Trip Report may 8 - 16 2012

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snikreps
Posts: 23
Joined: January 24th, 2012, 2:07 pm
Location: Minneapolis MN

Trip Report may 8 - 16 2012

Unread post by snikreps » May 24th, 2012, 12:43 pm

We booked the trip for our family of four (Mom, Me, and 5 year old m/f twins) 6 months prior to the excursion. Our priorities were date (after spring break and before the summer season), location (on property so we could take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan), and amenities (someplace fun for the kids). We chose POFQ:

This was my second trip to WDW and my first time staying on property (I'll never stay off-property again btw), and I cannot possibly tell you about all the awesomeness that POFQ and POR have to offer...but I'm going to try anyway.

We stayed in Building 1, Parking Lot View on the 3rd Floor. If you go to POFQ and don't like to walk clear across the resort to get to the busses, don't stay in Building 1 (parking lot view is because I'm cheap and we didn't spend much time looking out the window of our room anyway), but we are young and the kids are able, so I figured a little more exercise wouldn't hurt. I can see why Building 4 would be nice. It is close to the pool, food court, and bus stop. The room was clean and newly renovated. The Mickey Shaped Towel design is the first thing you see on the bed. It announces that the Magic is surely in effect. We never had any issues with housekeeping and everything was replenished while we were gone. (Disney Magic Spoiler: Our kids each brought a stuffed animal from home to sleep with. The Mousekeeper put them in different places and positions everyday to make it look like they were playing or watching TV while we were at the parks). Tip your Mousekeeper! They are some hard working people. The wall safe in the room was convenient, Refrigerator was VERY USEFUL (see Dining Plan Tips below), and the TV always turned on to channel 22 which repeats a show about how to enjoy the various amenities of the Disney Theme Parks…good thing to watch while you wait for the shower in the morning.

Various Amenities:
~ Pool: The pool was so inviting that it was the first thing we decided to do after we checked in. And having thought ahead; we packed our swimwear in our carry-on luggage because we had no intention of going to the parks the first day anyway. We got to the pool just as they were starting the daily pool party and the kids LOVED IT! The resort activities personnel were obviously enjoying the party as much as the kids were and everyone had a good time. The cast members were very inviting and tried to get everyone involved. It gave my kids the perfect First Impression of the 'Hotel'.

~ Bonfire Ring: Every night they have a bonfire and provide all you can each marshmallows and roasting sticks. Despite what I had read on http://www.portorleans.org/recreation.php previous to our trip, there were no graham crackers or chocolate bars for purchase, so you're just roosting 'Schmellows. The fire ring is located riverside of building 6 and there were 2 cast members there helping with the roasting and even taking cameras to help get those family photos!

~ Movies under the stars: We did not take in a movie, but we walked by and talked to one of the cast members about it; some things of note: it's located in the grassy area between buildings 4, 5, and 6. DON'T bring your room towels or blankets!! They will send you back to your room if you do. They create a carpet of pool towels for you to lay on if you wish, and swing by the food court on your way and fill up your resort mug and buy some popcorn, there is no food or beverage services at the 'theater'.

~ Busses: The one thing I fretted about and shouldn't have is the busses. The stop is located outside the main entry of the main building. There are 2 covered areas and they are clearly marked as to which one to stand in (or sit on a bench under) while you wait for the appropriate bus). You will more than likely see 2 EPCOT busses while you wait for one to Animal Kingdom and 2 for Animal Kingdom while you wait for one to EPCOT, but fear not, your bus will be there shortly and it will go directly to the park of your choosing. We did not stop anywhere along the way in any of the 6 days we took busses. ONCE we hopped a bus home from a park and it brought us through POR first before stopping at POFQ and that's not a horrible delay.

~ Water Taxi (POFQ to/from Downtown Disney): DON'T MISS THIS! What a peaceful and wonderful trip. You get to motor down the river, passing by some of the other resorts along the way, in a very relaxing journey to Downtown Disney for shopping and fun. I really encourage everyone to try this at least once. I'm sure the bus would be slightly faster, but no where near as enjoyable.

~ Water Taxi (POFQ to/from POR): Taking a boat to or from POR takes about as long as it does to walk to or from POR so don't wait for a boat (can be up to 15-20 min wait) if you are trying to catch a reservation at Boatwright's Dining Hall. But if you have the time, again, it's fun (and you don't have to dodge any of the Surrey Bikes).

~ Surrey Bikes: One of the days We rented a 2 seater Surrey bike (Google it). My wife and I sat and pedaled and the kids rode out front (if your kid(s) are still small enough to fit in a shopping cart, they'll fit up front). It was a nice way to see the POR resort and get some exercise at the same time (cause walking 8+ miles a day in the parks wasn't enough!?). You should know that there are some hills (both up and DOWN!!) but nothing too difficult to tackle. Some of the pathways got narrow and they're pretty particular about staying on the designated route and not going counter-clockwise around the route!! lol

~ Bayou Pirate Adventure: 2 hours of fun for the kids out on the water. I won't spoil the fun, but if you have kids between ages 4 and 12, SEND THEM! They'll have a BLAST, and you get a break! Just be ready for them to talk about their adventure for the rest of the day, because that's how much our kids loved it!!

~ Horse Drawn Carriage Rides: We didn't do it, but it looked fun.


Dining Plan Tips:
I'm going to actually write a trip planning post about Disney's Dining Plan because there were some things I wish I had known before I got there that I would like to share, but know this; don't wait to start using your snacks…we were scrambling at the end to use ours. And you can use your snacks at night to get milk and juice for the next day's breakfast. Keep them cold in your refrigerator.

I've rambled on and I hope SOME of this is useful to you. We really had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed staying at POFQ.
…now I'm off to go blog about our trip…that'll have more stuff about the parks and what we did, day to day…but I won't post that here. :mrgreen:

Stephen

keith13
Posts: 15
Joined: April 13th, 2012, 2:00 am
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Trip Report may 8 - 16 2012

Unread post by keith13 » May 24th, 2012, 1:11 pm

Great report. Staying at riverside in nov. looking forward to your ddp tips.

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Re: Trip Report may 8 - 16 2012

Unread post by Admin » May 24th, 2012, 1:23 pm

Thanks for the great report, sounds like you all had a blast. I've added a few notes to the recreation pages based on your comments.

Please feel free to link to your blog in case anyone wants to follow your adventures.

Andre
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- The Unofficial Visitor's Guide to the Port Orleans Resorts in Orlando, Florida -

snikreps
Posts: 23
Joined: January 24th, 2012, 2:07 pm
Location: Minneapolis MN

Re: Trip Report may 8 - 16 2012

Unread post by snikreps » May 24th, 2012, 3:29 pm

Andre,
Will do. It may be a few more days...we took just over 3000 pictures durring our trip. :o

Stephen

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