Smaller is better…

Especially when you have a lot of walking to do all day.

 

When planning this last trip to Walt Disney World we gathered the family around the dinner table and talked about what we were looking for from a Walt Disney World resort.  Over the years we have stayed at deluxe, moderate, and value resorts, our last trip in October was at the moderate resort Caribbean Beach.  A great resort with a great pool, sit down restaurant, and pirate themed rooms, but also one of the largest resorts on property.  We were frustrated trying to get on crowded buses and walking a long distance to get to the pool and food, an inconvenience when staying in the pirate themed rooms.  So this time the family decided we wanted something smaller, intimate, but with a great pool.  The Port Orleans French Quarter was chosen.

The Port Orleans resort is two resorts in one.  There is the Riverside resort where the building mimic large mansions of the South.  The main area has a sit down restaurant, Boatwright’s, which features Southern style cuisine, and a large pool and playground for the kids.  Riverside is the larger of the two resorts, and there is more space between the buildings so the parks shuttle buses stop at four different bus stops around the resort.  Riverside is the only other moderate resort on property that has themed rooms, Princess themed rooms.  These rooms are a lot of fun if you have little Princesses of your own as there are firework displays in the headboards, and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet is in the carpet.  Riverside also has a boat dock where they have continuous service to and from French Quarter resort and after 10am to Disney Springs. 

There is the French Quarter side where the building, sidewalks, fountains, and main lobby area mimic New Orleans’ French Quarter.  The French Quarter has a nice pool with water slide and a kids’ splash zone.  There is also an outdoor bar by the pool and an indoor bar where at night they bring in bands to play music. 

The entire resort only has about eight buildings and even if you are in one of the farthest buildings it is only a 2-minute walk to the pool and food court.  French Quarter is the smallest of all the moderately price resorts and you enjoy this when you head to the one and only bus stop.  The buses were never crowded and they now have installed televisions with time tables as to when the next bus will arrive for each park or other destination.  There were also never any lines when we left the parks for the French Quarter bus stop. 

 

French Quarter also had a boat dock where boats would come every 10 to 20 minutes to either take you to the Riverside resort or to Disney Springs.  We decided to use the boat a few times to head to Disney Springs and it took about 10 minutes to get there, but you went past parts of Disney that I have never seen before including the Tree Top Villas at Sarasota Springs, Disney Vacation Club clubhouse, and an amazing view of Disney Springs from the water.  The boat dock at Disney Springs was conveniently located right around the corner from Art of Disney, and we never had to wait for more than 10 minutes to get a boat. 

 

When traveling with small children who are tired, cranky, and hot from a long day in the parks, I was glad to not have to wait several rounds to get on a bus to get back to the resort.  I enjoyed getting up early and walking down to the food court to get my cup of joe (and my husband’s beignets), and I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the French Quarter.  I think our family has found our favorite Disney resort that we will stay at time and time again.

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