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Magic Bands coming to Port Orleans Riverside from 3rd Sept

Posted Thursday 15th August 2013, 8:00am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

I was asked to hold back on posting this until today, but Magic Bands will be issued to all Port Orleans Riverside guests for stays commencing 3rd September onward.

Emails and letters will start going out today to inform guests arriving within 18 days that they can pre-book their FastPass+ times (up to 60 days out in fact) and customise their Magic Bands (colour and name) via the My Disney Experience site and/or mobile app. It may not be possible for Disney to contact all guests (e.g. international guests, or those who have booked via some travel agents) but the new system will still apply to everyone regardless.

Continental USA guests should be able to get their Magic Bands mailed out in advance, others will need to pick them up at the Front Desk when they check in. Key cards will still be issued as a backup for the foreseeable future.

While this is still officially classified as a "test", the general expectation is that unless there are major problems this will most likely remain permanent.

French Quarter will follow within the next few months.

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Footbridge between Magnolia Terrace and Ol Man Island closed

Posted Monday 12th August 2013, 11:00am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The footbridge between the Magnolia Terrace mansion building and Ol' Man Island is closed for maintenance work (decking replacement) during the day from Monday 12 August for the next five days. Alternative routes are signposted via the other two bridges. The bridge will be re-opened each night.

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News Updates: Fridges, Magic Bands, Refillable Mugs, etc

Posted Sunday 11th August 2013, 11:00am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Fridges: Both Riverside and French Quarter are now at around 40%-50% working fridges, after about 400 new units were installed at the initially worst-hit French Quarter. Specific medical requests are all being granted, but general requests are still being dealt with on a case-by-case basis (they are moving fridges around to try to help guests, but there are no guarantees at present). 500 more are expected at the end of August, which will make the situation easier again, and the remainder hopefully by early November.

"Rapid Fill" Mugs: The new RFID-chipped mugs started to be issued to new guests from today, but the equipment to enforce their use at the drinks dispensers won't be activated until 19th August. The chips are being activated as you buy them (there is a new device at the tills, which sets each mug up for its period of validity depending on which option you've paid for) so they should work immediately once the dispenser sensors are turned on. Existing guests won't be forced to swap their mugs when the system goes live next week as their mugs will already be active.

Riverside had orange, purple and green mugs today, but French Quarter hasn't got the green ones as yet. The new mugs can officially be refilled at any Disney resort hotel which has a beverage dispenser location, not just at your home resort.

Magic Bands: These should be coming fairly soon now (not quite this month though) and I'll be able to post more information, and hopefully some dates, when I get home from my Port Orleans vacation at the end of this week. I can confirm that Riverside will be first though, with French Quarter a month or two later.

French Quarter Lobby: Two new chandeliers are due to be installed over the next few weeks, and there will be new signage added above the desks soon too. As part of the refurbishment budget, the pianola player-piano at the side of the main atrium (near to Scat Cat's) was repaired and now periodically plays live music in the lobby.

Swimming Pool Life Jackets: Free kids’ life vests are now available at all pools across property, starting about a week ago. They are proving very popular already, as previously you had to request one from the Marina.

French Quarter Campfire Relocation: The firepit is being moved to the end of Beignet Square, the courtyard lawn located between buildings 5 and 6 where the evening movies are shown. Work is almost complete, and the switchover should be taking place in the next week or two. The previous river-view campfire location by building 6 will revert to a seating area, probably as a smoking area. Update: the new campfire location opened on Thursday 22 August.

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August 2013 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Monday 29th July 2013, 5:56pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The August 2013 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules for Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are now available. See the main Recreation Activities Schedule page for full-size PDF versions, or click on the images below.

The outdoor movies will start at 9pm and the daily campfires commence at 7pm this month.



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Disney's Magical Express Downtown Disney pickup trial

Posted Sunday 28th July 2013, 4:42am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

As part of a test running from 1-31 August, guests using Disney’s Magical Express service and staying at Port Orleans Riverside or Port Orleans French Quarter will be able to opt to leave for the airport from the Downtown Disney area rather than from their resort.

This presents an additional opportunity for guests to enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment at Downtown Disney to complete their Walt Disney World Resort experience. [OK, that Disney-speak translates to "lets you spend even more money with Disney"]

Eligible guests must have a domestic flight that departs from Orlando International Airport between 3 pm and midnight, or an international flight between 4 pm and 1 am, on the day of check out.

Reservations should be made no later than 48 hours prior to departure by calling the automated reservation line at (407) 566-6900.

Disney’s Magical Express motorcoaches depart from the center of Downtown Disney, near the Pleasure Island bridge closest to Raglan Road Pub and Restaurant. Area signage and Disney’s Magical Express Cast Members will be available from noon-9 pm to provide assistance and directions for guests. There will also be information leaflets at the resort.

Guests must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time, which will be approximately three hours prior to domestic flight times, and four hours prior for international flights. Disney’s Magical Express motorcoaches may make multiple stops and will depart promptly.

Participating guest luggage can be handled in the following ways:

  • Resort Airline Check in: It is recommended that guests participate in Resort Airline Check-in if possible (details of this service are provided at Resort check-in)

  • Resort Bell Services Transfer: Alternatively, guests can check luggage, including carry-on luggage, with the Resort Bell Services team to be transferred to the Disney’s Magical Express Bus Stop at Downtown Disney, where Guests will claim their bags prior to boarding the motorcoach. Allow at least two hours prior to your scheduled motorcoach departure time. Luggage will travel with Guests on the motorcoach.
For more information, you can call Disney’s Magical Express on 1-866-599-0951.

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