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Port Orleans Riverside Guest Room “Soft Goods” Refurbishment starting in July

Posted Saturday 5th May 2018, 6:11pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Now that notification letters and emails have started going out to guests who are booked in to Port Orleans Riverside during the second half of 2018, this seems a good time to elaborate on the refurbishment program that will be taking place there soon.

Once the Port Orleans French Quarter refurbishments are complete around the middle of July, work will commence on Riverside’s Alligator Bayou section, starting with building 37. This is currently scheduled to begin on 21 July, but please remember that maintenance plans and dates are always subject to change at any time. Each 64-room building should take around four weeks to complete, and there will be periods of overlap when two or more buildings may be worked on simultaneously. The entire Alligator Bayou section should be complete by the end of the year.

All of the work will be of a similar nature to the current French Quarter room refurbishments (new hard flooring, larger TVs, raised beds, new curtains instead of blinds, USB power sockets, wall-mounted soap-dispensers, etc) but since the bayou buildings are a lot smaller than those in French Quarter each one should be completely closed before work commences. There will be no major external work, just in-room redecorating, so there should be little if any disruption to anyone’s stay — if indeed you even notice at all.

I won't go into too much detail on specific start and end dates at this stage, as it's too far out to be sure that they will be accurate, but the following should be a good general guide:

  • Building 37: Starts 21 July 2018
  • Building 38: Aug 2018
  • Building 39: Aug 2018
  • Building 36: Aug 2018
  • Building 35: Aug/Sep 2018
  • Building 34: Sep 2018
  • Building 24: Sep 2018 [was Oct 2018]
  • Building 28: Sep 2018
  • Building 26 :Oct 2018
  • Building 25: Oct 2018
  • Building 27: Oct 2018 [was Sept 2018]
  • Building 17: Oct/Nov 2018
  • Building 16: Nov 2018
  • Building 15: Nov 2018
  • Building 18: Nov 2018
  • Building 14: Dec 2018
Updated 24 June: During the period when the buildings closest to the ‘twenties’ leisure pool are mostly unoccupied, that pool will be closed for maintenance. The original start date for this work was provisionally set for late September, but that has now been brought forward a little to 13 Aug until 5 Oct. Again, please remember that these dates are always subject to change. The room assignment team will be making every effort to avoid placing any guests with Pool View or Garden View bookings into rooms that are close to the twenties pool during this work, and the original September and October refurbishment slots for buildings 27 and 24 have been swapped to better fit around the new pool maintenance schedule.

Once all 16 Alligator Bayou buildings are complete, work will commence on the Magnolia Bend area. This section is expected to begin in early Spring 2019, and the four large mansion buildings should take a total of around six months to complete.

In advance of this work though, next week will see the start of installation of the new style wall-mounted amenity dispensers (shampoo, etc) in the bathrooms of the Riverside mansion buildings, starting with Parterre Place and working back to Acadian House over the next few weeks.



May 2018 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Wednesday 2nd May 2018, 6:14am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The May 2018 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 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 & Saturdays at Riverside, and Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at French Quarter. Please note the revised dates; there is now a movie scheduled for every day of the week at one resort or the other, so feel free to try both!

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 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) — Let your artistic side shine! 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 (Tuesdays, Thursdays & 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).
  • 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.
  • Shower of Flowers Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — Spring is in full bloom at Port Orleans French Quarter. We have hidden flowers and butterflies celebrating some of our favorite Disney Characters around the Resort, and we need your help to find them all. 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 springtime 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 performing all of his regular nights at Port Orleans Riverside during May, but will be away on a personal trip to Helsinki (Finland) from 13 June to 23 June, returning to the Port on 27 June.

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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Free Disney Dining Plan for Fall 2018 excludes Port Orleans completely

Posted Tuesday 24th April 2018, 9:48am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Walt Disney World has launched its annual free Disney Dining Plan offer - covering 20 August to 23 December 2018, with some lengthy blackout periods - but this year the deals exclude both of the Port Orleans Resorts completely. Last year 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. Presumably with both Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach undergoing fairly extensive construction work at the moment, Disney feels they do not need the offer any extra incentives for people to stay at the already very popular Port Orleans Rresorts.

All is not completely lost for Port Orleans fans though, because Disney have also just launched a new "Enchanted Escape" offer, which gives room discounts of between 10% and 25% (based on dates and selected room categories) for Moderate resort stays. This offer includes both Port Orleans Resorts, and it can be combined with tickets to make a package. However availability will be limited and these kinds of offers always tend to sell out very fast, and for Port Orleans you should expect to most likely only get the basic 10% rate. You can book for stays starting from 2 August until 7 October, and your booking needs to be made by 7 September.

As always, for more details please see the excellent mousesavers.com. These offers only relate to bookings made directly with Walt Disney World and/or via USA travel agents. Other counties may have different offers - the UK for example offers free dining for Port Orleans stays during 2019.



Easter Sunday Activities 1st April 2018, plus month of April

Posted Saturday 31st March 2018, 8:27pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Happy Easter! There will be lots of fun activities on Easter Sunday (1st April) for all the family at both Riverside and French Quarter, including games, egg hunts and character greetings:

10am-1:30pm - Easter Brunch at Boatwright's Dining Hall. $32 per adult (includes a Sparkling Wine), $17 per child (9 and under, includes a Sparkling Beverage). Reservations available via My Disney Experience or 407-WDW-DINE


  • 9am - Candy Scramble (building 90 courtyard)
  • 9:30am - Lawn games (building 90 courtyard)
  • 9:30am-11:30am - Character Meet & Greet (building 90 courtyard)
  • 10am - Bunny Hoppin' Activity Trail (buildings 85 and 90 courtyards)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm - Mickey Tie-Dye (Ol' Man Island Pool) ($)
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm - Bunny Hoppin' Pool Party (Ol' Man Island Pool)
  • 1:30pm-2pm - Egg Drop (Ol' Man Island Pool)
  • 2pm-3pm - What's in Your Easter Basket? (Ol' Man Island Pool)
  • 3pm-3:30pm - Egg-straordinary Trivia (Ol' Man Island Pool)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm - Easter Arts & Crafts (Ol' Man Island Pool) ($)
  • 6:30pm-7:30pm - Campfire on de' Bayou (Ol' Man Island)

French Quarter:
  • 8am - Beignet Dash. Get in on the Easter spirit by joining us for a quick run or walk around French Quarter and Riverside! Check in begins at 7:30am along the riverwalk between building 5 and the Doubloon Lagoon Pool. It's going to be a bunny hopping good time for the whole family. ($)
  • 9am - Candy Scramble (between buildings 5 and 6)
  • 9:30am - Lawn Games (between buildings 5 and 6)
  • 10:30am - This Way, That Way, Wonderland Egg Hunt (between buildings 5 and 6). Stop by the French Quarter Green to pick up your Scavenger Hunt Guide. It will lead you on a journey to find 5 eggs themed to some of your favorite Alice in Wonderland characters hidden throughout French Quarter. Find them all and claim your prize at Doubloon Lagoon Pool.
  • 11:30am - Mickey Tie-Dye (Doubloon Lagoon Pool) ($)
  • 12:30pm - Egg Drop Relay (Doubloon Lagoon Pool)
  • 1pm - Bunny Hoppin' Pool Party (Doubloon Lagoon Pool)
  • 2pm - Decorate Your Own Water Bottle (Doubloon Lagoon Pool) ($)
  • 3pm - EGG-Straordinary Trivia (Doubloon Lagoon Pool)
  • 3:30pm - What's in Your Easter Basket? (Doubloon Lagoon Pool)
  • 5pm-7pm Golden Afternoon Garden Party (between buildings 5 and 6). Join us for an evening of fun for the whole family including themed lawn games and character meet and greets, as well as Merchandise and Food & Beverage offerings available for purchase.
  • 6:30pm - Very Merry Unbirthday Campfire (between buildings 5 and 6)
  • 8:30pm - Movie Under the Stars (between buildings 5 and 6). Alice in Wonderland

Candy Scramble at Port Orleans Riverside, 2016

And for general recreation activities for the rest of April:

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