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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > March 2003

Intercot.com INTERCOT Insider
 March 2003 - Edition Two

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<< Introduction >>

We're late! We're late! We're late for a very important Insider! We didn't invent time travel. We didn't make you return to March 31st. If we had that power, do you think we'd ever come back from Disney World? I'd keep traveling back in time and riding Horizons over and over and over. But I digress . . .

We've been a little busy this month. There's a lot going on for all of us at INTERCOT, staff, members and lurkers. So, please forgive us for a day's delay on mailing this.

That being said . . . let's jump right in! I promise to keep my silly jokes to a minimum this time. This issue gives us a great summer preview with EvaBryan. She really digs in deep to take a look at some great summertime events at the World. Beast_Fantatic turns her critical eye to Port Orleans Riverside. Will it live up to her expectations? Read below to find out. And finally, WDWDriver gives us yet another interesting tidbit of Disney trivia. He's a real font of knowledge, isn't he? Don't tell him I called him a "font" though. He might feed me to the tigers next time I'm in the Animal Kingdom.

<< Eva's Early Summer Preview >>

Is everyone ready for summer? For most of us this winter has been brutal and I am sure I am not the only one counting down the days until barbeques, lazy days at the beach and suntan lotion are once again part of the daily routine. If your plans this summer include a trip to Walt Disney World you won't be alone -- June through August is the most crowded time in the world, so stick with INTERCOT for the latest information so you can plan accordingly!

Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but Epcot presents a sneak peak of summer's blooms with the 10th Annual Flower & Garden Festival from April 25 through June 8. Since the festival runs before many of the school kids have started their vacations, crowds are not at their highest but can still be heavy over the weekends where locals pack the park. The "Flower Power" series of rock musicians from the 1960's and 1970's presented in the American Gardens Theatre can be standing room only, so check Info Central on INTERCOT to see who is performing and arrive early! In addition to the music will be practical displays and information sessions every weekend, including the "Great American Gardeners" series featuring Roger Swain of PBS's "The Victory Garden", Paul James of HGTV's "Gardening by the Yard," who will be on hand for the first two weekends. Be sure to pick up a schedule of special Flower & Garden Festival events upon entry to the park to get the latest schedule information.

Back by popular demand after a one-year absence are the Star Wars Weekends, presented at Disney-MGM Studios from mid-May to early June. Anthony Daniels, who has starred as C-3PO in all five of the Star Wars films, is scheduled to be on hand to kick off the festivities on May 16. There will be five consecutive weekends filled with Star Wars characters, celebrities from the Star Wars movies, and other special activities. This event is EXTREMELY popular, so pack the old autograph books, don your Skywalker suits and arrive early.

Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks should be open to a full operating schedule by later this spring, so if inner tubes and wave pools are part of your plans, be sure to arrive at the parks early to get the best spots in the shade. During peak summer periods it is not uncommon for the gates to close at both parks when the crowds are at capacity (even to Walt Disney World resort guests) and they may not reopen until much later in the afternoon.

Finally, on a patriotic note -- the Fourth of July is one of the best (and most crowded) days to be at Walt Disney World. Expect the gates to the Magic Kingdom to be closed by late morning because the park is filled to capacity. Though it can be a frustrating day for those who are claustrophobic, the fireworks display at the end of the day is the most spectacular of the year and you may convince yourself it was worth braving the heat and crowds to see them.

That's about it for the major crowd-affecting events at World Disney World over for the early part of the summer. Add these events to Grad Nights, Gay Days and the myriad of local kids who are basking in their annual "End of the Year Walt Disney World Field Trips" and you may be sharing your vacation with thousands more people than you originally thought. Careful planning (and patience!) will assure you a great vacation, no matter what the crowds! Check INTERCOT's Events page for dates as they are announced.

<< A Moderate Resort Review with Rhonda >>

What makes Port Orleans Riverside (POR) my favorite moderate resort? It's many things.

First and foremost, it's the tranquility of the resort. Whether you prefer the quaint charm of Alligator Bayou or the stately grace of the Magnolia Bend mansions, the resort is tranquil at heart.

The buildings themselves are only 2-3 stories tall, and are arranged such that each building feels almost isolated from the rest of the resort. The landscaping surrounding the buildings adds to this feeling and as INTERCOT member Playdoh stated in a recent post, "you never felt like you were on a theme park vacation when there. The kids enjoyed the resort so much they didn't complain when we went back from the parks."

Walking through the resort you're likely to see rabbits, squirrels, small lizards and ducks along the way. This is in addition to the beautiful trees and other fabulous flora and fauna.

The second reason POR is my favorite moderate is the variety of activities offered there. Fishing, boat rentals, bike rentals, carriage rides, Ol' Man Island, the private pools and the arcade are just a few of the activities you can find here.

The main pool at Ol' Man Island has recently been through a bit of refurbishment including pool resurfacing. Per WDWdriver, "An exploding geyser now sprays water in several directions. The geyser sits on a small island in the pool and shoots water through a pile of rocks and other random items, including a boot, pot and a kitchen sink. An overhead sluice pours additional water into the pool." The bridge that used to span the pool was also removed so that the lifeguards could have easier viewing of the entire pool, and an entry area was created with handrails and steps for use by guests in wheelchairs.

There's also the great Colonel's Cotton Mill food court that offers up a variety of temptations, and the wonderful Boatwright's restaurant. My husband was particularly happy with Boatwright's since they offered a bountiful breakfast at a reasonable price. Personally, I found that the French toast was some of the best that I've ever had! Boatwright's also serves dinner daily. To check out their menu selections, take a look at our newly expanded menu section on Intercot: http://www.intercot.com/infocentral/dining/menus/default.asp

Then, there's the romantic evening boat ride to and from Downtown Disney that makes this resort a gem among the moderates. Unfortunately, the boat wasn't running on my stay at POR, but I can close my eyes and imagine myself floating down the river with my husband at my side.

Another, not so well known activity that POR offers is a nightly campfire and s'mores! As reported by Minniemo, "every night at the POR there is a campfire made where you can buy kits to make 's'mores'. I said to the young lady at the counter that I wish I'd known about this because we had one night free and my kids would have loved this. Her reply was that no one ever knows about it and there isn't usually a great turn out." So, check it out on your next trip! The flyer was located at the bike rental counter.

And, then there's the nighttime entertainment. This is something that I've learned about since my trip, but there is a "piano player with an act" per Flower. His name is Bob Jackson, and he gets the whole audience involved in his antics, and from all reports, he's tons of fun! At last report, Bob plays at the River's Roost on Wednesday through Saturday around 8pm.

Here are some words of endorsement from DAKustodial, "I'll tell you what, he's fun for all ages and I feel really bad if anyone comes back from a trip to WDW and has not seen him! So folks, when you go to WDW next time please stop in and see Bob Jackson for at least one night...you will not be disappointed!"

And finally, the rooms themselves add to the joy of staying at POR. Rooms in the Alligator Bayou section has beds of rough-hewn logs and patchwork quilts. There are also rooms available in this section with a pullout trundle bed that allows for 5 people in one room making this area unique among the moderates. Rooms in the Magnolia Bend section are reminiscent of plantation homes and have a more formal feel partially because of the cherry furniture used in this section. Rooms in both sections offer two pedestal sinks that are outside of the bath and toilet area. This can be particularly useful when multiple people are getting ready at the same time.

So, all in all, POR is a great resort, and I highly recommend it! For more information on this resort, go to http://www.intercot.com/resorts/disney/dixielandings/default.asp

<< WDW History with WDWdriver  >>

Musical tires?

Here's a Fact or Fiction question from a recent edition of Eyes & Ears:
Did Disney Imagineers once consider a way to make your car "play" music as you approached the Magic Kingdom? The answer, as odd as it sounds, is yes!

In the months before the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney World, Imagineers experimented with placing raised strips at intervals across a road near World Drive. While driving across the strips at the correct speed, a car's tires would produce a succession of rhythmic beats that sounded like the Disney song Zip a Dee Doo Dah. The experiment was somewhat successful, but never became a reality. The project was quietly dropped. 

<<  Conclusion  >>

That's it for March (even if we ended it in April). Keep on the lookout for us next month. We'll have more surprises in store for you next issue. Remember to check out Info Central for the best tips and tricks on the Net! In the meantime, we'll see you on the boards!

<< INTERCOT Would Like To Thank>>

The INTERCOT Insider and INTERCOT.com are supported by the following sponsors who in turn, help us bring the Magic to you!

Magical Journeys
Magical Journeys is your Disney Vacation specialist. Start planning your Vacation Discount Dreams today!
Website: http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com/

Radisson Resort Parkway
Right in the heart of action! Only 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World is an oasis of ponds, beautiful landscaping, serene waterfalls and relaxing options hiding in every corner.
Website: http://orlando.guestselectresorts.com?pid=INTERCOTN

All Star Vacation Homes
When you need a home away from home, look no further. From comfort to luxury, All Star Vacation Homes has it all in four series of homes to fit any taste and any budget just moments from the magic of Walt Disney World!
Website: http://www.allstarvacationhomes.com?ovchn=OTHER&ovcpn=Listing+Sites&ovcrn=intercot&ovtac=AD

Happy Limo
Providing ground transportation to the entire state of Florida.
Website: http://www.quicksilver-tours.com

The Official Ticket Center
Walt Disney World’s, Universal Studios and Sea World’s #1 guest service provider for the last 3 years. The Official Ticket Center has been servicing vacationers for more than 7 years now and sells tickets only, at a discount price.

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