A walk around Disney’s Port Orleans: French Quarter
First, a brief background. French Quarter is one of four WDW “moderate” resorts (five if you count the cabins at Fort Wilderness). It is is the original Port Orleans resort, opening under that name in 1991. It was themed to the “French Quarter” section of New Orleans in terms of architecture and style. In 1992, Disney opened Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort adjacent to the original Port Orleans. Dixie Landings would later go on to be re-branded as part of Port Orleans Resort in the 2001. It was renamed to Port Orleans: Riverside, representing plantation and bayou areas of Louisiana. The original Port Orleans Resort would become Port Orleans: French Quarter.
In terms of layout, French Quarter has the smallest footprint of any of the moderate resorts by far. I love it’s compact layout and the fact that you are never too far of a walk away from the pool, main building, or buses. It also makes a wonderful place for a morning stroll as you can cover the whole resort in a reasonable amount of time. Mary Beth and I love the French Quarter, as it allows us to visit a romanticized version of the actual place. The actual French Quarter is beautiful, but is a bit too much of a non-stop party atmosphere for our liking (what can I say, we must be getting old). Here, we can get much of what we enjoy from the area while losing the stuff we don’t. Let’s talk a walk around shall we…
Here, you can see the ferryboat heading down the Sassagoula River over to Disney Springs. This is a nice feature of the resort as Disney Springs has become a great place to spend evenings over the last couple years. Plus, any type of non-bus Disney transportation is always a huge plus in my book. You can also take a ferry over to Port Orleans Riverside if you like.
One of the few downers of the French Quarter’s size is that it does not have a table service restaurant of its own (it does have one of the better quick service options of all the resorts at least). As a rule, the table service options at the moderate resorts are nothing all that exceptional anyways, but Boatwrights at Riverside is probably the best of the bunch. Its nice to have the option to take the boat over if you like.
You can also walk if you so choose by heading up this path. Just follow the river north and you can miss it. Riverside is a beautiful resort in its own right so don’t hesitate to head on over for a visit if you have the time.
As with all moderate resorts, the room are all exterior entry only. The facades are all painted fun and vibrant colors which works well with the overall fell of the resort. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and well maintained. I didn’t think to photograph the interior of the rooms themselves, but they are fine. They are pretty typical Disney moderate style with a few nice theming touches here and there.
The pool area is a lot of fun, albeit one of the more cartoonish of the Disney resort pools. Personally, I love the pool (I mean who wouldn’t want to slide down the tongue of a serpent), but if you are looking for a more nuanced theme of your pool, you are probably better off at Riverside or one of the deluxe hotels.
This alligator big brass band is the clear highlight of the pool area. You can also find them here and there throughout other parts of the resort.
There are tons of fun details all around the grounds. I particularly love the various fountains you can find throughout.
Well, that about wraps up this little visit to Port Orleans: French Quarter. If you are looking to stay on site for an upcoming trip, you won’t be disappointed should you choose to stay here. It’s the perfect size, beautifully designed and well maintained. It’s also great being able to hop on the boat over to Disney Springs. One of the few downers is that it seems that French Quarter is often excluded, or at least very limited from many special offers such as room discounts or free dining. This is obviously something to consider when deciding where to stay for an upcoming trip. That being said, even paying full price for the room, its still a great resort and you could do a lot worse.
Thanks for reading!