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The Perfect Themed Vacation, by Land and by Sea

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Why Themed Travel?

Themed Travel can run the gamut from a group of people traveling together with a shared interest, to an entire cruise sailing dedicated to celebrating a certain hobby, to a vacation filled with costume parties, character bounding, and even themed dining experiences. Themes can be as simple as “Disney Family Vacation 2023,” in which the whole family visits Disney together with matching shirts each day (see, you’ve probably traveled with a theme already, and didn’t even realize it!), and themes can also be as complex as a professionally planned Cruise sailing!

Cruise Themes can be ship-wide or created for a specific group of people sailing together. Disney does many themed cruises throughout the year, some of the most popular being the Very Merrytime Cruises and Halloween on the High Seas Cruises, but they also have cruises with a Marvel Day at Sea, and a Star Wars Day at Sea, among others. Other Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean have Themed Cruises as well, ranging from an 80’s Cruise to a Country Music Cruise. 

Castaway Cay

With all the possibilities that exist with Themed Travel, we will be kicking off 2023’s Inspiring Itineraries with a combination of Themed Disney Park Experiences and a Themed Group Cruise Sailing on Disney Cruise Line, in signature Love of the Magic Vacations-Style. If you’ve never tried Themed (or even Group) Travel before, this Itinerary offers a perfect experience to start, and if you have been part of a special group theme already, I’ll see you there because you already know how awesome it will be!

Walt and Mickey Disneyland

Although a combination of Disney Parks and a Disney Cruise Line Experience is possible from both Florida and California, this Inspiring Itinerary will be out of California (though a very similar experience is available out of Florida, as well), and the Theme will be Disney Enthusiasts and Fabulous Followers of our Favorite Influencers (Hi, DisneylandDailyCasey and BRBGoingtoDisney!). 

Let’s Go!

Disneyland Entrance at Night

Day 1

Once you arrive in sunny California, you’ll check in to one of Disney’s gorgeous California properties, The Grand Californian, The Disneyland Hotel, or Paradise Pier, where you’ll be staying for the next few nights. All three of Disney’s resorts in California are within walking distance of Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park (with The Grand Californian even having a direct entrance to Disney’s California Adventure Park from the Resort grounds). One of the first perks of your Themed Travel Experience will be a Happy Hour on your first night to meet and get to know some of your fellow Disney Enthusiasts! Being around like-minded people with the same interests, especially those we usually only get to interact with on our favorite internet communities, is part of what makes Themed Travel such fun, so definitely don’t miss this opportunity to greet some friends (maybe even for the first time) IRL!

Disneyland Castle

Day 2 

Time to Party at the Parks! Hopefully you made some new friends at Happy Hour so that you can coordinate some Park time together for today! It’s always great to experience the Disney Parks with new people who will surely have different favorites and perspectives on rides that allow you to see your own old favorites and familiar attractions in new ways! The same way I always choose Magic Kingdom as my first Park in Florida, I like to begin my Park experience in California at Disneyland, the OG Disney Park (though always be sure to have Park Reservations ahead of time). You’ll spend the day at all the classic attractions, like “it’s a small world,” Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and some of the newer ones too, such as Star Tours and Rise of the Resistance, trading stories with your fellow Disney Enthusiasts about your most memorable times on each ride! At the end of the day, continue getting to know new faces over dinner, or enjoy your own reservation if you’ve planned ahead and booked when your Disney Dining window opened. 

Disneyland Hotel Poolside

Day 3

With lots of excitement from Happy Hour on the first night, and a full day at Disneyland under your belt, Day 3 is the perfect time for some rest and relaxation, especially since tonight will be the big Themed Party at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort. So while getting up early for Rope Drops on Park days is highly recommended, today is a great opportunity to sleep in, spend some time by the pool, and maybe even really treat yourself with a morning at the spa for some rejuvenation before the Party.

Grand Californian Lobby

Then, break out your favorite cocktail attire for the Feature Event of your Resort Stay, complete with food catered by Disney, professional photographers, a bag of party favors, and best of all, time spent with fellow Disney Enthusiasts and Fabulous Followers of your Favorite Disney Influencers!

Radiator Springs DCA

Day 4

With one more full day on land before setting sail on the Cruise portion of your adventure, today will be spent at Disney’s California Adventure Park (as long as you’ve made a Park Reservation, of course)! While it’s difficult to make it to every attraction you’re hoping for at Disneyland in one day, California Adventure Park is much more doable with a one day time frame, especially if you Rope Drop (which is highly recommended if you want to get on some of the most popular rides, like Radiator Springs Racers), and if you take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Last night’s soiree surely introduced you to more Disney Enthusiasts who share the same love of the Parks, and who are definitely the type of people you will want to spend time experiencing attractions with at DCA today! Whether you’re Racing around Radiator Springs or Soarin’ Around the World together, you are getting two incredible experiences at once: enjoying a Disney Park AND deepening a connection with a new friend! Celebrate your new acquaintances with dinner in the Park or enjoy a reservation you’ve been looking forward to if you booked ahead!

Disney Cruise Ship

Day 5 

It’s time to take this Themed Adventure to the High Seas! Bid Farewell for now to Disneyland as you and your fellow Disney Enthusiasts and Fabulous Followers head out to San Diego, where your magnificent Disney Cruise Ship awaits! There’s nothing quite like the excitement of boarding a cruise ship, especially while enthusiastic Cast Members wave you Bon Voyage, and then as soon as you get on the ship, Cruise Cast Members greet you by name! Once everyone is settled on board, you’ll be invited to meet up with anyone sailing with your Themed Group, which may include some new faces, in addition to those you’ve already met and gotten to know in the Parks over the last few days. Then, enjoy your first Cruise Dinner all together, and don’t forget to let your Disney Enthusiasm Shine!

Disney Cruise Deck

Day 6 

Your first full day at sea! Whether you’ve sailed on Disney Cruise Line before, even on the very same ship, or if it’s your first time, there is always something new to discover, especially on a sea day! As your ship sails along en route to Cabo San Lucas, you get to take in the endless ocean views, find your favorite lounge chair by the pool, search out the best cocktail on board, and of course, meet up with some Classic Pals for pictures, as well as trading Disney stories and memories with all the new friends you’re sailing with! Grown-ups can get in some relaxation time while the kiddos check out the multiple kids clubs (designated by age), and make sure you plan to take in the on-board entertainment, such as the Broadway-caliber shows at night!

Jamie at a Wish Bar

But not before you get dolled up for your group’s Private Themed Cocktail Hour Party! Your ticket to this event will get you Disney-quality food, a goodie bag, and time to celebrate your Disney Enthusiasm among friends!

Cabo San Lucas Arch Beach

Day 7

Located at the end of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is one of Mexico’s most beautiful and beloved beach towns. Almost anything and everything you could want from a perfect day at the beach can all be found at this port of call, from whale watching and swimming with dolphins, to boat tours that feature the famous Arch at Land’s End, to scuba diving or snorkeling, to city tours and shopping, to horseback riding on the beach, to experiencing authentic Mexican traditions, Cabo has every beach activity you could ever want!

Cabo San Lucas Shopping

Although excursions require planning ahead, your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor can help guide you through that process, and if you didn’t plan ahead, don’t worry, Cabo is the perfect place to stroll through Mexican markets filled with street food, artisan crafts, and galleries, or even just find a great spot on the beach with some fellow Theme Groupies.

Mickey on Deck

Day 8

Another Day at Sea! Don’t worry, most cruise ships, especially Disney Cruise ships, offer so much to do onboard that you probably couldn’t get to everything even if every day was a Sea Day! There is always so much to choose from, between pools and water slides, spa treatments at Senses, Royal Tea and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and of course, hanging out with your favorite characters as you spot them around the ship!

Bibbidi Bobbidi Botique

By this point, you’ll probably be coordinating schedules with your fellow Disney Enthusiasts and Fabulous Followers of your Favorite Disney Influencers to plan meet-ups in the Disney Parks, whether in Disneyland or Disney World! And as always, your Love of the Magic Travel Advisor can help you and your new friends plan vacations together! Be sure to attend a show or watch the fireworks to celebrate the last night of your adventure!

Moonrise on Cruise

Day 9 

Sigh. The last day of any vacation is always the saddest and most difficult, especially when you have to get up early to disembark from a ship. But even though all good things must come to an end, at least you’ll have a bunch of new friends who share the same Disney Enthusiasm as you, and who you hopefully already have some future Park plans with! And don’t forget, the best way to sweeten the bitterness of the last vacation day is to make your home a place you absolutely love going back to (pro-tip: stock your pantry with a bunch of favorite goodies to literally sweeten your homecoming)!

Disneyland Balloons

Ready to Plan?

If you are ready to go on The Perfect Themed Vacation, you’re in luck! This Perfect Themed Vacation already exists and you can sign up for it today! We at Love of the Magic Vacations are so proud and excited to partner with Shannon from BRB Going to Disney and Disneyland Daily Casey to offer you The Perfect Themed Vacations with all your fellow Disney Enthusiasts and Fabulous Followers of Shannon, Casey, and Jamie.  

BRB Cruise

Jamie already partnered with Shannon to create The Perfect Very Merrytime BRB Cruise at the beginning of December 2022, and Casey has expanded her Pearls in the Park Party in Disneyland to be followed by a new Pearls on the Pacific Disney Cruise from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas this May. Sound familiar? That’s right, this very Inspiring Itinerary is almost exactly what you can expect when you sign up for Casey’s Pearls on the Pacific Cruise! And if you prefer a Cruise out of Florida, Shannon’s next BRB Cruise will be next fall during Disney’s Halloween on the High Seas Theme! Your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor can get you a spot on whichever trip you prefer with either of these Incredible Instagramming Ladies and more of their Fabulous Followers!

Map and Compass

Looking for more of our Inspiring Itinerary series?

You can find links to all of 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries in this Blog: A Year of Inspired Travel: 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries, Month by Month

Just like last year, in 2023, a new Inspiring Itinerary will come out each month!

And don’t forget to check out our Friday Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! You can find links to all of Jamie’s 2022 Travel Tips at this Blog: Jamie’s 2022 Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: A Recap

Ready to plan The Perfect Themed Vacation? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email hello@LOTMV.com 

Inspiring Itinerary January 23

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