Posts Tagged ‘Walt Disney World Resorts’

Five Disney World Resorts to See During Your Vacation

by on November 14, 2016



Resort Hopping is one of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World! Visiting the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, and The Polynesian Village Resort are as much on my trip to-do list as Pirates of the Caribbean or devouring a Mickey Premium Bar. That being said, I feel that guests who skip the resorts, or who don’t know they are allowed to visit the resorts, fail to achieve the full Walt Disney World experience. So for those who don’t know, anyone is allowed to visit the Walt Disney World Resorts, even if they’re not a guest of that resort or of any resort on property. But why should you? That’s what I intend to address in my five Disney World Resorts to See During Your Vacation!

© Sarah Graffam

Grand Floridian lobby

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Let’s start with Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, shall we? The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa boasts a Victorian Florida theme and is Disney’s take on luxury and sophistication. But no need to worry about feeling out of place or having rambunctious kids in tow. While the Grand Floridian Resort is like stepping into an old fashioned postcard, this is a Disney World Resort after all!

How to Get There

If driving your own car or a rental car, the Grand Floridian Resort is located at 4401 Floridian Way in Orlando, Florida, just off Seven Seas Drive.

Free transportation to and from the resort consists of Disney Buses, Ferry Boats, and the most famous mode of Disney transportation of all, the Monorail! A 1 mile walking path between the resort and the Polynesian Village Resort is also provided, offering views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Wedding Pavilion, and the Magic Kingdom Park in the distance.

Why You Should Visit

The Lobby

A number of Walt Disney World Resorts boast awe-inspiring lobbies, and the Grand Floridian’s lobby is at the top of the list! In addition to a grand staircase, a cage elevator, and enchanting Disney-inspired tilework under your feet, the Grand Floridian’s 5-story lobby is topped with stained glass domes and massive chandeliers. Tip: For the holidays, a life-size gingerbread house and a towering Victorian Christmas tree occupy the lobby and are must-sees!


The Grand Floridian’s women’s boutique

Live Music

Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, a live pianist and the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra alternate playing popular turn-of-the-century tunes and Disney songs!

The Shopping

The Grand Floridian Resort offers more shops than any other Walt Disney World Resort, which is why it’s one of my favorite locations to hunt for resort exclusive merch, Disney Dooney and Bourke bags, and that perfect souvenir to take home.

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Why Port Orleans Riverside is the Only Moderate Resort For Me

by on October 7, 2015


Welcome to Port Orleans Riverside!

When planning a Disney World Vacation there are a number of decisions to make ranging from which FastPass+ reservations to make, what ticket option to choose, how to get there, and more. But one of the most important, if you’re staying on property, is which Disney World Resort to choose.

Now as you may have guessed, the size of your budget will narrow down your options. Disney has conveniently grouped the Disney Resorts into three different categories based on price with Deluxe Resorts being the most expensive and Value Resorts being the least. Moderate Resorts fall somewhere in the middle in regards to price and consist of several popular destinations: Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, the Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Port Orleans Riverside.

When I have a Moderate Resort level budget, my resort of choice is one that offers variety, a comfortable atmosphere, delicious dining, a great pool selection, and a convenient location; for me, Port Orleans Riverside offers all of the above and more. Read along as I explain why Port Orleans Riverside is the Only Moderate Resort for Me!

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An Evening out with Yehaa Bob at Disney World’s Riverside Resort

by on January 4, 2015

Copyright - Bob Jackson

Copyright –  Yehaa Bob Jackson

Have you ever had interaction with one of the blue nametag elite at one of the Disney parks? Do you know that the blue nametag has special meaning? Those who wear it have received the highest honor of being bestowed with the Legacy Award, which is the highest honor cast members, crew members, and Imagineers can achieve at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Recipients are nominated and selected by their leaders and peers for consistently inspiring others, going out of their way to create happiness for guests and other team members, and finding new ways to deliver Disney magic.

One of the recipients of the Legacy Award in 2013 was the lively entertainer Yehaa Bob Jackson, who has been with the company for more than 17 years. To be honest, Bob was not even on my Disney radar until rather recently, but has quickly risen to one of my favorite reasons to love Disney. His shows are family friendly, loud, and just a righteous good time.

Flashback: Three years ago during our first stay at Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. One evening, on our way back to our room we walked by the bar area and witnessed a raucous crowd who we assumed were just loud inebriated guests.

Fast Forward: One year later a fellow Disney friend was excitedly telling me about an upcoming show he was going to Ohio featuring Yehaa Bob. I concealed my ignorance and rejoiced for him. But immediately took to the internet to see who this Disney personality was. What I found were scenes of our “inebriated guests” from the year before. Only, they weren’t inebriated. And some of them were kids! I knew I had to see him in person.

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Review of a Saratoga Springs Two Bedroom DVC Villa

by on November 26, 2014

While Disney World offers a vast variety of different resorts to choose from for guests staying on property, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Villas offer even more options and experiences, particularly when it comes to room sizes! During my last few trips to Disney World, I had the opportunity to enjoy stays at several different DVC Villas; but today, I’m zeroing in on Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa in this review of a Saratoga Springs Two Bedroom DVC Villa.


Saratoga Springs Congress Park

First of all, the Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s own timeshare program where members purchase and use points for their vacation experiences. It can be difficult to understand, but Disney Vacation Club (DVC) 101: What is DVC? can help fill in the gaps. If you are not a Disney Vacation Club Member, the good news is that you can still stay at a DVC Resort! You can do so by booking through Disney, just as you would any other resort; however, other guests like to rent points or even buy points from other members, but you definitely want to make sure that the seller is legitimate and reliable.

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Where to Stay at Port Orleans Riverside!

by on September 2, 2014

Ed. – Today the blog is taking you to Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter. These resorts are connected by a very pleasant walk along the Sassagoula River and are favorites on the Unofficial Guide reader survey.

PortOrleansRiversideDisneyOfficialIf you are staying at the Walt Disney Resort, one of the first decisions you will make is where you will be staying. If you decide that you are going to be staying on Disney property, next you get to decide between Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas.

Many people form strong opinions on which hotel is the best, and I’m not here to argue the point. I mean, there’s not really a point to argue, since the clear winner is Port Orleans Riverside.

Once you have made the best (the only!) decision to stay at Port Orleans Riverside, you can either be assigned a location, or you can request a particular area.

Port Orleans Sign

The first time I stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, I didn’t know much about it, and didn’t know enough to request a certain area of the resort. Now, after staying there multiple times, I know what I like and I always request an area in advance, though specific room or area requests are just that: requests. While Disney does their best to make you happy, sometimes it’s just not possible to accommodate your request.

The entire resort is gorgeous, but there are obviously some areas that are better than others. Even then, what makes it better for some makes it worse for others, so here’s a question-and-answer guide to help you choose the best area for your needs.







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Walt Disney World Resorts Testing New Check-In Process

by on June 18, 2014


Copyright Disney

Select Walt Disney World Resort hotels are currently testing a brand new check-in process where guests are able to bypass the check-in desk and head immediately to their hotel room. Hotels participating in this test include Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas.

Guests who are eligible to take part in this test must have already created their My Disney Experience account, making sure their profiles are complete. They also must make sure they have completed the online check-in process, and their balances must be paid in full.

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All Disney Resorts to Test MagicBands Only to Guests

by on January 6, 2014

MyMagic+ and MagicBands


It would seem that the tests at Pop Century and the All-Star Resorts have gone well, because by the end of the month of January, every other resort will be issuing only MagicBands to resort guests for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort. This is being done as a part of the continued roll out of MyMagic+.

The test will be rolled out to the hotels according to this schedule:

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