Is Disney the ultimate holiday destination for kids or is there something even better?(146 Posts)
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?
Some children hate Disney! I think most children get more out of a beach holiday.
Absolutely depends on your own children, we offered to take our DS on a Disney holiday, he said he wasn't particularly keen
to our delight .
I know my dds would love it , hopefully one day we will take them. However now they are happy with a beach / pool / ice cream on tap place .
Disney for dd... ds would enjoy a hot beach more. Every child is different !
It depends , I'm not sure my dds would swop a week by the pool with "free" icecream and the mini disco for Disney. They would love to go to Disney but I'm not sure they would actually prefer it to week away.
My DCs wouldn't enjoy being on a beach for a whole week - we don't sunbathe, we just burn! They love Disney. We have been a few times, and they are now 12 and 15 and still love it more than anything else. We have noticed that when we go, the things we do there change as the children get older, but we all have a great time.
We are going in the summer, after DD's GCSEs, and they are looking forward to going off in the park without us, as we feel they are old enough for that now.
If refering to me ..no mini disco where we are going ( or entertainment or otherwise) . Plus we have fresh home made ice cream daily !!
Thing is mine love the beach and pool which we go to and one day I know they will like disney... Just need the time and money!
My DD dreams of bicycling and beaches and sandcastles and playing in the water all day. She went to Disney once and hated it (she found it very boring).
different things at different ages. when very small under 4 they loved the beach and walks. from 7 they have been away for a week each year to PGL which gives them the independence plus a great time. we went to disney first when they were 8+ and this year eldest was 15 and feel this is the last time they really want to go for now but they do want to go back to Universal. just good to give them a mix of different hols and different experiences imo.
Would they be as happy with something else or is Disney the best?
Is this a serious question? Are you that brainwashed?
SShh, senua, I want the masses to go off and spend their time and money in a theme park so that they leave all the beautiful places in the world empty for me!
Thanks for your replies;
the DC are currently only 4.9 and 24 months so we're not thinking of going this year, but just wanted to find out how kids felt about the place.
I'm not a humungous Disney fan; the DC have not seen any of the classic films, but I do love parks with rides.
I wonder if the DC and me, can get our fill of rides and that sort of thing by having a 2 or 3 day trip to Alton Towers/ its waterpark, instead of the expense of Disney?
My DC who are young teens love cruises and activity/adventure type holidays. Their favourite trips were a twin centre holiday to Brazil and Argentina and on a Disney Cruise around the Med. They also enjoyed Disney when we went to the Californian one for a few days before a Mexican riveria cruise.
I found when my DC were younger what they liked best was the whole family being together for a week or two and junping in a pool all day or digging on a beach. Now they are older they enjoy activities and making new friends.
Ooops. Sorry, bonsoir, you have a point there.
Yes, yes OP go to Disney and Vegas and other overpriced overcrowded places. They are lovely!
OMG there's a Disney Cruise!? My two least favourite holiday ideas rolled into one - it would be hell on
Yeh taking the DC to Rome, Pisa, Pompeii, Barcelona, Palma and the South of France and then being pampered on the ship in a luxury suite was hell. Relaxing at the boutique style adult pool while the DC were having fun was so awful and don't even get me started on the food.
My dc would hate Disney.
It a just an amusement park, surely?
Albeit in sunny Florida.
My kids like beaches, trains, zoos and sea life centres.
Can get all of that in the uk.
Would love to take them to Central Park zoo though! Maybe one day....
OP, Disney is such fun... for some people. BUT I'm not entirely sure whether you as a family would get THAT much out of it because you've just said you're not huge disney fans. Orlando does have more to offer than what is on the disney complex, so you could get your fill of rides and water parks that way.
Or look for pretty much anywhere else with a theme park in the local area, or a beach holiday that has a nearby water park (Cyprus, Spain, France... Stafford...)
That being said your children are still very young so I'd just wait to see what happens on their preferences towards disney!!
Forte Village in Sardinia - perfect children's holiday. Went several times when DC were young - couldn't afford it now!
I've never been tempted. I hate queues and vast crowds of people so I don't think I could be persuaded. I also hate all of that mass, in-your-face consumption and waste that goes on in those places. My kids would prefer an action type holiday I think where they have sailing or skiing lessons. Also, they love beaches and swimming.
We have not long came back from Disneylans with our nearly 3yo, 23 month godson & 1yo. It was fantastic and my 3 year old is still talking about it every day.
Iam not an overly disney mum but, we all throughly enjoyed ourselves ! I definitely think its an good experience ! (And yes i have travelled some beautiful places too, disney was amazing!
Imagine a french family making the trip to the UK to exclusively treat their toddlers to Alton towers/legoland?
Is there really nothing else you can think that would appeal in ALL of France?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
My DS's then 8 & 10 thought disney was too "plastic".
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
Angels which cruise companies do you recommend
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
We did our first cruise when DS's were 8 & 10, with Royal Caribbean. It was great! We had a suite which gave plenty of space. The children ended up going to bed at the same time as us, so we didn't feel like we needed extra space. (Next time tho we've booked 2 adjoining cabins.)
We also let let them each choose one of the excursions. We didn't use the kids clubs at all as DH works away a lot and we try to be together as much as poss on holidays. There was so much to do on board, no one was fed up even on the days at sea.
My children want to experience Disney but they have said that they would prefer California so we can just spend a couple of days at theme parks and then go off and explore.
Each to their own but I really don't understand how two weeks in Orlando spending nearly every day at a theme park is fun for anyone.
Blimey, Xenia ...
It isn't my sort of thing at all, and we've never been, but my DSis took her kids last year, on the grounds that it's one of those things you " have" to do once, and they loved it (though she didn't!).
I'm trying to think of what would appeal more to kids, though ...
Do you like watersports/activities? What about a sailing holiday?
I'd always hoped she was a little eccentric rather than a crashing snob. Sadly, I was wrong.
Blimey, I didn't realise we had done DS such a disservice by taking him there.
But he's getting ski lessons now so hopefully that will make him all "naice" again.
If it's a "Once in a lifetime" type of trip, then I'd wait until they are much older. When my sister went, her youngest was 7 and she was glad they waited, as she said there's just SO much walking, and so much to see and do, they'd just not have coped any younger.
Of course, if you can afford that kind of trip regularly, then they will get different things out of it at different ages, and also you won't feel as pressured to 'do' everything in the one trip.
I was just playing to the stereotype and cannot imagine taking children there, that's all. I am not alone in those views. Each to their own. In fact some of mine went to Thorpe Park at Easter again somewhere you would never drag me in a month of Sundays. It would be boring if we were all the same.
My family enjoy Disney for a few days, we love beaches and pool holidays on the Med and in the Caribbean, cruises also sightseeing and nature holidays. My DC loved visiting visiting Iguassa Falls and staying in a Rain Forset in Argentina. We enjoyed Cape Town visiting the Penguins at Boulder beach and Robin island. A family trip to Egypt and flying to the pyramids for an amazing day trip was also a great holiday.
I find it funny judging people by how they spend a few days or weeks of their lives.
Having just arrived back from Orlando last weekend after a fortnight of full-immersion Disney (hotel, parks, free travel, the lot), it gives me a special glow to know that it makes me "downmarket" in Xenia's book.
It (Orlando, anyway) is much much more than just a theme park with rides. It is 4 different theme parks, 2 water parks, shopping and dining areas, parades, fireworks, characters, an animal reserve, and more. If you are not bothered about Disney and your dc's are equally unenthralled, go elsewhere.
I, too, don't get why some people feel the need to sneer. Different strokes... Oh, and I can (and will) just as happily do a week in Northumberland (or similar) and I'll be doing it in a 20 year old towing caravan. I have room in my life for a very broad range of experiences.
I draw the line at caravans!
We went to euro Disney over Easter, my dd age 7 loved it, one evening after being in the park all day and seeing the big end of day show she told me it had been the best day of her life! Just in case you think dd has never done or seen anything, we live in London and make full use of everything the city has, dd has travelled to many different countries and done so many things but a day in Disney was the greatest thing ever for her.
I think the people who turn their noses up at Disney often are the ones who haven't been there. We've travelled to the likes of Thailand, Australia, Singapore etc and booked Disney primarily for DS.
But I was really surprised at how enjoyable it was for me too - made me feel young all over again and that's not such a bad thing!
Horses for courses, we've done Disney a couple of times but best holiday memory was me and DD at 8.30 am on a deserted French Atlantic beach, surf perfect, no one else around, riding the waves on our boards, nothing has beaten that.
This place sometimes. Honestly. I'm lost for words.
Maybe that's partially it sue.
I was never into Disney or princesses etc as a child.
It just doesn't feature on my to do list at all.
I know I wouldn't enjoy it, so why go? ESP when the kids aren't bothered.
I wonder what is censorable then? Is it the c word? Is it discussions about class?
Ds has been to Disney (albeit not the Florida one), the Caribbean, on safari in Africa, skiing, city holidays. His absolute favourite holiday ever was a week's glamping in Cornwall last year. A tent in our own private field complete with chickens. He spent his mornings cycling around the farm or helping the farmer, his afternoons surfing, his evenings laying the campfire, helping with the woodburning stove and supervising cooking. It didn't matter that the weather wasn't great either.
If you won't enjoy it, there's no point going Badvoc.
Pre-children, I would never have dreamed of going there. But I was surprised at how 'magical' Disney felt. Universal, Seaworld etc feel like commercially run theme parks. Disney might be but it doesn't feel that way. One of the Disney staff told me that Disney doesn't make a lot of profit from the theme parks, the profit comes from the films and merchandising etc. I don't know if that is true but it certainly felt that way when we were there.
What's class got to do with Xenia?
I wouldn't go to Disney for the same reason I won't go caravan ing or camping - I know I would hate it and I don't fancy any of them with 2 young dc!
Doesn't mean people who like those things are wrong to like them.
Just dont see what the big issue is, really.
Xenia, do you think only 'common' people take their kids to Disney?
We keep thinking about it but have never go round to it (my idea of hell TBH). We are trying a cruise for the first time this year with some trepidation as we usually camp or caravan or otherwise self cater, so it has been interesting reading the comments here.
People who talk about class don't have any.
We have taken DD (4) on may types of holiday - camping in the UK, a cottage in Cornwall, traditional bucket and spade holidays in the UK, various beach holidays (long and short haul) and to Disney. She has loved all of them, but the ones she talks about most are the Disney ones. They were magical for her and I was surprised at how magical they were for all of us.
I have travelled all over the world and I have never been anywhere else that cared as much for the wellbeing and happiness of the guests. It is a brilliant holiday for families.
I just don't understand the sneering. Going to Disney does not mean you don't do other types of holiday, I never realised you were limited to one type.
I could not quite remember what I had posted which was censored. I cannot remember being censored on here so I was just thinking there's a first, what was it for. I think it was along the lines of my not liking Disney and that it might make children a bit "consumerist" to take them.
Holidays and class are a fascinating issue.
I don't think it is necessarily a class thing. I know a Doctor who loves the Opera, very well travelled and spends 2 weeks every year with his wife in Orlando. Why??? No idea. Perhaps it's something in the air conditioning.
It's nothing to do with class and it's ridiculous to suggest it is.
Cannot believe you don't know what you posted, Xenia.
Anyone else I would have taken it as a silly joke.
I have clearly missed a rather interesting post by Xenia, in which I assume she implied that classy people do not do Disney.
What makes one 'classy'. Is it how much money they have in the bank? Is it their occupation? Xenia, I believe you are a lawyer? Well, I'm also a lawyer and shame on me, I haven't just done it the once as it needs to be done, I've been going nearly every year for the past 18 years and shame on me, I loved it so much I even bought a house out there. In fact, only yesterday I booked my flights to go in August. Should I now relinquish my practicing certificate?
I have friends who are accountants, one of whom works for one of the largest firms in the city who has just returned from Disney, friends who are doctors who go regularly. Surely people are capable of making their own choices and decisions and should not be criticised for their choices?
Just as a suggestion, another French Theme park, Le Puy du Fou, recently won best theme park in the world (Thea Classic Award - Los Angeles).
It is nothing like Disney, there are no rides. But I personally know of several families who have been to both the Puy du Fou and Disney and think that the Puy du Fou is MUCH better.
And you could combine it with a trip to the Atlantic beaches in the Vendee to keep prawntoast happy.
MOS, you can go on any holidays you like. I remember turning up to work with a 1, 3 and 4 year old to look at the office. We parked in the underground car park (17 year old old banger car etc, children in second hand clothes from charity shops). Getting our of her brand new sports can at the same time was someone I worked with in her rather nice designer suit and I remember thinking - Gosh I'm lucking having these 3 children.
However knowing what others think even if it just means those others are silly is never a useless bit of information. Everyone makes their own decisions about the extent to which they can plough their own furrow. Heaps of people I know have no idea I have a remote Pacific island as I like to be alone on holidays.
Some children at schools like to show off that they have an iphone or take pleasure in not having one. Teenage girls use clothes to show what class or group they are within whether that be a burka or Jack Wills or Aber whatever it is. It is just part of life.
Taking the downmarketness element away from Disney, objectively it is awful simply because (a) I like no one around on holiday and it is the absolute antithesis of that ( b) it usually involved a lot of queuing which if not something many of us like ( c) it is about rides and commercialism and money and brands which I suppose from a business point of view I could study... That reminds me when we ended up on a Spanish beach a few years ago having just been to rather more isolated places in more recent times with no one else on the beaches.. This was typical crowded beach and it just hit us immediately how alien it was from what we desire so I said well let us treat it like an anthropological exercise and study these people and it was fascinating. You see if you are glass half full person as I hope I am you can make even that exercise interesting. Mind you I'd have to be paid a lot of money to go to Disney.
Perhaps we can draw up a list of what holidays there are and what message they send out to your friends and how particular cultures regard those holidays.
Xenia, in the nicest possible way, I think you are on your own planet, never mind your own island
Disney and theme parks do a good illusion of 'magic' etc but in reality it's a lot of queuing and concrete and money and more money!
I think outdoor water parks in a warm country are the ultimate for my kids, slides, swimming, sunshine, ice-cream, splashing a plenty.
We've not long got back from 2 weeks at Disney in Florida. We have a 9 yo and a 4yo.
We had a blast - the absolute time of our lives. Really. It was as good as that. The DCs had smiles on their faces the entire time, often trembling with excitement. They literally danced in the streets.
The shows were unbelieveably good. The same with the parades. The fireworks are breathtaking. The place was just so joyous.
DH and DD1 are very into rollercoasters, so were obviously in their element. DD2 and I are into more gentle rides - there are so many of these, and all done so so well.
There were also so many rides we enjoyed as a family.
We've been to Disneyland Paris a few times and had an amazing time. Florida is better in its sheer scale.
For Paris, the best age is 3 plus I think. For Florida, the flight is long but our 4 yo enjoyed the flight, and it was really worth it for the time we had.
Everyone likes different things of course. But Walt Disney wanted to create a place for the whole family, grown ups and children, to have fun together. I think they have created that place for our family.
The best holiday we've had as a family was to Charmouth near Lyme Regis. It was just wonderful.The children were all mad on dinosaurs at the time and spent lots of the holiday searching out fossils on the beach, then taking them to be identified (for free!) by experts in the little fossil centre. At the beginning of the holiday they weren't having much luck, so the people at the fossil centre gave us a little bag of fossils to secretly scatter around for the kids to find.
The weather was beautiful, Lyme Regis is lovely. It was heaven, it was years ago, and my eldest still talks about it loads, and has some lovely fossils that she found and still treasures.
As for cruises, I worked on Oceana years ago, and thought it was awful, but could see why people with young children would cruise, it's a good way to travel around and see lots of interesting places, with barely any real journey time, especially if you live in the SE, When you've been on a cruise ship that gets D&V though it rather puts you off!!!
Never been to disney, never plan on going, not our cup of tea at all, though I'm sure at one point DD would have loved it, I can't imagine she'd love it more than a british beach holiday.
We spent one day at Universal Island of Adventure last year. We had fun, but one day was more than enough for us (and basically you spend most of the time queueing) and I found Orlando a rather depressing place, tbh.
Universal has a very different feel than Disney though. We went last year and whilst it was good fun, it lacks Disney's magic.
Oh yes, possibly . But we were really into Harry Potter last year, that's why we chose Universal.
DD has always loves Disney and Universal. She has been a few times now from age 2y to early this year, aged 10y. She loves the rides, loves the heat, everything.
But DD is not a beach holiday girl really though. She isn't keen on sand and although will go in the sea, she prefers a pool.
DD likes things like Disney and cities best, we have and will do coastal holidays at times too, but rarely spend more than an hour or so on a beach each day, more likely to be exploring.
sue We felt the same way.
Disney's magic isn't made simply of concrete and queuing either. For example, they have a Nemo ride at Epcot. You ride around a huge tank of real fish, and the cartoon characters are somehow projected into the tank to tell the story. It's just so clever.
Our 9yo knows the characters aren't real now, but she was still excited to meet them. I think she had managed to convince herself again, and she also wanted her little sister to have a magical experience.
Of course it is all smoke and mirrors. But it's brilliant smoke and mirrors.
We had a short break in Disneyland Paris when DD was 5 and I have to be honest and say it was great fun!! Didn't really expect to enjoy it myself but I think DD was so obviously having a fantastic time that it made the holiday for us too.
Never felt the need to go again though and I would rather stick something sharp under my toenails than go to Florida but - heighho!!
Don't get me wrong, Universal is great, particularly the Harry Potter area, but Disney was just different for us. Hard to put my finger on why - just a certain magic I guess.
Everyone is different as to what they want; children too.
I hate the whole Disney snobbery on here at times. Fine if you don't want to go - but why the bitchfest over it every time it comes up. If you haven't been you don't really know what it is like. DH was really sure he wouldn't like it - guess what? He found we had a great holiday for the whole family.
But then I would hate to go camping for my holiday - some people love it.
And I really would not want my main holiday to be in an all inclusive hotel with kid's clubs and shared pools, and free local alcohol on tap - been to a couple now, one in Europe and one in Caribbean. They were fine for what they were but not my idea of a nice, fun and enjoyable family holiday. But hey, some people love them - each to their own.
I wouldn't generally even chose to have a hotel holiday for more than a few days at a time either. But then for other people they would rather not holiday at all than consider self catering. Again - different people, different prefernces.
I'm a huge Disney park fan and am always amused when people say that it's just a theme park and that they hate rides etc. So do I! But Disney is SO much more than that. Going to somewhere like Alton Towers is my idea of hell but Disney is NOTHING like that. In fact, I think that people who go to Disney expecting lots of thrill rides must come back rather disappointed. Just the parks themselves are beautiful and intriguing - I could happily spend a day just walking around looking at the architecture and the detail! My mum doesn't go on ANY rides yet she goes to Florida every year just to experience being there. It's just so cleverly done and there really is nothing else like it. One of my favourite rides is one where you sit on a boat and are floated around a massive greenhouse, looking at interesting ways of growing things - you see square pumpkins etc. OK, so of course that's not interesting to everyone but it goes to show that Disney isn't the Thorpe Park that so many people assume it it
Having said that, I can imagine a certain type of Disney holiday being exhausting - staying in a hotel and going at peak times when it's really crowded and you have to queue for an hour... well, I would never do that. We're lucky enough that we can go in term time.
I guess you do have to be into Disney though? Which we aren't really. In my case not at all, there isn't a single Disney film that I've seen that I would chose to watch again. I also don't like rides or crowds. So that is why it doesn't sound like the holiday for me.
I'm not sure what the ultimate holiday for our DCs would be, when we asked them earlier this year what their best ever holiday had been it was a week in a cottage in Cornwall a few years ago
Disney in America though is an experience. It's the whole package of weather and bigger and "better" everything. The downside is grown men and women getting emotional about "It's a small world". Epcot is fun if only for all the pretty lights inside darken spheres type rides.
Think the French one is better only if you are a huge fan of theme parks or Disney. Otherwise it's a typical European holiday - changeable weather, crowds and overpriced restaurants with people who don't naturally queue.
No, you don't have to be into Disney at all! I'm not interested in Disney films whatsoever and wouldn't even recognise many of the characters. Sure, there is a fair amount based around the characters but there is WAY more that isn't. The characters and film-related stuff is for kids, really - as adults, you could easily go to a Disney park having never seen a Disney film in your life and you'd get just as much out of it.
Well what is it all about then?
I think you either get it or you don't. I cannot see the remotest appeal of it because I don't like crowds or anything Disney stands for or means.
This line I had to read twice to see if the person was joking.... "Disney in America though is an experience. It's the whole package of weather and bigger and "better" everything. The downside is grown men and women getting emotional about "It's a small world". Epcot is fun if only for all the pretty lights inside darken spheres type rides."
Do people really like this kind of thing?
There are amazing shows. The fireworks are breathtaking. There are 3D films with great special effects. Then there are the rides.
If you are into Disney, then there are the character greetings and the parades too.
Do people really like this kind of thing?
What, fun? Yes, love it.
We did disneyland paris a couple of years ago with dc (then 6 and 3) and they both loved it. The same year we also did a few days at a Centre Parc in the Netherlands which they also adored.
If they had the choice of doing just one of them again, they would probably choose to do CP but it would be a pretty close call. They don't know it yet, but we're taking them to DLP again this year - ds2 is still very into Mickey Mouse and other disney stuff, so we think that if we do it again this year he'll still be into the magic of it which he may well have moved on from in a year's time and then we won't want to go again until they are both much older and able to do the stuff for older kids that they are too young for now. Plus we happened to look online at prices at just the right time and got a fantastic deal which worked out at less than half price for 4 nights in a 3* disney hotel with a pool. And whilst we are usually late bookers, this year we decided to take the bull by the horns and go for it.
The CP we went to had an amazing second big dome in that had a huge adult style adventure climbing frame in, in a tropical jungle setting with tropical birds flying around, other animals in there, caves, streams, really huge and amazing, and both kids absolutely adored it, but unfortunately it's only in one CP, which was quite a long drive away for us. However, we'll definitely think about returning - particularly in a year or two's time when schools here go back about 7th September - the dutch kids will have been back a week or two and prices are considerably cheaper as it's off season - and their prices are already lots cheaper than going to a UK CP - even when you take into account the ferry and petrol etc.
There are other places I'd love to take them too that I think they will love - Puy du Fou in France sounds amazing - a kind of living history theme park and is relatively close to Futuroscope which I went to years ago and will be great once ds2 is a bit older. Then there's the castle that is being built in France, the real castles of the Loire, Parc Asterix, and so many wonderful real things in France - and that's before even starting on the rest of Europe and then the world...
So yes, if your dc like Mickey Mouse, there's a good chance they will enjoy it, but there will be plenty of other things they will love too. Don't fall victim to their marketing and think that it is the only place that dishes out magical experiences for kids, it's not. And watch out for their bargain offers and don't get sucked into paying full price - because you won't enjoy it as much if you know that others there have only payed half the amount you have!
Can I ask where you got your fab deal, zipzap? Am starting to wonder about doing DLP now.
I'm intrigued now- theme parks are my idea of hell, I hate roller coasters etc, but DD1 is 5 and loves all the Disney films, plus she loves all types of rides and water slides etc.
What is Disneyland Paris like- do you have to pay per ride, or are things free once you are in there? Are the queues hideous during the holidays?
Free when in - horrible queues in holidays. Also be careful in bad weather - they shut rides in heavy rain but if you are queuing they may open them again if the rain stops. so you get to queue in the rain because it might re open and you've already been in a queue for half an hour. Doesn't apply to indoor rides ovs.
If you can stay out after most families go to dinner (5.30 onwards) and it's raining the park empty's and you can get on all the good indoor rides very quickly.
snazzy we got it on the 'get 2 nights free if you buy 2 or more nights' that was supposedly running in January but seems to have been ticking along quietly ever since.
We also combined it with kids under 7 go free - at the time there were kids under 12 go free for other dates (not summer holiday though!) - ds1 will be 8 and ds2 will be 5. However, by checking on several different websites, when we bought it through expedia, the price was the same when we put in ds1 as being 8 or as being 5 - other big sites were carrying the disney offer but they were charging for ds1 (if I put ds1 down as being 5 in them, the price dropped). So we effectively got ds1 in for free as well as ds2.
Also - dh through work has a cashback portal a bit like quidco, which had 12% off expedia at the time (seems to be something that comes and goes quite a lot, have seen similar discounts on quidco or maybe just 5-8% but it all adds up when spending a relatively large sum like a holiday!).
And it just so happened that when I happened to look, there had obviously just been a run on their 2* hotels as the 3* ones were coming up just below or a smidge above (like £20 in total for the 4 nights) and had the advantage of being closer for walking and having a swimming pool so making it more of a holiday thing as we were going to be there for a few days). Prices kept changing every time I looked - even between looking in the am then at lunch time then in the evening.
So just jumped when it seemed particularly good - we went for the sequoia lodge one, overall paid £802 and when I recently checked the full price it should have been £1896. That also includes 5 days of park tickets.
Because of the ways the deal worked, it has meant that it would have been more expensive to go for 3 days than 4, and 2 days would have cost us the same.
Previous when we went I booked through World Travellers - they have a specialist department that does DLP and if you told them you had seen it through Travelzoo you got an extra 5% off so we managed to get a kids free under 7 (as they then were) with 50% off and then another 5% off that price - it was a flash sale that lasted for just a couple of days. Worth talking to them about it as they popped up every few weeks - sometimes with 25% off, sometimes 30% or 40% and occasionally 50%. That was reasonably late booking - July to go in august. And I was actually in the middle of looking on travelzoo to see if they had any ferry deals for another short hop we were doing over the channel when I saw the offer - we had been discussing going but deals weren't that great when we talked about it so booked something else. And then we we saw it come up at a good price for just a couple of nights thought sod it - and went for it. And the dc really enjoyed it, and we did pretty much too.
We also took advantage of the 3 days worth of park tickets by driving down the day before, staying in Reims which is about an hour's drive away, if that, so we got there at about 10am, rather than having a really long drive and ferry trip and wasting most of the first day travelling. Then on the way back we did the same thing - stopped at the same hotel in Reims having had a full day at DLP, had a little wander around and explore, then drive back up to Calais the next day, spend some time getting lunch and wandering around the massive shopping centre in Calais (albeit traffic queues meant that the reality was a mad dash into the hypermarket, grabbing at food to make a picnic while we waited for the ferry and stocking up on a few essesntials like wine and cheese whilst I moaned about how we were supposed to have a couple of hours here rather than the snatched 30 mins we had.)
oops sorry, realised that was a bit long
Not at all, thanks for all the detail! That's very helpful.
Mine loved the Sleeping Bear Dunes area of Michigan and Washington Island off Wisconsin in Lake Michigan. They also loved the west of Ireland. Best holiday they ever spent was at a dude ranch in Colorado, somewhere between the Rockies proper and Denver. It was brilliant. Ponies, trekking, a river to fish in, nice ranch restaurant, Denver for a day trip, Rockies for another, a horse show on the last day in the arena... I had pneumonia for the whole ten days and lay in bed sustained by soup they sent over from the restaurant but everyone else had a blast.
For parks with rides, mine loved Six Flags in the US. They would only get to Disney over my dead body.
Do people really like this kind of thing?
Grown adults weeping at Disney tear jerkers? Grown adults wearing T-shirts decorated with Mickey Mouse et al? Yup. <and boak>
Intheshed, yes park entrance ticket includes all rides.
Yes queues are hideous in school holidays and at Weekends, esp in French school hols. We had a different half term in Feb than other parts of country and queues were fine until the Saturday.
Thanks for the info... tbh the thought of queuing all day with small children has kinda put me off now though!
I've never queued all day though. A lot of the rides, particularly those for young children, are continual rather than stop/start, so queues move quite quickly.
Each ride has a wait time displayed, and a lot of them have Fastpass, where you can get a ticket to come back during an allotted half hour period and not have to queue.
Then there are the shows, parades and fireworks, plenty to do if you don't want to queue for rides.
If you are queuing all day you aren't really doing it properly.
BTW - Disneyland Paris do 'flash sales', usually over a weekend - so if you are thinking of going in the next year or so it's worth getting on their mailing list. We've had 50% off the hotel doing this.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We queue a bit but for most rides not long, even in middle if August. We use fast pass well and we arrive early. And sometimes a queue is good - in February we got there early and went in lots of rides with no queue - felt so sick lol! I needed a queue for a break!
Some rides have longer queues such as Harry Potter but they are worth it and the queues at Often quite entertaining and interactive, and even better air conditioned!
That's Florida btw. The queues in DLP are longer in my experience
I have a 20 minute rule for queuing, won't go beyond that and have never had to at Disney (Florida). If you go at the right times and use Fastpass wisely then it is easy.
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.
I just want to raise my child with a vast range of experiences so they turn out as a crushing bore.
don't. Missed out the most important word.
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.
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.
Growlithe how does one get on their mailing list please?
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!
WhoKnows, I did touch on this earlier but perhaps not in enough detail 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 And Pirates Of The Caribbean is the most damned fun you'll ever have, frankly
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...
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
Oooh thanks Grow will look into that
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
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 speciesincluding 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.
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!
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
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.
Twiglets, my son and I loved that flying over California ride.
Good to hear - just booked a trip to Port Douglas for a few days!
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
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!
Lapland best trip I've ever been on! Sledging, husky rides, snowmobiles, log fires and candle lit. Just gorgeous and so much fun!
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 .
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.
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