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Sassagoula River Ferry adjustments for Dragon Boat Festival

Posted Monday 7th October 2013, 4:47am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Over the next couple of weeks there will be some adjustments to the Sassagoula River Ferry service to and from Downtown Disney due to the upcoming annual Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival (18-19 Oct) and the various planned events on Lake Buena Vista at Downtown Disney.

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Race Hours:
18 October: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
19 October: 8:00am - 5:00pm

The resort ferry services affected are Old Key West, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter and Saratoga Springs, and additional buses will be provided during these times.

Most of the the ferry boats will not be running during the following periods:
9 October: 4:35pm - 6:45pm
10-17 October: 10:00am - 11:00am and 3:15pm - 6:45pm
18 October: 10:00am - 11:00am and 3:15pm - closing
19 October: 10:00am - 5:30pm

Update on 9 Oct:

I've just heard that the Port Orleans river ferry services to and from Downtown Disney will only be impacted on the main day of the races, Saturday 19 October. On that day, there will be no river ferry service until 5:30pm. Prior to that, the Port Orleans river ferry service will operate as normal.

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October 2013 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Sunday 29th September 2013, 4:31am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

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

The evening campfires commence at 6pm this month, and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8pm (except for Halloween which will be 7pm/9pm).

Halloween Activities for 31 October include:

  • Disney Character Meet & Greets
  • Candy Corn Guessing Contests
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Cake Walks
  • Monster Mash Dance Party
  • Costume Contest (all ages)
  • Pumpkin Decorating & Crafts
  • Trick-or-Treating
  • Haunted Campfires
Reminder: the Riverside campfire site on Ol’ Man Island is still closed at the moment, but the main refurbishment work has now been completed apart from some final safety checks, so it should hopefully be reopened by early October. In the meantime guests can still use the new French Quarter campfire site.


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Bus Wait-Time Display now operating at POR South Depot

Posted Saturday 28th September 2013, 5:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

There has been a TV screen sitting quietly and unobtrusively at the Port Orleans Riverside South Depot for some time now, and it has recently been turned on. Now guests waiting at the bus stop can get a real-time estimation of when the next Disney Bus for their destination should arrive:

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The information should get updated immediately as busses are changed or delayed, and if new ones are deployed to a route, and it is all based on the central despatch system linked to the GPS tracking devices fitted to all of the buses in Disney's fleet.

At present this is only at the Riverside South Depot with no immediate plans for the outer stops or French Quarter, but it's still a very nice start!

(Thanks for the photo D!)

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New Menu Items at Boatwright's from 25 September

Posted Friday 27th September 2013, 5:33am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

With special thanks to our dedicated specialist research team who have swung into action armed with covert photographic equipment and integrated wireless network communications tools (thanks mrsmomo, that means you and your smartphone! :) ) we find that several new menu items have now been added to the Boatwright's Dining Hall menu as from 25 September. A few existing items have gone up by a dollar or two, but mostly the prices have stayed the same.

Pimiento Cheese Fritters Image $8.49 (Appetiser)
with Pepper Jelly

Slow-Cooked Beef Short Rib Image $24.99 (Entrée)
Cheesy Grits and Red Wine Reduction
~ Recommended Pairing: Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County ~

Sweet-Tea Brined Pork Chop Image $21.99 (Entrée)
with Sweet Potato Hash, Citrus-Whiskey Glaze, and Onion Straws
~ Recommended Pairing: Canyon Road Merlot, California ~

The restaurant has removed the existing Salmon Salad from the menu to make room for the new items. The new Slow-Cooked Beef Short Rib is already getting rave reviews, it had only been on the menu for 24 hours and already several people have commented on how good it is.

The food court menus were also updated at the end of August with a few new items, see the Riverside Mill page for full details.

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MagicBands coming to Port Orleans French Quarter from 30 Sep

Posted Friday 13th September 2013, 5:35am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

BREAKING NEWS: I'm hearing reports that the My Disney Experience system is now allowing Port Orleans French Quarter guests with arrival dates as early as 19 October to customise Magic Bands and make FastPass+ reservations for their stay. The system seems to have updated overnight. More information as soon as I get it.

Update at 6:30am (Eastern): I just had an email, the official French Quarter start date for Magic Band / FastPass+ is for arrivals from 30 September onward.

The current testing period lasts until 31 October, so nothing can be set up beyond then at present. However the general expectation is that the system will mostly likely continue seamlessly after that period, once Disney has loaded the new dates onto the system.

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