This seems to be our Disney World topic, so I have some updates since this is a year old.
I recently came back from a WDW trip, 9 days, 2 travel days, 1 resort only day and 6 days to the parks. This means I went to all 4 parks, two of them twice. I traveled with my sister and my 4 year old nephew. The main goal of this trip was to spend time with my family, so largely I ignored the rides my nephew couldn’t ride on except one… Flights of Passage. I’ll go more into that later.
My family largely stays at the onsite resorts as a matter of convenience. We usually do Moderates although parts of my family will do a Deluxe either through a DVC rental or a good sale. This time we did Port Orleans: Riverside.
There are several resorts going through a lot of construction. Try and check boards or ask around to see which ones are going through construction and which types. For example, we almost did Animal Kingdom’s rental but their primary pool is under construction so we bumped down.
Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside are two Moderate resorts that are actually kind of considered one, which means you can actually use either pool. It’s about a 10 minute walk from one Resort to the other. Riverside has the most stuff, larger pool, bigger store and sit-down restaurant. In general, you won’t get much out of me for too many sit down restaurants because keeping a 4 year old still through a whole meal is so… challenging. Anyway Port Orleans Riverside Buildings 34 and 35 are closest to the West Depot Bus stop. This is a nice bus stop because it’s the first one for Riverside which means, most mornings you get a seat to the trip to the parks and on the way back, if your’e standing you are often the first one off (unless it shares with French Quarter then you’re almost the first). Building 35, where we stayed, was also the only building in Riverside renovated, so it has USB ports on the outlet, an in wall digital wall safe, easily enough room for a surface pro and the two queens plus a small child pull out bed. One of the quiet pools is here too. There a main pool, heated, water-slide, life guards and etc, and these smaller unheated ones that are really only as quiet as the families in it. French Quarter has a new splash area for small children (remember only a 10 minute walk), that my nephew loved.
I consider the food at Port Orleans just… okay. French Quarter has the more Orleans style stuff, gumbo, jambalaya, beignets. Riverside has a carving station, some fancy dessert, cheesecake, and sandwich/salads. etc. You can see all the menues to these places online, with prices but…
We prefer to eat at the parks. Food courts are meant for arrival and departing days and when the little nephew needs to go back for a nap before food can be had.
Resorts - Magic Bands
Magic Bands can be tied to a credit card. This pretty much means you can leave everything behind, bring your ID for alcohol, and I carried cash and a credit card just in case which I never used, to charge everything to at the resort and in the park. I believe this only works for guests who stay onsite. For off-site you can still get a magic band (might have to pay for it) and this gets you in the park and works for your FastPass. Without the band I think you get a FastPass card.
Your life will be miserable if you don’t do your Fastpasses. I let my sister do most of this because she put in all the effort to this planning but let me tell you about Avatar: Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom) 3 hour wait. No, I am not exaggerating. It often got up to 3 hours, and I never saw it below 90 minutes for Standby. With FastPass I was on the ride within a couple of minutes. They send a brochure or email about this. Onsite gets 60 days and offsite getse 30 days ahead to get them. I heard non-stop disappointment about the inability to get Flights of Passage during their stay. We had 6 days, two at animal kingdom, and that second day was largely so I could go on this ride. It was… pretty awesome. I don’t do heights, and i have to take Bonine for motion sickness, and I loved this ride. Flights is a Tier 1. The Na’vi River Ride is also Tier 1. You can only schedule one Tier 1 on a given day, always, always do Flights if you want that ride. The River ride fluctuated a lot, but was never near 180 minutes, we went on it twice one morning during the Magic Hours because my nephew really liked it and so did we.
Top Tier 1.
Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage (virtual awesome ride, heights, motion issues)
Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarves (rollercoaster) yes the 4 year old could ride
Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog (rollercoaster) yes the 4 year old could ride
Epcot: not actually sure, Frozen (story kind of ride) is here, but I think the top rides are actually out of 4 year old height stuff
Epcot I liked the least. That and Hollywood Studios are like half-day parks which… is about to change. Star Wars will be in Hollywood next year. Guardians is getting a big coaster at Epcot.
Disney World App
So, Disney’s Wifi is pretty awful, on the resort and in the park. The application crashed pretty often, especially on Android. This App those is as key, to your FastPass and also the length of the lines for the rides. Buzz Light Year is not considered a top ride. Most the Disney sites will tell you not to waste a Fastpass on it. Well you only get one Tier 1 ride, so… I’d say they’re wrong. This ride was constantly around the 40+ minute length, and my nephew loves buzz. It’s a weak arcard and weak ride but the kids get to sit in a car and shoot things so… they love it.
This is a pretty cool show in Hollywood Studios. You cannot sign up in advance. You need to go to the park, near the Outpost (Indiana Jones area) wait in line and sign your kids up. And then, they’re participating in a Jedi Show that’s pretty cool actually. There was a Photopass person there too and we could get close to take pictures too. I won’t spoil the show but there are some fun guests that show up in this show that thrills the kids.
I am not sure if anyone needs any more info but I will say my sister and her family go here infrequently, they’re on the East Coast. They’ve stayed at Swan and Bonnet Creek. Some of the offsite hotels got the extended hours. http://disneyspringshotels.com/2018-disney-springs-hotels-new-benefits-extra-magic-hours/ No one knows if they will do it again next year; they haven’t done this in the past. We did the extended hours on two days and hit hard to get rides while there. I did not do the Halloween party this year, but I did it in the past. It was fun and also a way to get some of the harder rides (note: not everyone is open. It’s Magic Kingdom only so no extra luck on the Flight of Passage issue but… Halloween Party can mean fewer folks in other parks at night).