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Non-stop ferry trial from POR & POFQ to DTD, 2-8 August 2015

Posted Friday 31st July 2015, 5:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

According to Orlando Theme Park News, from Sunday 2 August to Saturday 8 August the evening Sassagoula River Cruise ferry boats will be trialling separate, non-stop, services from Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter directly to the Marketplace Dock at Downtown Disney between 5pm and 11pm nightly.

Any guests planning to hop between the two resorts during this period will not be able to use the water ferry service, however complimentary buses will be available from the bus stops at the front of each hotel.

Update on 11 August: I just heard back from someone in river transportation that the trial was so successful and popular with guests that it has already been decided to continue it indefinitely. This applies to boats after 5pm, when Riverside boats will run approx. every 15 minutes and FQ boats every 20 mins.

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Ye Haa Bob Jackson not performing 11-20 Aug 2015

Posted Thursday 30th July 2015, 4:31am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

River Roost lounge entertainer "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson will be taking some personal time off to recover from outpatient surgery from 11-20 August 2015. Presumably Disney will be providing alternate entertainment for Port Orleans Riverside guests in the meantime.

Hope it goes well Bob, and we all look forward to seeing you back at the Port as soon as you are feeling well enough.

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August 2015 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Sunday 26th July 2015, 3:34am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The August 2015 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 evening campfires will commence at 7pm this month and the Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 9pm daily at both resorts. The feature swimming pool opening hours are 9am—11pm.

Continuing this month: Splash into summer with the Disney Junior Pool Party featuring music and activities from some of your favourite Disney Junior shows. Join in with awesome activities and games such as Sofia Says, Doc McStuffins Trivia, sing-alongs and much more!

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Port Orleans General Manager Val Bunting to leave after 6yrs

Posted Saturday 25th July 2015, 3:42am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Port Orleans General Manager Valerie Bunting will soon be moving to a new position within Walt Disney World. After six very successful years overseeing Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter, Val will be going back to her original park operations roots as "Director, Parks Arrival Experience, Program Management and Park Support" (and no, I'm not really sure quite what that entails either).

From my own experience, and from other people’s comments, Val is an inspirational, enthusiastic and well-liked leader, and lots of great stuff has happened under her watch - including a major refurbishment of the entire resort, the introduction of the popular Royal Guest Rooms, and not to mention the amazing feat of keeping these two resorts running at close to 100% occupancy year-round.

Val has previously worked in senior management positions at both the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom (see 2009 News Post) and her strongly guest-service oriented attitude will no doubt prove a real bonus for any Disney post. I'll add more details once the announcement of her successor has been made public - it’ll be fascinating to see who is going to replace her, and they're certainly going to have a tough act to follow!

Good luck in your new role Val, and I hope you enjoy it as much as you seem to have enjoyed looking after the Port.

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Update 1 August:

The new General Manager of Port Orleans has been announced as Suzette Noble, who has for a number of years been the General Manager of Downtown Disney Merchandise.

She started her Disney career in 1997, having previously been a manager with Chico's, the women’s clothing retailer. Prior to working at Downtown Disney, Suzette was general manager, Disney's Animal Kingdom and liquidation merchandise operations. Her husband is also a senior manager at Walt Disney World, so the Mouse obviously runs deeply in their household.

Update on Val Bunting, February 2016: Shortly after Val's departure from Port Orleans to head up the overall Park Arrivals Experience team, Disney reorganised the operational structure to bring that function directly under each park's individual management structure. Val moved over to take charge of the Entertainment division at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and has recently had overall responsibility for the Animation Courtyard area added to her remit.

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