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by Soarin’ Diva

We are all creatures of habit to some degree. Most of the time, that includes the particular resort we stay at when we vacation. I’ll be the first to admit we haven’t tried every resort; we haven’t tried very many at all, actually. As a matter of fact, resort hopping is on my Walt Disney World Resort bucket list.

Inside the Pirates of the Caribbean room at Caribbean Beach Resort

Inside the Pirates of the Caribbean room at Caribbean Beach Resort

Our first visit as a family, we decided to stay at Caribbean Beach Resort. We chose the pirate room since we have two boys. The theming was awesome & we loved the room. There were, however, two problems. The first problem was the layout of the resort. The sheer size of this resort put us far away from transportation, and when you are already walking close to ten miles a day at the parks, the last thing you want to do when you get off a crowded bus is walk another mile to your room. The second problem we ran into was the size of the bed. My husband & I like to spread out when we sleep. I’m a compact gal at 5 foot 1 inch, but I like to be comfy when I sleep. At the very least, we need a queen size bed. I do understand that Caribbean Beach Resort is working on upgrading the size of the beds, I’m not sure if that includes the pirate rooms though.

Pop Century pool - photo credit to Kerry Guedry

Pop Century pool – Photo credit to JollyFrogger Diva

Pop Century - Photo credit to Stephanie Demmler

Pop Century – Photo credit to Dopey Diva

The next time we went, my mother and father-in-love joined us.  We wanted to try another fun themed resort that was a little cheaper than the moderate resorts for all of us to stay in.  We chose Pop Century based on reviews.  Apparently, people really LOVE this resort.  I’ll admit, the theming was fun to experience.  I was not the biggest fan of this resort though (I know, I’m in the minority here.)  We were on the bottom floor where people were walking by our window, carrying on loud conversations all night while we were trying to sleep.  The walls seemed paper-thin, and trust me, I knew exactly when all my neighbors were in the bathrooms.  I know many will disagree with me, but I just wasn’t as happy in this resort as I was in a moderate resort.

Horse drawn carriage at Port Orleans French Quarter - Photo credit to Kerry Guedry

Horse drawn carriage at Port Orleans French Quarter – Photo credit to JollyFrogger Diva

The third year, we tried Port Orleans French Quarter.  And I fell in love.  I was “home” and I knew it.  It’s a quiet and peaceful resort, small in size, with QUEEN size beds that you could spread out in and be comfortable.  This resort is decorated throughout in full New Orleans Mardi Gras theme.  Port Orleans French Quarter hosts 1,008 rooms versus Port Orleans Riverside, which has 2,048 rooms.  It’s small enough that the walk to transportation won’t kill your already aching feet.  I love to walk through the grounds in the evening and watch the horse-drawn carriages carry guests down the cobbled pathways.  The restaurant at the resort, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, is decorated with a Mardi Gras theme as well, and has a wide variety of delicious food, including my husbands favorite, the beignet.   There is also a ferry available to take you directly from the resort to Downtown Disney for more shopping, dining and fun.

I still plan to one day try some deluxe resorts, such as Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Polynesian, but until we get to these, I am sticking with Port Orleans French Quarter.  Since the first time we stayed at this resort, we have returned to it every year.  That feeling you get when you first drive through the Disney property gates to see the “Welcome to Walt Disney World” sign only intensifies when we walk up to the doors to check in to the resort, and the door man, dressed in full Mardi Gras attire, opens the door for us with a jovial greeting, sometimes greeting us with beaded necklaces.  I’m not sure anything anyone could say will sway my opinion of it.  Port Orleans French Quarter is simply my “home” resort.

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