It’s no wonder that the Walt Disney World Resort devotes not one but two resort hotels to this fascinating area. The Port Orleans – French Quarter resort celebrates what many of us may consider to be the party center of the entire country – the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, in Disney’s “moderate” category, is compact and elegant. It is connected to Port Orleans – Riverside by the Sassagoula River, and the resorts share some amenities in addition to their theme. The walkways of the resort are designed to look like the cobblestone streets of old New Orleans with antique lampposts, wrought iron fences, and elaborate street signs.
The architecture of the resort resembles the 18th century buildings of the Quarter, and soft jazz can be heard playing throughout the day. The rooms are also decorated with ornate bed frames and light fixtures in keeping with the theme.
A taste of the south is yours to enjoy in the French Quarter.
Resort Layout and Amenities
At the front of the resort is Port Orleans Square, and the main building, known as the Mint, with its impressive vault-ceilinged and glass-plated entryway. This building has the registration desk and guest services, in addition to the gift shop, food court, and lounge.
The rest of the resort is comprised of seven buildings with guest rooms in the South Quarter and the North Quarter of the resort. Beyond the Mint is the Doubloon Lagoon pool and neighboring Mardi Grogs poolside bar serving a variety of cocktails.
The Sassagoula River runs behind the rear border of the resort, and there is a riverside path on which guests can stroll, take a bike ride, or even go for a scenic horse-drawn carriage ride along the banks. The path connects to the Riverside resort, which is a fairly short distance away.
The Sassagoula River that runs along the property is senic and relaxing.
The French Quarter features the South Quarter Arcade for guests to enjoy. Bikes to take on a journey along the Sassagoula river path or use to explore the rest of the resort are available to rent down the way at Port Orleans – Riverside.
Additional amenities for resort guests include in-room pizza delivery, valet dry cleaning or coin operated self-serve laundry services, a concierge desk, and wireless internet access. Jackson Square Gifts & Desires carries a few vacation necessities in addition to Disney souvenirs.
Pools at the French Quarter and Riverside
There is only one pool at the Port Orleans French Quarter, but it’s quite a pool! An enormous green sea dragon ridden by King Triton curls and writhes around and over the water, and guests can climb stairs up its back and take a thrilling slide down its open mouth and red tongue. An alligator jazz band plays poolside, and a kiddie pool and hot tub are nearby.
Many guests also take the short walk over to the Riverside resort to enjoy the large swimming hole at Ol’ Man Island. This island in the middle of the Sassagoula is a great place to play on the playground or in the woods, fish in the river, or swim at the impressive pool. There are several pools at Riverside in addition to the one on Ol’ Man Island, but the feature pool with its water slides and waterfalls is undoubtedly the main attraction.
The landscaping, architecture, and design of
the French Quarter is charming and beautiful.
As a relatively small resort, Port Orleans French Quarter has only two dining options and a couple of places for adults to grab a drink. However, the restaurants at the adjoining Riverside resort are in easy walking distance and many guests at Port Orleans spend time enjoying the restaurants and recreation opportunities at both resorts. In addition, Port Orleans is a water taxi ride away from Downtown Disney, where there are even more restaurants to sample.
Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory
In place of several sit down restaurants, the French Quarter has a Mardis Gras-themed food court with a variety of fast food counters. In addition to standard food court fare such as pizzas and burgers, this food court also tempts guests to try Louisiana classics such as jambalaya.
Floatworks and Food Factory offer plenty of dining options.
Scat Cat’s Club
Scat Cat’s Club is primarily a bar, but it does provide a menu of appetizers for adults in the mood for a light snack. In addition, Scat Cat’s has a wide variety of beverages, including specialty cocktails. The club is decorated with jazz memorabilia commemorating great musicians of the genre. On designated nights of the week, Scat Cat’s features live musical entertainment.
Pros and Cons
Many past guests mention the size of this resorts as one of its advantages. While many Disney resorts are quite large, the French Quarter is very compact and it is an easy walk from any part of the resort to another. When you have spent all day on your feet exploring the theme parks, this is a major plus.
Its smaller size means that this is also a relatively quiet resort, especially if you stay in a building facing the Sassagoula River. The real French Quarter may have a reputation for all day and all night revelry, but Disney’s French Quarter is more of a quiet and romantic setting.
There are relatively few amenities at this resort, and only one place to eat. However, this shortcoming is mitigated by its proximity to Riverside and to Downtown Disney, where you can find the variety that the French Quarter lacks without having to sacrifice the peaceful nature of this hotel.
Choosing the French Quarter
The neighboring Port Orleans Riverside Resort may be larger and feature a wider range of amenities, but the French Quarter is a great place for a peaceful and civilized retreat. If you find yourself overloaded by the hustle, bustle, sights, and sounds of the theme parks and the rest of Disney World, the Port Orleans French Quarter could be the perfect place for you to unwind.Herb Leibacher