I'm in the dreaming/planning stage of a Walt Disney World vacation and as such I'm reminiscing over past trips.
I also have many friends dreaming/planning as well which includes asking me questions/ advice.
To streamline that process for them and me I'm going to jot down some thoughts.
I think typically aside from time of visit (which I recommend September ) the first thing people think about is lodging.
I highly recommend staying on
You get the ease of being in the resort itself and no extra traveling.
You get free bus transportation all over Disney property meaning no parking lot fees or driving yourself.
Parking lot fees are also waived for resort guests in the event you choose to drive yourself some.
We did some driving this year and it worked out nicely and was a nice break from
Extra Magic Hours are also a perk for resort guests.
Typically a park will open an hour earlier or stay open three hours later for resort guests only.
Going in an off season this especially helpful as the parks tend to close 9-10 pm.
Aside from being in the parks with less people some parks have special extra magic hours only events.
Disney Hollywood Studios has a character dance party.
This was one of our favorite parts of the trip as the kids got tons of one on one time with characters- even Mickey and Minnie.
This last trip we were fortunate enough to stay in the Port Orleans Riverside Resort newly renovated Royal Rooms.
Right off the bat, having three princesses , I knew Royal Rooms would be a hit.
The resort itself is a beautiful sprawling (largest moderate resort) Southern estate. The Sassagoula River winds around the old plantation style mansion dotted grounds while riverboats - which transport guests to downtown Disney or the sister resort French Quarter- float by.
This gives the resort a much needed laid back relaxed feel.
Normally I am all about rushing to the parks- dont wanna miss a moment- but this resort made me want to take my time and stroll leisurely - not speed walk- down the winding paths to our various destinations.
We stayed in the Magnolia Bend which is one of the beautiful mansion style buildings. It even had a court yard with a fountain and reflecting pool type water feature.
The courtyard also had Tianas throne which I really wanted picture of the girls in but they were always raring to reach the parks or pool.
The Royal rooms are gorgeous and the most opulent of the moderates we have stayed at. The rich colors give the room a note of elegance that other moderates (while still very nice) on Disney World property lack.
The headboards alone, in a rich wood with led firework display, make the rooms a must see.
The carpets are a deep blue accented with a built in Aladdin's flying carpet.
Aside from the many pictures of the Princesses on the walls ( they depict the princesses visiting
Tiana at her new resort and show the princesses in a new light) there are many nods of the hat (or mouse ears) to the popular Princess movies.
Aladdin is represented not only in the rug but the faucet as well in a magic lamp shade.
There is a bench with feet seen in Beasts enchanted castle in Beauty and the Beast.
Ariel is represented in the shower, but as my girls requested when we were there, ill let you find those on your own if you go. (And you should!)
The comforters provide more princess touches, covered in the various crowns of the Disney princesses.
It seemed every moment in our room the girls were finding new "hidden" details and were so excited each time. Watch them explore and get a visual of the room
This is the first year we've visited a pool while at Disney. POR pool includes a lazy river and a small, but fun, waterside. Also cast members come out and do activities with kids as well as DJ playing all the kids favorite Disney songs.
Games, balloon animals and dance parties and sidewalk chalk disney character drawing were all a part of our couple hours at the pool.
The girls loved it and it added some excitement for us on our arrival day since we had no park tickets because we decided last minute to leave The Villages (where we were visiting great grandma) and start our disney adventure a day early .
We loved the pool area and relaxation of the resort so much we decided to possibly add a couple days to our stay on our next trip to experience the resort fully.
The food court at Port Orleans Riverside is large and not over crowded. The food was quite good for counter service meals and we ate there twice as opposed to park counter service Everytime which is our typical routine.
The resort also has a table service restaurant that gets fine reviews, though I can't confirm not having eaten there.
The Royal Rooms accommodate families of 4. If your child is 2 and under they do not count toward your occupant capacity.
We like the room so much that we are considering going a week earlier than we normally do because our youngest turns three just before our usual week and will make us Ineligible to stay there again. If we get there even just a day before she turns three, in disneys eyes she remains two during our stay so I think that is our plan!
I (and my 3 princesses) highly recommend the Port Orleans Riverside Royal Rooms for anyone thinking of a moderate resort desiring more theming and a touch of extra magic.
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