Riverside 14/4/15 -

How was your stay at Riverside? Leave your comments or full trip reports here. Photos welcome.
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Admin » April 24th, 2015, 7:36 pm

I don't think MDE notes will change for a local checkout time change, but as long as the resort front-desk have set it up for you, you'll be fine. Is it really almost two weeks since you arrived?!?!

I don't think Disney Quest is free for on-site guests, but it could be part of your ticket media (I assume you're using UK-sold 14-day tickets?).

Andre
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Nicola74
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Nicola74 » April 24th, 2015, 10:43 pm

Yes two weeks is up on Tuesday so a few days left. Thanks for the info re our time.

As far as Disney Quest my husband said they just scanned their bands on entry just like the parks and then that was it, no PIN number requested. I had a quick look on MDE and it says admission may be chargeable on certain ticket types but I couldn't see what those were, so apologies Blakey I might be wrong, it could be that it is because we booked with Walt Disney Travel Company that it was free. Though we booked through Virgin last time and we didn't pay for entry then either. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has paid whilst staying on site, we assumed it was free to anyone staying in a Disney resort hotel but yes we do have the UK 14 day ticket and would have had last time too.

Really busy on both the boats and the buses tonight. I'm assuming it's because it's the weekend and we set off later than usual, so maybe it's best to set off a little earlier when going to Downtown at the weekends.

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by MardiGroggy » April 25th, 2015, 8:20 am

Wow, the time sure has flown by! Looks like tonight is your last chance to catch YeHaa Bob at the River Roost. No trip to Port Orleans is complete without a "therapy session" with Bob. Hope all continues to go smoothly.
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Nicola74 » April 26th, 2015, 12:07 am

Had a slow start this morning. Took a walk down to FQ to check that out and though lovely I think we prefer Riverside. Also had a walk round here as we wanted to check out Alligator Bayou. Everywhere looks good but we have been spoiled with a really prime spot so it would be hard to beat in the future.

Forgot to mention earlier, I don't usually get bitten but I had 3 bites the night we arrived, went pretty big over the next few days but then cleared up. However I got another one on my ankle a few days ago and that one got really painful. I had brought Antisan, Savlon etc with us but nothing had really helped. I mentioned it in the shop and asked if they sold anything. They took me straight to the lobby to see someone who gave me an antibiotic cream and some green stuff in a vial that you crack and apply. I have to say they were incredibly helpful and there was no charge for any of the items they gave me. Just shows, if you need anything - ask. They think I have had a reaction to a mosquito bite and after applying the antibiotic cream my ankle did swell and the colour has got worse :? Not saying it was the cream that did that :lol: but on the plus side it doesn't itch any more. Thankfully whatever is was its not caused big problems for anyone else, one little bite on my daughter and one tonight on my husband but he normally attracts the biters not me.

We have loads of meal credits left. We're not going to be able to use them all before we leave. So don't worry about them running out too soon. We should be able to use the snack credits but again, we've probably not used them the most cost effective way. We read up on what the best things were to use them on, but in then end, if we bought a drink in a bottle, we used a snack credit and didn't worry too much about getting maximum value. Tonight in the food court our son wanted an ice cream and looking at the bill they put it down as a dessert and included it in the meals rather than it being a separate snack credit. It's taken us this long to realise you could do that.

So this morning after our walking tour of the resort we went to the pool then had lunch here before heading to Magic Kingdom. We did the favourites again, Pirates, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs then did a few others that we'd enjoyed and some we'd not done yet, like Barnstormer. We went to the Monsters Inc show which was really good fun and our son has asked to go back and give it another go before we head home. Whilst queuing there was a funny bit where one of the monsters was pushing stickers through their office door and knocking on it and having a game with the kids. He then pushed a few fast pass tickets through and we got one so we used it on Tomorrowland Speedway which our son was asking to do again. Only this time the grown ups drove and it was much less of a bone shaking experience.

My daughter and I went on Space Mountain before heading back. So we have now done every mountain and she has enjoyed them all. Her favourite coaster was Rockin Rollercoaster, closely followed by Expedition Everest. Her favourite non roller coaster was Tower of Terror. My knees were trembling a little getting off that one :shock: but I've managed to fast pass it again for one last visit. MK was really busy this evening so we still haven't made it to the parade and fireworks yet. The kids prefer to stay on the rides but the plan is to do them on Monday night, our last night. I hope we do, but if it proves too much for her we will stick to getting on more rides while everyone is doing that instead.

I have to say, she has found it a little overwhelming at times, and as our routine was completely blown it probably took 4 days for her to get her head around how things are here. The bumpy flight over didn't help matters and she is not looking forward to the return journey, hence my request for a later check out. We plan to have a slow start and not rush her, then leave lots of hours to fill. She won't go into a park and she will not want to be far from her luggage. If you are looking at bringing a child with autism, planning definitely helps. However, you will also need to prepare them for the fact that sometimes plans need to change - and that's ok too. Because the changes are so that they can get to do the things they really want to do at the best times to do them. One thing I would do differently is food then straight to bed on arrival day - though for us the flight, motion sickness and 2 hour delay really took their toll and if things had been smoother maybe our original plan to look at downtown would have gone down better. Also depends on your flight time of course. For our family, it may have been better also to have made the first full day a resort day, to give her time to settle into her surroundings. But once we hit our stride, things have run much more smoothly. Yes, a lot of pizza has been eaten, but hey, they're on holiday. I'll worry about the veggies when we get home ;)

She still can't accept that a chicken sandwich is not a chicken sandwich and no matter how many times i tell her not to worry, it is a chicken burger and yes it's hot she still worries in case they will deliver a chicken sandwich to the table. She doesn't like sandwiches :D

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Admin » April 26th, 2015, 4:12 am

DEFINITELY aim to see the evening parade and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom before you leave. Wishes is a gorgeous show, and I'd suggest watching it from somewhere around the hub end of Main Street (about level with the Casey's Corner hot dog place is perfect). Don't be tempted to get TOO close to the castle as it will obscure some of the firework bursts. The electrical parade is really good fun too, and there's a short projection show on the castle itself about 15 mins before Wishes, which is well worth seeing (same location near Casey's would be great for that).

I know what you mean about the meal credits. We ended up with 20 QS credits left at the end of a two-week stay the only time our family used the Dining Plan (the QS version). If you go to the Riverside Mill, they will let you convert one counter service credit into a fruit, a pudding (could be a snack) and a bottled drink, so what I did on our last morning, when we knew there was nothing else we could use them for, is buy a tons of portable snacks that we could take home with us (the mickey ears rice crispy treats are a good idea, they last quite well once you get them home and are delicious! I always bring a stash of those back with me anyway, so those were great). The drinks/fruits are not quite so useful to bring home, so I just loaded them into a bag and handed them out as freebies to families who were setting out for their day at the parks. Only at Disney would you get away with this without getting strange looks (just tell them you had to use up your dining credits before leaving) and it actually feels really good to "pass it forward" in the same way that you got little extras during you own stay. We do the same with any unopened product we have left in the fridge by the way.

Another option for left-over QS credits is to stand near the payment queue in the food court and spot a family paying for their meals without a dining plan, and just tell the cast member that their meals are on you. I'm not sure if it's officially sanctioned, but the CMs were happy to do if when I tried. I paid for a family behind me in the queue for example, and they were really appreciative.

Oh, and there is a saying that calories in Disney don't count by the way. :) While I can't vouch for the veracity of that one, at least you do walk an awful lot of them off...

Andre
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Nicola74
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Nicola74 » April 26th, 2015, 10:27 pm

I was hoping Disney calories wouldn't count but I am feeling the strain now :shock: and so are my waistbands ;)

I was wondering if we would be able to pay for someone's dinner in the line or whether that wouldn't go down too well.

We took a trip to Downtown Disney this morning then took the water taxi over to the Westside for a slow walk through the shops to our start point. Our daughter's feet are beginning to ache now and we picked up a pair of the yoga mat sandals for her in Sanuk. She struggles with footwear and sandals can be a problem for her but these are pretty comfortable and are giving her toes and heals a well deserved rest. The bonus is if she decides they are no longer comfortable when we're back home, they'll fit me so it's a win win :lol: good place to look if you find yourself part way through your visit and experience any footwear issues.

We had sundaes at Ghiradelli's and lunch at Wolfgang Puck again. We met some lovely CMs who chatted to the children and did some pin swapping with them. The weather had got windy so boats weren't running when we set off back so we went for the bus. The route between Riverside and DD has been consistently our worst experience of Disney transportation unfortunately. We've only used the bus for this route a few times as we prefer the boat but everytime there has been something. Last night we looked at the long boat queue so went to the bus stop to make our way to DD only to watch the time for the bus change a minute at a time then disappear completely to be replaced by a time 20 minutes later. We didn't wait for that one but went back to the boat line instead. That wasn't great either but they did put on an extra boat and got us all moving again. Didn't mention it in last nights post because we haven't found it an issue, just a little irritating at the time. However, it's probably time for me to give the heads up, as each time we have used the bus either to or from DD we have had a longer wait than any other route. Today was no exception. When we got to the bus queue no one could quite work out which line was the correct one - I think someone had been unhooking some of the chains. After quite a long wait a bus pulled up to our stop only to change the sign to Saratoga Springs then the driver kept repeating it to a long line of Port Orleans guests who kept saying no we are for Port Orleans and he kept saying Saratoga. In the meantime our bus was pulled up behind him unable to go anywhere or unload anyone until that one moved to its correct stop. We saw the funny side but I don't think everyone did. As it seems a bit of a theme for our journeys downtown, if you are heading that way for a reservation I think it would be worth noting Disney's advice about leaving plenty of time for your journey. Though that is good advice for anything where time constraints are an issue of course. All in all though, considering the massive amount of people they have to move around each day I think they do a great job, especially when they get some hot, tired and grumpy customers to contend with.

Anyway, after getting back here our youngest decided he'd had enough theme parks and opted for the pool instead so I took our daughter into Hollywood Studios to do her favourites. We rode Tower of Terror, Rockin Rollercoaster, Great Movie Ride and Toystory Mania then came back to Riverside.

If you are using the Memory Maker package, as I've said, it's great value, and it is but don't be shy to ask for magic shots. Some of the photographers are more forthcoming than others. Some do shots without you even asking, that tends to be the jollier ones. One today said let me put the princess here and he did one which we found out when we got back was Chip from Beauty and the Beast sat in her hand. It's a lovely one and we didn't even know you could get that. We'd had our picture taken in that area before by others. Also, we had a photo taken last time we were there, near the Disney Junior area and our son asked him to do a shot of him with his light sabre. He obliged then told me if we had a photo taken at the (not a Star Wars expert but the thing you can sit on opposite the ride) thingy - I'm sure one of you will know it's proper name, he could have a magic shot with Darth Vader. He'd have loved that but I didn't like to say he'd already had a picture taken on that with his light sabre by a photo pass photographer but she hadn't offered a magic shot and we hadn't asked so we missed out there. There isn't always a photographer there so couldn't get another one done. As we don't know how many different shots are offered we have no idea if there are many that we haven't done but we do have some nice ones. I love the videos you get from seven dwarfs and tower of terror too, a really nice touch.

Last full day tomorrow.

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by BLAKEY1974 » April 27th, 2015, 7:54 am

Thanks for all the reviews and advice.Will see what happens at Disney Quest as we have the 14 day passes so might get in free with our ticket but if not will pay.Can you advise which bus stop seems the best at POR as there seem to be 4 stops? Hoping to stay in an Aligator Bayou room and maybe close to south depot ? Are the buses normally busy to go to the parks?

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 - 28/4/15

Unread post by Nicola74 » April 30th, 2015, 2:04 pm

Well, back home now. As far as the bus stops go, it would all depend on where you end up. There are 4 bus stops and we tended to use the south depot but also weren't too far from the east depot which we only really used at drop off time in the evenings so you may find you are nearer to one of the others.

So our last full day, we went to Epcot for the morning. Did the rides everyone wanted to do then headed back for lunch and the pool. After that we went to the Magic Kingdom for the parade and fireworks. We sat on a bench at the train station to watch the parade and then moved up to in front of the castle for the fireworks. The bench was good because we were able to sit the kids down to wait and they got a good view of everything. For the fireworks we did ok. We were in front of the castle and they did see it all but we did struggle with very tall people deciding to step in front of the kids for a better view a few times. We had to keep sidestepping to keep the viewing up but we did well I think. Our youngest cried and said he didn't want to leave Disney.

When we got back to the room we had a message from the front desk confirming details for check out, including an 11am check out time. So I phoned them to check if this was an oversight as I'd requested and had confirmed a later check out. She checked the system and said it had been requested but not approved yet. I did explain that the first CM I spoke to said it was approved as I stood at the desk on the day I asked, and also I went to double check it was showing up the next day, which it was. She requested it again for me and again it was approved. Not sure what the problem had been but it was sorted. I half expected to get a knock on the door from the cleaner at 11 the next morning still but it didn't happen.

So we let the kids have a slow start to the day, finished packing and watched a movie with them in the room before heading over to the food court for lunch. We were due to be collected at 3pm but as we made our way out to wait there was an earlier bus there and he said would we like to come with him as he had space. He went inside to sort out whatever was necessary and we were away 20 minutes earlier on a very quiet bus. Which for us was great. When we got to the airport the time soon went. We had a brief walk around the shops before we got into a very long passport queue and by the time we made it across to the gate we boarded about 5 minutes later. So if you are travelling to the UK give yourselves plenty of time to make your way over to the gate. We arrived 3 hours before take off but it did take a while to get through. If we had sat down for a meal in the first building we wouldn't have made it. I did hear someone say that they queue was much bigger than normal, but I would recommend getting over to the other side in plenty of time, there are still shops and food places over there, not that we had time to visit them. One very concerned daughter but no motion sickness this time. Now it's back to reality and working my way through the suitcases. A lovely trip though and Riverside is definitely a great place to stay.

Andre - we got our Universal tickets from Orlando Attraction Tickets. Best price at the time and arrived a couple of days after ordering.

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by MardiGroggy » April 30th, 2015, 5:36 pm

Sounds like you did VERY well!!! :D :D :D

Now, as the Jimmy Buffett song says, "Breathe in, breathe out, move on." Plenty of time to savor the memories and review all of your photos, purchases, etc. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I wish more folks would, as there are often very helpful bits of information, and occasionally some real wisdom, in the posts of those who have taken the time to do the typing. Also glad to hear that your daughter did not have a repeat of the air sickness on the way home. That is one memory best left in Florida!

Of course, now you have to start planning your next visit....
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Admin » April 30th, 2015, 5:48 pm

I'm glad you had a good final day, and that the trip home was uneventful. Normally late-checkout is never confirmed until the day before you leave, as they can only grant it if the resort is quiet enough to not need your room too early the next day, so it seemed odd that someone had confirmed it (rather than adding a request) earlier in your trip.

I'm also happy you got to see the electrical parade and Wishes - I can't think of a better way to say goodbye (or rather "au revoir") to the Magic Kingdom. Hope you took my advice and weren't TOO close to the castle, just at the end of the Main Street buildings is about the best viewing location for the fireworks.

Andre
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BLAKEY1974
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by BLAKEY1974 » May 1st, 2015, 3:26 am

Thanks for all the helpful info on this thread and will try to add anything that maybe worthwhile when we arrive at Riverside on May 14th.We have a few dining rervations at BOG, Yak & Yeti, Tuksers ( breakfast ) and T-Rex with the rest just self service on the free quick service dining plan so will add a few comments

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Nicola74 » May 1st, 2015, 6:58 am

Yes we watched the fireworks from near to Caseys so the view was pretty good. Still recovering from the jet lag. The first person I spoke to on the front desk explained may request may not be approved straight away but then as we were chatting she said oh it's already come back and that's been approved and like I said when I went to check the next day it was still showing. Anyway, it was all sorted by them the night before check out, very easily and I'm really glad we asked for it. They're a very helpful bunch down by the Riverside :D

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by shelly » May 9th, 2015, 3:19 pm

This will be my first trip to POR, how do you get upgraded to a better room? Do you ask or do they just do it. Any tips for what to do or see first on resort grounds? Just new to resort not to Disney. All my past stays were at Coronado.

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Admin » May 9th, 2015, 7:21 pm

shelly wrote:This will be my first trip to POR, how do you get upgraded to a better room? Do you ask or do they just do it.
Upgrades are pretty random, if they've got capacity they do seem to give people "pixie dust" upgrades every so often. Many people who have sent in faxed requests (see www.portorleans.org/room-requests.php) seem to do quite well - but I would suggest asking in general terms for what you want (allowing them to see how enthusiastic and eager you are, for example) rather than asking specifically for an upgrade to something that you haven't paid for.

Andre
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by MardiGroggy » May 10th, 2015, 8:49 am

Shelly:

Andre has answered the first part of your question, so I'll only address the second part:
Any tips for what to do or see first on resort grounds?
We stayed at Coronado Springs once and I can say with confidence that you will find POR to be a completely different experience. Although it is a large resort, it is not quite as spread out as CS, and it is much more lushly landscaped. Rather than the somewhat stark "desert southwest" motif, you will find that just strolling around the grounds is a relaxing experience, with plenty of places to enjoy the greenery, the river, the pools and lots of shady spots to just "chill out" from the often hectic days at the parks. I suggest that you first just take such a stroll and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. You will soon find your way to the Old Mill, with the food court, Boatwright's and, of course, the River Roost lounge. Don't miss Yehaa Bob while you are there. His show is one of the hidden gems at all of WDW. The river access to DTD/DS is a special "plus" for Port Orleans and the ride down and back alone is worth the trip. The carriage rides are also a special feature of PO. Otherwise, the general store and the food court are pretty much standard Disney. Incidentally, we once had a rather unpleasant experience at the CS food court (it was a long time ago, and we've never gone back), so I will say that we feel much more comfortable at the Old Mill, even when it is crowded. Once you have your room location, you probably want to check out the bus stops so you know which will be most convenient for you to use during your stay. Finally, sometime during your stay I recommend that you find time to visit the French Quarter. Even if you are not staying there, it is a pleasant place to stroll through and the food court, which is smaller and usually less hectic than POR, has some unique offerings, particularly the beignets.
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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Nicola74 » May 10th, 2015, 9:14 am

Hi, I would echo everything that Andre and swd have said. We sent a fax explaining our situation and asking for a quieter spot but we didn't ask for an upgrade. We took a walk to FQ but for us, at the time we went, there were lots of student groups and that hit FQ more than POR so we were glad to be where we were. Our problem is, we have always thought we'd mix it up a little and try somewhere else every now and then. But we couldn't really find fault which means staying at any other Disney resort would leave a lot for them to I've up to.

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Re: Riverside 14/4/15 -

Unread post by Admin » May 10th, 2015, 5:46 pm

I forgot to add a plug for my Top Ten Reasons to Stay at Port Orleans list, which gives some ideas of fun things that you shouldn't miss while you are there, www.portorleans.org/topten.php

Andre
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