Port Orleans French Quarter


One of our favorite Disney Resorts is Port Orleans French Quarter.  This resort, which is a sister resort of Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, is the smallest of the Disney resorts.  This, when coupled with it’s French Quarter theming, really made it a very enjoyable resort to stay at.

We first stayed at POFQ in August of 2009.  This trip was originally planned for June, but we canceled once because of the economy, then later on in the summer decided it was more advantageous to go because of the free Disney Dining Plan, so we booked our trip for August.  However, we left Sophie out of the loop, and proceeded to plan, pack, and leave all one Saturday with her having no idea of where we were going.  When she found out, it prompted this video:

When we got to the resort, the first people we met were the two gentlemen who serve as doormen for the entrance to the lobby of the hotel.  They were some of the nicest Cast Members we have ever met, and it is just a shame that I don’t remember their names.  In addition to being doormen, they also were extremely knowledgeable about which was the best way to get somewhere to meet a reservation.  Whenever we saw them they always said — “Where are we going today?”, and when we told them, they promptly pulled out the park information we needed, pointed out the location of whatever it was we wanted to see, and also told us about some other things to do when we were there.  Lastly, they would tell us when the last bus was here that went to that particular destination.  Sadly, they were not there in June when we went back to POFQ.


In addition to the great doormen, we also had a great staff in other areas.  Check out this picture of the towels that the housekeeper left in our room:

Hidden Mickey, perhaps?

The thing that really sets Disney apart from any other theme park, in my opinion, is the incredible detail that is put into every part of a Disney resort.  Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, is based on the real French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana (obviously).  The street signs are the same, landscaping is the same, every detail is brought into the equation of what makes a Disney resort.  For a whole lot more about Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, you can check out the unofficial Port Orleans tribute site.

Because Port Orleans Resort comprises both the French Quarter and Riverside sections, you can actually partake of the services at both locations when you stay at one of the resorts.  This means that you can choose from two pools to enjoy, a fishing hole to enjoy some actual fishing, and the nice thing is that the two resorts are about a 5 – 10 minute walk up the lovely Sassagoula River.  Of the two resorts, Riverside is the larger of the two, and French Quarter feels much more intimate.  However, that intimacy does come at a price — there is only a quick service food court type restaurant at the resort.  If you wish to have a sit down dining experience, you need to head up to Riverside for that.

If you don’t feel like walking, and you don’t want to get in your car and drive, you have other choices available to you.  First off, you can take the water taxi.  The Sassagoula is a man-made river, and you can ride the water taxi up to Riverside, or you can wait for the one coming back and ride it down to Downtown Disney!  We have done that twice, and it is a nice change of pace from sitting in a bus to get where you want to go.

But talk is cheap, take a look at some of the pictures we’ve taken of the resort!

Building 6

 

One of the open areas

 

One of the fountains

 

Flower Garden

 

Georgette reading her book in our room

 

The Sassagoula as seen from our room

 

A set of flower pots

Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is the smallest of the resorts, but it definitely has it’s set of amenities.  Take a look at the official Disney World page for more information, and better pictures!

Coronado Springs — Our First Disney Resort

In August of 2007, Cindy and I decided to take Walt Disney up on it’s offer, and stay at the parks for a longer period of time than just a day or two.  We had been the previous year with Meemaw, and the year before with Leigh Ann and Riley (and family), and seeing how much fun it was with them just fueled our need for more Disney Magic!


So Cindy and I decided to take the plunge and book a resort to stay at.  We had always assumed (somewhat incorrectly, I might add) that staying on property was 1) for those with more money than sense, and 2) really, really expensive, so when we looked into the idea, I know that I was thinking we weren’t going to be able to swing it.


Boy, was I ever wrong!  Have you ever stayed at Disney World on property before?  If you haven’t, I really suggest that you take a look at it.  Not only are there all sorts of different themed hotels for you to choose from, there are also several different levels that you can stay at depending on your budget!


For those with large parties, or smaller budgets, there are the Walt Disney World Value Resorts to choose from.  They include the following resorts:

  1. Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
  2. Disney’s All Star Music Resort
  3. Disney’s All Star Sports Resort
  4. Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  5. and, coming in Summer 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

These resorts are all classified as value resorts, which means that they are the least expensive of the Disney resorts.  In many cases, though, they can be worth it if you have large parties because some of these resorts offer rooms that can sleep more than 5 people.


Cindy and I felt that, after researching all the properties, and also speaking with some of our friends, that the value resorts were more like “hotels” and less like “resorts”, so we decided not to do any of the value resorts.  After that, we looked at the Moderate Resorts.  They include:

  1. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort
  2. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  3. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  4. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  5. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

We looked at a lot of them, but in this instance choose Coronado Springs Resort.  We liked the Aztec influence in the decor, we thought that the big pool looked really neat from Google Earth and the website, and the color scheme chosen for the buildings was really quite nice.  We enjoyed it a great deal!  For this first year, we booked our trip directly from the Disney World website.  The special that year was the free dining plan.  Book a stay at a Disney resort, stay a certain number of days, and you will get the Disney Dining Plan for free.  That means that one snack, one quick service meal, and one table service meal per person per day is already paid for!  Doing the dining plan for us meant that we were able to go to a lot of restaurants that we wouldn’t normally go to, which meant that we could choose character places so Sophie could get a ton of autographs, and we wouldn’t have to pay for a lot of food while we were at the parks!


Having the dining plan is one of the biggest benefits for us staying at a Disney resort!  I have a ton of pictures from that first extended trip to Walt Disney World, but rather than upload them all, take a look at the embedded slideshow!  Enjoy, and feel free to comment!

The 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel

Tomorrow morning, at 9:00 AM Eastern time, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel will begin accepting applications for the next round of “Moms”.  In case you aren’t aware, the Moms Panel consists of Moms (and Dads) that have knowledge of Disney World, and are willing to help out those that have questions that need answering.  The Moms Panel started in 2008, and has grown almost exponentially since the launch.  This current year consisted of 24 “Moms”, with two Dads on the panel.  In the past, though, there have been six other Dads on the panel.

Since I found out about the Moms Panel I have been really interested in it.  I have been fortunate enough to actually get three of my questions answered, which you can see here, here, and here.

The beauty of the Moms Panel is as a knowledgebase — a repository of information, links, and all sorts of juicy tidbits for the Disney fan in all of us.  Tomorrow, I plan on applying for the panel, in the hopes that I can help out those that need help as I have been helped.  To all that read this and apply, good luck to you!

Eating our way through Disney

In January of 2001, Cindy was pregnant with our daughter Sophie, and we had a long weekend, so we decided to spend it at Walt Disney World.  Since Cindy was pregnant, we couldn’t ride any of the rides we would normally ride — no Space Mountain, no Big Thunder Mountain, nothing like that, so we made the decision early on to eat our way through the parks.

Since it was January, there really wasn’t a big crowd, so we were able to walk right into Guest Services at the Magic Kingdom and make a reservation for lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table!  In addition to that great treat, we also ate at Liberty Tavern and several other wonderful restaurants.

That trip was special in it’s own way.  It is amazing to me, when Cindy was pregnant, she got some morning sickness (like almost every woman that has been pregnant).  But you know, I don’t think a single thing that we ate at Disney World made her sick that weekend.

This trip was a way for Cindy and I to just be together, even though Sophie was there, it was just the two of us, just enjoying a great weekend, and taking the road less traveled at Disney.  We watched the shows, we enjoyed the small rides like “It’s a Small World“, and we just enjoyed being there together.

It was a great way to kick off the year Sophie was born, and it gave us the chance to enjoy being a couple before Sophie arrived. Here are a few other pictures from that trip that you might enjoy!

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The early Disney visits

My Dreams of Disney In the beginning of my Disney experiences, all of our visits consisted of single day trips.  The first time we went, we spent one day at the Magic Kingdom, one day at Sea World, and then continued our trip out to Cape Canaveral to visit the Kennedy Space Center.

When we went to Epcot in 1983, we went over and back in one day, although we didn’t get back to Port Richey until about 12:30 AM (or maybe later)!  With Grandma and Grandpa living in state, it just didn’t make sense to stay in a resort, or visit for longer than a day at a time.

However, in 2000, all that would change.  That was the year that I found the love of my life, Cindy.  In June and July of that year, my parents, Cindy, and I went to visit my Grandparents.  While we were visiting them, Cindy and I decided to take a couple of days and go to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center.  Since we were there at the right time, we went for July 3rd and 4th.  We stayed at a hotel in Orlando, so we didn’t stay on property, but despite that, we still had a great time.

We both expected the parks to be really packed, but to our surprise, it wasn’t so bad.  We had a really great time, and we saw a show that is no longer presented at the Magic Kingdom:  The Timekeeper.

If you have never seen it, the Timekeeper was a circle-vision movie about time travel that was hosted by Robin Williams.  His assistant, 9-Eye, was played by Rhea Pherlman, and there are other big name actors in it as well, such as Jeremy Irons.  I really liked the Timekeeper show (for an idea of where the show was presented, the current attraction is the Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor).  I have found a YouTube videos of the Timekeeper, so feel free to enjoy it if you wish.

By the way, as a side note about the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, did you know that you can text in a joke to Mike Wazowski, and he might use it in the show!  We did that once with my daughter, and it was selected for the show.  Her joke:  “Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get away from KFC!”

When they read the joke, a few people laughed, and then they said “We don’t get it either.”  Sophie was so excited about it, though, that was all she could talk about!