Hi Friends! I’ve been meaning to do a quick trip report about my latest trip. I always go into a trip thinking I’ll take these amazing notes and come back with a very thorough report, but of course I never do. =) Here is the big picture wrap-up from our trip. Hope you enjoy!
Who: Me and The Husband
When: June 7 - 13
Where: We did a split stay with our first three nights at Port Orleans Riverside and our second three nights at Beach Club
Dining Plan: Nope
Tickets: Annual Passholders
Magical Express: We flew into MCO on the earliest flight possible, arriving by 10:00am. It was great flight and we quickly stopped for some food in the food court before booking it to Magical Express. We got very lucky to be the last ones on the Port Orleans Riverside bus, so the bus took off right after we boarded. We also lucked out that the bus only made one stop before POR, which was at Port Orleans French Quarter. So we quickly made it to our resort. On the way we received a notice that our room wasn’t ready yet, so once we arrived we quickly checked a carryon bag with luggage services and then headed to Magic Kingdom. For our departure from WDW, we had a very nice Magical Express experience as well. The bus was on time, we only made one stop before we headed to the airport, and we arrived in plenty of time to catch our flight.
Resorts - Port Orleans Riverside is a lovely resort and I’m really glad we started off our trip there. The theming was great, having a good food court onsite was wonderful, and having a nice pool was a perk too. Buses to and from the parks came quickly and consistently. The only downside that I see would be the rooms. I find the rooms to be a bit blah and think that Disney could do more to spice them up and make them cozier. While we enjoyed our stay at POR, we truly loved moving to Beach Club. I absolutely love this resort. Great location, wonderful pool, diverse food options for both meals and snacks, good theming and the rooms are very, very nice. I would stay at Beach Club for any trip!
Meals: After much debate, we opted not to get the Disney Dining Plan. I even toyed with getting it for the first half of a trip so that we could use all day June 7-10, but then decided against it. We are not big snackers and mostly drink water for every meal. Plus, we wanted to eat at more table services than quick services. This, plus having an AP discount, tipped the scales towards no dining plan. I am so glad we did this!!! We saved well over $400 and every feel too full or that we were wasting food. Also, we had a ton of freedom to make changes on the fly. There were several times that we changed our mind about a reservation on the same day that we had it. We were easily able to rescheduled that reservation to a date in the future and then cancel it without penalty. This was made easier by us not doing character meals and only have two people in our party. I would imagine that rescheduling character meals for a larger party would be more difficult.
Highlight meals of our trip:
- Liberty Tree Tavern - great service and food. LOVE the ooey gooey cake. It might be my favorite dessert on property that I have tried.
- Trattoria al Forno - We ended up going here twice because we loved it so much. Wonderful food and customer service. On our second visit, the chef came out and gave us one of their recipes because my husband kept telling our server how wonderful the meal was. I highly recommend the lasagna, chicken parm, and the budino.
- D-Luxe Burger - We visited Disney Springs on a hot afternoon and just wanted somewhere we could sit down and quickly get food. As the only place that does mobile ordering, D-Luxe Burger it was! The burgers were really, really good and so were the fries and onion rings. Love having a variety of dipping sauces to choose from. Even though it was hot, we sat outside under the fans and by the water and it was great!
- The Polite Pig - We made a second trip back to Disney Springs and decided to give The Polite Pig a whirl. The smells coming from this quick service were great and the food did not disappoint. GREAT BBQ and mac and cheese! We even splurged for a cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse (local Florida bakery that was voted as having the best chocolate chip cookie in all of Florida) and it was FABULOUS! Definitely going to go back here in the future.
- La Hacienda de San Angel - I thought we weren’t going to make it through the meal at this one. The Husband took one look at the menu and proclaimed that it was too fancy for us. I think he was hoping for more Tex-Mex type offerings. I was determined that we were going to stick it out and it turned out to be one of his favorite meals. The service was also amazing! We had a wonderful cast member who took time to explain everything to us and offer suggestions. He also spoke to us about his native home in Mexico, how he came to Florida, and his love of Disney. It was a very memorable dinner.
Lowlight meals of the trip:
- The Plaza Restaurant - I knew at the time we were eating that this wasn’t a great meal, but it wasn’t until later in the trip that I realized just how bad of a meal it was for the cost. We ate much better table service and even some quick service meals that were tastier and more affordable than this one. If I could get one redo on the trip, this meal would have been it.
- Yak & Yeti Counter Service - I have wanted to try this location during each of our trips, but always scheduled something instead. We finally made it to this location and I found myself disappointed. I think I built it up in my head too much so that once we ate there it was a let down.
- Kona Cafe - This was not the fault of the restaurant at all. In fact, the food was really good. I scheduled us for a late breakfast on our departure day. I’ve finally figured out after four trips that I really don’t need to plan anything for departure day as our Disney depression is starting to kick in as we look ahead in the day and plan on catching Magical Express and by the last day we are usually just done period.
Okay, part 2 of the report will cover rides, attractions, and touring plans, as well as my thoughts on traveling with out the kids. More to come…