Port Orleans News

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Guest car parking at Disney Resort Hotels to be charged for bookings made from 21 March 2018 onward

Posted Wednesday 14th March 2018, 12:15pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Guest car parking at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels will no be longer be a free perk. Effective for all bookings made from 21 March 20018 onward, parking at the Port Orleans Resorts will cost guests $19 per night.

Just when you thought Disney had wrung about every last drop of blood out of their visiting stones...

Effective for reservations made from 21 March 2018 onward, overnight car parking at any of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels for registered guests will no longer be the inclusive perk that it has been for more than forty-five years. Self-parking will now incur a nightly fee that will be applied to your hotel folio upon check-out:

Value Resorts: $13 per night
Moderate Resorts (which includes Port Orleans): $19 per night
Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night
(prices include tax)

Guests staying at any of the Walt Disney World resort hotels will still receive "complimentary" parking at the Disney theme parks, as will select Annual Pass holders including Premium passholders.

Self-parking at the water parks, Disney Springs and the ESPN Wide World of Sports will remain free for everyone. Complimentary self-parking is also available to any day guests and visitors who want to visit any of the Disney Resort hotels to experience the dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation offerings.

Designated parking areas are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort for Guests with disabilities. A valid disability parking permit is required.

For more information, please see the official page on the Walt Disney World website.



Road Closure on Bonnet Creek Road near Parterre Place for water main work

Posted Monday 12th March 2018, 6:54am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The perimeter circle road around Port Orleans Riverside has been closed at the road bridge over the Sassagoula River just before Parterre Place since late last week, apparently for emergency work on a burst water main.

To access Parterre Place by road in the meantime, guests will need to travel the reverse route all the way around the Sassagoula Circle road, going past the Alligator Bayou area first. Disney buses are being re-routed as well, turning back after their pickup at the East Depot and returning the same way they came, which will add slightly to journey times.

It is hoped that the road will be re-opened early this week.


March 2018 Recreation Activities and Movie Schedules

Posted Friday 23rd February 2018, 6:43pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

The March 2018 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—8pm, changing to 9am—11pm from 18 March. These hours are enforced and the feature pools are gated and locked when there are no lifeguards on duty, however the five Riverside leisure (quiet) pools are generally available at any time, within reason.

Movies Under the Stars will be screened at 8pm, daily at Riverside but only on Mondays & Saturdays at French Quarter. Evening campfire activities will take place on the same evenings as the movies from 5:30pm-6:30pm at Riverside, and from 6pm-7pm at French Quarter.

Some other specific activities to watch out for (on select days, see schedules for details):

  • 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 (payment required).
  • 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 Marina from 9am—5pm. Be sure to share your selfies with the hashtags #SassagoulaSelfie and #PortOrleans.
  • Mardi Gras Movie Masquerade Scavenger Hunt (French Quarter, daily) — 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!
  • “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.
  • Yoga on the Lawn (Riverside, 7am Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays) — Join us for a complimentary, 30-minute yoga session at the Courtyard at Building 90/Oak Manor. Sessions take place at 7am-7:30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and are available on a first-come, first served basis (maximum 20 guests per session).
  • Painting on de’ Bayou (French Quarter, 6pm—8pm Wednesdays) — Let your artistic side shine! Join us in Scat Cat’s Club on Wednesdays for an instructor-led painting class to design your own take-home masterpiece. The class is for guests aged 12 and up, and costs $35 per person, plus tax. Registration is limited to 16 guests per evening, please call 1-321-347-0750 for additional information or to reserve a spot in the class. Share your masterpiece with the hashtag #PaintingOnDeBayou.
  • Glow with the Flow Pool Party (French Quarter, 6:30pm Thursdays) — Come glow with the flow at our nighttime pool party.
  • Mardi Gras “Mask”-erade (French Quarter, 5:30pm Fridays) — Join us at Doubloon Lagoon Pool for an evening full of Mardi Gras fun, including dance parties, mask making ($), Mardi Gras prizes, a family parade and more! (payment required).

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).
Bob will be performing all of his regular nights at Port Orleans Riverside during March, but will be away on vacation from 5 April to 12 April, returning on Friday 13th April.

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.

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Minnie Vans coming to Port Orleans Resorts from 19 Feb

Posted Friday 16th February 2018, 10:44am (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

There have been recent rumours, but multiple sites across the internet have just confirmed that Walt Disney World's "Minnie Van" service will be available from Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter starting from Monday 19 February. This service offers guests flat-rate transportation, using Disney vehicles and drivers, to and from anywhere within Walt Disney World. The cost is $25 plus tip for a maximum of six guests (including up to two children needing car seats) and the service is currently available from 6:30 am to 12:30 am.

Operated in conjunction with the Lyft ridesharing app, guests who wish to take advantage of this service need to first install the app on their phone and then have it validated at the hotel front desk or via the My Disney Experience app. Then they can request a Minnie Van pickup from anywhere on property and they will be notified of the expected arrival time and the vehicle number (as otherwise they all look the same - Minnie Mouse polka dots). Wheelchair accessible vans are available upon request. The Port Orleans pickup and dropoff point will be at the front of the hotel by the Porte Cochere. Note: some Disney deluxe resorts have been trialling using this system for airport transfers too (at a cost of $150) but that will not initially be available to Port Orleans guests.


New General Manager, John Berko, appointed at Port Orleans

Posted Wednesday 14th February 2018, 8:57pm (EST) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

We first mentioned this on our Facebook page back at the end of November when rumours started emerging, but for those who don't follow us on Facebook, or who haven't read the related Orlando Sentinel article, the Port Orleans resorts recently underwent a major management shake-up during Walt Disney World's latest round of cost-cutting measures.

Around 21st November 2017, Port Orleans Riverside's General Manager since August 2015, Suzette Noble, left the company after some 20 years of working in various management capacities at Walt Disney World. The General Manager of Port Orleans French Quarter, Punam Dayabhai-Jairambhai, briefly filled in to oversee both resorts before she too was transitioned away to become General Manager at Disney's All Star Movies.

Within a couple of weeks the existing General Manager of All Star Movies, John Berko, had been moved over to Port Orleans to take up a combined role overseeing both sides of the resort, Riverside and French Quarter. Ironically this had always been a joint management position in the past, most recently under the auspices of Valerie Bunting between 2009 and 2015 until she was transferred to a management role at the theme parks. For the past two years though there have been separate General Managers, Suzette at Riverside and Punam at French Quarter, but Disney appears to have decided to return the original combined structure with one General Manager overseeing both resorts.

Over the past few days, the in-room collateral has been updated to reflect last year's changes, and the Guest Welcome Letter is now signed from John Berko. Interestingly, and as far as I know for the first time, the letter also provides a dedicated email address, WDW.GM.PortOrleans@disney.com, which allows guests to pass on comments about their stay. The welcome letter assures guests that every email received will be read and personally responded to - either by John or one of his team - and he concludes by wishing guests a magical stay at Disney's Port Orleans Resort.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish John well as he continues to settle into his new role at Port Orleans, and of course to Punam in her new position too. I would also like to extend my very best wishes and personal thanks to Suzette for all her work at Disney and for her help and support over the past few years.

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