Trip Report Tuesday: French Quarter to Parks

It is a great pleasure to share this trip report with you from my good friend, Diane Trowbridge. She was gracious enough to offer an accounting of the recent trip she took with her husband, David. Today is part one of her report, enjoy!!

February 2014

My husband and I (ages 72, 57) just returned from a wonderful week at Walt Disney World (WDW). We booked through Disney with a Magic Your Way package that included Airfare from Cleveland, Ohio; moderate onsite resort (Port Orleans French Quarter, POFQ) for 8 nights, 7 day Park tickets with Park Hopper, free Disney Dining Plan (DDP) and Magic Express transportation to/from the Orlando airport.

Here are the highlights:

Day 1: Flew into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and used our Magic Bands (MB) to get on the Magic Express bus. Do NOT PACK YOUR MBs in your checked luggage! If you have your MB you don’t need the paper tickets that come in your welcome packet with the luggage tags. DO USE THE DISNEY yellow luggage tags if you want Disney to deliver your luggage to your onsite resort room. Checked into POFQ, which was easy since I did online check-in 60 days prior. Used our MB to enter the room. Each member of the party needs to unlock the resort door with their MB to fully activate them. Our Royal room was lovely and such a short walk to the Food Court. Since it was 8 pm by then, we ate in the Food Court, which had a nice selection of sandwiches, ribs, chicken, pizza, and pasta meals.

Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter

This was our first experience with Disney’s “free” Dining Plan (1 Snack, 1 Quick service, 1 Table service per person per day), which also came with free refillable mugs (1 per person). We used our mugs for soda at dinner (place them on the beverage rack then press the button to get the soda of your choice. If you hold the mug above the rack it won’t flow.) Since we normally buy our refillable mugs, this already saved us $34. The meals come with a nonalcoholic beverage so we also selected OJ in bottles for our meals’ “beverage” and had the juice for breakfast the next day. (The room has a dorm-sized refrigerator.) Our meals were fine and we headed off to our room in Bldg 5. Our luggage arrived about 3 hours after we checked in. We were tired and ready for our PJ’s. Next time I’ll pack those in our carry-on.

A wet Italy at EPCOT is better than a dry day anyplace else!
A wet Italy at EPCOT is better than a dry day anyplace else!

Day 2: Made breakfast in the room with Carnation Instant Breakfast (brought from home) and milk (snack credits) as well as our OJ from the food court. Made Rope Drop (RD) to EPCOT, using MB and a fingerprint to enter, and an 8 minute wait for Test Track. David designed our racy red sports car then we hopped on our Test Track vehicle. His “design” earned speed records. Really enjoyed the pre and post areas on that ride. Had Fast Pass Plus (FPP) for Mission Space but missed the time; rode it anyway with no wait. Made our FPP at Spaceship Earth, then rode the boat across the EPCOT lake to Germany and walked to our ADR at Via Napoli. Arrived early and were about the only ones in Italy due to the hour and drizzly rain. Our pictures look amazing with empty walkways! Had a GREAT lunch with individual pizzas, wine, and dessert (Tiramisu, ice cream sundae). Walked to France for the movie, saw Aurora (no wait), shopped in the UK, and enjoyed the movie at Canada before our FPP at Soarin’. Walk on to Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo, and a brief wait for Turtle Talk with Crush. Walked to the International Entrance to the EPCOT resorts and grabbed a boat ride to our dinner at Big River Grille and Brewery at Boardwalk. Had a wonderful steak dinner and the beer sampler. I would strongly recommend this restaurant! Had a window table and enjoyed the view of the lake and EPCOT resorts. Since it was still drizzling, we decided to skip the rest of EPCOT and boarded the boat to Hollywood Studios to catch the Disney bus back to POFQ. That saved a long walk from the Boardwalk to the front of EPCOT.

Author: threestrandswdw

I am a Disney fanatic who can't get nearly enough time to be there! I am married to someone who isn't as into it as I am, but tolerates my "hobby". I live in Ohio, but would love to make the move to Orlando, if I would work either at Walt Disney World, or in some peripheral business serving the WDW area! I invite you to read, comment, and submit ideas anytime at Or, even better, send me a trip report to share with others! We all like to live through the experiences of others, help us stay connected to the magic! Thank you!!

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