What is SummerBlast at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Disclosure: I was provided with a stay at HBC plus some meals and the Mermaid Academy. However, all opinions are my own.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed the amazing weekend my family had at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. It went by so fast but we had the best time enjoying the resort and just hanging out together. Thankfully there is so. much. to. do. during SummerBlast, we literally only left for a couple of hours the whole weekend!

SummerBlast is going on now through September 2nd, so I wanted to share with you the different elements of SummerBlast, and the top 5 reasons why you should stay here this summer. There are many more reasons to stay at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek not listed like Disney transportation, deluxe accommodations, golf and the spa at neighboring Waldorf Astoria, awesome restaurants and a caring staff, but that would be a REALLY long blog post, so I stuck to my favorite five, which you can check out below.

1.) Free ice cream: In the lobby on Friday afternoons upon check in (around 4:30) you can get free ice cream with tons of toppings! Think of it as a warm welcome to your weekend. Emma Kate loved picking out her toppings (sprinkles and oreos) and it was the perfect snack for satisfying our sweet tooth after the drive over from Tampa.

2.) Pool party fun: Every day at the pool, the resort team is ready and waiting for you, and hosts fun activities like hula hoop contests, pool relay games, line dancing, and marco polo. The activities start around lunch time so don’t miss it! There may even be some prizes involved. Did I mention Emma Kate is obsessed with the pool at HBC? There is a zero entry, a great waterslide (must be 40 inches, and between 40″ and 48″ must wear a life jacket) and a HUGE lazy river that we must have gone around 100 times. The kid was in heaven.

SummerBlast

3.) Mermaid Academy: The Mermaid Academy is an extra charge for boys and girls of all ages. It is hosted on Wednesdays and Saturdays weather permitting, and there are different packages available for purchase. (Boys can also wear a shark fin instead of a mermaid tail!) Kids learn “tricks” like swimming through hula hoops and landing properly in the water like a true mermaid. You can also buy a package that includes underwater photos of your little fish. (Note: While any age can participate, it’s more “immersive” if your child can swim. EK can (barely) swim so while she had a blast, I would probably wait one more summer if we were paying for it ourselves.)

4.) Dive-in Movie nights: Pull up a lounge chair or an inner tube for floating in the water and enjoy a family movie at the pool on Friday and Saturday nights. What a great way to end a perfect summer day. Moana was playing while we were staying at the hotel.

5.) Special FL resident rates: Obviously this only applies to my FL readers, but HBC has some great summer rates and deals going on through Sept. 2nd. This hotel is perfect for a staycation with it’s awesome amenities and proximity to Disney springs…and it’s a great chance to go check out the all new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  • Up to 12% off Best Available Rate for Honors members and 10% off Best Available Rate for non-
    Honors members.
  • Complimentary luxury motor coach transportation to Disney them
    e parks
  • Deluxe accommodations
  • Kids Meal Deals* – Kids eat dinner free; 50% discount on breakfast buffet (as part of daily resort charge)

If you have any additional questions about SummerBlast or Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek itself, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.

 

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

Disclosure: I was provided with a 2 night stay as a guest of Hilton, however all opinions are my own.

It’s no secret I am obsessed with runDisney race weekends. When I first starting running these races, I always stayed at certain resorts, and then I heard about Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I was blown away by all the perks given to runners during their special race weekends! Of course there are room discounts, but above and beyond that, there is so, so much more. Here are my five top reasons for staying at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney weekend:

Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando is a great place to stay for a runDisney race weekend!

1.) Runner’s Concierge: Oh yes my friends. They have a staff member at a desk in the lobby at certain hours ready and willing to help you. From maps of the resort, to times the bus will arrive to where to carb load for dinner, it’s a one stop shop for all things race related. It’s also where you sign up for the bus, get your special runner’s gift, and even sign up for a giveaway to win a free stay at the hotel!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

2.) Bus transportation for full and half marathons: Knowing I can just walk outside and hop on a bus is a huge plus. At some of the Disney owned resorts, I have waited for up to twenty minutes outside in the cold in a long line for a bus to come, but not so at Hilton Bonnet Creek! I waited inside while munching on my FREE BREAKFAST and then we all got on the bus, space for everyone. Woo hoo!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

3.) Cheer squad and breakfast: I mentioned this above, but yes, when you roll out of bed at 3:00 you can head right downstairs where you will find an amazingly energetic cheerleading squad of employees, and also your free breakfast set up inside right next to where the bus picks you up. It’s a seamless process, and it’s super fun to see the posters and pom poms and smiling faces so early in the morning.

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

4.) Spacious rooms and amazing views: The rooms at this hotel are very nice with plenty of space for everyone. Lots of power outlets, full length mirror, big bathroom, and breathtaking views from both sides of the resort. Super comfy queen beds and fluffy pillows are every runners dream the night before a race, and Hilton Bonnet Creek does not disappoint.

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

 

5.) Post race recovery: As a runner, I know that post race recovery is a super important part to staying healthy physically and mentally. That’s why Hilton Bonnet Creek offers late 2:00 pm checkout to runners, so you can take your time, shower, nap, or lay by the pool before you head out on your next adventure. (Or do all of the above!) They have an amazing pool with zero entry, a lazy river, and a water slide. There’s also poolside drink and food service available as well as private cabanas (extra charge). I love this pool and the lush tropical atmosphere, especially after a race. It’s a great place for a nap!

5 Reasons to Stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek for a runDisney Weekend

 

 

5 Reasons to Stay at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Disclosure: I was provided a hotel stay and park tickets from Universal Orlando Resort, however all opinions are my own.

Recently I had the opportunity to stay at Universal Orlando Resort’s newest hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls. I had only seen pictures, which looked beautiful so I was really excited to experience this resort for myself. There is a lot that could be said about this gorgeous tropical retreat, but I condensed it into my five top reasons that you will want to visit (and stay at!) this property.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

1.) Easy access to the parks: We arrived at the resort early in the morning so we could have a full day at the parks. After parking in the convenient parking garage, we set out to find our way to the theme parks. We discovered not only is there a gorgeous and tranquil walking path, but a leisurely boat ride that drops you off at City Walk. We took the boat and walking path during our stay and enjoyed both! There is also a bus if you prefer to take that instead.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

2.) Beautiful and bright rooms: I’m a big fan of tropical and bright decor, and Loews Sapphire Falls did not disappoint. We were honored to have been upgraded to a suite which was HUGE! Below you can get a feel for the color scheme and amenities in the rooms. I’m not oing to post photos of the rest of the suite as to not confuse anyone about the rooms. One of my favorite things was the fact that there were power outlets and USB plus everywhere! I hate going to older hotels and not being able to find outlets for everything I need to plug in. Not the case here. It made me a happy girl.

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Everything was so nice and fresh and clean, I felt so relaxed the whole time. There are lots of blues and whites which are so peaceful to me.

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sapphire falls resort

 

3.) Extra options at the resort: I love staying at a resort where there is so much to do, you don’t even feel like you have to leave. If you are like me, then you will love it here. There was an arcade, several restaurants, and a gorgeous fitness center. This wasn’t like a little room with a few dumbbells and a treadmill. This was a real gym and it was so nice!

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

4.) Great pool area: Having a kid, one of the things I always look at when trying to decide where to stay is the pool. We did not have a chance to swim this time, but we did go check it out and it looks fabulous! First of all, when you walk outside they had corn hole, ping pong, and other games as well as a bar and tables to sit at and eat.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

There were cabanas for rent, and nice sandy areas making you feel like you were at the beach.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

There was also a water slide which I know my daughter would have loved.

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This just means we have to go back, right?

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

5.) Early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: When you stay at Loews Sapphire Falls, you have the added bonus of getting entry into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour earlier than park guests not staying onsite. Especially at peak times of year, this is a huge deal! Getting to head into that part of the park with hardly anyone there is amazing, and great for photo taking. I was able to ride everything and see all the things I wanted to see within that first hour.Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando Resort, consider staying at Loews Sapphire Falls. You will fall in love with it’s charm and will enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful resort.

 

 

 

Residence Inn Clearwater Beach

Over the weekend, Bobby and I were in Clearwater for a local beach festival, and were invited to stay at the new Residence Inn Clearwater Beach. If you follow me on social media, you may remember we attended the ribbon cutting for this gorgeous property last month. I was so excited to get to stay here after seeing the spacious rooms and pool at the ribbon cutting!

Our studio king room did not disappoint. It was HUGE and had a full kitchen plus living room and sleeping area with a very modern but cozy vibe. Plenty of room for a family to spread out.

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The kitchen had a stove, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. There were even bar stools at the counter if you wanted to sit and enjoy a meal.

Residence inn Clearwater

There was plenty of space going into the bedroom area, and the television swiveled so you could view it from the living room or bed. (Not going to lie, we may have eaten dinner in bed while watching football!)

Residence Inn Clearwater

My favorite has got to be the modern bathroom. It has a huge shower and ample space for storing your things. There is even a little hallway going into the bathroom with drawers and a counter to put your things (or your suitcase) on, as well as a closet. it was nice and bright and we had plenty of towels, which is always a bonus.

The best part about this property is the proximity to the beach. We were a block away from the sugar white sands, and we could even see it from our room! No need to use your car, it’s so walkable here to everything from shops to restaurants to of course, the famous Pier 60.

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Something special that this hotel offers is a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool overlooking the bay. What a set up!

I could stay here all day.Residence inn

There is also a free breakfast, a fitness room, conference rooms, and valet parking. Everyone we encountered was so friendly, and we had a great stay. I hope to come back and visit this hotel soon, so I can enjoy it and all that Clearwater Beach has to offer.

Disclosure: I received a free night stay for my review, however all opinions are my own.

Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive

Disclosure: I was hosted by Wyndham for my stay in their resort. However, all opinions are my own.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Bobby and I decided we wanted to take Emma Kate to her very first water park in Orlando. When Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive invited us to stay as their guests, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity.

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The best thing about this resort is that you can stay where you play. It is the official resort of I-Drive 360, and there is so much to see and do, many things within walking distance (Like the Orlando eye). It’s also only twelve miles from the airport, so you are literally close to everything. The resort also offers a complimentary shuttle to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and SeaWorld.

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I loved all the greenery and tropical plants surrounding the walkways and the pool areas. There are also plenty of dining options including a bar in the lobby and at the pool. The resort is also home to Gatorville, he poolside grill and bar.

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The rooms all have pillowtop mattresses, 40” flat screen tv’s and mini refrigerators. We were in a king room/family suite that included a separate area with bunk beds and another TV for the kids.

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I really love the idea of the bunk beds, I just wish there was a door or partition to close off this area from the rest of the room. Emma Kate LOVED the bunks though and hung out on the top one all evening.

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Another thing I liked is there is complimentary wifi at the resort. I was given a password upon check in and logging on was super easy.

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Also, there are TWO outdoor pools as well as a heated spa, and a renovated fitness center. The lounge chairs at the pool looked so nice and relaxing!

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This resort also boasts over 60,000 square feet of meeting space. There are two grand ballrooms, and a catering team ready to meet your wedding, party, or business needs.

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I wish we had more time to explore the area, as there were so many things within walking distance we could have done! There is the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, the 7D Dark ride adventure, and great restaurants and shopping like Tervis, Buffalo Wild Wings, and the Sugar Factory.

Probably the best thing about this resort is the price. Rates start at just $79 per night, so it’s perfect for a quick getaway, girls weekend, or business trip.

QOTD: Have you ever stayed here? What do you look for in a resort?

Crescent City Classic 10K Recap 2016

Saturday morning, we woke up to our alarms at 6:15 (super late by race day standards!) and got ready to run the Crescent City Classic 10K in New Orleans for the fifth time.

Crescent City classic

I had yet to decide on an outfit, but went with bright pink to go with the Easter theming, and of course my bunny ears, which I have worn for every CCC I have run!

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We were staying at the Hyatt, the host hotel and where the expo was located, so it was amazing to just walk downstairs and there was the start line! We were waiting for the other bloggers at the start line before heading to our corral.

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We weren’t able to get everyone, (that’s what happens when your race has over 20,000 registrants, but here are some of us!

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Bobby took this one, not too sure what was going on, apparently. So glad Jen wore her ears, too!

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We headed to Champions Square and up the Superdome steps to get into our corral.

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The corrals were color coded, and the first three were seeded corrals. They had big colored banners to help you figure out where to go, but since green was in front of purple and red, we had a hard time figuring out how to get past those two corrals and into ours.

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We weaved our way through, right as the race was starting and our corral took off! Poor Bobby had forgotten to get location on his GPS so he had no idea what his time/pace was for the first two miles. We were both running alone, and of course he took off at the start and I never saw him again. I put my headphones in and zoned out. I really wanted to PR but was nervous because it was 97% humidity and it was already had to breath just standing there.

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The first mile was very frustrating because there were so. many. people. and I had to do a lot of weaving (this would come back to bite me later, but I had no choice). I started out way too fast because I knew I needed to make up time from behind stuck behind people, walking, holding hands, etc. and my first mile beeped at 8:39. I knew that was a bit too fast for me for a 10k, but I was feeling good and kept going at that pace (foreshadowing…now). We ran down Decatur and through the French Quarter.

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I was sweating SO MUCH that I couldn’t get the camera on my phone to come on because every time I tried to swipe the screen it was soaked with my sweat from my hands. Hence why the above picture of the St. Louis Cathedral is blocked by a tree. We hit Café Du Monde and honestly, I snapped the below pic and then never even looked to the side. I was SO focused on not tripping or running into anyone and on keeping my pace.

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We made the familiar turn onto Esplanade and I decided to take a picture before I got too tired to do so. I saw a bunch of people running on the opposite side of the road where it was much less congested, so I eventually made my way over there and am so glad I did. I had way more room and just felt more relaxed not constantly having to change up my cadence to go around people.

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Miles four and five were rough for me. I ran a 9:30 pace for both of those. My body felt fine but I could not catch my breath with the humidity. I looked down for most of those miles and just told myself to keep going. I stopped twice to grab water and took two sips then poured the rest down my back, as I was getting really warm.

The course was new this year, so instead of running towards the art museum and around back, we went to the side, and kind of zig zagged our way to the front of the Museum. It was kind of a tease because you could SEE the finish line but weren’t quite there yet.

The whole race I thought I was going to run a 57:00, then realized that because of all the weaving I had to do, that I would be over a tenth long so my time on my GPS watch would not match the finish time. This was frustrating because I knew I could run a 57:00! However, I knew I could still PR (old PR was 59:04) so I gave it everything I had. That last mile was so mentally challenging, but thankfully it was faster than miles four and five. I barely even looked up as I approached the finish, and didn’t even smile for the cameras. I was just powering through with every ounce of energy I had left.

According to my watch, I ran 6.31 in 58:26. (That was my official time just not official distance!) While I am really happy to have PR’ed, I knew I could still go faster, and being the uber competitive person I am, wasn’t completely satisfied. After the race, all I wanted was water. They told us to keep walking and we would get to water and our medals. Well, we walked…and we walked…and we walked. I was about to fall out! I get why they did it, as to not bottle up the finish, but the water was REALLY far away. Then we had to keep walking more to get to the finish festival.

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I bee lined it for the VIP tent, and texted Bobby who said he was where the medals were. I assumed he was just waiting for me so I told him to come on to the VIP area. The tables were set so cute for Easter!

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I immediately grabbed chocolate milk, a sandwich, and a Mimosa (great combination, I know) and took a seat.

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Our two sided medal was really cute!

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Finally Bobby appeared and didn’t have a good race. He had worked out really had four days that week (including the day before) and his legs were dead. Apparently I passed him somewhere along the way but had no idea. I felt so bad for him, I thought he had long since finished. Sad smile

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We ate and met up with some blogger friends, and then it started POURING. Thankfully, we had the tent to get under and it only lasted about ten minutes, and then the sun came out.

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More friends arrived and we just hung out listening to the music and eating and having a good time.

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The race announcer, Mike spotted us and it was great to see him. He does a great job with so many races!

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Rockin’ Dopsie headlined the event and did an amazing job. Check out this video:

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After awhile we decided it was time to head back too the hotel, pack up, and head back to my parents house. Sweet Jen and her husband had their car at the finish and offered to give us a ride to our hotel.

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We made it back, showered, packed, and left NOLA once again. We had a blast and it went by way too quickly! A huge thanks to Crescent City Classic for an amazing race weekend that just gets better and better every year!

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Disclosure: I received race entries and VIP passes for this event, however all opinions are my own.

QOTD: What race has the best post race party that you been to? Do you like the 10K distance?

Marathon Weekends at Hilton Bonnet Creek

I had the privilege to stay somewhere new the night before the runDisney half marathon, somewhere I honestly never thought I would stay. I am a Disney loving “stay at a Disney hotel” kind of girl, so I was a little reluctant to try out Hilton Bonnet Creek, but I am So glad I did!

bonnet creek

I hope to have more info for you on the actual hotel and all the activities and food and things there at the end of February, but for now I want to specifically talk to you about Marathon Weekends.

Hilton Bonnet Creek has put together a special rate for those staying for runDisney race weekends, and it comes with some great extras that are not offered at Disney owned hotels. There was also a runner’s concierge in the lobby, and they could answer questions for us, get us signed up for the bus the morning of the race, and they also had a goodie bag for us. (Note that to ride the bus to the races you have to sign up ahead of time and are given a wristband as a “ticket” for the bus to and from the race.)

Hilton Bonnet Creek is actually inside the gates of Walt Disney World, so it is super close to the parks and other Disney activities. Check out the balloon at Disney Springs you could see out my room’s window!

bonnet creek view

Those staying with the special marathon weekend rate are also given a card that saves you 10% on hotel food and beverages during your stay. They have so many restaurant options, and even special carb loading menu items for runners.

The real magic however came on race morning, where we were greeted in the lobby with signs and our own personal cheerleaders! The music was loud, the DJ was getting everyone pumped up, and it really helped to wake me up since it was, you know, 2:45 in the morning.

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They also provided a continental breakfast for the runners. It was nice to hang out in the warmth of the lobby, chatting with other runners (and using real bathrooms!) before heading to the race start.

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I ate a protein bar, a banana, and grabbed some water. (I had brought some food with me also since I wasn’t sure what I was going to feel like eating). I was told that the reasoning behind the certain food items was that they wanted to provide things that would be easy to eat in the corrals or walking to the corrals. Smart thinking!

bonnet creek breakfast

We took some photos out in front of the bus and were cheered on as we boarded. It was EARLY, yall, so it was such a nice touch!

marathon weekends

cheerleaders bonnet creek

Oh, something else I didn’t mention, all runners staying for Marathon Weekends get a late 2:00 pm checkout, how cool is that?

Please note that at this time, there is no official transportation to the 5k and 10k races or expo which was a bummer, but the runner’s concierge can help you set something up if you would like. We grabbed a cab to come back from the expo and it was quick and easy. There is also  Mears shuttle you can take to and from the airport that cost approx. $21 each way when booked online.

They also had a runners reception at the pool with rum runners at noon after the half marathon, but sadly we had a boat to catch and were not able to stay. Next time!

I give Hilton Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends a thumbs up, and would definitely stay here again for a race weekend!

marathon weekends thumbs up

The enthusiasm, the little touches, the breakfast, and the proximity to other Disney activities really swayed me. I think they have a good thing going here, and I sadly just learned about it last year! If you have any questions about marathon weekends, let me know and I can get the answer for you.

QOTD: Did you know this existed? What do you think about the early morning cheerleaders? Who wants to stay here now?!?

Disclosure: I was provided a free stay to check out marathon weekends for myself, however all opinions are my own.

Around Coronado Springs

Last week, I wrote a post about Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, a moderate resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. A lot of people really like this price range, so I thought I would feature some shots from around the grounds of Coronado Springs today.

disney coronado springs

Coronado is another moderate, and it’s rooms sleep 4. It is a BIG spread out resort with multiple bus stops, but it is beautiful as you can see from the photos below. There are different themed “villages” that have a very different look from each other. There is a sit down restaurant, lounge, counter service food location, multiple pools, among other features.

There is a playground for the little mouseketeers.

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and an AMAZING pool area with water slide!

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Don’t you just want to jump in?DSC_0767

They have an arcade as well near the pool area.

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Who wants to play in the sand?

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The sprawling resort centers around a large lake. Thankfully, there are many bus stops and an internal bus system so you don’t have to walk to the main building to get on a bus.

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There is plenty of space to sit outdoors, too.

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Look who you can find at the main building

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This place is a runner’s dream!

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Want to stay at Coronado Springs or have questions about another Disney resort? I would be happy to help you plan! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for free help!

QOTD: What is your favorite moderate resort at Disney?

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

Good morning! A lot of people are starting to book their hotels for runDisney events, and I have been getting a lot of emails from folks asking for help on where to stay, so I thought I would do a few hotel reviews to help those out headed to a runDisney event, or just headed out on vacation.

Port Orleans Riverside is in the moderate resort category (below deluxe and above value). It is a hot commodity because it is one of two moderate resorts that sleep 5 people over the age of 3 (values only sleep 4).

It is a beautiful and relaxing resort with a laid back atmosphere and southern charm. The “hub” of the resort centers around the check in area, food court, lounge, restaurant, and gift shop. The below photo is the other side that faces the marina.

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There is one feature pool at this resort complete with waterslide and a pool bar. There are also quiet pools throughout the resort.

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Port Orleans Riverside is divided up into two sections, Alligator Bayou and the mansions. Alligator Bayou has cute touches from the Princess and the frog, and has a very woodsy/country feel.

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Below you can see a photo of the pull down trundle bed available in some rooms for a 5th person.

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Across the river you will find the mansions. They are very majestic looking sitting on the riverbank. Most of the rooms have a very southern feel, and then there are a group of “royal rooms” which happen to be my personal favorite.

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The royal rooms cost a little extra, but pack a big punch. Fireworks over the beds, and cute Disney touches everywhere.

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These rooms are in a preferred (aka close to the main buildings) section of the resort. However, there is more than one bus stop so even if you are further away you don’t have to walk to the front of the resort to catch a bus to the parks! However, this is a big resort (2048 rooms!) so paying extra for a preferred location is something I recommend.

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All rooms have either two queens of a king bed (king bed is a separate bookable category) and have double sinks, flat screen TV’s, a coffee maker and refrigerator.

Another perk of this resort is the ability to take the boat to Downtown Disney instead of a bus. It’s a scenic relaxing ride and a nice change of pace if you aren’t in a hurry to get somewhere.

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This is my favorite moderate resort, we stayed here for Princess this past year and it worked out great for the race!

QOTD: Do you prefer a quiet relaxed resort or one right in the middle of the action?

If you have any questions about this resort or any others, feel free to email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details, and vacation booking help.

Aloft New Orleans Downtown

When Bobby and I went to New Orleans for the Crescent City Classic the weekend of Easter, we decided to stay in a hotel close to the start line the night before as opposed to driving in that morning of the race as we have done in the past.

We ended up staying at the newly opened Aloft New Orleans Downtown, which was just a few short block to the starting line at the Superdome. I have never stayed at an Aloft hotel before but have heard good things, so I was excited to try it out.

We were given a corner room on the 15th floor with great views of the city, and even the Superdome! I loved the apartment-style feel, the bathroom was open to the bedroom with a space up top above the “wall” which was pretty neat.

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It had a very modern, techy vibe, and the room was huge!

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My favorite though was the New Orleans touch in between the beds. Who doesn’t love street cars? DSC_0033

Here is a closer look.

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Our room had two comfy queen beds (king beds are available), a flat screen TV, a desk, and plenty of other seating. I was afraid with so many windows, we wouldn’t be able to sleep. However, Aloft had us covered (no pun intended) with double shades on the windows, it was plenty dark for us!

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The bathroom area had two closet spaces, an in room safe, a refrigerator, and coffee maker.

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Also something I loved, a free bottle of water!

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We loved the lotion and soaps here, too.

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There was a sliding door where the shower was located. DSC_0029

Which by the way, was huge and really nice!

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We were also left a sweet note and some snacks. (Side note: There is a little store downstairs called Re:Fuel that is open 24/7 where you can purchase snacks and food and charge it to your room.)

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Bobby’s favorite part were the city views. He sat in the windows just looking around for the longest time. The hotel ahs a great vantage point! Can you see the Superdome?

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Since we arrived when it was dark, I waited to take pictures of the lobby and outside the next day after the race.

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Below is a picture of the WXYZ bar. When we checked in the night before, it was during happy hour and boy was this place hoppin’! Definitely seemed like the place to be for those wanting to enjoy the social scene. They also have live music and food here as well.

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As you can see the hallways carry on the modern and stylish theme of the hotel.

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We really enjoyed our stay here and wish we could have stayed longer! The proximity to the French Quarter was great, the room was huge and nice, and the staff was friendly.

They also offer meeting spaces if you are in town for business, so this place is more than just guest rooms! Another think I learned is that this is a pet friendly hotel (up to 40 pounds). There is also a gym and pool which we didn’t have a chance to check out (the pool isn’t open until May). We also took advantage of the free Wi-fi while we were staying at the hotel.

We didn’t really find many cons to the hotel. Valet parking was $39 plus tax which does make me want to have a heart attack, however it is on par with the price of parking for other hotels in the city. I would also say there was definitely a younger crowd staying here. We didn’t hear ANY noise during the night, but I can see this as being more of a hotel for partiers. That is totally fine, but I just like to be honest and warn people in advance who may not be as into that late night scene.

A huge thank you to Aloft New Orleans Downtown for letting us stay at this beautiful hotel for the night, we hope to be back soon!

Disclosure: I was provided with a free night’s stay in exchange for my honest review. Of course, all opinions are my own.