POR trip report 4/28-5/7

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Joined: May 10th, 2014, 11:47 am

POR trip report 4/28-5/7

Unread post by slceostyle » May 10th, 2014, 12:56 pm

This is my first post on any Disney Board, but I've been following this board, specifically, for the last several months, preparing for our vacation. My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Disney World in 2009 (partially because my parents also honeymooned at Disney and partially because I couldn't imagine going anywhere else). I did not grow up going to WDW (although I always dreamed of it) and had only been to Disneyland a few times and one shortish trip to WDW in 2002. Our honeymoon was amazing and perfect, and when we were leaving I told him I was going to save $10 every week for the next 5 years so that we could return for our 5th anniversary. We are both theatre actors living in NYC, so this small amount was seriously hard at times, but we did it (he eventually started saving, too, and after a while, I started saving $20 a week), and started planning our Middle Class 5th Anniversary Vacation.

We had stayed at Pop Century during our honeymoon, and I wanted to stay at a moderate this time. I had decided POFQ was the best option, but when the spring season discounts rolled around, I found out I would save like $400 by staying at POR. That's when I found this board. I had heard SO MANY great thing about POFQ that switching even just down the street made me nervous. After reading so many great reviews of POR, I decided to switch, and I made the best decision ever. WE LOVED EVERYTHING. I am getting teary eyed even writing this right now, because we loved it so much at POR. About 5 days out, I faxed in a room request, asking for a top floor, corner room, facing the river (we already had a king bed) in one of the mansion houses, and they gave me exactly what I asked for. I couldn't believe it. The resort was so beautiful. Our room was so beautiful. It was SO QUIET! We were there for 10 days and never had a problem with "mousekeeping" (one day we slept in since it was raining and we were going to be running the Expedition Everest Challenge that night and I saw Maria at our neighboring room. She asked if we needed service and I said no, and without me asking for them, she brought us a bag of towels and soap later that day) and we definitely never had a problem with the "lots of walking" I've read that a lot of people complain about. Granted, as I said, we live in NYC and were running a race during this trip, so we have no mobility issues, but even at our most tired, the walk from the South Depot to our room at Magnolia was not a problem. A few times we even got off the bus at POFQ and walked back from there since we knew we were going to be faster than the bus.

Speaking of bus service, there was only one day when we had to wait more than 20 minutes at the East Depot in the morning, and that was for a bus going to HS. That was frustrating only because I was already INSIDE my FP+ time when we got to the bus stop (my own fault) and because I knew it was going to start raining around noon, so I wanted to get there. Most of the time we waited <10 minutes. We use bus or subway service daily in our regular lives, so this was MUCH BETTER than the MTA! After our race on Saturday night, we also had an exceptional bus driver, Willy. Since we weren't staying at a host resort for the race, we knew we'd need to take a bus to DTD, then a bus to AKL and then the shuttle to the race... and vise versa on the way home, except at 12:30am. This made me nervous for obvious reasons, but when Willy picked us up at AKL, he asked where we were going, and instead of taking us to DTD to transfer back to POR, he just drove us right back to our resort. We were SO HAPPY. It's things like that that make Disney famous for service.

We didn't have any problems with our Magic Bands or the resort cups. Everything worked seamlessly every time. I did see people struggling with their cups at the filling stations, but I think it was more user error than anything else. We witnessed the same thing with the Magic Bands... people would touch a part of the band that WASN'T the Mickey head to the sensor and get frustrated when it wasn't working. Of course it's not working! It's like putting the back of a key into a keyhole and wondering why it doesn't fit. Or, people would get frustrated because they didn't know their own PIN number. Again, not Disney's fault. PS - the bands are indeed waterproof. We wore them in the pool, the hot tub, and the crazy watersides at both water parks. Also, if you have children or have smaller wrists, definitely remove the gray extension to the band. It is MUCH more comfortable that way.

We only used the quick service dining at POR for lunch three times, but everything was great. The pasta station is especially good, with gigantic servings. We used this for lunch on our race day and didn't need to eat again the whole day. We used Garden Grocer to get cereal delivered the first night. They came earlier than expected and the bags were there for us to pick up at Bell Services with no problems. We bought some milk (or milk-like products) and bowls from the gift shop and saved a lot of money on breakfast. (We were using the DDP.)

Our Magical Express service was also excellent (although super sad the last day). I was excited to use my magic band at the airport to check in for Magical Express, and our luggage arrived at our room FAST -- we arrived at the hotel at like 11:30am and not only was my perfect room ready for us then, but our bags came less than an hour later. Since we were flying Delta, they also took our bags the morning of our flight home and the next time we saw them was at LGA. I didn't know that was an option until that morning.

We loved taking the boat to DTD. We never had to wait a long time for that, either. We had an excellent meal at Portobello at DTD, and I was surprised I hadn't read any reviews for it. We spent 2 days at every park, and hopped to ALL FOUR on our very last day, riding at least one ride, in the span of 4 hours. We left MK at about 1pm, took the monorail to Epcot, took the boat to HS and then to bus to AK and the bus back to MK, arriving back at about 5pm.

Our weather was far from perfect. It rained several days, and I watched lightning strike about 20 feet in front of me while running from DINOSAUR to our ADR at Tusker House (and I screamed at the top of my lungs, while getting soaked, even in a poncho). I was not going to let a little rain ruin this for us, though. We carried on, and the one day the rain WAS getting to me, we went home and spent half an hour in the hot tub and I felt 100% better. If I LEARNED anything on this trip, it's definitely that your mindset has such an impact on your experience. I listened to people in line for concierge complain about the silliest, WEIRDEST things... and they were genuinely upset. They NEEDED a problem, so they created a problem. You're on vacation! Relax, man!

Anyway, we had an amazing time and both cried like babies while leaving the MK on our last full day and when our Magical Express driver sang "Happy Trails" to our bus (and he was really, really good). I also definitely downloaded "Please Baby" as soon as I got home, because I can't get it out of my head and it will ALWAYS remind me of this vacation. If I didn't VOW to never stay at the same resort twice at WDW, we would definitely stay here again. I should just break that vow. Well, first we'll try FQ, and then we'll see.

I hope you have the opportunity to stay at POR because it is amazing and wonderful and beautiful.

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Re: POR trip report 4/28-5/7

Unread post by jadyre » May 10th, 2014, 5:29 pm

Glad you guys had a great trip. There's a guy I work with that also "gets" DisneyWorld like you and I do. He always stays at FQ because the quick service dining and buses are so close. I have been staying at POR Alligator bayou since it was Dixie Landings. My wife and I also save a little bit each week for our trips so we don't worry about where the trip is going to paid for. We are going down in August for 9 days. Can't wait. I usually get a little choked up too when we leave.

I did do something differently this year based on my past trips. I booked the flight out after noon so I wouldn't be waiting on Magical Express at 3:00 AM! This way I can check out, eat something slowly, wander around river bend and get my cry out.

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Re: POR trip report 4/28-5/7

Unread post by Admin » May 11th, 2014, 3:19 am

Wow, what a great trip report, sounds like your initial slight worries about whether POR would be for you were unfounded! :) Glad you got your perfect room - Port Orleans is one of the best resorts on property for trying to fulfil requests when they can, but of course there are times when it isn't possible.

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

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Re: POR trip report 4/28-5/7

Unread post by ethicaladdict » May 13th, 2014, 12:36 pm

Love your trip report! We honeymooned at WDW too - we stayed at ASMovies and loved every minute of it! AND on our 5th anniversary trip(this past Feb) we decided to splurge and book at a moderate. Ha! our stories are similar. I absolutely loved POR and we are going back in 248 days! In our household we save every extra penny for Disney - we like you - have definitely become fans for life.

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Re: POR trip report 4/28-5/7

Unread post by MardiGroggy » May 15th, 2014, 11:37 am

Great report! Thanks for taking the time to let us share your experience. Glad you had a great time and I hope there will be many more! I wish more folks would take the time to report on their visits, especially if they would do such an eloquent job of it. :D
Aka: Steve

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

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