Top Five Tips to Survive Disney Spring Break ~ Land and Sea Style


http://www.magicalblogorail.com/
 

Welcome to those of you joining me from Capturing Magical Memories and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I love Walt Disney World in the
the spring time!
(Sorry, couldn't resist!)
However, if I'm going to do Disney during Spring Break (along with all the added guests that entails) a little extra planning is in order.

1.) Hit the high seas.
I highly recommend trying out Disney Cruise Line if you decided to do Disney during Spring Break.
Not only do the ships sail at pretty near the same capacity year round, but if you book early or extremely last minute, cruising can be less expensive than a trip to the world.

The Royal Treatment
The romance of sailing the high seas.
A cruise on a Disney ship is a nice way to enjoy all of the character interactions, service, exquisite details and magical stage shows Disney is known for in a calmer more relaxing environment the Walt Disney World.

2.) Land and Sea should remain in that order rather than going Surf and Turf.
Okay, it's no secret that during spring break, Walt Disney World gains a mouseketeer or two. That said, the ships stay about as relaxed as always.

The Royal Treatment
Ahhhh.
Hit the parks and enjoy with a nice relaxing cruise to unwind afterwards.

3.) Plan ahead.
If you ever needed a reason to try out a touring plan, take a peek at this: 
On days of heavy attendance, the groups touring without our plans spent an average of three and a half hours more in line and experienced 37% fewer attractions than did those who used our touring plans.
 I love the touring plans from "The Unofficial Guide: Walt Disney World" as they saved me a ton of waiting and backtracking, but if you find another system that works for you and your family, stick with it!

4.) Consider Concierge.
If booking a cabana (one of the hottest commodities on Castaway Cay) is essential to your island paradise experience, consider cruising concierge, as they get the earliest booking window (over 120 days prior to the cruise.)


The Royal Treatment
Concierge can help you with a wide variety of reserved activities!
Be aware that your cruise must be paid in full before your booking window opens to take advantage of this perk

5.) Pack your patience, pixie dust and perhaps a poncho.
I love the idea of going with the flow and just enjoying your vacation in the moment, but sometimes it is worth remembering that things aren't always going to go perfectly smoothly.

The Royal Treatment
If you forget the sunscreen, buy some. No biggie! And a lot better than dealing with sunburns.
After you've prepared for as much of Murphy's Law as you can, it's time to embrace your Timon and Pumbaa #DisneySide and sing a verse of "Hakuna Matata."

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is DisneyMamas.


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:


1st Stop ~ I Am a Disney Nerd- Disneyland
2nd Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers-General
3rd Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories-Vero Beach
4th Stop ~ Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere-Land and Sea <~~~You Are Here~~~
Final Stop ~ Disney Mamas -Tips for Experiencing Flower & Garden Festival During Spring Break


Comments

  1. This is my kind of Spring Break! We are going on our first Disney Cruise this fall and did book concierge. We don't know the value of it... so please tell me what I should take advantage of...

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    1. Which ship are you cruising on? The classic ships and the dream class ships have different perks for concierge!

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    2. Disney Wonder. We are doing the two stops at Castaway Cay one.

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    3. I lied. Looks like it is the Disney Dream.

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    4. Disney Dream Perks (keep in mind, perks vary ship to ship!)
      If you are paid in full prior to 120, a quick call to concierge will yield them noting all reservations you may want during your trip and taking care of the bookings. (Cabanas, Port Adventures, Palo, Remy, Spa, special dietary or celebration requests you name it, they'll book it and take care of it.)
      On arriving to the port, concierge enjoys a separate check-in line, a separate lounge and boarding before the general public (but after the family of the day). At the onboard concierge lounge on deck 12, your hosts will walk you through your itinerary and see if anything needs to be adjusted while kids can enjoy snacks and drinks or watch TV. Anytime you need assistance during your cruise, your concierge can help. The Dream has a sundeck exclusively for the use on concierge guests as well. The concierge staterooms are beautiful and some quite a bit larger than standard staterooms.
      All that and you still get to enjoy a fabulous Disney Cruise!

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  2. We love cruising, but tend to do it during the summer when we have more time to do a land and sea (or a land, sea, land, in our case) It is a great alternative to the busy parks.

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  3. Wow, thanks for the cruising tips! This would certainly be a great option for Spring Break. I appreciate how you said to go "land and sea" - in that order - as opposed to "surf and turf". I always wondered about that, but now I see the value in the relaxing after the busy!

    How much more does it cost to sail with the concierge benefits?

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    1. I've wondered about which order to do a land and sea vacation too Heidi!

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    2. Concierge is roughly twice the cost of a verandah stateroom. I just looked at a 7 night cruise on the Fantasy for spring break 2015 as an example. While a verandah stateroom runs 8K for a family of four, concierge is 14K to 22K+.
      Did I mention cruising is much cheaper during non-peak? We've sailed concierge (Royal suite even) for under 5K.

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  4. What a great post, thanks Lori! I've never cruised before, but you gave some great pointers for when I take my first one!

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  5. A cruise sounds like the perfect Spring Break getaway this year - especially since we'll probably still be in a deep freeze at home!

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  6. We love cruising! What length cruise do you suggest for a spring break trip?

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    1. Seven nights or longer. Then you can unwind and enjoy the ship more rather than succumbing to the urge to try to "see it all" in three or four nights.

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  7. I would love to take a Disney Cruise, unfortunately my husband refuses to take any cruise. I would love any tips that could help me convince him this is a wonderful and relaxing vacation.

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    1. My DH thought he wouldn't like it before our first cruise. We figured we would split vacation at WDW and DCL just to try it once. Now I have to peel his fingers off of the railings on the way off of the ship.
      Google HD Photos of Castaway Cay and the ship for some beautiful eye candy or read some trip reports (Adventures tab at the top of the page or DISboards) so that he can understand the cruise tempo and process. Why does he refuse? Are there any particular parts he wants to know more about?

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  8. Great idea to board a Disney Cruise for Spring Break, I love that idea. Do you recommend doing a short cruise and then a few days at the parks or just doing a whole week on the cruise? ~ Thanks! Dawn

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    1. During a busy time of the year, I forego the parks and cruise. If I'm extremely lucky in my planning, we schedule some park days during a very slow season (like the week prior to Thanksgiving week) and board a ship for the high season and holiday.
      I love cruising but really prefer the week or longer itineraries. The feel is completely different. Much slower. The other guests seem to be more willing to chat and visit and you feel like you get an opportunity to make friends, get to know staff and feel at home.

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  9. Pack you patience! I love it! I'd certainly have to do that if I ever gave in and visited Disney in peak season. - Lee Beatens

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  10. A Disney cruise sounds like the perfect spring break trip!

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  11. I've never heard it referred to as "Land and Sea" or "Surf and Turf!" That's creative! Why is "Land and Sea" better for you?

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    1. I love Disney World, but I tend to need a vacation after my vacation. (I've seen everything from 9-15 miles walking per day quoted as "average" but whichever it is, carrying around a preschooler in the Florida heat can wear down my levels of pixie dust.) Cruising offers the class, luxury and service of Disney World but in a more low key setting. I can enjoy animation classes, broadway style plays, scavengers hunts, seminars, art tours, sunrise at sea yoga classes and still end up whiling away the afternoon in a hammock on a tropical island.
      If I try surf and turf, I try to go from a relaxed umbrella drink mentality to the hustle and bustle. Add on to that the indignity of going from an all inclusive environment to WDW prices and, well...I'm just happier the other way around.

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    2. I absolutely love this saying! And I totally agree with you!
      Rosanne @ The Disney Point

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    3. excellent points! I didn't really think of that. I should have since I always say I need a vacation after Disney!! ;)

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  12. How do you gauge when the right time is to book a cruise? That's always my biggest worry. It seems like a gamble. If you book early you may be paying more if there's not a lot of popularity. If you book late the price may skyrocket because of demand, or you may get closed out. It stresses me out! Any tips?
    Rosanne @ The Disney Point

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    1. I book opening day for cruises that will take place during holidays, summer and school breaks. For cruises during school, I wait until around the 75 day mark and keep the date flexible (example: an Eastern Caribbean in October).
      If you're flexible, but would like to get an opening day price, book at the far end of your desired date range (example: Eastern the last week of October). At the 75 day mark for the beginning of your range (but before your booked cruise is inside of the penalty period) check for deals on the early cruises in your range (in our example, you would check the first week of October during mid--July).
      If hunting for a better price isn't fun and starts stressing you out, find a price you like (or get a TA to hunt for you) on opening day and then don't go back and price compare later.
      If you would want to hunt and it's a fun challenge, I have a blog post "Disney Cruise Line On a Dime" that gets into the nitty-gritty.
      Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

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  13. I'm astounded- I never thought that a Disney Cruise could be less expensive than a week spent at the resort! I am going to "pitch" this to my husband. OR, we'll wait until both of our sons are out of school and cruise in the off-season; the price you quoted for concierge is so tempting!!

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    1. There's always homeschooling!
      That price was for five of us, during the off season, booked opening day (over a year in advance.) If you can afford it I highly recommend trying it at least once. That being said, we're thrilled as a family of four in staterooms from 10A all the way up to the suite. We're heading back to a 5E next cruise!

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  14. A Disney Cruise is great suggestion. We went on our first one last year and we are heading back in October. (We're cruising with Mary!) I am kicking myself for not booking concierge though. Maybe next time! :)

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  15. Excellent advice! We're hoping to get the family on a DCL cruise sometime this year! Which ship(s) have you sailed on?

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    1. I have a lot of experience with the Magic and Wonder, but I'm going to finish out the tour of the ships in the next year with the Fantasy and the Dream! After so much research on them I'm excited to see the differences in person.

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  16. Very smart - they do book up quickly for spring break, but great idea to plan ahead!

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