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View Full Version : Just back from POR and marathon weekend!


OnlyWhnChasd
01-15-2008, 12:49 PM
DH and I checked into POR on Wednesday, January 9th around 10:30am. Check in was really fast as there were only a few people in front of us. I would say we were in and out in about 10 minutes. I would gather this is not the norm though because every other morning there were long lines of people waiting to check in.

We ended up getting a courtyard view room in mansions building 85, Magnolia Terrance. This was really a great location as you just had to walk a few steps down the path and over the bridge to the main pool, lobby, restaurant, etc. I'd faxed it a loosely worded room request prior to departing so maybe they were honoring it? Hard to say but I appreciated the room and location!

Our room was very quiet and acceptably clean if you didn't look too close. It doesn't look like they clean the bases of the sinks or the floors very well if ever and the phone/alarm clock/hairdryer were all in need of a swipe with a clorox wipe before I would use them. DH lost his cell phone case and had to hunt around for it and commented that "It looks like Haunted Mansion around here." LOL The bedding was clean though (which is most important to me) and no bugs! The accomodations are very basic but really all you need. We didn't get any towel animals but it was just me and DH and we didn't really want them so it wasn't an issue.

We ate breakfast and dinner once at Boatwrights. Both were fair to good. DH really liked the Filet Mignon. We went to Rivers Roost one night to hear Bob the Piano Guy. He was a lot of fun and people really seemed to get into it. Unfortunately it seemed like he did the same show (more or less) every night so if you catch him once, you're probably good to go. The food court (I forget the name) had a lot of choices and seemed to move the crowds efficiently. DH and I ate breakfast there pretty much every day and usually stopped by for a snack later in the afternoon. Their chocolate chip cookies were really good!

As for the horror stories I heard about POR's bus system... well... they probably deserve the reputation. I will say that for the MOST part the buses ran quickly and smoothly but it was a case of "When they are good they are very, very good and when they are bad they are horrid." We went over to Epcot to catch Illuminations one night and when we came back out to catch the bus the line for PO was so long they'd had to set up the temporary barriers to handle the crowds. PO was the ONLY resort that was backed up like this. It took a good hour to get through the line and that was only after they clued up and started running double buses. Of note is that at the Magic Kingdom there are seperate buses for POR and POFQ. We also used the boat transport to DTD several times and it was great. A very relaxing trip and there always seems to be a boat ready to go.

The grounds of POR (and to be honest, Disney in general) looked a bit like the landscaping crew was on vacation. Lots of overgrown shrubs badly in need of a trim. This in no way detracted from the overall appearance though. POR is a lovely resort for strolling around, especially at night. We never got a chance to do the carriage rides but they were parked out near the back lobby every night. I'm pretty sure we could have walked up and gotten on if we had wanted to.

We never really used any of the pools but they looked very nice. We were going to try the hot tub one night but there were about 50,000 people wedged into it so we passed. It's a very small hot tub for a resort the size of POR! Or maybe it just looked small because there were so many people in it.

Staff-wise everyone was friendly and helpful. We were there for marathon weekend and when I hit the food court at 3:00am for a banana they were smiling so I think that says a lot. I'm not sure I could be smiley at 3:00am! In fact, I don't think I was. ;)

I've only ever stayed deluxe before and I was really worried about downgrading to POR. I have to say though that while it definately isn't a deluxe, the bang for your buck is much higher. Overall we had a very nice stay.

If you have questions, feel free to ask! :)

Shmily1
01-15-2008, 02:01 PM
This doesn't at all sound like the place I just came from staying this past weekend. Our room (in building 95) was clean, we had three towel animals, the food at Boatwrights was great, the grounds looked great (even had azaleas blooming!), and we never had a bad time with the buses (other than those that charge the bus when it stops and don't let others off first--duh:confused: ). We've stayed at all levels of resorts at WDW and DH loved this one the most, even above BC which is my favorite! I guess we'll have to battle this one out on the next trip ;)

mom22boys
01-15-2008, 02:43 PM
This doesn't at all sound like the place I just came from staying this past weekend. Our room (in building 95) was clean, we had three towel animals, the food at Boatwrights was great, the grounds looked great (even had azaleas blooming!), and we never had a bad time with the buses (other than those that charge the bus when it stops and don't let others off first--duh:confused: ). We've stayed at all levels of resorts at WDW and DH loved this one the most, even above BC which is my favorite! I guess we'll have to battle this one out on the next trip ;)

Shmily, glad you had good experiences with the bus. Did you ever stay until park closing at MK or EP?

OnlyWhnChasd, was your experience with the bus at EP your only horrid experience? Out of curiosity was it a weekend or EMH night. We will be staying at POR at the end of February. The night we have planned to stay at EP (which will be a Wednesday night) until after Illuminations I thought about heading out of the IG and walking to BC. From there I thought about grabbing a cab. I am just not one for huge crowds and staying until park closing makes me a little uncomfortable. To avoid the mass exodus of people would be worth the extra $$$ for me to pay for a cab.


Thanks! :daisy:

Buzz2001
01-15-2008, 03:56 PM
As for the horror stories I heard about POR's bus system... well... they probably deserve the reputation. I will say that for the MOST part the buses ran quickly and smoothly but it was a case of "When they are good they are very, very good and when they are bad they are horrid." We went over to Epcot to catch Illuminations one night and when we came back out to catch the bus the line for PO was so long they'd had to set up the temporary barriers to handle the crowds. PO was the ONLY resort that was backed up like this. It took a good hour to get through the line and that was only after they clued up and started running double buses. Of note is that at the Magic Kingdom there are separate buses for POR and POFQ. We also used the boat transport to DTD several times and it was great. A very relaxing trip and there always seems to be a boat ready to go.That's been an ongoing problem. Glad to see you still have a great trip!

Lilolvr
01-16-2008, 07:45 AM
Sorry about your stay.

kimis
01-16-2008, 07:55 AM
I have to say we stay at POR every year and never have any problems with the buses or the room being clean. We always stay in bld 85--actually we request it. It is convienant to everything.

mom22boys
01-16-2008, 07:56 AM
Sorry about your stay.

Funny how everyone reads things differently. Overall I thought the OP enjoyed their stay at POR. Sometimes with discussion boards and e-mails it is difficult to communicate clearly. I guess in life we rely more on non-verbal communication than we realize. But then again we even read those wrong at times too.:confused3

OP, here's to hoping it was a good trip.:cheer2: Did you run in the marathon?

OnlyWhnChasd
01-16-2008, 08:40 AM
Lilolvr, why are you sorry about my stay? I enjoyed my trip and the accomodations. They weren't perfect but they were certainly satisfactory. I was just giving an honest review from my personal perspective. Everyone will have a different experience and I'm very satisfied with mine. So I had to wipe the phone with handiwipes, big woop. It didn't ruin my trip, it's just an observation.

mom22boys, you're right, I did enjoy my trip and yes I did run in the marathon. Actually I did Goofy's Challenge and had a great run in both the half and full! The only major bus problem I experienced WAS on an EMH evening at Epcot. I thought we'd get on the bus no problem since I figured resort guests would be staying in the park late. No such luck! We did have to stand a few times on full buses, but that doesn't bother me. Some people feel different though.

linda1118
01-16-2008, 12:40 PM
Lilolvr, why are you sorry about my stay? I enjoyed my trip and the accomodations. They weren't perfect but they were certainly satisfactory. I was just giving an honest review from my personal perspective. Everyone will have a different experience and I'm very satisfied with mine. So I had to wipe the phone with handiwipes, big woop. It didn't ruin my trip, it's just an observation.

mom22boys, you're right, I did enjoy my trip and yes I did run in the marathon. Actually I did Goofy's Challenge and had a great run in both the half and full! The only major bus problem I experienced WAS on an EMH evening at Epcot. I thought we'd get on the bus no problem since I figured resort guests would be staying in the park late. No such luck! We did have to stand a few times on full buses, but that doesn't bother me. Some people feel different though.

I was a little surprised by that comment also. I understood your trip to be enjoyable and that you were just noting some observations and things that could use some improvement.

Congratulations on the marathon! What a great achievement! :thumbsup2

Lilolvr
01-16-2008, 12:55 PM
Lilolvr, why are you sorry about my stay? I enjoyed my trip and the accomodations. They weren't perfect but they were certainly satisfactory. I was just giving an honest review from my personal perspective. Everyone will have a different experience and I'm very satisfied with mine. So I had to wipe the phone with handiwipes, big woop. It didn't ruin my trip, it's just an observation.Whether it was the grounds, the room, the buses, the overall tone of the report seemed negative. Just my opinion. Let me change that to glad you still had a good time.

mom22boys
01-16-2008, 03:28 PM
OnlyWhnChasd, what is the Goofy's Challenge? How far is the half and the full? I used to joke around that I only ran when I was chased, but have recently started enjoying it.

OnlyWhnChasd
01-16-2008, 04:31 PM
mom22boys, hehehe... that's how it all starts. First a couple of miles, then the next thing you know you're signing up to run 39.3 miles in two days while on a Disney vacation. ;)

Goofy's Challenge is running both the half marathon on Saturday (a distance of 13.1 miles) and the full marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday for a weekend total of 39.3 miles. If you complete both distances within the time limits you are awarded a third "Goofy" medal in addition to the medals for completing the half and full marathons individually. It's proven to be a very popular offering amoungst runners. Honestly it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and it was a lot of fun to run through the parks in the wee hours of the morning! Hearing the trumpets as we were about to run through Cinderella's Castle is an experience I will never forget!

POR was actually a great marathon base since they have lots of carb-loading pasta options! :D

Mrs. Bee
01-16-2008, 04:53 PM
It's funny how people have such different perspectives of things. The first person that posted talked about a dirty room, bad bus experience, and bad landscaping. And then the following poster was there around the same time and said everything was clean, buses were great, and landscaping was nice.

I think people just have different ideas of what is acceptable/not acceptable for a hotel and whatnot.

Sort of like how going to POR is a "downgrade" for some and an "upgrade" for others.

We'll be at POR in 8 days and I've only ever stayed in value resorts (the last time was almost 13 years ago) so I'm pretty excited!!

enyaj40
01-16-2008, 05:45 PM
It's funny how people have such different perspectives of things. The first person that posted talked about a dirty room, bad bus experience, and bad landscaping. And then the following poster was there around the same time and said everything was clean, buses were great, and landscaping was nice.

I think people just have different ideas of what is acceptable/not acceptable for a hotel and whatnot.

Sort of like how going to POR is a "downgrade" for some and an "upgrade" for others.

We'll be at POR in 8 days and I've only ever stayed in value resorts (the last time was almost 13 years ago) so I'm pretty excited!!


that's how i feel, too

i'm just tickled to be onsite again

mom22boys
01-16-2008, 07:36 PM
Mrs. Bee, I hope your trip is magical! Can't wait to hear about it when you get home.

OnlyWhnChasd, thanks for the Goofy's Challenge clarification. I thought there was a half Goofy's Challenge and a full Goofy's challenge. Didn't realize you meant half and full marathon! How funny! I think I will aim for the half marathon! To do the half and full all in one weekend, wow! Very impressive!

sassyat30
01-16-2008, 08:01 PM
We loved POR! :goodvibes

I thought the landscaping was gorgeous (it is after all, supposed to be a swamp ;)), the buses were fine (and yes, we came home two nights at park closing), loved the food court but Boatwright's, not so much.

The bar at POR was great (I won't mention the $40 bar bill we had for the two of us one night :rolleyes1 ).

Our room was also spotless (and trust me, my house is too, so I know spotless when I see it ;)) and everyone we encountered was smiling and friendly...even at 4:45am on our departure day. LOL

We figured with the buses we didn't have anywhere we needed to be (we were on vacation after all) and to just chill out and relax...they'd get there when they did. :wizard:

Mrs Bee I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy POR as much as I did. :goodvibes