Port Orleans News

For the latest Port Orleans News Updates, or to ask questions, please also visit our busy Port Orleans Facebook Group.

"Ye Haa" Bob Jackson will be returning to Port Orleans Riverside

Posted Thursday 9th September 2021, 4:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

After a long, loooong, 18 months away from Port Orleans Riverside during the resort's closure, we can confirm that popular evening entertainer "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson was officially contacted by Disney a few hours ago, and he will be back on stage at the River Roost Lounge for his usual sets right from the re-opening date, Thursday 14th October.

Disney hasn't confirmed yet whether the shows will continue to be the same regular four nights as before - Wednesday to Saturday - but currently that is the assumption. Also it remains to be seen how many of the usual activities and fun shenanigans will be possible during the shows to start with. There could well be restrictions on audience participation, and even potentially the need for Bob to wear a mask. More information should be available closer to the re-opening date.

[Update] Bob's shows have been confirmed as being on Wednesday to Saturday, 8:30-midnight, exactly as before. What is not clear yet is whether guests from outside the Port Orleans resorts will be welcome, as some resorts are still only allowing their own hotel guests into their secure parking areas. That probably won't stop external guests from arriving via the Disney bus system though.

Note: Bob has a prior work commitment on Saturday 16th October so won't be on stage at the Port that night.

Bob has said that he will also continue with his Sunday afternoon live-streams for fans who cannot attend the resort in person. See the live video announcement on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yehaabob/video ... 8981734059



'Lightning Lane' on Disney Genie+ replaces FastPass+

Posted Thursday 19th August 2021, 6:58am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

We were all expecting it of course, but Disney has now confirmed via a Blog Post that booking up to three attraction times 60 days in advance via the free FastPass+ service is now officially a thing of the past.

Instead, Disney are "incredibly excited" to let guests know that they will now have the opportunity to pay an extra $15 per person per day to be able to reserve the next available ride time at a variety of attractions during their visit. Unlike FastPass+, only one reservation can be active at any given time, and the ability to make your first booking will commence at 7am for on-site hotel guests, or upon actual park admission for anyone else. The ability to reserve a ride time for another park (if you plan to park hop) is included.

There will also be a further 'opportunity' to pay an additional extra surcharge - varying by attraction, park and date - to reserve slots for up to two specific high-demand attractions that are not available via the regular Genie+ service. As an example, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom was mentioned, but further details and prices will be released shortly before the system goes live sometime in the Fall. Just don't expect it to be any sort of a bargain.

I suppose it was inevitable that Disney would need to find ways to recoup some of the millions it lost during the COVID closures and restrictions beyond just ramping up the hotel prices, and in all honesty we all knew who was going to end up picking up the tab.

Booking Category Changes - no more 'Royal Room Pool View'

Posted Wednesday 18th August 2021, 12:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

When bookings became available for the Port Orleans Resorts last month (Riverside for stays commencing 14 October, French Quarter from 28 October) there were a couple of anomalies that we initially discussed in our Facebook Group.

First, for Port Orleans Riverside rooms, the old Garden View booking category has been replaced with a Woods View option instead. This appears to simply be a direct name change, and you will probably still get the same rooms as you would have done before. Port Orleans French Quarter rooms retain their original Garden View naming.

Presumably some guests who booked a "Garden" view were disappointed when they got an Alligator Bayou room overlooking a swampy forest area instead of seeing neatly manicured courtyard lawns out of their window. I suspect the reverse may happen now though if anyone was hoping for a wilderness style experience, but short of creating two separate categories the wording change probably manages expectations rather better than before.

The second change seemed initially like a database glitch, but it now seems much more likely to be a permanent change. When post-COVID bookings first went live, the Royal Room Pool View category did not show any availability at all for any dates in 2021/22. Even when checking sample dates throughout that whole period the room type was always shown in the results list, but never with any booking availability - not even for a single night. This sort of issue has occasionally happened before when the reservations system releases large blocks of inventory at one time, but several weeks later the issue had not been corrected and the category was still showing with no guest availability at all. I contacted WDW to ask about this, and after looking into it they recently came back to me saying that the category no longer exists on their internal systems either. Since then, even the name has been removed from the online booking pages.

It is now fairly safe to assume that booking a specific Pool View for a Royal Room is no longer a possibility, and I've updated the site info and pricing pages accordingly. Most likely these rooms will have been re-categorised as Royal Room Woods View like their neighbours. In some ways this is a pretty trivial change as it was by far the smallest booking category, covering only 36 individual rooms, most of which didn't even give particularly good access to the Oak Manor/Parterre Place leisure pool. However because of the layout of the Royal buildings it was a handy way to secretly guarantee a short walk from a mansion building to the main buildings, rather like the Preferred Location category for the Alligator Bayou rooms. I somehow doubt it will be missed much in the grand scheme of things though.



"Ye Haa" Bob Jackson hoping to return to the River Roost Lounge once it re-opens

Posted Sunday 11th July 2021, 6:28pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Popular Port Orleans Riverside 'piano man' entertainer "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson has just shared via his Sunday weekly livestream show (https://www.facebook.com/yehaabob/video ... 5709115722) that in answer to everyone's questions, he hopes to be able to return to his previous nightly sessions at the River Roost Lounge as soon as the stage finally reopens. Apparently his musician's contract with Disney requires them to offer him his job back if he wants it - and he's just as eager to be back as we are to have him!

While the resort is now known to be re-opening on October 14th, we don't yet know whether the Lounge will be commencing entertainment offerings at the same time - so we might still have to wait a little longer, but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel.


Re-opening Dates for POR and POFQ Announced!

Posted Wednesday 7th July 2021, 6:47pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Disney today informed travel agents of the planned re-opening dates of the remaining Walt Disney World resort hotels, including our very own Port Orleans Resorts! Guests will be able to make bookings starting tomorrow (8 July) for the following dates:

16 September 2021: Disney’s All Star Resort Music
14 October 2021: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside
28 October 2021: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter

9 December 2021: Disney’s All Star Resort Sports

Overall, Riverside will have been closed for a total of 572 days, and French Quarter for 586 days, the longest period either resort has ever been shuttered in their history. All Walt Disney World resort hotels will have re-opened in time for Christmas 2021.

For further information, see our COVID News Page.

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