Dec. 2011- Port Orleans Riverside, Townsend/Young Family


Alright, we are finally home…

Great trip. Sooooo tired. LOL.

I will fill you guys in soon, but I learned a few lessons.

  1. It is hard to go with friends when you are Disney freaks and it is their first trip.
  2. The first week of December doesn’t mean it isn’t crowded.
  3. Disney honestly must cut down reservation quantity during the winter, walkup is easier.
  4. Port Orleans Riverside is amazing and beautiful, but it is not my second homes of WL or the Poly.
  5. The Osborne lights, though smaller than imagined, are a great experience.
  6. The Christmas Party was one of the greatest experiences ever, and not because of the party, but how it fit my family.
  7. We will never ever ever go in June again, as we did in our last 6 trips.

Okay, I will write more later, it was fun, but somehow glad we are done!’

Soundgod, sorry we didn’t get to meet up. That was a great night though. My daughter is still talking daily on how she got to meet Rocky from Shake it Up (Zendaya). Same day: Zendaya, Scottie McReery, and Cee Lo Green within 5 feet of us. My daughter is still amazed.


Sound awesome! More please, when your rested of course!


Day 1, Dec. 1, was our drive down. We wanted to leave at Noon, which I had set the expectation for with our friends about 300 times before the day. We finally got out of town at 1:45. That was less than optimal, but I got over it pretty quickly.

Three kids and 2 wives in one car, me and my buddy in our car. We expected to swap to us with the kids about half way down but somehow that never happened.

Anyway, got to All Star Music (first night we stay at another resort to check them out and not waste our package on the first day). We had an incredibly nice and funny young man at the counter. I wish I knew his name, I would send a compliment to Disney. If anyone knows the names of the check in counter people, drop me an email, I would love to describe him and get his name.

We were in the guitar building, great rooms, really nice. Beautiful and fun grounds. We dropped off our stuff and made a bee line to the cafeteria to grab some last minute food. We were greeted coming by the pools on the way to the main building by hoards of people coming back from the parks. They all literally looked like zombies. No smiles, dragging their feet. My buddy and his wife thought immediately “What have you gotten us into?”. If only we knew then how tired we would make them too.

Anyway, great night, fun resort, and good sleep. No noise at all, compared to our last experience at Pop Century.

Easy drive, fun walk around the resort, halfway decent food. We were ready for day 2!


First resort photos


You know I had the same thought of unhappy people. We did quite a lot of bench sitting and you rarely saw happy people.


You are right Jo-Jo, fewer happy people than ever before.

Day 2…

This was our first day in the park. We went over and checked into our rooms at Port Orleans Riverside about 8am. We were assigned our rooms in Alligator Bayou, non-updated, and I asked if there were any of the updated rooms available in Magnolia Bend. The wonderful young man behind the counter spent about 15 minutes and finally us two side by side rooms with a pool view. Great guy and gal helping us out, great experience. Cool lobby, but the cafeteria area was PACKED. We got our cups, filled them up with coffee, and decided to head out to the park. We were told they would text us our room numbers when the rooms were ready.

We hit the Magic Kingdom about 9:30am and it was a beautiful, halfway empty entry into the park. We did notice as soon as we came in that there was a line to the right that said “Audience”. Huh? What the heck is going on?

Come to find out, Disney was recording the Christmas parade the next day and they were busy filming the musical guests under the castle, doing their performance. We headed down main street and we were greeted by the stage with Scotty McReery (American Idol) on it singing “Holly Jolly Christmas”. My daughter went ape snot loving every second of it. A couple of hours later we saw Cee Lo Green too. We watched the first quick show, headed down to the Haunted Mansion and had a great day with a partial crowd. It was very lightly crowded for a Friday. We did Crystal Palace for lunch, and the Luau for dinner. Both, fantastic and fun. The Luau was better than the last time 5 years ago in June.

After the luau, we did notice that we still had not gotten our texts about the room readiness. I hit the internet on my phone and got the lobby at the POR and found out our room numbers. They were ready, but due to a system issue we weren’t notified. (Normal Disney Computer issues).

So, about 11:30 we finally after a long day went into our cool rooms. We loved the renovations. Super clean and nice room, two great beds, and a nice bathroom. We promptly put our semi-pro portable bar on the TV Stand/Dresser and filled our refillable ups with Gin/Tonics and headed down to sit by the pool to reflect on the day.

Our friends were in love, only after the first day. They still didn’t understand our obsession, but they were glad they had finally seen the Magic Kingdom. Their daughters and our daughter were passed out as we hung out and decompressed from the day.

It was going to be a very busy few days, and we knew it. I will detail out more tomorrow. I STILL need some rest.


Photos from the park day.


We had gone into the MK on Friday at opening (8 am) and it was so empty. My DH said where is everyone? I figured that until about a month ago, the opening time 9 am, so a lot of people missed the new time.


Love the pictures…I would have loved to attend when they were recording the parade.


Great start to your TR! Continue please!


Day 2 in the parks- Epcot Day!

I always look forward to Epcot day. It is one of my favorites, hands down. However, it really isn’t good with alot of kids and with people that aren’t used to walking alot.

We had a 9:15am reservation for Akershus and I hoped the three girls were gonna be excited. We weren’t let down. The food was decent, the eggs a little runny, but the rest was good. They Princesses were fantastic! They all spent quite a bit of time at the table. The one negative was the “parade of Princesses”. The announcer said “stay at your table”, they will all come to your area. Well, that didn’t happen and my wife was bummed they didn’t get a photo of the girls doing their walk around the restaurant.

After Akershus, we went and used our fast passes I had grabbed on the way in to Soarin. We had a blast, that is just a great ride. One thing I did notice was that there seems to be more and more dust/dirt on the film. It is really irritating, especially if you spend alot of time editing video and always look for anomalies. After Soarin, I grabbed another fast pass to the ride and we headed straight over to Test Track. Everyone loved it and we then spent the remainder of the morning walking around catching Nemo and the Seas, Turtle Talk, and some other things.

Soon, we were back in the countries and started off in Canada, which is off from our norm. Disney had sent us a gift card making up for our bad Hoop Dee Doo experience in June, and my buddy and I wanted to put a small effort into “Drinking around the World”. We did skip a beer in Canada though and went right to England. After grabbing two Guiness, we sat down on the bench and started calling people in the phone booths and having fun. We got some great reactions, had some great talks with guests, and not a single person realized it was us. LOL. That is fun, you should try that!

We made our way around the countries, getting a turkey leg for the girls (I had promised) in the America site. Those things are great and much more tasty than we ever knew. Though they are expensive, I will have to try them again in the future. After a good round of drinks in almost every country and a good afternoon without much crowd we finally went to dinner in Biergarten.

I love Biergarten. The girls get to dance, have some fun, and the german food is fairly decent. We did have some nice Schofenhofer (sp?) beers and then had a good talk with our great waitress.

After dinner, we did have VIP viewing admission in Italy to see the fireworks. However, that Soarin pass was still burning a hole in my pocket and we rushed back up to ride Soarin again. After that, we didn’t even try to go back to Italy for the VIP area but instead went to torch 1 to watch the fireworks, hoping we could meet Soundgod as he was in the park filming the fireworks too.

We got great seats right up against the fence and were ready for the show. As it got dark, I noticed the second park host we had seen for the day was standing right next to me. I saw the man she was speaking with and noticed he had his daughter laughing and hanging onto his shoulder during the conversation. Being the emotional Dad I am, I thought “Wow, I hope my daughter is still like that with me in her teens” as this girl was. I looked over at them again, and noticed something else. This was the Zendaya girl that my daughter watches on “Shake it Up” over and over. I couldn’t pass it up, but I couldn’t let me daughter miss this opportunity. I threw a piece of ice at my daughter as she stood against the fence and gave her a “come here” motion with my finger. I whispered in her ear that Zendaya was standing 4 feet away from me, but I warned her to NOT draw attention to her as I didn’t want to ruin her viewing of the fireworks. My daughter and our friend’s daughters snuck over, spoke to her for a minute, and had a quick photo with her without anyone noticing. Only one other girl did it the whole time of the fireworks, and like my daughter, she was very quiet and sure to not bring attention as well. What a great experience for our daughter! All part of the Disney magic!

Anyway, great night, great fun, but we were WHOOPED. As soon as the great fireworks were over, we head back to POR to get some rest. What a fun experience for the girls!


Epcot Pics!


I love your TR and your photos are lovely. What a coup seeing Zendaya and the other cool people! We’ve seen a few famous faces at the World too. Really enjoying it, thank you.


Wasn’t the weather great while you were down there? I had brought everything from shorts to hats and gloves just to be prepared.

How old are the girls?


Yes, the weather was better than we could have hoped or dreamt of. Amazing weather. Low in the high 50’s, highs in the mid to upper 70’s. Perfection.

The girls are 8, 7, and 5. They loved this trip. My daughter, the 8 year old is an old Disney pro, but the other two this was their first trip. They had a blast.


More please :mickey:


LOVING your TR! My DD (11) would have flipped out if she met Zendaya! We love her new song! Keep it coming!


ok, I’m not only old, I’m beyond hopeless. Who is Zendaya?


Um, Zendaya is apparently the “girl that my daughter watches on “Shake it Up” over and over.” :wub:


Day 3 in the Parks- Hollywood Studios

We are always big fans of Hollywood Studios, but I knew this day was going to be a couple of things: 1. Crowded. It was a Fantasmic day, had the Osborne Lights, and was listed as the park to avoid. 2. The family with us was already starting to be worn down from our commando Disney assault.
We got to the park a little later than I wanted after having a good breakfast at Ohana at 8am. The girls loved the parade with the characters, I loved the juice, and the coffee was great as always.
We got to the park about an hour after opening and the Fast Pass for Toy Story was already 4pm. Ridiculous how fast those fast passes go! So, we went straight in and did the whirlwind tour of the park first thing in the morning. In no particular order we did Beauty and the Beast, the Great Movie Ride, Muppets, and others before we had a late lunch at 50’s Prime Time. This was our only day with three meals and we did the lunch because we had a 9pm reservation for the adults at California Grill.
After lunch we did Indiana Jones, got fast passes for Tower of Terror, then went and did the car stunt show. But, I was TICKED OFF at that show. Almost immediately after opening the gates, they closed the first and second bleacher entrances and started only allowing people to enter the end bleacher entrance. It created a massive bottleneck and by the time we got into the show, we had already missed the first stunt chain. Many people around us got mad at this one, but it really looked like they had a very short staff. Sort of maddening.
After the show, we went over and my buddy and I did TOT and then all four adults did Rock n Roller Coaster in the single rider line. This was my first time riding it, as I don’t do well with coasters in the heat of the summer, but I LOVED THIS RIDE!!! Much better than I ever imagined and I will ride it again. After the rides, we went and did Toy Story and then finally walked to the end of the Streets to see the Osborne Lights come on.
The Osborne Lights are SIMPLY AMAZING and the most mindblowing thing from our trip. I need to edit our video and put it on Youtube. I loved this show. Plus, I loved that I could walk down and take pics and send them from my phone for our christian friends, take pics and send them for our jewish friends, and send just pretty light pics to our agnostic friends. Disney really does think of everyone!

After the park, we had to get back to the resort and get the girls ready to go to the Peter Pan Club (our first trial at it, and they were all nervous). We dropped them off and they immediately fell in love. The entrance was amazing, the desk is Wendy’s bed (hard plastic) and the view in the room was just cool. We dropped the girls off and headed by monorail to the Contemporary where we checked in for dinner. We were told our table wouldn’t be ready for about 10 minutes so we took the opportunity to walk out on the “back” outside observation deck. Most people go straight to the main deck, but if you go down by the bathrooms, you can get on a deck that no one is standing on.

We got our table, had great wine, great sushi, and then went to watch the Christmas Party fireworks from our back unoccupied viewing deck. Only one other small family was up there with us while the front deck was crammed with people. We love our little area, but I will share that with you guys! :wink:

After dinner was over and a fantastic steak, we picked up the girls at Peter Pan and they went on and on for 30 mins on how much fun they had and wanted to do it again. Honestly, it was the best $100 we spent on our whole trip and will gladly use it again next time we go.

We finished up the night beside the pool with a couple of cocktails in our reuseable cups. We were worn out, but man, it was a good day! Crowded, but a good day.