Monday, June 28, 2010

Team Favorites--Moderate Resorts

To help first-timers plan their trips, we're starting a series of some of our favorite things at Walt Disney World.  For the kick-off to the series, Amy, Ridge, and DisneyDad will each be answering the very popular question, "What is your favorite moderate resort and why?"

Disney's moderate resorts are just that.  A moderate option in price and amenities.  Nicer and more expensive than the value resorts, but not quite up to deluxe or DVC standards (or price.)  The moderates are:
  • The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
  • Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside 
Ridge:  When asked about what is my favorite moderate resort, my first response is almost always Port Orleans Riverside. Why? Well the rooms are a nice size.  They are spacious for a room with two queen beds and can sleep 4 adults very comfortably. Some if not all of the rooms have a mini-fridge. Where I think the resort stands out is the themeing. At Riverside you have the charm of rustic bayou on the Alligator Bayou section. There is another side that is made a little more like a real old south plantation style where the rooms are more polished. It isn't a long walk around from the rooms to the main house where there are activities for the whole family. There is a fishing pond and you can rent a fishing pole and have at it. The pool areas are really nice and great for the kids. There is a very nice restaurant near the main check in called Boatwright's Dining Hall. The hall is designed to look like a ship is under construction but shut down and was left unfinished. The landscaping is as always impressive yet unobtrusive. There are both bus and river access to Downtown Disney.

DisneyDad:  My favorite Moderate resort is Port Orleans French Quarter. Having gone to school in New Orleans, I love the buildings reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans. The atmosphere at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Food Court is a Mardi Gras all unto itself. The theme of the pool with Poseidon riding the sea serpent makes for a fun play area for the kids.

Amy:  My recommendation and personal favorite moderate resort is Port Orleans Riverside.  The rooms are quite comfortable and I love the detail on the themeing.  In the Aligator Bayou area, the beds look like they are made of rough hewn timber.  As for creature comforts, we had a fridge and a coffee pot and the sink (double!) area had a curtain to separate it from the main room. 
The landscaping of the property is nice.  It's a pleasant stroll to the main buildings.  Be careful though, it can get a little confusing.  We've stayed in the Port Orleans resorts (both are great) several times.  I love the jogging path along the river.  The main building at Riverside has both quick service and table service dining.  Nothing really to write home about, but both were good and very convenient. 
I am kicking myself for somehow missing him, but Yehaa Bob Jackson plays several nights a week in the lobby lounge.  From the videos I've seen, his show looks like great fun.  For the kiddos, this resort has an impressive main pool, a playground, and a catch and release pond. 
Port Orleans overall is built for strolling.  If you stay here, you must meander down the river at dusk.  It's so pretty in that soft light.  Wander down through Riverside and over to French Quarter.  I love the punny names for the streets there.  Be sure to have some beignets in the FQ food court before heading back.  The Mardi Gras decor there is really fun.  For something special, take a horsedrawn carriage ride in the evening.  Port Orleans Riverside is a great resort and I think you get the best bang for your buck here in terms of Disney magic.

OK, readers.  It's your turn.  Where do you recommend your friends stay at Walt Disney World when they are looking at the moderate category?  Those coming here for first-timer advice would love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks!

This post is a part of the 6th Dismarks Disney blog carnival.  Head over there to see more great posts like this.

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