Any “Port” in a Storm? The “Big Easy” Wins!

And, did it ever!  Wow!  Dueling resorts!  Razor-close finish!  Between the two Orleans resorts, almost 75% of your vote?  75%?!  What a day!

Actually, this year, at first, I thought it wasn’t going to be all that close.  French Quarter jumped out to an early, and quite large, lead.

Then, Riverside came roaring back.  From that point on, the “battle” became a spectacle … a metaphorical horse race!

In the end, what it really became was a repeat … of sorts.  How so?

Some of you folks might not remember this, but this “competition” was won by Port Orleans – French Quarter “way” back in 2013.

Yesterday’s rival – its sister down the river – actually dethroned it last year.  Port Orleans – Riverside won your favor in 2014.

Well, if there’s justice in rematches, Walt Disney World’s homage to the Big Easy’s “Old Square” has seen that “wrong” get “righted”.  By the slimmest of margins, French Quarter is the 2015 readers’ choice!

What do I think about the result?  I think you already know.

I still say that Coronado is way too under-appreciated.  But, that’s OK.  It only adds up to more room “at the inn” for the All in WDW family to enjoy!

How about you?  Are you thrilled?  I think so …

“We have stayed at French Quarter twice and Riverside once.  Both are beautiful, and I might even like the Riverside theme better.  However, the size and one bus stop at French Quarter wins it for me.  However, you can’t go wrong with either.”

“I love French Quarter the best.  The size is perfect.  The theme is so relaxed.  The river-view rooms are perfect.”

“We love how small French Quarter is … yet, the amenities are not decreased.  It’s even the first bus stop.  And, it’s an easy walk to Riverside to share in their table service and see Yehaa Bob.  It’s easy to get a boat ride to Downtown Disney.”

Great comments, all!  Great resorts, both halves of the “Port”.  Great competitions, my friends!  Port Orleans – French Quarter is the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Moderate Resort!

You see, my friends?  Even I can appreciate our Moderate “champ”!

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Not a Fan of Values? Then, Here are YOUR Moderates! VOTE!

The whole All in WDW “World” knows that my family is in love with Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

After all, it was the very-first place we ever stayed on property … way back in 1999!  From the beautiful lake it surrounds, its ever-changing Pepper Market food court, and, yes, “our” Laguna Bar, we’ve loved it ever since.

Laguna Alive

Coronado is much-maligned for being a convention resort, but, my friends, we never “feel” the crowd.

To us, it’s much more quiet than a lot of places – among both WDW’s Value and Deluxe options.  In fact, why should it “take a hit” for being a convention option?  The Deluxes that afford the same opportunity do not!

Coronado holds a Deluxe-level atmosphere, in our opinion.

Although not on a par with dining options owned by the Polynesians and Animal Kingdoms of the World, the opening of Las Ventanas as a Table Service location kicks their culinary “scene” up a level.  Pepper Market can compete with any Counter Service at any of Disney’s resorts.

La Vida Health Club provides hair and salon services.  They offer an opportunity for a massage.  The club, itself, is adequately stocked with fitness equipment.  And, did I mention the scenic “jogging trail” around the lake?

Finally, their pool area sports some of the most unique theming in WDW … as well as its own bar – Siestas Cantina!

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Again, for us, Coronado holds Deluxe appeal … all at a Moderate price!  It’s a great trade off, in our opinion, and we feel it makes Coronado the most under-appreciated property in Walt Disney World!  Most recently, it’s the only place we’ve stayed!

There.  I made my pitch.  Now, what’s yours?  Don’t just VOTE your choice … explain your passion!  Why should YOUR choice become the 2015 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Moderate Resort!  You know my pick!

If last week’s Value discussion is any indication, today is going to be a great vote … and a great Disney day!  Enjoy … and, most of all, VOTE!

“Moderate” Battle Ends with Slim Victory and New Champion!

Who amongst you remembers last year’s Moderate “competition”?

Actually held at the very end of December 2012, I ran that poll a bit differently than the one you, so phenomenally, supported yesterday.  In the end, that “tournament” of voting came down to only two finalists.

It was a “civil war” between the Disney Port Orleans “sister” resorts won by the “French” half of, what obviously is, our favorite Moderate complex.  In late 2012, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter dominated by accumulating 60% of your support.

Yesterday, while racking up a whopping 133 total votes, amidst a back-n-forth, three-way battle with my poor, under-appreciated Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and with a minuscule one-vote victory, you unseated WDW’s ode to New Orleans.

Yes, by the slimmest of margins, you appointed Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside as the NEW All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Moderate Resort!

Riverside

Originally named Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort, and opened on February 2, 1992, Riverside is themed to look like the Old Antebellum (during the time before the American Civil War) South.  With over 2,000 rooms, there’s plenty of space for all of us!

Congratulations, Riverside.  You are our first NEW champion of 2014!

Oh, and not to forget … here’s the All in WDW Readers’ Top 5 Moderate Resorts!

  1. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  2. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  3. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  4. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  5. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Old Key West Trivia – The Answer!

Frankly, it is its massively spread out nature that has prevented us from staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

Having said that, as you all know, we do love Disney’s Coronado Springs.  It’s a big resort, but we generally book a room in the Casitas – the section closest to all the action (El Centro).  By doing this, we don’t feel its size.  Frankly, we like being able to take a short walk up for a hot cup of coffee in the morning.

The more we learned about Old Key West, the more we realized that this might not be the place for us.  It just seems SO huge!  Take another look at that map I presented yesterday.  After you check in at Hospitality House, it looks like you have to take a long drive through winding streets and cozy but dead-end cul-de-sacs in order to find your room.

When you couple that with Mrs. All in WDW saying to me, “Eww, I don’t like that aqua color!”, I don’t think we’ll be staying there anytime soon.  We might visit, but, for the Deluxe-level price, we’ll stay over at Crescent Lake.

Are we wrong?  If you’re an Old Key fan, please leave us a comment and set us straight.  Why should we book a stay at this “… sprawling island hamlet with shimmering waterways, swaying palm trees, and manicured golf-course fairways”?

In the meantime, if you want to see a video tour of Disney’s Old Key West Resort, check out this YouTube link.  It is a 2013 HD tour and overview presented by iThemePark.

So, how’d you do on yesterday’s trivia question?

“Conch Flats” is the name of Old Key’s general store.  The “Sultry Seahorse” and “Turtle Krawl” are names of drinks served at the resort’s cozy little Key West-style bar – “Gurgling Suitcase”!  But, it looks like most of you knew that already!  Great work!!

Old Key West

“Living” on a Sprawling Island Hamlet!

Our only exposure to Disney’s Old Key West Resort came in 1999.  Yes, 1999.

It was Thanksgiving.  It was the All in WDW clan’s first-ever trip to The World.  And, somehow, on a journey from the Coronado Springs Resort to Port Orleans (now, the French Quarter) for dinner, we found ourselves at a stop at Old Key waiting for a bus.

Huh?  Let me get this straight.  You left Coronado on a mission to find some jambalaya, and you ended up in a resort dedicated to the Florida Keys?  How did you let that happen?  Well, give us a break, already.  It WAS our first trip to Disney … and, we had NO idea where we were and no clue what we were doing!

Anyway, we made it to dinner (somehow), and the trip forged on.  But, at the same time, we were so focused on finding our way to Port Orleans, the only “take-away” we had regarding Old Key was that it was HUGE!  I mean, take a look at this map!  You think Caribbean Beach is spread out?

Old Key West Map

Disney’s Old Key West Resort opened on December 20, 1991 and was formerly known as Disney’s Vacation Club Resort.  It was renamed in January of 1996.

Designed in a turn-of-the-century Key West theme, it is, in Disney’s own words, “a sprawling island hamlet with shimmering waterways, swaying palm trees and manicured golf-course fairways.”

Sounds great, WDW.  We can’t wait to see it! Hey! While we’re there, where can we grab a cool, refreshing cocktail?

Well, how about it, fans?  Which one of these is the name of the resort’s cozy little Key West-style bar?