First of all we had a WONDERFULL stay OFF site and ON site at Disney ! We will definitely go back to Orlando but will spend a better way our money.
Universal area in Orlando was very hardly hit by the economic crises. Disney is so far the only company that seems to be spared by this crisis. Don't expect deals or rebates at Disney, they are even full in low season. We were impressed by the number of tourist at Disney, all parks were packed with tourist like a can of sardine. The only way to get some sort of “impression of a deal" is to book your holidays 5-6 months in advance (like we did).
A similar hotel room that has a real view cost $50 on I-Drive North: Best Western Plus. So this hotel at $220 is really expensive. In addition Waldorf Astoria discounts its huge rooms for $230 !
We stayed in room 413 a remodeled room (with water view +30$ but no real view) still smelling new. The plastic smell is due to use of a large quantity of cheap Chinese plastics everywhere in the room. The room was clean, it had a bad view. The decoration of the room is nice (all plastics) However the furniture in the room is very basic. We lived like homeless people in a shelter. All of our belongings were stored in plastic bags during 4 days. There is only 2 and half beds in the room. There is no place to put your clothing! Don't expect much and you won’t be disappointed.
Since the bus service is not running very well, the resort is far from everything. It took us as much as 2 hours commuting per day to get to and back from Magic Kingdom!! After 2 days, we ended up using our rental car to travel. So the Hoper option to change Park the same day.
Basically you don't have ANY advantages to stay on site! Commute is slow, Lines are long and slow to get into parks, Fast passes are available to everyone, you even pay more $$ for food as the off resort guests!!! That's being said if you want still stay on site here is the guide how to spend you money wisely (This is something that Disney don't want you to know).
THE LITTLE SECRETS OF DISNEY RESERVATIONS:
Disney wants you to buy as much as unnecessary things in advance as they can sell to you.
The online booking system was built to take your money and mix up your mind. It was not built to explain Disney in detail. The online system is a brain washing system to take your money! Believe me, I am an experienced traveler. The entire Disney holiday system could be explain on 3 pages : Hotel, Park Ticket and Meal Plan.
PARKS AND TICKETS:
All parks have 3-4 times more shops than rides. LOL. This is ridiculous.
MAGIC KINGDOM: We were able to do 90% of the park in one day. It was full of tourists but still enjoyable because of its size. Don't hesitate to take a little 4 years old girl to this park. It will be her princess dream.
EPCOT : It is like a huge commercial fair/exposition for $80. Only a very few rides (Am I right 9 rides ?). Basically it is a walk around the world's finest shops. An endless succession of shops and restaurants but it is spectacular. Maybe we will come back here. Actually my 6 years old daughter loved Epcot more than Magic Kingdom ?!. Maybe because she saw more animals at Epcot than at Animal Kingdom ! LOL
HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: Again a few rides a lot of shops but nothing really interesting. If you have been at Universal studios, it will be disappointing. Fast passes are all given out by 11AM in low season !!
ANIMAL KINGDOM: Are there any animals ? It was so crowded (300% more folks that it can take). that we only managed to do/see the African section on a Monday !!! This park can't handle tourist visiting it. It is a spectacular place (Kilimanjaro and Tree of life) but again it is an endless succession of shops and waiting lines. You better go to Sea World.
The best deal regarding Disney tickets is the 7 days base ticket even if you only go 5 days to the parks !! Dont try to beat the system you will only spend more money. Kids and adults won't walk more than 4-6 hours per day, even if you are a triathlon champion.
FOOD AND MEAL PLAN:
We had the Dining Plus meal plan for $56 per day. Count my dollars, if I had paid one by one each meal:
A snack $4 + Fast food meal $15 + Meal with service $34 = $53
Hey Disney your food plan was more expensive: LOL
One advice don't get the meal plan but buy the food as you go.
The food on site at Disney is very good. I have nothing to say but good world about what is available. The only advantage of the Dining plus plan is that it will force you to taste and visit different restaurants. We loved the Boma and Cafe may buffets. Best deal for your money.
Anyhow if you plan to go to a Disney restaurants book as early as 5-6 months in advance ! (Including buffets !!) Lines are HUGE at restaurants even if you have a reservation.
Basically the meal plan is a set of vouchers for each meal. You can use one by one each meal vouchers and snack vouchers. For instance at noon don't take a meal for all family members (unless your body mass index above 30). 1 or 2 meals is enough for 3 ! It doesn't count what time of the day you take your vouchers. Some high end restaurants require 2 vouchers per person per meal (Like the Cinderella castle restaurant). Don't hesitate to ask questions from Disney staff and don't pay for extras!
Our favorite place at Disney was the Boardwalk area.
A nice trip to Disney but I will need a week to recover from the exhaustion. I would rather spend $3000 on an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean than going back to Disney again. However I did this trip for my daughter. Obviously Disney did a very good marketing job.
Now I feel like a good father :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover a place where simple pleasures flourish and Southern hospitality abounds. From the stately white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend to the quaint backwoods cottages of Alligator Bayou, delight in this picturesque Resort hotel that evokes the romance and tranquility of the rural Louisiana Bayou. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, TravelUp and HotelQuickly so you can book your Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Port Orleans Disney Resort
- Orlando Port Orleans Resort
- Riverside Disney
- Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Port Orleans Hotel Disney
- Port Orleans Resort Riverside
- Port Orleans Resort Disney
- Disney Port Orleans Hotel
- Disneys Port Orleans Resort Riverside