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 Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation

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PostSubject: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:11 pm

Hi Fellower Cruisers,

I was looking for your thoughts on going on a 4 day trip to Disney World and combining it with a 7 day cruise. Has anyone done this?? It will probably mean 2 weeks away with our daughters (aged 5 and 9) and wondered if it would be too much for them?? We want to do both next year, and thought since we were already in Florida ... why not combine the two!! Any experiences ... thoughts??
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:24 pm

We have done a Disney cruise and WDW trip. The kids really enjoyed it! We did the cruise first and WDW second, because we figured that the kids would be upset to leave the theme parks. As it turned out, they were upset to leave the cruise ship! Wink

I'm not sure what you mean by 'too much'. Do you mean, 'too much DIsney'? That's a personal thing. FOr me, there can never be too much Disney. The kids love it as much as we do! If they're into the characters and movies, then you should be fine. There are *lots* of different movies after all, so it's not like you see the same things over and over and over.

I'd be happy to share my experience, if you want to give me a bit more guidance as to what kind of information you're looking for.
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:02 am

Yep, we've done this every year for the past 4. Very Happy

We do WDW first, then we use a cruise to recoup from the WDW. Wink

My kids aren't sad to leave Disney because they are really excited to get on the ship. And this last time, the kids had NO IDEA that we were cruising. I told them that we were just going to Disney. Luckily they were too young to realize that we drove right past the airport and ended up at the port. Laughing

Is this the kids' first time to Disney? If it is, then you might want to spend more time at WDW then hop on a shorter cruise. This last time we did 6 days in Disney then a Disney cruise. I can say that 6 days was enough. But it wasn't their first time. With 4 days, you would have to do 4 parks (yes there are 4) in 4 days. Shocked That will be alot of running. Make it 6 days to give you room for downtime and to revisit a park that you might want to do again.

And no, it is never "too much". My 9 year old cries on the plane on the way home from every cruise. Rolling Eyes She would stay another month if she could. And my 4 year old is still complaining that she wants to go back.

I can help you with the small details....like transportation. The Magic Express picks up at the airport and drops off at the resort. It's free. Then you take a rental car or a private towncar to the port. Stay on property and you won't need a car for the week.

If you go in September, you can usually get the free meal plan offer. And then of course, the cruise would be cheaper because it's prime hurricane season. But we had beautiful weather this past September.

I have all of the character meals details pratically memorized at this point. So I can give you the best ones to hit and the not so good ones to avoid.

Feel free to ask away. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:12 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Michele and Helen.

We spent 7 days in Disney and did all four parks back in fall of 2006. We did take advantage of the free dining plan which was amazing!! We love Disney.

My concern about being "too much" is will they be exhausted after all the fun that both Disney and the cruise will offer. I guess it would be up to us to ensure they had down time and maintained reasonable bed times. We would not do a Disney cruise ... would probably just do either the RC Freedom of the Seas or the new Carnival Dream. Mickey at Disney is enough for us!! I think that 4 to 5 days in Disney is enough.

The travelling to Florida once to do both is what has gotten me thinking about this option.

There are so many options and so many things I want to do ... i wish i had endless time and endless cash.

If we decide to go, I may come back for more input on Disney since it has been 2 years since we were last there. Thanks again.
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:58 pm

FWIW, the Disney cruise is much nicer than RCCL, although it is more expensive. (JMHO) But regardless of which cruise you take, it will be relaxing! Cruising is nothing like the go go go attitude of the parks. Michelle has it right (as we found out the hard way) that it's better to go to the parks and then rest on the cruise ship!

I wouldn't worry at all about being 'exhausted' after the cruise. You will be able to relax as much as you ant on your ship!
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:51 pm

HelenB wrote:
FWIW, the Disney cruise is much nicer than RCCL, although it is more expensive. (JMHO)

One of these days I am going to drag you onto a Royal Caribbean Freedom class. Laughing Then you might change your mind. Well the kids might change your mind. Wink

Livabeth - you know my feelings abot the Disney ships verses RCCL Freedom class, so I won't hash it out here. Laughing So you have done WDW? Then 4 days is enough if you are adding it to a cruise. You have already said that the kids will keep their bedtime. I would add to that, take the afternoon off. We go to a character breakfast in the morning. And then tour whatever park the character meal was in. When the park starts to fill up by noon/1pm - we head back to the resort and just relax (swim). Then the kids are ready to go back to the parks by 4pm/5pm.
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:59 pm

We do the opposite, Michele! We get to the parks at the crack of dawn and tour while they are empty. Then we have a character lunch at about 1 pm, and wind down through the afternoon using Fastpasses, then go home and get to bed early.

Regardless, everyone has to do what works for them and their kids!
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:18 am

Last time we were there we did what Michelle suggested. We were up and out early ... hit the parks during Magic Hours and then headed back to the hotel for pool time. Our girls loved the pool almost as much as the parks!!

We then changed and went back for dinner and the evening. This was great. I'm trying to decide which parks (if we can't do all of them) are our favorite and that we must do. Other than Magic Kingdom, which parks do you feel are a must?? Have you ever stayed outside of the Disney Resorts??

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:12 pm

Livabeth wrote:
Last time we were there we did what Michelle suggested. We were up and out early ... hit the parks during Magic Hours and then headed back to the hotel for pool time. Our girls loved the pool almost as much as the parks!!

We then changed and went back for dinner and the evening. This was great. I'm trying to decide which parks (if we can't do all of them) are our favorite and that we must do. Other than Magic Kingdom, which parks do you feel are a must?? Have you ever stayed outside of the Disney Resorts??

Thanks.

My girls are the same way. The pool is as important as the parks. It comes from living in freezing Northern weather more than half the year. Laughing

I have always stayed at a Disney Resort only because I like the convenience. You can hop on their transportation. You can see the fireworks and Electric Light Parade on the lake if you stay at certain hotels. Some have the character meals in their resort (like the Polynesian has the Lilo and Stitch Ohana Breakfast). I may not be a huge Disney ship fan but I am a huge fan of the service in the resorts. When every hotel worker passes the kids says "Good Morning Princesses" - that is priceless. Laughing And if the kids are dressed in princess gowns - the resort workers adress the girls as THAT princess. Like "Good morning Belle and how is the Beast doing today?" Oh yeah, that gets them everytime. Laughing Even my oldest turned to me this last time and said "Mom, they REALLY think I am Belle" Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Priceless. Very Happy

Yes Magic Kingdom is a must. The others just depend on what the kids like, what kind of rides.

Epcot highlights - Fast Track, Talk with Crush, Nemo ride

Animal Kingdom highlights - Safari Ride, the Lion King show, all of the chracters dressed for a safari - avoid Dinosaur coaster and A Bugs Life if your kids scare easily. Even mine got freaked out and these are the kids who beg for Tower of Terror.

Disney Studios - we like this place. I don't know why but we do. The kids love PLayhouse Disney, the Great Movie Ride, A Little Mermaid and the Backstage Lot tour (train ride with explosion)
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:35 pm

I've only stayed onsite a few days...but we have normally done from early morning to closing with the older kids when they were 8 and 10. I will be at disney next week and staying off site in a timeshare which is more affordable and the older boys will be off on their own with friends and I plan on taking the little ones (soon to be 2 and 3) early in the morning until mid afternoon. Not sure if we will be coming back during the evenings. We have a 5 day pass and dont plan on using it that much. There might be a day where will will start after lunch and stay till it closes. We have to play it by ear as to how the kids are doing. We also want to be able to relax and not be on the go constantly. If you can afford staying on site...it's worth it..for the convenience.
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PostSubject: Re: Disney and Cruise all in One Vacation   Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:42 pm

If you stay offsite be prepared for EARLY mornings (to beat the crowds to the gate) and there isn't really any going back to the hotel until you're done with Disney for the day. We stayed at Orange Lake before (and will again, next January) and it's a big deal to do that extra trek. If you stay at a Disney resort, you're doing it for the convenience. Of course, there are other perks too, but the convenience is the biggest one. Early Magic Hours are certainly nothing to sneeze at either! Although Tour Guide Mike says to avoid them...

If you want to start a park later in the day and stay until it closes, I'd recommend Animal Kingdom or Disney Studios. Both of those are parks that people often spend half a day at, so if you arrive early afternoon all of those morning people will be heading out.

As for which parks to see... it depends what your kids like to do. If they like thrill rides, there is something good at each park.

Epcot has Test Track and Mission to mars, plus the Nemo ride is really cute. Turtle Talk with Crush and Soarin' are also terrific Disney attractions. The World Showcase has some fabulous restaurants!

Animal Kingdom has Everest, and the Safari ride. Also It's Tough to be a Bug (but often kids are scared of this one) and the Dinosaur ride. IMHO, it's the park I'm least interested in, although I'm just not an animal person, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.

DIsney/MGM Studios has the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coaster. These alone are worth the price of admission! Star Tours is fun for Star Wars fans (albeit dated), and if your kids like Indiana Jones they might like the Indy stage show. It's also the place where they have the Pizza Planet and Toy Story characters. You see a lot more Pixar characters at the Studios, and also other Disney properties, like Power Rangers and Kim Possible. The Honey I Shrunk the Kid playground is AWESOME! If you're here late, do the Fantasmic Dinner Package and see the show. I might be mistaken, but I *think* the new Toy Story Midway Mania ride is here too. We did this ride at Disneyland and it is FANTASTIC! Way better than Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters, and we're big Buzz fans.

So, just some thoughts. Wink
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