Which Disney destination to take my child under age 3

Disney Cruise or Disney World for kids under age 3

I often get questions about what the most appropriate age is to take your child to any Disney destination. I think any age is a great time to take your child to Disney! Well diapers aren’t extremely easy (especially to pack), neither is taking a recently potty trained child. So what’s the best destination to take your under three-year-old child? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each one.

Disney World


  • Any child under age 3 is free for park tickets and dining plan. They also do not count toward the room maximum.
  • It is a great way to introduce your child to their favorite Disney characters
  • No worries about seasickness
  • Rider swap option on many major attractions will still allow adults have fun
  • Ample food options throughout property
  • No age restrictions on any pools or swimming opportunities


  • Only the more expensive accommodations makes taking a break outside of the parks a convenient option
  • Parks are very large and pushing a stroller might be tiring
  • Lots of noise

Disney Cruises


  • Leans itself to an easy opportunity for frequent breaks
  • No issues getting back to your room for naptime
  • Lots of character interaction with shorter lines


  • Regardless of age Disney Cruise Line requires you to pay for children in your room
  • Even children under three count towards the room maximum
  • Kids activity center start at age 3 (under age 3 is a fee-for-service “nursery” which isn’t cheap)
  • Some pools are off-limits for kids that aren’t potty trained

The final decision of where to take your child on their first Disney trip is up to you, my strong recommendation is that Disney World is a first choice until they turn at least three years old. You’ll get more for your money and they will enjoy the Disney Cruise Line experience more as they are able to enter the kids activity centers as well as some of the more elaborate pool adventures for kids that are three and older. While both locations have a fee-for-service/babysitting options for children under three, Disney Cruise Line offers the kids activity centers which are included in your cost for your sailing while Disney World child services are paid regardless of their age.

If your child is over age 3 and you’re looking for a destination think about how active you’d like to be during your time. Disney World is less of a “vacation” then lots of activities, while Disney Cruise line is more relaxing. You can enjoy adult only activities,  adult only dining, and the kids can meet new friends all well and enjoying the magic of Disney in a family friendly environment. You also have to decide how long you’d like to stay. Cruises are a bit better for shorter trips. Disney World is best for a longer period of time where you can take your time a bit and enjoy everything the parks have to offer!

I highly recommend both opportunities as your family continues to age and grow. You’ll notice some major differences between the two, but both are amazing and unforgettable experiences!

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!