Mardi Gras events at Port Orleans French Quarter, 28 Feb

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The Sassagoula Sentinel
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Mardi Gras events at Port Orleans French Quarter, 28 Feb

Unread post by The Sassagoula Sentinel » February 23rd, 2017, 5:00 pm

Port Orleans has always had a reputation for fun and games at Mardi Gras (which this year occurs on Tuesday 28th February) and this time there will be a number of brand new activities available at French Quarter - although guests from Riverside are of course very welcome to attend too. Some events will be free, while others will incur additional charges.

In addition to the regular afternoon poolside games, guests can enjoy:

10am—11am - Pargo Parade : The annual parade will begin at Riverside and end in the French Quarter Courtyard. Organised by the cast members of the resort to kick off the Mardi Gras celebrations, pick a location along the parade route to watch a series of fun decorated floats inventively created using the resort's 'pargo' carts. Candy and beads will be distributed by the parade participants.

11am—Noon : Guest Interaction with Pargo Parade participants.

Noon—2pm - Painting on de’ Bayou : Located by the Scat Cat’s Stage, guests will experience an instructor-led class allowing them to create their very own New Orleans themed masterpiece to take home, priced at $39.99 + tax. Scat Cat’s Club will offer a full menu and specialty drinks, with a cocktail server to take your orders.

3pm—5pm - Scat Cat’s “Magic Mardi Gras Mixer” : Located in the Scat Cat’s Club lounge, adult guests will be able to indulge in the spirit of Mardi Gras with specialty food and cocktails, and there will be a Roaming Magician available to spellbind everyone.

5pm—8pm - Mardi Gras Courtyard Celebration : Located in the French Quarter Courtyard, events will include Mickey Tie Dye ($17 + tax), Beignet Walk, Dance Party hosted by a DJ, King Cake Eating Contest, Create Your Own Mardi Gras themed Tumbler/Wine Glass ($8.00 + tax), Bead Toss, Roaming Magician.

5:30pm—6:30pm - Cajun Campfire (note the later than normal start time).

7pm - Movie Under the Stars : “The Princess and the Frog” screened on the lawn between buildings 5 & 6.

In the event of inclement weather, events will be moved into the French Quarter Lobby.

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MardiGroggy
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Re: Mardi Gras events at Port Orleans French Quarter, 28 Feb

Unread post by MardiGroggy » April 8th, 2017, 10:14 am

Well, we were able to make it to the Mardi Gras festivities at French Quarter this year and it was a fantastic way to spend a day at our favorite resort! If you can't make the real thing in NOLA, then this is a super substitute. One comment however, about the way Disney handles this. Although they have been doing the pargo parade and some other events for several years now, they seem to be reluctant to actually advertise these activities until rather close to the time that they occur. For example, I had asked in both November and December 2016 if they were doing anything special for Mardi Gras and no one claimed to know anything about it. According to the people I asked, they had no information and the cast members had not been alerted to prepare anything. Based on the consistency of the past years, we went ahead and booked our stay for this year, but did not see any actual official announcements until just shortly before Feb. 28th. The point is that even though there seems to be a FQ Mardi Gras tradition forming, Disney doesn't want to guarantee anything, just so they can do nothing, if they so choose. That leaves us hanging as far as planning a visit. Will there be another Mardi Gras celebration next year? Who knows? If this looks like fun to you, I'd suggest booking a stay and take your chances, but you probably won't know for sure until the last minute. Now, having said that, with all the activities and the enthusiasm of the cast members and the guests, Disney would certainly be foolish to not do this every year. With all that in mind, here are some examples of the way Port Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras 2017.

First, here are the posters for the event schedule and the parade route:

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The Pargo Parade: The "floats" are created around the pargo carts and any other imaginative things that the CMs can create. Each department makes its own entry, based around the theme decided by whomever decides such things. This year the theme was Disney Transportation. The parade actually starts at Riverside and travels down the Mansions side of the Sassagoula:

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After it crosses the river on the bridge between the two resorts, it snakes through the FQ north parking lot and onto the river walk:

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Then it winds through the streets of FQ, passing by the main buildings:

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Tiana was a big hit!

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One thing that a lot of folks missed (they obviously didn't read the map carefully) was that the parade made TWO circles around the FQ. A lot of people drifted away after the first pass and completely missed the second time around.

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There were a LOT of people on hand:

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Everyone seemed to enjoy and appreciate the time and effort that the Cast Members put into their department entries. After the parade was over, the "floats' were put on display for the afternoon, with some at FQ and some at Riverside. More on the afternoon activities shortly.
MardiGroggy
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MardiGroggy
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Re: Mardi Gras events at Port Orleans French Quarter, 28 Feb

Unread post by MardiGroggy » April 8th, 2017, 11:13 am

After the morning parade, the floats were displayed in the courtyards of each resort. I was not able to get to Riverside, but here are some from FQ:

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The Cruise Line bus, from the Engineering Dept., was a big hit. It was well made of course, but it also literally "rocked" with their theme music. Similar to the Darth Vader float from last year, for those who saw that.

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Also cool was MIckey on his first ride:

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Part of the afternoon activities was a painting workshop, "Paintin' on de Bayou", held in Scat Cat's and led by Disney artists:

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Other afternoon fun:

King Cake Eating Contest (Adult and Children Divisions). This was the kids--they were allowed to use their hands:

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Wouldn't be Disney if they didn't do tie dyeing:

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I think this was the Tumbler/Wine Glass Decorating:

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A roving Magician (he said his name is Jeffrey) making people smile with his smooth moves:

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Plenty of dancin' in the streets, even into the evening, with a DJ who knew how to keep things hopping:

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Yes, they were doing the Chicken Dance! :roll:

Chef Tony and General Manager Punam Dayabhai-Jairambhai were pretty busy, but seemed to be enjoying themselves and the great guest response to their efforts:

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Some of you may have seen some of this, including a video or two, on the PortOrleans.org Facebook page. Andre was his usual efficient self and was posting these activities in nearly real time on the 28th. Again, and as always, my thanks to him for helping with getting the photos ready for posting and providing this fantastic website!

I have two suggestions. First, if you like this sort of thing at the Port, let Disney and the management know. Positive feedback will help make sure they keep these special events going. Second, if you think this is something you want to get in on, Mardi Gras 2018 is on February 13th. Book it!

Any comments or questions are welcome. There are more photos on my Gallery page, if you are interested.
MardiGroggy
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"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

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Re: Mardi Gras events at Port Orleans French Quarter, 28 Feb

Unread post by Admin » April 9th, 2017, 4:05 am

Thanks for the updates and the photos Steve, it was good following along in real-time on the day too.

Andre
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- The Unofficial Visitor's Guide to the Port Orleans Resorts in Orlando, Florida -

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