I was honoured, and thrilled to have been invited to attend Disney Social Media Moms Event in Orlando Florida. A conference that would allow me to connect with some incredible women, listen to the most inspirational of speakers, hear about all things Disney and experience the Disney Parks like never before. To say I was excited to receive this invite would be a gross understatement. I was jumping out of my chair, waving my hands in front of my face and doing the happy dance kind of excited. The only problem, my Hubby and girls couldn’t come with me on this trip! It didn’t take long for my sister to start waving her hand in the air, volunteering to be my partner in crime, pushing me to accept this most perfect of invitations. It was quickly decided. The sisters were going to take on Disney. Florida wouldn’t know what hit them.
For weeks my Sis and I chatted about travel plans, called each other to discuss outfits, commiserated over child care arrangements….sorta sad that our babies weren’t able to come with us, and counted down the days! Wednesday May 8th finally arrived and we hit the road! Off on our first girls road trip in more then 10 years!
Over the next couple of weeks I will share my pictures, laughs and learning’s from this incredible conference and how it helped me get my groove back…..
Day 1: Travel and Arrival Day
We had just survived a two hour drive from our hometown to the Detroit Airport. (thank goodness for GPS as it was quickly discovered these sisters are directionally challenged) Then the obligatory two hour wait in the airport, followed by the nearly three hour flight. Not so bad! We arrived in Orlando by mid day and quickly found our way down to the Magical Express line. I am a complete Disney Hotel rookie so this was all new for me. Rest assured, these Disney folk know what they are doing. Transportation to our first hotel, the Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside , was seamless if a bit lengthy.
We were pleasantly surprised by the rustic southern charm of the foyer and warm greeting of the staff. I really did feel like I had been transported to the tranquility of the rural Louisiana Bayou We checked in and wasted no time making the walk through the shaded trails and eagerly inspected out our little room set in a stately mansion among the trees.
Although the outside of these hotel rooms are best described as full on charming, the inside would better fit into the dated category. Don’t get me wrong, the room was clean, comfortable and sweet, but it is solidly a mid class Disney Hotel.
SassySis and I decided there was no time to waste, we did a super quick change and made tracks for the pool! Worthy of note: This can be done very quickly when you are only responsible for yourself!
Ahhh warm air, perhaps a drink or two and good book were what was on the agenda that first afternoon. It didn’t take long to get that much needed vacation feeling. The pool area at this hotel had a great children’s space with a water slide, and some of the best organized pool games and activities I have seen. My only complaint, the game/pool music was in direct conflict with the music being piped in around the rest of the resort. In other words, the New Orleans Jazz I could hear coming thru the speakers all around me could be heard at the same time as the Top 20 choices being played while the kids activities were on. It left you feeling a bit frazzled. Other then that the pool was warm, there were lots of chairs, lots of palm tress and quick bar service. A great place to chill and unwind for a couple of hours. Clearly I got the unwinding out of the way right away!
After a couple of hours in the sun it was time to find some food! Dinner for us that night was in the very popular food court. We were just too tired to consider a sit down meal (there were plenty of restaurant’s to choose from, many that got good reviews on TripAdvisor) The food court had offerings from create your own pastas, to hot sandwiches, burgers, to build a salad and more. I’m sure everyone in your family could find something to keep them happy. My Tip: If you are staying for any length of time consider buying one of the refillable cups. Worth their wait in gold. You buy one cup per family member and are free to fill them up as needed. Makes good money sense.
After dinner we took the opportunity to just wander the grounds. They are beautiful!!
So many winding paths between the many buildings housing the guests, or you could choose to rent a bike or take a horse drawn carriage ride. After a long meandering walk my SassySis and I did something we have not done in years!! Ready for a huge confession? We went to bed at 9:30pm and didn’t get up until 9am the next day! Life of rock stars people! Ha. It was brilliant.
The dawn of a new day saw us checking out of the Port New Orleans Riverside and heading off to Disney Social Media Moms! Overall this hotel gets high scores for atmosphere, high scores for family friendly food and kids activities, and mid level scores for accommodations and pool. It is exactly as described on their website and I would consider it if you are looking for a hotel at this price point.
Have you ever stayed at a Disney property? I’d love to hear which was your favourite!
*Later this week I will tell you all about our first day in which we full on attacked the Animal Kingdom, enjoyed our Disney Social Media Moms meal, and the experience of truly being spoiled with desserts to die for while watching fireworks at Epcot! Hope you will come back to hear all about it!