It’s tricky to choose between Disney Cruise vs. Disney World. Both can be unforgettable vacation experiences and they’re both so much fun, but for different reasons.
So, knowing the core differences between them will help you make up your mind.
In this post, we’ll offer you a complete comparison of the two places to help you decide between a Disney cruise vacation and a Disney World vacation. Stick around!
Disney Cruise vs Disney World: An Overview
Here is a quick look at the two Disney adventures:
Disney Cruise: Cruise with High Entertaining Spirit
The Disney Cruise line consists of five ships built and run to serve hundreds of Disney lovers on sea tours.
The ships are the Disney Wish, Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. The next one will be the Disney Treasure which is set to sail in 2025.
These ships travel to various destinations in Europe, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Disney’s Castaway Cay private island.
There are cruises that leave from Port Canaveral near Orlando, Florida, Miami, Florida, New York, and more.
All these ships embody the entertainment atmosphere that Disney is well-known for. So, you’ll meet the famous Disney characters there.
Additionally, they offer high-end services, food, and various activities for all ages throughout the trips.
- Your kids will have tons of fun with a lot of services tailored to them.
- The staff is so professional.
- Ongoing shows and live activities.
- You’ll feel the Disney atmosphere all the time.
- The food is ok, but not great.
- The pool is crowded.
Related Content: 9 Super Fun Things To Do On Castaway Cay
Disney World: Spacious Entertainment Experience
Disney World resort is a massive 39 square mile entertainment resort located in the state of Florida, near Orlando.
The resort contains four theme parks and two water parks, where you can enjoy endless activities.
In addition, the resort includes many accommodation options in which visitors can stay while on their Disney World trip.
Like any other Disney property, you’ll have a fabulous entertainment experience and meet tons of beloved Disney characters.
- Zillions of things to do.
- The place is pretty organized and professional.
- Daily live shows.
- Incredibly diverse activities and parks.
- Highly crowded.
- There are not a lot of thrill rides.
- You’ll be walking a lot.
Disney Cruise vs. Disney World: A Toe-To-Toe Comparison
Here is an in-depth comparison of the two destinations:
1. Entertainment and Activities
Disney is an infinite world of entertainment. However, it differs a bit at each destination.
Entertainment in Disney World
There are four massive, fabulous theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. In these parks, Disney World offers parades, shows, rides, and more.
Additionally, there are two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
Further, all 32 hotels of Disney World include pools and open-air family activities, like outdoor games and movies.
Related Content: Everything You Should Include On Your Disney Cruise Packing List
Entertainment on Disney Cruise
Each ship of the five has its unique entertainment offering. However, there are many things you can expect from any one of them.
They all have water activities, like splash pads and slides. They also contain various pools and surfing or wakeboarding activities.
Further, each ship has an activity area for each age range as well, like kids’ and teens’ clubs.
Besides all these, there’s live entertainment, character experiences, and fireworks which you can enjoy with your family.
Related Content: Disneyland vs Disney World
2. Characters Meet
Although you can meet your beloved characters in both destinations, the number of characters and the type of interactions differ.
Characters in Disney World
You’ll meet many characters like Mickey and Minnie, Disney princesses, Olaf, and many more.
However, in most cases, you’ll have little chance to interact directly with them when visiting Disney World. That’s because you’ll meet them mainly at a show.
So, you’ll either interact with them from a distance or wait in long lines to reach them.
Characters on Disney Cruise
On a Disney cruise ship you’ll meet a much smaller number of characters compared to Disney World. Still, you’ll have a higher chance of directly interacting with them.
You may simply see them in the atrium while walking. In addition, your odds of meeting the same character more than once are high.
There are lines to meet some of them and the lines are much shorter than at Walt Disney World.
3. Food Options
Disney cruise and Disney World have various dining options and menus, with hundreds of options to pick from.
The menus include dishes for all preferences, including kids, vegetarian, and allergen-free food.
Food in Disney World
You’ll find two dining options: luxury service and Quick-service restaurants. To get the first option, you’ll need to pre-reserve a table a long time ahead.
Alternatively, you can use quick-service restaurants to access food anytime. However, stay away at peak times to avoid getting stuck in long lines waiting for your orders.
Food on Disney Cruise
The options are slightly limited. Each ship of the Cruise line has three main dining restaurants, and one premium restaurant on some ships.
Dining there follows a rotational system for dinner. This means you choose a particular dining time and go to the restaurant at that time to have your meal.
In addition, for breakfast and lunch, you can grab your favorite food from the quick service station anytime.
Food on cruises is so fun because you can eat anytime and there is a wide selection to choose from.
Related Content: 10 Disney Cruise Outfit Ideas You’ll Love To Wear
4. Crowd Size
There’s a significant difference in the crowd size in each of the two places.
Crowds In Disney World
If you’ve ever visited Disney World, then I’m sure you’ve seen that the parks are usually incredibly crowded, especially during the holiday and peak season. So, you should expect long lines and huge numbers of people at each attraction.
Crowds On A Disney Cruise
The crowd is limited since there’s only a particular number that each ship can hold.
That way, you won’t usually stick in long lines or be surrounded by huge numbers during activities.
5. Costs and Prices
As the cost varies according to the accommodation time and the time of the reservation, it can be a bit challenging to compare the prices of the two places.
However, on average, you can expect to pay at least a couple thousand at any of them.
There are also some differences to be aware of. The main one is that the Disney World cost for a Disney vacation is more flexible.
Cost of Disney World
In the resort, finding a way to save some money can be a bit easier. For example, you can stay off-property for your hotel.
In addition, you have a wider range of food selections. So you can pick relatively low-price foods.
You can also reserve through a professional travel agent that can get you considerably lower prices than the official one.
Cost of Disney Cruise
On board, things are less flexible. You pay for an all-inclusive reservation. That way, you don’t have the option to save much money on the trip. In addition, you’ll be expected to give tips to the workers.
The Bottom Line
To decide between Disney cruise vs. Disney World, here is what to expect at each.
Planning for Disney World is full of details, while a Disney cruise has fewer options. Entertainment in both places is incredibly great for all ages.
You’ll meet more characters in Disney World, but you’ll interact more closely with the characters on Disney Cruise.
Further, Disney Cruise is less crowded and slower in pace. Regarding costs, Disney World is more flexible in options, which gives you opportunities to save money.
Disney cruises and Disney World are both great options for family travel and a family vacation!
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