GNU Terry Pratchett
- Oct 17, 2007
Welcome to the Port Orleans French Quarter FAQ
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
Reservations: (407) 934-7639 or www.disneyworld.com
Opening Date: 17 May 1991 (first three buildings, originally named as simply “Port Orleans”)
Location: Downtown Disney area
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?
There are three basic room types: Standard, Water View and King Bed (the latter two being more expensive). There are no ‘preferred’ locations as such, so your room could be located anywhere on the resort.
Standard view rooms can overlook courtyards, garden areas or parking lots. Water View guarantees a view of either a pool or the Sassagoula River. Kind Bed rooms contain just one King-size bed instead of two doubles, and can be located anywhere on the resort so you could be allocated either type of view.
How much does it cost?
Room prices vary by day, season and room type, starting from $149 per night for weekdays in Value season to $215 for weekends in Holiday season. Water View and King Bed rooms cost approximately $15 extra per night, and there is also a $15 surcharge for having a third or fourth adult occupying a room. These prices are all plus 12.5% local tax.
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 double (not 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 a corner room, as these have two windows rather than one and thus tend to be brighter.
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.
Some disabled-access rooms are available which mostly feature one King-size bed, a roll-in shower and wheel-chair height accessible facilities such as safe, 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 $12.95, which you can top 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.
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 90 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. There is also a children’s play area and guest-operated pay laundry facilities near to Mardi Grogs.
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, a pirate riverboat excursion for the kids and a seasonal campfire with storytelling. Horse-drawn carriage rides are offered in the evenings (weather permitting) from 6pm to 9:30pm. Cost is $35 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 mostly 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 and less chance of having to stand. Separate services for the two resorts often run at peak times.
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 11:10am to 11pm. From 9:10am to 11am a local shuttle service runs between French Quarter and Riverside only.
Where can I find out more detailed information, see photos, etc?
For more information and some photos, 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 unofficial Port Orleans tribute site at www.portorleans.org which tries to answer just about any Port Orleans questions you may have - and has a ton of 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 photo (c) Andre Willey 2008, 2009. Used here by permission.