What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

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What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Admin » March 5th, 2015, 6:37 am

A conversation I've recently been having with a cast member got me to thinking about all the things I miss from the past at the Port Orleans resorts, and what opportunities I would like to see them take advantage of in the future. I thought it might be a nice idea to get other people's opinions too, and see what creative concepts are out there.

So, assuming we are never going to be able to get the original Dixie Landings nomenclature back, here are a few more practical ideas off the top of my head:
  • Reopen Boatwright’s Dining Hall for breakfast. The Riverside Mill food court is a cattle market between 8am and 10am, so that would take some of the load off it and make more profit into the bargain – overall it’d be a win/win! I can't see much point in opening Boatwright's for lunch though.
  • Add Rapid Fill refillable drinks mug dispensers to both of the feature pool areas. This would be a great guest benefit (I get asked about it regularly) but I suspect it might be an overall revenue loser for the pool bars. Selling the mugs at the pool bars would definitely go a long way towards offsetting any loss though.
  • Repurpose the empty Bonfamille’s Café area at French Quarter. Now that the WDW test kitchen facility which was located there has apparently been moved off-site, I assume that the area will be investigated for bringing back into guest use. Of course I’d love to see it reopened as a restaurant, as all the infrastructure is still there and French Quarter is currently the only moderate without its own table-service location - maybe it could even be themed as "Tiana's Place" from Princess and the Frog? However if that is not considered viable then perhaps a gym/fitness center might be a good use for that space, providing an extra facility for guests from both Port Orleans resorts. Again, I do get quite a few queries about the availability of fitness facilities at Port Orleans.
  • Return of watercraft rentals to the Riverside Marina. This would need third party involvement though, as the service was run by an outside company. Sadly I think it would be too much work to bring them back to POFQ too, as much of the dock infrastructure was taken away when the original service was shut down.
  • Return of resort-specific merchandise would have been very high up on my list, so I’m really glad to see it’s starting to come back now. Apparel needs to be added though, and perhaps make the logo designs a bit more ‘interesting’ and themed (the current ‘Port Orleans’ wording looks more like someone’s Word Art attempt at a college football team poster).
  • A minor thing, but reduce the volume of the pool party music as it can be quite intrusive and clashes with the theming - although at least it mostly occurs during the middle of the day.
  • And finally, and perhaps a bit longer term, I’d love to see a walkable pathway from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney and the new Disney Springs area, in the same way that you can walk from the Epcot Resort area to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In fact, almost all of the one-mile route is already guest-accessible via the paved footpaths beside the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course next to Old Key West, or alternatively using a longer route via the Treehouse Villas / Saratoga Springs to the east side of the river. So all it would take would be for a very short 130 yard footpath to be built between the southern end of French Quarter and the Disney Vacation Club Way road, and a short section of sidewalk added beside the Old Key West main entrance:

    Image

So, what other ideas have you got?

Andre
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- The Unofficial Visitor's Guide to the Port Orleans Resorts in Orlando, Florida -

Nicola74
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Re: What would YOU like or change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Nicola74 » March 5th, 2015, 9:54 am

I like your idea of being able to walk to downtown. That definitely gets my vote.

Muddy Rivers
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Re: What would YOU like or change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Muddy Rivers » March 5th, 2015, 4:33 pm

We would love to see the return of Cajun Popcorn and Zip A Dee Doo Dahs (similar to a Shirley Temple for kids) to the pool bars. They used to have a popcorn machine behind the bar and they added Cajun spices to the popcorn. Delicious!!!

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MardiGroggy
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Re: What would YOU like or change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by MardiGroggy » March 5th, 2015, 6:01 pm

Interesting discussion...

Here are a few of my random thoughts:

I think that you are correct that the old "Dixie Landings" is gone forever. But, branching off from that, I think that they need to get better mugs! We still have our old DL mugs, made by Aladdin, and they are a much better quality product than the current mugs. We still use ours occasionally, and they are still going strong after all these years. Better mugs, resort themed, would be a better value and perhaps encourage more participation in that program. Being able to use them at the pools would also add more value, and more appeal.

Boatwright's for breakfast=No Brainer. Should never have been closed.

I applaud the return of the resort themed merchandise, and also hope that they expand the offerings. We have been to WDW so many times that the standard, all-looks-the-same, available-at all-locations stuff just doesn't have any appeal to us anymore. Only if we are buying it for gifts for someone. Having more of the unique items helps to personalize the experience.

I made a comment about this here some time back, which was met with a completely underwhelming response, but I'll say it again. Our favorite Disneyland restaurant for many years was the Blue Bayou. I think that a similar sit-down restaurant would be an excellent fit with the unused space at FQ. Failing that, perhaps some form of a sidewalk cafe, a la the real FQ. FQ needs a place to get away from the hectic pace of the food court. If it was also open for breakfast, so much the better.

Also from Disneyland, I think they should offer the non-alcoholic Mint Juleps that are such a hit at New Orleans Square. Again, a perfect fit with both FQ and Riverside, and a refreshing alternative for hot, humid days or around the pools. Of course, I'm a big fan of the REAL Mint Juleps available at the bars, but I'm trying to limit my intake on those these days.

Regarding your suggestion about a walking path to DTD/DS, to use a phrase that is common to your side of the pond: "BRILLIANT!" Especially after seeing your aerial photo of how close it would be to close the gap with an existing path. It would be a great alternative to the boats and buses, particularly if you could rent bicycles to use along that route.

I hate to keep harping on this one, but they need to change the entertainment at Scat Cat's. Tom Casey is certainly a good musician, but his style is not as appropriate to the venue as what Eliott Dyson provided. If Eliott is no longer available, Disney must have someone else in their stable who could bring back the jazz, standards and pop music, coupled with more audience involvement. It is just sad seeing only a handful of people at Scat Cat's, most of whom are paying more attention to their Androids or their iWhatevers than they are to the show. Scat Cat's needs to bring back the energy and vibe from the Eliott days.

You mentioned a cast member...do you think anyone is listening? I have made some of these suggestions to WDW Guest Communications in the recent past, but while the replies I've received are polite, there hasn't been anything that I would call encouraging. I'm sure, however, that you are better connected than I. :P
MardiGroggy (Formerly "swd")
Aka: Steve

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

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Re: What would YOU like or change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Admin » March 7th, 2015, 3:36 am

A few comments from replies elsewhere (Facebook, other posts, etc) which I found interesting:
  • Install many more hand dryers. Disney does a great job keeping the whole WDW area clean, but I am surprised there aren't more hand dryers to save on paper towels. [I agree 100% with this one, and would prefer to see more of the fabulous Dyson Airblade style as they don't need to heat the air and are more power-efficient / environmentally friendly]
  • Install Microwaves in every building (not room, but building) so guests don't have to walk to a main or central building to utilize one, or at least install them in the laundry rooms around the resort. [I'd have thought the ice/vending rooms would be perfect for installing microwaves]
  • Install one more trash can in the rooms, these are very small and fill up very fast. I don't know why the recycle can is in the bathroom, but we moved our out by the trash can where it could be utilized better.
  • Install wait-time monitors at all the various bus stops, and at the parks and DTD.
  • Have a Suggestions box / vote for Cast Member of the Month box around the resorts. I would like the option to give Cast Members the credit they deserve when they go above and beyond. Most of the time CM's get nothing but complaints, it's a nice change of pace to get compliments.
  • Long shot, but I miss the resort-specific refillable mug designs, they were a nice souvenir.
  • A pasta station, similar to Riverside's, at the French Quarter food court.
However the vast majority of comments so far seem to be saying that the idea of adding a walking path from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney would be a fantastic addition. That, and a lot of people want the boat rental facility back.

Someone also wished that the old Haunted Mansion room concepts might become a reality, but I suspect that particular boat has sailed (as far as Port Orleans is concerned anyway).

Andre
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- The Unofficial Visitor's Guide to the Port Orleans Resorts in Orlando, Florida -

Thorpy
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Thorpy » May 30th, 2015, 8:02 am

The walking path is indeed a brilliant idea. I'd echo the merchandise idea's and also the boat rentals, we thankfully took advantage of boat rentals on our last visit. Also the idea of an outside cafe type space at french quarter is a good one.

ArthurUSCG
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by ArthurUSCG » June 11th, 2015, 1:07 pm

How about bringing back the back story but this time, it can be done online. A simple QR barcode at check in or on Recreation Calender would work. The link could be sent out with reservation confirmation.

Think of the back story as the interactive ques, they get the guest in the mood to enjoy the ride even more.

ArthurUSCG
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by ArthurUSCG » June 11th, 2015, 1:11 pm

The walking path is a no brainier.
Now, if we could get Disney to add a self service bike station (and bikes with baskets) then it might reduce the boat/bus load.

Stephen
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Stephen » June 11th, 2015, 4:33 pm

After our last trip to POFQ (April 2015) I would like them to change their vacuum cleaners and their old hole filled towels!

royhan
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by royhan » April 5th, 2016, 4:07 pm

I'd just like to add ME as a regular guest!! lol

Jan
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Jan » April 9th, 2016, 10:32 pm

Return of table service restaurant like other moderate resorts.

Dean Simms
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by Dean Simms » May 23rd, 2016, 11:29 am

I would like to see a quiet pool and the walking path is a no brainer. I also like the idea of more resort specific merchandise.

curseoftheninja
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by curseoftheninja » June 15th, 2016, 11:21 am

I love the idea of a walking path, but I don't know if they would ever do it along the golf course. You don't want a bunch of people walking by while you are trying to play golf.

This causes a big problem because there is no way to get to Disney Springs easily without going through part of the golf course. I think the best bet would be to create a walkway along the river parallel to the Tree House villas. Where the river branches, put in a new bridge, and connect that with the outer walkway that follows the river. But even that has to technically be on the golf course.

Anyway, I hope it happens some day!

bobbrger
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by bobbrger » December 7th, 2016, 6:38 pm

ArthurUSCG wrote:The walking path is a no brainier.
Now, if we could get Disney to add a self service bike station (and bikes with baskets) then it might reduce the boat/bus load.
I like this idea!

sindyciaray
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by sindyciaray » September 5th, 2017, 8:45 am

Do you agree on this ? I also like the idea of more resort specific merchandise.

jasmyndube
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Re: What would YOU like to change or add at Port Orleans?

Unread post by jasmyndube » November 3rd, 2017, 6:37 am

I also like the idea of more resort specific merchandise.

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