Port Orleans News

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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.


One year today since the Port Orleans resorts closed due to COVID

Posted Saturday 20th March 2021, 8:21am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

One year ago today, Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside and Port Orleans Resort French Quarter were shut down due to the spread of COVID-19. All of the Walt Disney World theme parks closed on Monday 16th March 2020, and the Resort hotels followed a few days later at 5pm on Friday 20th March to allow guests enough time to make arrangements to return home. At the time, Disney indicated that these closures would last "at least" a month - although I thought the reality would be considerably longer than that (News Item). However not even at my most pessimistic did I think that a year later we'd still be in the same situation.

The theme parks tentatively started to reopen - albeit with a lot of restrictions - from 11th July 2020, and some of the resort hotels (especially the DVC Resorts) saw phased reopenings around the same time and over the following months. Many of the hotels are still closed though, some with no indication at all of when that situation may change. All Star Movies is due to reopen next week, with the Beach Club and Wilderness Lodge following in May and June respectively. The Polynesian is set for a mid-summer reopening after a refurbishment program. However there is no reopening information at all about Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter, All Star Sports & Music, Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Boardwalk.

Sadly, until travel restrictions start to be lifted - which will rely on widespread uptake of the vaccination programme - it seems unlikely that Disney will find itself requiring the extra room capacity any time soon. Let's hope April's expected announcements might provide some good news as Disney ramps up plans for the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World in October 1971. For any further updates, please keep an eye on our COVID News Page.



Merry Christmas 2020

Posted Friday 25th December 2020, 8:47am (EST) by Admin


Well it's that time of year again, but what a different year it has been! From March, everyone's carefully laid plans were in tatters, theme parks and resorts had been shuttered, and tens of thousands of dedicated cast members were to lose their jobs before the end of the year. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrible year, and especially to all my friends at Port Orleans.

Let's hope that 2021 will offer us a glimmer of hope for a return to something at least close to normality. My own plans for visiting from the UK in 2020 were completely cancelled, but maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to return to strolling along the banks of the Sassagoula River again before 2021 is out.

I wish everyone as Merry a Christmas as is possible under the current circumstances, and let's hope and pray for a better New Year.

--- Andre

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