22 August 2012

Where in Walt Disney World: Port Orleans' French Quarter

I am a HUGE Disney buff, and my specialist subject would be Walt Disney World. I've been lucky enough to visit Disneyland in California and the one in Paris, but WDW is by far my favourite and in my opinion the ultimate.

After many years of travelling to the Sunshine state of Florida, and visiting Disney World i thought i'd impart some wisdom, tips and tricks, the best things to do and maybe what not to, just in case any of you are ever thinking of taking the trip or maybe i can intrigue you to do so. So, get ready for a the ultimate guide to Walt Disney World and the surrounding area while i'm away at the same destination.
Walt Disney World covers 30,080 acres and holds four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site Disney themed resorts and 8 resorts that aren't Disney owned. You can even find a campground, two spas and physical fitness centres, five golf courses and a plethora of other recreational activities and entertainment. Walt Disney developed the resort in the early 1960's but sadly died in 1966 before his original plans were fully recognised and before it's completion in 1971. Disney World opened on October 1st 1971 with only the Magic Kingdom but EPCOT was added in 1982, Hollywood Studios - formerly MGM Studios - in 1989 and Animal Kingdom in 1998.

It's a place where dreams are made. Come with me and explore the ins and outs of the happiest place on earth.
"Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is inspired by the romance and pageantry of the historic French Quarter in New Orleans, and where every day is a celebration. Step through a wrought-iron portal into an alluring world of delicious Cajun food, jazz music and dazzling parades.

Stroll cobblestone walkways and gaze down from balconies with delicate railings as you listen to the smooth jazz backdrop and breathe in the sweet smell of magnolia blossoms in the air. As you pass by the ornate street signs, antique gas lampposts and fountains, you may just feel like you've been transported to The Big Easy."

There's no doubt about it - Port Orleans, and especially the French Quarter, is beautiful. It's calm, serene and full of romance but is perfectly family friendly too. The entire resort has beautiful landscaped lanes built in, as well as gardens, water features, parisian night lights, and pools. It's like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Disney parks. Some of the props that decorate the resort were purchased directly from Mardi Gras warehouses in New Orleans. The rooms are built along their beautiful lanes and you can pay a little extra for a beautiful view of the Sassagoula River that runs parallel to the resort. The reception and lobby are in the central building, right at the front of the property, named The Mint where you can also find the Jackson Square Gifts & Desires, the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory and the Scat Cats Lounge.

The Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is the food court for the resort and serves American & Creole foods. Here is where you can purchase all meals and beverages during your stay at Port Orleans. When you arrive you can buy a special Disney cup, once your cup is bought you can keep refilling for the entirety of your stay from the refilling station in the middle of the food court. There are a few stations, each specialising in something different. You can buy omelettes, sausages, bacon and Mickey shaped waffles for breakfast and New Orleans favourites Muffaletta sandwiches, gumbo and jambalaya as well as all the food court favourites such as pizza and burgers.

The Scat Cats Lounge, located next to the Food Factory, offers select nights of live entertainment with memorabilia from great jazz musicians setting the tone. Here you can enjoy a cocktail or an appetiser, or why not try the house speciality drink; a Hurricane poured into a hurricane lamp shaded glass. It's a great place for adults to unwind after a hectic day withe the kids, in the parks. While they're watching the Disney Channel, are eating in the food court next door or are checking out what's on offer in Jackson Square Gifts & Desires. In there you can find official Disney merch like pyjamas, t-shirts, flashing souvenirs, CDs and much more. It's a great place to find all American and Disney snacks such as Mountain Dew, cheddar cheese popcorn, mickey shaped rice crispy treats and lollipops in all shapes, sizes and flavours.

Another great to relax after a busy day is a stroll along the mile long path beside the Sassagoula River. It'll feel like you're leaving the bright lights of the city and are entering the lush green surroundings of the country. Why not take a walk to the other side of the resort; Port Orleans Riverside which is just a short walk down river. Here you can take a horse drawn carriage ride or have a bite to eat. Careful not to startle any of Port Orleans' wildlife as you're more than likely to spot a duck, a bunny or ten!

There are also plenty of activities to do, with the kiddies, if you fancy some time away from the parks. The Port Orleans French Quarter has the Doubloon Lagoon swimming pool that features a water slide resembling a large sea serpent, ready for your kids to tame! There's also a kid's playground and an arcade for all the family to act like big kids, as well as fishing at Riverside and bike rides too. There are some great family activities if you fancy something a little more low key.

The rooms at the Port Orleans Resort are the same standard rooms you genuinely find at all the Disney hotels and resorts. The standard rooms house two queen size beds, perfect for bouncing as well as sleeping, cable TV with the obligatory Disney programming, a hairdryer, safe, iron and ironing board, coffee maker, mini fridge, ceiling fan, full length mirror and the all important air con. There are pack and play playards available upon request as well as rooms available for those with disabilities. Now at Port Orleans there are some select rooms entitled the Royal Rooms. They're the same standard set out but much, much more. They're full of magical surprises as well as custom drapes and linens, plus ornately decorated beds and headboards that glitter and create your own personal firework display above your bed. Seeing as The Princess and the Frog was set in New Orleans you'll discover mementos left by Princess Tiyana's royal friends from classic Disney films such as Aladdin, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and more. For example, the bathroom faucets are shaped like Genie's magic lamp from Aladdin and the luggage bench is in the shape of Sutan, the dog turned into a bench in Beauty and the Beast. Remember to take a glance at the rug on the carpet too, does it look familiar? There are also laundry facilities through Port Orleans and dry cleaning, and laundry, services can be picked up from the main reception. Plus you know when you've had a busy but exciting day at the Walt Disney World parks, you've stayed up to late to catch Wishes at the Magic Kingdom and then have to squeeze your way out of the crowds all leaving afterwards and you get back to your room too late to grab dinner? Well have no fear, there's a pizza delivery service right to your door!

Port Orleans is a great, family friendly resort and i highly recommend it's great facilities!


All Images Sourced from Google Images

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