Disney’s Port Orleans Resort: The French Quarter
Recently Stacey (my now fiancée) and I had a chance to do something many parents don’t get the opportunity to do and that is spend 2 days at Walt Disney World without a child. Our son was 2 hours away and safely in the care of my mom who undoubtedly was spoiling him rotten (as much as you can with a 7-month-old). Jax is far too young to be at Disney World so we had the chance to enjoy Disney as 2 adults madly in love and enjoying a 2-day break on our own.
I had been planning this trip for a few weeks to coincide with our spring break from college and a planned week-long visit to Florida to see my mom. On our trip to Disney, we stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort not be confused with the Port Orleans Riverside resort just a quick boat trip up the river. Since I knew it would be just us I was looking for something that had a more adult feel but also fit our budget. I found this resort using Disney.com and it is considered part of their moderate levels of resorts which are on the Disney property in Kissimmee Florida near Orlando.
I’ve been to a few of the resorts on the Disney property now (Coronado Springs Resort and Grand Floridian Resort) and it’s safe to say so far this is my favorite one. I loved how quiet it was and felt the design of buildings did a good job in recreating that famous look from the French quarter in New Orleans. I definitely didn’t feel like I was at a run of the mill hotel. The property was filled with great landscaping and shrubbery which added to the old southern feel of the resort. The paths running through the property were lined with high shrubbery and surrounded by live oaks which offered a quiet, comfortable feel and offered a bit more privacy than you might find at other resorts.
The pool (which we didn’t use due to time issues) was tucked away and relatively hidden from view but looked pretty fun and I am sure any kid or adult would enjoy it. Overall the resorts design was just very easy going and laid back which I loved. Some resorts have so much going on that you feel surrounded by people and activities you want no part in since you just want to relax and Port Orleans didn’t have that.
Our room had 2 queen beds and offered a nice view of the Sassagoula River which was exactly what I reserved so I was really happy to see that happen. Check in normally isn’t until 3 but since I used the early check-in option on Disney.com using the My Disney Experience I was able to request the early check-in option. Our room was ready when we arrived around 1 pm so we were able to get right into our room and head out for our day at the Magic Kingdom. The room overall was very clean and the design fit the hotels theme very well. I found the bed a little noisy, soft but noisy….springs or something. The only real downfall of the room was the bathroom. The toilet and shower were in their own room and it was very cramped. Our room was in the last building on the edge of the hotel property so it was very quiet and we didn’t have to deal with a lot of people walking by and noise.
The girl who checked us in was very nice and helpful especially when it came to my engagement surprise which was being sent to the room while we were gone. I thought the “cast” of the resort did a nice job of making everything look great and they made us feel very welcome. In typical Disney fashion, they were decked out in historical era clothing.
The nice thing about Port Orleans French quarter is if you are staying there you have free access by way of boat or walking a path to the Port Orleans Riverside resort which is just up the Sassagoula River. If you are a guest at either one these resorts you have access to both resorts features and amenities. This is a feature I wish we had taken advantage, but again time constraints killed it for us. This same boat option will also transport you and your party free of charge to the Downtown Disney area. The park also offers shuttle buses which come about every 20 minutes and will take you and your group to all the parks in the Walt Disney World Resort. So whether you are going to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney or Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) you have a quick, easy and hassle free way of going to and from the parks. If you are spending a long day at one of the parks and the kids or adults need a rest for a few hours just take a bus back to your Disney resort, nap or swim and come right back for the evening. It’s super easy and convenient PLUS they are air conditioned!!
I know many other travel bloggers will say try another resort on your next visit but I think I would really like to try Port Orleans one more time and experience it all. From the pictures I saw the Riverside resort has its own unique southern look and feel and the courtyard area is stunning. It also offers a full table service dining experience which ours did not but it did offer lounges for drinks and food court style eating. I loved Port Orleans resort and would love to go back. It was a really romantic place to stay for an adult getaway at Disney.
Rooms start at around $170.00 and I paid about $240 for ours for 1 night. Obviously prices go up depending on occupancy and room types. Having traveled as much as I have and spent as much time as I have around Disney over the years I see no reason why anyone would ever stay at a hotel outside of Walt Disney World if they are spending their vacation at the park. Everything you need is there, you don’t have to pay for parking or gas. You don’t spend any time in traffic or waiting in long lines to get into the parks. The resort is completely secure so no random locals walking about. With all the amenities and features, Disney offers its guests it makes staying worth the money. They even have buses that will take you to and from the Orlando airport and offer things like child care services….literally everything you need. I’ve heard of people cry about how expensive staying at Disney is I don’t find this to be true. Maybe 20 years ago yes. I spent the same amount of money staying inside Disney World as I do when I stay in downtown Chicago at a 4 or 5-star hotel so I don’t see it as a lot of money. Especially when you consider the convenience it provides alone.
If you have any other questions about staying at a Disney resort check out this link
If you are thinking about going and staying at Disney, I would strongly suggest making your reservations using Disney.com and the My Disney Experience. It streamlines everything and you can have your trip planned and ready to go before you arrive. It connects all aspects of your trip hotel, food, park tickets seamlessly and the best part its FREE.
The other nice thing is that while we were there the Magic Kingdom was open until 1 am the night we were there but only for guest who stay at Walt Disney World Resorts so those guests got a little extra time at the park. The park normally closes at midnight. Sometimes it even stays open until 3 am for those night owls or parents who want to sneak out after the kids are sleeping but again those “magic hours” are only for Disney Resort guests. Staying at a Disney Resort really does make the whole trip more enjoyable and nearly painless for you and the whole family.
Port Orleans French Quarter Amenities
Buses to all theme parks for guests
Boats to Downtown Disney
Food and Drinks:
Quick Service Food- Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Food Court
Scat Cats Club- Full bar and live jazz on select nights
Mardi Grogs –Full bar
A pretty extensive gift shop is near guest services.
Free parking for guests. (You won’t need your car ever at Disney)
The resort offers horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the property. It’s a draw for couples and families. (Fee applies)
It’s free and pretty fast. No password needed.
Check out my next Disney blog where I talk about the Disney Fast Pass and why it’s pretty much a must have for Disney vacations.