About this Website

Thanks for popping by to visit this humble little corner of cyberspace, I hope you’ve found the site useful and informative.

So, how exactly did a Brit like myself end up creating what has now become the definitive information site about one specific hotel located more than 4,000 miles away in central Florida? Well back at the end of April 1989 I made my first trip to Orlando with my girlfriend and another family, which of course included spending a few days visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. For this “Trip of a Lifetime” we stayed offsite in a wholly unremarkable Days Inn motel somewhere along International Drive (which has long-since been demolished).

Your website host with Goofy. Just got to work out which one is which...

Your website host with Goofy. Just got to work out which one is which...

Within a few years we were planning a return visit (of course) and so in July 1995 we arrived at the relatively new Dixie Landings Resort (as the Port Orleans Riverside resort was then named). We had actually first thought to stay at the original Port Orleans Resort (the section now known as Port Orleans French Quarter) as the photos in the travel brochures looked very pretty, but we were unable to get a suitable booking there so we settled on Dixie Landings instead. Since then, we have returned to Walt Disney World roughly once a year, and have always found ourselves drawn back to the southern charm of our favourite Dixie Landings / Port Orleans Riverside.

I had been involved with computer-based communications right from the very early 8-bit home machines and modem-based bulletin boards in the 1980s, and subsequently the original rec.arts.disney usenet newsgroup — all of which long predated home broadband and the internet & world wide web that we know today. Information was nowhere near as easy to find as it is now, and as the fledgling internet started to develop I found myself constantly answering the same sorts of questions about my favourite resort.

Before long, I thought it might be a good idea to put a few of my trip photos and some basic FAQ answers onto a web page in order to create a single point of reference to which I could redirect the most common queries. I asked my friends on the UK Disney information site The DIBB for advice on what to call it, and so on 22 June 2007 I registered the domain name portorleans.org and the first simple pages — basically some maps and a few documents and photos — were live by 1 July 2007. And somehow, everything that you see now kinda grew from there...

So from that initial desire to save myself having to retype the same answers to common questions so often, the extensive website that you are now browsing came into being. In the meantime I’ve learned more about HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, SQL, responsive mobile design, and lots of other geeky technical stuff that is needed to run a website these days. I’ve taken and uploaded thousands upon thousands of photos and created hundreds of pages of resources covering every aspect of this lovely resort. And I’ve made some good friends along the way too.

By its nature, this site will constantly remain a “work in progress” and there will always be more to add, or sections to adjust and update, but I hope you find it a useful resource and will bookmark the site and return regularly to see it evolve. It’s been a fantastic journey, and I hope you enjoy the finished results as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it.

Thanks again for visiting the site, and have a magical day --- André Willey

 

Thanks

A very big thank you to everyone who has helped with the research and content of this site. I always appreciate updates and comments from resort visitors, so please get in touch via the Contact Page or the Forums. Thanks too to all the helpful admin staff and users on The DIBB and also to the members of the DISboards.

Thanks to the following for their help and support in the early days of the site: Brian Gamache, David Coleman, Dave DeNardis, Shane Cook, Kimberly Dugger, Angelina Iannelli, Steve Haskett, Michael Landman (many thanks for providing a copy of the elusive Sassagoula Sentinel!), and many others.

Thanks also to the folks from the various online communities who have kindly snapped away with their digital cameras at the menu boards in the bars and restaurants every so often to help me keep the price lists up to date. All of your help is very much appreciated, including: John Miller, Nicholas, Steven Joseph and Mike©.

And my very special thanks go to my good friends, and regular Port Orleans visitors, John “RiverRooster“ Schmdit and Steve “MardiGroggy“ Denney>. They both devote a lot of their own time during their trips in sending updates and new photos for the site, and their help makes keeping this site as accurate as possible very much easier.

Finally, I’m very grateful for the help, advice, information and support given by Val, Kyle, David, Suzette, Punam, Stefanie, Kelly, Marita and many others — you all know who you are, and your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated. Thank you so much.

Partial Website History (needs some updating!)

(If you are looking for the history of the Port Orleans Resort itself, rather than this website, please see the Resort History page)

09-May-15: Added a specific page for the Disney’s Magical Express airport transfer service.
25-Apr-15: Added a Top-Top Reasons to Stay at Port Orleans page.
01-Mar-15: Added a Resort-Specific Merchandise page to detail the new products available to purchase from the hotel gift shops.
28-Feb-15: Separated out the other Ground Transportation information from the original Disney Buses page to better cover public bus services, taxis, local car rental companies, etc.
19-Feb-15: Completely redesigned, touch-optimised, menu system added to the mobile site layout. Many other layout tweaks and improvements introduced at the same time.
13-Feb-15: Brand new, more responsive, site layout for mobile phones and tablets implemented.
13-Dec-14: Rewrote the News parsing PHP code to tidily paginate the display pages and provide better access for individual items.
09-Dec-14: Added more details and photos to the two resort gift shop pages, Fulton’s General Store and Jackson Square Gifts & Desires. Long overdue!
06-Dec-14: Revised the top menus to be more compatible with iPhones. Also updated fonts and made some other site-wide layout tweaks.
03-Dec-14: Completed 6 new 360° panoramas, including new in-room images showing the updated bed covers.
18-Nov-14: Added new food options being offered for a trial period at the Muddy Rivers pool bar.
15-Nov-14: Updated all of the food court and pool bar menus and prices (Riverside Mill, Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory, Muddy Rivers and Mardi Grogs).
04-Nov-14: Added the full 2015 room rack-rate pricing structure, including graphical representations of the seasonal price fluctuations.
01-Nov-14: Further updated building floorplan maps (corrected the annotations for some connecting Accessible rooms) and added a direct access page to make it easier to view or download individual maps.
29-Oct-14: Updated the choices and prices to reflect Boatwright’s Dining Hall's new ‘themed’ menu.
09-May-14: Updated building floorplan layouts to include details of all Connecting Rooms.
01-May-14: Site now includes Google Ads, hopefully remaining fairly unobtrusive within the overall user experience. Visitor donations just weren’t covering the overall running costs, so a necessary evil I’m afraid.
11-Apr-14: Added new Mobile layout to the Discussion Forums to make them easier to use on phone screens.
31-Mar-14: Added Sassagoula Pizza Express menus and poolside & in-room delivery details.
30-Mar-14: Updated site layout and menu bar to provide easier site navigation.
03-Feb-14: Added “My Disney Experience” page covering the Disney website & mobile app, Magic Bands, FastPass+, etc.
24-Aug-13: Added 13 new 360° Panorama Photos, including refurbished French Quarter lobby, new Royal Room decor and various Riverside views.
02-Mar-13: Added new French Quarter 360° Panorama Photos, including downloadable HQ versions.
01-Jan-13: Added full building floor plan layouts, including all room numbers, for Alligator Bayou and French Quarter, plus updated Magnolia Bend layouts.
22-Oct-12: Updated all of the restaurant menus and prices (Boatwright’s Dining Hall, Riverside Mill and Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory).
12-Oct-12: Added new in-room 360° Panorama Photos, plus updated old panoramas and added HQ download versions.
13-May-12: Added a new page discussing Ideal Room Locations & Making Special Requests, including expanded content from the FAQ page.
12-Apr-12: Added a new page detailing the extended options for Disability Accessible Rooms.
08-Mar-12: Added a specific page for the new Royal Guest Rooms.
31-Dec-11: Added a separate Recreation Activities Schedule page, containing both the current monthly schedules and historical archives.
16-Dec-11: Added several new Guest Photo Galleries, including some of the Christmas decorations.
29-Sep-11: Added new refurbished room photos to the Magnolia Bend Rooms Photo Gallery.
19-Sep-11: Updated all the restaurant and pool-bar menus (Boatwright’s Dining Hall, Riverside Mill, Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory, Muddy Rivers and Mardi Grogs).
04-Sep-11: Added a Scavenger Hunt Photo Quiz page which you can print out and take with you on your next trip.
01-Sep-11: Updated the Recreation page, now includes regular monthly activities schedule.
20-Jun-11: Added several new guest albums to the Photo Gallery pages.
19-Jun-10: Updated the Room Rates page to include stays up to the end of 2012, including the new Royal Guest Rooms.
10-Apr-11: Linked the News and Refurbishment Updates pages directly to the Forums to allow questions and comments.
28-Mar-11: Updated the Forums phpBB software and fully integrated the forums into the main site layout (at last!)
26-Mar-11: Made a number of changes to third-party code to better support Internet Explorer 9.
08-Mar-11: Added several new 360° Panorama Photos.
05-Feb-11: Added more than 230 new Gallery photos plus a page of French Quarter Refurbished Room pictures.
25-Jan-11: Added Discounts and Special Offers page.
03-Jan-11: Added a small weather widget to the main menu area, with links to a full forecast for the Orlando area.
06-Dec-10: Updated the Mardi Grogs Pool Bar drinks menu.
21-Nov-10: Updated the Room Rates page to cover stays up to the end of 2011.
20-Nov-10: Updated the Muddy Rivers Pool Bar drinks menu.
19-Nov-10: Updated the Riverside Mill Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menus.
18-Nov-10: Updated the Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory Breakfast menu, plus Boatwright’s Kids’ menu and kosher options.
15-Nov-10: First sneak-peek photos added of a newly refurbished room at Port Orleans French Quarter.
14-Nov-10: Updated the Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory Lunch and Dinner menu.
12-Nov-10: Updated the Boatwright’s Dining Hall Dinner menu.
01-Nov-10: Added a new Refurbishments Page to document the ongoing guest-room updates.
15-Oct-10: Added around 1,500 new photos and incorporated them into a new Gallery format.
02-Aug-10: Updated the FAQs Page to include forthcoming room refurbishment information.
09-Mar-10: Updated pricing information for 2010 in the Rentals and Recreation pages.
26-Feb-10: Added a page detailing the background music which plays at both Port Orleans resorts.
11-Feb-10: Updated the Desktop Wallpaper page with lots of brand new images and larger sizes.
03-Jan-10: Added new pricing information, including 2010 Room Rates and Valet Laundry charges.
08-Apr-09: Improved site navigation and removed/merged some redundant pages.
04-Apr-09: Updated the Home Page to provide Forums info, including a new-messages count for existing users.
21-Mar-09: Updated the FAQs page.
01-Mar-09: Added Port Orleans Walking Tour and other video content to the Video page.
24-Feb-09: Added Mardi Gras 2009 Celebration at POFQ page.
11-Feb-08: Fully updated the menus & prices for the Muddy Rivers & Mardi Grogs pool bars and the Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory lunch/dinner menu, plus added a Scat Cat’s page.
09-Feb-08: Completed the missing half of the Port Orleans Backstory (from the Sassagoula Sentinel) alongside the existing Dixie Landings section.
25-Jan-08: Fully incorporated the Photo Gallery into the new site format.
18-Jan-08: Completely updated the web interface and menu system across the whole site, so it should be faster and easier to use now. Any problems, please leave a message in our Discussion Forums.
15-Dec-08: Updated the Welcome Page, plus added more info to the main lobby pages for both resorts.
14-Dec-08: This site features in Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio Show podcast (Show #97, Port Orleans segment).
25-Nov-08: Added 2009 Room Rates.
18-Nov-08: Added River Roost Lounge and Boatwright’s Boat Building pages, plus lots of minor updates.
13-Sep-08: Added brand new Discussion Forum where site visitors can post trip reports, leave comments and ask questions.
11-Sep-08: First Video Clips added (webcam views from Port Orleans rooms).
13-Aug-08: Added full layout plans for each of the Magnolia Bend mansion buildings.
10-Aug-08: Added the intricate Dixie Landings faux history details to the Backstory page.
03-Aug-08: Added Riverside Dining and Drinking pages and Refillable Mugs information.
18-Jul-08: Added French Quarter Dining and Drinking pages and added new details to the Tips/FAQs page.
28-Jun-08: Updated news section.
17-May-08: Added Resort Services & Facilities page.
03-May-08: Added pages for the Riverside (Ol’ Man Island) and French Quarter swimming pool areas.
27-Apr-08: Added Resort Recreation page.
22-Apr-08: Recoded to allow bookmarking of individual pages within the frame layout, plus improved page titling and some cosmetic changes.
02-Apr-08: Added Resort Internet Access page.
30-Mar-08: Added Bike and Boat Rentals page, including pricing.
28-Mar-08: Added basic details to the River Ferry page and updated several sections including adding more detail to the Trivia page.
27-Mar-08: Added Hints, Tips & Frequently Asked Questions page.
24-Mar-08: Added Guest Room detail page.
20-Mar-08: Updated History and Trivia pages with some external links.
19-Mar-08: Added Bus Transportation information page.
18-Mar-08: Added French Quarter room interior pictures to the Gallery (visitor-submitted).
14-Mar-08: Added various new websites to the Links page.
12-Mar-08: Added Guestbook [Later replaced by Forums].
06-Feb-08: Added 200+ new pictures to the Gallery, mainly of French Quarter.
27-Jan-08: Modified navigation system to allow easier access to the photo pages.
17-Jan-08: Added a ‘favicon’. Little things please little minds. :-)
24-Nov-07: Added Wallpaper download page.
16-Nov-07: Updated the Photo Gallery software and added some Magnolia Bend room interior photos (visitor-submitted).
10-Nov-07: Added Boatwright’s Menu.
03-Nov-07: Added PDF files of older copies of the Sassagoula Times to the Documents page.
26-Oct-07: Soft-launched the site with an initial simple HTML menu structure (still mostly consisting of a Photo Gallery and some maps).
01-Jul-07: First online forum post containing a linked image from the new server. Only a few photos and maps so far, but this is as good a day as any to be regarded as the site’s official birthday.
22-Jun-07: Registered the domain name portorleans.org and rented server space.
11-Mar-07: First discussed the idea for a Port Orleans information website in a thread on the DIBB.