Scheduled Maintenance and Refurbishment Work
Latest Update: 11 February 2016
Please remember that maintenance plans and dates are subject to change at any time, and often Disney does not release details of scheduled work until around three months prior to its commencement. Updates will be posted here as and when further information or dates become available, so it would be worth bookmarking or watchlisting this page.
Only major projects will be listed here. Other smaller routine works can be expected during any visit, especially during the off-peak winter months, as that’s how they keep the place looking so beautiful for you!
Special thanks to regular Port Orleans guest John “RiverRooster” Schmidt who has been providing invaluable photo updates during his trips. For lots more of his photos, please see his Guest Photo Gallery page.
French Quarter Doubloon Lagoon / Children’s Interactive Water Play Area
Estimated Completion Date: 29 February 2016
Beginning in early October 2015, work commenced on removing the original children’s splash pool at Doubloon Lagoon in order to install a new Interactive Water Feature play area. You may have seen these popping up at other Disney resorts, and now it will 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 construction work won’t impact on the main swimming pool facilities at all, including the water slide and the hot tub.
Update January 2016: Work was originally scheduled to be completed by 24 December 2015 but work-permit issues delayed the planned re-opening date until 19 January 2016. However construction is obviously overrunning considerably beyond that based on the photos taken on 23 January, which show water piping is still being installed and they haven’t even started on laying the flooring yet. The information that I’m hearing at the moment is pointing towards an opening date of around the end of February.
Update 11 February 2016: Work is still progressing gradually on the children’s water play area, and it looks like they have now finished the underground piping work and laid most of the remaining concrete pathway. Although there still appears to be a lot of work left to do, the target completion date currently remains at 29 February.
Additionally, construction staff are working around the perimeter edges of the main pool area, adding additional wrought-iron safety fencing between the pool deck and the Mardi Grogs seating area, and also installing lockable gates at the main entry/exit locations. I believe this is most likely part of a general Disney response to two recent tragic incidents involving children who accessed hotel pools unaccompanied or outside of lifeguard hours (see Orlando Sentinel articles in March 2013 and July 2015).
Riverside Ol’ Man Island Pool Maintenance
Estimated Completion Date: 4 March 2016
The Port Orleans Riverside main feature pool on Ol’ Man Island (including the children’s pool and the hot tub) will be closed from 11th January 2016 until 4th March 2016 for routine maintenance work and perimeter fencing modifications. This could potentially run a little longer, but those are the most accurate dates I have at present.
The closure will be limited to the pool area itself (including the kids’ pool, hot tub and Muddy Rivers pool bar). All of the through-route walkways, the children’s playground and the fishing hole will remain open — although letters recently sent out to guests indicate that some pathways may need to be temporarily closed during the work. There will be no evening campfires at Riverside during January at least, but the French Quarter alternative site will be available daily.
The River Roost Lounge in the main building will be opening a little earlier in the day than normal to compensate for Muddy Rivers being closed, which is not uncommon during January/February anyway as it can get a bit cold for people to sit out by the pool. All of the five quiet pools at Riverside will remain open, as will the French Quarter Doubloon Lagoon pool which may be used by Riverside guests (and a free shuttle service is in place).
Update 11 February 2016: Work is continuing on the Ol’ Man Island pool refurbishment, and more vegetation has been cut back beyond the seating areas in readiness for the installation of new perimeter fencing. Work is currently still on schedule for completion by 4 March.
Additionally, the main access bridge leading from the Riverside Marina and food court over to Ol’ Man Island is currently closed for three weeks to allow worn-out wooden decking to be replaced, and for some structural work on a support beam to be completed. This work has been timed to coincide with the refurbishment of the feature swimming pool and the reduced occupancy levels in the Magnolia Terrace mansion building to attempt to reduce the amount of guests inconvenienced by the closure.
The bridge should be re-opened by Saturday 27 February, but in the meantime guests will need to use the riverbank pathways and alternative bridges in order to cross to the other side of the resort.
Riverside building 85 (Magnolia Terrace) Roofing Work
Estimated Completion Date: 15 July 2016
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 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).
Update 28 January 2016: The Magnolia Terrace (building 85) roofing work will be split into five phases, and is expected to run through until 15th July. The first phase has already commenced, which comprises the whole of central section of the building. That section should come back into service on 26th February and then work will commence on each of the four outer ‘wings’ in turn.
Previous Guest Room Refurbishments (2010—2012)
All of the guest rooms at Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter were refurbished during 2010—2012 to feature brand new decor, flat-screen TVs and two Queen Beds instead of the old doubles (or one single King Bed if you have booked that option). All of the Alligator Bayou rooms now feature an extra pull-down Murphy bed instead of the old trundle bed. A summary of the last round of construction dates is given below, or you can check out the archive posts in our News Pages for the building-by-building details.
The next round of guest room refurbishments is not expect to start until 2017. While there are of course no firm details this far out, there are rumours that some changes being considered might include addressing the current storage space issues, replacing the vanity area privacy curtains with themed shutters, and possibly switching from carpets to wooden flooring. Oh, and it’s likely that larger (55 inch?) TVs with more interactive features to provide access to WDW resort-based activities such as dining reservations and FastPass+ will be coming to resort rooms too. But there’s plenty of time for any plans to change several times over in the meantime, so keep watching.