do at Disney than just going to the parks. They do have lots of free things. Going and looking at the different resorts, visiting the Boardwalk, Butterfly release every Thursday at Ft.Wilderness, movie nights at Ft.Wlderness(?), Just going to see the Animal Kingdom Lodge is an event in its self. We do not go to the parks everyday and still have not done everythin there s to do there. All-Star Sports Complex, minature Golf, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach all charge admission, but are also great things to do. Downtown Disney has some great stores and lots of exciting things to see and you can always window shop for free.

    We drive down everytime (I am also extremely scared of planes). It is exactly 476 miles from my driveway to the archway entrance of Disney World. It has taken us as long as 9 hours and as few as 6.5 hours to get there. It is really not a bad drive, we have been driving the kids down since they were around 5 or 6. A couple of potty breaks for the kids, Dh and the dog, one stop for gas and one stop for food.

    Another thing to keep in mind is if you go to Disney in August/September, that is when they normally offer the meal passes for free if you book your stay in a certain time frame. They have done this for at least the past three years. I am not sure if they are offering it this year or not, but the folks on WDWinfo.com forums are always on top of this and know when and of the offernbecomes available. The new meal program would cost between $40 -$100 per day/per person. The meal plan is a great thing and even if you had to pay for it - it is well worth it.

    Hopefully, someone can help you out on the cruise info - I just have never really looked into it snce I know I will never go on one.

    Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great time!!!

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