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August 2018 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Wednesday 1st August 2018, 1:04am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The August 2018 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter, including Independence Day Activities, 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—11pm and will stay that way throughout the summer months. 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 Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at Riverside, or Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at French Quarter. Please note the revised dates; there is now at least one movie scheduled for every day of the week at one resort or the other, so feel free to try both! Note: On Friday August 10 there will be a special presentation of the brand new Disney Channel Original Movie Freaky Friday at French Quarter. Riverside will screen it the next day.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm on the same nights as the movies at French Quarter, and daily at Riverside. You can roast marshmallows for free, or you can optionally purchase full s’mores kits, all in the warm glow of a night-time campfire.

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

  • “Beignet Dash” Fun Run ($) (French Quarter, 8am Sundays) — Craving beignets? Join us on Sunday Runday for a quick 1½ mile dash around the Resort. Complete your race with a tasty beignet! Check-in begins at 7:30am on the Riverwalk between Building 5 and Doubloon Lagoon Pool and the run begins at 8am. Be sure to share your photos with the hashtag #FQBeignetDash. Cost is $15+tax, including three beignets and a souvenir “medal”. To reserve your spot, please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge Desk.
  • Painting on de’ Bayou (French Quarter, 6pm—8pm Wednesdays) — Learn to paint at at Port Orleans French Quarter! Join us in Scat Cat’s Club on Wednesdays for an instructor-led painting class to design your own take-home masterpiece. Our instructor will help you walk away with a painting you’re proud of, whether you’re a beginner, an expert or somewhere in-between! The class is for guests aged 12 and up, and costs $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 1-321-347-0750 for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (Fridays at Riverside, 8:30pm; Mondays & Saturdays at French Quarter. 8:30pm-9:30pm) — Dance on down to the pool for an exciting evening of party games and dancing that will light up the night!
  • 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 (cost is $18+tax, including the T-shirt).
  • Disney Trivia Night (Riverside, Tuesdays 8:30pm-10pm) — Ready to show off your Disney Trivia skills? Join us on Tuesday nights at the River Roost Lounge for a fun and exciting competition!
  • SassagoulaSelfie Scavenger Hunt (Riverside, 9am—5pm daily) — 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 from 9am—5pm. Be sure to share your selfies with the hashtags #SassagoulaSelfie and #PortOrleans.
  • Summer Sing-A-Long Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — It’s Summer at Port Orleans French Quarter, and we are inviting you to join in as we celebrate some of our favorite Disney songs! We’ve hidden 13 music notes around the Resort, each one representing a favorite Disney movie with songs that keep us humming and singing along. 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 summertime surprise!

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 to perform at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Marceline, Missouri from 10-11 August, and will also not be at the Port from 30 August-1 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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July 2018 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules, including Independence Day

Posted Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 6:15pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The July 2018 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter, including Independence Day Activities, 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—11pm and will stay that way throughout the summer months. 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 Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Riverside, or Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at French Quarter. Please note the revised dates; there is now at least one movie scheduled for every day of the week at one resort or the other, so feel free to try both! Note: Saturday’s movie at Riverside this month is Marvel’s Black Panther which has a PG-13 certificate.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm on the same nights as the movies at French Quarter, and daily at Riverside. You can roast marshmallows for free, or you can optionally purchase full s’mores kits, all in the warm glow of a night-time campfire.

Fourth of July Activities at Riverside:

  • 11:00am–3:00pm Muddy Rivers Cookout / BBQ on the Bayou (Located at the Muddy Rivers pool bar on Ol’ Man Island)
    Cheeseburger $10.49
    BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich $9.99
    Grilled All Beef Hot Dog $8.99
    (All Entrees served with choice of two sides, which include coleslaw, baked beans and house-made chips)
    Grilled Corn on the Cob $3.99
    All items are eligible on the Disney Dining Plan
  • Colonial Cake Walk (Located near the Children’s Playground on Ol’ Man Island) — Come ’round the Campfire area to win cake!
    11:15am First Round
    11:45am Second Round
    12:15pm Third Round
    12:45pm Fourth Round
  • Patriotic Poolside Activities (by the Ol’ Man Island Pool)
    12:00pm–1:00pm Patriotic Spray Paint Arts & Crafts ($)
    1:00pm–1:30pm Beach Ball Boom!
    1:30pm–2:00pm Watermelon Eating Contest
    2:00pm–2:30pm Red, White and Water Balloons!
    2:30pm–3:30pm Give Me Liberty, or Give Me a Pie-in-the-Face
    3:30pm–4:30pm All-American Pool Party
    4:30pm–5:30pm Mickey Tie-Dye ($)
  • 6:30pm–7:30pm Stars, Stripes and S’mores (Campfire near the Children’s Playground) — Join us at our evening Campfire on the Bayou for complimentary marshmallows with s’mores kits available for purchase.
  • 8:30pm Movie under the Stars and Stripes (on the Oak Manor courtyard lawn) — “Cars”. Enjoy complimentary popcorn at the showing!
Some other specific activities to watch out for (on select days, see schedules for details):
  • “Beignet Dash” Fun Run ($) (French Quarter, 8am Sundays) — Craving beignets? Join us on Sunday Runday for a quick 1½ mile dash around the Resort. Complete your race with a tasty beignet! Check-in begins at 7:30am on the Riverwalk between Building 5 and Doubloon Lagoon Pool and the run begins at 8am. Be sure to share your photos with the hashtag #FQBeignetDash. Cost is $15+tax, including three beignets and a souvenir “medal”. To reserve your spot, please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge Desk.
  • Painting on de’ Bayou (French Quarter, 6pm—8pm Wednesdays) — Learn to paint at at Port Orleans French Quarter! Join us in Scat Cat’s Club on Wednesdays for an instructor-led painting class to design your own take-home masterpiece. Our instructor will help you walk away with a painting you’re proud of, whether you’re a beginner, an expert or somewhere in-between! The class is for guests aged 12 and up, and costs $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 1-321-347-0750 for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (Fridays at Riverside; Mondays & Saturdays at French Quarter. 8:30pm-9:30pm) — Dance on down to the pool for an exciting evening of party games and dancing that will light up the night!
  • 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 (cost is $18+tax, including the T-shirt).
  • Disney Trivia Night (Riverside Tuesdays 8:30pm; French Quarter Mondays 8pm) — Ready to show off your Disney Trivia skills? Join us on Tuesday nights at the River Roost Lounge for a fun and exciting competition! Also available on Mondays at French Quarter.
  • Notable Quotable (French Quarter, 8pm Saturdays)
  • SassagoulaSelfie Scavenger Hunt (Riverside, 9am—5pm daily) — 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 from 9am—5pm. Be sure to share your selfies with the hashtags #SassagoulaSelfie and #PortOrleans.
  • Summer Sing-A-Long Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — It’s Summer at Port Orleans French Quarter, and we are inviting you to join in as we celebrate some of our favorite Disney songs! We’ve hidden 13 music notes around the Resort, each one representing a favorite Disney movie with songs that keep us humming and singing along. 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 summertime surprise!

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).

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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Arneil the popular Greeter at Port Orleans French Quarter retires

Posted Wednesday 20th June 2018, 5:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Wednesday 20th June 2018 was the 31st Anniversary of popular Port Orleans French Quarter greeter Arneil De Witt starting his long career with Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, the day also signifies Arneil's retirement from the company, effective immediately, due to unanticipated health concerns. Although he is in no immediate danger, he has been advised to "slow down" and having also just celebrated his 70th birthday he has decided it is time to retire.

Arneil asked regular guest and friend Steve Denney if he could pass on a message to everyone that he will greatly miss his Disney role, and especially his many friends visiting from around the world. He sends his prayers and best regards to all of his French Quarter "family".

Here at PortOrleans.org we would like to send Arneil our very best wishes for a long, relaxed and happy retirement.

Good Luck Arneil, and thanks for all the years of dedication that you have given to your guests as the "face of Port Orleans French Quarter". Your welcoming charm and wit will be greatly missed, especially by all those children who have created their very own Disney Wishes by throwing your colourful coins into the lobby fountain.

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On 2nd July, after his Disney leaving event, we presented Arneil with a framed memento and a booklet of some 300+ messages from his fans



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Arneil one year ago, being presented with his 30 year long-service award

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2019 Room and Package Rack Rates released

Posted Tuesday 19th June 2018, 6:00am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The 2019 Room and Package Rack Rates have been released for bookings made with Walt Disney World. The prices were showing on the online calendars from 6am Eastern 19 June 2018. More details will follow, but you should probably expect the website and app to be somewhat flaky today. [Note: Post updated with pricing information and graphs on 27 June]

There are two new room categories for Port Orleans Riverside bookings for stays commencing from 1st January 2019 onward. Because the resort had been getting more and more pre-arrival requests from guests wanting to ensure they get an extra fold-down bed — just as in the past building 14 was a highly-requested option which led to the creation of the Preferred Location category — Disney has decided that there is enough demand to make it a premium offering, so people can pay extra to guarantee getting an Alligator Bayou room with that extra fold-down bed. Previously, it had only been possible to guarantee an Alligator Bayou room by booking Preferred Location, or by having a party of more than four people aged 3+.

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“Standard View – 5th Sleeper” and “Garden View – 5th Sleeper” are pretty self-explanatory in that they assure you of getting a Standard or Garden room in the Alligator Bayou section, giving you the fold-down bed no matter how many people are in the room. The pricing premium varies a bit throughout the year, but on average the new categories are about $13.50 (just under 5%) more expensive than their regular Standard/Garden counterparts.

I initially assumed that the old Standard View and Garden View options would not be displayed for parties exceeding four guests (aged 3+), thus forcing you to select the two new categories for any parties of five, but oddly that does not seem to be the case as yet. It’s possible the new options are still propagating their way through the system though.

These new options should make it easier for the room allocation team when assigning parties of five to Alligator Bayou — except for Pool View and River View bookings, for which guests will still need to submit pre-arrival requests which will be managed on a booking-by-booking basis.

The one downside is that people who don’t book these categories might conversely assume that they are 100% guaranteeing themselves a mansion building room, however since the original categories will now be less expensive these may well get overbooked and the team might need to juggle some groups into the more expensive 5th sleeper category rooms anyway — meaning Alligator Bayou, which in some cases may not be regarded by the guests as an upgrade.

Other than those two new Riverside categories, the pricing structure has risen somewhat less markedly than it has in previous years, averaging just under 3% higher than 2018. For the past few years, average increases have been between 5% and 7% annually, so this is a welcome change. The lowest nightly price (Standard View for weekdays in January) is $232, and the highest (Christmas week in a Royal River View room) is $422.

As with last year, Disney have split the rates for most seasons into three nightly pricing bands — the cheapest being Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, then Thursday/Sunday, and finally the most expensive nights are Fridays & Saturdays. This makes the old tidy tabular layouts more confusing than ever, although the folks over at MouseSavers.com have made valiant efforts with their Riverside and French Quarter pages.

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If you want to see the complete list of daily prices for all 17 Port Orleans room categories for 2019, please download our 2019 Rack Rate Spreadsheet. This was accurate as of 25 June 2018, but it›s not unheard of for Disney to make minor adjustments after the annual prices have been set.

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My Disney Experience mobile app adds live bus wait time information

Posted Monday 18th June 2018, 5:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Good news! According to the Disney Parks Blog, the My Disney Experience mobile app is being updated to provide hotel guests with live bus wait time information, the same content that you would see on the wait time boards at the resort's bus stops.

The app should regularly update in real time to provide the most current estimates for buses heading to all four theme parks, two water parks and the Disney Springs area. Guests can access the feature throughout their stay by tapping “See Bus Times” when viewing an active Disney Resort hotel reservation associated with their account.

The update should be available via the Apple Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android.

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