Why Disney is NOT our Happiest Place on Earth

Don’t publicly shame me. Don’t use Harry Potter’s wizardry against my family, and don’t tell me that I’m depriving my sons from the iconic It’s a Small World ride.

Our family is just not super into Disney World.

When our now 4-year-old son Landon was two-and-a-half years old, we took him on a special one last hurrah! trip before our second boy was born. He was a little young to know what was going on, but my husband and I were excited to watch his eyes light up through the magic of Disney World.

Our trip had some positive times but also had its share of challenges.

Landon was frightened by many of the characters in costume (except for Tigger — he was Landon-approved), and he couldn’t handle the wait time for many age-appropriate rides. We also spent a solid hour in a gift shop buying a Donald Duck toy that we could have had on our doorstep by Amazon Prime in one day’s time for $20 less.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t hate Disney World. There is certainly a good amount of magic to the iconic theme park, but to us it is NOT as magical as our happiest place on Earth — Legoland!

When Landon turned three, he got really into playing Legos, so we decided to take him to Legoland. We had such a great vacation there that we have been three additional times since — and are ready to plan our next Legoland adventure!

Of course every family has reasons on why a certain vacation destination works best for them, but the following are the top seven reasons why we prefer Legoland over Disney World:

1. The Legoland hotel (which is amazing!) is within a 30-second walk to the Legoland park. Having two kids under the age of 4 to take back and forth for snacks, naps and breaks, Legoland provides logistical ease over Disney.

2. Every evening, Legoland’s staff entertain your kids with Lego-building competitions and PJ-dance parties while you and hubby get cocktails at their bar. Yes, you read that correctly.

3. Legoland’s rides, shows and park setup are more tailored to a younger child, likely aged 8 or under, so there is barely anything Landon can’t do!

4. While both Disney and Legoland’s on-property hotels can be a bit steep for the budget, Legoland’s rooms are super spacious with a separate bunk bed room for children so parents don’t need to go to sleep at 8 p.m.

5. Disney would of course be a better choice for your character-lovin’ child, but Landon likes to walk around the Legoland park and not feel that he has to hug people dressed in costume.

6. Legoland’s hotel sends each child on a treasure hunt as they arrive in their room to find a prize that they can take home. It’s fun for the adults, too!

7. And the main reason that we prefer Legoland over Disney World? No wait times. You want to see a show? Great! Head over to the show at 1:15 and grab a seat.

And of course, wherever you decide to travel with your family this year, soak in the memories and take lots of pictures! We are actually going to give Disney another try this year, too, in addition to Legoland by going on our first ever Disney Cruise.

Our heart, though, will always be made out of LEGOs.

Meg James
Meg is a Jersey native, wife to Logan, her Jacksonville University sweetheart, and stay-at-home mom to two young boys, Landon and Griffin. She has been active in the Jacksonville moms club scene since the birth of her first son. After moving and falling in love with Nocatee, she created The Real Housemoms of Nocatee, a resident moms group with over 1200 members. Meg enjoys working out at Trinity Fitness Ponte Vedra and committing her husband to continuous house projects. After breast cancer touched six women & men in her family as of 2015, Meg decided to stop the cycle by having a preventative double mastectomy. You can follow her prevention journey on her blog at Bravery without BRCA. Beginning in 2017, Meg formed Trekking Twice, a Christian family travel blog documenting the two treks per year that her family embarks on after conducting extensive research on the best trips for families with young kids.


  1. We just got back from a Disney filled vacation yesterday. We did both a Disney cruise (oh my gosh, amazing! I hope you guys love that as much as we did!) and a day at Disney world. I agree, it was a good visit but not one I need to repeat in the near future. So crowded. I wish we had made time for Legoland. Next time- you’ve convinced me! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sounds like a magical time! I can’t wait for our Disney cruise but I can’t wait to go back to legoland even more. Definitely squeeze it in soon!

  3. Just did Legoland this Monday. No wait times and something for both kids. If I lived in Florida I would be a season pass holder.

  4. Hi Meg! My father built Walt Disney World and so I grew up on pixie dust! I worked there in various positions including characters throughout high school and college and on and off during the Summers as a teacher. My husband works in Horticulture special events for 30 years this January. I think maybe I could give you some good Insight tips for being able to truly enjoy Magic Kingdom with your family. I believe the wait times are ridiculous and it never used to be that way growing up but it is now. However there are some tips and tricks that can help make your visit much more enjoyable and truly magical. I’ve just discovered your blog and have found many similarities in values and enjoy reading them. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to reach back out to me and maybe we could meet at a theme park too make it an amazing visit. I will take you up on your idea to try at Legoland. It sounds like a great adventure! PS I just read your blog about having your son repeat VPK. I think it’s a brilliant idea. In fact that’s how I discovered you by researching about the ability to do this. It’s my little girls first year for VPK and I’m not sure I want her to even go now. They are a little only once

    • Sounds wonderful! What an impressive background your father has/sounds like you’re a Disney family all the way! Try sending me a PM to Meg James on Facebook!

  5. We live 35 to 40 minutes from Legoland and are pass holders. We love it. Over the past four years we’ve watched it grow and expand. They have done it right, slowly. There are wait times but never more than 30 minutes. Generally 10 to 15 and a lot of rides barley 5. We love it and my kids have a blast. We often go and spend the full time in thebarn. I have a 7 and 3 year old. We are also pass holders at Universal and Sea World. We love those parks too! Nothing beats the value of Legoland Awesomer pass as it includes all of I Drive 360!! We are as central to all the parks as you can get and visit all of them of them with the exception of Disney often. I agree on Disney being so crowded and long wait times. I find that the guest there are generally the most miserable. We don’t have passes to Disney, the price of the other three passes combined is about what we would pay for Disney alone! It just doesn’t make sense to our family. We do go to Downtown Disney and the resorts often. We love Disney too, but it’s number four on our list of the top 4 big parks here in Orlando!
    I’m glad you found out about the little secret that so many of us live and adore, Legoland!!


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