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"Ye Haa" Bob Jackson Celebrates 20 Years of Port Orleans fun

Posted Thursday 4th May 2017, 3:22am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel


On the 4th of May 1997, a new piano player named Bob Jackson made his first appearance at the Cotton Co-Op lounge at Disney's Dixie Landings Resort, following a recommendation to apply from none other than the lounge's previous incumbent who he met at a gig at Orlando's Blazing Pianos bar. Dixie Landings (renamed a few years later to Port Orleans Riverside) was to become the regular home for his "Ye Haa Bob" persona for the next 20 years.

Surprisingly at the time, the Cotton Co-Op was not especially well-known as a nighttime entertainment venue, filled mainly with weary tourists relaxing after a long day at the parks, or guests waiting for their reservations at the nearby Boatwright's Dining Hall. However Bob saw the potential to turn this location into a lively destination attraction, and his duelling piano background, which necessitated getting people up on their feet and singing along, gave him the experience needed to bring the same vibe and energy to his new home.

Two decades later, and now an official Walt Disney Legacy Award recipient, "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson is still wowing the crowds four nights a week at what is now known as the River Roost Lounge. His zany mixture of toe-tapping, sing-a-long standards, and increasingly frequent Disney classics performed in his own inimitable and enormously energetic style, attracts a multi-generational crowd from babes-in-arms to octogenarians, all of whom are encouraged to join in the fun, and his amazing memory comes to the fore as he interacts with his audience members by name.

Away from the Port, Bob is a talented musician and composer in his own right. He began playing piano from a very early age, and was a music composition major at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He has also worked at many other locations around Orlando (such as Rosie O'Grady's at the new-defunct Church Street Station, SeaWorld, and Universal's CityWalk) and around Walt Disney World (including the Diamond Horseshoe Revue in the Magic Kingdom). Bob has recorded at least ten CDs (available from his website) including collections of his own original material. He also regularly performs at local churches and for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families at the wish-fulfilling "Give Kids the World" village.

As Bob so often says at his shows, "no one has more fun than us," and given that he can count the likes of Disney/Pixar's Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter among his many fans, he's probably right!


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May 2017 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Thursday 27th April 2017, 12:53pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The May 2017 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 are currently 10am—9pm. These times are enforced and the feature pools are gated and locked when there are no lifeguards on duty, however the five Riverside quiet pools are generally available at any time (within reason). The evening campfires are currently suspended due to local dry conditions and fire hazards, and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, but only on Friday & Saturday at French Quarter. There are no movies scheduled at either resort for Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday.

The recreation activities at Riverside will be similar to those presented for the last year or two, but French Quarter sees some changes this month:

  • Sunday 8am: “Beignet Dash” Fun Run — a quick early morning dash around the resort, finished with a tasty beignet (payment required)
  • Monday & Tuesday, 6:30pm—8:30pm: Doubloon Lagoon Glow Party — Come glow with the flow at the Doubloon Lagoon Glow Party
  • Wednesday 7pm—9pm: Family Game Night — Join us in Scat Cat’s Lounge for a night filled with games and fun for the whole family
  • Thursday 8pm—10pm: Mardi Gras Musical Mixer — Bebop on down to Scat Cat’s Lounge for a night filled with your favorite musical activities
  • Friday & Saturday 8:30pm: Movies Under the Stars (Moana or Finding Nemo this month)
  • Arts & Crafts Activities or Mickey Tie-Dye T-shirt decoration presented daily (payment required) but otherwise there is a generally reduced selection of afternoon poolside activities

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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Summer/Fall 2017 Offers, including (limited) Free Dining

Posted Tuesday 25th April 2017, 6:53am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The free “Disney Dining Plan” offer for USA room & ticket package bookings during Fall 2017 was announced on 24 April 2017, and as usual it’s sadly only of limited benefit to Port Orleans guests. Given that our two favourite resorts already sell very well, Disney simply doesn’t need to offer very much in the way of extra enticement, especially for the smaller French Quarter resort.


Port Orleans French Quarter is completely excluded from the 2017 free dining offer, however at Riverside the Quick Service plan is being offered in limited quantities and room categories for arrivals from 21 August to 30 September 2017. There is a minimum stay of three nights and you must purchase at least two days of Park Hopper tickets per person to be eligible. You can also upgrade to the Regular or Deluxe Dining Plans for a fee. Bookings must be made by 7 July.

In addition to Free Dining there are some other Summer/Fall 2017 room-only offers worth considering, although again you may have to be quick to snap up anything for Port Orleans as the allocation is limited. Theme park tickets can be added to the discounted room rates to build a package.
  • Summer Room-Only Discount: Up to 25% off many Moderate Resort rooms for stays from 28 May to 31 August 2017 (must be booked by 14 July). French Quarter is completely excluded, and availability at Riverside (15% discount) is now fairly limited too.
  • Enchanted Escape Room-Only Discount: Up to 25% off many Moderate Resort rooms for stays from 1 August to 7 October 2017 (must be booked by 31 August). Both Riverside (15%—20%) AND French Quarter (20%, but from 1 Sep—7 Oct only) are included in this offer, but book soon as availability is limited.
As always, please see the excellent http://www.MouseSavers.com website for full details of this and other offers.

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Easter Sunday Activities, 16 April 2017

Posted Friday 14th April 2017, 9:35am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Port Orleans Easter Sunday Recreation Activities, Character Greetings and Movie Schedules for 16 April 2017

Note: ** As from 14 April 2017, all campfire activities at Walt Disney World are temporarily suspended due to the extremely dry weather and local outbreaks of wildfires.


9am — Candy Scramble (Building 90 Courtyard)
9:30am — Lawn Games (Building 90 Courtyard)
9:30am–11:30am — Character Greetings (Building 90 Courtyard)
10:00am — The Egg Hunt (Pathway to Ol’ Man Island)

Ol’ Man Island Poolside Activities:
11:30am–12:30pm — Mickey Tie-Dye ($)
12:30pm–1:30pm — Bunny Hoppin’ Pool Party
1:30pm–2pm — Egg Drop
2pm–3pm — What’s In Your Easter Basket?
3pm–3:30pm — Egg-straordinary Trivia
3:30pm–4:30pm — Easter Arts & Crafts ($)

6:30pm–7:30pm — Campfire on de’ Bayou (Ol’ Man Island) **

French Quarter

9am — Candy Scramble (Courtyard Lawn between Buildings 5 & 6)
9:30am — Lawn Games (Courtyard Lawn between Buildings 5 & 6)
10am — The Egg Hunt (Pathway to Doubloon Lagoon Pool)

Doubloon Lagoon Poolside Activities:
11:30am–12:30pm — Easter Arts & Crafts ($)
12:30pm–1pm — Egg Drop
1pm–2pm — Bunny Hoppin’ Pool Party
2pm–3pm — Mickey Tie-Dye ($)
3pm–3:30pm — Egg-straordinary Trivia
3:30pm–4:30pm — What’s In Your Easter Basket?

5:00pm–7:00pm — Character Greetings (Courtyard Lawn between Buildings 5 & 6)
6:30pm–7:30pm — Cajun Campfire (Courtyard between Buildings 5 & 6) **
8:30pm — Movie Under the Stars, “Zootopia” (Courtyard Lawn between Buildings 5 & 6)


(Setting up the Easter 2016 Candy Scramble, photo by David Kletter)

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