Disney's Port Orleans Riverside is one of my personal favorite resorts. The southern charm is enough to keep me coming back for more after several stays here.

The best priced option for a family of 5, Riverside is one of Disney's Moderate Resorts. Located in the Downtown Disney area of Walt Disney World, this resort is made up of two sections - Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou. Both sections are themed beautifully, with great landscaping and pathways to all the different sections of the resort.

There are over 2000 rooms available at Riverside. The rooms are over 300 square feet in size and feature either two double beds or one king bed. The Alligator Bayou rooms have a small trundle bed that is perfect for a small child. Also featured in each room: a TV, armoire, ceiling fan, table and chairs, bathroom and separate vanity area with double sinks. Amenities include: shampoo and soap, hair dryer, refrigerator, and coffeemaker.

Port Orleans Riverside also has a total of 6 swimming pools. The largest one - Ol' Man Island - has a water slide and waterfall. The other 5 pools are considered "quiet" pools and are scattered around the resort.

In addition to the pools there's also a playground for younger children, the Medicine Show Arcade for video game lovers, and a great gift shop called Fulton's.

The eateries at the resort include a nice table service restaurant - Boatwright's. It serves breakfast and dinner and it is highly recommended to book an Advanced Dining Reservation to ensure you can get a table. The dinner menu includes Creole entrees such as Jambalaya, Voodoo Chicken, and Prime Rib. Desserts such as Pecan Pie and Apple Pie. There is also a specialty cocktail list!

The food court area is called Riverside Mill. This features several stations where you can order breakfast, lunch or dinner. Food items such as paninis, pizza, pasta, and more.

Riverside is a great getaway even without hitting the parks since it offers so many extras. There's fishing rentals, evening carriage rides, hot tubs, and a boat ride to Downtown Disney along the Sassagoula River, which runs through the middle of the resort. You can also take a 10 minute walk to Port Orleans French Quarter, Riverside's sister resort.

For your next Disney trip consider Port Orleans Riverside Resort. You will love it!
 
The term FASTPASS is a foreign word to a lot of people. If you have never been to Disney World then chances are - you have never used one!

What is a FASTPASS (sometimes referred to as FP)? It's a brilliant idea that Disney came up with years ago that allows their guests to designate a time frame for certain rides. The actual FP itself is a simple, small piece of paper that can keep you out of waiting in line for hours on end.

How do you take advantage of the FP? There is not a charge for using Disney's FP system. But sometimes it takes a little thinking to determine if it will benefit you. To obtain a FP you need to find a ride or attraction that offers a FP. You'll need to go to the FP machines and insert your Key to the World card or your park ticket. For each card you insert (one per person that will be riding) you will receive a small card that is the FP. It will have listed on it what time you should return to the ride to immediately go to the front of the line to wait with other FP guests to board the ride. It's an awesome idea and one that my family takes full advantage of.

One thing I recommend is that you weigh your options. If you are considering a Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger ride at 10:00 am and the wait time is 20 minutes and the FP return time is 10:15 to 11:15, why not take advantage of both? Get your family FPs for Buzz, jump in line to wait 20 minutes (sometimes 20 may only mean 15), ride once, get off and back in the FP line and ride again without a wait. There are ways to maximize your FPs use! Just think outside the box!

I have spoken with people who have traveled to Disney World and never taken advantage of the FP option. Honestly I don't think I would know how to go without it! I guess it's always possible but the very best way to make the most out of your time in the parks is to utilize this feature. So what you might have to walk around the corner to come back to a ride. At least your not standing in line for an hour! A simple 5 minute walk back to an attraction could save you a full hour of waiting.

While I know that the way my family "does" Disney is not the only way, nor the "right" way, it's what works best for us. I'd love to hear opinions from you and what you think about the FP option. If you have questions regarding FASTPASSES please leave them here or drop me a note at amandas@fairytalejourneys.com.

Here's a list of current attractions at Walt Disney World that use the FP system:

Magic Kingdom® Park:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Jungle Cruise 
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Peter Pan's Flight 
Space Mountain 
Splash Mountain
Stitch's Great Escape!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Epcot®:
Living with the Land
Maelstrom 
Mission Space
Soarin'
Test Track

Disney's Hollywood Studios™:
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience  
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith  
Star Tours
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 
Toy Story Mania! 
Voyage of The Little Mermaid Show

Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park:
Dinosaur
Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
It's Tough to be a Bug!  
Kali River Rapids
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Primeval Whirl


**This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Go there to read more great Disney posts.**