Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort Review
Disney World is all about storytelling. Everything from the rides to the restaurants have a unique backstory. The resorts are no exception. According to lore, Disney Port Orleans – French Quarter was settled by a French expedition way, way back in 1704. Through the years, the burgeoning outpost on the Sassagoula delta blossomed into a booming, beautiful city on the bayou.
So, how does Disney’s French Quarter stack up to the other Disney World resorts? And who is Port Orleans best for? If you’re planning a Disney World vacation in the future and are thinking of staying at a moderate resort, read on as we go over everything you need to know about Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort.
Due to COVID-19, Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort is temporarily closed. If you’re wondering “When will Port Orleans – French Quarter open?”, unfortunately, no reopening date has yet been announced. As things continue to change quite rapidly, we recommend you refer to the Walt Disney World website for the most up-to-date information.
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort transports guests to the hustle and bustle of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. This moderate resort sits in between Disney Springs and Epcot, and is also just a short drive from Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. While moderate resorts tend to be some of the biggest on property, French Quarter is actually the smallest – or, in other words, the most walkable – of the bunch. Here, you can expect a decent mix of amenities and recreational offerings at a mid-range price.
Overall, with its kid- and adult-friendly atmosphere and mid-tier room rates, this Walt Disney World resort is an excellent choice whether you’re traveling as a family or a couple.
Disney Port Orleans – French Quarter Rooms
When deciding on a hotel for your Walt Disney World vacation, there are a few things you need to keep in mind, like room rates, how many people the room can fit, whether there’s a restaurant the whole family will enjoy, and how far it is from the parks. Some may be looking for pure Disney magic, while others may prefer something more pixie dust-free.
As a moderate resort, Disney Port Orleans French Quarter sits somewhere in the middle, with a romantic-meets-whimsical design, budget-friendly rates, rooms for both couples and small families, and a location that’s just a hop, skip, and jump from Disney Springs, Epcot, and the other Disney World theme parks.
As you can tell from the name, Port Orleans French Quarter brings the romance and spectacle of The Big Easy to Disney World. From the gas lamps and wrought-iron balconies to the Mardi Gras masks and a parading jazz band of alligator musicians, this moderate resort effortlessly blends the charm of the French Quarter with the larger-than-life festivities of Carnival.
Unfortunately, unlike Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs, the rooms here have yet to be renovated. That being said, while the guest rooms could definitely use an update, the simple, lived-in elegance of the rooms suits the relaxed, eclectic vibe of the rest of the resort. Dark woods bedecked with French accents like fleur-de-lis and parquet designs are offset by bright, airy walls for a look that would feel right at home in Royal Street.
Currently, French Quarter has a 4.5 on TripAdvisor, receiving the website’s Travelers’ Choice Award. If you do decide to stay at Disney’s French Quarter, you’ll have a few choices to make, such as what view you’d prefer (nothing says ‘picturesque’ like a view of the parking lot) and how much space you need.
Standard View Room
Looks out over parking area
Available with 2 queen beds (sleeps 4)
Garden View Room
Looks out over gardens
Available with 2 queen beds (sleeps 4)
River View Room
Looks out over riverfront
Available with 2 queen beds (sleeps 4)
Pool View Room
Looks out over courtyard pool
Available with 2 queen beds (sleeps 4)
King Bed Room
Looks out over garden, riverfront, courtyard, or parking areas
Available with 1 king bed (sleeps 2)
In general, all of the rooms at Port Orleans – French Quarter also come with a hairdryer, coffee maker, telephone with voicemail, in-room safe, iron, ironing board, mini-refrigerator, and free Wi-Fi.
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort Rates
As we mentioned previously, French Quarter is a moderate Disney resort. As you can probably guess from the name, that puts it in the middle of the Disney resorts pack when it comes to room rates. Disney Port Orleans French Quarter Resort prices vary depending on the view, whether you need one king bed or two queen beds, and when you decide to travel. During the high season (for example, during the summer months, marathon weekends, and over holidays), you can definitely expect rates to climb.
In general, rooms start out at $256 in the off season for a standard view room with two queen beds and top out at $468 for a King Bed Room during Christmas and New Year’s.
Standard and garden-view rooms with two queen beds are the most affordable, running between the mid-$200s up to the low-to-mid $400s. River and pool-view rooms, also with two queen beds, are only slightly more expensive, with rates starting out at $280 in the low season and the mid-$400s in the high season. King bed rooms are comparably priced, with rates costing around $10 to $15 more per night.
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort Amenities
One of the reasons we love staying at moderate resorts at Disney World (aside from the budget-friendly price-point, of course) is for their well-rounded blend resort amenities. Port Orleans French Quarter is no exception, with delicious restaurants, unique recreational offerings, several transportation options, and more. Here’s everything you can look forward to during your next stay:
Disney French Quarter Restaurants
Unlike other moderate resorts, Disney’s French Quarter is a little light on the dining options, with only a quick-service restaurant, lounge, and pool bar available. That being said, what the resort lacks in variety, it more than makes up for with one of the best snacks at Disney World: Beignets. In addition to this iconic New Orleans treat, you can also find an array of Southern-inspired dishes with the vibrant flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking.
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a late-night bite , the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory dishes up an array of quick-service options. While breakfast is pretty standard here, lunch and dinner offerings here sing with New Orleans flair.
Louisiana favorites like Shrimp & Grits, Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Po’ Boys are filled with and accompanied by regional classics like tasso ham, maque choux, okra, andouille sausage, and more. You can even get a Beignet Cheeseburger, with the New Orleans-style doughnut in place of a bun. And of course, don’t forget the classic Mardi Gras King Cake for dessert.
Scat Cat’s Club
No American city knows how to party quite like New Orleans. So, it should come as no surprise that Port Orleans French Quarter is home to what is arguably the best resort lounge in all of Walt Disney World. Scat Cat’s Club is located right next door to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, making it a prime spot for an after-dinner cocktail with a side of live music. That’s right – this hidden gem comes to life 5 nights a week with the sultry sounds of jazz, just like many French Quarter haunts.
Scat Cat’s Club also has a menu rich in Louisiana-inspired flavors. A few bar bites are on offer, like Crawfish Etouffee, Bayou Brisket Sliders with pimento cheese, and Sassagoula Crab Dip. However, the indisputable star is the Baton Rouge Beignets. Infused with your choice of liquor (Baileys, Kahlua, or RumChata), these jazzed-up delights are a Mardi Gras party in your mouth. Wash it all down with an alcoholic beverage straight out of The Big Easy, such as Sazerac, Bayou Rum Flight, or Abita Amber beer.
Fat Tuesday is every Tuesday (and Wednesday through Monday, too!) at Mardi Grogs. This pool bar near the Doubloon Lagoon Pool serves a small selection of light eats, as well as a lengthy drink menu. Wine and beer are both on offer, as are several non-alcoholic options. Or, let the good times roll with a specialty cocktail spiked with Bayou Rum, like a fruity Hurricane or Nola Cola. And you don’t need to stay poolside to enjoy your drink – order it to-go, then enjoy a easy stroll alongside the Sassagoula River waterfront.
Disney’s French Quarter Resort Pools
Unlike some other Disney resorts (moderates included), there is only one swimming pool at Port Orleans French Quarter: Doubloon Lagoon. This playful pool takes its cue from the over-the-top floats of New Orleans’s famous Mardi Gras parade and features whimsical elements like an alligator jazz band on parade and a 51-foot-long slide down the tongue of a slippery sea serpent called Scales. Watching over it all is King Neptune, the Roman god of water and patron saint of a popular Mardi Gras “krewe” (or Carnival social club), the Krewe of Neptune.
Of course, with Port Orleans Riverside only a short walk away just down the Sassagoula River, you can also visit the pool at French Quarter’s sister resort: Ol’ Man Island.
Disney’s French Quarter Resort Merchandise Locations
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort has just one shop, Jackson Square Gifts & Desires, where you can pick up a souvenir or stock up on that thing you forget from home. Jackson Square stocks a variety of Disney and resort-specific merchandise – from hotel logo gear to year-round Mardi Gras mementos – as well as snacks and essentials.
Other Recreation Offerings at the Port Orleans – French Quarter Disney Resort
Aside from going for a swim in the pool, guests staying at Port Orleans French Quarter can enjoy a number of recreational activities when they aren’t busy visiting the parks. Kids staying at French Quarter will love the regular Movies Under the Stars and Cajun Campfire activities, while a playground and the South Quarter Games arcade are also available.
And, guests don’t need to go all the way to the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground to enjoy the great outdoors. Horse-drawn carriage rides ($55 each, fits up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 children) depart from Port Orleans Riverside and carry guests on a 25-minute ride down lush pathways and along the lazy Sassagoula River.
Old-fashioned fun can also be had at the Fishin’ Hole at Ol’ Man Island, where guests can reel in a good time with a little catch-and-release fishing from the dock. Or, why not rent a bicycle or a covered surrey bike?
If all those steps from crisscrossing the theme parks aren’t enough, fitness enthusiasts can get their fix at the Beignet Fun Run ($15 per person). Held most Sunday mornings (except for during marathon weekends), this 1.5-mile jaunt ends with not one, but two finisher’s awards: A medallion and a beignet dripping in powdered sugar.
For those who would rather get in touch with their artistic sides, Painting on de’ Bayou ($35 per person, available to guests ages 12 and up) lets guests create their very own Disney souvenir. Every Wednesday, an instructor guides participants in painting a piece inspired by a beloved Disney film.
Port Orleans Resort Transportation
In addition to the bus transportation that is available at all Disney resorts, guests staying at Port Orleans also have the option of taking a water taxi. This leisurely boat ride is an especially pleasant way to get to Disney Springs (the only destination along Port Orleans’s water transportation route).
Disney World French Quarter FAQs
Want to know more about Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions.
Which is better – Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter?
It really depends on what you’re looking for. French Quarter is the smallest of the two resorts. Its compactness means that the property is easily walkable, in contrast to other moderate Disney resorts. Plus, with only one bus stop for the whole resort, you get to the theme parks quicker than you would needing to make multiple stops. However, its smaller size also means fewer dining options, and it’s the only moderate hotel without a table service restaurant.
Contrastingly, Riverside is a sprawling resort with more dining outlets, including the table service Boatwright’s Dining Hall. That being said, these two resorts are also right next door to each other, with several shared amenities, meaning you’re just a short walk away from what both have to offer.
What park is Port Orleans French Quarter closest to?
The closest theme park to Port Orleans French Quarter is Epcot. If you plan on driving, the resort is just less than 10 minutes away from the park entrance, while taking the bus will take roughly 30 minutes. Disney Springs is also very close by.
Can you walk from Port Orleans to Epcot?
Nope. In fact, while Epcot is the closest park to French Quarter, no Disney destinations are reachable on foot from Port Orleans – either French Quarter or Riverside. To reach the Disney theme parks or Disney Springs, you must take either a bus or water taxi, respectively.
Can you see fireworks from Port Orleans Resort?
Yes, although the view isn’t nearly as good as what you’ll get from other resorts that are closer to the parks, as you’ll only see the fireworks that reach above the tree line. Epcot fireworks can generally be seen from the parking lot that’s in front of French Quarter’s building 3, while Hollywood Studios fireworks can be viewed from the benches that sit to the left of French Quarter’s main entrance by facing the main road in.
Are there preferred rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter?
French Quarter is the smallest, most compact moderate resort. In other words, you won’t need to walk far no matter which room you get. That being said, rooms in buildings 2 and 5 are the closest to the pool, dining options, store, and lobby. So, keep this in mind if being next door to those amenities are important to you.
Well cher (that’s a Cajun term of endearment for friends and family), that wraps up our review of Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort. Overall, we love this fun-loving, charming resort for its petite size, romantic theming with a touch of whimsy, tasty dining options, and unique recreation offerings – all at a great price-point.