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Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter: The Romance of the Old South

by Jennifer and Dave Marx, Authors of PassPorter Travel Guidebooks
Last modified 01/19/2009
  

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Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Lodging  

Port Orleans French Quarter is a large, moderately priced resort located along the banks of the Sassagoula River, north of Downtown Disney. This resort is popular with young couples, families, and children, both for its value and for its fun atmosphere.


The romance of the Old South awaits you at Port Orleans French Quarter, recapturing the feeling and flavors of historic New Orleans as it prepares for Mardi Gras. The Mint is your first stop in the French Quarter, a large building with wrought ironwork details and a soaring glass atrium that safeguards the district’s front desk, Lobby Concierge, and shop. A step outside reveals narrow cobblestone lanes, complete with “gas” lamps, wrought iron benches, and grand magnolia trees.

Resort Layout & Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
The resort’s 1,008 rooms are housed in seven large buildings (see map on page 83 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook), each designed to resemble rows of townhouses with differing architectural styles, varying rooflines, and facades bricked or painted in shades of blue, cream, or peach. Most buildings have their own yards and gardens in front, which are charmingly fenced with wrought iron.

Rooms are 314 sq. ft. in size and decorated in faux French Provincial furniture, gilt-framed mirrors, and Venetian blinds. All rooms accommodate up to four and come with either two extra-long double beds or one king bed (king bed rooms are located on building corners). Rooms include a TV, armoire, table and chairs, ceiling fan, and a separate vanity area with double pedestal sinks and privacy curtain. Every room has a window (corner rooms have two), but none have private balconies. Amenities include toiletries (soap and shampoo only), hair dryers, coffeemakers, housekeeping, limited room service, in-room safe (most rooms), refrigerator, and voice mail.

Dining & Lounging at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
A large food court -- Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory -- offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Typical menu items are croissants ($2.29), French toast with eggs ($5.99), cheesecake ($3.89), grilled chicken sandwich ($6.49), create-your-own-pasta ($8.99), and kids’ chicken nuggets ($3.99). A 10-minute walk away you'll find one of the more popular resort eateries: Boatwright’s Dining Hall -- this table-service restaurant in the Riverside sister resort offers breakfast and dinner—see page 231 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook. Purchase a mug for $12.49 and get free refills at both food courts. The French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club is a full-service bar with live music on the weekends, while Mardi Grogs pool bar has drinks and snacks. Limited room service is also available.

Dining & Lounging at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
For Athletes: The resort offers plenty of paths for walkers and joggers, too. Down the river in the sister resort of Riverside, the Dixie Levee marina rents pedal boats, rowboats, canopy boats, and bikes (including surrey bikes). Be sure to check the rental hours early on to avoid disappointment later.
For Fishers: An old-fashioned fishin’ hole on Ol’ Man Island in nearby Riverside lets you hang a cane pole over a pond stocked with catfish, perch, bass, and bluegill (catch and release only). For more adventure, you can book a fishing excursion down the Sassagoula.
For Children: A playgrounds is located near the themed pool.
For Gamers: South Quarter Games has plenty of video games.
For Romantics: Enjoy a relaxing, private carriage ride for $35.
For Shoppers: Jackson Square Gifts & Desires stocks sundries, souvenirs, and snacks.
For Swimmers: The French Quarter’s Doubloon Lagoon is a moderately sized themed pool with a huge dragon housing the water slide (you slide right down its tongue). A Mardi Gras band of crocodiles shoots water at unsuspecting swimmers. The French Quarter also has a wading pool for the young ones and a hot tub (spa) nearby.

Transportation at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
Direct buses to the major theme parks and Downtown Disney stop regularly (see chart below for in-transit times). Buses usually pick up guests at French Quarter’s single bus stop first, then go on to the four stops in Riverside. To get to other resorts and destinations, take a bus to Epcot (daytime) or to Downtown Disney (evening), and transfer to the appropriate bus. A boat also picks up guests from Riverside and the French Quarter and goes to and from Downtown Disney Marketplace until 11:00 pm (weather permitting). Boats run about once an hour until 4:00 pm and every 15 minutes thereafter. The trip is leisurely and relaxing. A shuttle boat also operates between the French Quarter and Riverside on a frequent basis, especially at meal times. Parking is available throughout the resorts.

Tips and Notes for Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
The spa (hot tub) near the themed pool is heavenly after a long day at the parks. The spa in the French Quarter is a bit of a walk from the pool and quite secluded (look near the laundry), but large enough for several people to soak comfortably (and sociably).

Explore the resort’s grounds for the quaint parks and gardens scattered throughout. The French Quarter’s street and park names are a treat unto themselves, with names like Mud du Lac Lane and Beaux Regards Square. An evening stroll in the French Quarter when the “gas” lamps are lit is particularly magical.

Enjoy an evening carriage ride through the two sister resorts. Carriages depart from in front of Boatwright’s in Riverside between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Cost is $35 for a 30-minute ride for up to four adults or two adults and two to three children.

Small refrigerators are available in your room. Roll-away/trundle beds are also free of charge—request these at reservation time.

The beds are pretty high off the floor. Watch young ones so they don’t fall out, or request complimentary bed rails from housekeeping.

Check-in time is 3:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Best Locations at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
Most rooms in the French Quarter are within easy distance of Lobby Concierge, the gift shop, and the food court. Buildings 2–5 are the nearest. If being close to the center of things is important, request such a room. The best views are of the Sassagoula River, as the opposite river bank is pristine—consider upgrading to a water-view room (specifically request a river view).

Resort Layout & Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
The resort’s 1,008 rooms are housed in seven large buildings (see map on page 83 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook), each designed to resemble rows of townhouses with differing architectural styles, varying rooflines, and facades bricked or painted in shades of blue, cream, or peach. Most buildings have their own yards and gardens in front, which are charmingly fenced with wrought iron.

Rooms are 314 sq. ft. in size and decorated in faux French Provincial furniture, gilt-framed mirrors, and Venetian blinds. All rooms accommodate up to four and come with either two extra-long double beds or one king bed (king bed rooms are located on building corners). Rooms include a TV, armoire, table and chairs, ceiling fan, and a separate vanity area with double pedestal sinks and privacy curtain. Every room has a window (corner rooms have two), but none have private balconies. Amenities include toiletries (soap and shampoo only), hair dryers, coffeemakers, housekeeping, limited room service, in-room safe (most rooms), refrigerator, and voice mail.

Dining & Lounging at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
A large food courta -- Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory -- offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Typical menu items are croissants ($2.29), French toast with eggs ($5.99), cheesecake ($3.89), grilled chicken sandwich ($6.49), create-your-own-pasta ($8.99), and kids’ chicken nuggets ($3.99). A 10-minute walk away you'll find one of the more popular resort eateries: Boatwright’s Dining Hall -- this table-service restaurant in the Riverside sister resort offers breakfast and dinner—see page 231 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook. Purchase a mug for $12.49 and get free refills at both food courts. The French Quarter’s Scat Cat’s Club is a full-service bar with live music on the weekends, while Mardi Grogs pool bar has drinks and snacks. Limited room service is also available.

Dining & Lounging at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
For Athletes: The resort offers plenty of paths for walkers and joggers, too. Down the river in the sister resort of Riverside, the Dixie Levee marina rents pedal boats, rowboats, canopy boats, and bikes (including surrey bikes). Be sure to check the rental hours early on to avoid disappointment later.
For Fishers: An old-fashioned fishin’ hole on Ol’ Man Island in nearby Riverside lets you hang a cane pole over a pond stocked with catfish, perch, bass, and bluegill (catch and release only). For more adventure, you can book a fishing excursion down the Sassagoula.
For Children: A playgrounds is located near the themed pool.
For Gamers: South Quarter Games has plenty of video games.
For Romantics: Enjoy a relaxing, private carriage ride for $35.
For Shoppers: Jackson Square Gifts & Desires stocks sundries, souvenirs, and snacks.
For Swimmers: The French Quarter’s Doubloon Lagoon is a moderately sized themed pool with a huge dragon housing the water slide (you slide right down its tongue). A Mardi Gras band of crocodiles shoots water at unsuspecting swimmers. The French Quarter also has a wading pool for the young ones and a hot tub (spa) nearby.

Transportation at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
Direct buses to the major theme parks and Downtown Disney stop regularly (see chart in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook for in-transit times). Buses usually pick up guests at French Quarter’s single bus stop first, then go on to the four stops in Riverside. To get to other resorts and destinations, take a bus to Epcot (daytime) or to Downtown Disney (evening), and transfer to the appropriate bus. A boat also picks up guests from Riverside and the French Quarter and goes to and from Downtown Disney Marketplace until 11:00 pm (weather permitting). Boats run about once an hour until 4:00 pm and every 15 minutes thereafter. The trip is leisurely and relaxing. A shuttle boat also operates between the French Quarter and Riverside on a frequent basis, especially at meal times. Parking is available throughout the resorts.

Tips and Notes for Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
The spa (hot tub) near the themed pool is heavenly after a long day at the parks. The spa in the French Quarter is a bit of a walk from the pool and quite secluded (look near the laundry), but large enough for several people to soak comfortably (and sociably).

Explore the resort’s grounds for the quaint parks and gardens scattered throughout. The French Quarter’s street and park names are a treat unto themselves, with names like Mud du Lac Lane and Beaux Regards Square. An evening stroll in the French Quarter when the “gas” lamps are lit is particularly magical.

Enjoy an evening carriage ride through the two sister resorts. Carriages depart from in front of Boatwright’s in Riverside between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Cost is $35 for a 30-minute ride for up to four adults or two adults and two to three children.

Small refrigerators are available in your room. Roll-away/trundle beds are also free of charge—request these at reservation time.

The beds are pretty high off the floor. Watch young ones so they don’t fall out, or request complimentary bed rails from housekeeping.

Check-in time is 3:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Room Rates at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
2009 Room rates begin at $149 for a standard room and $174 for a preferred, water, or king-bed room. For a quieter room, request the second or third floor. Corner rooms are particularly nice as they provide two windows. 12.5% tax not included in above rates. King-bed rooms come in both standard or water view and are available at the same rate as a water-/pool-view room. Higher rates in price ranges are for weekends and holiday periods (see page 29 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook).

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort Quick Facts
Address: 2201 Orleans Dr., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407-934-5000 / Fax: 407-934-5353



Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Lodging
Building 5 as seen from across the Courtyard between Buildings 5 and 6 at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter

Relaxing & Playing at Disney's Pop Century Resort
For Athletes: The 12’ wide lakeside path is ideal for walks and jogs. The lake does not offer a marina, but we hear that surrey bikes may be available for jaunts around the lake when the resort is done.
For Children: A quiet playground and play fountain is located within the resort (see map on page 78 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook for locations).
For Gamers: An arcade is located in the resort’s main building.
For Shoppers: The resort offers a large shop with Disney logo merchandise, clothing, sundries, and some snack foods.
For Swimmers: Cool off in the main pool with a wading pool, and two smaller themed pools. Classic Years’ pools are shaped like a bowling pin, a flower, and a computer; Legendary Years’ pools (not yet open) will resemble a crossword puzzle, soda bottle, and highway sign. There are no spas (hot tubs) at this resort.

Transportation at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Buses (see chart in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook) are outside the main building of the resort. Stops are well-marked and offer benches and shelter. Bus service is prompt and efficient. Destinations other than those below can be reached by changing buses at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot (daytime) or Downtown Disney (evening). Parking is freely available, though you should study the map to find the closest lot to your room.

Tips and Notes for Disney's Pop Century Resort
The 33-acre lake between these resorts is an added perk for a value resort—the equivalent All-Star Resorts have no ponds, lakes, or rivers. The lakeside promenade and Generation Gap bridge are a total delight. Frequent park benches line the path, and “roadside” signs note landmark cultural events of each era. Note, however, that you cannot yet walk all the way around the lake.

Epcot’s IllumiNations fireworks are visible across the lake. Best views are from the ‘50s B and C buildings—try the fourth floor!

Food court patrons are treated to a dance routine performed by the resort’s cast members at breakfast and dinner! They do the Twist at 8:00 am and the Hustle at 6:00 pm. Be there or be square!

While Mom or Dad checks in, the kids can enjoy a big-screen video theater. Be sure to take in the memorabilia exhibits, too.

A children’s pop-jet fountain is tucked away in a corner between the ‘60s and ‘70s—look for a statue of Goofy and a red Corvette.

Plan to either carry your own luggage or wait a while (perhaps 45–60 minutes) for the resort’s luggage service to drop it off at your building. Arrangements to pick up luggage on your departure day should be made the night before.

Coin-operated laundries are located near each pool. Bring lots of quarters—wash loads and dry cycles are $2.00 each.

We've heard that the Legendary Years section may open its guest rooms as “family suites” similar to All-Star Music (see page 37 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook). Check-in time is 4:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Best Locations at Disney's Pop Century Resort
Rooms at Pop Century vary only by location within the resorts and floor level. For convenience, we recommend the ‘50s, ‘60s, or ‘70s (Classic Years)—they are closest to pools, food, and transportation. Our personal pick is the ‘70s (at Classic Years) as it is relatively quiet and has good views from most windows. Note that several buildings offer excellent views of Hourglass Lake, notably ‘50s B & C, ‘60s, and ‘70s A. If you seek quiet, request a room on the third or fourth floors. While the Legendary Years buildings are not yet open, when they are, we recommend the ‘10s, ‘20s, and ‘30s.

Room Rates at Disney's Pop Century Resort
2009 room rates begin at &82 for standard rooms and $97 for preferred rooms. 12.5% tax is not included in above rates. Preferred rooms are in the guest lodges closest to the main buildings (the ‘60s at Classic Years). There is a $10 per person charge for the third and fourth adult in a room, but no extra charge for children under 18. Rooms may face parking lots, pools, the lake, or courtyards. Higher rates in price ranges are for weekends and holiday periods (see page 29).

Disney's Pop Century Resort Quick Facts
Address: 1050 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: 407-938-4000 g Fax: 407-938-4040



A standard guest room with two queen beds at Port Orleans French Quarter Resort



About the Author:
Jennifer and Dave Marx are the founders of PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc. and the authors of dozens of bestselling books. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and frequently travel within the U.S. and abroad.

Related Links:
Note: The text in this article is directly from our PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook and is an excellent example of the breadth and depth of our resort coverage. The only items not shown here that you can find in the guidebook are the standard room layout diagram, the transportation times chart, our ratings chart, and our sample room rates chart.
The Art of A Smooth Check-in At Walt Disney World - Save Time and Trouble On Your Next Trip last updated 12/04/2008
Disney's All Star Movies Resort - Big "Blockbuster" Fun On a Small "Indie" Budget last updated 01/20/2009
Disney's All Star Music Resort - Quality Lodging For a Song last updated 1/13/2009
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Updated 01/19/2009 - Article #45 



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