Saturday, May 7, 2011

Port Orleans: It's Huge

I've been down here in Orlando, living the Walt Disney World life for a couple of months now. I've done just about everything I can do, with the exception of The American Idol Experience, because I'm a male and I'm not under the age of 15.

Oh. I also haven't gone to all the resorts at the Walt Disney World...Resort. There's a lot of them, and let's be honest for a second (all that other stuff I've written is a lie. This second, right here, this is going to be the truth second, so you better read what I intend you to read in the allotted time. Or your lollygagging will turn my truth into more lies. Lies!), making the choice between Rock N' Roller Coaster, even for the 42 time, or walking around a resort you'll never be able to afford to stay in, Rock 'N' Roller coaster seems like the clear winner.

It isn't always though. This time I went to Epcot first. Food! I got a bratwurst at Somerfest. Then I hopped on a bus and headed over to the Port Orleans resort, getting off at the first stop at the French Quarter, not knowing the marathon I was getting myself into. The place has like eight bus stops. Besides the Aligator Bayou, anything less would have been too small.

Some background: when I was a senior in high school, on spring break I did a service trip to Nawleans, touring the city and fixing up some houses. I apologize to the people's houses I wrecked with some cut rate dry-walling, and I thank the city of New Orleans for being so amazing. I fell in love with the wounded city, and I was looking forward to seeing how Disney captured its essence in resort form. It's already done a great job in land form with New Orleans square, which kicks Liberty Square in the pants, if you were wondering.

My first stop was the French Quarter. I enjoyed it immensely. It helps that Florida has the same, heavy weather that New Orleans and its swamps have, getting you in the right state of mind. They did a great job making the walkways feel like streets, and the buildings feel like crammed apartments. The water features were a sparkling touch. The pool, with its serpent, was a prime example of good theming, and the alligators surrounding it with their jazz instruments were a nice touch. Not as cool as the Polynesian's volcano, but it fit the resort well.

Then I took the pontoon over to Riverside, the grand daddy section of the resort. It had a magnificent lobby, retail store and quick service restaurant, with a mill theme. Then, like aforementioned, there was the Alligator Bayou. The flora and fauna were great, but the buildings were just buildings.

Later, I got to the sections themed after southern mansions, forgetting about all the sub-par stuff that preceded them. I've always loved southern mansions, with their grand stair cases, pillars, sprawling front yards, and weeping willows. Mostly this is due to my love of the film Forrest Gump. The pool was alright, not the best I've seen, but it also went well with the theme.

After the hike around the Port Orleans campus, I was a wee bit bummed that if I ever were to stay there, it would be a long while, and that it'd probably be just as long before I get to visit the Big Easy itself. But for now, the resort, and the square in Disneyland will have to do.

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