Is Disney the ultimate holiday destination for kids or is there something even better?

(146 Posts)
carolinecordery Thu 18-Apr-13 08:45:01

I'm thinking from the point of view of DC. Would they be as happy with something else or is Disney the best? What do you think is the best age for kids to enjoy it?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 18-Apr-13 10:49:06

If its all kid centered I think you should wait a bit longer. They will just be a whiny mess most of the time! Way too much sensory overload crammed into 3 days.

Snazzynewyear Thu 18-Apr-13 10:53:13

We holidayed in the UK last year and for the last day went to a water park, then on the pier where DS got to go on all the rides. This was possibly the best day of his life so far. So you can probably get something they will really enjoy in only a couple of days, and within the UK, if that is better for you.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 18-Apr-13 10:54:23

Oh, Florida! So a long flight with toddlers for THAT?
I'd also wait till they ask.
That said, a short stay in Orlando PLUS driving down to the Keys for a well deserved beach holiday might work. The zoo near Tampa is really good. And Miami is a nice stop too.

God why do people have to be so bitchy and nasty. Different people like different things. Goodness me, have you really nothing else to be bothered by?

lljkk Thu 18-Apr-13 11:03:19

I take mine for a day trip to Disneyland every 4 or 5 yrs (convenient when visiting my family) but the idea of making it a multi-day "Disney holiday" fills me with horror. It's a theme park with rides. There are lots of places like that.

My kids love DinoPark in Norfolk. It's the only one they want to go back to repeatedly.

IntheFrame Thu 18-Apr-13 12:08:19

Personally from my and friends experiences I think older children who want to go to Disney like it the best. I took my DS aged 3 and he wasn't that bothered. Aged 6 he really like Phantasiland in Germany and appreciated all the detailing in such parks. I would say if your children aren't begging to go then it's not worth it.

His favourite holidays have been Scotland where he was free to do what he liked on an empty beach and a cruise.

noramum Thu 18-Apr-13 13:52:16

We will go in June for 2 nights but DD wouldn't swap it for a two weeks holiday at a farm or on the beach

DD loves water, visiting castles, going through the woods, playing games and seeing animals.

Disney is a one-off.

mrsshackleton Thu 18-Apr-13 14:52:10

I think EuroDisney makes a brilliant weekend break for dcs of around 4 to 6, then again when around 10/12 and they can do the scary rides. Two weeks locked into a Disney park on Florida is not for me, but each to their own.

mrsshackleton Thu 18-Apr-13 14:57:36

And btw, I used to work in travel-related job and have been all over the world, so am well acquainted with posh resorts/boutique hotels/riding holidays/art-gallery holidays too. Disney is a fun one off.

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 18-Apr-13 21:43:15

I agree with fisharefriends, there is a lot of unnecessary unpleasantness on this thread.

We have just come back from Disney with DS age 7. Was it his holiday of a lifetime ? Don't know it's hard to tell, he seemed almost as happy at the pool than at the theme parks, but he did seem absolutely enchanted when he met characters at the park and it is a special feeling when you walk into Magic Kingdom for the first time.

I took him because when I was a child I was desperately into Disney - I had pictures of the Magic Kingdom up on my wall. My Dad is American and at the time we went to visit when I was about 5-6 my GPs lived in Florida . I remember asking my Dad if we were going to Disney, I'm sure he said we would, but we didn't sad because it was not my parents sort of thing and it wouldn't have occurred to them to put their child's enjoyment first for the day and do something they didn't really want to for me.

I was determined when I was a parent I would take my DC and that's what we did.

I don't think a childs life would be blighted by not going, but I do find that this snobbery about it is a bit misplaced.

bubbles1231 Thu 18-Apr-13 21:45:52

My DS's then 8 & 10 thought disney was too "plastic".

hermioneweasley Thu 18-Apr-13 21:50:49

Gosh, it's amazing that Disney stays in business. If MN was representative of reality, it would have gone bust!

My kids love Disneyland (though they've only done Paris). It is magical. It's a certain type of holiday but I haven't done anything else which has put such a look of incredible joy and wonder on their faces.

suebfg Thu 18-Apr-13 21:53:15

If by Disney you mean Disney in Florida, then I think it is probably the best family holiday destination and you should try it at least once if you can. You can't compare it to the theme parks here. It is truly a magical place.

Plus apart from Disney, there are tons of other attractions. Choose the right time of year and the weather will be nice and it is safe too.

We are very well travelled but honestly, I loved Disney as much as my DS and would love to go back again.

AngelsWithSilverWings Thu 18-Apr-13 22:01:39

We've just got back. I'm shattered!

My 7 year old loved every second and has been crying a lot this week because he misses the holiday so much!

My almost 5 year old seemed to enjoy it but there were moments when she was quite overwhelmed. With hindsight we should have delayed the trip by another year.

I don't think we will ever do it again. It's far too tiring to be called a holiday.

The best holiday we have ever had was Cornwall two years ago when we had that really hot Easter. I managed to capture on video the sheer excitement and joy on my DCs faces as they splashed through the streams and caves on Porthcothan beach.Nothing at Disney matched that moment.

suebfg Thu 18-Apr-13 22:01:48

Also, Disney is not just rides. There are amazing shows, fireworks, 3D special effect films, character greetings ...

Our DS has been at age 3 and age 5. Personally I think Disney is a place for younger children - go while they still believe!

malteserzz Fri 19-Apr-13 07:11:24

Mine have been to Disney in Florida twice but cruises are their favourite, they're 14 and 10 and love exploring different countries. I do think that IF you can afford it you ought to go to disney once even if it's in Paris just for the experience

Badvoc Fri 19-Apr-13 07:13:43

Why is it unpleasant to say that a certain type of holiday is not for you!?
Disney is my idea of hell on earth and thank god my 2 ds's aren't into it.
But, I would imagine that not many of you would be up for our holiday this year of a week in Northumberland!!
Each to their own.
Our friends go to Disney every year and have done for the past 3 years. They and their dd love it.
To me it's just an amusement park, albiet a big one with guaranteed good weather and shows and parades etc.
I don't go to amusement parks in the uk...I am certainly not going to fly 10 hours to do so.

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 19-Apr-13 07:40:59

Thought I'd add a comment about cruises with kids.

We have been on two and both were great holidays. The kids clubs are fantastic and are open from 9 until midnight giving you loads of flexibility to either do stuff as a family or have some adult time.

We would have nice days exploring whichever port we where in and then get dressed up for a posh dinner before the kids skipped off to kids club for the night leaving us to enjoy the sunset and cocktails on the deck.

As far as getting the balance right so that both the kids and us get equal fun/ relaxation a cruise is hard to beat.

I would never have gone on one if my in laws had not booked and paid for the whole family to go one year. I was actually dreading it as I'd always imagined it would be my idea of hell. I came home and immediately booked up for the following year.

givemeaclue Fri 19-Apr-13 09:12:38

Angels which cruise companies do you recommend

Fluffy1234 Fri 19-Apr-13 09:40:56

I've been with Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney and am trying Carnival this year. All those companies were great for the whole family, not just the children.

I've looked at cruises but have dismissed them as there never seems to be a 2 bed option? We have 3 dc under 5 and always get a 2 bed suite when we go on holiday.. Do you all stay in the one room?

Fluffy1234 Fri 19-Apr-13 09:55:47

I've done it a few ways. Either all in a suite with a balcony (when the DC were younger). Two interconnecting cabins which when you have the door open feels really spacious or DH and I in a balcony cabin and DC across the corridor in their own cabin (they are teens). For the age of your DC option 2 would be best. I know it sounds a cliche but you are hardly ever in your cabin.
I did my first cruise when DC were 8 and 10 and they were a brilliant age for the activities and the sightseeing. There were lots of people with younger DC but I can't speak from experience what that would be like.

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 19-Apr-13 10:24:23

We have always gone with P&O. I think Oceana is best for younger children. We went on Ventura too but found it a bit more of a party boat with lots of teenagers having a fantastic time.

I'd go for Oceana again if we did another cruise.

We get a quad cabin, not sure what we would do if we had more than two kids. I suppose a suite or two rooms with an adult in each would work.

To be honest on a cruise you use the room to sleep in or get showered and dressed in. You don't spend time in the cabin all together.

Occasionally if I fancied some quiet time in the late afternoon while the kids were in kids club I would go and sit in the cabin and read for a bit.

EggsEggSplat Fri 19-Apr-13 10:35:57

I've done lots of one-day visits to Disney, Universal Studios etc (in Japan, not the US or Paris ones) which were fine, if you pick a day when it's quiet and the queues are short or non-existent so you can do everything you want. DD (10) has always loved theme parks and DS (14) quite enjoys a day here and there - we've been going since he was about 4. But a whole holiday based around theme parks would be my idea of hell - the queues, the awful food, the constant Disney music, the artificiality of the whole thing - and I don't think either of the DCs would enjoy it either.

MOSagain Fri 19-Apr-13 12:53:17

Don't knock it til you've tried it. Have just literally in the last 5 mins booked our trip this August. It will be DS's 3rd trip (he is 4) and DD's 4th (she is 6) can't wait grin

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