Florida or California

Updated on February 01, 2008
S.S. asks from Saint Paul, MN
7 answers

Ok so I see that everyone seems to be thinking on the same page here. Last night we decided that we wanted to take the kids to either Florida (WDW) or California (WDL). Is there anyone out there that has been to both? Which is better? I have been to WDW a long time ago when I was in middle school but I have never been to Californai so I was leaning towards that. If Florida were way cheaper I would be all for that. When I went to Florida I saw: Sea World, WDW, Epcot Center, Cypress Gardens, and a day at the beach. We had a blast. I dont plan on doing that much but I would like to know what other options there are other then just WDW and such. I know nothing about California other then WDL and Sea World.
Also my boyfriend is in the Military and he says that in Florida there is a Military Hotel or something near WDW. I know there are some Military moms out there...anybody heard of this or know of this? We are looking to go the week after easter (my daughter spring break).
Did people have better luck booking their vacation online or through a travel agency?

I have read all the posting about the hotels near WDW and I am taking note of all those.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I can't help you with the military thing, but I would recommended Florida over CA. I've been to both, and Florida has much more to offer as far as the theme parks go. Also, Florida has so many hotels right on the WDW grounds now--everything from $$$$$ to $$. My dad actually goes to FL every year w/ his friends to go golfing, and they are able to rent homes pretty reasonably. Most of the time, the homes have their own swimming pool. The one he is renting this year is right in Orlando and close to all of the parks. Good luck and have fun!!



answers from Minneapolis on

We are heading to WDW in 2 weeks. There are great deals for military families including the housing you referred to. I looked at the complex for military families, it looked like great condos! I think you might get a discount on tickets too. I can't think of the name of the program off the top of my head, but google military and WDW and I bet it will come up. I think they have information on WDW's page as well. We went to WDW and WDL as children/teens several times and always liked WDW better, but if you plan to spend time out of the parks and want to see California, go for it! If you do WDW, there are so many great websites and message boards to find deals on stuff. You will already get a lot of discounts with the military connection, but check out disboards.com and mousesavers.com. If you sign up for the mousesaver's newsletter that goes out on the 15th each month, there are great "secret" coupons and discounts, not only for WDW, but all the other hotels, parks and attractions in the Orlando area. Have fun!



answers from Minneapolis on

I have been to both. But I haven't brought my boys to Disney in California yet. It is a tossup. Both states I love to visit. But I do have to say this, and maybe your son would love it, we took our boys to San Diego last August and went to Legoland. My boys are older (15 and 11) but they still thought Legoland was cool. Would have been better if they were younger. We were going to drive to Disney, but just didn't have the time. We were there only 5 days and had every day mapped out because we were also with my parents. So if you have time, you could do Disney and Knotts Berry Farm. Which my boys so wanted to do too. So we are going to try to go back there this summer for our vacation.




answers from Minneapolis on


I am all for WDW in Florida. I have been there twice and Disneyland twice. Florida gives you way more for your money and everything is right there in the Disney Park. Example...
Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, 2 waterparks and Epcot come in a package with free transportation between them all. It takes a week to see it all. (Dining packages are a good deal if you stay onsite.)

With Disneyland, you get in Magic Kingdom and California adventures. Want to see animals - pay again and go to Sea World or a zoo. Want to see movie stuff - pay again to go to Univeral Studios. I can't even think of a good comparison to Epcot. And you will most likely have to rent a car. Definately no jumping from one place to the other on the same day. (Dining package here isn't really worth the trouble either.)

We used Teresa Cory with Small World Vacations (I think she does Disneyland and Disneyworld both) and she was great. Found discounts a few hundred dollars lower than I could after more than 6 months of research. www.smallworldvacations.com

You may want to consider staying onsite. We went two years ago and got a value resort room for $62 a night. It's nothing fancy, but it is clean and they give you free transportation to and from the airport and to and from the parks. And we only slept in the room, so we didn't need a lot of perks anyway. When you think of how much it is to rent a car and pay parking every day, it makes sense.

We also did the dining package, only available if you stay onsite. It is $38 per adult and $10 per kid per day. You get credit for a sit down restaurant meal, a fast food meal and a snack every day. (Both meals come with drink and dessert and include tip and tax.) You can use them however you want and split any meal except the "all you can eat" style restaurant. It was more than enough food for our family. If we had gone offsite to eat at McDonalds, we would have paid the same over a week and walking into the WDW restaurants you pay WAY more than if you pay in advance with the dining package.

There are some great websites out there put together by moms who are Disney nuts - go multiple times a year. These may help no matter where you decide to go.


Recognize that if you go when school is out, the prices are at their highest and the crowds are awful. Trip #4 for me was the first with kids. We went the first week of February, got fantastic deals and rarely waited in line for anything. (15 min tops for the most popular things.) When I went over the summer it was HOT and HUMID and you waited in line 30-60 minutes per attraction. I have never went over spring break, probably good weather, but crowded none the less. I am not a "pull your kids out of school" kind of a person, but for this I would make an exception because I have seen the crowds both ways and I would NEVER take kids during the crowded season.

Hope you have a great vacation,



answers from Minneapolis on

I hear it's popular for families to rent houses in Kissimmee and other places right around Disney World. The drawback is that you have to drive places, but maybe you're planning to rent a vehicle anyway. The benefits are privacy, often your own swimming pool, and your own kitchen. I'm not sure how the costs compare but you'd be saving tons of $$$ on food if you cook most of your own meals. I understand you can find these rentals online. L.



answers from Minneapolis on

i have been to both...disneyland WAY WAY back in the 70's and florida in the late 80's on our honeymoon. I will tell you if you go florida then someday go to calif. you will be let down by california....DL is MUCH smaller.
WDW has changed, i am sure, since we were there but my suggestion would be to go WDW. We stayed in Kissimee (town right outside orlando) and you can get much cheaper hotel rates if you are looking to save a buck or two.
There are TONS of options for all the aspects of the trip..call one or two travel agents to get prices. I am not sure I would go without SOME part of the trip planned in advance.
HAVE A FUN TIME!!!!!!!!!
sorry cant help you with the military part of your ?.



answers from Minneapolis on

We have done both and they are both a lot of fun, but different. If Disney parks are your main purpose you might be better off in Florida--the parks are generally newer and bigger and as someone else said there are more hotels. However, we had a lot of fun at Disneyland and the newer Disney California Adventure Park in CA (my kids are 8 and 11). DCA has great roller coasters for the older ones and some cute kiddie rides--there didn't seem to be as much in between stuff for the 8 year old. One thing we like about CA is that there are a lot of other options too. We have been to Legoland in Carlsbad 3x and love it. We will probably go back. We have also done a lot of things in San Diego--Sea World, the Zoo, the Wild Animal Park and the model train museum. You might also want to consider the weather--although CA has had some bad weather lately it would be less likely to have rain and would be cooler and less humid. If you want to swim and go to the water park Florida would be hotter and there is a big waterpark on the Disney property. I don't know anything about military hotels. Oh, for any of the Disney parks in either location you can buy park hopper passes in advance on line and save some money. California also offers some packages including some of the other attractions like the Zoo and Sea World. Have fun!

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