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Free Disney Dining Plan (limited) and other Fall offers

Posted Monday 25th April 2016, 5:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Disney has just issued the details of what has become an annually anticipated offer for guests staying on-site during the Fall. To try to increase occupancy levels during this traditionally quieter period, they are offering the Disney Dining Plan for free at select resorts when you book a full-price room and ticket combined package.

Sadly for Port Orleans fans though, the offer seems to be following the same overall pattern as last year. French Quarter is completely excluded from the offer for all dates, and Riverside is only available for limited dates and room types (only valid for arrivals from 23 August 2016 to 1 October 2016). To take advantage of the offer you need to book a minimum of three nights stay, and include at least two days worth of park tickets for every guest in the room. Currently you need to book by 8 July.

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Other current offers relating to the Port Orleans Resorts include the following, which cannot be combined with Free Dining:

Awaken Summer Room-Only Discount: Up to 25% off Moderate Resorts, excluding French Quarter, for stays between 30 May and 25 August 2016. Book by 10 June.

Back To School Room-Only Discount: Up to 25% off Moderate Resorts for stays between 1 August and 5 November 2016. Book by 31 August.

Availability and room types are limited so if you can be flexible with your dates and room category choices that may help.

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Note: All of the above offers are only valid for bookings made via the US Disney Reservations Center, or the US Walt Disney World website (i.e. priced in US Dollars). For other markets, different offers may be available.

For example, the UK Walt Disney Travel Company has just released its 2017 offer which only provides the Quick Service Dining Plan at Moderate Resorts, but is available for most dates in 2017 when you book a room along with 7, 14 or 21 day tickets for everyone, plus they give you a 'free' $200 Disney Gift Card per booking. The 2017 offer provides two counter service meals (which no longer include desserts) and TWO snack items per day, plus one refillable mug, and it is valid at both French Quarter and Riverside for most dates from 1 January – 29 March 2017 and 17 April – 30 November, 2017 (subject to availability and room category choice). Book by 7 July 2016.

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For general information on all the current offers available, and other ways to save money on Walt Disney World trips, I highly recommend a visit to MouseSavers.com.

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FamilyFun Magazine's Best Family Vacations Travel Awards

Posted Wednesday 13th April 2016, 9:37am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

FamilyFun Magazine's annual Best Family Vacations Travel Awards survey features only one Walt Disney World destination within its overall Top 10 "Best of the Best" list - and that is our very own Port Orleans French Quarter.

2,000 families who travel with kids aged 3 to 14 rated nearly 500 US destinations that they had visited within the past five years in five categories - and they obviously had great taste, we couldn't agree with their choice more!

http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/ide ... el-awards/

(thanks to the folks over at DISboards/WDWinfo for spotting this one)

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April 2016 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Thursday 31st March 2016, 12:12pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The April 2016 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 hours are currently 9am—10pm, including the brand new children's Aquatic Play Area at Port Orleans French Quarter. The evening campfires will commence at 6:30pm this month and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm, with both activities occurring on alternating days at the two resorts — Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, and Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at French Quarter.

Continuing this month: The mid-afternoon Disney Junior Pool Party at 2:30pm features music and activities from some of your favourite Disney Junior shows. Join in with awesome activities and games such as Sofia Says, Doc McStuffins Trivia, sing-alongs and much more!

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 (Weds—Sat). Note: Bob will not be at the Port on his usual nights of 7, 8 and 9 April as he is travelling up to Alaska for a few days.

Port Orleans French Quarter's Scat Cat's Club does not currently have its own 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. Their dates are only announced a month or so in advance, but if you happen to be around for any of the following evenings do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended: April 3, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 30. C'mon Disney, Jason & Billy certainly deserve a permanent contract if anyone does!



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Punam Dayabhai-Jairambhai named as POFQ General Manager

Posted Friday 18th March 2016, 1:46pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Disney has just released the following information:

Punam Dayabhai-Jairambhai will transition from her current role as senior manager, Merchandise & Operating Participants, Disney Cruise Line Operations, to General Manager, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.
Punam, who has also previously worked with Adventures by Disney based in California, will be taking over from current General Manager Suzette Noble who has been overseeing both resorts since Valerie Bunting was transferred to a new role last August. Suzette will now switch over to managing the Port Orleans Riverside section only.

We wish them both well in their new roles.

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French Quarter's new Aquatic Play Area Officially Opens

Posted Monday 7th March 2016, 5:00pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The brand new (and much anticipated) children’s Aquatic Play Area at French Quarter officially opened to guests at 9am this morning, complete with plenty of whimsical - and suitably drenching - water play features, all with a unique New Orleans twist.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Port Orleans' General Manager Suzette Noble, French Quarter's Proprietor of Rooms & Recreation Stefanie Shomper, and Walt Disney World Ambassador Caitlin Busscher. Many thanks to Denise from MouseSteps.com for the photos and to Jeff Lange for his great video of the event:

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Other work undertaken at the same time includes the addition of extra fencing and lockable gates at all of the entrances and exits to the pool area, plus improvements in disability accessibility with the replacement of some stepped access routes with inclined slopes. There have also been some new features added at the Mardi Grogs bar, including air heaters for the cooler winter months and some extra snack items (pretzels and popcorn).

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For more background and photographs of the entire construction process, which started back in October 2015, please see our previous news items, or the Refurbishments Page.

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