(WARNING: There will be lots of photos from my cruise though!)
Last time I was at Disney World was in 2011 and I stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort (photos of resort here). I really enjoyed the resort and was planning on staying there this time too but I decided to try a new place in the end to make the trip feel more "new" for me. This trip was actually an overdue graduation trip for my younger brother. This time we stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside. The resort has two sides, riverside and french quarter but it seemed like most people preferred riverside so I went with that. To be honest if I could choose again I'd probably go back to Coronado instead and would definitely request a ground floor room! Unless I hit the jackpot then I'd stay at the Animal Kingdom Resort or one of the fancier (and much more expensive) resorts. When I went they were having a decent discount so we also added the dining plan =D!
I also must note that the majority of the photos I will be posting about this trip are taken by my sister as she had the camera most of the time.
~ Port Orleans Riverside Resort ~
The resort is quite large resulting in four different bus stops (north, east, west, and south which is also the stop for the lobby). The stop closest to our room was north. If you stay at French Quarter there is only one stop at the lobby and I would also advise against going to the lobby to take any buses as there is usually a large horde of people waiting to get on. The buses take you from the resort to the different parks as well as Downtown Disney but they do not take you to other resorts. To do so you will need to take a bus to a park and take the bus to the resort you want from there.
The inside of the lobby was quite nice. We arrived close to midnight so most photos are of the next day in case you're wondering why I don't have any luggage lol The people are quite friendly and if you want to take a taxi there is bell service outside the lobby which had taxi's just waiting to be used. This is what we did when we went to Universal Studios. Upon arrival you will receive your room cards (called key to the world cards) as well as a package with information about the parks such as park times etc. They also gave us a small map of the resort which helped tremendously.
We stayed at the Acadian House on the third floor. The room wasn't bad but the buildings all look alike and took us a day or two to really know the area. However the bus stop was fairly close and the lobby was about a 10min walk. Also there were geckos everywhere *cringe*
Walking to the lobby. This type of scenery is seen throughout the resort and you can even ride a horse carriage, at an extra charge of course =P
The pool we pass on the way to the lobby. It's actually decently sized and had quite a few lounge chairs. Sadly it was fairly gloomy and rainy during most of our stay there and the pool was mostly filled with younger children shrieking about and having fun. Good thing the pool is on a small "island" away from the rooms!
I *think* this was part of the lobby where the eating area is located.
They had many signs providing directions which were very helpful.
Our room was a fairly large! It had two queen beds and the shower/toilet was separate from the sinks. There was also a curtain to close off the sink area form the rest of the room.
The Mickey towel was a nice cheerful way to start our stay! Across from the beds was a decent sized flat screen TV as well as a coffee maker (with all the amenities) and some glass and styrofoam cups. There was also a small fridge but it wasn't very useful as it wasn't cold at all! There were three drawers and no "closets" area for those who enjoy using them. My siblings and I lived out of our suitcases lol
The sink area. There are also some hangers off to the right hand side and a small safe. We didn't use the hair dyer provided since we brought our own. The bathroom had a the rain water shower which was very nice and the temperature and water pressure was always good! I'm really picky about that in any hotel! The fan automatically turns on when you turn on the bathroom light but if you don't go inside it shuts off in about 5-10mins, I mention this because we leave the bathroom light on when we slept, it's too creepy being there in the complete darkness ><
Yay! Disney still uses H2O products! They even changed the packaging, I love the small mickey heads on the bottles! House cleaning also always provided more soaps =) However one thing that made me majorly disappointed was that they no longer provided lotion! I was so sad because I deliberately didn't bring any since they provided lotion last time. Also I didn't receive any facial soap until at least the third or fourth day of our visit, which was a terrible as I also didn't bring any facial cleanser with me! Luckily I brought make up wipes with me but still those don't take everything off.
Just a comparison of the 2011 amenities.
Leaving our building and probably walking towards the lobby. I actually trimmed off 5 inches of hair right before the trip.
Going to the lobby from the "back" of the resort. The view is a bit different if you're coming in from the front of the resort.
The bus stops! Again try to avoid the ones by the lobby, just too many people and strollers.
A photo of me because sometimes a post without people is boring, the crystal carriage behind me sells for 2500$! I'm assuming those come with the horses lol
A plus side of staying at the Disney resort is that you receive complimentary shuttle from the airport to the park, just make sure you book it when you're buying your package. Also whenever you purchase something in the parks or on Disney property you can get it sent back to your resort. This way you don't need to lug it around the parks with you! Don't worry if you're buying something fragile as they wrap glassware up like crazy! I'm sure they're more afraid of breaking it then you are, of course this is not available about one day from your checking out date. If you're not staying at the resort you can still get items sent to the front of the park and you can get it there before you leave for the day, it's still better than carrying it around!
I booked my first Disney World vacations with It's a Small World travel agency, they are an authorized vacation planner by Disney. I would highly recommend them as they are easy to work with and reliable. The second time I felt comfortable enough to do it myself using the Disney website, it was easy and I only needed to call a few times because of my own mistakes =P
That's it for the resort! Hopefully more posts coming soon! I'm collecting a lot of post ideas but whether they will manifest is another story hahaha but should be alright, looking forward to blogging this summer!