Category Archives: Places to Stay
There are many theories on what is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World, and there are websites and apps and charts and graphs and all kinds of information that can help you determine when the crowds will be the smallest. Even we have touched on it many times.
I know for me, crowds are only one factor in considering when to visit WDW, and here are some things to think about that will help you make the decision of “When Should I Go to Disney World?”
Consider Your Party – If you will be traveling with school age children to Walt Disney World, then timing becomes a huge factor, and you have to decide if it’s worth pulling them out of school to go when WDW Is less busy (like in the early fall or winter months), or do you brave the spring break crowds? Many parents believe it is well worth the lower cost and lesser crowds and do opt to pull children out of school for a WDW vacation, but there are many people who believe the opposite is true, so that’s really a personal choice you and your family have to make for yourselves. If you will be traveling with a large party, or are looking to save a little money, then the value seasons’ will be better for you cost wise, and the Disney Resorts are cheapest during the months of January-Mid February, and the end of August/Early September.
Florida Weather – Orlando weather is not the most predictable thing, and they see their fair share of rain and thunderstorms, especially during the summer months and hurricane season, which can be anytime from May through October. During these months you can expect humid, hot days with afternoon showers, so I recommend you bring along a poncho, and consider some rainy day activities so the rain won’t ruin your day!
My family has enjoyed a couple of weeklong stays at Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. The question asked above, is it for you, depends on what you are looking for in a Resort, how much time you will actually spend at the Resort, and what types of amenities you prefer. My family stays at the Value and Moderate Resorts, because we do not spend a lot of time in our room or exploring the property. We get our fill of adventure at the Parks and Downtown Disney area and only hit the room to drop off souvenirs or catch a nap. Perhaps when the kids are older and we slow down a bit, we may justify the extra expense of the Deluxe Resorts and their magical appeal. Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of Port Orleans Riverside (POR):
- The property is absolutely beautiful, quiet, peaceful, and serenely scenic.
- Bus service is excellent, with 4 convenient, covered stops. (POR shares buses with only neighboring Port Orleans French Quarter.)
- All of the guest rooms have been recently refurbished to include queen beds and flat-screen TVs during 2011/2012 refurbishment.
- The Riverside Mill Food Court is spacious and picturesque with lovely views of the Riverside Mill water wheel and Ol’ Man Island, and the food is delicious.
- Boatwright’s Dining Hall table-service restaurant serves dinner only, but it’s a great place for hearty Cajun cooking.
Should you stay at Boardwalk Inn & Villas? Well it all depends on what you are looking for in a resort, how much time you will actually spend at the resort, and what types of amenities you prefer. We have stayed at all three types of resorts, Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. The resort we choose depends on what type of vacation we are taking. If we are planning on relaxing we stay at a Moderate or a Deluxe but if we are going to be spending most of our time in the parks we stay at a Value Resort.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of Disney’s Boardwalk Resort:
- The resort is beautiful and themed like you are staying on the Atlantic Boardwalk in the 1920’s.
- You can walk to two of the parks, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as take a Friendship Boat.
- The Cast Members were all extremely friendly and helpful.
- The Luna Park Pool is beautiful and a fun place to spend the afternoon. There is a play area for kids with a playground as well as several hot tubs.
- There is also a quiet pool with hot tubs if you just want to relax.
Another pro is that your Resort is on the Boardwalk and can take advantage of everything it has to offer:
- There are three table service restaurants that are a short walk from the Villas, Flying Fish Cafe, Kouzzina, ESPN Club, and Big River Grill and Brewing Works.
- Quick service options include the Boardwalk Bakery and the Boardwalk Pizza Window. If you have dessert on the mind you can visit the bakery as well as Seashore Sweets. There are also carts that serve hot dogs, pretzels, and funnel cakes.
- The Boardwalk has lots of entertainment options. During the day you can rent a surrey bike. At night you can enjoy shows from magicians and jugglers, visit the Yard Arcade, or play carnival games at Midway Games & More.
- For the over 21 crowd, the Belle Vue Lounge is a great place to relax in the evening or you can visit Leaping Horse Libations at the Luna Park Pool. At night you can also walk to the Atlantic Dance Hall and Jellyrolls, a dueling piano bar.
Is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort the right place to take up residence while visiting Walt Disney World ? I say absolutely if……
- You enjoy convenience to all the parks and several popular restaurants. Since the Grand Floridian is a “monorail resort”, you can monorail to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT in a very easy, very timely fashion. When our family stayed at the Grand Floridian, we found the monorail to be the best transportation option if we needed to get to the Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is the first stop from the Grand Floridian on the monorail. Ohana, located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Chef Mickey’s, located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are also very short monorail rides from the Grand.
- You want magical, enjoyable character meal options at your resort. At the Grand Floridian, you can enjoy breakfast, dinner or tea time at 1900 Park Fare. This is located in the main building, just to the left as you enter from the front main entrance. The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast features Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, and other well known characters who mingle from table to table while you enjoy a buffet style meal. For dinner, your princess and little prince charming can enjoy visiting with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and their friends. For an afternoon break from the parks, enjoy tea time with Alice and other Wonderland friends. Your children can decorate cupcakes, do crafts, and enjoy some “tea” (aka apple juice).