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POFQ Lobby Re-Dedication Ceremony on Thursday 18 July 2013

Posted Friday 19th July 2013, 11:00am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

A few days ago we reported on the re-opening of the newly refurbished Port Orleans French Quarter registration lobby, and yesterday (Thursday 18 July) saw the official Re-Dedication Ceremony at 9am, presided over by Port Orleans' General Manager Val Bunting and attended by Walt Disney World Ambassador Rich Tamayo.

Denise from the excellent http://www.MouseSteps.com photowalks site was on-hand to document the rededication, and she has posted a great set of pictures of the event (including the free fresh beignets for guests!) plus some photos of the new details in the lobby in her Resort Update. There's also a short video of the ceremony (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... aVg796NqXE) from Jeff Lange of JWLMedia.com.

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Musician Tom Casey joins Port Orleans French Quarter

Posted Friday 19th July 2013, 8:00am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Now that the lobby refurbishment at Port Orleans French Quarter is complete, entertainment offerings at Scat Cat’s Lounge will resume on Friday, July 19.

Musician Tom Casey will join Scat Cat’s Lounge, performing a dynamic blend of piano and jazz vocals. Tom has previously performed at a variety of venues across the Walt Disney World Resort, including providing vacation cover for French Quarter's previous resident musician, Elliot Dyson.

Performances will take place Friday through Monday at 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 10:30pm. There are no performances scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Update on 10 Aug:

I watched the last hour or so of Tom's set last night. His style is very different from Elliot's, it's no longer a jazz theme but more of a piano-accompanied mix of rock/pop standards (he also has stored backing/rhythm tracks on a laptop, and he does requests). He's very good though, just somewhat different to what you might expect if you're used to Elliot's music.

Tom has just set up a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TomCaseyAtScatCats - which oddly doesn't seem to come up in searches, but that link works - so pop along there and Like him to see his posts.

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Port Orleans French Quarter Lobby opens after refurbishment

Posted Friday 12th July 2013, 4:59am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

As I indicated last week, the Port Orleans French Quarter lobby has now re-opened for guest use after its refurbishment. The plan was to transition services back today (Friday) and be fully open by Monday, but it looks as if the work is pretty much complete now.

It looks very nice, with a fabulous new patterned tiled floor which looks perfectly in keeping with rest of the room. The desks are now dark wood with accented highlight panels along the upper edge in the new two-person 'pod' style so CMs can come out to interact with guests. The effect is more of a subtle change than the recent Riverside update, as the French Quarter desks were already dark wood.

The lovely backdrop behind the main desk area remains, as do the paintings, but on the sad side, the "When the Saints..." music notes are gone. :( There's also new rug/carpeting and sofas in the TV area, and new golden queue stanchions.

Here are a first few camera-phone photos of the new Lobby to be going on with:

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(many thanks to the person who kindly sent them to me this morning)

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Refrigerators Temporarily Removed from Disney Hotel Rooms

Posted Wednesday 10th July 2013, 1:50pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

This was just posted on the Disney Travel Agent Blog. I have no more specific information at present and will update this post when I know more:

Due to a possible defect in the refrigerators in some of the Guest rooms at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts, as well as Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Resort hotels at these locations have removed or temporarily disconnected Guest room refrigerators until the issue can be resolved.

Guests staying at these Resort hotels will be notified of the refrigerator removal via a letter in their room. Currently the schedule for replacing the refrigerators at these Resorts is expected to last several months.

This follow-up comment was just posted by Disney:
This is for all Resorts, except Disney Vacation Club rooms and the cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground. Currently we do not have an exact timeframe for when the fridges will be replaced, but it is expected to take at least 4 months. At each Resort there will be a limited number of refrigerators available by special request.


Update on 12 July:

The review of all 3,056 rooms at Port Orleans has now been completed, and it doesn't look like it's going to be quite as much of a problem as was first envisaged. Only around 50% of the rooms at Riverside have the type of fridge which will need removing (due to a fortunate piece of luck caused by available inventory during the recent rooms rehab) although the situation is slightly worse over at French Quarter. There will still be issues over the coming weeks of course while replacement fridges are sourced and installed, but it does look like it should be possible for guests to at least request a room with a fridge other than for medical reasons.

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2014 Rack and Package Rates released on the WDW USA website

Posted Wednesday 10th July 2013, 7:34am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The 2014 room Rack Rates and Packages are now available on the WDW USA website with confirmed pricing.

I've just compared a few sample dates for this year vs. next year at Port Orleans Riverside. While the Standard room types actually don't seem to have changed at all, and Garden View goes up by only a few dollars, some other room types have rocketed. e.g. in 'Summer-rate' July, River View goes up from $254/night this year to $279 next, and Pool View from $248 to $273 - that's $25 more expensive, or about a 10% increase. (prices inc taxes)

Update on 18 July:

Rates for all dates in 2014 are now in http://www.portorleans.org/roomrates.php.

Here's a quick view of how they break down by season - I still think there are some anomalies with King Bed rates though:

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