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Bayou Pirate Adventure cruise ending 30 March 2017

Posted Tuesday 28th March 2017, 3:24am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Sadly, the kids' "Bayou Pirate Adventure" riverboat activity cruise for children aged 4-12, which ran three days a week from the Riverside Marina, will be discontinued at the end of this month. The final cruise will take place on Thursday 30 March.

Similar cruises will remain available from several other Walt Disney World resorts, such as the Yacht & Beach Club, the Grand Floridian, and presumably still Caribbean Beach too (although at the moment there is so much construction going on at that resort that it wouldn't be my first choice).

[Update: This decision must have been made fairly recently, so Disney is currently in the process of contacting any guests who have already made future bookings for this activity to offer them alternatives or compensation]


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March 2017 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Wednesday 1st March 2017, 4:56pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The March 2017 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 currently 10am—9pm. These times are enforced and the feature pools are gated and locked when there are no lifeguards on duty, however the five Riverside quiet pools are generally available at any time (within reason). The evening campfires are scheduled for 5:30pm—6:30pm, and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 7:30pm, with both activities occurring on alternating days at the two resorts — Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday at Riverside, and Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at French Quarter.

At 1pm daily there will be Arts & Crafts Activities, with Mickey Tie-Dye T-shirt decoration occurring on select days as shown on the schedules (payment required for these activities). See Resort Lobby signage or a Recreation Cast Member for details.

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).

Port Orleans French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club does not currently have official resident musicians, but filling the gap admirably are 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. The dates are only announced a month or so in advance (generally most Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays) but if you happen to be around for any of their evenings (8:30pm—11pm) do yourself a favour and pop along, they are highly recommended.

Jason & Billy at Scat Cat’s: March 4, 5, 6, 7*, 11*, 12, 13, 14*, 18, 19, 20, 21*, 25, 26, 27* & 28. * Jason will be playing with Greg Hayworth on March 7, 14, 21 & 27, and on March 11 there will be a solo show from John Stevens.

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Mardi Gras events at Port Orleans French Quarter, 28 Feb

Posted Thursday 23rd February 2017, 5:00pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Port Orleans has always had a reputation for fun and games at Mardi Gras (which this year occurs on Tuesday 28th February) and this time there will be a number of brand new activities available at French Quarter - although guests from Riverside are of course very welcome to attend too. Some events will be free, while others will incur additional charges.

In addition to the regular afternoon poolside games, guests can enjoy:

10am—11am - Pargo Parade : The annual parade will begin at Riverside and end in the French Quarter Courtyard. Organised by the cast members of the resort to kick off the Mardi Gras celebrations, pick a location along the parade route to watch a series of fun decorated floats inventively created using the resort's 'pargo' carts. Candy and beads will be distributed by the parade participants.

11am—Noon : Guest Interaction with Pargo Parade participants.

Noon—2pm - Painting on de’ Bayou : Located by the Scat Cat’s Stage, guests will experience an instructor-led class allowing them to create their very own New Orleans themed masterpiece to take home, priced at $39.99 + tax. Scat Cat’s Club will offer a full menu and specialty drinks, with a cocktail server to take your orders.

3pm—5pm - Scat Cat’s “Magic Mardi Gras Mixer” : Located in the Scat Cat’s Club lounge, adult guests will be able to indulge in the spirit of Mardi Gras with specialty food and cocktails, and there will be a Roaming Magician available to spellbind everyone.

5pm—8pm - Mardi Gras Courtyard Celebration : Located in the French Quarter Courtyard, events will include Mickey Tie Dye ($17 + tax), Beignet Walk, Dance Party hosted by a DJ, King Cake Eating Contest, Create Your Own Mardi Gras themed Tumbler/Wine Glass ($8.00 + tax), Bead Toss, Roaming Magician.

5:30pm—6:30pm - Cajun Campfire (note the later than normal start time).

7pm - Movie Under the Stars : “The Princess and the Frog” screened on the lawn between buildings 5 & 6.

In the event of inclement weather, events will be moved into the French Quarter Lobby.


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Valentine's Day events at Port Orleans

Posted Monday 13th February 2017, 12:07pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

If you are visiting Port Orleans this week there are a few special Valentine's Day activities (all clean family-friendly fun!) on Tuesday February 14th, plus a special four course menu-for-two available at Boatwright's Dining Hall in the evening for $120, finished off a with champagne toast. Thanks as always to Special Agent John for the photos.

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Package and Mail Delivery fee of $5 per item from 12 Feb

Posted Friday 10th February 2017, 4:56pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Effective this Sunday, 12 February 2017, there will be a $5 handling fee charged for every incoming mail item or package delivered to the resort for guests. This follows a (presumably-successful?) trial carried out at the Value resorts over the last few months , during which I guess 'successful' was defined as making more money for Disney than before they started charging? With the current trend of nickel and diming guests at every opportunity, I can’t say I’m exactly surprised though. See https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest ... -services/ for the official announcement (tucked in after the bullet points at the bottom).

The fee is per box or envelope, whatever the size or shape - and regardless of whether it's a single small letter or a large heavy box. However the fee will not apply to deliveries dropped off in person at Bell Services such as Garden Grocer, Owner's Locker, etc. It also does not apply to internal WDW items such as Disney Florist, Disney Vacation Club and purchases made at the parks and sent back to your hotel, nor will it be charged for gifts or items that the guest wasn't expecting (such as items left by other guests, travel agent welcome packages, etc).

To be honest I think the biggest reason for this charge is the massive increase in the quantity of product that people are having shipping to them, which is I suspect due in large part to the prevalence of information, tips and suggestions passed round on the internet (including sites like this one). Also with airlines charging more for bringing stuff along as baggage, and Disney charging ever more for something as simple as a bottle of water, it will probably only get worse.

Ten years ago there would be a few guest items a day delivered to the resort, and this would be handled by front desk staff as needed. Now though, there is a constant flow of delivery people with boxes stacked to the ceiling throughout the day. POR has had to allocate a complete extra room (which used to be office space) solely for package storage, and there is now a dedicated staff member to handle everything.

While this does all seem like another case of biting the hand that feeds, I guess as long as the incremental revenue remains greater than the losses incurred from guests deciding that it’s no longer worthwhile to stay on property, this sort of thing will continue whatever anyone says. The next two charges that I fear we might see before too long will be the implementation of a resort parking fee, and/or the addition a per night resort surcharge - as if that wasn’t already embedded into the extraordinarily high rack rates which went up again by 7% per year. I do hope not, but only time will tell.

However if you are unhappy with this charge being surreptitiously added, I suggest you make your complaint known at the time and see what can be done about it.

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