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POR and POFQ Pool Areas, Construction Nears Completion

Posted Tuesday 1st March 2016, 11:33am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Note: for the latest pictures and information, please see the Maintenance and Refurbishment Page.


French Quarter - Doubloon Lagoon and Children's Water Play Area
(Now due to open by 6 March)

Update 25 February 2016: The target completion date for the French Quarter children’s water play area has again been slightly delayed, this time from 29th February to 6th March. Workers are starting to add the final detailing and test the water features, but landscaping, fencing and some remaining pathway construction over the buried pipework is still to be completed.

The Mardi Grogs pool bar has just had some new features installed, including pretzel and popcorn machines and air heaters to allow more people to sit outside during the cooler winter months. Pretzels are priced at $3.19 each, or $4.19 with a cheese dip, and popcorn is $3.50 (plus tax).

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Update 29 February 2016: Testing of the water elements commenced this afternoon, and it looks great with lots of spray fountains and a fun fill-and-tip water wheel at the top. Thanks as always to John Schmidt for sending the photos and video. The splash play area is marked as having a sloped depth of 11 inches in the middle, and will presumably have the same 48-inch height restriction as per other resorts.

The remaining pathways have now been laid around the water play area and landscaping added, and most of the green construction fences have been removed, but other current work includes the removal of the steps from the northern access pathway to the hot tub, adding ramped access from the Mardi Grogs bar to the seating area, and replacing some worn-out decking on the boat dock.

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Riverside - Ol' Man Island
(Due to reopen by 4/5 March)

Update 28 February 2016: The access bridge from the Riverside Marina to Ol’ Man Island reopened for guests around 5pm on Friday 26 February, albeit with a few areas of paintwork that still need finishing.

Work is progressing well on the main pool area, and the pool itself was refilled several days ago. The perimeter fencing is almost complete, and lockable gates are being installed across all of the pool-access pathways. While the gatepost edging is at least styled in keeping with the island theme, the outlying fences and the gates themselves are all metal and more than one person has commented on the new “Stalag Riverside” look. Hopefully once the foliage is allowed to grow a bit the fence will be much less noticeable, and there has already been some new planting on the mansion building side of the island. At least it’s better than the incongruous wire-mesh fencing that has recently been added around the Polynesian leisure pool.

There is still a lot of work to be completed on the restrooms and the River Roost bar area (there isn’t even a bar counter-top at the moment!) but the expectation is still that the area will be ready to be handed back to the resort team by Friday 4 March. This does not necessarily mean that the pool will reopen to guests on that day though, as final approvals from the Reedy Creek folks will be needed, along with resetting all the furnishings in the area and revisiting the training of the lifeguards (as one of the guard stations has been moved slightly). The most likely opening date at the moment is Saturday 5th March, but that could still move either way.

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Update 29 February 2016: Cement work outside of the restrooms is making progress, and bar elements such as the counter-tops now appear to be done and thematic detailing is being restored. Final touches on landscaping are being worked on, and they are skimming and brushing out the pool. Some minor finishing work was still being done to the bottom of the slide. A double-handrail and a chair lift have been added to the already somewhat cramped hot tub.

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March 2016 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Friday 26th February 2016, 5:00pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The March 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.

The evening campfires will commence at 6pm this month and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8pm, 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 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!

Reminder: The Ol’ Man Island pool area is closed until at least 4 March. Also, the new children's water play area at French Quarter is currently scheduled to open around 6 March, assuming there are no further construction delays. See the Refurbishments page for more details.

Easter Sunday Activities for 27 March 2016

Morning Activities, located on the lawn near Oak Manor (building 90) at Port Orleans Riverside:
8:30am Character Greetings
9:00am Candy Scramble
9:30am Mickey Tie-Dye (payment required) and Lawn Games

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[Updated: Candy Scramble Easter 2016 - now that is a LOT of Candy!]

Afternoon Poolside Activities:
1:30pm Disney Trivia
2:30pm Disney Junior Pool Party!
3:00pm Egg-citing Relay Games
3:30pm Bunny Hoppin’ Pool Party
4:30pm Bunny Bingo (POR only)
4:30pm Mickey Tie-Dye (payment required) (POFQ only)

Evening Activities on the lawn between buildings 5 & 6 at Port Orleans French Quarter:
6:00pm Campfire
6:00pm–8:00pm Character Greetings
7:00pm The Great Golden Egg Hunt
8:00pm Movie Under the Stars: The Good Dinosaur (PG)

Easter Baskets will be available for purchase at merchandise locations.


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This Week's Port Orleans Construction Projects Update

Posted Monday 22nd February 2016, 7:52am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Note: for more pictures and the latest information, please see the Maintenance and Refurbishment Page.

French Quarter - Doubloon Lagoon and Children's Water Play Area
(Due to open by 29 Feb)

Lots of progress this week, including fitting of the remaining water-slide segments and the removal of the protective covers from some of the water features. On Sunday 21 February, after the final Pebble Tec coat had been applied earlier this week (there is apparently no cushioned flooring) they started filling the basin area with water via garden sprinklers, presumably for initial drainage and leak testing before they start on the various underground-fed elements. The final sections of concrete pathway are nearly ready for laying, and the plumbing control systems and piping are being hidden behind permanent walls.

The new fencing surrounding both the main pool and the water play area is almost complete, and most of the gates have now been installed — although not all are fully functional yet. The fencing is similar to the existing wrought-iron design, although slightly shorter and less ornate — whether the existing product was no longer available, or the new sections are just a cheaper alternative, is not clear.

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Riverside - Ol' Man Island
(Due to open by 4 Mar, access bridge planned to re-open sooner)

The Ol’ Man Island project is progressing quickly, and is reported to be on target for its planned reopening date of 4th March. Refurbishing of the slide is complete and the final gel coat has been applied, and maintenance work on the decorative water channel is also finished. It looks as though the main pool’s Pebble Tec layer has also been applied (although from the photos more finishing still needs to be done, and some overflow edge tiling is not yet complete) and on Sunday workers were filling the pool with water to continue testing it.

Lots of work has been carried out on the Muddy Rivers building too, with extensive wood repairs, a new counter, and new electrical and drink dispenser systems (plus two additional beer taps). The poolside bathrooms are being refreshed too, including the addition of a companion bathroom. The bar staff have been given an access date of 2nd March to start restocking in preparation for reopening to guests few days later.

There is still quite a lot of concrete work to be completed, including a new ramp up to the hot tub to replace the old steps, and several sections of damaged deck that are being relaid. About half of the new perimeter safety barrier has now been erected, and while the new metal railings don’t fit in quite as well as they could with the rest of the predominantly wooden detailing, much of it is hidden by foliage so it doesn’t stand out too badly. Some sections next to the walkways appear to be more suitably themed though.

On the access bridge, in addition to the new decking, two underlying support beams have been replaced and workers are also replacing some of the boards on the curved arches and along the sides. This work is on-track for the bridge to be reopened to guests slightly before the main island opening date.

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Riverside - Magnolia Terrace Mansion Building Roofing Work

Extra weekend work is helping to catch up on a slightly delayed start, and phase one is still on schedule for completion by 26th February, after which it looks like they will be moving on to one of the northern wings of the building (the end facing towards Acadian House). As rooms were removed from inventory during the roofing work, the extended downtime is being used to perform deep cleaning, carpet extraction and other general painting/maintenance on the guest rooms.

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More Pool Area Construction Updates from 14 February

Posted Monday 15th February 2016, 10:39am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

On Riverside's Ol' Man Island, new lighting poles have been added (still to be painted) and metal support posts for the access gates have been installed across the pathways. It is still unclear whether the rest of the perimeter barrier will be tastefully ‘in tune’ with the wooden post, slat and rope designs around the rest of Everett Peace’s reclusive little island, or whether Disney will take the easier option and just use metal railings (which incidentally do work very well with the wrought ironwork theming over at French Quarter):

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Skimming of the inside of the Ol' Man Island pool now seems mostly complete and they have started tiling the upper edges. The new tiles appear to be a generic mottled brown/beige rather than the whimsical bayou foliage and wildlife design that was there previously:

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Meanwhile, over at French Quarter's Doubloon Lagoon, more concrete has been laid at the new children's water play area, and some of the heavier equipment has been removed now. It also looks like they have fitted the gratings over the edge drainage channel. Landscaping and laying of the soft rubberised flooring has not yet been started:

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