View Full Version : Disney question - WDW, DCL, or both with an almost 3yo?

01-28-2008, 07:00 PM
First, I haven't been able to get a solid answer on how the parks verify that a child is under 3. We are planning a trip to WDW (but see below) the week before our daughter turns 3, and I was thinking that it might be nice to be there on her birthday. We would have the 2 adult passes for the week, and I'm wondering if we would need to get a one day pass for the last day. Every penny counts when you are spending this much. - Answered (I see that strikethrough hasn't been enabled)

Related, we are trying to decide if we would be better off doing WDW or the Disney Cruise thing. Or the combo thing (although planned individually as mousesavers.com suggests). We have some time, as we are going to be going two years from next month. I like to plan ahead. So, what trip would you do? The plan is to go from 2/20/10-2/28/10, but if prices are significantly cheaper mid-Feb, then I think she can sacrifice her birthday ;).

01-28-2008, 07:25 PM
With Disney your child is the age they are at arrival. So if you first enter a park when they are 2, they are 2 for the whole trip. :) They basically just trust you.

I don't know anything about cruises sorry.

Tondi G
01-28-2008, 08:46 PM
I would do a Combo trip! I've heard thats the way to go if you want to experience a Disney Cruise. They are expensive but I understand Castaway Cay is fantastic and not to be missed. If your DD is 3 and potty trained she will be able to participate in their children's programs. If not they do have some baby sitting you can pay by the hour for.

As far as her age in the parks they leave it up to you. I remember sitting and talking with someone at Disneyland who said she brought her niece and nephew for a long time after they turned 3 and didn't pay for them. She worked in the park! Her words "milk it for a long as you can!". We ended up buying DS his annual pass when he turned 3 cause he is a BIG boy and really couldn't pass for a 2 year old anymore!

Have a wonderful trip whatever you decide!!!!


01-28-2008, 10:06 PM
We went with a VERY tall 2 year 11 month old child a few years back. We travelled with a birth certificate just in case, but no one every even looked twice. Since the child's favorite ride was Splash Mountain we were really surprised...

Have fun.

01-30-2008, 12:21 PM
Thanks for the advice on the age. Now, other than Tondi, does anybody have suggestions on what we should do?

01-30-2008, 01:29 PM
Have you ever been to WDW before? You can easily spend a week there and not do half of what there is to do. How many days are you planning to spend on the cruise, and how many days in the parks?

We've looked at DCL but keep on coming back to WDW as the right vacation for our family. More variety, more food selection, more flexibility on our vacation. And with very young children, that just feels more right than the more pre-programmed, limited nature of a cruise. I also feel like our costs are more "known" at WDW - hotel, parks, food - we don't buy much alcohol or many souvenirs, we wear our casual summer clothes from our closet. Cruises get you with tips, shore excursions, transportation to the port (or parking charges at the port), dress codes, etc.

You also might want to consider what a 2yo can do a on a Disney cruise. I don't believe that she can go in the children's club until she is 3yo; if I'm paying that much for a child to go on a cruise, I want to have the option of the children's club, but that's just me.

We'll definitely try a Disney Cruise in the future, but when the boys are a little older and can enjoy the offerings for their age group.

02-02-2008, 01:37 PM
We did a combo WDW/7day DCL last September when my oldest was 4 and my youngest was 2.5y. We really enjoyed the cruise - more interaction with the characters than we knew what to do with. Disney is superstrict on ages and several of the excursions we took (like the Dolphin Encounter on Cozumel) were off-site. Also, DD was not quite potty-trained yet so we couldn't have her in the pool - even with a swim diaper because of regulations. She was regulated to the one lone ear near the mickey pool. It consisted of about a 6-8 foot round tube like thing that had three to four fountain sprays. After about 20 minutes, she was bored to tears as she wanted to be in with Dad and brother in the bigger pool side. I only took her once swimming but fortunately there were plenty of other activities on the ship that she was interested in. We took her many times to the Ocean Club to play - as long as a parent is there they are welcome anytime -but I must admit it was awfully convenient to just drop DS in there when he needed to get his wiggles out and was driving us nuts. Nursery time is very limited - only 10 hours total and you have to schedule it immediately once you get on the ship because spaces fill up very quickly. We only put her in the nursery once for two hours so we could get a chance to dine at the adult only restaurant. Despite the negatives we were really in awe of the whole trip. We are going on the 15 day WB Panama cruise in May and looking forward to much more adult time now that we reached the magical 3 age! :)

ETA: Wanted to add that we were also at WDW after the cruise for 4 days. Lets just say we were reaaallly spoiled with attention on the cruise and had much better character experiences. The 4 days afterwards at WDW were fun but a little anticlimatic in my opinion. :)