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Top 10 Amazing Things About Disney’s Port Orleans Resort

Cassie

Port Orleans (POR) is one of the most beautiful resorts at Walt Disney World, and it’s the biggest!

10. Shopping:

Fulton’s General Store at POR has a wide variety of Disney merchandise as well as grab and go foods, over the counter medicines, apparel, a pin board, housewares, cookbooks, toys, beverages, spirits, plush Magic Bands, Camera supplies, Collector Pins, collectibles, jewelry and serves as the package pick-up area for any packages you purchased at Walt Disney World and requested they be delivered to your resort. Jackson Square Gifts & Desires at POFQ sells Disney merchandise, apparel, collector pins, collectibles, housewares, gifts, food, and spirits and serves as the package pick-up for POFQ packages delivered from the parks.

9. Boat Transportation to Disney Springs:

The Boat Transportation to Disney Springs via the Sassagoula River is a perfect way to travel! Sassagoula is the Native American name for the Mississippi River. While on the voyage guests pass by the Treehouse Villas. It is a big advantage to arrive by boat rather than car as Disney Springs gets very busy these days! If you don’t prefer to boat, you can use the walking path to Disney Springs or take the bus service.

8. This is the Largest Resort on Walt Disney World Property:

Dixie Landings and French Quarter were the names of the first Port Orleans resorts pair. The resort opened in May of 1991 although the Dixie Landings Resort did not open until February of 1992. They were considered sister resorts, but separate at that time. In April of 2001 the two resorts officially became one big resort.  Now we have French Quarter and Riverside. Riverside is the largest of the pair. Disney has never said why they decided to join the two into one very large resort. The resort spans 325 acres and it has 3056 rooms available. They publish, as they have since their beginning, a newspaper called Sassagoula Times that relates all that is available to guests as each part of the resort.

  • French Quarter: In 2001, French Quarter was closed and guests were rerouted to another resort but it reopened in late spring 2002. During this down time, French Quarter underwent renovations changing the table service restaurant into the food court. Again in 2003-2004 French Quarter was again closed, this time to renovate the guest rooms. Disney keeps the property looking fresh by refurbishing the rooms again in 2012-2012 by changing the décor, upgrading to queen-sized beds and replacing old TV’s with flat screens.
  • Riverside: Working from one building to the next to minimize the effect of an ongoing resort room renovation project Disney began the project in the Magnolia Bend Mansions and then the Alligator Bayou Lodge buildings from March 2004 to February 2005.  Room renovations took place during the last half of 2011, then the transformation to “Royal Guest Room” décor in 2012 for specific mansions. 2012 is also the year that brought major renovations to the lobby areas of POR. Riverside continues to be the clear winner if these two sister resorts were in competition. The landscaping, the amenities, the dining, the rooms, proximity to the central building, all put it heads and shoulder about French Quarter.

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7. The only Moderate resort that has this Occupancy:

You can sleeps five when one is a child 9 years or younger since the trundle bed is shorter than regular beds, in the Alligator Bayou section of POR. These are large comfortable rooms that has the benefit of sleeping five. The bed is decorated with the same luxurious white bedding, a blue print drape, a charming alligator accent pillow on the bed, rustic copper light fixtures, the headboard has charming tree branch construction, green print drapes with wooden blinds, a trundle bed that drops down at night and forms the back of a seating bench during the day (child will see a fiber optic artwork of the alligator from Princess and the Frog “laying” next to them on the wall), twin bathroom mirrors also made of the tree branch design, twin sinks and a shelf in bathroom and cut washboard accent, artwork of the bayou on the wall and of course all the amenities that come with Moderate level resorts such as a small refrigerator, coffee maker, ice bucket and glasses, rustic tree branch table and two arm chairs, nightstand, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi, telephone with voice mail, alarm clock, flat screen TV, shelf with clothes hooks, iron, ironing board, clothes rack and shelf, in-room safe,

6. Unique Theming:

Royal Guest Rooms (Riverside Mansions) decorated with fiber optic art on the headboards that reach the ceiling, rolled golden colored bolster pillows, wooden, carved, gold details, a regal lighting fixture, blue patterned bed cloth with blue duster, blue drapes with gold tassel trim, Royal portraits on the wall, printed royal rugs on the floor, flat screen television within a golden chest, large gold-framed oval mirrors, double sinks in the changing area which is behind layers of blue and gold drapery, gold sink fixtures, a table and upholstered chairs, an upholstered bench, banners celebrating the Princes, a small refrigerator hidden inside a large carved chest, hooks for your royal cloaks, luxurious queen-size bed and bedding. There is a beautiful full length portrait piece of Princess Tiana with carved wood frame in each room. Even the standard resort rooms in the Mansion section are elegant but more understated than the Royal rooms. It has a more muted color scheme while keeping all the luxury. There is formal crown molding around the ceiling, artwork of a Mississippi River Boat, pictures of old southern mansions on the headboards, muted tones of mossy green, blues and tans with the look of hand-carved headboards and chests, even the air conditioner unit has wooden covers! Port Orleans French Quarter has a charm all its own. Walking down the quiet narrow streets shaded by Magnolia trees, Oak Trees, Crepe Myrtles and Palm Trees and listening to quiet strains of jazz music puts you in that New Orleans state of mind. The whimsical alligator band figures greet you along the way. Don’t miss the architecture of bright colors and wrought iron railings and fences and manicured lawns.

  • Landscaping that suits each section of the resort: Experience the beauty of old trees dripping with Spanish moss that surround grand southern mansion buildings found along the old Mississippi or the Alligator Bayou section with pine trees and palmetto’s. POFQ with the attractive iron work details and colorful buildings and complimentary landscaping, small yards, and walkways lined with iron fencing.

5. The Piano Guys –

Yehaa Bob performs a musical comedy interactive show nightly at the River Roost Lounge that is adjacent to the Lobby.  There is loud singing and lots of laughing that ensues nightly.  Enjoy some popular southern favorite cocktails like the Hurricane, or whatever you want from the full bar. You can order some light snacks to go along with those libations if you like. River Roost is open from 4PM to 12AM nightly. Seating includes a long wooden bar and a mixture of tables and chairs and some couches. Are you in the mood for some jazz? Head on over to Port Orlean’s French Quarter Scat Cat’s Club and listen to musical talent while enjoying a nice beverage and light appetizers. This lounge is in the main building.

4. Some Very Good Dining Options –

Boatwright’s Dining Hall is currently the only table service restaurant, and it is located at Port Orlean’s Riverside. Remember guests can take a short boat ride from Port Orlean’s French Quarter to enjoy the amenities at POR. The decor represents a boat factory with the “bones” of a ship overhead as the centerpiece. It presents an interesting space to enjoy. There are tool boxes on each table holding condiments. Cajun food is the winner here with New Orlean’s specialties like crawfish, gumbo, pork chops, jambalaya, and bread pudding and pecan pie. Unfortunately Boatwright’s Dining Hall is only open for dinner. (They used to have delicious breakfast entrees.) Riverside Mill Food Court is an expansive food court that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The décor relates a wood building that is part of the Mill that goes with the waterwheel you see outside this large eatery. There are six stations from which to get food: Pizza & Pasta, Salads, Grill, Carving Station and Bakery as well as grab and go items in refrigerated cases. It is open from 6AM to 12AM making it a very convenient choice for early risers and those late-night people in your party. Riverside Mill court is where you can purchase and refill your Rapid Fill Mugs. There are six soups on the menu and it is just representative of a large varied menu that has something for everyone in your party. It is an excellent food court and although loud it can accommodate the large crowds that use it. There is a section with a large television showing Disney shows for the kids to watch. From 4PM to 12AM you can get a limited menu of items delivered to your resort room. French Quarter’s Mardi Grogs pool bar is not only convenient to the swimming pool, but also the pick up something to sip on while walking down river promenade.  They have specialty cocktails, draft beer, wine and non-alcoholic choices. If you want to celebrate Mardi gras in a BIG way, make sure you visit Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory POFQ’s quick service location. It is decorated with giant colorful props like crowns, masks, jesters, ice cream cones, and more! Enjoy a southern breakfast, complete with grits, freshly-made beignets, pancakes, waffles, or breakfast platters. For lunch and dinner get a New Orlean’s Po’ Boy made with sausage and peppers, Shrimp, Tuna, Beef, Chicken or Pork. Chicken Quesadilla’s with Dirty Rice and Red Beans is delicious, and you will find several stations where you can select just what you like, and they serve seven different kinds of soup! Unfortunately this single POFQ restaurant does a poor job of meeting the expectations of its guests. Take the boat up the Sassagoula River and dine at Port Orlean’s Riverside or visit Downtown Disney for many restaurant choices.

3. The 3.5-acre Ol’ Man Island will really impress you!

If you love the stories of Tom Sawyer you will really enjoy these areas. The slide resembles an old sawmill slide, only you are the “lumber” finding its way downstream. There is a kiddie pool if you want to take it easy after sliding down that 95-foot long sawmill slide. Ol’ Man Island is an extra bonus at this resort as it offers catch-and-release fishing and at night a campfire where you can share your stories about the one that got away.  A hot tub near The Muddy Rivers pool bar makes this as much fun for adults as it is for children. You will find Ol’ Man Island located across a bridge from the main building. There is also a playground on the island for children age 2-12.  At POR they have 5 additional quiet pools tucked in here and there.  POFQ has an awesome themed pool and guests of POR can swim in any of the resort’s pools. Doubloon Lagoon is adorned with humorous statues of alligators playing instruments, perhaps the same music you are hearing. The waterslide is actually the tongue of a sea-serpent! Is he taunting King Triton? This pool area is as much fun as the rest of the resort that celebrates Mardi Gras every single day.  There is a kiddie pool, a whirlpool, a playground and the Mardi Grogs pool bar.

2. Loads of Amenities

Two neighboring resorts that offer a different flavor but a mother lode of amenities. Outdoor nightly movies and a chance to roast marshmallows, as weather permits. The movies are classic Disney films. Both halves of the resorts have their own gaming arcade with a wide assortment of video games, air hockey, dancing games, pinball, etc. It is called South Quarter Games at POFQ and Medicine Show Arcade at POR. If you did not bring your own cane pole to fish at Ol’ Man Island the resort has those for you to rent, along with bait. Maybe jogging around riverside mansions or lodges is what you enjoy? There is a New Balance mile-long paved trail for jogging or walking that is quite enjoyable and has some shaded portions.  Do you have some cyclists in your family?  You can rent standard bicycles in adult/child sizes some with training wheels. Or you can enjoy one of those fun surrey bicycles that come with pedals to propel 2, 4, or 6 people.  All bicycles need to remain on the Port Orlean’s resort property and are available first-come first-served. The bicycles are available at the Levee Marina at POR. For children, a Bayou Pirate Adventure is full of pirate fun as they board their vessel on the Sassagoula River and listen to tales of old pirates, one in particular who haunts the river. It departs from Ol’ Man Island.

1. Romantic Amenities Too!

One of the most romantic amenities is a horse-drawn carriage ride down the Sassagoula River promenade. You will need to make reservations for the carriage rides, up to 180-days in advance and the current cost is $45.00 for a 25-minute journey. The carriage fits up to 4 adults, or 2 adults with 3 small children.

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.