Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Magical Blogorail ~ Home Away From Home

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Welcome to those of you joining me from Focused on the Magic and those of you who have just hopped aboard.  I am the 3RD stop on our Magical Blogorail.
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The Magical Blogorail ORANGE is sharing their thoughts on this topic:
A thousand worlds in one - which resort is "home" to you and why?
I have to admit, this topic is a little tricky for me.  Despite my love of and fascination with all things Disney, I’ve never stayed at a Disney resort.  And, believe it or not, up until last year, I had never even SEEN a Disney resort (except for passing through the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary on the “real” monorail loop). 
Florida 2010 008
Last year, we scheduled a visit to the Grand Floridian to dine with Cinderella and friends.  We planned this for the first evening of our visit (and we were so glad we did because we booked one night in a hotel that we’d stayed in previously, only to arrive there and find it had gone downhill – tremendously!)  So, after our most wonderful and enjoyable dinner, we decided to stick around the resort(s) and take a relaxing stroll.
Florida 2010 038
We were just thrilled with the Grand Floridian – it’s so beautiful!  My daughter Ashley dreams of honeymooning here someday.  (I secretly hopes she gets her wish – though I’d be jealous!) 
And the Polynesian, which I had previously only seen from the monorail, was wonderful also.  Truthfully, it has a more “relaxed” feel to it and if I were honest with myself, I think I’d feel more at home there (the ritzy-ness of the G.F. may make me feel just a tad out of place). 
Florida 2010 058
We had so much fun hanging at the resorts on that first night, that we planned more “resort-hopping” for later in the week.  We took a boat from Hollywood Studios one afternoon, and got off to walk around – visiting the Swan & Dolphin, as well as the Boardwalk and Beach Club.  Talk about relaxing!
Florida 2010 374
Later on that week, we had opportunity to visit with some friends who were staying at the Pop Century resort.  Having previously visited the Deluxe resorts, the Value one didn’t have as much appeal (though it was fun to see). 
Florida 2010 567
I’ve always tried to be very frugal in planning our Disney vacations – allowing more money for parks and souvenirs than for the accomodations.  We’ve always been very happy with our off-site experiences.  BUT, after last year, we were LONGING for a Disney resort stay!
So, when I was asked to go back down to Orlando for the homeschool convention (FPEA), we jumped at the chance (duh!)  My boss puts us up in a lovely (off-site) resort for the whole week, which seriously ROCKS!  But, our Disney resort longing prompted us to make the decision to leave a few days early and use our Disney Rewards to spend 3 nights at a resort. 
I’m pleased to announce that OUR FIRST RESORT STAY will be at the Port Orleans Riverside.  We’re actually leaving tomorrow!  So, while the timing of this topic made my post a little  tricky, it’s also coincidental that in 2 days I’ll be no longer “dreaming of Disney” but living there (albeit only for 3 nights!)  In the meantime, I’ve discovered this website all about Port Orleans – and I can’t wait to get there!
Be sure to stop back over the next few weeks, as I’m sure I’ll have lots of pictures to share!
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney on Wheels.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

15 comments:

Disney on Wheels said...

Resort hopping is one of our favorite activities too! We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for the first time in February & loved it. Its a really beautiful resort. I hope you have a great time at Disney!

Mickey said...

Heidi! Congratulations on your upcoming stay at Port Orleans Riverside! I've never stayed at Riverside, but it's sister resort French Quarter is a great resort, and I highly recommend it for another time. If you like Downtown Disney, one of the best things about POR or POFQ is that you can take the water taxis to DD. It is a really great, relaxing way to see part of Disney that isn't often seen. Great post, and have a great time!

BruceWDW said...

I agree with you that the Grand Floridian is a wonderful place to visit. We've walked the beach and back and forth to the wedding chapel. Had a wonderful "tea" special activity there and during Christmas, you can't beat the decorations and the Gingerbread house. Thank you for the memories.

Julie said...

I'm right with you about the GF. It's very lovely but with my crew we felt out of place lol. The Poly is our fave, although all the Deluxe resorts rock (been to the Yacht once and it was super cool to walk to Epcot.) Port Orleans is a good one, we just found the rooms a bit cramped. But who stays in their room when they are at Disney??

DebºoºS said...

The GF is beautiful and it is a lovely place to stay. It wasn't as highfalutin as I thought it might be. Very kid friendly;)Poly rocks!
Your trip sounds so exciting! We stayed at Dixie Landings (Port Orleans old name) and loved it. Can't wait to hear all about it:)
Have a magical trip ºoº

Bird said...

Woohoo! Your trip is finally here... which makes me super excited because that means my trip is finally near as well! We leave Saturday!! My hubby says you're going to like Port Orleans. Though it's been a few years since he's been there, he remember it was quite beautiful! Have a fun and safe trip!

Melissa said...

The Polynesian would be my pick as well! That's where Brian and I stay for our honeymoon almost 19 years ago! The rooms are nice...but the overall atmosphere is what I enjoyed the most. Now when we resort hop, it's my favorite place to go, especially at night when all the tiki torches are lit! I'd love to plan a stay there for our 20th anniversary next year!

Amanda said...

We've never stayed at a Disney resort yet either, although we have visited several of them for meals. Congratulations on your upcoming stay and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Jackie said...

I have never stayed at PO Riverside, but I have stayed at the French Quarter and its really fun!! You will have a great time!

Wendy said...

I'm with you on the GF too. It's beautiful, but I always feel a little out of place. It's too fancy for me; I prefer something warmer and more relaxed. I think you'll love Port Orleans, but be sure to "hop" more resorts - especially Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the Boardwalk. Hope you enjoy your stay on property!!

Beth Green said...

Have FUNNNN!! I am dying to stay at Port Orleans! It's on my bucket list!! :) Resort hopping is always fun- I try to do a little on each trip... just to see what all I'm missing out on!!

Tricia from Return to Disney said...

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside last Fall, and loved it! Be sure to take a walk around the back side of the big pool, it's so relaxing!

Crystal and Bryan - canadisney.com said...

Great post! You're going to love Port Orleans, we did our first stay there and have gone back multiple times. Be sure to take a walk or boat ride over to the French Quarter too!

Manda said...

Wow! That's cool that the resorts seem to be 'attractions' in themselves! I never thought of visiting hotels in and around Disneyland ... might do this next time I'm in Disneyland Paris! :P Hope you have a wonderful trip!

The Mrs. said...

Hope you're having a great time at Port Orleans Riverside! We've stayed at POFQ but did a lot of activities over at Riverside, including the fishing hole and a Surrey Bike rental. Enjoy :)

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