Tag Archives: port Orleans

Getting Pumped for Revisiting 1991….

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How am I going to do that? Well, a Disney trip of course!!!

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Next week, my mom and I head down to WDW for 7 nights. We will be staying at none other than Disney’s Polynesian Resort. We have not stayed at this resort since our first family trip in 1991! Since our stay at Polynesian, we tried “Moderate Resorts”, like Port Orleans French Quarter, “Value Resorts”, like Pop Century, and other “Deluxe Resorts”, such as Yacht & Beach Club.

Our decision to try Polynesian again now some 23 years later was definitely rooted in nostalgia. This was the resort that started our family addiction to Walt Disney World! The location on the monorail is ideal for visiting Magic Kingdom at a come-and-go pace, and with all the new attractions in New Fantasyland, we will be focusing on the original gate a lot!

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The Polynesian Resort has gone over lots of refurbishments the past 2 decades, so the views of the quiet pool and the general resort footprint won’t be exactly the same. The photo above is an aerial shot of the Polynesian in 1991. I hope they sell new ones in the gift shop, as I would like to see the change! Another big change from our first trip is that the original main pool that my dad and I spent tons of time in has also been overhauled.

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Our dining choices in 2014 will be somewhat different than the choices in 1991…In 1991, the big dinner we did was the Mickey Mouse Luau at the Polynesian Resort. We ate family style, watched dancers and learned the hula. Have to admit, my mom will not be partaking in this again, but we do have our own special dinner booked at Victoria & Alberts and Narcooses, both found at the adjacent Grand Floridan Resort & Spa.

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We both cannot wait to experience this resort for the second time. It really puts a gold seal on our “Disney Passport” as we have now gone full-circle, so to speak…back where it all began!

Disney 1993-A Dash for Splash

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Our second family trip to Walt Disney World was in October 1993. Got to love the state of Wisconsin for having Teacher’s Convention during October and getting some days off of school! (Though this isn’t the case there anymore). Traveling to WDW during this time frame always had us running into other families from Wisconsin. It was the perfect time of year for a WDW vacation-time off of school, off-season, low crowds, cool weather. This year was particularly cool, however, as stylish 1990s windbreakers and other apparel make cameos in many photos.

We stayed at the “NEW” Port Orleans Resort. It was new at the time, and simply called Port Orleans. Now the original Port Orleans has been grouped to the Dixie Landings conglomerate and this group is called Port Orleans collectively. The part that still has a piece of my heart is the French Quarter side. Maybe it was my dad’s French-Canadian roots that had me loving this moderate resort more than the deluxe Polynesian. It was quaint and adorable. I thought the pool, Doubloons Lagoon, was pretty sweet. But I really loved the beignets! Port Orleans ‘French Quarter’ originally had the food court, which it still has, Scat Cat’s Lounge, and the now extinct Bonfamille’s. We weren’t as crazy back in my early Disney years-sure, we still made it for rope drop, but weren’t the first ones in line. That being said, there were a few mornings when we actually had a leisurely breakfast at Bonfamille’s. They had Mardi Gras masks for kids to colour, and I saved all mine during that trip. They served the delicious beignets with breakfast. Mmmmmm…..to die for!

This was also the first year Splash Mountain was open for us on a trip. My dad was actually very prone to motion-sickness and wouldn’t ride roller coasters or “spinning-rides.” He was hesitant about heights. All in all, he really wasn’t a theme-park ride sort of guy. But he still loved WDW, went on any ride he could, and we never tried to push him to do ones he couldn’t handle. But he could handle Splash Mountain. Probably due to the fact that the drop isn’t too high and its just the one. I also think he felt like he should at least give it a try.
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These years of Splash Mountain were when you could literally run to it after rope drop. A dash to Splash! We had read in guides about a shortcut to Splash Mountain in Frontierland, which to us made sense, since every minute counted. For those of you who never experienced an old-school Magic Kingdom rope drop, it was quite the rush. You got through the turnstiles at park open, went up to the land you wanted to enter, waited at a rope with cast members. At the given time, the rope would drop, and then you had a literal free-for-all. No cast members were there to slow you down. I personally now think the reason why my dad was a willing participant in riding Splash Mountain was because of the thrill of this race to it. We ran into Adventureland, over the bridge, and took a quick right through the shortcut-a tunnel of sorts housing restrooms on the way to Frontierland. We had picked off a whole bunch of people who had been ahead of us at the turnstiles-success!

Nowadays after rope drop, the rope doesn’t really drop. It gets held by two cast members who slowly walk you to that E-Ticket attraction. Yes, you get there before everyone else, and you are still first to ride, but it isn’t the same rush. Sometimes you are lucky and the cast members have a faster stride. And sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just stormed over that damn rope. I probably could have convinced my dad to try it. Not sure what they would have done if he had!