Warning this will probably be a long one......large family trip report too.
We left on Friday afternoon out of JFK flying JetBlue to MCO. First time using long term parking and opted to just use the JFK lot vs the cheaper lots with shuttles due to reviews on here. One place lost keys and they had to wait til they found them. Being the fact that our flight was arriving a few minutes after midnight no chance of taking a chance like that. We took the airtrain to the terminal. It was a bit confusing but we managed to find our way. JetBlue was great as usual. Checked out bags with our Disney luggage bands so they would be delivered to the room.
We arrived at MCO, now this airport we know and very easy to get to Magical Express. The usual ride to the resort (All Star Movies). I had requested Toy Story and since the rooms we booked were preferred I figured our chances were good. I also requested adjoining rooms and a higher floor after reading reviews of noise on the first floor rooms. We were placed in the first building near the lobby in Dalmatian's 2nd floor in adjoining rooms. Not bad. We did walk over to the Toy Story section and it was cute. I was happy the rooms had the new white Duvets vs. the old bed spread. Both rooms were clean.
We decided to just eat at the food court, it really wasn't too busy. We have stayed at the moderates and it was no busier then there. Similar food choices too. Not long after our luggage arrived, it did take a few hours but we figured and had what we needed right away.
Only 6 of us flew in from NY, my oldest daughter and son in law were flying in the next morning from North Carolina. One of my daughter actually lives there while doing the Disney College program so she stayed at her place but would come over or meet us. We had breakfast at the resort, again not that bad, no problem finding a table. Once they arrived we went over to Typhoon Lagoon and activated the tickets. It took us forever to get there since the bus was stuck in traffic for the Cheerleading competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports. It caused a traffic jam. Some were even walking into the event, I guess they were running late. Always great at Typhoon Lagoon. I can't do many rides but love the Crush n Gusher. The lazy river was great as usual but when you go under the tunnel I forgot how hard the water hits you. Wow! Took my hair out of the bun. Starting our first day in a water park wasn't so bad, I might possibly do this in the future. That night only myself and two daughters went to Downtown Disney to see the St. Patrick's Day festivities. At our resort we had a lot of cheerleader groups staying and they all seemed to be heading to Downtown Disney so we hopped on a bus to Epcot and got lucky it was the same bus going to Saratoga Springs. We stayed on the bus and went to Saratoga Springs and walked over. The bridge is closed but it was not a bad walk around anyway. It might of taken longer but we were not on a full bus and enjoyed looking around Saratoga Springs. We walked Downtown Disney listening to a few of the bands along the way and settled in at the last band in seats near the Harley Davidson store. They were pretty good, a lot of energy from the lead singer. I had some green drink and in my making my decision didn't realized I picked one with Jameson in it. I prefer vodka. I admit the whisky wasn't as bad as I remembered. Lots of places to buy drinks and lots of people drinking. This was also one of the last nights Pollo Campero and Babycakes would be open and it was mobbed. I don't understand why it is not returning. The line was out the door, yet it wasn't at Earl of Sandwich or Ghirardelli's. Overall a good night. Easy hop on the bus back to the resort.
Overall observations- The values are fine if you are a just sleep at your hotel. There was a cheerleading competition which meant large groups. This is where the values can be tough. I work at a hotel so I know when you have groups it changes the atmosphere at any hotel. Downtown Disney is under a lot of construction but you can still enjoy it. The St. Patrick's Day bands were pretty good and since it runs for several days it is worth checking it out. A room at Saratoga Springs facing Downtown Disney looks like a great place to stay.