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September 2019 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Sunday 1st September 2019, 8:21am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The September 2019 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 more details and full-size printable PDF versions.

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August 2019 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Wednesday 31st July 2019, 2:48pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The August 2019 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 now and throughout the summer months are 9am—11pm, outside of which times the pools and hot tubs are gated and locked as there are no lifeguards on duty. The five leisure (quiet) pools at Riverside are not locked and are generally available at any time within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm five nights a week at Riverside (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), and three nights at week at French Quarter (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays). There will be no movies at either resort on Tuesdays.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm every night at Riverside, and four nights a week at French Quarter (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). 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 $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge desk for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (Tuesdays & Fridays at French Quarter; Tuesdays & Thursdays at Riverside. 8:30pm-9:30pm) — Dance on down to the pool for an exciting evening of party games and dancing that will light up the night!
  • Arts & Crafts ($) 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).
  • Descendants 3 (Saturdays at Riverside, Mondays at French Quarter, 8:30pm) — Celebrate a wicked cool summer with the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Descendants 3”! Guests will receive a collectible postcard with a code to stream the Official Descendants Music Playlist while supplies last. French Quarter’s pool activities and evening campfires will also feature villain-inspired themes on Mondays to tie in with the movie screenings.
  • “Back to School” Fridays (Riverside, 1pm—8:30pm, Fridays) —Get ready to “get your head in the game” on Fridays with some fabulous games, activities and prizes. “Go Wildcats!”
  • 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-along Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — It’s summertime 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 a symphony of music notes around the Resort, each one representing a favorite Disney movie with songs that keep us humming and singing along. Visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Once you’ve found all the music notes, return your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a sweet summertime surprise!

Note: Poolside Yoga, Dockside Drawing and the Trivia Nights at Riverside, plus the “Let the Good Times Roll Dance Party” at French Quarter, have been discontinued. The reference to Dockside Drawing in the Monday daily activities list for Riverside appears to be an error.

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: “Ye Haa” Bob has a few personal event days coming up, and will not be performing his regular sessions at Port Orleans Riverside on: Fri 9, Sat 10, Thurs 29, Fri 30 & Sat 31 August. He will also be away on Fri 20 & Sat 21 September, and then for an extended vacation travelling in China from 16—30 October, returning to the Port on Thursday 31 October.

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have "official" resident musicians, but filling the gap admirably for a number of years now are the talented 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. You can normally find them playing at Scat Cat's on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30pm until 11pm, and recently you may even find them there on Fridays too. So if you happen to be around for one of their evenings why not do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.

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Free Disney Dining Plan offer for Fall 2019 announced, once again excluding both Port Orleans Resorts

Posted Tuesday 16th July 2019, 12:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Walt Disney World has launched its annual complimentary Disney Dining Plan offer, this time with pretty limited date options. Also, as with last year, the deal completely excludes both of the Port Orleans Resorts. In 2017 there were limited periods of availability for Port Orleans Riverside only, but this year you'll need to look elsewhere if you want free dining (see mousesavers.com).

All is not completely lost for Port Orleans fans though, as Disney has also just launched a new "Fall & Holiday" offer, which gives discounts of 'up to' 15% for Moderate resort rooms - although only 10% for both Port Orleans resorts. The offer period covers arrival dates from 1 Sep 2019 - 24 Dec 2019, but weekends (Fridays & Saturdays) are blacked out between 29 Sep and 14 Nov. While you can continue with your stay after the end of the offer period, or during blacked-out weekend dates, the price will revert back to regular rack rates for the non-offer dates. There is no minimum length of stay, and the offer can be combined with tickets and/or the purchase of a Dining Plan to create a package.

For arrival dates of up to 7 November you must make your booking by 29 September, and for the remainder of the dates you can book until the offer ends. Availability is limited and these kinds of offers always tend to sell out very fast. With Port Orleans excluded from free dining places are likely to go quickly, so book soon and try to be flexible with your dates for the best chances.

As always, for more details on this and other offers please see the excellent mousesavers.com.

Note: These offers relate only to bookings made directly with Walt Disney World and/or its US travel agents. Other counties may have different offers; the UK Walt Disney Travel Company for example has been offering its guests free Disney Dining with package bookings (including stays at both Port Orleans resorts) for some time, and throughout 2020.

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July 2019 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules, inc Independence Day

Posted Sunday 30th June 2019, 3:21pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The July 2019 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are now available, including Independence Day (Thursday 4th July). See the main Recreation Activities Schedules page for full-size printable PDF versions.

The main feature swimming pool operating hours now and throughout the summer months are 9am—11pm, outside of which times the pools and hot tubs are gated and locked as there are no lifeguards on duty. The five leisure (quiet) pools at Riverside are not locked and are generally available at any time within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm five nights a week at Riverside (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), and three nights at week at French Quarter (Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays). There will be no movies at either resort on Thursdays.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm every night at Riverside, and on three nights a week as the movies at French Quarter (Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, matching the movie nights). 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.

Independence Day (Thursday 4th July) Activities

Port Orleans Riverside

  • Colonial Cake Walk. Located at the Ol’ Man Island Children's Pool
    11:15am: First Round
    11:45am: Second Round
    12:15pm: Third Round
    12:45pm: Fourth Round
  • Muddy Rivers Activities. Located at Muddy Rivers Pool Bar
    12:00pm-12:30pm: Watermelon Eating Contest
    1:00pm-2:00pm: Patriotic Spray Art ($)
  • Patriotic Poolside Activities. Located at the Ol’ Man Island Pool
    2:00pm-2:30pm: Red, White & Balloons
    2:30pm-3:30pm: Give Me Liberty, or Give Me A Pie-In-The-Face
    3:30pm-4:30pm: Mickey Tie-Dye ($)
    4:30pm-5:30pm: All American Pool Party
  • Stars, Stripes, and S’mores. Located at the Ol’ Man Island Campfire Pit.
    6:30pm-7:30pm
  • Movie Under the Stars & Stripes. Located by the Building 90/95 Pool.
    8:30pm: Captain America: the First Avenger (PG-13)
Port Orleans French Quarter
  • Doubloon Lagoon Pool
    1:00pm: Star Spangled Water Balloon Toss
    1:30pm: Mickey Tie-Dye ($)
    3:00pm: Patriotic Pool Party
    4:00pm: Red, White, and Blue Bingo
    4:30pm:Watermelon Eating Contest
    5:30pm-6:00pm: Stars and Stripes Scavenger Hunt
  • Between Buildings 5 & 6
    6:00pm: Backyard Bash Lawn Games
    6:30pm-8:30pm: All American Campfire
Note: Riverside’s regular Glow with the Flow Pool Party and French Quarter’s Trivia Night will be cancelled on 4th July due to the other special events. In the event of inclement weather, activities may be relocated to the lobbies and/or lobby courtyards. Please see a Recreation Cast Member for more information.

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 $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge desk for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Dockside Drawing (Riverside, 3pm—4pm Mondays & Thursdays) — Have you ever wanted to learn to draw like a Disney Animator? Join us in the River Roost Lounge for two different classes to learn how to draw Disney classic animated characters.
  • Poolside Yoga (Riverside, 8:15am—8:45am Mondays & Fridays) — Join us for a complimentary 30-minute yoga session on the Muddy Rivers Deck at Ol’ Man Island. Sessions are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (Sundays & Wednesdays at French Quarter; Tuesdays & Thursdays at Riverside. 8:30pm-9:30pm) — Dance on down to the pool for an exciting evening of party games and dancing that will light up the night!
  • Arts & Crafts ($) 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).
  • Let the Good Times Roll Dance Party (French Quarter, 9pm—9:30pm, Saturdays) — It’s time to let the good times roll! Drop by the French Quarter Lobby Courtyard to join us for music, dancing and fun for the whole family!
  • “You Can Fly” Fridays (Riverside, 1pm—8:30pm, Fridays) — Come join us for a full day of “faith, trust and pixie dust.” You’ll have so much fun you’ll “Neverland”!
  • 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-along Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — It’s summertime 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 a symphony of music notes around the Resort, each one representing a favorite Disney movie with songs that keep us humming and singing along. Visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Once you’ve found all the music notes, return your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a sweet 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: “Ye Haa” Bob will be performing at a special pre-Fourth of July party for DVC Members at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on Wednesday 3rd July (6:30pm-9:30pm) but will be back at the Port for the actual 4th of July celebrations.

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have "official" resident musicians, but filling the gap admirably for a number of years now are the talented 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. You can normally find them playing at Scat Cat's on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30pm until 11pm, and recently you may even find them there on Fridays too. So if you happen to be around for one of their evenings why not do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.

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2020 Room Rack and Package Rates released

Posted Wednesday 19th June 2019, 5:37am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The 2020 Room and Package Rack Rates have been released for US bookings made with Walt Disney World. The prices were showing on the online calendars from 6am Eastern 18 June 2019. More details will follow, but you should probably expect the website and app to be somewhat busy for a few days.

It will take me a while to scrape and process all 365 days of prices in 17 room categories to provide a full breakdown, but a quick spot-check of Christmas 2020 versus this year shows around a 10% hike - way above inflation. Even for the cheapest Standard View rooms, Christmas week goes up from $357.75/night to $391.50/night inc tax, for a Moderate hotel!

Overnight car parking at Port Orleans has also gone up by $1, to $20 per day for all 2020 bookings that are made on or after 18 June 2019.

Oh, and Annual Pass prices went up on the same day, some (such as the Platinum Pass for non-Florida residents) increasing by as much as 25%.

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