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Old 09-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
Missoutandabout
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Talking New-Resort Phobia Fears Allayed: POR-RGR and BC Split Review!

Part 1: Introduction and Preface

Your Review Staff: Miss M (kiddo, non-princess type 5 year old) , Daddy Doofenshmirtz , and myself (Miss) .

Previous Resorts: As a family: Poly, Beach Club (our current fave). In my previous life: CR and Fort Wilderness.

This Trip: We had not planned on returning to Disney this year... then I got bit by the bug -- of the Disney, non-"bed" variety -- again. (Thank you IRS ... and USCIS. Never thought you'd see that in writing, eh? ) This trip morphed from a 1 night at CR and 4 nights at BC, to adding another day, to giving up CR and booking 2 nights at Riverside and 4 nights at BC. Who knew Daddy Doof had a penchant for princesses? It was all his idea, really. ) So, finally... our first stay at Port Orleans-Riverside in a Royal Guest Room for two nights then a switch over to the Beach Club - Club Level for 4 nights.

Concerns Prior to Going: Buses, ACK! Frightening reports abound, oh MY! Scary mod resorts! (Mind you, I'm always one of those "must see for ourselves to form our own opinion" sorta gals.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I will waffle here-and-there on this review and regale you with some less-than-stellar phone pictures, so bear with me...

We embarked on our third trip as a family late last Monday, the 17th of September. Picked up the kiddo from school and off we went to the airport to catch our 7:00pm flight...

There are some lessons one tends to learn after repeated trips, here are a few things we learned on this last trip so I can at least make a note of what not to do on our next trip:
  • Arriving late is the PITS!
  • Having to handle your own bags to get on the ME is the PITS!
  • Having to sit there whilst your ME driver is on his break because it's late at night is the PITS!
  • After finally arriving to your hotel and only having one not-overly-congenial person on the front desk dealing with a drunk guy complaining about something silly before checking you in is -- you guessed it -- the PITS!

Instead of starting our vacation out with a bang, as we had on our previous trips, we found the above combo of events led to a bit of a lackluster start. Ah, live and learn. Onto the good stuff...


Part 1: Newbies, Ahoy!
Port Orleans - Riverside


This was our first time staying at POR. The silver lining on that shaky start was our bellman, Drew. Even at that hour of night, he was exactly what we needed to get us excited about finally being back at Disney. He took us on the cart over to our building, cheerfully explaining a bit about the resort. It looked lovely -- from what we could see at night. Bellman Drew was, indeed, a bright spot on that evening. We stayed in a Royal Guest Room in Parterre Place on the second floor, looking out toward the pool. It was quite a surprise, opening the door; the pictures really don't do these rooms justice. They are pretty rooms -- and the reduced size (compared to our previous Deluxe Resort stays) wasn't at all noticeable to our family of 3. Disney did a truly excellent job with these Royal Guest Rooms; all the little touches they added are endearing. POR Mousekeeping were efficient -- even left us a cute towel elephant.







The grounds are just perfect to stroll around. Beautifully manicured. We walked the path to the French Quarter twice. Swam in the quiet pool outside of our building at midnight, fun! Ate at the Mill once (not bad), had an excellent adult beverage or three over at Scat Cats (Whoa, Nelly!), tried the beignets at Sassagoula (not Cafe Du Monde-authentic but tasty nonetheless!).


Riverside Verdict: Loved it. We'd stay here again without hesitation. I only really wished I had taken more pictures of the grounds.


Part 2: Now Start Whistling the Gilligan's Island Tune...
Beach Club - Club Level

Ah, what can I say? I feel "at home" here. Everything about the Beach Club: the bustling lobby, the Marketplace for shopping ... the pool, oh the POOL! Stormalong Bay is as good as always. Beach Club just makes me go, "Ahhhh." The room was spacious, a small but full balcony and was taken care of by Maya, our Mousekeeper.

The view from our room, overlooking the back of the building and Stormalong Bay:

(To the left)


(To the right)


Maya surprised us with quite a few towel animals:


The staff on club level are so so excellent, especially Neil. He made us some spectacular anniversary buttons which managed to get at least 20 comments a day at the parks. We didn't get to meet the Beach Club's very own Teena this trip but we'll just have to go back next year. I did, however, get to meet two very wonderful and sweet ladies from our great little RCing thread here on the Dis boards, Jennyjinx3 and Jungle Cruiser. I consider myself a lucky gal! Got to explore the Yacht Club more this year, we'll stay there... eventually (if I can tear myself away from the Beach Club); the serenity of the lobby is enticing.


Beach Club Verdict:

Somewhat in the words of Ahnald, "We'll be back (again)." Beach Club, you've stolen my heart (again).


Part 3: Other Schtuff and a Recap

Wheels and Bilge-Rats: Our Bus and Boat Review...

It's luck of the draw with these things, isn't it? I'm sure a lot plays into how you'll feel about the bus situation at the resort you're staying at: time of year, timing, crowds at the parks, etc. The first bus we caught (to MK the morning after our late night arrival) was standing-room only but we only waited about 5 minutes for it to come. We even, shock horror, rode the bus from DTD to the Beach Club; it was our longest wait for transportation at approximately 10 minutes. The boats to DTD from Port Orleans are relaxing -- we enjoyed having this option. The Friendship Boats to-fro DHS and the Beach Club were spot on! (Although we did do our favourite walk to and from Hollywood Studios twice, with the shortcut through The Boardwalk pool area.) Amazingly enough, even the wait for the bus back to the Beach Club from last Friday's MNSSHP was not crowded. All around, we had zero complaints about the on-site transportation.


My Favourite Story from this Trip:

At the Beach Club, heading onto the elevator right before me was a mother and her 4-5-ish year old son. He ran to the side, intent on pushing the floor button -- which is firmly entrenched in the genetic make-up of all young children. In all his determination, he didn't see me get on the elevator. When the 5th floor button lit up as he pushed the 3rd floor button, he lets out a quite loud "What THE?" to which I respond with uproarious laughter. He jumps around and sees me for the first time, wearing my newly-purchased Badtz Maru hat from the Japan Pavilion. He then lets out another, "What THE?!" (This is just after coming back from the lobby restroom where my hat had caused a little toddler to scream at me; I swear it was the hat, honest. Apparently, Badtz Maru winter caps are worth their weight in gold, I tell ya.) Best reaction ever.

So you know what this hat looks like:



Lessons Learned from This Trip:
  • Never-ever-ever ... ever arrive late.
  • Rain, even on our parade, isn't so bad.
  • We are definitely a short-trip sorta family (6 days is about our limit).
  • Trying new resorts is good stuff.
  • Badtz Maru Hats rule.


Finally...

I'm sure I've left something out in my rambling. I'll be posting a food and drinks review with a couple-few pics over on the dining board. Anyhow, if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer...
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:36 PM   #2
basketlacey
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Welcome home! I can't wait to experience the BC for myself. Did you enjoy any beverages poolside?
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:41 PM   #3
Missoutandabout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basketlacey View Post
Welcome home! I can't wait to experience the BC for myself. Did you enjoy any beverages poolside?
Heya! Thanks for the "welcome home" and for reading. You're gonna love, love, love it.

Believe it or not, I didn't have a single drink pool-side! Quite a few not near any pools however... We checked out The Crew's Cup lounge over in the Yacht Club side for the first time. I'd highly recommend it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
sjs314
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Very enjoyable read I plan never to arrive late unless it is out of my control I have heard nothing but unfavorable things about arriving late.

Love the hat!
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missoutandabout View Post
Heya! Thanks for the "welcome home" and for reading. You're gonna love, love, love it.

Believe it or not, I didn't have a single drink pool-side! Quite a few not near any pools however... We checked out The Crew's Cup lounge over in the Yacht Club side for the first time. I'd highly recommend it.

Was that due to the fact one may get a little tipsy and stumble quite unladylike into the pool?

Welcome back Miss!! Entertaining read ....POR RR sound fab ... of course BC-CL too .... can't wait to hear more about the halloween party and see pictures!! btw ... spoke wiith Sarah, she simply had the best time with you and Jen and all the kids!!

Love your Badtz Maru cap story ... that hat is seriously cool .. my sam would love it ...
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Last edited by Janet B; 09-24-2012 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
MickeyMinnie1971
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Thanks for the review! We are doing a split stay between CSR and BC CL, and I have fears of the unknown moderate resorts as well. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. We are 11 days away and I keep going back and forth on whether to change our reservation and stay at BC the entire time. It's our first split stay, and our first moderate resort stay, and I'm nervous about both!
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #7
Missoutandabout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
Very enjoyable read I plan never to arrive late unless it is out of my control I have heard nothing but unfavorable things about arriving late.

Love the hat!
Thank you! We have definitely learned our lesson. It wasn't the best way to start off the trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet B View Post
Was that due to the fact one may get a little tipsy and stumble quite unladylike into the pool?

Welcome back Miss!! Entertaining read ....POR RR sound fab .... can't wait to hear more about the halloween party and see pictures!! btw ... spoke wiith Sarah, she simply had the best time with you and Jen and all the kids!!

Love your Badtz Maru cap story ... that hat is seriously cool .. my sam would love it ...
Thank you, Janet.

If I had my glasses off and had been partaking in an adult beverage in the vicinity of the pool, I'd have most likely mistook it for a rain puddle.

We loved meeting up with them too; so happy it worked out and we were there at the same time. Of course, Miss M was loving all the attention. Need to meet more RCers now!
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMinnie1971 View Post
Thanks for the review! We are doing a split stay between CSR and BC CL, and I have fears of the unknown moderate resorts as well. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. We are 11 days away and I keep going back and forth on whether to change our reservation and stay at BC the entire time. It's our first split stay, and our first moderate resort stay, and I'm nervous about both!
Thanks for reading. Hope you have a most excellent trip.

Daddy Doof has sworn off split stays after this. Not that anything had gone wrong, he just thought that we "wasted a day" ... I didn't think so, really. The day we transferred, we had no park plans anyway. Our intent was to go over to the BC, check in, take a swim and go out to dinner that evening. It almost worked out the way we had planned though it chucked down with rain as soon as we got there so had to wait until SAB reopened. For a trip as small as the ones we take, I don't think we'd do a split again -- but only because we don't plan on arriving late ever, ever, ever again. Did I say ever? EVER!
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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Awesome trip report. Your descriptions and opinions really provided a ton of helpful information. Way to go!

~NM
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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Miss, I LOVED your little TR!

Glad you enjoyed POR so much..it is so pretty and relaxing! When you went to Scat Cats, did you see Elliot Dyson? LOVE him!

Of course, BC is so pretty...and for us, the absolute best is the short stroll to/from International Gateway and the option to walk to/from the Studios.

BC is not our favorite resort - the rooms were just to small after so many years at the Polynesian and CR...but BC is soo pretty. My two favorite gift shops in all of WDW used to be BC and YC, not after the BC shop was downsized (to almost nothing!), YC is my very favorite - with the Poly almost, but not quite, tied.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your trip with us...and yep, arriving late is the PITS!!!
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #11
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Welcome Home my friend Miss
Such a nice and detailed TR, I really enjoyed reading it! Glad to hear you had a great trip! I can hardly believe I'm embarking in only 2 more days I feel a tad sad at that thought, along with the excitement...I just don't want it to be over!!!

I agree with you, I think arriving late would erase some of the specialness of the whole check in process! I enjoy arriving before those night stars appear! Preferably, close to lunch hour.....Friday I'll be checking in to the POLY around 2:30, and I am praying for smooth sailing all the way!

I LOVED reading your recap, you're so entertaining and hopefully one day I'll get the chance to meet you too!!

Marie
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #12
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Loved reading your "little" trip report. In all my trips and even coming all the way from CA I've never arrived late in the evening and now I know I never will. I have done a few overnight red eyes and didn't really like those either. My perfect flight would be snap my fingers and I'm there!!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:25 AM   #13
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Loved reading your "little" trip report. In all my trips and even coming all the way from CA I've never arrived late in the evening and now I know I never will. I have done a few overnight red eyes and didn't really like those either. My perfect flight would be snap my fingers and I'm there!!!
YES, YES, YES (for all of us!)!!!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:36 AM   #14
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Hey miss Oooo you are tempting me with those royal rooms....I agree late check in stinks...so glad you did a review. And more pics are coming....yes?
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:24 AM   #15
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It was lovely meeting your little bunch too! I am so glad we got to meet up....it put a whole new spin on a Disney trip for us! Meeting up with friends!
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