All roads lead to Disney

All Roads Lead to Disney (But which is the best for you?)

In case you didn’t know it, I am a Disney junkie. I have been a Disney World pass holder for years, and I can honestly say I have been to every single Disney park and experience—anywhere and everywhere (well, except for Disneyland Tokyo). 

Recently, I went on a Disney cruise, and it reminded me again just how magical the Disney experience is, in all shapes and forms, and how different they are. So, as a luxury travel advisor who has a niche for all things Mouse, I figured it was high time for an overview of the big three Disney experiences and a discussion of which one might be right for you. Of course, this is just an overview, because discussing the ins and outs of all the experiences could fill a book—a novella at the very least. 

But, if you are interested in a Disney vacation of any sort, call or email us. The statement about being a Disney expert wasn’t in jest, and an experienced luxury advisor like myself who does specialize in Disney can take away all the stress, add in all the insider tips and tricks and VIP treatment, and make your holiday truly magical.

Disney Cruise Line

When you’re on a Disney cruise, you are on one of the top large cruise liners available. Only this one is also sprinkled with that impeccable Disney service that they are known for and truly deserve. The cruise line is an excellent option for families (especially if not every member has Disney fever) who want the Disney Magic, don’t mind missing out on rides, and want to focus on shows and character experiences. Make sure to note—while the character interactions on the cruise are frequent, they’re not as diverse: they are mainly limited to princesses and the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto). 

The atmosphere on the Disney cruise is very chill and low key. There are also no enormous lines to see and talk to the characters like there are at the parks. And, as with most cruises, there are a ton of activities to keep everyone busy and having fun.


Disneyland offers a much more robust “Disney experience” than the cruise. There are more characters to interact with other than just the Fab 5 and some princesses. There are more attractions. And then in addition to everything else, you have the nostalgic experience, as Disneyland is the first park of its kind in the whole world.

Something you might not know about Disneyland is that it can actually be a mini getaway or long weekend trip. You can see most of everything in the park in three days and as a huge bonus for families with toddlers, all hotels on the property are walkable to and from the park. So if there’s a toddler meltdown in the works, someone needs a nap, or you just need a little pool time, you can head to the hotel, do your thing, and then easily walk back to the park.

Disneyland is great for all ages, and definitely has the obvious small child benefits discussed above, but it’s also a good choice for little boys since it features Pixar Pier (think Toy Story and the Incredibles), CarsLand, Marvel Avengers Campus, and a Monsters Inc Ride– and of course, all things Star Wars.

And to state one of the more obvious benefits—it’s southern California. The weather can’t be beat.

Disney World

And now for the one park to rule them all: Disney World. As mentioned in the beginning, I’ve been to every Disney park and experience out there, and I can honestly say that there truly is nothing like it in the world. Now, is Disney World for the weak? No. It’s not calm and relaxing like the cruise, nor can you scurry back to your hotel for a nap like Disneyland. But come on, this is Disney World. This is serious game face time, and it is quite simply amazingly magical.

Time wise, it definitely should not be done over a weekend. You need a minimum of five nights to see a good amount of things, which still doesn’t come close to being the entire park. (I’ve been a pass holder for years and still haven’t seen everything). 

In a nutshell

So what do I recommend? Well, the answer isn’t so clear cut (as you were probably expecting). But, there are some key takeaways from each and some general tips as a whole.

Key Takeaways:

  • Disney Cruise Line: A little Disney with little waiting combined with a lot of fun, relaxation, and luxury for the whole family.
  • Disneyland: The super fun full-park experience in a smaller package with great incentives for young families.
  • Disney World: The Disney Mecca. You cannot say you’ve truly done Disney if you haven’t been to the mother land.

General Tips:

  • If you want a “one and done” Disney trip, then it should be Disney World.
  • You could stair step your trips: Do Disneyland first as a precursor that trains you for the marathon that is Disney World. Or alternatively, you could go big and go World the first time out, and then take it down a notch on a subsequent trip to Disneyland or chill on a cruise.
  • If you have a little princess keen on interacting with the big princesses, I would suggest going to World before age 6, as the princess fascination peaks out around then.
  • Boys, actually, can go to the park a little later and their fascination tends to be more long lasting.

Making the True Magic Happen

As you can hopefully tell, whichever Disney experience you select will be amazing. They work very hard on providing the utmost in fun, magic, adventure, and service. If you are interested in booking a trip to any of the three, I highly recommend using a travel advisor well versed in Disney, like The Shameless Tourist. We can help you get the most bang for your buck, get you the VIP experiences you didn’t know you could get, and basically take all the stress and headache away while planning you an adventure that we know you will love (we know because we’ve experienced it and planned it a thousand times). So, ready to go? Call us today to start planning?

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