Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I want to go back

Aggghhh,   After coming home from vacay and getting through the last two weeks of school and chaos I want to go back.   You know,  like a do-over.    Since I've been home from Orlando I have thought of a million things that I didn't get to do or forgot.   

Must Do List for Disney World

Eat a giant Turkey Leg (or buy a t-shirt saying you did)
Wave at the monorail driver
Try more than one new food at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival
(See last post why I didn't, my boys were trying to kill me and wine was more enticing that night)  :)
Wear my tiara  more(yes, I have one)
Blow a kiss to Captain Jack Sparrow
Dance at more than one parade. 
Go more than once on Rock n Roller Coaster
Take another bad picture at Epcot of me "holding the world"  (Mine are always off)
Watch the fireworks from the monorail
See Tinkerbell come flying down from the Castle

These are just some of the things I have done in the past and didn't get to this time.    See, you can go every year and still not do everything or see everything.   So, if you have certain things you want to see or do there this year my suggestion is to make a list!!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Port Orleans Riverside/Pop Century Review

This fall I was excited to stay at Disney's Port Orleans Resort.    While we have stayed at many of Disney's wonderful resorts in the past, the last few years we have stayed at one of the "value" resorts.  (read: crappy economy, increased ticket prices, and larger, hungrier kids!)  So this year I was glad to upgrade finally back to at least a "moderate" resort.  Online check-in made it a breeze.  (would recommend doing this prior to leaving!)Within 5 minutes of entering the registration area we had our package with info, room keys etc. in hand. 

We stayed in the Alligator Bayou area overlooking one of the smaller pools.  If it wasn't for the palm trees I could have believed I was in Louisiana.   The resort as a whole is large and sprawling.  Very relaxing with all the meandering paths, thick foliage and winding river. My guys didn't think I was very funny when I kept trying to catch tiny lizards (they were so cute)!   Alligator Bayou has only 2 levels to it's buildings and the rooms have been updated with Queen beds (super comfy) and trundle beds that come out from the wall. (sort of like a sideways Murphy bed) So for our family of 4 it was perfect since there was always someone who didn't want to sleep with Mom, Dad or a brother.  The room is comfortable and equipped with a mini frig and coffee maker (yay!!)   Also, Disney has finally gotten on board with free wi-fi.   These 3 things have been sorely missed by our family in past years. 

In the afternoons and evenings there was entertainment around the main pool area as well as an outdoor movie and bonfire.  There was also a fishing hole and marina where your could rent poles and catch fish or rent a boat and go out for a spin in the water.  And even though the parks seemed full we rarely heard anyone around our room (it was seriously that quiet).

I actually found it hard to get up and go go go to the parks at this resort. It was just so relaxing and tranquil!  I just wanted to lounge by the pool and read. :)  But, after 4 days here my boys were ready to pack it up and head to Pop Century for a little more excitement  (both resorts offer the same entertainment but Pop is more condensed and a lot of people rushing around heading to and from parks)

I love Pop Century with all the nostalgic posters of the 70's, 80's & 90's.  Upbeat music is always playing inside and out.  The rooms are smaller and the beds are downsized to 2 doubles. (Hubs and me wrestled with bedding and space every night!)  Unfortunately, they don't offer the coffee maker.  Not sure if they think that guests saving a buck don't drink coffee??   I paid my guys $5 to go get me coffee at the food court every morning.  I'm not pretty without it.    But, there was a mini frig and spotty wi-fi coverage.    In fact the Hubs caught me outside on curb with my laptop trying to get a good signal........  lol  Hey! I can't live without Internet for a whole week!  While Riverside has different bus stops throughout the resort as well as boat service Pop has all the park stops in the front of the main bldg.   

Both resorts food courts are great with a decent variety.  Port Orleans has a little more in the themed selection such as Muffalattas.  (fair)  and a sit down restaurant Boatwrights (yum)  while Pop Century sticks to more  basics such as burgers, chicken as well as pasta and nachos. 

If your debating on either of these two resorts I love both. For quiet, peace and a little tranquility go for Riverside,  If you don't mind sleeping on a double with no coffee and like to dance in the food court Pop is your better bet!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Just when you think you know it all......

Well I'm back from another fabulous Disney World vaca!!   And for all my know everything about Disney vacationing I have to eat some of my words!!   First off,  even though  this was my 22nd visit with most of those being in the fall, mother nature in Florida surprised me.   The first four days were hot (no biggie) and humid (BIGGIE).  Now, slight humidity can be expected this time of year  but,  this was the muggy, entire body covered in sweat at 9 am , don't touch me kind of humidity.  Add that to the  busiest Fall Break crowd we have ever experienced and your zippity doo dah attitude can head south (more south) quickly.    Torrential (yes, torrential) rain storms complete with lightning that could rival the fireworks display the first two afternoons and evenings topped off the first few days like a big ole cherry on top. 

The large fall crowd seemed to be a combination of Florida residents, Overseas visitors, ( I heard the phrase "where is the loo" a lot!) and events out the whazoo.  There were tons of kids in competitions of all kinds.   Fast passes for favs were gone by mid morning and average wait times for popular rides were 65-75 minutes.  Yikes.   We have been spoiled.  If we have to wait longer than 5-10 we normally pass it up!!

With all that being said we still made it fun.  The rain was warm and  ponchos were out of the question (too muggy).   If it wasn't lightning we swam in the rain.   Hung out at Downtown Disney, took advantage of our Free Disney Dining Plan, and generally relaxed.  It actually worked out since we were well rested by the time the weather changed for the better!   Day 4 of 8 brought sunshine, low humidity and we were on our way.  The crowds stayed the same while we were there but with a park hopper if one park was just too busy we would hop on over to another.  This year was our first year to try the water parks and Disney Quest.   It was fabulous!  Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are phenomenal and Disney Quest was great for my teenage boys while I shopped nearby.  And we got to catch the Not So Scary Halloween party on one of our last nights!!   

So, to everyone that I have blabbed endlessly about vacationing at Disney World in the fall,  it still is a great time to visit.  Just be prepared for anything!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don't panic Folks! It's Vacation Time!

Whoop Whoop!    Disney Vacation has finally arrived!!   Leaving at 6 am tomorrow!!  I'm packed, everything taken care of (Don't forget about your pets, mail and paper!)   I am always on the fence on Disney's online check in.   Sometimes I do it and sometimes I don't.  My check in time upon arrival never seems to change either way. 

Moms and Dads,  sometimes we get so stressed over family vacations and want everything to be fantastic and for everyone to be ecstatically  happy.  We want the whole family to rave on what a marvelous time we had and praise the fabulous person who planned and worried about, and got it all together!!  Little note:  It will never happen.   You will have moments of all of those things but never all and never all at once.   And please please don't let me see you being one of those screaming shrew Moms or Dads in the park.  Not cool.  No matter every ones ages there is plenty to do.  If the youngest ones are screaming loudest get their part over then maybe they will nap in their stroller and you can relax!

And, don't get upset if the resort pool is the only place that the kiddies want to be.  They are cool pools!!!  And if that's the case you can lounge and have an adult beverage.  The lifeguards at Disney resorts are the best!!!!

I have known Moms to work themselves up into a anxiety attack upon arrival and miss half of their vacation.  I myself have learned my lesson and always keep a little vino and xanax on hand.  (hey!  whatever works!)

Breathe deep.  The time is here.  There is nothing more you can do.   Enjoy your time with your family and most importantly enjoy yourself!!!