Port Orleans French Quarter is in the New Orleans motif. Hence the French Quarter name. I wouldn't call the decor elegant, but the theming is cute and appropriate. It was fun and enjoyable to look around the property. In 2016, when we visited, the main building was undergoing a remodel. So some of the photo sets are not complete. Overall I prefer this side of the Port Orleans pair over the Riverside half out of sheer convenience. My husband and I stayed in the Riverside section a year and a half prior and it definitely has more as far as recreation activities. FQ is smaller, so your room will most likely be closer to the main building. This half of the resort also has the kids' splash pad and slide feature. When staying at either Port Orleans resort you have access to the other's amenities. We had dinner at the Riverside food court one night because we liked a few options over there better than the limited menu at FQ because of construction. We found this to be a great Moderate Disney resort, good food, and beautiful grounds.
We lucked out and ended up with a room in building five. This is the building directly next to the food court and lobby and also next to the pool. Maybe it was the fact that I was 6 months pregnant and they took pity on me? We encountered a lot of "good luck" mixed with some not so good on this trip. (It poured during our Not So Scary Halloween Party). I think much of our good luck came from my awesomely protruding belly! We were on the second floor, which was nice because we could look out the window and see some of the pool area and resort. The room had typical moderate resort amenities including an ironing board, coffee maker with Joffrey's Coffee, curved shower bar (yay, for no sticky curtain) and more. We didn't have any noise issues during our stay even though we were right near all the action!
My son spent some time checking it out and playing on it during our stay. He gave it two thumbs up! I, on the other hand, found it a bit hot. The benches weren't in shady areas and I kept moving around to be in the shade. I like that they had a large open area surrounding the equipment. Kids love to run around on playgrounds, by providing a wide open space they are less likely to clobber in to each other or the apparatus!
We actually spent a decent amount of time here on this trip. My son was 3.5 at the time and he loved the waterslide. I am not exaggerating when I say he went down it at least 100 times during our 3 night stay. He liked it so much that he took no interest in the splash pad area with sprayers and smaller slides. There was no height requirement for the big slide. Minimum heights have been an issue for us as my son is on the short side. Since this trip occurred, he's never been allowed on a water slide on a single cruise or hotel since. FYI, I am writing this two years after this trip occurred. That's what happens when you have a busy life with two kids! The one I was pregnant with on this trip is about to turn two. I am sure you can relate if you've made it this far through my blog. The pool itself was spacious. It could handle a fairly large crowd and probably still feel comfortable. We stay from a Sunday to a Wednesday, in the fall, so crowds were at a minimum for us. As Floridians the pool was slightly chilly in our opinion, but still comfortable once you were in. I'm sure northerners found it just fine or possibly warm.
One perk of the Port Orleans resort pair is the Ferry boat that picks up and drops off at Disney Springs. Each Port Orleans resort has a dock of it's own. The trip between Disney Springs and Port Orleans is 20 minutes give or take. It depends if you board at French Quarter or Riverside. Trips run from 10am to 11:30pm daily. The best part is, it's FREE!
*Remember, click on any image to view it larger!
Disney's Fort Wilderness is a unique gem situated off of Bay Lake, which means it has direct boat access to the Magic Kingdom ;) This was actually my second time staying in one of the cabins. My first experience was for one of my birthdays long ago, back in 2003. Things have changed since then and so I want to bring you the most up to date information I have on these spacious and relaxing "rooms."
Each cabin has a bedroom with full-sized bed as well as twin bunks. Floor space is a little cramped, but it's not a big deal because you have the rest of the cabin to sprawl out in! The bedroom also has a small closet with a curtain, flat screen TV, drawers, counter space, mirror, and side table. Remember you can click on the photos for a larger view!
Living & Dining Room
There is a dining table that can seat 6 total, I would say four comfortably though. One bench seat and three rustic chairs. It was nice to have a real table to sit down at for breakfasts, which we brought with us, and the one dinner that we ate in the cabin. In the living room section there was a 60+ inch flat screen HDTV on the middle far wall. It was placed between two windows, so I advise you close the curtains on either side for a less blinding view! The sofa unfolds to make an additional sleeping space for 2. Or in my family, one person takes up the whole thing ;)
There are 6 drawers under the TV and two cabinets on each side. A lot of storage space indeed. Finally, there is an ottoman and a rustic armchair for an additional seating space. Both the armchair and sofabed came in handy when my four year old spiked a fever on our second day of the trip.
This is quite possibly, my favorite feature of the cabins. Having a full kitchen at your fingertips is wonderful, especially when you are traveling with a 3 month old, 4 year old, and hungry husband! A refrigerator with freezer, two-burner glass top range, microwave/convection oven combo, kettle, coffee maker (with coffee and filters), toaster, and all the utensils needed to make meals. This was handy for quick and easy breakfasts. We kept all our snacks around for when we were back in the cabin and even ate a meal here one night. They also provide drinking glasses, plates, bowls, silverware, and more. It helps take the edge off of a potentially stressful vacation when you can come "home" at the end of the day.
We brought our own vehicle with us, but we also rented a golf cart for the stay. It was $59 per day and well worth it. With my son getting sick while we were there, a spin out on the cart in fresh air really helped perk him up. Many of the places in the fort (restaurants, pools, general stores) do not have parking for standard vehicles. There is, however, plenty of golf cart parking. Each cabin has a hookup outside so that the cart can charge overnight.
Being that it was in the 50s during our trip, we did not use the pool. It looked like a fun area though with the water slide. The kids splash area was under refurbishment so I couldn't even get a good picture of it. However, based on the online photos I have seen, my son would have loved it had it been warm outside and operational! There were pool noodles available for use, life jackets for little ones who may need assistance, and plenty of pool chairs available. Under the gazebo there was a shaded pool table for use as well.
We played a round of mini golf and let our son play on the playground. Typically mini-golf has a small fee $1-2 per person, but because the splash pad was closed they were not charging. Both were situated next to the pool. This made it convenient to hop from activity to activity. They had bikes to rent for riding the trails too. Across the street is a large park, still park of the resort, with many other activities as well.
My favorite part of the trip was the Campfire Sing Along. Two Cast Members hosted the activity. Everyone met at the campfire The sun was just disappearing at that point so it became a little cooler. We did not pack properly for this trip, it was in the 80s back home the night before... So we brought the beach towels with us in case we needed to keep warm. They led interactive camp songs for about 20 minutes while the stragglers showed up. It was fun, but you need to have people who participate. If the other guests are just sitting and listening it isn't any fun!
After the sing songs, they broke out the s'mores! At most Disney resort they just provide marshmallows and roasting sticks. However, they provided everything needed to make a proper s'more here. Earlier in the evening we bought chocolate and graham crackers just in case. It was a nice treat to end the day!
Coming at you is another, really old review that I never got around to publishing. This one is even older than my last. I stayed at the Yacht Club back in May of 2015! The good news is that I wrote everything up back then, now I'm just refining the details and pairing them with photos. I stayed at the Yacht Club with my mom and my, then, two year old son. He's about to turn six. #momlife We chose it because it had one of the best pool areas of all the Disney hotels and we had no plans to visit any of the parks, just relax at a hotel and use the amenities.
The rooms at this resort have since been made over. However for those with Disney nostalgia, I will still include them for you to marvel at. I truly enjoyed the theming in the Yacht Club side. It had a classy nautical thing going for it. From what I have seen, it's since lost much of it's theming in the makeover :(
Stormalong Bay- Pools
The pools are the highlight of this shared resort. Beach Club and Yacht Club share a common pool area. While it doesn't have a splash pad, it does have some unique features. The section closest to the Yacht Club side is a beach pool, complete with sandy shores. Buckets and shovels made up the kids meal at the nearby quick service stand Hurricane Hanna's and they came in handy. We spent a lot of time in this section because it made for good fun for my 2 year old.
Then there was the lazy river section with inner tubes and bridges to follow your family and friends as they made their way around the circuit. Closer to the Beach Club end was a regular pool and water slides. The large "wrecked" pirate ship held the big slide. If you walked around the back side, near Crescent Lake there was actually a smaller slide for little kids to play on.
It definitely surpassed our expectations for a great pool area. We spent two full days enjoying the water.
As far as food, we were not overly impressed. There isn't a true Quick Service Restaurant. Next door, at the Beach Club there is the marketplace but there were minimal options there for a hot meal. Hurricane Hanna's had a few burger/chicken sandwich options by the pool too. It's more of a daytime food kind of place and I don't recall it being open during the evening hours. It seemed lacking when compared to some of the other quick service locations at the Deluxe Resorts.
As for sit down meals, there is Beaches & Cream, a Disney fanatic favorite that books up months in advance. They serve bugers, fries, and of course ICE CREAM! Captain's Grill was good, as long as you like seafood. I do not fall in to that category so I didn't have a wide selection to choose from. Yachtsman's Steakhouse is supposed to have a very nice spread. Cape May Cafe hosts character meals at breakfast with Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast and during their Seafood Dinner Buffet.
Overall there really were a lot of options, but nothing exemplary that we experienced. Thankfully this resort pair is a short walk around Crescent Lake to the Boardwalk Resort that boasts many different restaurants and eateries that include ice cream shop and a bakery! You can see some of my reviews of Disney dining in the past which includes a few of these venues.
Quick Service- http://www.sunkissedadventures.com/blog/disney-quick-service-dining
Table Service- http://www.sunkissedadventures.com/blog/disneys-table-service-restaurants
Character Breakfast- http://www.sunkissedadventures.com/blog/character-breakfasts-cape-may-cafe-ohana
The look of the rooms has since changed, but I want to include the photos because I loved the decor. The room was beautifully decorated, perhaps a little bit dated, and the beds were too firm for me. I know some people like a firm bed, I prefer it to be more fluffy and giving. Everything was clean. We requested bed rails for my son. When we came back to the room, they were laying on the floor. I had expected someone to put them on the bed for us, they were somewhat tricky because both of the rails were two different types. We called for assistance and someone came up to put them on for us. One word of advice, pay the difference for a preferred location room if the option comes up. I actually haven't seen that option lately, but if it's there, DO IT! We took a run of the house with a water view. Well, after walking down three hallways and not by mistake, we finally arrived at our room. Leaving the room and heading back to the room was a chore and we double checked everything to make sure we never had to back track. Lets just say it was a LONG walk to the elevators. And our water view... well, check out the photos because it was kinda a joke!
The resort has nice activities on site. The typical movies at night and campfire too. We brought our own graham crackers and chocolate because we knew that they only provide the marshmallows. There were swings on the beach. Organized games from the Cast Members by the pool area are held throughout the day.
In early February, we had to make a trip up to Orlando to look at a vehicle for my husband. Not wanting to drive for over 6 hours in one day we decided to split the trip. Drive three hours to Orlando early Friday morning, check out the car, then drive an hour and a half south toward home and stop at the Disney Vero Beach Resort for the night. I had always been curious about the place, so this was the prefect opportunity to check it out. We could have had better weather for the experience, as it was unusually chilly that weekend and we could not use the pool.
We arrived around 2pm that day. At check in they were very friendly, gave us a report map, schedule, explained the character breakfast that was being offered the next morning, and a few other features. We signed up for the Character Breakfast then just in case it filled up.
Once we checked in and dropped our bags in our room, we headed over to the pool deck for some lunch. The temperature was in the 50s, and that's just too cold for us Floridians to be swimming!! We ordered some food from Bleachers Bar & Grill because this is the only dining venue open for lunch on the property. I would say it's equivalent to the quick service dining at Disney's Yacht Club. I had the Hummus plate with vegetables, my husband had a tuna croissant sandwich, and the little guy had a grilled cheese. My husband ended up eating most of the grilled cheese though! Food was ready in a reasonable amount of time. We were given a buzzer to let us know when to pick the food up. They don't give straw because you are on the ocean and they can be dangerous to the wildlife and sealife.
We ate at Shutters for breakfast during our stay. Goofy's Beachside Character Breakfast, which is only offered on Saturday mornings. The food was fine, nothing exceptional. It was family-style waffles, bacon, sausage, potatoes, scrambled eggs, and a plate of pastries. Our main purpose was to allow our son to meet the characters. We had the earliest reservation available because we needed to get on the road fairly early. So a 7:30 breakfast time did give us prime character time. There weren't many other families in the restaurant that early so we were able to get a few minutes with the characters rather than a few seconds (like it is as WDW).
Price wise it was a good deal. I think we paid $20 per adult. Our son was free because of his age. Most character meals can be very expensive, but this was a lot more reasonably priced.
The decor was nice. Beachy-dive but classy. I loved the high ceilings and plenty of windows. The kitchen is open to the dining room, I assume for other dining events.
Disney's Port Orleans resort is divided in to two sections, the smaller French Quarter and the larger Riverside. My husband and I chose to stay at the Riverside location. I chose it because of a few factors: 1) It was a reasonable price for the weekend we were looking to go 2) I had seen a few pictures and heard feedback that it had a lot of recreation activities and beautiful landscaping.
We drove up to Orlando from our home in south Florida early on a Saturday morning. We arrived at Port Orleans around 8:00am. We wanted to activate our Magic Bands before heading over to Blizzard Beach. We parked at the main Riverside building. They have 30-minute Check-In parking so that you don't have to search for a spot in the general parking. Those reserved spots are right up front so its not . We went inside and "checked-in" for the weekend. Our room was not ready that early, but we were not interested in a room at that hour! Everything was taken care of in under five minutes and we grabbed a quick bit from the food court, covered later, then we headed off to Blizzard Beach.
The lines were short at the waterpark, so we finished at about 1:30pm. We decided to head back to the hotel, shower, and relax for a bit. While we were in the waterpark, I received the text letting us know our room location! We were assigned to the Alligator Bayou section, I was secretly hoping for one of the mansions. We were in building 35, which is also one of the furthest from the main building. For us it wasn't a big deal because we had our own car with us and we always snagged a front spot by our building. For people traveling without a car, this could pose as a challenge. The main building would be a far walk from here.
I have to say, I think the theming is adorable in Disney hotels. Even though I was hoping for a Mansion room, these had their own unique charm to them! I felt like I was staying in a rustic cabin, minus the dirt. The room was clean and fresh upon arrival. We booked a King room and that is what we received . There is a pull-down bunk directly across from the king bed, so if there was a family of three this room would be sufficient. We also had a corner room, which meant double windows! The photo came out terrible, but I placed it below so you can get an idea of what it was like in the room. The refrigerator is the box below the small coffee maker. My husband used this both mornings for a quick cup of coffee, Joffrey's Coffee was the brand and they were single serve pouches of fresh grounds that go in to the machine.
This is a table service restaurant that it just outside of the Riverside Mill Food Court. It serves southern and cajun style recipes. We did not have the opportunity to try it, but it looked like the menu had some good choices on it. Feel free to check it out here: Boatwrights Menu
Riverside Mill Food Court
This quick-service, food court style venue had a variety of options and plenty of seating. We grabbed a quick breakfast here earlier in the morning. We shared a breakfast platter and croissants. We returned to this venue for lunch. Because we had the Disney Dining Plan we ended up with a lot of food! We both went for the Make Your Own Pasta bar, which came with a bread stick. The serving was large and it was decent considering it is fast food. The Dining plan also entitled each of us to a dessert and an additional drink (beyond the refillable resort mug). So we grabbed a water and Powerade to bring back to the room for later. For dessert, my husband got an oatmeal cookie and I had a Magic Bar. If you've never had a Magic Bar, you've been missing out. Think of every sweet, tooth rotting, baked good and throw it together. There's coconut, chocolate, butterscotch, graham cracker, and more! My mom used to make them when I was a kid and it brought back a slice of childhood! Riverside Mill Menu
After lunch we decided to walk around so I could get some pictures of the grounds. We decided to rent a surrey bike, @ $19 for 30 minutes, because the property was so large. The bikes are harder to use than we anticipated, but it wasn't terrible. The only challenge was going uphill in some sections of the property. Select the first photo in the set below and you can click on the arrow to shuffle through them in larger form.
Port Orleans-River side has multiple pools. The main pool is directly behind the main building on Ol' Man Island. This is where the activities director will host pool side games. There is a water slide at this pool, kiddie pool, Muddy Rivers pool bar, hammocks, and lounge chairs. We did not use the pool area because we had a packed weekend, plus we spent half a day at Blizzard Beach. We were in the area when the Activities Director was hosting games and it was a lively atmosphere. Kids were excited, adults were excited, and everyone seemed to be happy!
Playgrounds & Activities
The resort has, quite possibly, one of the largest arcades I have seen on property. Many types of machines were available in a large room just off the Reception Desks. The playground fits well in to the theme of the resort with a wheel that matched the mill wheel by the food court. As with all of the resorts, there was a board by the pool area that listed the times and activities available each day. It lists the Movies Under the Stars, pool games, campfire hour, and more! Speaking of campfire hour, there is a permanent fire pit just off the side of the pool area, behind Muddy Waters. Each evening an activity cast member will be there with marshmallows and roasting sticks. We did not partake in this activity, although I wanted to. When I stayed at the Yacht Club, one month earlier, I did it and it was a fun activity!
There are two bars on this property. One, Muddy Rivers, is located on Ol' Man Island, for pool-side refreshments. It had a good amount of patrons there when we walked by one afternoon. The other, River Roost Lounge, is located just inside the lobby. After our day at Epcot and browsing Downtown Disney in the evening, we returned to the hotel and had drinks at River roost. My husband had a few Coronas and I had a Mai Tai. My drinks was good,typical Mai Tai and decent amount of alcohol in it, not too cheap :) There were approximately 8 other patrons in the lounge. We had to hurry with our drinks because the lounge closed at 11pm, that was the only downfall.
Both Port Orleans resorts have a boat that will bring you to Downtown Disney. I regret not trying this out, but we went to see a movie at DTD and we didn't want to be stuck there past the hours of operation. It's a nice, scenic, way to go there that eliminates the hassle of the bus system or fighting for parking with your own car.
Port Orleans Riverside is a nice resort with a little of everything. I don't think you could go wrong choosing this location. Young or old, there is something for everyone.
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We opted for connecting standard rooms. I was not in charge of this reservation, so I do not know what was requested in advance. However, we did overlook the pool and had a partial view of the fireworks from Epcot each night. I would recommend requesting a westward-facing room if you want to watch the Epcot fireworks around 9:30pm each night. The rooms were typical Hilton style rooms. We had two queen beds in each room. Comfortable enough for me and I'm very picky about beds. The alarm clock had the old-style Apple connectors, so we could not use them with our phones or iPods. A small cooler (not refrigerator because it does not get cold enough to be classified as one) was located in the dresser under the TV. Each room had a large waist to ceiling window that spanned the whole length of the room. Toiletries were provided in the bathroom included shampoo, conditioner, face soap, and lotion. Cribs are available, but I did not request one on this trip, I was attempting to bed-train my son. As you can see from the photo, be does not understand the concept of sharing a bed with his mother :) One drawback of the hotel rooms is that the path you must walk to get from the elevator to your room can be confusing at first. The elevators in the lobby and split, one set for the lower floors and one set for the upper floors. This is not the problem. The problem occurs with the odd zig zagging of the halls. It's hard to explain, but after the first day you'll find your room just fine.
On my most recent "Perry Girls, plus Connor, Spring Break" trip we stayed at the Hilton Bonnet Creek. The Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, and Wyndham are all located on Disney property, Bonnet Creek, near the Caribbean Beach Resort. The closest park would be Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon. While it is not an official Disney property, Hilton Bonnet Creek is very convenient to the Disney parks. Now, before I start my review of the property I want to warn you that this is an opinion piece. I will do my best to write objectively, but I will add my opinion when I feel necessary ;) Not every hotel is cut out for every type of person or family. Take my review as a way to determine if this is the place for you and your family to stay!
I want to start off by saying that the hotel is very nice. The lobby is huge, it opens up in to a sitting area, bar, market/cafe, and reservations desk. Marble floors, seamless, modern decor. Muse, a snack shop/ coffee shop is located in the lobby for quick sandwiches, chips, and baked treats. Walk to the rear of the lobby and catch a view of the expansive pool area. The pool has many different sections, one with a zero entry area, lazy river, water slide, kiddie pool, jaccuzzi, and open swim. Beech, an outdoor casual dining venue is located on the pool deck as well. The waterslide is located directly next to Beech, which causes a problem. Beech serves food, therefore does not allow smoking. I saw quite a few guests relocate to the area near the waterslide to smoke. When we first arrived the lobby was swarming with business travelers. For the first two days there was a pharmaceuticals conference going on. I would say that 90% of the guests during those two days were business travelers. Off to the side on the main floor there was an arcade, my sister in law took the kids there one night and let them go wild. Okay, not too wild, but they had fun and earned enough points to pick some prizes to bring back to the room.
Extra Costs to Consider
Is it Family Friendly?
The answer to this question really depends on YOUR family vacation style. If you like to stay in true- upscale hotels, this will fall short. The Waldorf Astoria next door would certainly meet that luxury standard. If you want to get that Disney feel, this won't come anywhere close. Head to one of the Disney hotels. If you're traveling as a couple or business traveler, it's a nice place to stay. Personally I won't be back to this hotel because I did not find it family friendly for MY family. It lacked a number of kid/family friendly features in my opinion. Other than the pool area (for older kids) and the free food for kids, there isn't much for kids to do without dishing out a lot of money (the kids club is located next door at the Waldorf and costs $75 a day.) Don't get me wrong, the property is beautiful and the service was good. When I think about going to Disney, I think about all the fun hotels that are on property with the different themes and included activities. I also can't help but to feel nickel and dimed with the cost of the resort fee and parking for each night of the stay. It can add up quickly.
Hi! I am Nicole Perry, owner of Sunkissed Adventures.
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