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Advanced Notice of Planned Refurbishment Work

Posted on Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

As always, I need to preface this sort of posting with the fact that plans and dates can change at any time and I don't currently know any more than what I've stated below. As and when more concrete information and exact dates become available, I'll post further updates here. And of course maintenance and refurbishment are always going to be ongoing somewhere - there'll be other projects down the line in 2016 too, which I'll be able to let you know about closer to the time.

Beginning in early October 2015, work will commence on removing the old children's splash pool at Doubloon Lagoon in order to install a new "Interactive Water Feature" play area. I’m sure you've seen these popping up at other Disney resorts, and now it'll be French Quarter's turn - and I hear from someone who has seen the plans that it should be rather impressive. Don't worry though, the work shouldn't impact on the main swimming pool facilities. No word as to when the Riverside children's pool will get the same treatment, but presumably that will happen too at some stage.

Roofing refurbishment will commence on the Magnolia Terrace mansion building (building 85) at Port Orleans Riverside in January 2016. This will be the same kind of work that was undertaken on Oak Manor (building 90) during the equivalent time period back in 2014, and so will presumably involve temporary closures of portions of the building on a rolling basis to avoid inconveniencing guests. Even so, guests should be aware that there will probably be scaffolding visible around the current work areas, and some daytime noise too. By way of comparison, the Oak Manor work in 2014 took about six months to complete and was finished in mid July, see the 2014 news post.

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Cocktail Service returning to the Ol' Man Island pool area

Posted on Wednesday 1st July 2015 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Starting sometime in early July (so any time now) Port Orleans Riverside will be bringing back the cocktail servers at the Ol' Man Island pool area. There will also be a new bar menu, including specialty drinks that will be unique to Port Orleans. Keep an eye on these news pages, and on the Muddy Rivers page, for more information.

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Independence Day 2015 (3rd and 4th July) Special Events

Posted on Tuesday 30th June 2015 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The previously-published Recreation Schedule already covers the basic details, but here's a bit more information for anyone staying at Port Orleans this coming Independence Day weekend (Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th July) who is not intending to spend the whole day at the parks. Most of the main activities will be taking place at Riverside, but French Quarter guests are very welcome to join in the fun too.

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Riverside Fair (3rd and 4th July)

  • Hours: 5pm to 8:30pm
  • Location: Riverside Lobby Courtyard (inside the Lobby in case of inclement weather)
  • Food and Beverage will be selling themed drinks and food items
  • Merchandise will be selling themed items as well
  • There will be character greetings, as well as a live band throughout the event
  • Complementary face painting, where guests have the opportunity to choose between a few themed designs
  • Each division of Port Orleans will be hosting their own 'booth' which will include a game of some sort (Recreation will provide the prizes for each booth)
  • Recreation will be hosting activities throughout the event as well, including a dance party, cake walk, trivia, and opportunities to win more prizes!
  • Recreation will also be offering Mickey Tie Dye: Guests can tie dye their own shirt, and even find a hidden mickey within their tie dye. Both child and adult size shirts will be available, and the activity will cost $17
  • At the end of both the 3rd the 4th events, guests can enjoy the Movie under the Stars at 9pm in front of Building 90 Oak Manor (3rd: The Princess and the Frog, 4th: Big Hero 6)
Poolside: Ol’ Man Island at Riverside (3rd and 4th July)
  • Food and Beverage will be hosting an outdoor barbeque where guests can purchase food and drink items from noon to 5pm
  • Recreation will be hosting themed activities from 1pm to 4:45pm
Poolside: Doubloon Lagoon Pool at French Quarter (4th July only)
  • French Quarter will be hosting themed poolside activities from 1pm to 6pm
  • This will be followed by Campfire at 7pm and the Movie under the Stars (Lilo & Stitch) at 9pm

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July 2015 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted on Thursday 25th June 2015 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The July 2015 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are now available, including Independence Day events. See the main Recreation Activities Schedules page for full-size printable PDF versions.

The evening campfires will commence at 7pm this month and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 9pm daily at both resorts. The feature swimming pool opening hours are 9am—11pm.

Independence Day Activities (Friday 3rd July and Saturday 4th July) include: Riverside Fair with patriotic games and a poolside barbecue on Ol’ Man Island; Arts & Crafts, Liberty Games, Live Entertainment and Disney Character Greetings in the courtyard by the Riverside Marina; Specialty merchandise and Food & Beverage items available to purchase; Themed poolside games and a Patriotic Campfire in the evening at French Quarter.

Continuing this month: Splash into summer with the Disney Junior Pool Party featuring music and activities from some of your favourite Disney Junior shows. Join in with awesome activities and games such as Sofia Says, Doc McStuffins Trivia, sing-alongs and much more!

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2016 Room and Package Rates released by Disney

Posted on Monday 22nd June 2015 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Walt Disney World released the 2016 Room and Package Rates for their resort hotels, including Port Orleans, at 6am EDT on 22 June. Bookings can now be made via their website or telephone booking line up to the regular 499 day advance limit (meaning the cut-off is currently around 3 November 2016).

The full price structure for all room categories in 2016 is now listed on the Room Rates page.

Prices this year vary from $197/night for the cheapest Value rate Standard View rooms up to $378/night for a Pool View Royal Room at Christmas time. The average increase from last year’s rack rates is 4.54% (French Quarter accounting for about 3.75% of this, with Riverside higher at nearly 5%) so not exactly in tune with America’s current negative inflation rates or its reduction in average hourly earnings. All of which may make staying on-site at Disney in 2016 a significantly more pricey option in real terms for many people.

The premium nature of the various Royal Guest Room categories continues to stay pretty flat compared to the tiering that was in place when the Royal categories were first introduced back in 2012. There is often very little difference between the price of Standard View Royal Rooms and the various higher categories — and at many times of the year, Garden, Pool and River views are all exactly the same price.

I have no idea why French Quarter’s Garden View rooms are currently showing as cheaper than Standard View rooms for most dates. It could be an error within Disney’s pricing systems which will be rectified at some point, or it could be the intended rate. Whichever, it’s currently a bit of a bargain!

Also, for some reason, Pool View and King Bed rooms at French Quarter are now mostly more expensive than the previously top-tier River View rooms. I guess I can understand the Pool View premium price as those rooms give an excellent guarantee of proximity to the main building and also to the bus stop and boat dock, but I’m not sure why King Bed should have followed suit too. Maybe people are starting to realise that you can legitimately request any view type that you want when you book a King Bed room?

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