As I told you before, my husband asked me to book a room at Disney for our family. Whenever I make a Disney reservation of any kind, I call. Yes, you can book online... But I MUCH prefer to call and speak with someone. The cast members on the phone are incredibly helpful. They will search multiple dates, resorts and all sorts of combinations of Disney fun for you. When you call, make sure you ask for a Florida Resident or Annual Passholder discount (if you fall into either category).
So I called. It was between 2 nights at one of the All Stars (which are meh in my honest opinion) and 1 night at Port Orleans Riverside. I ran it by the hubs and he opted for Port Orleans. I was happy with his choice.
Port Orleans is an excellent Resort. It's near Epcot and Disney's Old Key West Resort. The Resort offers bus transportation to all the Parks and boat service to Disney Springs.
There are two "sides" to the Resort - the Riverside and the French Quarter. They each have their own lobbies, gift shops, sets of eateries and pools. And the themes are different. The French Quarter is brightly colored, the outside of buildings resembles architecture from Bourbon Street. Basically, it's Mardi Gras every day at the French Quarter.
We stayed on the Riverside. I prefer this one. It is a nod to the beautiful southern, grand plantations you find in the South. The cafeteria has a large mill on the outside, I suppose to resemble an old sugar mill. My kiddos love this one. And here, if you ask for it, you can book a room with some Tiana magic (complete with a light-up headboard).
I've stayed at Port Orleans several times. It is one of my mom's preferred Resorts. And we have eaten here on numerous occasions - the first night we all arrived in Orlando for my sister's Disney wedding, when I brought the kids up last summer for a spontaneous day trip, and much more). But this was Stu's first time sleeping here, so it was a nice treat. I highly recommend this Disney Resort.
We drove our car from our hotel to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. From the Outpost we hoped on a Disney bus and rode it down to the settlement. For the first time ever, in our Disney experience, everything went without a hitch and we made it to Pioneer Hall in record time... which meant we had an excess of time to kill before we needed to check in. Luckily, there is a playground.
Last weekend the kids, my mom and I went to Disney. It was an early birthday celebration for Reagan. She really wanted to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Walt Disney World is quite busy during December. But, with the help of a great cast member on the phone, we were able to book a two-night stay at the Coronado Springs Resort. This was our first time at this Resort, so the kids were pretty excited to check it out.
As you know, we LOVE staying in the cabins at Fort Wilderness. This Disney Resort has so many incredible things to offer families.
Don't fret if you forget to pack something. There is an Outpost store on the Resort Property. You can ride your golf cart or a bus to pick up any essentials. Or, you can get in your vehicle and drive off Disney property... there are several Publixes within a few miles.
You're on vacation, and you do not want to cook? No problem. There is no shortage of eateries at this Resort.
Mickey's Backyard BBQ is the BEST character dining experience at Disney. Yes, you can quote me on that. Yes, there are other great places to go and get up close and personal with the characters, but nothing like this.
This BBQ is held outside, under a large pavilion. The dinner is served buffet-style (same food as the above spots). The food is so yummy. The tables are incredibly long picnic tables, and families are seated by Disney staff upon arrival. There is a stage and a few "dance spots." Once everyone has had a bit of time, the characters come out. You'll find Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale. They don't make the rounds as they do elsewhere. Here, they dance. And kids are encouraged to go dance with the characters. The characters are out for long periods of time and, trust me, you will have plenty of interaction with them. It's awesome.
The Backyard BBQ is not available every night. They only run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from now (Sept) through December. Then they drop down to Thursdays and Saturdays. This is a seasonal restaurant, the weather effects its dates of availability. Remember, I told you this was outside. You can always call Disney to ask questions, or to book (up to 180 in advance).
You will NOT be disappointed.
For dining reservations and questions, call (407)WDW-DINE.
I have not been to Disney in *gasp* a long time! Almost a year. Aaaahhh. For me, that's an eternity. (The kids were here in February with Grammie.)
Mom and I decided that the kids needed a vacation. Which basically means Mom and I needed a Disney fix.
We wanted a hotel on the Monorail line. I wasn't sure if we were going to go into any Park because it was Labor Day weekend, but if we did, it'd be nice to be super close to pop in and out. Rea had recently been asking to go to the Polynesian. She's never stayed there. And for me, it has been about 30 years... no kidding.
This past weekend was ArtiGras in Jupiter. It is a really busy weekend for Mommy - so Grammie took the monsters to Disney! They stayed in the Garden Wing of the Contemporary.
This is from the kids' point of view.
Buddy said the hotel was awesome. He loved that their room looked out at the Monorail Track (completely ignoring the parking lot view most adults see immediately).
Rea loved the bathroom. She said it was beautiful and "[it] was really nice too." And both kids thought it was super fun to order room service for breakfast. Grammie asked if they had ever used room service before... Rea said, "Oh yes, when I was in the hospital."
The Contemporary is one of our favorite resorts. It's really hard to beat the transportation conveniences and amenities this place has to offer.
Last time I told you about our eventful attempt to make it out of the driveway. And our eventual arrival to the cabins at Ft Wilderness. Today, I want to share our crazy Friday with you.
Friday was a bit more chaotic than it was planned to be. We had planned to spend the day at the Animal Kingdom. But in the morning, on our way to hop on a Disney bus, Genie and I decided to check on our friends' cabins.
Several other families would be arriving over the next 24 hours, and we wanted to make sure their cabins would be on our loop. We had all linked the reservations when we booked, so it should be a no-brainer, right? Wrong. This happens every time! I don't understand why Disney has not mastered "linking." I mean, come on, we all want to stay together.
Our Disney Sides
We are fortunate enough to live a short drive away from the Happiest Place on Earth! And we take full advantage of it!