Welcome to the Williams Family Blog!

Now that you have found us, we invite you to return often for more adventures!



Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Friday, October 21, 2011

Port Orleans French Quarter

8 trips to Walt Disney World equals 2 stays at Caribbean Beach Resort plus 5 stays at Port Orleans Riverside plus 1 stay at Port Orleans French Quarter.  During our most recent trip, we enjoyed a week’s stay at Port Orleans French Quarter.

Port Orleans French Quarter is a sister resort to Port Orleans Riverside.  They have separate check-ins, separate luggage service, etc.  They do share boat service to Downtown Disney and some bus service to various parks.  Guests staying at either resort can used the themed pools at both resorts.  We’ve done just that—swimming in Doubloon Lagoon at French Quarter while staying at Riverside.  That’s how we became more familiar with the resort in the first place.

So, after 5 successful stays at Riverside, why did we decide to give French Quarter a try?  Well, it was the call of the recently refurbished rooms at French Quarter that included queen sized beds.  Sounds a bit trifle I know, but it was enough to get us to try something new, and we were glad we did!

French Quarter is, well, quaint.  There is a grid of “streets” or paths that run between the buildings.  The main building is in the center with the food court, shop, and arcade.  The playground, which was closed while we were there, is just behind the main building, along with the hot tub, laundry facilities, Doubloon Lagoon, and then the boat dock is last.  The guest buildings spread out on either side of this main or central area. There is one bus stop, located just outside the main building.

When we arrived about 10:00 am after disembarking from the Disney Dream, our room was ready, which came as a pleasant surprise to us as check-in is typically 3:00 pm., and an ever bigger surprise to luggage and bell services.

We made it to our room in building 6 on the third floor—yes, there were elevators.  We had a lovely water view room, which I was informed was an upgrade.

Our plans were to take a swim, do some laundry, have lunch, and head to a park.  We accomplished all of those things.

Upon arriving to our room, we were greeted with the mysterious ball cap hanging over the smoke/fire detector on the wall.  I called guest services, which directed me to housekeeping to inform them.  The ball cap stayed in the same location for our entire stay.  We left it there for the next set of guests.

We also had a bit of a misstep our first afternoon, as after showering—after our swim—I went to blow dry my hair with the in-room hairdryer, and within seconds sparks were flying and smoke was coming out of the hairdryer before it stopped completely.  Yes, I had blown up the hairdryer. 

While the husband called guest services for the second time that day, I went next door, as we had talked to our neighbors that day, too.  I had hairbrush in hand and asked if I could finish blow drying my hair and explained what happened.  They wondered where the smoke smell was coming from, and at least now they knew.  They were gracious and allowed me to finish drying my hair.  I thanked them.

Guest services said they would bring up a new hairdryer.  A new one was installed by the time we returned from the parks that evening.  But the ball cap, was still there!

We also noticed that our refrigerator wasn’t keeping things cool.  A 3rd call to guest services.  By the time we returned from the parks that evening, it had been fixed.  My philosophy—they can’t fix it if they don’t know about it!

The rest of our stay was uneventful, meaning we didn’t have to call for help anymore!  Our room was spiffed up daily with clean towels, sheets, and a restocking of the Disney supplies we love bringing home with us.

We learned that there are movies played in the garden between buildings on a giant inflatable screen on various nights.

We learned that lightning will stop the boats from taking guests to/from Riverside and Downtown Disney, even if it isn’t raining.  But, busses will run to Downtown Disney and if you want to eat at Boatwright’s at Riverside, the resort will send you via shuttle, which is a nice touch.

We learned that the food court is a bit slower at French Quarter than Riverside.  With fewer guests, they wait and make your order fresh.  I guess this is a good thing when you think about it, it just takes longer.  We dined at the food court twice, once for lunch and once for dinner.  Often, what we wanted was not there, like a child’s chocolate milk.  We then asked and were allowed to get the larger size for the same price as the child’s.  It pays to ask!  There were Legos to play with—which they no longer have at Riverside, and a TV—tuned to the Disney Channel—to watch.  The food court was decorated for Mardi Gras and had great things to look at.

We learned that luggage and bell services are completely separate.  Luggage services will hold/store your luggage.  But bell services will deliver and pick up.  I asked the difference, and it was about who gets tipped and who doesn’t.  I had never experienced such separateness of services when staying at any other resort.  I don’t know if it was because I didn’t need/use the services or just wasn’t paying that close of attention.

We were able to use the luggage service for our bags for the return flight.  Bell services retrieved the bags for us and took them to the airport check in counter at the resort.  The bags were weighed and tagged—good thing, as I had to adjust some things to even out the weight.  We paid the baggage fees right there, had our boarding passes printed, and when we arrived at the airport, we went straight to security and to the gate for our flight.  Loved this!   Usually our flights leave so early that this service isn’t available to us, as it begins at 8:00 am at the resort.

Let me sum up the pros and cons of staying at Port Orleans French Quarter:
  • Pro—one bus stop that is steps away from any guest building.  Convenient!
  • Pro—everything at the resort is nearby due to the smaller size.  Convenient!
  • Pro—queen sized beds.
  • Con—depending on the time of day and park, bus service may also pick up guests at Riverside, which may delay your arrival to a park.

Port Orleans French Quarter is reserved for our next Walt Disney World stay!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great posting. The level of detail was fantastic for someone who hasn't stayed at a Disney resort in 10 years. Now I feel a bit more confident with my choice of Port Orleans French Quarter.