If you’ve never had the chance to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans - French Quarter, you’re in for a treat! As soon as you walk into this hotel, you smell magnolia and honeysuckle; instantly inviting you to experience it’s southern charm. But one of our favorite parts about this property: Mickey Beignets! Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler, y’all!
Here at Magical Adventure Co., picking out where to stay is part of the fun of planning a Walt Disney World adventure! Though every explorer has different needs when booking their stay, it’s best to weigh a few options: Theming, Price, Food and Drink, Transportation, and Pool.
This hotel completely revolves around the culture and hospitality of one of the oldest cities in the United States: New Orleans. You will see references to Krewes, groups that have a historic involvement in assembling floats for Mardi Gras. In fact the dining room at French Quarter is an homage to these Krewes. Additionally, this hotel offers horse drawn carriage rides around the neighboring Sassagoula river, and to it’s nearby sister resort Port Orleans - Riverside.
If you’ve been to the actual French Quarter in New Orleans, you might raise an eyebrow at the choice of basing a hotel theme off of this famous all day/night party in the 5th ward. However, it’s just like Disney to take something and make it charming, hospitable, and truly enjoyable. In fact, if you’ve been to the French Quarter at Disneyland, this will feel similarly nostalgic.
What’s great about this hotel’s theme is that it is immersive, without feeling kitschy, childish, or gaudy. The iron work outside the hotel rooms, the paths to the rest of the property, lampposts and directional signs all recall the French Quarter. Just less of a chance of someone stumbling in front of you ;)
When booking hotel accommodations, WDW divides its properties based on price range. French Quarter is considered a Moderate Resort Hotel. What that means is it is about $240/night to stay at one of these mid-level hotels. Additionally, this means the amenities are about on par with a Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard by Marriot. In the adventures we have been on, we have found that most of WDW’s moderate hotel rooms are about the same. So expect a magical stay wherever you go!
As with all Disney resorts, complimentary bus transportation is provided to and from the resort and the four different theme parks at WDW. However, a bonus of the French Quarter resort is that it only has one bus stop. That means you won’t have to wait for the bus to stop at 3 or 4 other stops before it gets to the one closest to your room. After a long day of walking around a large theme park, the short walk from the bus stop to your room feels like a gift for your footsies!
Additionally, this resort is close to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios parks. Therefore those bus routes are shorter, thus giving you more time to perfect your score at Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios!
Adding to the bayou charm of French Quarter is that it has boat transportation to and from Disney Springs, as well as to and from it’s sister resort Riverside. Riding the boat to dinner at Riverside or Disney Springs right at sunset is such a relaxing way to end a full day at one of the parks.
Don't forget, Disney's Magical Express is complimentary and your best option for getting to and from Orlando International Airport when staying in any Disney hotel. While it may take a little longer, the convenience of checked bag delivery all the way to your room and always friendly Disney service is well worth your time.
Food and Drink
As mentioned before, Mickey Beignets are where it’s at, check them out at Scat Cat’s Cafe. But if you don’t have as many sweet teeth as we do, Sassagoula Floatworks can deliver! With it’s cajun/creole inspired menu, this quick service dining hall has multiple options to try. We’ve enjoyed splitting The Big Easy Breakfast (with a kids’ side of Mickey pancakes, please), as well as the jambalaya, shrimp po boy, gumbo, and the Sassagoula power salad with shrimp. If the menu doesn’t appease, you are a short boat ride away from Disney Springs where a whole new range of possibilities for restaurants open up!
One of the favorite aspects of this resort is the pool side bar Mardi Grogs. It has the quintessentially Louisiana beer Abita, as well as wine by the glass. The best drink to enjoy while poolside is the Frose!
Speaking of pools, French Quarter has a great one, considering the size of the resort itself. The resort is relatively small, but it has a slide. Major brownie (or beignet?!) points for that. It is about 3.5 to 5 feet deep, and has some great nooks for hanging out in the pool for a chat. If you have smaller kiddos in your Krewe, there is a splash pad right next to the large themed pool. Another beignet point for the pool? It has a nearby, secluded hot tub. As with all WDW resort pools, towels are provided on the pool deck.
As it goes, nothing is perfect! French Quarter does have some challenges. With it’s smaller size, it can be difficult to secure a room for this resort. Magical Adventure Co. recommends booking your accommodations as far in advance as possible. 9 to 12 months should usually do the trick. Additionally, as it is a high demand property Disney seldom offers discounts for French Quarter.
No matter where you stay at WDW resort, one of the things that you can count on is exceptional customer service. The stories that could be told of medicine left behind after check-out, forgotten lovey’s & luggage, accommodation mixups, and other travel perils that the Cast Members at these resorts have solved are incredible. Whether you’re headed to the parks or looking for a relaxing getaway, Walt Disney World resort hotels always deliver!