Disney v. Everywhere Else

Many people ask me why I keep dragging my family to Walt Disney World.

I’m planning another trip to a different destination (SHOCKING!) with my family, and I’m reminded with every step along the way as to why we choose Walt Disney World time & again. Not that I am anticipating this trip any less, but it really makes you appreciate visiting the Mouse at his house. Keep in mind, we are DVC members and stay in the villas, but any cash guest may have a similar experience and can rent villas directly from Disney without DVC points, or rent points through a reputable broker.

Anyone who is deterred by the planning involved in a WDW trip should plan a trip elsewhere. It’ll disabuse you of that impression.

At WDW, most all the work is done in advance of the trip. Once we’ve packed our essentials, we hop a quick flight and are in Orlando within 3/4 hours (we usually fly direct from CLE). We arrive at our Magical Express terminal with our stroller (which was gate checked) and carry-ons. Checked bags will meet us at the resort. We usually time our arrival for the morning so we can have a nice lunch and then check in. Our grocery shopper, Amy Martin of WeGoShop, meets us to provide us with our groceries for the week (and perhaps some adult beverages as well).

Arrival night, we stick a frozen lasagna in the oven and settle into our villa, cracking open a cool one or drinking a cocktail to get the trip started off. The kids explore all of the nooks and crannies of our villa and we watch them scurry about. Then we are off for a walk, or the parks, or a campfire with marshmallows, or movies under the stars. We also have an Owner’s Locker where we keep toiletries, small children’s toys, pajamas, adult swim suits/flip flops/sunscreen/hair brushes and the like between trips to minimize our packing–that is also delivered directly to our room upon arrival. Then it’s just a matter of making sure we put on our sunscreen and make our scheduled fastpasses or ADRs the rest of the trip… and honestly, we occasionally miss those FP+ appointments. If we don’t want to carry a wallet, no problem. Just our ID and DVC card, plus that trusty Magic Band, and the merch or the meal is paid for–with a discount.

We get tons of exercise walking from one fun thing to another. We eat well and we drink tons of water and other fun beverages, and we enjoy the week car free and stress free. They’ve got the free pack n plays, high chairs, refrigerators, dishes and dishwashers, laundry & laundry detergent, the community halls with DVD rentals, arts and crafts… you get the idea. If we didn’t care about fast passes at all, we could just show up.


We’re piling in the car in about a month to visit Cape Cod for our first time ever. With three kids under three, we’re looking to rent a large SUV to ensure we have enough cargo room. Even if we flew, we’d need a vehicle on the Cape. We’ve got to rent the vehicle, get the carseats installed, and pack the basic kid supplies (booster seats, high chairs, and at least one pack n’ play). Our other option is to rent those. I’ve still got to make a menu so we can hit a grocery store once we get there.

Our cottage does not have a washer and dryer, so we’ll need to pack clothes for every day or hit a Laundromat. The ferry to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard? NOT free like WDW transportation. I’ve got a twenty page document listing all the options for activities, and trust me, we’re talking Disney prices! It is true that there are many free beaches, but parking is not free. So we’ll be GPSing all over the island and I’ve been warned many places in Cape Cod do not take credit cards. The proprietors of local establishments may not be quite as nice as the Disney Cast Members, and I’ve hunted down a list of playgrounds but it took work. We’ll have to check out our cottage to determine whether it has salt/pepper, dish soap, etc and if not–we’ll have to buy those and figure out what to do with the leftovers. Maybe with time & repetition we’d be pros at the cape too, but we aren’t just yet.

I’ll have to compare the lobster rolls to Columbia Harbor House. And we’re doing Beach Club this fall, so that’ll be a good backup if this trip falls short 🙂

All this said, I’m quite sure I’ll fall as madly in love with the Cape as I am with Walt Disney World, but for those who wonder why we keep going back to the mothership in Orlando–see my answer above.