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Magnolia Bend Quiet/Leisure Swimming Pool closure

Posted Thursday 19th September 2019, 8:31pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The quiet leisure pool located in Magnolia Bend between buildings 80 (Acadian House) and 85 (Magnolia Terrace) will be closed for maintenance and refurbishment work from mid September 2019 until late October 2019. The closure includes the laundry building next to the pool. This work broadly aligns with the current guest room refurbishment process that is underway in the same general area. The main feature pool on Ol' Man Island, and the other four quiet pools around the resort, will remain open as normal.

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Scat Cat's closing as we know it, re-opening inside the old Bonfamille's Cafe location - minus popular musical act

Posted Tuesday 17th September 2019, 7:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Scat Cat's Club at Port Orleans French Quarter will soon be closing as we know it, and re-opening inside the old Bonfamille's Cafe restaurant location - sadly minus the current popular musical duo of Jason Thomas & Billy Varnes. The current location just off the main lobby will apparently become "Beignet Central" - perhaps some sort of coffee and cake shop? It was always a slightly odd location for a bar with live music - being effectively inside the entrance lobby atrium - but why the current entertainment could not have simply been transitioned into the new location I really don't know.

Jason and Billy's last night will be Sunday 29 September, so you've got just over a week to make your last visits. According to Jason on Facebook:

Scat Cat's club is changing! Details are still sketchy, but Scat Cat's, as we know it, will soon be changing into "Beignet Central"!! Scat Cat's Club will be moving into the space previously empty, before that, a restaurant, over by the player piano. Renovations are underway!

I'm very sorry to have to announce that, as part of these changes, there will be new entertainment coming to the "new" club, most likely a Dixieland jazz band. As it stands right now, Jason, Billy and Greg will be ending our four-year Scat Cat's run Sunday night, Sept. 29. We will be planning a big farewell party - details soon! Please make your plans to come and see us at the current Scat Cat's, before we're both gone!

While it's certainly long overdue for the resort to do something about the unused and wasted Bonfamille's Cafe restaurant space, adding another lounge/bar and losing an established and well-liked musical act into the bargain might not have been my first choice... I'll miss Jason and Billy, they are a talented and popular duo and I wish them well with whatever projects lie in their future.

Update on 20 Sept from the Disney Parks Blog:
Soon, things will be jazzed up even more at the resort’s lounge: Scat Cat’s Club. The club will expand to a larger space to serve up signature beverages and flavorful bar options offering a taste of the “Big Easy” in a lounge inspired by the French Quarter in New Orleans.

And just like the French Quarter always has music playing, Scat Cat’s Club will continue to fill the room with entertainment authentic to the New Orleans story, featuring live jazz music five nights a week.

With the expansion of Scat Cat’s Club, the famous beignets will soon be available throughout the day at an all-new location near the lobby, Scat Cat’s Club – Café, making it easier to pick up a piping hot batch. The beignets are made in-house daily, available in classic as well as my favorite seasonal flavor, and many are even served in a signature Mickey-shape!

Whether you’re staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter or craving some sweet beignets and lively music, you’re invited to swing by Scat Cat’s Club to enjoy its timeless charm and new offerings starting this October.


I like the idea of expanding the space allocated for Scat Cat's, which should make for a more atmospheric and laid-back location - and live jazz music will certainly fit in well with the theming of the resort. The current duo of Jason and Billy will be sadly missed though.

There is a fully fitted kitchen there too, left over from Bonfamille's Cafe restaurant and subsequently the WDW test kitchen days, so hopefully they will be able to offer an expanded range of food offerings - although the current selection of enticing choices was pretty good already (such as Chicken and Waffles, Sassagoula Crab Dip, Crawfish Étouffée, Mardi Gras Mac & Cheese, and Bayou Brisket Sliders).

The lobby-based Cafe is a nice concept too, and possibly a better use of that open plan space which never lent itself well to live music. And it's sure good to know that beignets will "soon be available throughout the day"... as opposed to currently, when they are only available a measly 6am until midnight just a few steps away in the food court. :)

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September 2019 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Sunday 1st September 2019, 8:21am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The September 2019 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 9am—11pm until 28 September, after which they reduce to 9am—10pm. Outside of these times the main feature pools and hot tubs are gated and locked as there are no lifeguards on duty. The five leisure (quiet) pools at Riverside are not locked, and are generally available at any time within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm five nights a week at Riverside (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), and three nights at week at French Quarter (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays). There will be no movies at either resort on Tuesdays.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm every night at Riverside, and three nights a week at French Quarter (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the same as the movie nights). You can roast marshmallows for free, or you can 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) — Learn to paint at at Port Orleans French Quarter! 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 $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge desk for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (Tuesdays & Fridays at French Quarter; Tuesdays & Thursdays at Riverside. 8:30pm-9:30pm) — Dance on down to the pool for an exciting evening of party games and dancing that will light up the night!
  • Arts & Crafts ($) 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 $18+tax, including the T-shirt).
  • Tide Pool Thursdays (French Quarter, 1:30pm—8:30pm, Thursdays) — Help us say goodbye to summer with a splash! Join us each Thursday for beachy activities for the whole family! Featuring Mickey Tie-Dye ($), Beach Ball Blast, and a presentation of Finding Nemo, we can’t wait to “sea” you there!
  • Swashbuckling Fridays (Riverside, 1pm—8:30pm, Fridays) — Ahoy, Me Hearties! After a long day of fun and collecting your treasures next to the pool, end the day with a Piratical campfire and movie!
  • 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.
  • French Quarter Pumpkin Patch Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — Fall has arrived at Port Orleans French Quarter and we’re inviting you to join in on the festive fun by joining us for a pumpkin hunt! We’ve hidden 13 pumpkins around the Resort, each one featuring one of Disney’s most mischievous villains, and we need your help to find then! To join in on the fun, visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Find all 13 villains and return your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a seasonal surprise!

Note: Poolside Yoga, Dockside Drawing and the Trivia Nights at Riverside, plus the “Let the Good Times Roll Dance Party” at French Quarter, have been discontinued.

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: “Ye Haa” Bob has a few personal event days coming up, and will not be performing his regular sessions at Port Orleans Riverside on Wednesday 11, Friday 20 & Saturday 21 September, and then for an extended vacation travelling in China from 16—30 October, returning to the Port on Thursday 31 October.

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have "official" resident musicians, but filling the gap admirably for a number of years now are the talented 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. You can normally find them playing at Scat Cat's on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30pm until 11pm, and recently you may even find them there on Fridays too. So if you happen to be around for one of their evenings why not do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.

[Update] Jason and Billy’s four-year tenure at Scat Cat’s Club is unfortunately coming to an end, their last performance will be on Sunday 29 September 2019. Disney are transitioning the entire bar/lounge facility into the old Bonfamille’s Cafe restaurant space (just behind the current location) and will be introducing a new musical offering when that opens. This is a real shame as the boys had worked hard to build up a great reputation and a loyal following. Good luck with your next gig, wherever that may be, you will be sadly missed at the Port.

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August 2019 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Wednesday 31st July 2019, 2:48pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The August 2019 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 now and throughout the summer months are 9am—11pm, outside of which times the pools and hot tubs are gated and locked as there are no lifeguards on duty. The five leisure (quiet) pools at Riverside are not locked and are generally available at any time within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8:30pm five nights a week at Riverside (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), and three nights at week at French Quarter (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays). There will be no movies at either resort on Tuesdays.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 6:30pm-7:30pm every night at Riverside, and four nights a week at French Quarter (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). You can roast marshmallows for free, or you can 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) — Learn to paint at at Port Orleans French Quarter! 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 $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge desk for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (Tuesdays & Fridays at French Quarter; Tuesdays & Thursdays at Riverside. 8:30pm-9:30pm) — Dance on down to the pool for an exciting evening of party games and dancing that will light up the night!
  • Arts & Crafts ($) 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).
  • Descendants 3 (Saturdays at Riverside, Mondays at French Quarter, 8:30pm) — Celebrate a wicked cool summer with the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Descendants 3”! Guests will receive a collectible postcard with a code to stream the Official Descendants Music Playlist while supplies last. French Quarter’s pool activities and evening campfires will also feature villain-inspired themes on Mondays to tie in with the movie screenings.
  • “Back to School” Fridays (Riverside, 1pm—8:30pm, Fridays) —Get ready to “get your head in the game” on Fridays with some fabulous games, activities and prizes. “Go Wildcats!”
  • 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.
  • Summer Sing-along Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — It’s summertime at Port Orleans French Quarter, and we are inviting you to join in as we celebrate some of our favorite Disney songs! We’ve hidden a symphony of music notes around the Resort, each one representing a favorite Disney movie with songs that keep us humming and singing along. Visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Once you’ve found all the music notes, return your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a sweet summertime surprise!

Note: Poolside Yoga, Dockside Drawing and the Trivia Nights at Riverside, plus the “Let the Good Times Roll Dance Party” at French Quarter, have been discontinued. The reference to Dockside Drawing in the Monday daily activities list for Riverside appears to be an error.

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: “Ye Haa” Bob has a few personal event days coming up, and will not be performing his regular sessions at Port Orleans Riverside on: Fri 9, Sat 10, Thurs 29, Fri 30 & Sat 31 August. He will also be away on Fri 20 & Sat 21 September, and then for an extended vacation travelling in China from 16—30 October, returning to the Port on Thursday 31 October.

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have "official" resident musicians, but filling the gap admirably for a number of years now are the talented 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. You can normally find them playing at Scat Cat's on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30pm until 11pm, and recently you may even find them there on Fridays too. So if you happen to be around for one of their evenings why not do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.

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Free Disney Dining Plan offer for Fall 2019 announced, once again excluding both Port Orleans Resorts

Posted Tuesday 16th July 2019, 12:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Walt Disney World has launched its annual complimentary Disney Dining Plan offer, this time with pretty limited date options. Also, as with last year, the deal completely excludes both of the Port Orleans Resorts. In 2017 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 (see mousesavers.com).

All is not completely lost for Port Orleans fans though, as Disney has also just launched a new "Fall & Holiday" offer, which gives discounts of 'up to' 15% for Moderate resort rooms - although only 10% for both Port Orleans resorts. The offer period covers arrival dates from 1 Sep 2019 - 24 Dec 2019, but weekends (Fridays & Saturdays) are blacked out between 29 Sep and 14 Nov. While you can continue with your stay after the end of the offer period, or during blacked-out weekend dates, the price will revert back to regular rack rates for the non-offer dates. There is no minimum length of stay, and the offer can be combined with tickets and/or the purchase of a Dining Plan to create a package.

For arrival dates of up to 7 November you must make your booking by 29 September, and for the remainder of the dates you can book until the offer ends. Availability is limited and these kinds of offers always tend to sell out very fast. With Port Orleans excluded from free dining places are likely to go quickly, so book soon and try to be flexible with your dates for the best chances.

As always, for more details on this and other offers please see the excellent mousesavers.com.

Note: These offers relate only to bookings made directly with Walt Disney World and/or its US travel agents. Other counties may have different offers; the UK Walt Disney Travel Company for example has been offering its guests free Disney Dining with package bookings (including stays at both Port Orleans resorts) for some time, and throughout 2020.

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