If you have read my previous travel blog I would like to say that once Luke and I had landed in Orlando we got through customs, got our 4 suitcases and rental car in record time!! We were now ready to roll!!
Luke’s second surprise of the trip was the upgraded car…. a Mustang! I secretly think it was more of an upgrade for Luke, but I loved it just the same!
First stop was publix, we wasn’t on the Disney dinning plan so needed to stock up on a few essentials!
With the essentials safely squeezed in between and around our luggage we were ready to head to Walt Disney World to check into the Port Orleans Resort.
Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Luke and I had never stayed on a Disney resort on any previous Disney vacation’s, we have always chosen villas to accommodate our party of 8. Seeing as it was just the two of us this year though we decided a Disney resort would be far more beneficial. We watched many vlogs and read reviews on all of the Disney hotels, trying to decide which one we fancied. We of course eventually settled on the Port Orleans resort.
There are three major sections of the Port Orleans resort — French Quarter and Riverside’s Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend. There are also currently ten bookable room categories available at Port Orleans (such as Garden View, Pool View, River View, Preferred Location and King Bed, plus the new Royal Guest Room options) which are seasonally priced at varying nightly rates. The theme throughout the resort is based on the princess and the frog, so it’s very Deep South, New Orleans.
Well firstly nothing excites me more than seeing the WDW sign!! Seeing this can only mean one thing…. WE HAVE ARRIVED!
By the time we actually got to our resort it was around half 8, so around 1.30am in the UK! We were now both shattered, and just wanted to get into our room!
Check in was extremely busy so we had a good 20 minute wait before it was our turn. When we finally got to the front desk we were greeted by a friendly cast member who apologised for our wait (which really wasn’t a problem, and went pretty fast). The cast member presented us with our magic bands (which as well as getting into the parks and fastpass use are also used to access your resort room). After showing us on the map where we were going we were ready to at last find our room! From the reception area it was a short drive round to our resort car park. Luke had previously requested a room that wasn’t on the ground floor, we have watched Vlogs on YouTube where ground floors are not recommended as you CAN get strange little bugs coming in under the door at night!…. No thanks!
However getting a room on the 3rd floor meant we now had to get 4 suitcases, our hand luggage and shopping up to the room. I have to say that on check in there was no mention of bell service and at the front gate we were handed a map which told us on there to leave all luggage in the car. I have since seen Bell service happen on the resort to other families, so I know it exists!
We finally got to our room (3 trips later) the magic bands worked first time, and we were finally in!
The Royal Room
The royal room I have to say was beautiful, definitely fit for a princess! It was VERY VERY DISNEY!There were 2 double beds, bath with over head shower, 2 sinkslarge tv, medium sized fridge, dinning table and 2 chairs, a coffee maker (which only use the Joffrey’s coffee pods which can be purchased from the resort store) but you also get restocked with these daily usually 3-4 pods.there was also an ice bucket and the worlds smallest safe! It really only fits in passports and jewellery, not ideal if you have electrical items such as laptop’s and various camera’s like we did.
House keeping AKA Mousekeeping! So everyday Mousekeeping (cute name right) will go into your room, make your beds re stock your coffee pods and cups and replenish your toiletries and towels. I have since read that the cost of this is included in your overall package but you can ask to not have the mousekeeping services or just ask them to do 2 or 3 days. If you choose to opt out of Mousekeeping I do believe that Disney will issue you with a store credit, but you will need to check this on arrival. We were not aware of this and had paid for the 2 week duration of our stay as part of our holiday package. In all honestly even we had of known this could have been removed we would have kept it, as its nice to have a made bed and fresh towels.
There is a lot of talk especially on the vlogs and Facebook pages about tipping mousekeeping and even leaving British chocolate for them. In return I had seen the most wonderful pictures of mousekeeping leaving surprises such as mickey towels and even an extra supply of toiletries! We had both cute mousekeeping envelopes and some roses, Dairy Milks and curly wurleys that we had purchased in the UK, and we started off leaving a few chocolates and $4-5 in the morningsI was a little disappointed at having no Mickey mouse towel in my room on the first night, but my PJ’S were folded nicely and and the beds were made. The next day we did the same thing with the tips and returned to the room to find the bed’s made and a re-stock of things we needed but again no Mickey towel or any of the mousekeeeping magic that we had heard such wonderful things about. In fact my PJ’S wasn’t even folded! We left tips and chocolates for the next few days and then gave up! I know you may be thinking that this is quite tight of us, but actually we are members of the port Orleans Facebook group and saw many lovely mousekeeping surprises for other guests staying on the resort at the same time we were there, but nothing for us. Why this was we will never know, some guests get it some don’t. I would like to point out that toiletries (1 shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 body lotion, 1 soap and 1 face soap) and coffee and cups were still replenished daily so tip or no tip you still get your essentials.
Luke and I didn’t find this resort very clean, our room was dirty although looked clean on the surface, but it really needed a good hoover and dust! The corridor below ours always seemed to smell of wee, and to be honest the resort looked like a hotel you would find in Spain. Apart from the royal room which we were in there was nothing else Disney about the resort itself. Being used to villas for so many years we were so excited on whitenessing a bit of Disney magic by staying on park, sadly we felt this seemed to be missing.
Is it worth staying on a Disney resort?
The answer is yes, if you want to take advantage of the extra magic hours, and the booking of all fast-passes 60 days before your trip (as opposed to 30 days for guests who are not staying on property). You also get use of the Disney bus that takes you too and from the parks, however, Luke and I didn’t make use of this as the majority of our breakfast reservations were for 8am, and it really didn’t leave us time to get through security, into the park and to our reservation. We instead always drove to the parks, but parking is free instead of the usual $20 per day. You also get a free magic band if you’re staying on property which you can customise before you arrive at check in via the Disney website.
Being completely honest, this wasn’t the resort for us, it wasn’t as magical as we had thought it was going to be, and getting the Disney transportation or the boat to Disney Springs wasn’t an easy thing to do, and took a good 45 minutes! We had also heard that if you buy something whilst visiting one of the Disney parks you can have your item sent back to your room, which then saves you carrying around any purchases all day. The fact is you can have these items sent back to your resort but will take around 3 days to get there, and then you must collect them from the resort shop.
I love my own private villa with my own private swimming pool to use after a long day in the parks, however both Luke and I have agreed that we will try another Disney resort when we book another trip.