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Old 05-19-2013, 08:13 PM   #3601
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Back again folks. Reading PMS and updating dates.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #3602
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Back again folks. Reading PMS and updating dates.
Did you ever get the rest of your trip report done?
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:30 PM   #3603
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Just Returned from POR

We just returned last night from 7 nights at POR, and we had a great stay overall! I'm typically a hyper-planner who will do anything to stay at a deluxe, so I was a little bit apprehensive about POR. However, I was invited to join the trip as a guest and wasn't paying for the room portion at all, so I didn't care where we stayed! We had 2 standard view rooms booked. I didn't have any input on room type or making room requests, and the only request we made was via online check-in for rooms in the mansions. We ended up with 2 rooms next to each other on the 2nd floor of Magnolia Terrace.

I was very impressed with the grounds of the property. The landscaping was much more lush and well-manicured than I expected, and each day when I would take a walk around the resort in the morning, I would find something new to admire. I was also impressed with how physically well-maintained everything was as well. I never saw any chipping paint or areas that looked like they needed attention, and our rooms and all common areas were in great condition. I've come to expect everything to be well-maintained at WDW, but at such a large resort property, I didn't know what to expect.

In terms of the room, I was impressed by the quality of everything. The comforters were a thicker, better quality than I expected, as was all of the furniture. I basically liked everything, even though some of the decor looked a little cheesy to me ahead of time (I can't put my finger on it, but there was something about the pictures on the headboards and a couple other things that I wasn't liking from the pictures and virtual tours). However, I liked all of it once we were there. We were split regarding the beds. Two of us thought they were great, while the other two thought they were much too hard. They were definitely on the firm side, but I personally like that, so I was able to get great sleep. For four adults, there definitely wasn't enough storage space, but I expected that, and I was totally fine with living out of my suitcase for the week. The bathroom space by the sinks was larger than I expected, while the toilet/shower section was definitely smaller than expected.

In general, everything went very smoothly and we had a great stay. We had rooms 8787 and 8788 on the 2nd floor of Magnolia Terrace, and the rooms were great. We particularly liked 8787, since it was a corner room. Having a corner room definitely makes a difference. That room just seemed so much more light and airy. Here are some photos of the view from our rooms, since I don't see too much discussion on here of the lower room categories. We were all very happy with the view from these rooms. Although these are standard view rooms, they definitely seemed closer to a garden view to me. Although the parking lot was visible in the distance, we mostly overlooked a nice, quiet grassy area and some trees.


Here's the view straight ahead from both rooms.


This is the view out the 2nd window in the corner room.

I definitely felt like Magnolia Terrace was just about the best mansion location, even though our room was on the 'far side' relative to the bridge to Ol' Man Island and the food court. It never took more than 5-7 minutes to walk to the food court, and I liked that in Magnolia Terrace (as well as Acadian House), you have easy access to both a quiet pool and the main pool. Overall, though, I didn't feel that any room is in a horrible location at this resort. It is a bit spread out, but to me, vacation should be all about taking your time and enjoying your surroundings, which can definitely be done at POR.

We enjoyed the food court for breakfast, but didn't try any other meals there. You'll definitely want to get there before 8:00 if you want to avoid the crazy breakfast crowds. Even at times when it was crowded, the lines moved relatively quickly, and we'd immediately go to the extra seating in Boatwright's for an easier, quieter place to sit. We especially enjoyed the omelet station and yogurt parfait station.

We also enjoyed renting a surrey for half an hour one afternoon. You can make 3 loops around POR in that time, but be aware, it is definitely more strenuous than we expected! It would actually be a very nice thing to do shortly after arriving to get a feel for the resort as a whole. Riding the surrey around the loop made everything seem a bit smaller.

We didn't use the buses at all since we had a rental car, so I can't comment on those.

We enjoyed both the quiet pool and the main pool. The main Ol' Man Island pool was definitely more fun (and warmer) than the quiet pool, but it definitely got a bit too crowded for our taste in the afternoon, so we also opted to use a quiet pool sometimes. The main pool was geared more toward little kids and pool games than we liked, so as an all-adult group, we knew that prime afternoon pool hours were not a good time for us to visit 'Ol Man Island. We didn't mind that, since the pool is definitely a paradise for kids and that's much of what Disney is geared toward, but the games and music were louder than I expected ahead of time. Also, since the quiet pools don't offer towels, we always had someone run over to the main pool to grab towels when we were using the quiet pool. This was easy to do, since it wasn't far from the quiet pool by Magnolia Terrace, but this wouldn't be as easy to do from other quiet pools.

There were only a couple of negatives we experienced. The first was a bizarre room security issue. On our first night there, around midnight, after we had turned out the lights and were falling asleep, we suddenly heard the room door opening. We must have forgotten to put the deadbolt in place, since whoever it was managed to open the door a crack. Thankfully we had remembered to pull the metal piece across, so they couldn't enter. Once whomever it was realized they couldn't get in any further, they didn't say anything and must have left quickly. We jumped up pretty startled and looked out the peep hole, but didn't see anyone there. It was a pretty scary experience, and I'm hopeful that it was just some sort of mistake, and not anyone intending to do anything bad. Since it was getting late and we were all groggy and tired, we just deadbolted the door and decided to deal with it in the morning after we woke up. At that point, the main issue was simply that the staff didn't really seem to care. We spoke with someone on the phone about it who was indifferent and then went to the front desk in-person and were given new keys (again, met with indifference). We finally received a phone message from a manager almost 2 days after the incident had occurred, only because we requested that a manager call us, since the front desk CM who issued new keys refused to let us speak to a manager. (she said there wasn't a manager available, but she disappeared for long periods of time to talk to someone in the back when issuing our new keys, which makes me think there was a manager there who just didn't feel like dealing with it). We simply wanted to figure out how someone would have gotten into the room and make sure it couldn't happen again, and no one ever really gave an apology for the fact that someone else had gained access to our room, or any explanation. The manager said that they had no record of anyone else gaining access, and that was that. We weren't looking to get anything out of the issue, but we definitely wanted someone to take it more seriously (since I view room security as a big issue), and we wanted someone to reassure us that no one else would get in, or maybe even provide an explanation, such as another guest mistakenly being assigned to the same room or a staff member mistakenly trying to come in. Thankfully, it was limited to our first night and didn't happen again, but we were not happy with how it was handled.

Beyond that, CMs were somewhat inconsistent. We had the sweetest housekeeper I've ever met, and the recreation staff was all great. The same goes for the concierges. They were all very, very friendly and helpful. However, food court CMs were spotty. Some were nice, while some were frankly quite miserable. It was also frustrating, since some were nice enough to do things like make basic substitutions on breakfast platters, while another CM the next day would refuse.

All in all, we absolutely enjoyed our POR experience and would come back in the future. The theming is lovely and peaceful and I was quite impressed with it. Our stay also opened me up the moderates. I had only experienced value and deluxe in the past (other than a stay at POR as Dixie Landings that I was too young to really recall much of), and the difference between the 2 was huge to me. I mistakenly assumed (probably because of the similar setup with multiple buildings and exterior corridors) that the moderates would be very similar to values, but I was wrong. I wouldn't hesitate to try one again.
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Last edited by mrg013; 05-19-2013 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:44 PM   #3604
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We are all set for our September WDW stay, but tonight I thought I'd at least take a peek at other resort alternatives.

The Deluxe resorts are scary expensive! 50-100%+ more than mods - so they are out of the running.

We have previously stayed at several Values. We are not rich or snobby but didn't like the garish decorations, paper thin walls, tiny rooms, and they just feel too much like a Super 8 motel.

The cabins at FW are expensive. I have never seen them, but the idea reminds me of mobile homes. I lived in a crummy trailer the first year I was in grad school, and it was not good.

Coronado Springs is a convention hotel. Having finally escaped Corporate America after many years, I can't imagine vacationing in the middle of corporate types doing their maneuvering, manipulation, and back stabbing.

Caribbean Beach Resort looks like fun, but the hike to the main building from the north or south ends looks really long on Google Maps!

POFQ is nice, and we stayed there once before. POR is nice, and we stayed in AB in January.

So the answer is POR mansions!

I suspect future trips will continue to be POR or off site, depending on the offers that Disney has available.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:45 AM   #3605
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Originally Posted by webstah View Post
You might also want to check out this site. We bought one for our son who is also type 1, and it worked great without having to worry about ice packs and freezers.

http://www.frioinsulincoolingcase.com/
That is very cool. Thank you. It would never arrive in time now. I wonder if you can buy them in store!? I will have to get one for future travel though.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #3606
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That is very cool. Thank you. It would never arrive in time now. I wonder if you can buy them in store!? I will have to get one for future travel though.
I pulled up the photo of the "pharmacy" section of the store and did not see anything quit that specialized.

I am sure you can get them at a pharmacy near you at home.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:41 AM   #3607
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With regards to Parterre...I always thought, wow it's so far away, too, but it is right near the 2nd footbridge that goes to the lobby. We were in Oak and Parterre would be the furthest from the Main pool and, to me, that would be it. We just walked across the bridge through the lobby and out to the main bus stop. Didn't seem any further because of the 2nd bridge. Everyone has their opinion on this, I know. We stayed in Acadian, previously, and had to walk across the bridge around the pool. 6 of one...1/2 dozen...We didn't walk 10 minutes to anywhere. We've also never had the bus issues that others have had, either.
Since Oak Manor is now RRs, I have grown accustom to Acadian House.

However, I did a solo trip a few years ago, all resorts, no parks, and I was in a corner riverview room in Parterre Place. It was so close to the footbridge and I walked right over to the marina every morning and every night. It could not have been a better location. Since I was on the end of the building, I don't think I saw more than five people walk by my room all week.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:42 AM   #3608
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A very important general question.

We arrive at the resort at about 7am after an overnight flight. We know our rooms likely won't be ready but with lay overs our travel time will be at 12 hours at this point. My daughter has type 1 diabetes and insulin must be kept cold. Our cold packs will keep it cold until we arrive but I don't know about another 6 or 8 hours until we get our room. Does the front desk have a protocol for such things?? A fridge near the desk to put it in perhaps.

Thanks.
Go to guest services at the front door of the resort; they have a fridge in the baggage area and they will give you a tag to retrieve it later in the day.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:45 AM   #3609
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Just back from a great week. I love that place but I must say I miss the old drawer/ TV cabinet set up! I'm glad we took the hanging storage/shelf thing for the closet area. It really worked out well!
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #3610
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Does anyone know if the food court sells little containers of cream cheese. We are going to buy a few bounty platters each morning to split, but I also thought about packing a package of bagels for our two early Star Wars weekends mornings. I have placed an order at Garden Grocer for drinks in the room, but I don't want to add anything that would need to be refrigerated since we will be moving rooms. My kids are so excited because this morning they were able to say we are going to Disney World next week! We leave next Friday!
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #3611
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Does anyone know if the food court sells little containers of cream cheese. We are going to buy a few bounty platters each morning to split, but I also thought about packing a package of bagels for our two early Star Wars weekends mornings. I have placed an order at Garden Grocer for drinks in the room, but I don't want to add anything that would need to be refrigerated since we will be moving rooms. My kids are so excited because this morning they were able to say we are going to Disney World next week! We leave next Friday!
I pulled up Andre's website under the pictures of Fulton's General Store, if you look at the refrigerator case, on the left hand side, right above the milk, you see the small packages of Philly cream cheese.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:07 AM   #3612
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I don't want to add anything that would need to be refrigerated since we will be moving rooms.
When your stuff is picked up from your room, let them know about anything that needs to be kept chilled (maybe put it all into a separate carrier bag to keep it simple for them?). They should then keep it in fridges at both resorts until you are ready for it to be sent to your new room.

Andre
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Days Inn Lakeside: Apr/May 89 Disney's Wilderness Lodge: Feb 99Disney's Beach Club: Sep 07, Sep 09
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:31 AM   #3613
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Well I faxed my requests this morning. We will be thrilled if we are thrown a little pixie dust but not disappointed if we aren't. 4 more days!!!!
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #3614
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Well I faxed my requests this morning. We will be thrilled if we are thrown a little pixie dust but not disappointed if we aren't. 4 more days!!!!
That's the spirit, hope it works out well for you. And if you're not sure about the location when you see where it is on the map, you can always ask the front desk CMs if they could look to see whether anything else might be available.

Have a great vacation!

Andre
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For more info on the Port Orleans resorts, please visit www.portorleans.org
Now including a Trip Report forum - any comments on your POR/POFQ stays are welcome

Days Inn Lakeside: Apr/May 89 Disney's Wilderness Lodge: Feb 99Disney's Beach Club: Sep 07, Sep 09
Disney's Dixie Landings: Jul/Aug 95, Oct 96, Sep/Oct 97, Feb 99
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside: Sep/Oct 02, Jun 04, May/Jun 05, May 06, Oct 07, Aug 08, Aug 09, Feb 10, Halloween 10, Aug 11, Aug 12, Feb 13, Aug 13... and coming next, Aug 14
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #3615
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Does anyone know if the food court sells little containers of cream cheese. We are going to buy a few bounty platters each morning to split, but I also thought about packing a package of bagels for our two early Star Wars weekends mornings. I have placed an order at Garden Grocer for drinks in the room, but I don't want to add anything that would need to be refrigerated since we will be moving rooms. My kids are so excited because this morning they were able to say we are going to Disney World next week! We leave next Friday!
They have little containers of cream cheese at the bagel counter/bakery area on the left!
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