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!!!