Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SUPER ENTHUSED BLOG: Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside Resort, February 2015

During the last weekend of February 2015, I celebrated my birthday at Walt Disney World. This review will focus on my stay at Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside resort, my next review will focus on my visit to the parks during late February/early March (spoiler: it was delightful, crowd levels low). 

Port Orleans Riverside (POR) is my dream come true of a Disney resort. The grounds are beautiful, spacious and green, the staff (cast members) were pleasant and helpful, and most importantly for two adults staying with no children, it's quiet, serene and classy, but still has that detail-rich environment we have come to expect from Disney. As lovers of New Orleans, my fiance and I particularly appreciated the New Orleans/Louisiana theming. The natural swampy landscape of mid-to-northern Florida that stretches through to the panhandle and beyond to Louisiana, is worked to full advantage to help build up the ambiance of the antebellum south. The lobby is massive, designed in the style of a Riverboat, with ports of call circling the lobby. The entire complex is massive, so I'll limit my review to the lobby, food court, gift shop, grounds, the royal room and building we stayed in, located on the Magnolia Bend side of the resort.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SUPER ENTHUSED BLOG: Rainer & Noel's Excellent Camping Adventure! January 2015

This January, I had the pleasure of attending the Saturday afternoon/evening portion of Rainer & Noel's 7th Annual Excellent Camping Adventure. Although we did not stay the night, we spent a good deal of time at the camp site and enjoyed the experience so much that we'll be sure to bring our tent setups next year. Rainer Schael is a Board Member of the South Florida National Parks Trust and along with his wife, Noel, they put on this fun-filled event to support Everglades National Park's CAMP program, "a ranger-led program that introduces South Florida families to camping and the Everglades." If that's not a good cause, I don't know what is.

Preserving our National Parks, and the Everglades in particular, is a cause near and dear to my heart, so not only was I happy to support this event, I was excited to get out there and spend some time in one of my favorite places in South Florida (and anywhere!). Any chance I get to hit the Everglades, I'm on it (and yes, I am an annual pass holder, of course).

This annual event is scheduled to span an entire weekend, with participants invited to arrive whenever works for them and take part in whichever activities they would like to take part in. Planned events included a Saturday morning ranger-led hike of the popular and wildlife-dense Anhinga trail, various National Park Service programs throughout the day, an elaborate camp dinner Saturday night (including a shrimp boil and fancy cappuccinos for the adults!) camp breakfast Sunday morning, ranger talks for the kids, arts and crafts and more. Beyond the planned programs and events, participants make this event their own with giant bubble wands, fire juggling, kite flying, bike riding and more. There were over 200 participants, mostly friendly families with campsites spread over the campground, near enough to make this one big event, but spread out enough to give everyone space to breath and play. The heart of the campsite was Rainer and Noel's RV situated next to the BBQ area. In front of the RV, a few long wooden tables held various activities throughout the day, including painting flower pots and canvases, and a ranger-led talk complete with animal bones and ending with a pledge from all the kids to take care of their national parks (heartwarming!).

Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World PASSHOLDER PREVIEW! Oga’s Cantina, Smuggler’s Run, Blue Milk!

Join me and some friends as we visit Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios for a Passholder Preview first look before the ...