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my favorite moderate resort

My Favorite Disney World Moderate Resort

Port Orleans french quarter

Did I give it away? I have stayed at every single Walt Disney World Moderate Resort a few times, and while I think all four moderate resorts offer something to potential guests, one of the resorts sticks out as “the best”, Port Orleans French Quarter.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter opened in 1991, originally named “Disney’s Port Orleans Resort”. Dixie Landings, now known as Port Orleans Riverside, opened next door the following year. In the following years, the resorts were merged into one resort (Disney’s Port Orleans Resort), though you can book either Riverside or French Quarter, each side has their own lobby and your room will be in that side of the resort.

Port Orleans French Quarter now features 1,008 rooms, all of which are the same size and shape. The rooms feature two queen size beds, or a king bed for an extra fee. The only other room options at the resort is the view from the room or the bed options, though the view is poor, as the only window is next to the front door. The view options are standard view, garden view, river view and pool view. My opinion is to book the cheapest room available, as the rooms and locations are basically identical, though some of the river view and garden view rooms tend to be in more quiet locations.

best moderate hotel
Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

What about the other Moderate Resorts?

I don’t really have a problem with the other moderate resorts, but they just aren’t as good as Port Orleans French Quarter. I actually really like two of the moderates almost as much as French Quarter, both Riverside and Coronado Springs are awesome resorts, but they do have a few downsides (or not as many upsides) as French Quarter. Port Orleans Riverside is the other side of the Port Orleans Resort, and features two distinct areas (Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend) as well as new Royal Guest Rooms (all located in the Magnolia Bend area). The swimming pool is on Ol’ Man Island, and is small, but quite fun. My only problem with Riverside is the size, it is quite large, with 2,048 rooms, it is more than double the size of Port Orleans French Quarter.

Coronado Springs is also a great resort. Currently, Coronado Springs has 1,951 rooms spread out between 13 buildings, though Disney is currently in process of building a new 15 story tower which will add 500 rooms to the resort once completed. The tower will feature standard rooms, suites and concierge services, similar to a deluxe resort. Again, it is a very large resort, but it should be a great place to stay once the construction is done.

Caribbean Beach is Disney World’s final moderate option. Currently, the resort is going through a major rehab, with the main building and pools being completely rebuilt. I have always considered Caribbean Beach to be the last option as a moderate resort, it is large, very spread out and the bus system is slow. Until the construction is completed, I would avoid Caribbean Beach. Maybe once all the facilities are updated, it may become a much better place to stay.

French Quarter Pool
Doubloon Lagoon at Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

What makes Port Orleans French Quarter Special?

Small Resort – Port Orleans French Quarter is very small and manageable. About half the size of the other three moderate resorts, it just feels much more welcoming. The resort is also built in a very small area, so walking from even the furthest room is a fairly short walk to the bus stop or lobby.

Disney Springs Water Taxi – While Disney buses may be efficient, there just isn’t anything quite like going somewhere by boat. Head out to the Sassagoula River boat launch, and grab a seat for the relaxing 10 minute ride to Disney Springs. The boats run from Riverside to French Quarter to Disney Springs and back, and you can ride as many times as you like for free!

Pools! – French Quarter features the huge Doubloon Lagoon Pool which has an incredible Blue Serpent water slide. Sick of sliding down a blue serpent? Take the short walk to Ol’ Man Island at Port Orleans Riverside and take a step back in the Ol’ Swimmin Hole.

French Quarter Room
Standard Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter room with 2 queen beds.

What are the downsides of Port Orleans French Quarter?

Not every Disney resort is perfect, and the French Quarter has a few drawbacks:

Few discounts – Due to the popularity, French Quarter is often excluded from many Disney World discounts, so it sometimes is more expensive staying here than at the other moderates. If excluded from a deal, look at Port Orleans Riverside, which is usually included and is a very similar resort.

Rooms sleep 4 – Unfortunately, there is not an option at French Quarter to have a room that sleeps more than 4 people. Both Riverside and Caribbean Beach offer rooms that will sleep 5, while Coronado Springs has a few suite options for larger families. Hopefully in the future Disney will add different room types to French Quarter, or even better yet, build a moderate family suite hotel, similar to Art of Animation but a step up in quality.

Have you stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter?

best adult restaurant animal kingdom

Best Restaurant for Adults in Animal Kingdom

When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1988, the restaurant choices were very, very limited, and there was only one sit down restaurant in the entire park (two if you count the Rainforest Cafe, but it is technically outside the park, located near the entrance). That really was not a big deal as the park typically closed around the time that the sun went down, so most people just went elsewhere for dinner. With the extension of the park hours in the last year, and the new night time show (Rivers of Light), there is an increased need for additional sit down restaurants in the park. Disney recently added Tiffins, a signature restaurant located near the Tree of Life. Unfortunately, Disney will not be adding another table service restaurant once the new Pandora (Avatar) section of the park opens. there will only be once new restaurant there, Satu’li Canteen, which will be a fast/casual restaurant. Hopefully at some point they will make dinner a table service restaurant at some point in the future.

Best Restaurant for Adults in Animal Kingdom

Best Restaurant for Adults in Animal Kingdom

  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant – Trust me, at this point, it isn’t even close. Yak & Yeti features asian inspired meals in a fantastic, beautiful setting. Some of my favorites are the Pork Pop Stickers, the Ahi Tuna Nachos, the Crispy Honey Chicken and the Seared Miso Salmon. Yum! Yak & Yeti serves both lunch and dinner as a table service meal, both meals offer the same menu and the same prices. Yak & Yeti is also on the dinning plan, and counts as one table service credit. Also, please do not be confused. In Animal Kingdom, there is also a quick service restaurant that goes by the name Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe, and while the food is quite good there, it isn’t the same thing.

While Yak & Yeti won’t make my top 10 list of Disney World restaurants, it is head and shoulders above the other Anima Kingdom options. Tiffins launched last year, and looked very promising, but to this point, the restaurant has had really poor reviews for both food and service. Maybe someday this will be a decent option for adults, but for now, just stop by the Nomad Lounge and enjoy a cool drink. Tusker House is a fun restaurant, but the food is served family/buffet style, and it tends to be pretty loud and busy, not relaxing at all. While the food is decent, it just isn’t on par with Yak & Yeti. Rainforest Cafe is Rainforest Cafe, you pay for the atmosphere and not the food. If you idea of a nice dinner includes gorillas and elephants along with a lot of thunder and lightening, the feel free to stop by.

Want to enjoy something outside the park, but close by? Animal Kingdom Lodge has three great restaurants, Boma, Jiko and Sanaa. Both Jiko and Saana are better than Yak & Yeti, and Boma is quite good, if you like buffets. Animal Kingdom is only a 5 minute bus ride away, and a nice break from the park.

What is your favorite restaurants for adults in the Animal Kingdom theme park?

send yourself mail at disney

Send Yourself mail while at Disney

There are times that you may need to mail yourself something while at Walt Disney World. Many people send stuff to themselves from home to save on baggage weight or just plain baggage, or they may order bottled water or diapers or some other staple in advance so it is waiting for them upon arrival. I have also order books and other things from Amazon that I wanted delivered to me during my stay.

If you are going to send yourself packages or mail, make sure to do it correctly, or you may never see your stuff again. Here are the basic requirements for sending stuff to yourself:

  • Include the mailing address of your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
  • Clearly features the word “Guest” on the front and the date of your arrival

Please note that a $5 per package handling fee may apply to all packages that are received through the Front Desk or are delivered to your Disney Resort hotel room.

So, let’s say you are staying at Pop Century, your package should be addressed as follows:

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Guest: John Smith – November 21, 2016

1050 Century Drive

Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8433

However, when deciding if you want to mail stuff to yourself, remember that $5 per package handling fee. I have had to pay the fee at several Deluxe resorts, though my understanding is that many of the Value and Moderate resorts are a bit more lax on charging a fee.

By the way, you can also send packages to yourself at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels too by using the same address format listed above.

Walt Disney World Value Resort Addresses

  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort – 1050 Century Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8433
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – 1850 Animation Way Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8400
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort – 1901 West Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8412
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – 1701 West Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8401
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort – 1801 West Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8436

Walt Disney World Moderate Resort Addresses

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – 900 Cayman Way Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8411
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – 1000 West Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8403
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter – 2201 Orleans Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8424
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside – 1251 Riverside Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8514
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground – 4510 North Fort Wilderness Trail Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8415

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Addresses

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – 2901 Osceola Parkway Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8410
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – 901 Timberline Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8426
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn – 2101 North Epcot Resorts Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8442
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort – 1800 Epcot Resorts Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8443
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort –  1700 Epcot Resorts Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8407
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – 4600 North World Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8413
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – 1600 Seven Seas Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8423
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – 4401 Floridian Way Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8451

Walt Disney World Deluxe Villa Resort Addresses

  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge – 901 Timberline Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8426
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House – 2901 Osceola Parkway Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8410
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village – 3701 Osceola Parkway Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8445
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort – 1510 North Cove Road Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8421
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa – 1960 Broadway Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8446
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas – 1800 Epcot Resorts Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8443
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas – 2101 North Epcot Resorts Boulevard Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8442
  • Disney’s Bay Lake Tower – 4600 North World Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8413
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows – 1600 Seven Seas Drive Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8423
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – 4401 Floridian Way Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8451

Disneyland Resort Hotel Addresses

  • Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel – 1717 S. Disneyland Drive Anaheim, California 92802
  • Disneyland Hotel – 1150 West Magic Way Anaheim, California 92802
  • Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa – 1600 S. Disneyland Drive Anaheim, California 92802