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Old 02-04-2011, 03:32 AM   #1
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Question Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ thread - Refurbished for 2011 - Now CLOSED

Sorry, this FAQ thread is now at its 250 page limit and is closed.
Please see the new updated version located at showthread.php?t=2924189.

See you over there!

Welcome to the Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ

Quick Facts:

Resort: Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter
Address: 2201 Orleans Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 32830-1000
Tel: (407) 934-5000
Fax: (407) 934-5353
Official Website: disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/port-orleans-resort-french-quarter
Reservations: (407) 934-7639 or www.disneyworld.com, or your favourite travel agent

Opening Date: 17 May 1991 (first three buildings, originally named as simply “Port Orleans”)
Location: Downtown Disney area
Category: Moderate
Rooms: 1,008 in 7 buildings

Closest Theme Park: Epcot
Closest Water Park: Typhoon Lagoon
Closest Entertainment/Shopping: Downtown Disney


Port Orleans French Quarter is the smaller section of the 3,056 room Port Orleans Resort complex which is situated about two miles north of the Downtown Disney area along the banks of the Disney-created Sassagoula River. The other section is Port Orleans Riverside and the entire complex was formed by the merger of the old Dixie Landings Resort and the Port Orleans Resort in March 2001.

Each section is treated as a separate hotel by Disney’s Central Reservations, and each has its own check-in area and facilities. However, guests staying at French Quarter may use all the amenities at Riverside and vice versa – including sharing all seven swimming pools. It’s just a short ten-minute riverbank walk between the two locations, or you can use the free ferry boats.

What is the layout of the resort?

Port Orleans French Quarter is a pleasantly compact resort - the smallest of Disney’s Moderate Resorts - comprising a main facilities and pool area plus seven three-story accommodation buildings of 144 rooms each (all of which have elevators). It is themed to resemble the French Quarter area of New Orleans and the buildings are all set along quaint cobblestoned streets and feature ornate railings and other New Orleans / Mardi Gras touches. French Quarter is where (as the publicity information tells us) you’ll find pear trees, oaks, myrtles and magnolias bloom, and the spirit of jazz lives on.

Port Orleans Square is main facilities building and it provides the resort’s main lobby and front desk facilities, shop, food court and bar, and the bus stop.

Doubloon Lagoon is the main feature swimming pool with a fabulous sea-serpent themed slide, hot tub and pool bar, with a nearby children’s playground. Past the pool is the boat dock where you can catch a free ferryboat to Downtown Disney or up to the Riverside resort.

What types of room are available?

A resort-wide room refurbishment program commenced on 1 November 2010 and was completed on 15 April 2011. The newly refitted rooms include Queen size beds instead of the old doubles, flat-screen TVs, and completely updated furnishings, fittings, carpets and tiles, with a tastefully regal yellow, gold and purple color scheme.

There are now five room categories: Standard, Garden View, King Bed, Water View and River View (surcharges apply for the latter four). There are no ‘preferred’ locations at this resort as it is so compact that it does not really need them.

Standard View rooms can overlook many areas of the resort, but most commonly will face the parking lots. Garden View guarantees that you won’t be looking out over a parking lot and you should get a more pleasant view of gardens, courtyards, fountains, etc. Water View gives you an upper-floor view of the swimming pool, or possibly even of the Sassagoula River - but to be guaranteed a River View you will need to book that as a category. King Bed rooms contain just one King-size bed instead of two queens and can be located anywhere on the resort. Disability Accessible rooms are also available, a few with one King Bed but most now with two queens.

How much does it cost?

Room prices vary by weekday/weekend, season and room type, starting from a basic $159 per night for weekdays in Value season up to $244 for the Christams Holiday week (2012 prices). These prices are all plus the local 12.5% tax. Note: There is a $15 per person surcharge for having a third or fourth adult (aged 18 or over) occupying one room.

The surcharges for the different room categories are generally as follows:
  • Garden View: $10
  • King Bed: $25
  • Water View: $25
  • River View: $30
If you book room-only with Disney you will pay a one room/night deposit in advance and the balance upon arrival. Cancellation with a full refund is possible up until six days before arrival, or 45 days for package bookings.

Some discounts, such as AAA and WDW Annual Passholder apply, but these are limited and often sell out very quickly once the rates have been released.

Can I request a particular location or room type?

Some people prefer to request particular room locations, although it is such a small resort that everywhere is within easy walking distance. If you do want to make any special requests always do so along with your initial booking. You can also try faxing or phoning the resort a few days before you arrive (no more than five days) as a reminder, but please be aware that Disney will not guarantee any locations apart from on specific medical grounds.

Generally speaking, the best locations for access to the main building and pool are buildings 2 and 5. Buildings 4 and 5 are closest to the bus stop and the food court. Some areas, such as buildings 1, 6 and 7 are a little further out and are thus the quietest sections - but all rooms are within a few minutes’ walk of the main facilities.

What facilities are in the rooms?

All rooms are approximately 314 square feet and feature two queen size beds. Rooms containing one King bed are available for an extra charge.

Connecting doorway rooms are available, but again these are not guaranteed unless there are unaccompanied minors occupying the second room. Another often-requested option is an external corner room, as these have two windows rather than one and thus tend to be lighter.

All rooms include: phone, TV, clock, small fridge (no freezer compartment), bathtub/shower, toilet, two wash basins, table & two chairs, air conditioning & ceiling fan, cabled internet access ($9.95 for 24 hours), small wall-safe, coffee maker (four-cup basket filter type, supplied with free coffee), hair dryer, iron & ironing board, clothes hanging rail. In mid-December 2011, FREE in-room wi-fi internet access was introduced throughout the Port Orelans resorts.

Some disabled-accessible rooms are available with slightly more floor space which mostly feature a roll-in shower and wheel-chair height accessible facilities such as safe, single wash basin, etc.

Is smoking allowed in any of the buildings?

No, smoking is no longer permitted in any part of Walt Disney World apart from specially designated smoking areas which are clearly marked on the resort maps.

What time can I check in and can the resort store my bags?

Rooms are officially available from 3pm but you can check in at the front desk as early as you like. You may get lucky and find that a room happens to be ready earlier, or otherwise Bell Services can store your bags while you head off to enjoy the hotel facilities or the theme parks.

Check-out is by 11am, although you can request a free later check-out time (up to 1pm) as long as the room is not need urgently for other guests. Again, Bell Services will store your bags until you are ready to depart, and they also have a fridge for items which need to be kept chilled. Note: the main pool has showers, lockers and changing rooms if you want to take a dip after you have checked out.

What options are there for eating and drinking?

The Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory is the resort’s food court, resplendent with giant Mardi Gras decorations. It contains several serving stations offering various items from bakery goods to burger/chicken meals, plus a grab-and-go area for quick fresh snack items. This is where you can buy the resort’s signature “beignets”, a doughnut-like treat. Refillable mugs are available for a one-off fee (currently $13.99 plus tax) which can be topped up at the beverage station for free for the rest of your stay.

Scat Cat’s Club offers specialty drinks, appetizers, and some great jazz entertainment from Elliot Dyson in the evenings (Wednesday-Saturday from 8.30pm).

Light snacks and drinks are also available from the Mardi Grogs pool bar.

Jackson Square Gifts and Desires is the resort’s gift shop, and apart from all the usual Disney and resort merchandise they also carry a selection of essentials plus snack items and bottled drinks, newspapers & magazines, medicines, etc. Note: While you can buy milk and some other essentials here, remember that this is a hotal shop so expect to pay a premium price. If you want to buy a bit cheaper but don’t have transportation, try the Hess gas station just over the road from Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney.

French Quarter does not have its own table-service restaurant but just a short walk down the river you’ll find Boatwright’s Dining Hall at its sister resort of Riverside. As with all of Walt Disney World these days, advanced dining reservations are strong recommended - call (407) WDW-DINE to book up to 180 days in advance of the first day of your stay.

What about recreation facilities?

Doubloon Lagoon is French Quarter’s feature swimming pool. It is decked out with colourful Mardi Gras characters such as jazz-playing alligators (which are also water features) and a fabulous sea-serpent themed 51 ft slide where you slide right down the serpent’s tongue. There’s a separate kiddies pool, hot tub and the neighbouring Mardi Grogs pool bar if you just want to sit and have a drink. Life guards are on duty until 8pm (10pm seasonally) when the slide closes, but there are often people still swimming until well after midnight. Towels are provided free of charge and there is a towel-return bin next to the pool.

Daily recreational activities are held around the pool area, and there is also a children’s play area. While the kids are playing, guest-operated pay laundry facilities are provided near to Mardi Grogs ($2 per load, plus $2 for drying).

At night there are outdoor movie screenings in Beignet Square (the turfed courtyard between buildings 4, 5 and 6) and a campfire is also lit around dusk behind building 6 (facing the river) where you can relax and roast smores.

The South Quarter Games Arcade is located just off the main lobby.

Note: Port Orleans Riverside, just a short walk alongside the Sassagoula River, has its own feature pool and five smaller ‘quiet’ pools which may all be used by French Quarter guests. Riverside’s marina also rents out various types of powered watercraft and pedal boats/canoes, plus pedal cycles and four-wheeled ‘Surrey Bikes’. Other activities available at Riverside include fishing and a pirate riverboat excursion for the kids. Horse-drawn carriage rides are offered in the evenings (weather permitting) from 6pm to 9:30pm. Cost is $45 per 25-minute ride and you can make reservations at the Riverside marina, or in advance via (407) WDW PLAY.

What transportation options are there?

Port Orleans French Quarter features a single bus stop right outside the main lobby area with free Disney bus transportation to all of the Disney theme parks, water parks and the Downtown Disney area. Buses run at least every 10-20 minutes from one hour before park opening until 1.5 hours after each park closes. Note: you cannot get to the other resort hotels very easily and will need to plan enough time to change at a theme park or at Downtown Disney.

The bus service is sometimes shared with Riverside, but the French Quarter stop is normally the first pick-up and the first drop-off, which makes for great bus access with less chance of having to stand. Separate services for the two resorts usually run at peak times, and the Magic Kingdom almost always has separate buses.

If you’re travelling to Downtown Disney, a much more relaxing and romantic option is the 15-minute free water taxi service which runs along the Sassagoula River every 10-20 minutes from 10:10am to 11pm. Outside of these hours you’ll need to take the bus to get to or from Downtown Disney, and during the day that bus also serves Typhoon Lagoon.

Where can I find out more detailed information, see photos, etc?

For further details please refer to the Port Orleans French Quarter DIS Resorts Page and the DIS Port Orleans French Quarter Photos Page.

You could also try the Port Orleans Unofficial Guide website at www.portorleans.org which tries to answer just about any Port Orleans questions you may have - and has over 2,000 photos too.

There is also a fabulous Port Orleans French Quarter photo thread right here on the DIS to get you excited ready for your trip.

Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ text and photos (c) Andre Willey 2012. Used here by permission.

Last edited by andrewilley; 05-10-2012 at 07:20 AM. Reason: Updated room categories and 2012 pricing
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:33 AM   #2
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Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ thread - Links

The old POFQ FAQ thread (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1975035) outgrew the DIS size limit, so please post any new FAQ questions about Port Orleans French Quarter in this new thread now. Thanks.

Useful Links:

DISboards Port Orleans French Quarter Resorts Page
DISboards Port Orleans French Quarter Photos Page

DISboards Port Orleans French Quarter Photo Thread

Previous DISboards POFQ FAQ Thread from 2008 (now full and closed)
DISboards POFQ FAQ thread from 2004 (now full and closed)

Port Orleans Unofficial Guide site (www.portorleans.org)


Last edited by andrewilley; 02-05-2011 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:34 AM   #3
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Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ thread - Resort Photos

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Last edited by andrewilley; 02-04-2011 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:35 AM   #4
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Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ thread - Room Photos

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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I'll be returning to POFQ in August 2011. So happy to see a new and updated thread. Thanks Andre!
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:13 AM   #6
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Hi All! Thanks for the updated thread. I will be enjoying my first POFQ stay 3/28-4/2 and cannot wait. I am looking forward to reading alot of helpful posts in this thread!
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:55 AM   #7
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We just switched our POR ressie to FQ this week...can't wait to try a resort we haven't stayed at before, although we've visited on our many POR visits.

We are arriving March 26 - think we will have a decent shot of getting a refurbed room, if I request?

Although to be honest, I'm not sure I'm loving the bedding in the new rooms, but I am loving a queen sized bed!

Any other tips, tricks or secrets for this resort?
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:08 AM   #8
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:18 AM   #9
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Thank you for the new thread!! I can't wait to stay here!!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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Thanks for the new thread Andre!
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:01 AM   #11
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Thanks for the thread, and for your unofficial website, too!
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #12
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We will be arriving at POFQ in three weeks and would love to take advantage of the pools on arrival day if weather permits. Are there towels available near the pool area or do we have to bring towels from home? Also, can the kids bring pool toys (inflatables, etc.) into the pool? Thanks.

- Julie
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Zachsmom4 View Post
We will be arriving at POFQ in three weeks and would love to take advantage of the pools on arrival day if weather permits. Are there towels available near the pool area or do we have to bring towels from home? Also, can the kids bring pool toys (inflatables, etc.) into the pool? Thanks.

- Julie
There are towels provided in the main pool areas, both at POFQ and POR. Only the quiet pools at POR don't have towels, but you can always go over to the main pool at POR if you have to and get them.

They can also bring inflatables into the pool with them.

They will love the slide.

Remember, POR is a sister resort, so they can also use the main pool at POR that has a bit bigger slide.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:48 PM   #14
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Add me to the list of those staying ontop of the refurb. We go at the end of May but it has been 3 years since we stayed at POFQ and miss it like it was our 2nd home.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:04 PM   #15
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Thanks Andre! I can't wait to see the thread develop and am looking forward to our POFQ stay in November
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