I wanted to take some time to share some thoughts about our trip. We booked our package last minute through triple A travel. There were a few things in the package that I liked: free mini golf (we didn't get to use), arcade points (my brother enjoyed those), and lots of discounts. We may have used the discounts to the spa but they were not good on massages - the thing you really need after walking around for days.
Our plan included the free dinning plan. I was surprised to learn that this covered all the days of our trip. As long as your trip starts during the free dining, it lasts the whole trip. We were worried about food, so we packed plenty of snacks. Turned out we didn't need it. Overall the food was great, and more than enough for us.
Our daily counter service was used mostly for lunch but we did do a few dinners and a breakfast. Overall we were very impressed. Most counter service locations gave out cards while you were waiting in line with the meal plan options printed on it to make ordering easy - a beverage, entree, and desert. We really liked Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom, and Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. Pecos Bills in Magic Kingdom was pretty good too - I love that there is an elaborate condiment bar for the burgers. Most counter service location had cast members that would only let you get a table if you had food - that was great as the parks got really busy - we were always able to sit. The one place we do not recommend is the Electric Umbrella in Epcot.
Our table service meals were great too. You got a drink, entree, and dessert. Dinner at Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club Resort was really good. That was our first meal on the meal plan, and the cast member took lots of time to explain how to use it. We also loved Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge - yum, yum! I was impressed with the service at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - we had gotten off at the wrong bus stop so a cast member had a van drive us over to the right spot. Liberty Tree in Magic Kingdom was really great - the cast member was wonderful, dinner at Sci-Fi in Hollywood Studios was okay but lots of fun.
We did two special events which used two points each. One was the Epcot Candlelight dinner at Coral Reef. Dinner was good, but hurried. The waitress took the order for drinks, appetizers, dinner, and dessert all at once because the kitchen was 'running' behind. Other tables were not so rushed. I wasn't impressed with this hurried service, but the food was good (not the best we had, but fine).
The second two pointer was Hoop De Doo. I am in love with this show and will have to return every trip!
Plus, on the meal plan you get a daily snack. We ended up getting a bunch a bags of candy on our last day to use them up. My favorite snacks were the carrot cake cookie (YUM) and the beignet at our resort.
We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter. It is a lovely resort. Well decorated and played really fun Christmas music. It only has a counter service restaurant, no sit down, but we were fine with that. The pool is great, I couldn't believe how many people were swimming, way to cold for me. Lots of people decorated their rooms - we saw lots of trees in windows (we brought one too) and lots of Christmas lights in windows. It has boat service to Downtown Disney, great but cold at night.
We were not impressed with the interior of the room - housekeeping seemed to be lacking in the room and requests of extra pillow went unanswered for several days.
Bus service was sometimes shared with the Riverside resort, and other time we had the bus to ourselves.
Sending packages to the hotel gift shop was great and saved us lots of time.
Overall our trip was great. Cast members were overall very helpful and kind. It really is all the wonderful cast members that make the difference and make a Disney vacation so different from other trips.
Looking forward to our next trip...whenever that will be.