Staying at one of Walt Disney World’s resorts while on vacation is a great way to keep the feeling of “Disney magic” alive—even when you’re not in the parks. Port Orleans French Quarter is certainly a great hotel worth considering, but is it truly worth the money? Well, let’s take a deep dive into all of the pros and cons of Port Orleans French Quarter.
Pros and Cons of Port Orleans French Quarter
Let’s begin by discussing this resort’s theming.
Port Orleans French Quarter Theme
Port Orleans French Quarter is designed to look like a Disney version of the historic French Quarter in New Orleans. The overall effect is a romantic, magical version of New Orleans.
As soon as you enter the main lobby, you’ll see colorful Mardi Gras characters, decorations from parade floats, and wrought iron trim decorating the area. The resort grounds feature cobblestone sidewalks, street lights made to resemble gas lamp posts, and wrought-iron accents on each building. New Orleans jazz music is softly piped in, adding to the ambiance. There are impeccably landscaped courtyards and fountains between the buildings.
The Mardi Gras theme continues to the swimming pool area, which features a huge water slide designed to look like a sea serpent, with King Neptune himself riding on its back. Whimsical statues of alligators playing jazz on various musical instruments are stationed around the pool.
While the overall theme of this resort is lovely and romantic, it doesn’t feature a lot of Disney characters in the decor. If you or your children look forward to staying in a space decorated with their favorite characters, Port Orleans French Quarter might not be as appealing for you. The Disney touch is definitely there, but it’s more subtle.
While the overall theme of Port Orleans French Quarter is beautiful, here are the pros and cons to help decide if this resort will appeal to you:
Pros: It’s a romantic version of New Orleans, with beautifully landscaped grounds, distinctly New Orleans style touches, and subtle Disney decor. It probably appeals more to adults, especially couples who might be visiting Walt Disney World for a romantic vacation. It has become a favorite choice for people who visit Walt Disney World for their honeymoon or anniversary celebrations.
Cons: While there are plenty of reasons this resort is great for families with children, the decor doesn’t feature as many familiar characters as some of the other resorts. The notable exception is the main swimming pool, with silly jazz musician alligator statues surrounding it.
Port Orleans Riverside, the sister property to Port Orleans French Quarter, does feature some rooms that are decorated with Disney character artwork and details. If your kids would prefer to stay at a hotel that is surrounded by larger-than-life characters and motifs from their favorite movies, they might enjoy any of the Disney All-Star Resorts, or the Pop Century Resort.
- You Might Like: Port Orleans Riverside vs Pop Century Resort
Rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans is categorized as one of Walt Disney World’s “moderate” price range resorts. Even so, the average price per night for a stay here is around $259 per night. Of course, that price varies depending on the time of year.
You have the choice of a room with two queen-sized beds, or one king-sized bed. The rooms are decently sized at approximately 314 square feet. The rooms are all basically the same, with the only difference being if you choose a “standard” view (view of the parking area), pool view, river view, or garden view. Furnishings other than the beds include a dresser, a small table with two chairs, and nightstands.
More USB charging ports were added during recent refurbishments, so it should be easy to charge your phones and any other devices while you sleep. There are slight differences in price for each room, with the standard view being the least expensive, but they are all basically the same floor plan. Rooms with the standard view might notice a little more noise from the road and parking area, but they’re still far enough away that the noise shouldn’t be too loud.
The room decor is understated elegance. While it’s not overtly “Disney”, the style is refined and relaxing. The furniture has an ornately carved wood appearance, with decorative touches like fleur-de-lis designs to keep with the French Quarter theme. The beds are firm, but not so hard as to be uncomfortable. They’re made up with crisp white linens and super soft pillows.
During a recent refurbishment, the carpet was replaced with hard flooring, and the beds have been raised higher to allow a space to stow your suitcases underneath. Large TV screens show several cable channels, as well as a channel that highlights the Disney Parks.
The bathroom is separated from the sleeping area by a heavy curtain. The vanity area is well-lit, with double sinks and plenty of counter space. The shower and toilet are behind a door off to the side of the vanity area. Instead of tiny bottles of shower gel and shampoo, there are dispensers attached to the wall of the shower. Another nice touch is a retractable wire clothes drying line in the shower. This is really handy for hanging wet swimsuits so they can dry out overnight.
All rooms feature complimentary wi-fi service, a mini refrigerator, a coffee maker, an iron and ironing board, and a hairdryer. There’s also a small safe to store valuables while you’re out enjoying the Disney Parks.
Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of the rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter:
Pros: The rooms are very pretty; elegant yet comfortable. There is plenty of room, with good amenities. They were refurbished in 2019 with new flooring, larger TV screens, and more USB charging areas.
Cons: While the decor is lovely, it’s not overtly “Disney.” If you’re looking for rooms decorated with lots of animated character art or Mickey-shaped motifs, you won’t find it here (instead, you’ll probably want to stay somewhere like the All Star Movies Resort or All Star Music Resort). The rooms at the Port Orleans are all basically the same floor plan, but there are price differences depending on which view you choose. That means that you’ll pay a little bit more for the same room, based solely on which building you’re in.
Dining at the Port Orleans French Quarter
The main dining option at Port Orleans French Quarter is the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. This is a quick-service dining option; basically, it’s a large food court. However, this is no ordinary food court! Like most of Disney’s “value” and “moderate” priced resorts, the food court features several stations with a wide variety of choices.
All of the food is freshly made each day and the portions are generous. The food is just as tasty (or more so!) as anything you will find in the theme parks. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also find plenty of grab-and-go snack items to enjoy in your room or to take along to your park visits.
At Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, during lunch and dinner service you’ll find stations for Cajun/Creole food, burgers and sandwiches, salads, pizza and pasta, children’s menu items, and desserts. There are vegetarian options, as well as an allergy-friendly menu.
The breakfast service features standard breakfast options such as eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, and the very popular Mickey-shaped waffles. There are also vegetarian and allergy-friendly offerings for breakfast.
You will also find limited-time and seasonal desserts and snacks available at all meal times.
Next to the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, is Scat Cat’s Lounge and Cafe. While this is a lounge/bar area, they do offer a few tasty savory bar snacks after 5:00 PM. In the cafe section, you can get the very popular and scrumptious Mickey Beignets. Just like beignets you’d find in a New Orleans cafe, these are sweet puffy fried pastries buried in a cloud of powdered sugar. But unlike beignets found in New Orleans, these are shaped like Mickey Mouse! They’re available with a variety of dipping sauces if you want to add some more sweetness.
In the pool area, you’ll find Mardi Grogs poolside bar. In addition to a variety of specialty cocktails, beer, wine, and soft drinks, they offer a small selection of fresh sandwiches. It’s nice if you want to enjoy a casual lunch or snack while relaxing at the pool. Mardi Grogs has live jazz music on select nights.
While there is no table service restaurant at Port Orleans, you can stroll over to Port Orleans Riverside to enjoy a sit-down meal at Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Their menu features cajun and southern-style meals.
You probably won’t have a bad meal at Port Orleans, but there are definitely some pros and cons to the dining options:
Pros: The Sassagoula Floatworks Factory has a wide selection of food; there’s sure to be something that anyone in your family will like. Vegetarian and allergy-friendly options are featured prominently on the menus. The portions are large, and the prices are quite reasonable. There’s a large seating area. The grab-and-go items are nice to have a snack ready in your room or to bring along when visiting a park.
Cons: The only real downside to the dining options at Port Orleans is the lack of a table service restaurant. It’s nice at the end of a long day at the parks to relax with a sit-down meal. However, it’s an easy walk (about 15 minutes) over to Port Orleans Riverside Resort if you want to eat at Boatwright’s Dining Hall, or you can take a water taxi to have a meal at one of the many restaurants in Disney Springs.
Resort Amenities at Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter is actually a “sister resort” to Port Orleans Riverside Resort. The two resorts share some amenities and are located quite close to each other. Even though you can’t see Port Orleans Riverside while you’re at the French Quarter resort, there is a beautifully landscaped pathway along the Sassagoula River between the two hotels. You can walk between the two resorts in approximately 15 to 20 minutes. It can be a very romantic walk in the early evening hours.
The Doubloon Lagoon is the main swimming pool at Port Orleans French Quarter. The focus of the pool is a 51-foot-long sea serpent water slide, with King Neptune riding on top. Nearby, there is also a water play/splash pad for small children and a relaxing hot tub. Guests at Port Orleans are also free to walk over to the sister property, Port Orleans Riverside Resort, to enjoy their pool. All pools have lifeguards on duty, and pool towels are provided so you don’t have to bring the towels from your room.
Jackson Square Gifts and Desires is the gift shop located at this resort. In addition to Disney merchandise and souvenirs, you can also buy any personal items you might have forgotten. They have a good selection of merchandise, some of which are exclusive to the Port Orleans Resort.
Other amenities include a video arcade, an ATM in the main lobby, a 24-hour coin laundry, online check-in, housekeeping services, and complimentary transportation options to the Disney parks and to Disney Springs.
Port Orleans has excellent amenities, but there are some things you should be aware of. Here are the basic pros and cons regarding the hotel amenities:
Pros: The pool area is great, and is always clean. The gift shop is a fun place to shop for souvenirs, as well as any personal items you might need. Perhaps one of the greatest “amenities” not mentioned above is the friendly and knowledgeable cast members who work here. They are always smiling and ready to help you with any questions. Complimentary transportation to the parks and Disney Springs takes some of the stress out of a long vacation day.
Cons: The amenities here are pretty standard for the Disney Value and Moderate resort hotels. By describing them as “standard”, that’s not to say they aren’t excellent! However, Port Orleans doesn’t have a fitness center or a spa. The pathways are nice to for daily walks when you’re not at the parks, though.
Parking overnight at any Disney Resort hotel is no longer free. There is a $20 per night parking fee. However, if you choose to drive yourself to any of the theme parks, the standard parking fee at the park will be waived for you.
Activities at Port Orleans French Quarter
You’ll probably spend most of your time at one of the theme parks during your Disney vacation. If you need a day to take a break from the park crowds, there are some nice activities at Port Orleans French Quarter.
In addition to the swimming pools, there is a nice playground for the little kids next to the Doubloon Lagoon pool. For tweens and teenagers, there is also a video arcade inside the main building. At the pool, cast members occasionally lead the guests in pool games and Disney trivia contests.
On select nights, complimentary Disney movies will be shown on an outdoor screen. The screening area is located in the courtyard between buildings 5 & 6, at 8:00pm on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. There will be a sign posted near the pool with the movie schedule, or you can ask cast members in the main lobby what movies will be shown.
A fun way to explore the pathways is rent a bicycle, or a Surrey bike! Complimentary helmets and baby seats are provided with all regular bike rentals. Florida law says that anyone under the age of 16 is require to wear a bike helmet. The Surrey bikes are available for two or four riders.
Pros for activities at Port Orleans French Quarter: The activities are fun, and there is something for any age group to enjoy!
Cons for activities at Port Orleans French Quarter: There really aren’t any “cons” to the activities at this resort. Perhaps the only slightly disappointing factor is that other resorts have more coordinated activities. If you don’t mind walking over to Port Orleans Riverside, you can reserve a horse drawn carriage ride, or go fishing for an afternoon. Many of Disney’s Deluxe resort hotels have more scheduled activities, but the cost of staying at those resorts in substantially more.
Transportation at Port Orleans French Quarter
A great benefit of staying at any Disney Resort is complimentary transportation to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. At Port Orleans, you can take a bus to any of these locations. The bus stop is located near the front of the main building. It’s an easy walk from any of the buildings. It’s nice at the end of a long day to not have to walk far to get back to your room from the bust stop! The buses run pretty frequently, and begin service 45 minutes before the parks open, and end one hour after the parks close.
A fun transportation option at Port Orleans are the water taxis! You can take a complimentary water taxi to travel over to Port Orleans Riverside, or to Disney Springs. The boats are comfortable and the trip is very scenic.
If you’re pressed for time, there is also the option of taking a taxi or ride share to your destination. The concierge desk can provide the number of a taxi service in the area.
Pros of the Transportation at Port Orleans: The buses and water taxis save you time and money. If you decide to drive your car to any of the parks, be aware that you might find yourself waiting in a long line just to get into the parking lot. It can also be a long walk from your parking spot to the front entrance. The Disney bus service drops you off and picks you up very close to the entrance of all the parks.
The water taxis are fun, and they run frequently. It’s almost like another Disney ride!
Cons of the Transportation at Port Orleans: The only downside to the bus service at this resort is that the buses are shared with Port Orleans Riverside. This means that the buses can get crowded during peak times, especially early in the mornings. If you’re trying to get to a park to make an early dining reservation or lightning lane, be sure to allow plenty of time to arrive.
Port Orleans French Quarter Prices
This is classified as a “moderate” resort, which means it’s not as expensive as the deluxe resorts, but a little pricier than the “value” resorts.The room prices average $259 per night. It can be a little more or less than that, depending on the time of year and what room view you choose. In comparison to other moderate Disney Resort hotels, the average price at Port Orleans French Quarter is slightly more than the average price you’ll pay at Coronado Springs, but a bit less than the rooms at Caribbean Beach, both of which are larger moderate resorts.
Pros of the French Quarter Room Prices: The moderate resorts are not exactly “cheap”, but this resort is a decent price, especially in comparison with some of the other moderate Disney hotels.
Cons of the French Quarter Room Prices: If you’re traveling on a budget, you might find one of Disney’s “value” resorts more affordable. You’ll still get great amenities like complimentary transportation and fun swimming pools. Also, the room prices can vary depending on which view option you choose, but all of the rooms at this resort are the exact same floor plan.
Port Orleans French Quarter is a somewhat overlooked Disney resort. It’s smaller than many of the Walt Disney World resorts, with just over 1,000 guest rooms spread out over several buildings. With the pretty landscaped paths and courtyards, the entire resort is designed to be walkable. While there are many pros and cons of Port Orleans French Quarter, overall the pros far outweigh the cons of staying here.
As a moderate resort, it’s more affordable than the Deluxe resort hotels, but still has an elegant atmosphere. It’s perfect for adults, or for families traveling with teens/tweens. Little kids will still enjoy staying here, but they might be more excited at one of the resorts with more obvious Disney theming.The romantic atmosphere makes this a favorite with couples and honeymooners.
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