Want to Go to Disney World or DinseyLand

Updated on November 27, 2009
B.R. asks from San Antonio, TX
25 answers

My husband and I want to plan a trip to take our son to DisneyLand or World. First of all I have no clue which one is better or nicer for him. My son is 3 and will be 4 by the time we go. I have no clue if it is better to get a travel agent or keep doing it myself. I want a hotel/resort that is worth it and nice but very affordable. I have never really planed any trips so I have no clue how to go about this and get the best deal and fits our sons needs etc. If anyone have any good tips, advice, or share what works and did not that helps a lot.

Thank you so much

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S.W.

answers from Houston on

Please call my agent Robin ###-###-#### she has been to Disney College and she will go out of her way to get you the breakfast with Mickey etc., if that is what you want.

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L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

One thing to think about is the travel time to there, from where you live and from where you will stay to the park. Pick a place to stay that is not to far from the park and one that you can go to when tired and then go back with out to much expense and travel time. Went through that with both of my kids and was sorry.

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K.Z.

answers from Houston on

A member of my Kids church plans Disney Vacations. Her name is Mona and her email is magicaltripplanner.com. If the email is not right, then contact me and I will get it to you.
Are you going for your son or for everybody in the family? If it is just for your son, then I'd say wait. I kind of agree with some of the posts about waiting until your son is at least 5. But if you and your husband are wanting "to be kids again", THEN GO, it's a blast. I had just as much fun, if not more, as my kids did. And they were 6 & 13 last time I was there.
Couple tips:
-If you can take a sitter with, then do it. It gives you two some adult fun time as there is so much in that area to do.
-Plan a rest time in the middle of the day, if you are staying nearby. If you stay at one of their hotels there is monorail or bus/tram service. It was great to rest, swim, and then go back.
-Ate one big meal late morning/early afternoon at the buffet places in the parks or hotel. They were very good and alot of fun. Just had small meals or snacks at the room the rest of the time.
Have a Great Time whenever you go.

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Y.G.

answers from Houston on

Hi B.,

We took my daughter to Disney World at just 15 months and she loved it and truly enjoyed it. The parade is just beautiful and them walking into Mickey's and minnies house was just the cutest. My little one loved sitting on Minnies chair.

My sister has a Condo there for the 3rd week of May. It fits up to 10 peolpe and she can rent it out. It is alot less expensive than staying in a hotel. It is about 2 blocks from Sea World and really close to all other parks. I also believe she can switch dates as long as it is way in advance. Let me know if you are interested in renting it. I can email you a link to see the place and get you an amount of how much it will cost.

We've been going there for the last 4 years and truly love it.

Y.

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R.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi there. We are going on our first family trip to Disneyworld in just a few short weeks. It will be just my husband and my 3 year old (almost 4 in January) daughter so we are a similar traveling family as yours.

I would definitely pick Disneyworld over Disneyland. There is much more to do at world because there are FOUR major theme parks: Magic Kingdom (which will have the most for your son), Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

My biggest tip, especially if you have a tight budget, is to go during the "Value" or "Off" Season. I'll include some links so you know when that is but when we're going Dec 11-17, that is part of the Value season. November through the 1st two weeks of December, excluding Thanksgiving week. Also, in late Aug through early September is also a part of the Value Season because kids are back in school. Basically, eliminate any holiday weekends/weeks, Spring Break or any time during the summer. And Disney will sometimes offer their Dining Plan for FREE during their Value Season which is what we got for this trip and is saving us a TON of money. But they basically only offer it during those times so that is the BEST time to go. You didn't say how far out you are planning to go, but planning now for an Aug/Sep trip would be great. And you don't have to worry about his school schedule being interrupted. Also, the crowds are better and weather is more pleasant.

Here are some great websites:
mousesavers.com
They have a TON of information and great tips on going with kids. They can take you step by step through the planning stages. On the left-hand column, look under "Disneyworld" and then after you click that, there are lots of tips listed in a menu such as "How to get started", etc. and there's lots of great advice.

disney.com, then click "Parks" at the top
This is obvious but there really is a lot of great information here, especially pictures, video, etc. and you can get a good feel for different places to stay. Also a great place on this site, if you go to "Disneyworld" on the left side when you are on the Parks page, then to "Plan", then to "Moms Panel Advice" - GREAT place for info from veteran Disney moms.

allears.net
Great site.

disboards.com
another forum site where you can search by topic

My next biggest tip would be to STAY ON DISNEY PROPERTY. This is especially helpful with pre-schoolers due to their nap schedule. It is really nice to be close by so you can go back to your hotel. If you stay on property, you get free transportation around the parks, and to/from the airport. There are Value resorts (lowest price) on property up to the nicest suites. You can find something in your budget.

I'd be happy to share more tips with you via email. [email protected]____.com. Happy planning!

R.

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L.M.

answers from Houston on

FIRST USE A TRAVEL AGENT, especially if you have never planned any trips before. I work for a travel agency in Galveston doing groups and foreign independent travel. A travel agent can help you find the best deal and get you in to the best accommodations to fit your needs. She can also help you plan your stay. There will be rides that your son will not be able to go on. But, there are plenty of things for him to do. For rides that you and your husband want to ride that he can't, they have a ride switch thing. You all stand in line together. One of you rides while the other stays behind with him. Then as soon as that one gets back, you switch the kid and the other person gets to go. You don't have to wait outside and stand in line twice.

Second, choosing which park to go to really depends on the amount of time you have to spend. If you only want to go for a few days, go to Disneyland which also has the California Adventure. Disney World is wonderful and my favorite, but you really need a week there to have time to visit all of the parks and water parks.

If you go to World, go in June. It's a tad bit cooler (not as humid as July or August). Don't go in July. July is when Brazil takes it's winter break from school. And it is a tradition for 15 year olds to make a visit during this time. We went for our familymoon a couple of years ago. There were herds of them everywhere, to the point of being annoying. They weren't very cordial or polite.

If you go to Land, it will be cool in June. We went in 2003 in early June and had to buy jackets. I've also been and July and it was not nearly as cool.

If at all possible stay on property, especially at World. Disney World is HUGH. It takes 20 minutes or so to get from on property hotel to the different parks. Off property hotels are even further away. World offers a wide level of hotel classifications from value, to moderate, to homestyle, to luxury accommodations. You might pay a little more, but you have to remember, nobody does it like Disney does it.

Disneyland also offers 3 on property hotels. When Land was built, the area immediately surrounding it built up really fast with other hotels, restaurants, etc. So, hotels around Land are closer.

Disneyland feels like you are in the middle of a city, and bam there is the park. Disney World is much more spread out and much more in a world of its own.

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A.J.

answers from Houston on

http://www.seeanddo.com/about/mysticdunes.html

Its a time share, in Orlando. My husband and I did it last year. The resort is amazing, they even have childcare. We went to the two hour time share meeting. DONT BUY! they dont harras you though after wards! that was nice.

We stayed for two weeks and even after we didnt buy the time share they were very nice and helpful to us.

The resort offers Discount Disney/Universal tickets!

http://www.seeanddo.com/about/mysticdunes.html

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D.M.

answers from Houston on

Hi B.,

We have visited BOTH parks several times each. You can only imagine what it is like taking four small children to such a place....

The easiest way to do it (if you can afford to do this) is to stay at one of the Disney properties. We stay at the Grande Floridian...book breakfast with the characters (same hotel...you just head downstairs)...then jump on the monorail and head to the Magic Kingdon. Have a fun morning...then head back to your hotel for naptime....Go to Epcot at night for dinner. Better, more fun and interesting places to dine and the laser shows are amazing.
We planned the trip this way with very small children and I was also pregnant. I thought it was going to be a nightmare but it turned out to be GREAT!!! Good luck...remember to make as many reservations ahead of time that you can. Staying on property with the monorail is a lifesaver..you just push the stroller on!
Have fun,
D.

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K.K.

answers from Houston on

We go to Disneyworld every other year! We usually book through disney to take advantage of specials and transportation. Walt Disney world travel....I do not know if Beth is still there but try: [email protected]____.com do not need a car! Take advantage of their free bus services from park to park. You can tell them your price range on hotels. You really want to stay IN the park to take advantage of the specials. WE highly recommend purchasing the 2010 Walt Disney World book from a book store..read up..you will need it! It is not a vacation you just show up for..you have to do your homeword and have a plan or it will be overwhelming! We started when our first child was 4 and she is 13 now and we keep going back! They love it!
Experience atleast 1 character breakfast; book with disney and reap the benefits! You can book your own airfare, but atleast book room and transportation to and from airport with disney. Good Luck and have a blast!
Ride in the AM and rest in the PM.....don't try to see it all your first time! It makes the adventure of going back more fun!

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B.K.

answers from Austin on

Well, I can help you out I have taken my son 6 times!! We go every December my husband, son and myself. My son is 9 years old. We are actually leaving Decemder 6th for our annual December trip!! Disney World not Disneyland!! Disney World is WAY bigger and more parks. You have Magic Kingdom,Epcot,Hollywood Studios,Animal Kingdom!! Disneyland only has Magic Kingdom.DO NOT use a travel agent!! Get on DisneyWorld.com find where you would like to stay then call and book it!! Disney will let you pay a little each month on your package up until 2 months before you leave, any amount you can pay!! I made our reservations for this trip last December when we got back and had til October 31st. to pay it off!!Travel Agents want all money up front thats why I do not use a travel agent. Also eating out is just as fun as the parks!! The character dinings are the best for kids and I make my reservations 6 months in advance or you will be eating counter snacks the whole time you are there. You have to have reservations!!!Chef Mickey's the best breakfast buffet and all the characters come around to your table to sign autographs and take pictures sooooo awesome!!Crystal Palace Pooh Bear and Friends come around to the tables as well. Very good lunch buffet!! Do not go with out the dining plan, it is a must!!!! This will save you a ton of money!! You have to stay in a Disney World resort do not try and save money and stay in a Holiday Inn or something. The resorts are awesome!! I love Animal Kingdom Lodge, lots of animals right outside your balcony. We stayed on the Giraffe side, amazing!! This resort is off by its self far away from everything, thats the only downside, but very beautiful!! The Polynesian is amazing, it like going to Hawaii!! There is even a beach with hammocks!! The Boardwalk Inn very cool lots going on at that resort, carnival games on the boardwalk, very cool. The Wilderness Lodge very cool,beautiful too. These are my favorite places to stay. I can say there is alot to see and you will never see it in one trip. We always 6-8 days and that is not enough to see it all in one visit. We always go December because the Christmas decorations, trees, lights, fake snow in the parks, cocoa etc. It a totally different park during the Holidays!! My husband , son and I love Disney World and look forward to every December at the most AWESOME place on Earth!! Hope your family enjoys Disney as much as we do!!

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N.H.

answers from Houston on

I've never been to either park but I'd say DisneyWorld in FL has more to do. Also, if you visit this website: www.themeparkinsider.com it'll have a LOT of info on these parks & virtually every park there is. The people who run the website & those who frequent there, myself included, are EXTREMELY nice & will be MORE than happy to help answer your questions, even if you ask questions that's been asked again & again several times, it's okay, they won't berate you about it like some other website forums do. They'll give you tips on how to best enjoy your day (i.e. easiest, least expensive, and/or how to best route your time). I encourage you to visit this website, good luck & have a GREAT time!

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J.K.

answers from Mansfield on

I recommend disneyworld too. Disney land was the original but hasn't changed much. Disneyworld is all out and up to date. Current shows and movies that your kids are familiar with an love as well as the classics.
We stayed at a quailty suites "the royale parc suites" which was very afforadable nice and comfortable for our family of 5. It had a small kitchen that we made all of our dinners in and there was a nice free breaskfast in the morning. The only downfall to this hotel was the shuttle that I planned we would take to disney each day was very difficult to catch. The times changed 3 times while we were there and they were just odd times anytway (it seemed supper early or way after the parks opened for the day) so keep that in mind.
Go to disney.com You can request a DVD to help you plan look at different package and ticket prices including food passes, the disney resorts, ect. I went one previous time and stayed at the New orleans resort within Disney world it was nice as well but would not fit my family this time and didn't have rooms with kitchens which we really wanted. I also recommend that you get the park hopper option because you will probably use it if you stay for more than 3 days. We did a full day at each of the parks... which has shorter hours for Animal kingdom then went on to another park after dinner that night. Check park hours for when you are planning on going to plan which days to do what. Then our last day there we went to each of our favorites to do anything we may have missed or what we really wanted to do again as well as gift shop hopping. Planning is a pain but worth it in the end. Most of all enjoy your trip! It will be magical. I wish I could take my daughters back for their birthday but we live 18 hours away and can't drive or fly there just for one day!

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C.B.

answers from Austin on

I've never been to Disneyland in California, but I think you're better off in Disney World in Florida. While Disneyland is the original, it is much smaller, with only the Magic Kingdom park. The Florida park is huge, with several parks spread around the grounds like Epcot and Wild Kingdom, so you can spend a day or two in each. There are many resorts on the site, which I would research on Disney website, to find one in your price range. The advantage is that you get transportation and some other advantages that way. There are also many hotels/motels in Kissimmee right by the parks in all price ranges. If you go in summer, it is hot in a different way than Texas! While the thermometer may be a bit lower, the humidity will be at or near 100% and the sun will be bright. That can make you feel drained. Go to travel sites like Travelocity or TripAdvisor to look for deals. Good luck and have a great trip!

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N.T.

answers from San Antonio on

We have done both and one we planned ourself and the other we used a travel agent. Me personally? I would go with the travel agent because they were able to include so much more for us that I didn't know of, such as the breakfast with the Disney characters, behind the scene passes etc. As for California or Florida? They are both very nice however we had nothing but rain while in Florida and it made our trip rather miserable. I think we had one day without rain plus it was 100 degrees. California usually has the best weather year round. They are both wonderful places to go to and they have most of the same things. There are more places to see in California if you get tired of Disneyland where there really wasn't in Florida. Which ever you decide you will love them both. I will say at age 3 your child will forget the trip. Our granddaughter was 4 and is now 16 and doesn't remember a thing other than seeing pictues. We are waiting for our other grandchildren to get a little older before we go again. You child will have fun and be so excited with all the characters etc. though. Good Luck and have a great trip.

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M.W.

answers from Austin on

Being from CA, I can say that Disneyland has changed a lot over the years. Disney World is much, much larger and you need to plan more time if going there. There is so much to see with several parks. Disneyland is much like the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. They also have CA Adventure next to Disneyland, but we didn't find it had a lot to offer for little ones.

If you have the time, Disney World would be a great vacation. However, if you choose Disneyland (I guarantee that your son will be thrilled with either choice), you can also enjoy that beautiful Southern CA weather and there are many more sights to see nearby.

If you have AAA, you can check with their travel agent. They offer a lot of good deals and valuable information!

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J.T.

answers from College Station on

THere is no need to get a travel agent. I would go to Disney world. There is just so much there for all ages.

Disney themselves are a very good resource for all you need. THere are tons of "How to do Disney" websites out there. Just google it.

They have lots of affordable resorts. The All Star resorts are their cheapest and it goes up from their. It just depends on your budget. I highly recommend the dining plan. It seriously helps control food costs.

I also highly recommend staying on property. Your key card will hold your park passes, you can charge just about anything to your room, have packages delivered to your room so you do not have to carry them around the park, free parking and other transportation, busses to and from the airport and all parks, resorts, and entertainment areas.

And 4 is the perfect age to go! They can get on most rides and still have that wonder that goes along with all the fantasy!

Have fun!

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

i think disney.com has a lot of helpful tips. we went to the one in florida. they had three differeent parks. one mgm i think was all about the movies, another was more rides and i completley forgot what the third was!!! look it up and see which park has the kiddy rides and activities best for his age. we stayed in a hotel that had a bus ride to and from the park several times a day. we went in the morning and came back at night. have fun!

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N.S.

answers from Houston on

Based on information from several friends who have kids in all ranges, your son is probably too young to go to either and both you and your son will have a more memorable trip in a few years.

You are able to plan the trip yourself and you can order an information packet from both that contains information on travel, hotels and meal plans. It will take some time to plan a trip that will prove worthwhile.

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E.M.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi B.,
We went to Disney World T. Summers ago and just loved it!
My sister and her family has gone to both. Her recommendation to me was, if you have been to Florida no need to go to California. Her and her family were disappointed. We stayed at the park and purchased the pre paid meals, that was very convenient and easy.

Happy travel,
Elisa M

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C.P.

answers from Chicago on

I have been to both and think that if you are looking for the real Disney expirence go with World. Disneyland was okay, but nothing special... just another theme park.
There are special perks if you on property (purchased items sent back to your room, something an extra hour a day in the park, don't need to rent a car), however you can get great hotel deal just off property.
If you want to plan an actual Disney vacation, I recommend calling Disney (407-W-Disney was the number when I lived down there). I'm sure you could tell them what you wanted and they could find the best spot for you.

Have fun! It's a blast!

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C.J.

answers from Austin on

Disney is great we just went this summer. Our children are 11 and 6. Personally for the price you pay, I would wait one more year so your child will remember it. I hope to go back, but I am glad that I took our daughter when she was 6. She was thrilled, old enough to remember everything, and had enough stamina to handle long days, long walks and crowds of people. For now go to Feista Texas or Sea World in SA, you get rides and shows,not a gazillion people.

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F.O.

answers from San Antonio on

We waited until our boys were older, then we went to Disneyland first and a couple of years later went to Disney World. Knowing that Florida had more to offer I didn't want to go there first and have them be disappointed when going to Disneyland in California. Also, we took road trips to both. To Disneyland we went to Carlsbad, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Yosemite and then Disneyland. Again, my boys were older and really enjoyed the sites once they got over the initial shock of being on the road. Disney World was dampened, literally, by huricane Alberto. We lost one day to rain but made sure to make it furn. Good luck, you'll enjoy both of them.

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L.G.

answers from Houston on

Three years old is VERY young for Disney. He really isn't going to appreciate it as much as you will. Everyone I know says to wait until the child is 7. He will be waiting in lines that are very long and he will be miserable. They are too young at that age to understand why he is waiting in lines all day.

It's going to be a LOT of money for something he really won't fully appreciate until he is older. He'd probably get just as big of a kick just going to an amusement park in your state or going to the beach every day.

If you do go, Don't do park hopper passes. He's too young to be attending more than one park per day.

Take a break mid day and head back to hotel. Pick only 2 or 3 parks (depending on length of stay). That way you don't feels rushed to cram it all in one trip. Next trip, go see the other parks you missed.

Get a condo or house to rent. You will want to have a kitchen or kitchenette for your son to make easy meals so you are not eating out at every meal.

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L.W.

answers from Austin on

Haven't been to disneyland, but disney world was awesome! Our favorite part was the magic kingdom (and I've heard this is much like disneyland so either choice is a good one)

We stayed one of the cheaper of the Disney resorts and it was still lovely. We used the disney bus system to go to the parks each day.

If we were to go back we would love to try camping at their campgrounds.

We loved the food plan we had; it was worth having a package with food included.

Definitely study up on it. There are so many little details that can make your trip even funner!

Update: When we went our youngest was 5 months and the next youngest was 2, and we had a 5,7, 9, and 12 year old. The 2 year old thought it was magic, and so did the older kids...well so did mom and dad :) Our 2 year old thought Winnie the Pooh was real and loved eating at the Crystal Palace (I had no idea it was a character restaurant and so it was a big treat) Take advantage of fast passes and go ahead and do a few rides that little guy may not be tall enough by using their policy of letting one parent switch off going on the ride while the other stays with the child (you only have to go through the line once and the second parent goes right on once the first comes back) Make sure you either rent or bring a stroller...3/4 year olds get tired of walking...if they take a nap usually work it into your day. You'll all be happier :)

K.C.

answers from San Antonio on

We love Walt Disney World. I have found that going through Southwest Airlines (if flying) gives you the best deal. I would recommend staying at a Disney resort, getting a park-hopper ticket, and using the dining plan. Also, I would recommend planning a little longer stay if your son is a napper. I have done so in the past and was glad. We weren't stressed out that we weren't going to see everything. I purchased our vacation in October (we are going in March) and got a really good deal. I would recommend the Disney and All Ears sites. I believe Disney has some specials for the first part of the year. Have fun!

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