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Campfire Updates: New POFQ location, plus POR refurbishment

Posted Saturday 24th August 2013, 3:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The newly-built campfire firepit at Port Orleans French Quarter which we mentioned a couple of weeks ago has now opened for guests as from Thursday 22 August. Located in Beignet Square - the courtyard between buildings 5 and 6 where the evening movies are screened - the campfire will take place every evening for a couple of hours before the movie starts.

Oddly enough for a custom-designed location, there is currently no bench seating provided (unlike at the previous area) which a few guests have already commented upon. This will be reviewed over the coming weeks as the old location is transformed back to its previous use. Note: children under 12 must be accompanied to the campfire by an adult.

Also, the Riverside campfire on Ol' Man Island is currently closed for about a month for refurbishment work (the exact completion date is somewhat dependent on how cooperative the September weather turns out to be). In the meantime, cast members will be helping to transport interested guests over to French Quarter's campfire by pargo (golf cart).

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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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