We’re the first people to recommend a vacation to Walt Disney World. After all, it is the most magical place on earth. That said, Disney World comes with a certain amount of planning and stress. Are you longing for a Disney vacation but don’t want the stress that comes along with a visit to the Disney parks? If so, a Disney cruise might be just the thing for you. Disney Cruise Line does a fantastic job of giving you all the magic of Disney World without any of the stress and exhaustion that goes along with it. Put away the spreadsheets and step-by-step itineraries, skip the FastPass and dining reservation scheduling, and bask in the stress-free atmosphere of a Disney Cruise. Here’s what you can expect to be the same as a Disney World getaway, what will be different, and why we believe the experience will be less exhausting overall.
Exciting Character Meet-and-Greets
One of the most magical things about any Disney vacation is the ability to meet your favorite Disney characters in person. Unfortunately, doing this in the Disney parks can mean super long waits, and in some cases you might even need to think far enough ahead to snag a FastPass. Not so on a Disney Cruise! Disney characters are everywhere on these ships. In fact, they meet so often—and the group of people on the ship is so much smaller than in the parks—that the lines tend to be much shorter. Not only that, there are many hard-to-find characters (as well as characters wearing special outfits) found on the ships, making a Disney Cruise the ideal place to collect autographs and pictures.
Note: The Princess meet-and-greet in the atrium of the ship does require a free ticket, so be sure to snag one before they’re gone.
Thrilling Rides and Attractions
Some people may argue that a Disney Cruise is without attractions. However, this simply isn’t true. While Walt Disney World does indeed have more attractions, and while many of the attractions in the Disney parks are bigger and more elaborate, we think the water slides and play areas on the ships count as attractions. Not only do they count, they’re a lot of fun. You won’t need a FastPass to get on the slides, and if you go during a port day, there is rarely a wait at all. The water play areas are also a blast and have some awesome theming, just like an in-park attraction might. Best of all, you won’t be doing miles of walking in between fun experiences. In fact, you can just let the kids slide to their hearts’ content while you relax poolside if you like!
Delicious Food and Themed Dining
An amazing thing about Disney World is the fact that it has so many amazing dining locations. They are theme parks after all, and most people don’t expect much from the food at such places. Not only is there plenty of yummy food on Disney property, many of the restaurants are incredibly well-themed too, offering opportunities to dine in a small German village, at a drive-in theater, or with favorite Disney friends. Fortunately, you will not have to miss out on amazing food and themed dining when on a Disney cruise.
All three of the dining rooms on each of the Disney ships is themed in one way or another. Animator's Palate is an incredibly unique dining experience, and the new dining rooms on the Magic and Wonder offer an immersive character dining experience that even includes a performance. There’s even the option of a character breakfast on some of the longer cruises. Almost every item we’ve ever tried from any of the DCL dining locations has been fantastic, the food is included in your fare, and—with the exception of the character breakfast—reservations are not required!