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Review: Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

Review: Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

Port Orleans French Quarter is a charming moderate resort with cobblestone pathways, wrought iron railings and all of the touches of the Big Easy (well, most of the touches—I haven’t seen any Mardi Gras revelry at the Disney resort of the same tone as New Orleans, and the Imagineers waxed over the cleanliness issue as French Quarter is normally spotless).  The main building at the resort is an airy atrium surrounding the palm lined Port Orleans Square.  As you enter the main building from the parking area or the bus stop you are greeted by a fountain (and sometimes by a jester bestowing beads).  To the right is the registration desk and Jackson Square gifts.  On the left is the Scat Cat Lounge and the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory.

In keeping with the New Orleans and Mardi Gras theming, the food court has been designed to look like a Mardi Gras float building factory.  Colorful masks and food related float parts dangle from the ceiling, and a jester guards the condiments, napkins, and plastic ware.    The interior gives one the feeling of a warehouse space with a two-story open ceiling with windows, skylights and exposed rafters.  Large “fake” doors give the impression of accommodating the large floats.  The food court can hold around 300 guests at basic wooden tables surrounded by an assortment of chairs giving it a haphazard look of seating that has been thrown together.

The Sassagoula Floatworks is open from 6:00am-midnight, with some variations at each food window.  There are four ordering counters each offering a unique variety of eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There is also a grab and go refrigerated section to pick up beverages and other cold accompaniments for your meal.  Around the ordering area you can find other items like fresh fruit, cereal, packaged snacks and candy, and your refillable resort mugs ($14.49 plus tax, or included with Disney’s Dining Plans).  As with all of Disney’s resort food courts your party can use the divide and conquer strategy going to the window that appeals to them most, then reconvening to pay all together before exiting the ordering area.  Port Orleans French Quarter is the smallest of the moderate resorts, as far as occupancy, and the ordering area here is small too.  It is a good thing that the resort doesn’t hold more guests as it could get quite congested.

Once you move out into the seating area, it is very open and doesn’t feel crowded.  In one corner there is a children’s seating area with coloring pages, crayons and Disney Junior (or Disney Channel) on the television to occupy little ones.  One nice thing about the Port Orleans French Quarter food court is that there is outdoor seating in the Port Orleans Square area.  While this may not be pleasant during the hottest summer months or those afternoon rainstorms, it is very nice early in the mornings and in the spring and fall.  The two-sided drink station is located in the center of the seating area and offers soft drinks, coffee, tea, and sometimes hot chocolate.

The menus at the Sassagoula Floatworks include several “regional’ favorites including beignets served all day (see my review of these tasty powdered sugar covered pillows of fried dough), a muffuletta sandwich (see my review of this sandwich served at Port Orleans Riverside’s Riverside Mill), gumbo, a creole burger,  po’ boys (served only at lunch 11:00am-5:00pm) and jambalaya (served only at dinner 5:00pm-10:00pm).  I just wish they would offer a Monte Cristo sandwich like Café Orleans in Disneyland.  Of course you can get your standard food court fare as well:  pizza, pasta, burgers, kids meals like chicken nuggets.  A few other offerings like fried chicken and ribs (both only served at dinner) along with chicken sandwiches, fried shrimp, and a fish of the day round out the menu.  At breakfast the Disney food court standards of Mickey Waffles, pancakes, and breakfast platters are offered.  Due to somewhat limited breakfast offerings at the Sassagoula Floatworks, at one time there was a shuttle running from the front of the main French Quarter building over to Port Orleans Riverside for guests to take advantage of their breakfast offerings. I don’t know if this service is still available, but if you are looking for something different than what is offered at breakfast or lunch and dinner, it is a beautiful walk along the Sassagoula River to the Riverside Mill.

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World my family stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, but we took that short walk over to French Quarter for breakfast one morning.  We have stayed at French Quarter in the past and enjoyed the offerings of the Floatworks throughout the day.  On this trip our goal was beignets!  Along with that order of beignets (6 for $4.29 or 3 for $2.99 or a snack credit on the dining plan), one of my sons ordered the biscuits and gravy ($3.69 plus tax), one ordered the kids French Toast ($4.99 plus tax or a quick service credit on the dining plan), and my husband got the warm cinnamon roll ($3.19 plus tax or a snack credit on the dining plan).

The beignets were very good—you can read all about them in my detailed review.  My husband enjoyed the cinnamon roll.  It was good, but somewhat generic.  My 9-year-old loves french toast and had no complaints about his meal.  I’m not sure where my 14-year-old acquired his taste for biscuits and gravy, but it was not from me.  I realize the photo isn’t entirely appetizing as he had already started to eat, but I don’t find them appetizing to begin with.  He, however, quite enjoyed them especially since he doesn’t get to eat that at home!  My only issues with breakfast at a Disney food court is that there are not enough options for those of us using refillable mugs.  I am not a coffee drinker, and I would love the option of filling my mug with apple or orange juice for breakfast.  I realize the cost factor is significantly higher for juice than soft drinks, and that I can purchase a bottle of juice in the refrigerated section, but I wish they could work out a system to have juice available for mugs just during the breakfast hours.  This would greatly add to the value of the refillable mug—especially for guests on shorter trips.

One nice advantage of the Floatworks is that they accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a food discount.  Since there is not a full service restaurant onsite at French Quarter, they honor this discount in the food court.  This is the only moderate resort that does this.  Of course, all of the Disney Dining Plans are accepted.

The Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is a fun and cheerful place to eat.  I love that they offer outside seating for the times of year (and of the day) when the weather is pleasant.  My only qualm with the eatery is the tight ordering area.  Other than that the food we enjoyed was fresh and tasty.  If you are staying at French Quarter or Riverside you have a great option right at your resort, but if you have a craving for a taste of the Big Easy it might be worth a stop in to the Floatworks to satisfy it (those beignets are calling!).

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About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).