Tag Archives: Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

My Walt Disney World hurricane story

Β© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*

http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_0874How will a possible hurricane affect your Disney visit? | TheDailyDisney.com from OrlandoSentinel.com.

Recent article in the Orlando Sentinal’s Daily Disney blog reminded me of an autumn trip to see the Mouse a few years back that culminated in riding out a hurricane at the Port Orleans Riverside resort. I’d gone for a conference and at the end of the trip, did a couple of meets with folks from a couple of Disney message boards with whom I’d been carousing online for a few years.

Sometime during the week, I became aware that Hurricane Wilma was expected to blow through Florida. Now, this was the year before I moved here from New York. I’d been through one hurricane up on Long Island – that would have been Gloria in 1985. I knew that a hurricane could blow down trees and take out a home’s roof or crush a car – all manner of destruction. So I was aware that being outside or trying to travel would not be a good idea and that I’d better just hunker down in the event that Wilma DID strike.

IMG_1096-WDW-EPCOT-monorail-cloudsWe’d heard that the year before, when Hurricane Charley had come through, Disney had been wonderful to the guests, so I thought it was not going to be a problem. Well, I was wrong. I had one of the most negative experiences ever with Disney when Wilma struck on the morning we were supposed to check out. I still maintain that if a company won’t send their employees out in a storm, they should not toss their guests out on their butts during that same storm. Yet they fully expected me to check out on time, despite not wanting to send bell services out in the storm to get my bags.

There were other service failure type issues with Disney during Wilma. The moral of the story is, don’t depend upon Disney or any company for that matter, to do the right thing in the event of a catastrophe. We’d like to think most people and businesses would react with compassion and common sense, but that was not he case in this instance.

If you’re interested in reading about the rest of that trip, here’s a link to my old trip report site from before the blog –

http://www.tinkrbell.com/Vacations/Disney%20Vacations/OrlandoOctober2005/OrlandoOct2005Home.htm

I think the Wilma stuff starts on “Day 8” and extends into “Day 9”

Click the photos to see if a larger version is available in Flickr
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What “storybook” theme would YOU like to experience in your Disney resort room?

Β© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*

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IMG_0050-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-bedspreadπŸ™‚ First, they built a luxury suite right INSIDE of Cinderella’s Castle. Then, just when we thought things couldn’t get any cooler, they let a family stay overnight in the Disneyland Haunted Mansion (I wonder what THAT was like? I bet there were lots of things going bump in THAT night!). Now, The Daily Disney (Orlando Sentinel) reports that Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed hotel rooms have been such a raging success, there are plans underway to renovate more space across Walt Disney World into resort accommodations with “storybook” themes.

IMG_0819-WDW-Yacht-Club-ShipwreckLet’s see – what other films could Disney use to create themed rooms?

  1. The Princess and the Frog – imagine a Princess Tiana section at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort. Let’s have Mardi Gras, every day! They could give the restaurant a make-over, transforming it into the one that Tiana built. They could even arrange to deliver you to your resort via river boat (no I am not suggesting they bring the Empress Lily out of retirement LOL).
  2. The Swiss Family Robinson – do up the Treehouse Villas a la Swiss Family Robinson. Hammocks for beds! A shipwreck in the canal for the kids to play on! Wait, we’ve got one of those already – it’s part of Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club. Well, on the other hand, we won’t find dangerous, machete-wielding natives anywhere else but the Polynesian (have you ever seen what they use to cut the meat at Ohana?). Ok, clearly I need to think about this one a little more…. maybe the Swiss Family resort package includes resort hopping – yeah, that’s the ticket! πŸ˜‰
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  4. The Incredibles – we need a futuristic environment for this. Therefore, I think they should create an Incredibles-themed block of rooms at the Contemporary (remember Mrs Incredible dangling from the “monorail” tracks?)
  5. Song of the South – the countrified whimsy of Splash Mountain, where the critters from Song of the South live, would fit in nicely at Port Orleans Riverside. Part of the resort package could be a free, length-of-stay FastPass to for that attraction. Can you imagine how popular that would be, especially in the heat of the summer?

OK, your turn – What “storybook” theme would YOU like to experience in your Disney resort room?

Article: Disney turns to storybook themes to fill hotel rooms

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Scenes from Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort

Β© Copyright 2009 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_0874πŸ™‚ My friend Snowbird went to Walt Disney World today. She’s staying at Port Orleans Riverside, a resort that’s very close to Downtown Disney and very easy on the eyes. It’s also a resort that has a good deal of red in the architecture, so what better subject for Ruby Tuesday? This is the roof of the car port that you drive under to drop off your luggage and maybe have the valet take your car away and park it for you. I love the fancy script of the logo; it harkens back to a different time, which is what the entire resort aspires to do.

IMG_0875The Sassagoula is a river that flows from Port Orleans Riverside all the way down to Downtown Disney. Along the way there is a stop at Port Orleans French Quarter (which is my favorite Disney resort). Another line of the Sassagoula Steamboat Company makes stops at Disney’s Old Key West and Saratoga Springs resorts before depositing guests at Downtown Disney. I’ve written previously about Cruising the Sassagoula River, so click that link if you want to check it out.

IMG_0879The first thing I thought of when I heard that my friend would be staying at Port Orleans Riverside was that she would get to eat at Boatwrights’s Dining Hall. I am partial to the spiced shrimp and the warm sweet potato salad, but there is much more than all that on the menu, which you can review by clicking here. In days past, Boatwright’s was also open for breakfast, and the sweet potato pancakes were to die for – tasted exactly like pumpkin! Sadly, breakfast is no longer an option there, but I like to reminisce πŸ˜‰

IMG_0882The resort’s gift shop is called the Riverside Mill and Market. The offerings there are pretty standard – Disney logo resort clothing, pin trading stuff, autograph books, a selection of stuffed animals and Disney characters, sundries, a little “grocery” section full of snacks and a refrigerated section where you can get milk, yogurt, beer and all that to take back to your room. The Port Orleans resorts are moderates, which means the room has a small fridge to keep such items in. I find it invaluable because for me, nothing but real milk will do in my morning coffee. I do like the way the exterior of this shop was themed to resemble the local country store.

I hope Snowbird and Mr. Snowbird are having a fabulous time at Disney and come back with lots of pictures and great memories! Me, I’ve got 10 more sleeps before my next trip. πŸ™‚

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Cruising the Sassagoula River

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

We’re taking a cruise down the Sassagoula! All aboard the river boat, and let’s see where it takes us.

IMG_0932-WDW-Sassagoula-River-Map

The Sassagoula is a man-made waterway that connects several Disney resorts with Village Lake, around which Downtown Disney and the Saratoga Springs resort are clustered. Guests can embark from Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs to get to one of the other resorts or to Downtown Disney.

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Guests are transported to and fro in blue and yellow flat-bottomed river boats. There are actually three routes – one for the Port Orleans resorts, one that services Saratoga Springs and Old Key West, and one that taxis guests back and forth between two Downtown Disney docks (the West Side and the Marketplace). The boats play a soothing mix of instrumental-only Disney tunes, many of them having to do with boats and waterways. It’s not unusual to hear Just Around The Riverbend from Pocahontas followed by Candle on the Water from Pete’s Dragon.

IMG_0880-WDW-Port-Orleans-Riverside-Mill-restaurant

Aside from going back and forth between Downtown Disney and the resorts, you can also resort-hop. Over the years, I have read the same question over and over on many internet boards – “What can we do at Walt Disney World that’s FREE?“. Well, you can take a trip on the Sassagoula River! For instance, you can park at Downtown Disney and hop aboard the boat that goes up to Port Orleans Riverside. You can get off there, take a stroll around the scenic grounds, grab a bite to eat at the Riverside Mill food court or even go shopping at the market. There’s also a table service restaurant called Boatwright’s Dining Hall.

IMG_0924-WDW-Port-Orleanse-French-Quarter-Sassagoula-Floatworks

Suppose you prefer the ambiance of historic New Orleans – in that case, make your stop at Port Orleans French Quarter. This is a small, quaint resort styled after “the Big Easy”, featuring authentic Mardi Gras theming, beautifully landscaped “neighborhoods”, and humorous street signs. If you stop to have lunch at the Sassagoula Floatworks, be sure to have the chicken Caesar salad – my family really loves it, but if you are calorie conscious or just don’t like your salad drowned, be sure to ask for the dressing on the side.

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I’ve stayed at the French Quarter a few times, and during one of those trips, one of my co-workers and his wife were also in Orlando, staying at the Old Key West resort. So one afternoon I set out on the river boats to go and visit them. As mentioned, there are several different routes; Old Key West and the French Quarter are not on the same route, so it’s necessary to change boats at Downtown Disney. The boat dock is right near the Rainforest Cafe, within sight of the Saratoga Springs resort across the lake. I didn’t have a long wait at all, and before I knew it, the Old Key West boat arrived to take me the rest of the way to my destination. It probably would have been faster to drive, but it would not have been nearly as pretty or relaxing!

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The trip along the river is very pleasant and uneventful except for the occasional “water mouse” that speeds by. “Water mice” are little, two-person boats you can rent at Port Orleans Riverside, Downtown Disney and various other places throughout Walt Disney World. Once we docked at Old Key West, I walked a short way up to a bench outside the restaurant, called Olivia’s, to wait for my friends. As you can see, it was autumn when these photos were taken; Olivia’s is all decked out with cornstalks, hay stacks, and pumpkins. But the pastel pinks, greens, blues and yellows that cover the resort buildings are definitely designed to evoke the sub-tropical “old Florida” atmosphere of Key West.

I hope you enjoyed our trip up and down the Sassagoula River today. Remember, if you are ever in Orlando and looking to kill a few hours just relaxing, consider climbing aboard one of these charming boats and touring the resorts that are “just around the riverbend”.

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