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FamilyFun Magazine's Best Family Vacations Travel Awards

Posted on Wednesday 13th April 2016 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

FamilyFun Magazine's annual Best Family Vacations Travel Awards survey features only one Walt Disney World destination within its overall Top 10 "Best of the Best" list - and that is our very own Port Orleans French Quarter.

2,000 families who travel with kids aged 3 to 14 rated nearly 500 US destinations that they had visited within the past five years in five categories - and they obviously had great taste, we couldn't agree with their choice more!

http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/ide ... el-awards/

(thanks to the folks over at DISboards/WDWinfo for spotting this one)

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April 2016 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted on Thursday 31st March 2016 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The April 2016 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are now available. See the main Recreation Activities Schedules page for full-size printable PDF versions.

The main feature swimming pool hours are currently 9am—10pm, including the brand new children's Aquatic Play Area at Port Orleans French Quarter. The evening campfires will commence at 6:30pm this month and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm, with both activities occurring on alternating days at the two resorts — Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, and Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at French Quarter.

Continuing this month: The mid-afternoon Disney Junior Pool Party at 2:30pm features 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!

Live Evening Entertainment

No visit to Port Orleans Riverside would be complete without spending an evening in the company of the legendary "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson at the River Roost Lounge, playing 8:30pm—midnight four nights a week (Weds—Sat). Note: Bob will not be at the Port on his usual nights of 7, 8 and 9 April as he is travelling up to Alaska for a few days.

Port Orleans French Quarter's Scat Cat's Club does not currently have its own official resident musicians, but filling the gap admirably are Jason Thomas and Billy Varnes, two members of the fabulous Off Kilter rock band which used to perform in Epcot's Canada pavilion. Their dates are only announced a month or so in advance, but if you happen to be around for any of the following evenings do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended: April 3, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 30. C'mon Disney, Jason & Billy certainly deserve a permanent contract if anyone does!


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Punam Dayabhai-Jairambhai named as POFQ General Manager

Posted on Friday 18th March 2016 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Disney has just released the following information:

Punam Dayabhai-Jairambhai will transition from her current role as senior manager, Merchandise & Operating Participants, Disney Cruise Line Operations, to General Manager, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.
Punam, who has also previously worked with Adventures by Disney based in California, will be taking over from current General Manager Suzette Noble who has been overseeing both resorts since Valerie Bunting was transferred to a new role last August. Suzette will now switch over to managing the Port Orleans Riverside section only.

We wish them both well in their new roles.

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French Quarter's new Aquatic Play Area Officially Opens

Posted on Monday 7th March 2016 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The brand new (and much anticipated) children’s Aquatic Play Area at French Quarter officially opened to guests at 9am this morning, complete with plenty of whimsical - and suitably drenching - water play features, all with a unique New Orleans twist.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Port Orleans' General Manager Suzette Noble, French Quarter's Proprietor of Rooms & Recreation Stefanie Shomper, and Walt Disney World Ambassador Caitlin Busscher. Many thanks to Denise from MouseSteps.com for the photos and to Jeff Lange for his great video of the event:

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Other work undertaken at the same time includes the addition of extra fencing and lockable gates at all of the entrances and exits to the pool area, plus improvements in disability accessibility with the replacement of some stepped access routes with inclined slopes. There have also been some new features added at the Mardi Grogs bar, including air heaters for the cooler winter months and some extra snack items (pretzels and popcorn).

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For more background and photographs of the entire construction process, which started back in October 2015, please see our previous news items, or the Refurbishments Page.

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Ol' Man Island reopens after a two-month refurbishment

Posted on Saturday 5th March 2016 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

After a flurry of last-minute activity, restocking the bar, finishing off the new fencing and clearing away the debris and equipment, the Ol' Man Island area was handed back to resort staff on Friday 4th March to allow them to start rearranging the sun beds, checking safety equipment, and preparing the island for guest access.

At 9am on Saturday 5th March, Ol’ Man Island finally reopened to guests, and the Muddy Rivers pool bar was once again supplying its customary southern libations as if nothing had happened.

The most noticeable changes from a guest's point of view are the new and sadly somewhat intrusive metal perimeter fences and sturdy lockable gates ("Stalag Riverside" anyone?), although given enough time the foliage should grow up to obscure the majority of the fencing. Currently the gates do not have electronic access control via the use of magic bands, but that is presumably just a matter of time if they want to cut down on the number of day-tripping tourists travelling up the Sassagoula River from Disney Springs for a sneaky dip in "Old Man" Everette Peace's swimmin' hole...

There have also been a lot of other, less visible, tasks completed and other minor modifications made. The entire lining of the pool has been stripped and retreated, meaning that the whimsical frog & alligator edging tiles are gone, replaced with a tasteful if rather generic brown/beige product. The hot tub now has more disability-friendly features including the removal of the old stepped access path, and adding a chair hoist and double handrails for entry.

The Muddy Rivers pool bar has been refitted and its equipment updated, and the nearby restrooms have also been completely refitted (and featuring some lovely new inventive signage too).

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For more background and photographs of the entire construction process, which started in January 2016, please see our previous news items, or the Refurbishments Page.

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