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Guide to Disney Vacations

Updated on April 5, 2010

Many families believe that childhood is not complete if it doesn’t include at least one Disney vacation. These days, though, it’s tough to choose among all of the different options that you have for a Disney trip. This guide will help you to navigate the choices.

Three Main Options

You have three main choices when it comes to taking a Disney vacation in the United States.

1.     Disneyland. This California Disney location is one of the most popular family travel choices. Now that the California Adventure park is located next door it is truly a vacation that works for the whole family.

2.     Disney World. The other major choice for U.S. families is Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida. This is made up of many different little theme parks including water parks and sports parks and MGM Studios and Epcot Center. Again, the whole family can have fun here.

3.     Disney Cruises. Finally, there are Disney cruises. These let you leave the United States and head to exotic destinations. You enjoy all of the perks of a cruise as well as the many benefits of a Disney-themed vacation. Families with older kids often like this choice.

More About the Disney Cruise

People usually know a lot about Disneyland and Disney World but aren’t as familiar with Disney Cruises so let’s take a closer look at what these are all about. Some of the things that you might want to know about Disney Cruises include:

·      These are family-oriented cruises that are great for people of all ages. They are friendly to first-time cruise ship visitors so you shouldn’t be afraid to try one even if you’ve never tried a cruise before.

·      Many activities are available on the ship. You will never be bored and neither will the kids!

·      Discounts are frequently offered. This means that taking a family vacation on a Disney Cruise can actually be a surprisingly affordable way to see the world.

·      There are many different exotic destinations that you can visit. Take a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas, the Mediterranean or the Mexican Riviera. This is a great way to safely introduce your children to international travel.

·      Take as long as you want. There are so many different Disney Cruise options that it works for any schedule. Take just a couple of days or go for a couple of weeks.

Where Should I Stay?

If you’re not going to take a Disney Cruise then you are probably going to want to know where you should stay when you visit either Disneyland or Disney World. The best choice is to stay at the hotel accommodations that are affiliated with the park. You’ll get discounts, special shuttle service and other benefits. This is particularly true when you go to Disney World.

You see, Disneyland is just a theme park with an associated hotel. Disney World, on the other hand, is a destination itself which contains over twenty different accommodations options as part of the visit. These can be broken down into four basic choices:

  1. Value Resorts. These are the least expensive room options.
  2. Moderate Resorts. These are slightly nicer and slightly more expensive.
  3. Deluxe Resorts. These are even nicer. Notably, all of these resorts are themed around different things: one for movies, one for sports, one for music, etc.. It’s fun to get the chance to stay in a place that’s themed around something that your kids love.
  4. “Home Away From Home” Resorts. These are the most expensive room options but boy are they a treat for your family! You get to feel like you’re staying at a luxury spot with golf and other treats. Sometimes this is nice for the parents during a Disney vacation that is geared mostly for the kids.

Of course, you do have the option of staying at another nearby hotel. Just be aware that these are sometimes just as pricey and don’t offer all of the same benefits as staying at a Disney-affiliated hotel.

How to Save Money on a Disney Vacation

People often want to know if it’s going to be expensive to enjoy a Disney vacation. It can be but there are ways to cut your costs. Here are some tips:

·      Plan in advance. This will allow you to budget appropriately, choosing the right packages, stay lengths and accommodations for what you can afford.

·      Look for good deals. There are often discounts offered for Disney tickets and cruises. The Disney website as well as many third-party websites frequently offer these types of deals.

·      Check with your travel agency. They often have access to really good prices on Disney vacations for the whole family because Disney works directly with them.

Final Considerations

The Disney vacation is a type of vacation that the whole family should enjoy. To that end, don’t plan the entire thing around making sure that the kids have fun. They’ll have fun just because it’s a Disney vacation that features many of the activities that kids enjoy. For that reason, it’s a good idea to include some sightseeing and accommodation perks that appeal to you as parents as well. This will make it more likely that everyone will enjoy the Disney vacation. And if you’ve already done Disney before, consider trying one of the other types of Disney trips (such as a cruise) that you may not have done yet.


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