Resorts

Julia’s Best Week Ever, August 10, 2017: Port Orleans Staycation

by on August 10, 2017

School. Starts. Monday. No matter how many times I look at the calendar, I still can’t believe it. This summer has flown by. With family visits and our ah-maze-ing cruise, it seems like we just got started on summer and it is already gone. We were able to find a reasonable rate at Port Orleans French Quarter, and since we haven’t stayed there in 10 years (yipes!), it sounded like a perfect choice for an end-of-summer staycation.

Port Orleans French Quarter has been a sentimental favorite for us–it’s where we stayed on our honeymoon. Although it is a moderate resort, I actually prefer it to some deluxe resorts. The fact it is so small also means that there’s not really a bad building to stay in, because everything is convenient. We arrived early in the morning to check in because we wanted to take the bus from the resort to Magic Kingdom. Because we weren’t planning to sleep there–just pay for the room as a place to change and hang out and watch Mickey cartoons if it rained–we took the option to skip Mousekeeping service for our stay and snagged a $15 gift card for the two nights. Time for breakfast!

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

by on July 29, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. With 26 on-site resorts at Walt Disney World, there is a wide variety of choices for families coming down. We’ve covered many here on the SATURDAY SIX including Value Resorts (Art of Animation and Pop Century), Moderates (Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado Springs), and Deluxe (Contemporary and Animal Kingdom Lodge). We also can’t forget the Disney Vacation Club resorts such as Old Key West. Today we are going to take a look at one of WDW’s original resorts, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Fort Wilderness. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

Overlooked by many Disney guests because it is not a traditional hotel, Fort Wilderness is one of the oldest resorts at WDW opening about a month after the Magic Kingdom all the way back in 1971. Since that time, the entire area has gone through a lot of changes and is really one of the most special places on property. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of Fort Wilderness, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Talk about a “hidden gem” at Walt Disney World, and one that is hidden in plain sight. Located directly next to Pioneer Hall – and Disney’s legendary Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (we’ll get to that later) – is Tri-Circle-D Ranch, home to all the horses at WDW. That’s right, from the horses you’ll see pulling the trolley on Main Street USA to the Headless Horseman’s steed at MNSSHP, they all spend their off time here at the Ranch. Aside from just walking around and admiring their beautiful animals, the Ranch also offers pony rides for children and horseback rides for those aged 9 and up (while walking around the Ranch is free, there is a charge for rides.)

At the back of the Ranch there is a giant barn, and inside you’ll find a wonderful tribute to the history of horses and the Walt Disney Company (including some fantastic pictures of Walt himself with horses.) Here you can also see many horses hanging out in their stalls, and outside of each there is a placard giving some information about each horse. I highly recommend taking a trip to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch on your next WDW visit. There are so many types of breeds that call the Ranch home including Arabian, Clydesdale, Belgian, and Shetland ponies.

Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Pools, Dining and Recreation

by on July 18, 2017

Photo - Angela DahlgrenWelcome back to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside!

Back in Part One, we talked theme, rooms and room views. Today, I’m covering the pools, dining and recreation.

PS. There’s no singing in this episode. I thought you all deserved the break.

Enjoy!

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Walt Disney World to Add 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort – Disney’s Riviera Resort

by on July 16, 2017

This week will see the opening of Walt Disney World’s newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas, but Disney isn’t slowing down yet. At the D23 Expo, Disney announced their 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort called Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Disney's Riviera Resort

©Disney

 

 

This resort will be located near Epcot and Guests will be able to see the nighttime spectaculars at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Epcot courtesy of a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views.

This new resort experience will feature approximately 300 units spread across a variety of accommodation types. In addition, the new skyway transportation system will connect the new resort to other areas on Walt Disney World property.

Disney’s Riviera Resort will open in the fall of 2019, so stay tuned for more details.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Overview and Rooms

by on July 11, 2017

Hello wonderful readers!

It’s been a couple of weeks (computer issues…ba humbug), but I’m back with a new video.

Join me down the bayou as I take you through Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, a moderate resort in Walt Disney World.

Disclaimer: I filmed this at night after a very long day…there was a lot of singing. I apologize.

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Newly Redesigned Pop Century Rooms Officially Unveiled

by on June 16, 2017

Today, in a tweet that was provided by @WDWToday is seemingly getting buried by the news that a chunk of the monorail appears to have flown off and the monorail is being evacuated, we were able to see officially what the new redesign of the Pop Century rooms are looking like.

 

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Disney Hotels: Picking A Disney Hotel That Matches Your Travel Style

by on June 5, 2017

Contemporary ResortYou may recall I recently did an article on how the time of year you visit Disney can make a mammoth difference in your experience. After this one, one of the bigger variables that can impact the way you plan for your trip has to do with lodging. Disney hotels run the gamut from the barest of bare-bones accommodations — campsites — up to luxury hotels. Add to that the numerous off-site lodging options that are available to you, and the uninitiated can get into the weeds fast. The decision is further complicated by the reality that not everyone that travels to Disney intends to use their hotel the same way. Read on to learn how to pick accommodations that align with the trip you’re wanting to plan!

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Ask It Results: Are Preferred Rooms Worth It?

by on May 24, 2017

Over the years, Disney has found many new and interesting ways to encourage people to spend extra money for extra benefits. At Disney resort hotels, a variety of options exist, but are they worth the extra costs? Here’s what you thought about whether it is worth it to pay for location, view, or special features (or if it is never worth it to pay the extra).

Our Ask It question was:

What features are worth paying extra for a preferred room at Walt Disney World?

With more than 1,500 votes, here’s your results.

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Ask It: Are Preferred Rooms Worth It?

by on May 17, 2017

Is a preferred room at Disney World worth the cost

There’s no question that staying on property at Walt Disney World is an added luxury to your vacation. But even with the extra cost of staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, there are options for “preferred rooms” and room upgrades. These rooms may have a more desirable location (near bus transportation, near the pool, near the food court/lobby), better views (of ponds/lakes, pools, or animals on the savannah), special theming (Pirate or “Royal” rooms) or ground floor locations.  Of course, there’s an added cost for anything above a “standard” room. So this week’s question is:

What features are worth paying extra for a preferred room at Walt Disney World?

  • Location (49%, 427 Votes)
  • Never Worth It (21%, 185 Votes)
  • View (20%, 172 Votes)
  • Special Features (9%, 79 Votes)

Total Voters: 863

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Voting is open here and on Twitter and we’ll have your results next week. Feel free to share your reasons for your choice in the comments.

 

Daisy’s Best Week Ever April 13, 2017: Wilderness Lodge Resort Update

by on April 13, 2017

Hello, friends! It’s that time of week again when we share our best week ever! However, this week is going to be a little different. My family has opted for Silver passes this year, meaning our passes were blocked out this past weekend. Since Disney parks were out of the question, I set out to tour Disney’s Wilderness Lodge instead. The lodge looks amazing walking up to it early in the morning.

The front porte cochère is so grand! Right away I was a little surprised there wasn’t more activity despite the early hour. I’m used to seeing all sorts of folks buzzing around at a Disney property. Poking around the resort later it looks like half the rooms are under renovation, which explains why things were quiet. While that does mean there’s some construction noise, I think it’s worth staying here for the slim crowds.

But wait, there’s more! Come with me for a tour of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe, and a sneak peek at the Easter Eggs on display at Disney’s Grand Floridian.

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