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December 2017 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted on Tuesday 28th November 2017 by Admin

The December 2017 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 operating hours are currently 10am—10pm and should remain that way until the end of the year. In January, the hours will be reduced to 10am—8pm. These hours are enforced and the feature pools are gated and locked when there are no lifeguards on duty, however the five Riverside leisure (quiet) pools are generally available at any time (within reason).

Movies Under the Stars will be screened daily at 7pm at Riverside, but only on Mondays & Saturdays at French Quarter. Evening campfire activities will take place at both resorts on the same evenings as the movies from 5pm-6pm.

Winter Wonderland Snowflake Scavenger Hunt. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter has been sprinkled with magical snowflakes and we need your help to find them all! To join in on the fun, visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Return your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a frosty surprise!

Merry and Bright Holiday Nights Workshop ($) (Friday 22 December, Saturday 23 December, Sunday 24 December). Join us in the area adjacent to Scat Cat’s Club at French Quarter for an all-inclusive holiday experience. This unique offering will give you the opportunity to write your own letter to Santa, decorate cookies and customize a holiday craft. Drop by anytime between 6pm and 8pm to join in on the festive fun!

On New Year’s Eve, among other activities, “Ye Haa” Bob Jackson will be playing an extra night at the River Roost Lounge until after midnight.

Some other specific activities to watch out for (on select days, see schedules for details). There will be festive-themed variations throughout the month of December, and special activities will be added for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve:

  • SassagoulaSelfie Scavenger Hunt — Grab a map and join in on an exciting selfie scavenger hunt around Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. To get started, visit the Riverside Levee Marina from 9:00am-5:00pm! Be sure to share your selfies with the hashtags #SassagoulaSelfie and #PortOrleans.
  • “Beignet Dash” Fun Run — A quick early morning Sunday Runday dash around French Quarter resort, finished with a tasty beignet (payment required). Check-in begins at 7:30am on the riverwalk between building 5 and the Doubloon Lagoon Pool. The run begins at 8:00am. Note: Alternative events will be presented on December 31.
  • Craft Night — Drop by the area adjacent to Scat Cat’s Club at French Quarter on Tuesdays between 6pm and 8pm for complimentary arts & crafts.
  • Painting on de’ Bayou — Let your artistic side shine! Join us in Scat Cat’s Club at French Quarter on Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm for an instructor-led painting class to design your own take-home masterpiece. The class for guests aged 12 and up and cost $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per week, please call 1-321-347-0750 for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Family Game Night — Join us at Scat Cat’s Club at French Quarter on Thursdays at 6pm for a night filled with games and fun for the whole family.
  • Mardi Gras “Mask”-erade — Sashay your way down Alligator Alley to join in on Mardi Gras fun on Fridays at 6pm! Located near the Musical Alligators at French Quarter, our Mardi Gras fun will include dance parties and mask-making ($)
  • Arts & Crafts or Mickey Tie-Dye T-shirt decoration — Explore your creative side with themed poolside arts & crafts / Create your own Mickey Tie-Dye shirt to commemorate your Walt Disney World Resort vacation (payment required).

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 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Note: Bob will be not be performing his regular nights at the Port on the evenings of Thursday 30 November, Friday 8 December and Saturday 9 December. He will however be adding an extra night on Sunday 31 December to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have "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. Occasionally when one of the boys is not available, Greg Hayworth (from Mulch, Sweat & Shears) will sit in. The dates are only announced a month or so in advance (generally most Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays) but if you happen to be around for any of their evenings (8:30pm—11pm) do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.


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New Menu Options at Boatwright's and the River Roost Lounge

Posted on Monday 13th November 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

On Tuesday 14 November, the Port Orleans Riverside Food & Beverage team will be adding some enticing new Appetisers to the Boatwright's Dining Hall menu, and changing up a few of the entrées too. A couple of new desserts have been added since we last checked the menus too. Some of the highlights are:

  • Crawfish Bisque - $8 - Traditional-style Bisque with Crawfish Tails, a touch of Sherry, and finished with Crème Fraîche
  • Louisiana BBQ Shrimp - $13 - Sautéed Shrimp in a traditional Louisiana BBQ Broth served over a Pimento Grit Cake
  • Fried Green Tomatoes - $10 - served with Greens and House-made Herb-Buttermilk Dressing
  • Chicken and Dumplings - $23 - Pan-seared Airline Chicken Breast, Hand-rolled Potato Dumplings, Mixed Vegetables, and Cream Sauce
  • Mississippi Mud Pie - $7 - Spiced Chocolate Sauce and Whipped Vanilla Panna Cotta
  • St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake - $8 - Bourbon Sauce and Toffee Brittle
They are also adding two more entrées, along with a decadent new signature dessert, Hummingbird Cake, to the bar menu at the River Roost Lounge:
  • “Drunken” Flatbread - $14- Steak with Drunken Goat Cheese and Pepper Jelly
  • Southern Fish and Chips - $13 - Southern Catfish, corn meal battered, served with Cajun Steak Fries and a traditional Remoulade
  • Hummingbird Cake (River Roost’s new Signature Dessert) - $10 - Pineapple-Banana Cake soaked with our Bayou Spiced Rum, Roasted Pecans, and Cream Cheese Frosting
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Hummingbird Cake ($10)

For the full menus, visit the Boatwright's Dining Hall and River Roost Lounge pages.

You might also want to check out the pages for the food courts at both Riverside (The Riverside Mill) and French Quarter (Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory) as they have both added some new items and made a few other changes at the start of October.

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New Boatwright's Dining Hall menu

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New River Roost Lounge bar food menu

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Riverside Burger ($15)

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Port Orleans Riverside, Fall Food Festival, 29-30 October 2017

Posted on Friday 27th October 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

On Sunday and Monday (29 & 30 October) from 5pm-8pm, Port Orleans Riverside will be hosting their second Food and Wine event, the Riverside Fall Food Festival. The first was a one-day event back in May, and the hope is that this will eventually become a week-long event every year.

It will be held on the Waterfront by the Marina and will feature six different stations, and a kids corner. The aim is to give Port Orleans guests a little extra menu variety, adding some new Quick Service Dining Plan options, and to showcase the abilities of the chef team - even the Front of House team is helping out with this event.

Guests can purchase coupons to redeem for the various food options, starting at $6 for one adult coupon ($4 for children) and with discounts for multiple purchases. Disney Dining Plan options and wine pairings are also available.

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November 2017 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted on Thursday 26th October 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The November 2017 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 operating hours are currently 10am—10pm and should remain that way until the end of the year. In January, the hours will be reduced to 10am—8pm. These hours are enforced and the feature pools are gated and locked when there are no lifeguards on duty, however the five Riverside leisure (quiet) pools are generally available at any time (within reason).

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 7pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, but only on Friday & Saturday at French Quarter. The evening campfire activities will take place from 5pm-6pm on the same evenings as the movies at French Quarter, but every day at Riverside (now confirmed). There are no movies scheduled at either resort for Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday.

Some specific activities to watch out for (on select days, see schedules for details). Note: On Sunday 5th November the Beignet Dash at French Quarter will be replaced by a Doubloon Lagoon Splash & Dash event at 8am (due to a clash with Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon).

  • SassagoulaSelfie Scavenger Hunt — Grab a map and join in on an exciting selfie scavenger hunt around Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. To get started, visit the Riverside Levee Marina from 9:00am-5:00pm! Be sure to share your selfies with the hashtags #SassagoulaSelfie and #PortOrleans.
  • “Beignet Dash” Fun Run — A quick early morning Sunday Runday dash around French Quarter resort, finished with a tasty beignet (payment required). Check-in begins at 7:30am on the riverwalk between building 5 and the Doubloon Lagoon Pool. The run begins at 8:00am.
  • Fat Tuesdays — Let the good times roll! Join us every Tuesday at Doubloon Lagoon Pool for activities celebrating the spirit of Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. There’s Mardi Gras magic for all ages!
  • Mardi Gras “Mask”-erade — Sashay your way down Alligator Alley to join in on Mardi Gras fun! Located near the Musical Alligators at French Quarter, our Mardi Gras fun will include dance parties and mask-making ($)
  • Family Game Night — Join us at the Mardi Grogs patio seating at French Quarter for a night filled with games and fun for the whole family.
    Glow with the Flow Pool Party — Come glow with the flow at our nighttime pool parties, at both Port Orleans Resorts.
  • Arts & Crafts or Mickey Tie-Dye T-shirt decoration — Explore your creative side with themed poolside arts & crafts / Create your own Mickey Tie-Dye shirt to commemorate your Walt Disney World Resort vacation (payment required).

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 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Note: Bob will be not be performing at the Port on the evening of Thursday 30 November.

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have "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. Occasionally when one of the boys is not available, Greg Hayworth (from Mulch, Sweat & Shears) will sit in. The dates are only announced a month or so in advance (generally most Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays) but if you happen to be around for any of their evenings (8:30pm—11pm) do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.


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Trial allowing pet dogs in Guest Rooms starts at POR on 15 Oct

Posted on Friday 13th October 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

A new pilot program will be trialled at Port Orleans Riverside (and three other Disney properties) starting on Sunday 15 October 2017 which will see the resort become ‘dog friendly’ for those guests who wish to bring their pet dogs on vacation with them.

  • Initially all accommodation categories at the resort were intended to be dog friendly, but that has very quickly been restricted to just Standard and Garden View rooms for new Port Orleans Riverside bookings, with the intention of using building 24 where possible.
  • Guests will be able to bring up to two dogs with them, staying in their room. There are no size, weight or breed restrictions.
  • To bring your dog with you on your upcoming visit, please call 1-407-939-7539.
  • Each guest room participating in the program will have easy access to outdoor pet walkways for exercise and green spaces with pet relief areas.
  • While dogs will be allowed to stay in guest rooms, they will be expected to be well behaved, leashed in public resort areas and properly vaccinated.
  • Guests must sign a waiver which explains where the pets can go, responsibilities of the guest, etc. A copy of this document can be DOWNLOADED HERE.
  • Guests are requested not to leave their animals unattended in rooms for longer than 7 hours at a time, and Disney requires that animals must be capable of being silent during their stay, stating "If noise is heard, you will be called to address the noise within 30 minutes".
  • There is a $50 per night per room fee for guests who bring a dog (or dogs) with them.
  • Guests will get an amenity package delivered on check-in day with various items for their pet. "Pluto’s Welcome Kit" includes mat, bowls, a pet ID tag, courtesy plastic disposable bags, puppy pads and dog walking maps.
  • Guests will not be able to receive housekeeping service while there is an unattended dog in the room, and a Pluto “Do Not Disturb” door hanger will be provided to indicate to hotel staff that there is a pet present.
  • The other pilot properties are Art of Animation, Fort Wilderness Cabins, and the Yacht Club (the nightly fee at the Yacht Club will be $75).
  • The pilot is currently accepting reservations through until October 2018.
  • Other animal facilities - including dog walking, day care and other pet services - are available just over the road at the Best Friends pet care facility. For details, please call 1-877-4-WDW-PETS (1-877-493-9738), or visit www.bestfriendspetcare.com.
  • Pet merchandise is coming soon to participating resorts.
For more information about this new trial program, including other restrictions and policies, guests should contact 1-407-W-DISNEY.

Update on 14 Oct: Rooms will receive a more thorough cleaning at departure including carpet and upholstery cleaning. The room assignment department will try to put guests with pets into certain rooms; how successful they are will depend on whether they know about the guest bringing a pet in advance or not.

Update on 18 Oct: So we are now a few days into the trial and the public outcry on social media and via communications directly to Disney has taken everyone by surprise - heck, it even took me aback, and I know how vocal Disney fans can be. I think it's safe to say that Disney completely underestimated the passion that many people would have on this subject, and the initial plans are being modified and policies rewritten on the fly at the moment. This process will probably remain fluid over the next few weeks, and Disney is closely monitoring and listening to the feedback and will continue to adjust procedures to try to make this trial work for everyone.

Initially, as will have been seen from the printed Dog Relief Area maps, it was intended that all these happy fluffy pets (which everyone would surely like) would be permitted in any type of guest booking at Riverside, and the early announcements did state that the whole resort - barring certain areas such as food & beverage and swimming pools - would be canine accessible as long as the animals were kept under control and on a leash. However over the last 48 hours that intent has been severely trimmed back and they are now aiming to try to restrict dogs to only Standard and Garden View rooms, and the current intention from the room inventory department at Riverside is to use building 24 as much as possible for any guests who book to stay with their pets. This building is well away from the common areas, is located right next to the parking lot to make getting pets to and from rooms easier, and has a nice grassy area nearby to allow dogs to be exercised.

However, although the telephone Reservations Center is now advising guests who wish to bring dogs with them that this will only be possible for Standard and Garden View rooms, the initial announcements - and even the currently posted wording on the Disney website - do not require guests to book that way, nor to preregister their dogs. Thus it is entirely possible that people who have booked for other room categories using the Disney website, via travel agents, through Expedia, etc. will simply show up at the front desk accompanied by their pet(s) and ask to pay the daily fee. This could mean that, in the short term at least, dogs will still need to be accommodated in other areas of the resort in order to comply with existing bookings. This will of course be closely monitored and subsequent deep-cleans arranged for any affected rooms, but at this stage it cannot be guaranteed that other areas of the resort will remain completely dog-free.

I have reached out to my contacts at the resort who have said that so far (i.e. in the first three days of the program) they have not yet had a single dog staying at the resort. Over the next seven days there are currently just four one-night reservations with associated comments indicating that the guest plans to bring a dog with them, against more than 100 comments over the same seven-day period asking to be assigned to a room away from the dog friendly areas. Those four one-night reservations are apparently all from local Florida residents, and personally I would not be at all surprised to find that some or all of them turn out to be from social media aware guests, or even bloggers or website owners, testing out the new policies for themselves. If there have been any booking cancellations because of this new policy then they have already been replaced with new reservations, as Riverside is either sold out or very close to it for the rest of the month.

Please remember however that we are still only three days into a year-long trial period and there is plenty of time for any of the above information to change in line with practical needs and guest comments and experiences.

Update on 21 Oct: A copy of the waiver document which guests need to sign when they check dogs in to the hotel can be DOWNLOADED HERE.

A few interesting new bits of information:
  • So far, the room assignment department at Port Orleans Riverside has not been given any specific directions from Walt Disney World management to indicate that they must enforce the accommodation of all dogs in building 24 only, so they are still expecting that existing booking for other room categories will be assigned to one of the original four dog-friendly areas (buildings 15, 24, 80 and 95 on the map) although building 24 will definitely be the preferred choice wherever possible. For example, if a guest had booked a Royal River View Room room six months ago, and they now state that they wish to bring a dog with them, they will be assigned a room in building 95 close to the originally marked Dog Relief area on the Dog Friendly Locations map. Similarly, someone who originally booked a Preferred Location room would be placed in building 15.
  • Any guest who has expressed a wish to be located away from dogs will be assigned a room as far away as possible from those original four designated areas.
  • As far as common areas go, at the moment dogs will be permitted - under control and on leashes - in all common areas of the resort except for Food & Beverage locations (such as Boatwright's Dining Hall, the food court and presumably the River Roost Lounge) and the fenced pool areas. The lobby and even merchandise shop are fine, as are all the public pathways. This policy is covered by the wording in point 12 of the waiver document.
  • The maximum seven hour 'alone-time' rule will be mostly left to guests' honesty, but in cases where there is concern the electronic door-lock system can be interrogated remotely to prove how long a room has been left unattended. Similarly, Disney are aware that there may be situations where the required 30-minute return time to attend to a barking dog may potentially be difficult to enforce when guests are away from the hotel.

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Initial collateral leaflet for guests arriving with dogs. This is information still subject to change.

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