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?

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 26-Apr-13 20:41:57

Orlando is a great holiday for kids. I personally wouldnt want to do a Disney package for two weeks. But Orlando? Hell yeah. Theme parks, water parks, reasonably priced food, lounging by the pool, so much geared towards kids...its a fantastic family holiday. Tag on a couple of days in Miami for a terrific sandy beach and grown-up restaurants and bars, and its paradise grin.

Pre-kids I would have turned my nose up at Florida, but after a couple of over priced, shitty European holidays, we are converts.

I feel the same about Dubai. My idea of hell a few years ago, but went there for Easter kast year and the kids had the BEST time. Brilliant water parks, lovely beaches, great hotels, guaranteed weather and very child friendly.

jamtoast12 Fri 26-Apr-13 16:35:27

Lapland best trip I've ever been on! Sledging, husky rides, snowmobiles, log fires and candle lit. Just gorgeous and so much fun!

Hulababy Tue 23-Apr-13 21:30:01

I don't want to spend days at a time lying on an isolated beach, so why would I want DD to do so?

Different things for different people yes? No one is right, just different!

suebfg Tue 23-Apr-13 21:07:46

Hi, we went to Port Douglas on our trip. It was the highlight of our travels in Australia. It was a couple of years ago now but PM me if you want any details of places to go etf

ajandjjmum Tue 23-Apr-13 20:40:06

handcream
Good to hear - just booked a trip to Port Douglas for a few days!

Fluffy1234 Tue 23-Apr-13 18:40:08

Twiglets, my son and I loved that flying over California ride.

suebfg Tue 23-Apr-13 18:38:45

We had a similar holiday to Queensland and it was a holiday of a lifetime - as was Disney but for different reasons. Apart from the long flight time, the jet lag is horrendous though with Australia, especially with young children.

handcream Tue 23-Apr-13 18:07:44

I havent read the whole thread - but the best holiday I have had was to the Barrier reef in Australia (I know a long way to go!). There was beaches and the most fab day trips, jungle trips in jeeps, trips down the Daintree river etc

zipzap Tue 23-Apr-13 18:05:00

twiglets - that's not completely correct - you can get enhanced deals on top of the official deals.

As I mentioned previously, a couple of years ago we booked one of the official Disney flash sales and got 50% off. But because we booked through world travellers and because they send so many people to dlp, they were able to offer an extra 5% off that price, all officially sanctioned by Disney. I spotted the deal on travelzoo, can't remember now kid you had to quote travelzoo to get the discount or not. So worth signing up to both their sites to get Disney notifications too.

And this year I booked to go to dlp again - this time it was again the promotion Disney were running at the time (2 free nights with 2 or more nights stay) but because I booked it on expedia and I went through a cashback site that was offering 12% on expedia bookings, I've got 12% off the offer which is over £100 reduction. Plus expedia put ds1 through free whereas other sites were charging for him (he will be 8 - there was an under 7s go free deal on which included ds2, there was also an under 12 Yrs go free but not on the dates we booked.) so that saved us another couple of hundred pounds compared to just buying the straightforward Disney offer.

So once the Disney flash sales are announced, it's definitely worth doing a little research to see if you can get anything else off that amount, even if it's just through cashback. Even if it's only another £30-50 off, it all helps!

AnneEyhtMeyer Tue 23-Apr-13 17:45:19

I love Epcot, it has some great attractions.

The salt-water aquarium at Epcot is an amazing sight. Absolutely huge, you can spend hours there. From the Disney website:

5.7 million gallon salt-water tank, named Caribbean Coral Reef, is home to 6,000 inhabitants representing over 60 species—including sea turtles, angelfish, dolphins, rays, sharks and a very special manatee rehabilitation area

Last time we went we caught the end of the International Food & Wine Festival at the World Showcase in Epcot. It was a great atmosphere and we managed to sample some lovely food from the featured countries.

The Disney shops are there of course but in the main they are very subtle and easy to avoid. For example, this is actually one big Disney shop. Disneyland certainly doesn't look like a place full of shops, even though it is smile

LippyDiDooDah Tue 23-Apr-13 16:05:41

Oooh thanks Grow will look into that smile

Giveme and Twiglets - you may have sold it to me. Thank you. I had honestly always imagined it to be a cross between Alton Towers and the Disney shop, I have a much better idea now.

FWIW, Disneyland Paris sales & deals are the same everywhere. There are only the official deals and companies don't offer different deals. So if the official website has a particular deal around then that's the only deal you're going to get smile

mummytime Tue 23-Apr-13 14:37:06

My kids Xenia have had playing on isolated beach holidays, holidays where they have walked over board walks in a volcano, holidays where they have listened to "St Matthews Passion" in an old church, holidays where they have climbed mountains, hot and cold holidays, holidays where they have met people of lots of different nationalities and cultures.
We still all enjoy Disney, at the same time we also liked spotting the wildlife (you can even bird-watch at Disney).

Growlithe Tue 23-Apr-13 14:24:05

Lippy we did it years ago but IIRC you just register on the DLP official website. Really worth it if you are able to just book right away when they announce the flash sale. smile

Xenia I'm enjoying raising my DCs as sociable little things. I expect the downside of this is that as adults they may not enjoy lying on an isolated beach, but seek out other people and different experiences when on holiday. I can live with that.

I expect everyone on here who likes Disney also enjoys other types of holiday. It is good to do lots of different stuff. Disney is sheer unashamed fun for my family, and it's great to have a bit of fun when they are young.

WhoKnows, I did touch on this earlier but perhaps not in enough detail smile I think I explained it badly when I said it's not about rides - it is about rides but not about thrill rides or typical theme park rides. There are very few Alton Towers' style rides. Many (most?) Disney rides are more interactive than that. There are rides that take you through greenhouses with amazing plants, ones that let you simulate flying a rocket, the most incredible ghost ride you'll ever see (it's clever and fantastic to look at, not a 'sit on a train whilst things go boo at you' ghost train that you get at a fairground!) There are 360 degree movies, special effects shows where you feel like you're in the middle of a tornado, rides where you get taken around a film set and 'diaster-movie things' happen to your train, you can walk around a huge Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (if you're not scared of heights!), take a paddle-steamer trip around a lake, IMAX rides that make you feel as if you're flying over California (beautiful and breathtaking - you can smell the oranges as you fly over the orange groves and feel the surf splash your face as you soar over the waves)... I could go on and on smile And Pirates Of The Caribbean is the most damned fun you'll ever have, frankly smile

For me it's the general atmosphere that attracts me to it. I just feel happy when I'm there - it's magical and everyone is so happy and cheerful! It takes you utterly and completely away from real life. The place itself is beautiful and the design is fabulous. Parts of Disneyland Paris are especially beautiful - the quaint little Tyrol-style cottages and waterfalls and giant beanstalks and so on...

givemeaclue Tue 23-Apr-13 13:36:24

As well as rides there are parades, efantastic shows , fireworks, light shows, lots of characters to meet and have fun with, horse drawn carriages, monorail, trains, vintage cars, films, etc. Plus all the theming.

We take our kids to Disney, to Cornish beaches for rock pools etc, on water sports holidays. To museums, vto sports events and to long haul tropical places. We enjoy a variety and so do they.

Liking Disney doesn't make you a philistine. You can like the national trust or an art gallery or museum as well, one doesn't preclude the other!

LippyDiDooDah Tue 23-Apr-13 13:23:28

Growlithe how does one get on their mailing list please?

I'm still waiting for someone to explain what the appeal is if you aren't into Disney and not keen on rides? What do those who don't go on rides do? Genuinely curious, not having a go at anyone.

ajandjjmum Tue 23-Apr-13 13:07:32

Personally I have always encouraged my children to try both Xenia!

Our one and only family trip to Florida DL was when the DC were 7/8 and they absolutely loved it, and we had a great holiday. We also drove to Cape Canaveral and watched a rocket take off to Mars. It was a mixed holiday, some learning, loads of fun, but we haven't repeated it because there are so many other places to go.

AnneEyhtMeyer Tue 23-Apr-13 13:05:53

don't. Missed out the most important word.

AnneEyhtMeyer Tue 23-Apr-13 13:05:04

I just want to raise my child with a vast range of experiences so they turn out as a crushing bore.

Xenia Tue 23-Apr-13 13:00:35

I do think we should distinguish what a child might think they like and what may be best for it. There are families who do not want to lead a child down that kind of route. If you want a child to adore totally isolated beaches miles from anywhere with only healthy food you brought yourself and a good long walk you are not likely to achieve that if you take it to Disney as some kind of nirvana.

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