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Planning a trip to Disney World? Considering staying on property at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, but not sure if it’s right for your family? This article will give you all the details you need to know about this moderate level resort located near Disney Springs. If you are not sure if you want to stay on property, read why it’s worth the extra money.
Do not confuse Port Orleans French Quarter with its sister resort, Port Orleans Riverside, located next door. Because they are sister resorts, you can use all the amenities at both if you are staying at one of them. However, they are very different resorts. It is about a 10 minute walk along the river between the two.
Port Orleans French Quarter (French Quarter for short) is conveniently located near Disney Springs. It sits on the edge of the Sassagoula River. Upriver, you will find Port Orleans Riverside. Downriver, you will find Disney Springs. While it is further from the parks than some of the more expensive resorts, it never seems to take long to get to any of the parks.
French Quarter is one of the smallest resorts on property, having about half of the rooms as the other moderates. This is a huge plus. Because of its compact size, you are never too far from anything. You can walk from one end of the resort to the other in less than 10 minutes. This means that there really isn’t a bad room. Every room is pretty close to the bus stop, pool, and main building.
Another advantage to the small size of the resort is that there are fewer rooms and, therefore, fewer people staying here. This means it has the shortest lines for the buses at the end of the night. There are also fewer people crowding the food court and pool too! The small size and fewer people are two of the biggest advantages of French Quarter. It is so nice to walk to the bus stop after the fireworks and see 15 people waiting at the French Quarter bus stop versus 100 people waiting at the other stops!
As you can probably guess, French Quarter’s theme is New Orlean’s French Quarter district. The buildings have lots of intricate ironwork on the balconies. There are alligators with musical instruments and a jester in Mardi Gras garb decorating the pool and walkways of the resort. There are fountains and courtyards scattered throughout the property. Most of the time, there is a greeter dressed in a Mardi Gras outfit out in the front of the main building. He hands out beads and gold doubloons to kids.
Inside the rooms, you will find the theme in the details. For instance, you will find a fleur de lis design on the bathroom counter, purple and gold throws on the bed, and some lattice scattered about.
Music reminiscent of New Orleans: jazz, zydeco, and blues, plays throughout the resort. And you can get the best beignets outside of New Orleans in the food court.
The resort is the clean version of the French Quarter that you want to expose your children to, as opposed to the actual French Quarter with all its drunken shenanigans!
French Quarter is the only moderate resort with only one bus stop. It is at the front of the resort. Transportation to all of the parks from French Quarter is by bus. At times, there are dedicated buses just for French Quarter. During slower times, French Quarter will share buses with Riverside. When this happens, French Quarter is the first pickup/drop off location. This is great for returning from the parks, but means if you are on your way to the parks, you will have to endure 4 stops at Riverside before heading to your destination.
During our two stays at French Quarter, there has only been once or twice when we had to wait more than 15-20 minutes for a bus. During those times, a cast member was very quick to call a bus for us. We’ve had much worse bus service at some of the other Disney resorts. Plus, it is very nice to come out of the parks at the end of a long day and find a short line waiting at the French Quarter bus stop. In fact, when we stay at Riverside, we take the French Quarter bus from the parks each night and walked to Riverside because it is faster than waiting on the Riverside bus.
To get to Disney Spring from French Quarter, you can take a boat. The boat makes stops at Riverside, French Quarter, and Disney Spring. It is a relaxing way to get to Disney Spring. It is quicker than taking the bus to Disney Spring.
Because Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is a moderate resort, it is in the middle price range for hotel rooms on property. However, because it has fewer rooms than the other moderates, the discounts offered at French Quarter are much smaller and fewer in number than you will find at the others. Sometimes, French Quarter will be excluded from a particular discount offered by Disney.
There are five different room levels at French Quarter: standard view, garden view, river view, pool view, and king bed. The room rates for each level is different. Standard view rooms are the cheapest and pool view room are the most expensive. Other than standard view, the levels are pretty self-explanatory. Standard view room typically will give you either a full or partial view of a parking lot. The difference between standard and garden view rates is usually only a few dollars.
We have always stayed in a garden view room at French Quarter, which comes with a beautiful view. On our first stay, our room was about 25 yards from the main building and about 15 yards from the pool. On our last stay, our room was on the opposite side of the building from the swimming pool, but it was still very convenient to everything.
One of the biggest negatives of French Quarter, is that it does not have a sit-down restaurant. The only food option is the Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory, which is the food court. You can get some good food at the food court, including many New Orleans favorites like po’boys and gumbo. Riverside, however, does have a table-service restaurant called Boatwright’s Dining Hall.
The lack of a sit-down table service restaurant has never bothered us because we don’t typically eat dinner at our resort. We do enjoy going to Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory for breakfast each morning before heading to the parks.
French Quarter’s swimming pool, Doubloon Lagoon has a great layout and features a sea serpent slide with Neptune riding high upon its back. Kids love sliding down the serpent’s tongue into the water. Next to the pool, you will find a new splash pad for those under 48″ tall. Mardi Grogs, the pool bar, is also located nearby. My son loves this pool!
Four nights per week, French Quarter and Riverside hosts their own evening campfires where you can roast marshmallows. They also show movies under the stars four nights a week too. Each resort also has its own playground. Additionally, you can find an old-fashioned fishing hole, bike rentals, and horse-drawn carriage rides at Riverside. The main building at French Quarter features the South Quarter Arcade and Jackson Square, the resort’s gift shop.
For us, staying at French Quarter, even if it means that we don’t get as big of a discount, is one of the best places to stay for the price. We like the compact size, fewer people, and the smaller waits at the park bus stops. The theme is also fun, and the resort is beautiful. French Quarter is usually very quiet and peaceful too. See my review of Riverside for more specifics on that resort. For more information on French Quarter or Riverside, visit portorleans.org. Have questions about French Quarter? Have you stayed here? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Happy travels!