Totally agree. My extended family is looking at just staying at the Jersey shore this summer like we used to before Aruba. I love being DTS, I grew up going down every summer, but, my brain won't allow me to justify the expense of renting a shore house when I know I can rent a timeshare in Aruba for less! Even though the house DTS is 3 BR/2BA and the timeshare is 1BR/1BA it does seem to matter! lol
We spent A LOT of time in Florida growing up: my grandparents had a house in Fort Lauderdale starting in the early 1970s and, subsequently, my parents and all my aunts and uncles had homes in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Sarasota and Naples. Disney was pretty much a staple for me and my dozens of cousins.
I would vote for the Florida trip depending on the age of the kids (i.e. if they're old enough to run around).
I love Aruba but it's pretty limited as a kid-friendly destination especially if your kids know there's something called Disney. But if the kids are too young to appreciate/participate in Disney, I'd vote for Aruba... prop the toddlers up on Eagle Beach and you're all set. LOL
I can vouch for the weather being hot in early summer in Florida. EXTREMELY hot!
Our worst vacations (as kids) were always the ones where the description included the word, "picturesque" (which equals "boring" to kids).
act1966 is thinking exactly how I am. Granted, it depends on the ages of the kids.
When my kids were younger, I took them once a year to Florida to visit grandma and grandpa. I took them to various beaches and of course Disney many times; daddy would stay home and work, as he found that more enjoyable than a week with his parents and he does not like the Mouse, lol. I always asked DH to take the kids to Aruba, but he always said, "not yet". We waited until they were in their late teens to take them, and he was right (ouch, that hurt to say). It was so enjoyable introducing them to the island at that age, and we didn't have to chase them around, worry about them at the pool or on the beach. There was no worry about finding a place to eat or napping, or keeping them entertained.
This is how I look at Disney. Do it with the kids while they are young. It is magical for them and that magic is lost the older they get. Although a bit pricey for the parents, there are ways to cut expenses. An island vacation will always be waiting and to younger kids, a beach is a beach is a beach; exampled by my son who always thought the lagoon at the Polynesian was the best beach ever.
This winter break from college, my daughter still took her annual visit to see grandma in Florida. No Disney, she and her girlfriend just wanted to chill on the beach. My son will be going in April. They both have said to me they were glad they did the Disney thing when they were young and appreciate the trips to Aruba as teens.
Ordinarily House of Mouse would get my vote, but now that the ages are revealed I say Aruba. Although 13 and 14 is still young, I think the "Disney Magic" is probably gone and it's time to get the "Aruba Magic" going. The Surf Club seems to have a great program available for teens, and they might be just young enough to enjoy it and I'm sure there are other resorts with similar activities. I like the Cape, but I'm much older than 14 and I don't think it would have been as exciting for me at that age. Teens are funny and can change from one person to another in a matter of minutes/hours/days. Has anyone asked them what they would like to do? Breakfast with Mickey or lunch at Zeerover's? Might be a tough call for a teenager...
Having lived on the Cape near Harwichport years ago...... there are only a handful of 'Aruba like' days in the summer and the ocean is COLD!....... if they've already done Mickey and Co...... Aruba should be a shoe in!