Originally two separate Disney Resorts, Port Orleans and Dixie Landings, the current Port Orleans Resort consisting of the French Quarter and Riverside offer guests a detailed look at New Orleans culture during their stay at Walt Disney World. With so much to offer, there are many things for guests to see, hear, taste, and enjoy during their stay.
10 Things You’ll Love About Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
New Orleans and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. So it’s no surprise that from the moment you arrive at the resort you’re immersed in jazz music. From the upbeat dance-your-socks-off tunes to the mellow, relaxing melodies, music is all around you. There’s even a Dixieland and creole Christmas selection playing around the resort during the holidays.
9. The Grounds
At French Quarter, the sidewalks are made to look like city streets with clever jazz-themed street names thrown in. You’ll also find beautiful fountains and gardens in abundance. The mansions in Magnolia Bend are gorgeous examples of the plantation manors found in Louisiana. Over in the Bayou section, guests get a more rustic feel of New Orleans culture with different lodges to convey how homes were originally built. If you look at the lodges closer to the mansions, they look to be made of brick and stone while the lodges further away look to be mostly wood.
8. Royal Guest Rooms
If you’d like to guarantee getting a room in the Magnolia Bend mansion area, book a Royal Guest Room. For an additional fee from the standard room rate, guests can stay in rooms fit for royalty with decorations inspired by the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog” and other classic Disney hits. You can even find some mementoes left behind from some of Princess Tiana’s previous guests like Cinderella, Aladdin and Jasmine, and Snow White.
7. Boatwright’s Dining Hall
Boatwright’s is the only sit-down restaurant located at the Port Orleans Resort and can be found on the Riverside half. Open for regular dinner hours, the restaurant is made to look like a shipbuilding hall and even contains a replica of the bottom of a ship in its early stages of construction. The menu is a reflection of New Orleans cuisine and features prime rib, Voodoo Chicken, and Cajun styles of fish. Disney Dining Plans are accepted here and reservations are recommended.
6. Food Courts
Besides the restaurant, the French Quarter and Riverside each have their own unique dining halls. The Riverside Mill is larger and features a large water wheel just outside. French Quarter’s Sassagoula Floatworks has a smaller space to dine in, but has parade props and Mardi Gras masks as décor. Beignets can also be purchased here at the bakery, something not offered on the Riverside portion. Well worth the trip over.
5. Cajun Campfires
French Quarter also offers relaxing places to rest with a cozy campfire outdoors to relax at during your stay. On occasion, you can also find marshmallows to roast for free while you take a break from your busy day at the parks.
4. Mardi Gras Celebrations
If you happen to be staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort during Mardi Gras, be sure to ask about the parade that takes place on the grounds. Cast members make their own floats to include in the parade and Princess Tiana make a royal appearance as well. Free masks are given out and there are special poolside activities for kids.
3. Boat Ride to Downtown Disney
Why take the bus when Downtown Disney is a short boat ride away? Guests staying at French Quarter and Riverside have access to the boats that travel down the Sassagoula River, past the Saratoga Springs Resort hotels and to the Downtown Disney area. Often there are no lines for this mode of transportation and the boat captain will often give a tour as you sail down the river to point out new developments and special things to look for.
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2. Scat Cat’s Club
Adults over at French Quarter and enjoy a relaxing cocktail while listening to a live musical performance at Scat Cat’s Club. Tom Casey plays piano and takes special requests on Friday-Monday evenings. Jazz music is of course included, but Casey also introduces a mix of other styles as well.
1. Ye Haa Bob Jackson
The hands down best reason to visit the Port Orleans Resort is to see Ye Haa Bob Jackson perform. Over at the River Roost Lounge Bar on Riverside, Bob performs Wednesday-Saturday nights starting at 8:30pm with his own special combination of jazz, piano, sing-a-longs, and comedy. Guest participation is a must and his hilarious routines and winning personality have earned him the Disney Legacy Award in 2013, a distinction given out to only the best of the best Cast Members.
Even if you don’t plan on staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, take the time to visit on your next trip. Take in the music, the scenery, the food, and the entertainment. You’ll be glad you did.
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