Port Orleans French Quarter Review – Welcome to Mardi Gras
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Needing a little New Orleans in your life? Who knew you could find it in Orlando, Florida! Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter is one half of the Port Orleans resort, but all the fun of Mardi Gras. You can take a stroll down cobblestone streets and enjoy the jazz-themed decor. You might even find some amazing beignets as a special treat! Our Port Orleans French Quarter review explores all the reasons why this should be your next resort stay at Walt Disney World!
Loving the Theme at Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter is one of the best themed resorts at Walt Disney World. You really see the theme throughout the resort, but particularly in the way Disney has designed the lobby, streets, iron working on the buildings, and the courtyards throughout the resort.
Port Orleans French Quarter Lobby
The theme first hits you when you enter the lobby of Port Orleans French Quarter. You are greeted by Mardi Gras masks, iconic jesters, and other reminders of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The main lobby is decorated with Mardi Gras Masks and a lovely fountain. The sundries shop is named Jackson Square, after the central square in New Orlean’s French Quarter.
The Beauty of Ironwork in the Port Orleans French Quarter Buildings
The buildings are three story homages to the French Quarter, complete with ironwork balconies that can make you feel just like you are in the very center of New Orleans. They also use the fun colors of Mardi Gras to further draw you into the theme. As the smallest Moderate resort, you really feel the intimacy and romance of the French Quarter walking down the streets with lamp posts and mock-cobblestones.
Port Orleans French Quarter is one of the most romantic resorts at Walt Disney World. The small size, coupled with the iron work and theming make it a perfect destination for a couples trip. You can even celebrate your love with custom Princess and the Frog Shirts!
Relax in the Port Orleans French Quarter Courtyards
You will find multiple courtyards throughout the resort. Most are equipped with fountains, reminiscent of the French Quarter. You will also fine statues paying homage to the Princess and the Frog, a theme that can be found throughout the resort and even in some of the theming in the rooms. These are excellent places to enjoy a quiet night, which is really a beauty of this resort. The small size and the theming make it seem like you are world away from the typical hustle and bustle of the Disney World Parks.
If you want to go all-out with the Princess and the Frog theme, you can find tons of great options for celebrating Tiana and her friends. They sell some fun souvenirs at Jackson Square in the lobby, but you can load up before your trip too. The Tiana bag line from Danielle Nicole is one of the most fun ways to sport your love of this princess. Make sure you also know what to pack in your Park bag for maximum fun!
Port Orleans French Quarter Location and Transportation
Port Orleans French Quarter is officially a Disney Springs area hotel, but it’s actually located really close to Epcot as well. It’s the most conveniently located of the Moderate Resorts with the shortest overall commute to the Walt Disney World parks.
It forms one half of the Port Orleans Resorts, with Port Orleans Riverside taking up more space to the north of French Quarter.
Due to its smaller size, Port Orleans French Quarter only has a single bus stop near the front lobby. The bus station is split into two separate sections: Animal Kingdom/Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom/Epcot. Transit times are the best overall for any of the Moderate Resorts. Even though it is technically a Disney Springs Resort, the transit time to Epcot is actually the shortest which makes it a great option if you love the World Showcase!
Transit Times from Port Orleans French Quarter to Disney Parks
- Magic Kingdom – 15 minutes
- Epcot – 10-15 minutes
- Hollywood Studios – 20 minutes
- Animal Kingdom – 25 minutes
- Disney Springs – 20 minutes
One of the great transportation perks at Port Orleans French quarter is the boat to Disney Springs. Most of the Moderate Resorts, and even some Deluxe, only have bus transportation. Having the option to take a relaxing boat ride is a nice perk of French Quarter.
You can hop a boat to Port Orleans Riverside and Disney Springs from Port Orleans French Quarter.
The rooms are really a star here at Port Orleans French Quarter. The laminate floors are one of the items that strikes you as soon as you enter the rooms. This is an upgrade that you can rarely get even at some of the Deluxe Resorts, and it really makes the rooms feel fresh, clean and updated.
The Port Orleans French Quarter rooms all come with two queen beds. This is a drawback for those that enjoy the extra pull-down 5th bed of some the Moderate Resorts. While it does limit the family size to four, the beds are very comfortable and the high placement off the ground makes it super easy to store items and keep the floor space clear for a nice, open feeling to the room.
Similar to the bedroom area, the bathroom has a very updated feel. You’ll enjoy a double vanity as well as some fun Princess and the Frog theming on the shower curtain!
Port Orleans French Quarter Pool and Recreation
The Doubloon Lagoon pool at Port Orleans French Quarter comes with all of the amenities. You will find both a kids’ water play area as well as pool, complete with water slide. The way to the slide is paved with an alligator Jazz Band while the water slide has King Neptune atop “Scales,” the gian sea serpent. The slide is a fun 51 feet long so you can get a pretty great splash at the end. Like other Disney pools, you can also find life jackets nearby the pool for little ones.
Kids Water Play Area and Playground
If you are traveling with younger kids, you can take advantage of some additional amenities in the pool area. The jazz-loving alligator band leads you to the pool and a nice playground for younger kids. It doesn’t have a lot of thrills for older children, but toddlers would have a fun time. Another fun activity for kids under 48″ tall is the Doubloon Lagoon Water Play area. The water play area has smaller slides, and the kids will love running from the giant water wheel when it’s time to dump water all over the area!
Other Activities at Port Orleans French Quarter
There are several other activities you can enjoy at Port Orleans French Quarter. Like it’s sister resort, Port Orleans Riverside, you can take a horse carriage ride around the resort. There is also a video game arcade to spend some time, but Port Orleans French Quarter boasts two very special events that you can’t find at other resorts:
- Sunday Beignet Fun Run – On most Sundays, you can sign up for a fun run of 1.5 miles around the resort. When you finish, you get a medal and a beignet (which is more than enough of a prize for me!!). It costs $15 to complete the fun run, and you can register ahead of time or when you show up at 7:30am for the run.
- Painting on de’ Bayou – On Wednesday’s in the Scat Cat’s Club, you can paint a Disney-inspired painting lead by an instructor at Port Orleans French Quarter. You can register up to 180 days in advance, and it cost $35. It’s a really fun event and a great way to spend a non-Park night with a cool souvenir from your time at Disney World.
Port Orleans French Quarter Dining
One of the big differences between Port Orleans French Quarter and other Moderate Resorts is that it doesn’t not have a Table Service Restaurant. All other Moderate Resorts have at least one, but Port Orleans French Quarter actually shares its Table Service option, the Boatwright’s Dining Hall, with its sister resort, Port Orleans Riverside.
What it lacks in Table Service, it makes up in some delicious Quick Service snacks. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is the counter-service option at Port Orleans French Quarter. It is similar to other resort Quick Service options in that it has five different windows offering everything from burgers at the Grill Shop to barbecue ribs at the Carving Shop. Port Orleans French Quarter also has an area dedicated to its French Quarter roots, serving up gumbo, crawfish étouffée, and a shrimp po’boy.
Sweet Treats at Sassagoula Floatworks
What we all come to Sassagoula Floatworks has very little to do with dinner though. The star here is the bakery and the beignets! If you’ve watched the Princess and the Frog recently, you have a hanging for some of Tiana’s amazing beignets and they even come shaped like Mickey here! You can watch them be made fresh-to-order, and they actually qualify as a snack on the dining plan. If the beignets aren’t your think, you can also enjoy a mini-king’s cake or new Orleans inspired cupcake.
Port Orleans French Quarter Review Summary
Port Orleans French Quarter may be the perfect resort for your next Disney World trip!
The Best Reasons to Book Port Orleans French Quarter
- New Orleans Mardi Gras Theme – If you are in love with New Orleans, then you don’t need to look any further! Port Orleans French Quarter does theme better than almost any other Disney resort. Strolling down the quaint roads amongst iron balconies is enough to bring anyone back to New Orleans.
- Great Things Come in Small Packages – The small size of the resort makes it extremely walkable and a nice respite from the potentially crowded parks. It’s also the best Moderate resort for a romantic getaway. The wonderful theming, combined with the smaller resort make it feel intimate and the perfect romantic getaway.
- Fun Time for the Kiddos – Port Orleans French Quarter has lots of amenities for the kids, including a pool with a waterslide, fun water play area, and a playground. If you are traveling with smaller children, then you will likely find the amenities just the right size.
- Beignets are EVERYTHING – If you are as obsessed with this treat as I am, then it might be worth the stay just for the delicious treats!
As amazing as Port Orleans French Quarter is, there are a few times that may mean it’s not the Best Disney Moderate Resort for you.
Reasons You May Pick a Different Resort from Port Orleans French Quarter
- You have a Party of 5: Port Orleans French Quarter rooms can only accommodate four people. They do not have an option for a 5th pull down bed like many other Moderate Resorts.
- Table Service Is a Must: If you have to have a Table Service restaurant at your resort, then Port Orleans French Quarter is likely not your best bet. It only has an on-property Quick Service Restaurant, although the beignets might be enough to sway you!
- You need Disney-theme everywhere! – If you are looking for a super-themed room, other moderates might be a better pick. While the Port Orleans French Quarter rooms are about as classy as they come, Port Orleans Riverside sports the Royal Guest Rooms that are themed with Disney Princesses. Caribbean Beach even have Pirate-themed rooms that let you sleep in a Pirate ship.