Laura and I just got back from such an amazing week with Disney. We attended the Disney Creator Celebration which gave us the opportunity to experience both Walt Disney World and a Disney Cruise. You all know that I recently traveled on a Disney Cruise to Alaska and was just at Walt Disney World in December for the opening of Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, but let me tell you, this land+sea combo is the prime way to vacation!
We spent three days at Walt Disney World, followed by three days at sea on the Disney Dream cruise ship sailing to the Bahamas. I definitely recommend planning the trip in this order. After walking around the parks for three days, you will want to rest on the cruise! I love that this itinerary and it can be planned by clicking HERE. If you prefer to talk to someone to book your combined trip, I’m listing the phone number at the bottom of this post.
We’re breaking down the land and cruise portions separately below because lets face it – each one of these would make an excellent adventure by itself. If you are wondering what Disney Creators Celebration is, let me explain. This was my first time to be invited and I’m sure glad I said YES! It’s a conference for bloggers and content creators that is by invitation only. Pete was busy with work so I invited my assistant Laura to be my plus one. The beauty of this is that she is half my age and we both LOVED this trip. Disney isn’t just for kids – it’s for everyone! However, for clarification purposes, this blog post is written with an adult travel perspective.
Why Walt Disney World and a Disney Cruise are the best combination
Walt Disney World
We got to stay at Disney’s newest luxury resort – the Riviera Resort. Y’all, this property is top notch! Pete and I got to preview it in December right before it opened and I knew then that I wanted to stay at this amazing hotel right on the Disney Skyliner transportation system. We stayed in a Deluxe Studio room which was perfect for us. In fact, it would be a wonderful room for families because it has a kitchenette and several beds. Laura and I felt like we were in a palace!
Because Disney uses magic bands for park entry, hotel entry, purchases and more, you can check-in online by using the Disney App and go straight to your room. All of this can be done before you arrive in Orlando. During our Walt Disney World experience, we explored all four theme parks as well as attended the Disney Creators Celebration session and showcase. This allowed us to find out what attractions are coming (Tron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Space 220 restaurant, a new Cirque du Soleil show and so much more) as well as speak with brands that are working with Disney.
Attending a curated Disney event has its perks. We were treated to a private sunrise breakfast and attractions experience on Pandora – World of Avatar. Animal Kingdom was literally opened early just for us! Laura and I rode Avatar Flight of Passage TWICE, the Na’vi River Journey and had breakfast at Satu’li Canteen. We had plenty of free time to explore the parks at our own pace. Later that evening, we were treated to a private dessert party and attractions experience in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were thrilled to ride Rise of the Resistance (watching Laura light during this ride up was magical) and Millennium Falcon. We also went to Oga’s Cantina for out of this world drinks (get it?!?) and basically crawled back to the hotel to climb into our beds. That day alone, we walked over 20,000 steps (that’s over 8 miles)!
I LOVE Walt Disney World and will go anytime I’m invited to an event or need a break from the daily grind. It’s magical every time and each experience is unique. That’s the beauty of it!
When I went on my cruise aboard the Disney Wonder last summer to Alaska, I told you about the top 10 reasons to book a Disney Cruise. Let me tell you, all of these reasons still apply as to why you should book a Disney cruise now. The food, the staff, the accommodations, etc were all on par with my previous cruise. The only difference was the length and destination. For this trip on the Disney Dream, we set sail to the Bahamas. All of our travel accommodations and luggage were taken care of which is so convenient. The night before we left the Disney Riviera Resort, we received luggage tags so that all we needed to do was pack and attach the tag. The next time we saw our luggage was inside of our stateroom. It was so easy! We hopped on board the Disney Magical Express bus and were wisked away to Port Canaveral. This is a short 45 minute ride.
When you are on a cruise ship, you will quickly find your rhythm. You can completely relax, unplug and do nothing or you can join all the activities and be busy the entire time you are on board. Let’s say this – you will never go hungry. We rotated restaurants each night to enjoy Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace. During the day, you can eat at Cabana’s anytime. For an additional charge, adults can delight in two fine dining restaurants – Remy and Palo. Did you know that you can order room service 24/7 on a Disney cruise ship? In fact, they will bring you a Mickey ice cream bar anytime you want it. We ordered our coffee through room service each morning and enjoyed it on our verandah. Laura and I loved having a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. I highly recommend booking this class of cabin because you can open you verandah door and enjoy fresh air anytime you want.
The ports of call for this three night cruise are Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. We popped off the ship for a little bit to shop in Nassau but opted not to do any excursions, however there are endless activities available. What we really enjoyed was our full day at Castaway Cay. The beach is beautiful with gorgeous blue water! There is an adult only beach (Serenity Bay Beach) so we headed that way on rented bikes. You can actually run a 5K when you dock on the island. Castaway Cay offers many activities and excursions as well.
One of the many perks of being with the Disney Creators Celebration group is that Disney provided amazing VIP experiences. We had a private meeting with some of the chefs and talked food and beverage. Can you imagine feeding that many people? Next we enjoyed a cocktail reception at Tiffany & Co. This luxury retailer is located on the Disney Dream and they make a unique Disney Cruise silver charm! Lastly, we were treated to a behind the scenes experience for the show Beauty and the Beast. We walked on stage, got to see the costumes up close and met with four cast members. Since Laura is a professional ballerina with Ballet Dallas, this was an amazing opportunity for us. We got the inside scoop on how these amazing 30 performers pull off three different stage shows. The Beauty and the Beast show is a broadway level production that has won awards!
Other perks include endless self serve ice cream cones, nightclubs and lounges, adult only deck spaces, spa and fitness and more. Of course there is tons to do for kids of all ages. In fact, I think this is a marvelous adventure for a multi-generational family vacation. Kids, grandkids, parents, grandparents – you get the picture. Oh, did I mention that Disney Princesses and other characters are on board? It’s the best way to take pictures with them because you are inside and it’s highly organized. In case you are wondering what is included on a Disney Cruise, click here for details.
- Book your vacation and immediately start making your plans in the theme parks. Restaurant reservations and Fast Passes fill up quickly.
- Stay in a Walt Disney World property. The extra magic hours, magic bands and free transportation are well worth it!
- The cabanas on Castaway Cay book quickly. Once you know your cruise dates, lock in your excursions.
- We liked the second dinner seating on the cruise, which is 8:15 PM. This meant the theater show was at 6:15 PM. If you have young children, you will want the early dinner seating.
- We always take the 6:00 AM flight from Dallas to Orlando with Southwest Airlines. It’s an easy flight and you can drop your bags at your hotel and be in a theme park by noon.
- Pack casual clothes, comfortable shoes, sunscreen and swimsuits. Disney is a casual experience.
We absolutely LOVED this trip and itinerary! If you are looking for a week long vacation that provides Disney theme park fun and cruise enjoyment, this is it! Click HERE to book or call (800) 951-3532.
Enjoy the magic! xoxo – Tanya
P.S. Make sure to check out how Laura and I planned our photoshoots for this trip. Next week, we will have a detailed post with all of our outfits. We will have lots more pictures from our adventure to share.
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Thank you to Walt Disney World for the hosted trip. All opinions are our own.Tags: Disney, Disney cruise, vacation, Walt Disney World