Podcast Episode 205: Unique Features of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

If you know us, you know we love Disney resort hotels.  For this week’s episode, we’ve chosen to highlight the one feature of each resort that we feel shouldn’t be missed!

Happy listening!

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Port Orleans French Quarter In Depth

 

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter opened for business on May 17, 1991 as simply Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (this is because Port Orleans Riverside started as Dixie Landings, so there was no need to differentiate between the 2 Port Orleans resorts!). It is currently home to 1,008 rooms between seven buildings. French Quarter is themed in the Antebellum era of New Orleans and is a sister resort to Port Orleans Riverside. However, guests staying at French Quarter may use all the amenities at Riverside and vice versa -including sharing all seven swimming pools. Riverside is a quick ten-minute riverbank walk from French Quarter, or you can use the free ferry boats.

Dining Options

Table Service –  There is no table service restaurant at Port Orleans French Quarter, but it is just a fairly short walk to Port Orlean’s Riverside’s Boatwright Dining Hall. We’ll cover what’s available there in a future in-depth episode!

Quick Service

Sassagoula Floatworks Food Factory is French Quarter’s quick-service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as more limited snack service later into the evening (you know, in case you forgot to get that Mickey bar before you left the parks!). Sassagoula features “stations” where different options are presented at each meal. For example if you wanted the Western breakfast bowl you’d enter one line, but for Mickey waffles you’d be in another. One of the most famous foods at Sassagoula is their beignets! Beignets are famous New Orleans style fried pastry covered in powdered sugar. They’re made fresh in the bakery at Sassagoula and come in orders of 3 or 6 and are served all day. For lunch or dinner be sure to try another New Orleans favorite, the shrimp po’boy!

Scat Cat Lounge

This southern style jazz lounge features cocktails, draft beer and appetizers. You can enjoy a flatbread, some buffalo wings or spinach and artichoke dip while watching different live performances. The Scat Cat does not have a regular performer but instead features a rotating cast of musicians including Jason Thomas and Billy Varnes from Epcot’s retired Off Kilter band. Off Kilter was a fan favorite so it’s nice to have the option to see them elsewhere.

Mardi Grogs Pool Bar

Featuring specialty drinks, wine, sangria and draft beer this bar is located near the main pool at French Quarter. There are a few “cold” options available for food at Mardi Grogs including a tuna salad or ham and cheese croissant, or garden salad with chicken. PB&J is available for the kids. For drinks, the Piña CoLAVA (Bacardi Black Razz Rum blended with Piña Colada Mix and Raspberry Purée) is a personal favorite, and they also have plenty of alcohol-free blended drinks so the kids can indulge too!

Room Service

There is no room service at Port Orleans French Quarter, but you can order from a limited pizza menu between 4pm and midnight every day. You can choose from breadstick, chicken wings or salads as well as pizza (pepperoni, veggie, cheese, supreme or meat) and a few dessert and beverage choices.

Room Options

Port Orleans French Quarter is a small resort so there are pretty limited options for room choices. There are no preferred rooms at POFQ, which is actually good news! It means that all rooms are already close enough to the “action” to be considered preferred.

You DO however have a choice of view. At French quarter the views are: Standard View (view of the parking lot), River View, Pool View (always 2nd or 3rd floor, never ground floor) or Garden View (non-parking lot: fountains, garden, courtyard etc). The last 3 differ in price by just a few dollars each night with garden being the most expensive. All of these rooms come standard with 2 queen beds and sleep up to 4 adults.

For approximately $20 extra each night you can choose to reserve a King Bed room. King Rooms have a capacity of 2 adults, but are a good option for a family with a smaller child as one infant will not count towards that capacity. Plus there is plenty of room in King Bed rooms for a pack and play for the baby!

Extra Activities

Port Orleans French Quarter has one pool: “Doubloon Lagoon” featuring Scales, the 51-foot-long sea serpent slide.

On March 7th 2016, a brand new Aquatic play area opened replacing the old children’s wading pool. This new play area is located next to the Doubloon Lagoon pool and features child-size water slides, water cannons, and fountains.  To fit the theme of the resort, the equipment is all colored in gold, purple, and green like Mardi Gras! This play area is for children 48” and under only.

Separate from the main pool is a jacuzzi tub and you’re also free to use the Ol’ Man Island swimming complex at Port Orleans Riverside.

Between 1:30-5:30 daily there are poolside activities from a Mardi Gras pool party to water balloon games, bingo, trivia, Disney Jr. pool party and more.

You can attend the Cajun Campfire between Buildings 5 & 6 (not every day 3-4 times a week) to enjoy roasted marshmallows in the warm glow of a campfire.

Other activities

Fishing excursions – 2 hour guided fishing excursions are available along the Sassagoula River. Fishing equipment is provided and 24 hour advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

$170 – 2 Hours (Single Person) 1:30 

$270 – 2 Hours (2-5 People) 7:00 & 10:00 

$235 – 2 Hours (2-5 People) 1:30 

$455 – 4 Hours (2-5 People) 7:00am – 11:00am & 10:00 – 2:00

Includes: Fishing equipment (including a fishing rod, bait, and more. Also beverages for the fisherman!) Guests are allowed to bring their own equipment, but the price does not change. For more information on fishing excursions visit: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/recreation/fishing/

Boat Rentals – Sun tracker pontoon boats, Boston Whaler Montauk boats and Sea Raycer water sprites are available for rent by the half hour at the marina. Certain age restrictions apply. Rentals can be arranged at the marina. More information on boat rentals here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/recreation/motorized-boats/

Bike Rentals – Bicycles and Surrey bikes (which seat 4 people) are available for rent by the half hour and can be rented directly at the marina. You also have the option of calling recreation to reserve right from the phone in your room!

You can also enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, though these do depart from Port Orleans Riverside resort, not French Quarter. Still, close enough!

Transportation to all Disney World parks is by bus. Port Orleans French Quarter only has one main bus stop just outside the main entrance. Water launch service is available to Disney Springs from the marina.

Pricing

Here are some pricing options. Because of the very small difference in pricing between views we just picked a standard and a Pool room to compare this time!

Dates 8/20-8/26, 2 adults, 2 children (6 and 9); No Dining, Insurance or Memory Maker, just resort and 5 day Park Hopper tickets.

Standard Room: $3,011.54

Pool View: $3, 146.44

No Tickets Room Only – Same dates and Family

Standard View: $1,306.13

Pool View: $1,441.13

For a King Bed room you’re looking at a $20 difference per night, or approximately $100 more for a 5 night trip.

Port Orleans is a fantastic moderate option. Very small and intimate, which is nice in the hustle and bustle of the Walt Disney World resort at large. It’s a favorite of the Dole Whippies and maybe after a visit it will become your favorite too!

 

Podcast Episode 91: In Depth: Port Orleans French Quarter

We’re continuing out In Depth series of all the Walt Disney World resorts!  This week we’re talking about Port Orleans French Quarter, the smallest of all the WDW resorts. We talk about all aspects of the resort from dining, room types, activities and amenities, and cost.

If you like this series we’ve also covered Animal Kingdom Lodge, Pop Century, Coronado Springs, and Contemporary.  Check those out!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 72: Our Fall Disney Vacations – Jamie and Tara

This week concludes our Fall Disney vacation trip reports.  Hear all about Jamie’s vacation with a baby as well as Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine.  Tara tells us all about her luxurious stay at the BoardWalk Garden Cottages.  You don’t want to miss this!

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Podcast Episode 43: How Far Does Your Money Go At Disney?

Have you ever wondered what kind of Disney vacation you could have if you only had a certain amount to spend?  Wonder no longer because we’ve laid out some helpful scenarios with common budget amounts for you!  There’s lots of great information this week so if you think you can’t do Disney because of your budget, you’ll want to catch this week’s episode!  Spoiler alert: Disney works with most budgets!

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4 Free Things to do at Disney World

You don’t need to tell me it’s expensive to go to Walt Disney World. Have you ever had a day where you did not buy park tickets, or have a trip without visiting one of the four theme parks? Perhaps prior to a cruise, you would like to spend a day or two in Disney World but not have to have the added expense of park tickets.

The following four activities are FREE to enjoy at the Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Park at one of the resorts at the Magic Kingdom or take the bus to the Magic Kingdom and take a monorail ride stopping at each of the three resorts: Contemporary, Grand Floridian or Polynesian. You can enjoy the views, take pictures, or have lunch at one of the hotels.
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  • Stop at the Contemporary and take a boat to Wilderness Lodge there is a beach there with a nice playground.
  • From Downtown Disney you can take a boat ride to the Port Orleans Resorts and back it’s a nice river ride. Each resort has a playground open for anyone to use.
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  • Campfire and Movie Under the Stars with Chip and Dale at Fort Wilderness usually around 8 PM, arrive around 7-7:30 (You can either bring your own S’mores ingredients or buy kits there, but the actual campfire and movie is free.) Check with your travel agent for the exact time for your trip.

Port Orleans French Quarter Resort Review

FQ Walk

Port Orleans French Quarter is an adorable New Orleans-themed moderate resort at Walt Disney World. It is situated on the Sassagoula River with stunning views, perfectly manicured walking and running trails along the river and boat access to Downtown Disney. It is also centrally located between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot which means short travel times to both parks. As a moderate resort it features a large pool area with a water slide, hot tub/whirlpool, and even a splash pool for the little ones.

The reason I chose this resort for my last vacation was its size. It is the smallest resort at 1,008 rooms so it is not a far walk to your room, the lobby, restaurant, pool, or bus stop no matter where you are located.

This resort was refurbished not too long ago and the rooms were fresh and clean and large enough for my family of three adults and one child, all of our luggage (and shopping bags of course) with room to move around. The color scheme is gold and purple with dark wood with two queen beds (or one king). The rooms feature two sinks that are just out side of the rest of the bathroom which allows at least two people to get ready at the same time. There is also a curtain between the sink and the bed area that can be pulled to allow the rest of your group to sleep in a little longer.

For food you can check out the Quick Service, Sassagoula Floatworks, which serves Louisiana/New Orleans/Cajun-inspired foods like jambalaya, barbecue, or Creole burgers. You can also get basic burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and pasta. The bakery inside the food court serves fresh baked goods and you can get delicious beignets, and Mickey Rice Krispie treats. Grab-and-go food like cereal, fruit, granola bars, chips, juice, milk and other snacks are available. There is also a pool-side bar, Mardi Grogs, with great drinks and even better service. The food here is simple but very delicious. And of course if you choose to get the refillable mugs or have the dining plan there is plenty of hot or cold drinks to choose from.

If you don’t fancy a day at the parks there is plenty to do around the resort for kids and adults. At dusk there are movies shown, campfires, where for a small charge you can get the fixins’ for s’mores and huddle around a bonfire. You can of course hit up the pool and then the kids can join in the fun activities. The cast members play fun games with the kids like hot potato, but with water balloons or guessing games. You can also let your kids play on the playground or there are bikes and fishing equipment for rent. There are horse-drawn carriage rides or pirate adventures for kids available at an additional cost. There is plenty to do just at this resort if you would like to have a slow day.
Water Balloon POFQ

You cannot go wrong if you choose to stay at this beautiful, exciting, and fun resort.