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French Quarter Guest Room Refurbishments due to start 6 Jan 2018

Posted on Saturday 30th September 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The planned dates for the upcoming Port Orleans French Quarter guest room soft-goods refurbishment project are as follows. Please remember that this schedule may be subject to minor changes:

  • Building 2 — Jan 6 – Feb 9, 2018
  • Building 3 — Jan 23 – Feb 25, 2018
  • Building 1 — Feb 10 – Mar 13, 2018
  • Building 5 — Feb 26 – Mar 31, 2018
  • Building 4 — Mar 14 – Apr 16, 2018
  • Building 6 — Apr 1 – May 4, 2018
  • Building 7 — Apr 17 – May 20, 2018
In order to minimise disruption the work will be undertaken on a floor-by-floor basis for each building, starting on the third floor and working down to the ground floor. There should be very little impact to guests staying in the other buildings, and no one will be allocated to a room on a floor that is currently under construction. However it is possible that guests may be allocated to rooms on other floors in the same building, depending on occupancy requirements at the time.

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No further details or photos are available as yet, but the work will most likely include changing out the carpeting for hard wood-effect flooring, possibly adding a shutter of some sort between the bedroom and the vanity area, and other general decor and soft goods replacements including the addition of a larger Smart TV hung on the wall. I would be most surprised if we didn’t also see some of the added features that have been popping up at other resorts (for example Pop Century) such as USB charging sockets, extra storage options, etc. And if we are really lucky, perhaps something a little less stark than the plain-white bed linen that recently appeared at the resorts. Only time will tell.

Once French Quarter is complete, refurbishment will commence on Riverside’s Alligator Bayou section, and finally the Riverside Magnolia Bend mansion buildings will complete the project in 2019.

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October 2017 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted on Thursday 28th September 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The October 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.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 7:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, but only on Friday & Saturday at French Quarter. The evening campfire activities will take place from 5:30pm-6:30pm on the same evenings as the movies. There are no movies or campfires scheduled at either resort for Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday.

Halloween Activities — Tuesday 31st October 2017
(So far, only French Quarter has announced its Halloween plans but presumably Riverside won’t be left out)

  • 2:30pm Ghosts, Ghouls and Games Pool Party
  • 3:30pm Halloween Arts & Crafts ($) beside the Doubloon Lagoon Pool
  • 6pm—9pm Mardi Ghoul Bash in the Courtyard outside the Main Lobby. Join us to celebrate Halloween with a trick or treat trail, DJ, Mickey Tie-Dye ($), dancing, games and fun for the whole family! Join us at 6:00pm for our costume contest.
  • 9pm Chilling Campfire between Buildings 5 & 6
  • The French Quarter Pumpkin Hunt: Trick or Treat? Thirteen of Disney’s most mischievous villains have taken over Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter and are hiding around the Resort. We need your help to find them! To get started, visit the Front Desk to pick up your booklet. Find all 13 villains, and return to the Front Desk to claim your sweet treat.

Some other activities to watch out for (on select days, see schedules for details):
  • 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 away performing at a private event on Saturday 14 October.

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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Mandatory curfew from 7pm Sunday 10th Sept to 6pm on Monday

Posted on Sunday 10th September 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Orange Country, FL - which covers almost all of Walt Disney World, including the Port Orleans Resorts - has announced that a mandatory curfew will take place from 7pm tonight (Sunday 10th September) until 6pm on Monday. This will exclude emergency services, medical personnel and critical services staff. See https://newsroom.ocfl.net/2017/09/orang ... -10-7-p-m/ .

This means that guests will be unable to leave Port Orleans for the duration of the curfew, and given the external access nature of the accommodation buildings people will effectively be confined to their rooms from 7pm tonight. Make sure you have sufficient provisions for you and your family and hunker down!

I've also heard from someone I know at the resort that Port Orleans is hosting about 400 rooms of emergency electrical teams from all over the country, and 110 rooms of nurses and doctors to assist with relief efforts. There are apparently many more at the other resorts too. As noted in previous posts, the main parking lots are packed with emergency and maintenance vehicles too. When you need to accommodate a lot of people in a single geographical area with good access to where they are going to be needed, I guess Disney is the place to be.

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Hurricane Irma Advice and Preparations

Posted on Saturday 9th September 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

After barrelling though the offshore islands and Cuba and causing huge devastation and some loss of life, Hurricane Irma is now heading northwards towards Miami and then up into the rest of Florida. Current predictions show the eye will most likely track very slightly to the west of Orlando (most directly over the St. Petersburg/Tampa area) during Sunday night, and will probably still be at Category 3 or 4 level by that point which poses a severe threat of damage to buildings and personal injury. Orlando International Airport will be closed from 5pm on Saturday.

Although this will be a very serious event, remember that Disney takes the safety of its guests extremely seriously and has a whole range of contingency plans are already in place. Also their building construction is second-to-none in the area and generally the work is significantly above locally required specifications. Walt Disney World will be one of the safest places to ride this out.

Disney will be closing all of its theme parks on Saturday night, with no evening entertainment or fireworks scheduled, and nothing is expected to be reopened until Tuesday. Blizzard Beach and ESPN Wide World of Sports are already closed, and Typhoon Lagoon will shut on Saturday afternoon. Disney Springs will close at 9pm on Saturday. The planned Night of Joy at ESPN on Saturday and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Sunday are cancelled, and exchanges or full refunds will be offered for these and any other pre-booked activities. All dining cancellation charges are also being waived until Tuesday. For more detailed information and advice, see Disney's dedicated Irma page, https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/hurricane-irma-info/ and their general hurricane policies at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/hurricane-policy/ or tune in to Channel 3 on your in-room television if you are already on site.

There may need to be a mandatory room curfew (in line with any local policies) which could potentially last from 24 to 48 hours, and there will probably be no housekeeping services available for the duration of the storm, so please ensure that you are as prepared as possible. Disney movies will be complimentary on Channel 31 of the in-room television system to help to keep the kids occupied.

Port Orleans is advising guests to stock up with water, snacks and non-perishable items for their rooms, ideally purchasing from the theme parks or Disney Springs as resort services will be severely stretched as all guests return to the resort to hunker down over the weekend. Distribution of emergency food packages will commence at 5pm on Saturday from the main buildings, but from previous experiences you should expect lengthy queues. Disney is providing flashlights for all rooms, and you would be advised to fully charge all of your necessary battery-powered devices in advance in case of power outages.

Our thoughts and good wishes are with everyone in the path of this unprecedented hurricane, and we hope that all our friends, cast members, and the "hunkered down" resort guests stay safe.


[Update on 10 Sept] Orange Country, FL - which covers almost all of Walt Disney World, including the Port Orleans Resorts - has announced that a mandatory curfew will take place from 7pm tonight (Sunday 10th September) until 6pm on Monday. This will exclude emergency services, medical personnel and critical services staff. See https://newsroom.ocfl.net/2017/09/orang ... -10-7-p-m/ .

This means that guests will be unable to leave Port Orleans for the duration of the curfew, and given the external access nature of the accommodation buildings, people will effectively be confined to their rooms from 7pm tonight. Make sure you have sufficient provisions for you and your family and hunker down!

I've also heard from someone I know at the resort that Port Orleans is hosting about 400 rooms of emergency electrical teams from all over the country, and 110 rooms of nurses and doctors to assist with relief efforts. There are apparently many more at the other resorts too. As noted in previous posts, the main parking lots are packed with emergency and maintenance vehicles too. When you need to accommodate a lot of people in a single geographical area with good access to where they are going to be needed, I guess Disney is the place to be.


A few photos posted via the Disney's Port Orleans Resorts - A Magical Guide Facebook Group (thanks to the admins for the permission to repost here):

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In-room information flyer.

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More In-room information communication, with a complimentary flashlight.

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Emergency maintenance vehicles waiting in the Riverside parking lot ready for the aftermath.

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More Preparation around the resort.


Update at 5pm EST Saturday. The packaged snack bag at resorts is much cheaper than the one that they offered during last year's hurricane, looks like they took note of some rather disgruntled feedback from guests:

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September 2017 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted on Tuesday 29th August 2017 by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The September 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 9am—10pm, but expect those to be reduced soon as the summer season ends. 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 8:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, but only on Friday & Saturday at French Quarter. The evening campfire activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm on the same evenings as the movies. There are no movies or campfires scheduled at either resort for Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday. On Sunday September 3, French Quarter will be running some extra poolside activities for Labor Day weekend.

Some other activities to watch out for (on select days, see schedules for details):

  • 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.
  • Teen Arcade Challenge — Do you have what it takes to win our Teen Arcade Challenge? Guests ages 12-17 are encouraged to compete in our exciting challenges to win prizes! Join us at 4:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays in the Medicine Show Arcade at Port Orleans Riverside.
  • “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 away on vacation commencing Friday 25th August and returning to the Port on Wednesday 6th September.

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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