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Mardi Gras 2020

Posted Tuesday 25th February 2020, 3:38am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Today (February 25) is Mardi Gras 2020, and as usual the resort will be having a few fun activities to celebrate Fat Tuesday, leading off with the annual cast member's Pargo Parade. This is a mini-parade created as a competition between the cast members from the different departments at the resort. All guests are welcome to view the parade as it wends its way along the riverbank pathways from Riverside over to French Quarter, starting at 10am.

10am-11am - Mardi Gras Pargo Parade: Travelling through both Port Orleans Riverside & Port Orleans French Quarter.
6pm-9pm - French Quarter's Magical Mardi Gras: Join us in the French Quarter Lobby Courtyard for Mardi Gras fun for the whole family! Our Magical Mardi Gras Celebration will include dancing, character meet and greets, a King Cake eating contest, Mardi Gras Crafts ($), giveaways, and more!
7pm - Movie Under the Stars: End your Mardi Gras celebrations by joining us between Buildings 5 & 6 at French Quarter for a showing of The Princess and the Frog.

There are several planned Live Video Streams of the parade, starting around 10am. We hope to host one on our own Facebook Page or Facebook Group, and some of the folks from Eyes on Ears plan to be there too and will be streaming via their YouTube Channel pages.

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February 2020 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Saturday 1st February 2020, 4:00am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The February 2020 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 larger versions.

The main feature swimming pool operating hours are 10am—8pm until sometime in March. 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 officially open 9am—10pm, but they are not locked and are generally available at any time within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 7:30pm four nights a week at Riverside’s Magnolia South pool deck, between buildings 90 & 95 (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), and at 7pm six nights a week at French Quarter on the Green between buildings 5 & 6 (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays).

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 5:30pm-6:30pm every night at Riverside, and at 7:15pm-8:15pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at French Quarter. 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.

Mardi Gras, Tuesday 25th February 2020. Every year the Port Orleans resorts celebrate Mardi Gras in style, usually with special activities and games. The Port Orleans cast members also enter an annual competition to see which department can dream up the most creative, best themed parade floats based around the resort’s “pargo“ vehicles. The cast members get to parade their imaginative floats around both resorts for guests to see on the official Mardi Gras “Fat Tuesday”, starting at 10am. There are also evening activities at French Quarter starting at 6pm. More info will be released closer to the date.

Other 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, 2pm—4pm Wednesdays. Note the change of time and venue) — Learn to paint at Port Orleans French Quarter! Join us in Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory from 2pm to 4pm 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! Please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge Desk to reserve your spot. Registration is limited to 16 Guests per week and costs $35 per person, plus tax. For ages 12 and up. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Mardi Gras Festival (Riverside, 7pm—9pm, Saturdays) — Wander over to the Riverside Levee Marina every Saturday from 7pm to 9pm to celebrate the Mardi Gras season with games, crafts and more.
  • Arts & Crafts ($) 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).
  • Back Porch Games (Riverside, 12pm Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays) — Bring the family down to the Back Porch of the Riverside Lobby for some fun in the sun. These giant games will be a blast for everyone!
  • 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.
  • Mardi Gras “Mask”-erade (French Quarter, daily) — French Quarter is ready for a Mardi Gras “Mask”-erade. All throughout the resort you’ll find masks themed to your favorite Disney movies, and we need your help to find them all! To join in on the fun, visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Return your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a Mardi Gras surprise!

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).

Don’t miss an opportunity to see the new live jazz entertainment at Scat Cat’s Club Lounge in the newly renovated space next to the main Lobby (the old Bonfamille's restaurant). The Lounge opens at 4pm, with live jazz music starting at 7:30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (days subject to change). Currently “Big Ezee Swag” are the featured jazz quartet. You can also pick up your favourite tasty treat, Beignets, and speciality coffee in the new Scat Cat’s Club Cafe, open all day from 6am.

These new offerings replace the popular evening musical duo Jason Thomas and Billy Varnes, whose four-year tenure at Scat Cat’s Club unfortunately came to an end on Sunday 29 September 2019. Good luck with your next gig guys, wherever that may be, you will be sadly missed at the Port.

Note: For the past ten years, cast members from the resort’s recreation team have been kind enough to send me a quick email at the end of each month with the new recreation schedules, so I can provide this information in a timely manner for upcoming guests on the 1st of the month. Unfortunately, at the end of January 2020 I received an email saying that have been given “direction from the company” that they are no longer allowed to send out this information — even though the same sheets are given out in Welcome Packs to every arriving guest, and they even can be picked up on request at the front desk. They have said I’m more than welcome to still upload those, but sadly as I’m based in the UK, that isn’t really an option...

Luckily the internet being what it is, I can still point you to the very helpful OrlandoParkNews.com website, where they do still host every WDW Resort’s Recreation Schedule from the start of each new month, so please give them a visit and support their site. This is what they have on their page for Port Orleans for February:


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January 2020 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules are now available

Posted Tuesday 31st December 2019, 11:59am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The January 2020 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 10am—8pm until sometime in March. Christmas Holiday hours are slightly extended to 9am—9pm until 4 Jan. 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 officially open 9am—10pm, but they are not locked and are generally available at any time within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 7:30pm five nights a week at Riverside’s Magnolia South pool deck, between buildings 90 & 95 (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), and at 7pm four nights a week at French Quarter on the Green between buildings 5 & 6 (Mondays,Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). There are no movies on Friday or Saturday nights during January.

Evening Campfire Activities will take place from 5:30pm-6:30pm every night at Riverside, and at 7:15pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at French Quarter. 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.

Other 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, 2pm—4pm Wednesdays. Note the change of time and venue) — Learn to paint at Port Orleans French Quarter! Join us in Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory from 2pm to 4pm 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! Please call 407-WDW-PLAY or visit the Concierge Desk to reserve your spot. Registration is limited to 16 Guests per week and costs $35 per person, plus tax. For ages 12 and up. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Winter Wonderland Festival (Riverside, 7pm—9pm, Saturdays) — Wander over to the Riverside Levee Marina every Saturday from 7pm to 9pm for some treats, crafts and games to celebrate the cool Winter weather.
  • Arts & Crafts ($) 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).
  • Back Porch Games (Riverside, 12pm Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays) — Bring the family down to the Back Porch of the Riverside Lobby for some fun in the sun. These giant games will be a blast for everyone!
  • 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.
  • Snowflake Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — Port Orleans French Quarter has been sprinkled with magical snowflakes, and we need your help to find them all! To join in on the flurry of fun, visit the Front Desk to pick up your clue guide. Find all of the sparkling snowflakes and turn your completed clue guide to the Front Desk to collect a frosty surprise!

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 will be taking the week of 6-11 January off, snorkelling around the beautiful coral reefs of the US Virgin Islands. He’ll be back on stage at the Port on Wednesday 15 January.

Don’t miss an opportunity to see the new live jazz entertainment at Scat Cat’s Club Lounge in the newly renovated space next to the main Lobby (the old Bonfamille's restaurant). The Lounge will open at 4pm, with live music on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 8pm. You can also pick up your favorite tasty treat, Beignets, and specialty coffee in the new Scat Cat’s Club Cafe, open all day from 6am.

These new offerings replace the popular evening musical duo Jason Thomas and Billy Varnes, whose four-year tenure at Scat Cat’s Club unfortunately came to an end on Sunday 29 September 2019. Good luck with your next gig guys, wherever that may be, you will be sadly missed at the Port.

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New Year's Eve 2019 Activities

Posted Sunday 29th December 2019, 8:14pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Happy New Year to everyone at Port Orleans. If you're not planning on braving the crowds at the theme parks on December 31st, or you just don't fancy the getting jostled in the queues to get back to your hotel room after midnight, there will be lots of fun activities to help say goodbye to 2019 and welcome to 2020 right here at your own resort.

Port Orleans Riverside – Once Upon a Midnight

  • 6:30pm-7:30pm - Campfire on de ’Bayou
  • 8pm-9pm - Design–Your-Own Toast Glass ($), located on the back Porch of the Lobby
  • 9pm-11:30pm - Medicine Show Arcade Challenge, located in the Medicine Show Arcade
  • 9pm-12am - Once Upon a Midnight: New Year’s Eve Party, located on the Back Porch of the Lobby
    Join us as we ring in the new year, “Once Upon a Midnight”! Make your New Year’s memories special with festive games, Character Greetings and dance parties, along with some Arts & Crafts($) and Beverages ($)
  • 11:30pm-12am - Countdown to 2020, located on the Back Porch of the Lobby. Featuring “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on the big screen!

Port Orleans French Quarter – All That Glitters
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm - Glittering Gold Campfire
  • 8pm-9pm - Design-Your-Own Toast Glass ($), located in the Resort Lobby. Decorate your own glass to toast to the New Year at 11:45pm! The purchase of each glass includes one glass of sparkling cider
  • 9pm-12am - All That Glitters: A New Year’s Eve Celebration, located in the Lobby Courtyard. Join us for New Year’s Eve fun for the whole family! Our New Year’s Eve Celebration will include a DJ, dancing, Character Greetings, Arts & Crafts($), games, and more!

Oh, and if you are still planning on visiting the theme parks to celebrate, my own tip is to visit Magic Kingdom on Monday December 30 (where you will still see the full New Year fireworks show) and then Epcot on Tuesday December 31.

Have a fantastic evening, and wishing you all a Very Happy New Year from PortOrleans.org.

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Christmas 2019 Activities

Posted Sunday 22nd December 2019, 7:49am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

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It's that time of year again, and while I don't have copies of the handout sheets yet, the following extra activities will be occurring at Port Orleans in the run-up to the big day:

Sunday 22 December, 7pm-8pm – A Choir Group will be singing Christmas Carols at French Quarter in the outdoor courtyard behind the Lobby (between the food court and gift shop).
Monday 23 December, 8:30am-9:30am – A Choir Group will be singing Christmas Carols at Riverside in the dockside courtyard area behind the Lobby.
Tuesday 24 December, 5pm-9pm - Santa will be in the Riverside lobby
Tuesday 24 December, 5pm-9pm - Christmas themed Character Greeting in the French Quarter lobby

For Christmas and Christmas Eve, the activities on the pool decks are going to similar to the normally scheduled events, but with a bit of a Christmas twist.

Reminder: "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson will be playing an extra night at Riverside next week on New Year's Eve (Tuesday 31 December).

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