Port Orleans French Quarter – Part Two

Thanks for checking back for Part Two of my French Quarter blog.

Leading from The Courtyard to Doubloon Lagoon (the swimming pool area), is a rather unique walkway. Here you’ll find a number of jazz-playing gators to liven things up. This is also an irresistible picture spot. Here’s a shot of a much-younger me on my first stay at the French Quarter followed by a similar shot taken recently. Notice how the length of my shorts has changed.

Gator Alley

Jack and a Gator

Jack and a Gator

Flanking this walkway is a children’s playground (ages 2 -12) and hot tub (open 7am to midnight).

Children's Playground

Hot Tub

Further along the walkway is Mardi Grogs Pool Bar (I just love this pun). Open 11:30am until dusk, this spot serves alcoholic concoctions, soft drinks, and snacks.

Mardi Grogs Pool Bar

Mardi Grogs Pool Bar

The harlequin character that guards the swimming pool is based on a similar figure found next to Canal Street and the Algiers Ferry Terminal in New Orleans.

Harlequin Character

The pool area at the French Quarter is called Doubloon Lagoon. The centerpiece for this oasis is “Scales” a huge sea serpent that snakes its way in and around the deck. Legend has it that when the French Quarter was in its infancy, folks created a makeshift serpent to frighten children away from the dangerous bayou. Eventually, this creature became a part of the Mardi Gras celebration and ultimately, a permanent fixture of the French Quarter. Today, kids enter Scales and slide down his tongue for a splash landing. Atop Scales is King Neptune, keeping a watchful eye on those below. And more jazz-loving gators can be found nearby.



Doubloon Lagoon

Gator Band

Gator with Horn

Adjacent to the main pool is a children’s wading pool, but there are no secondary, “quiet” pools at the French Quarter. However, guests may also use any of the pools at Disney’s Riverside Resort located a short walk up the Sassagoula River. Towels are available at Doubloon Lagoon; however, you’ll need to take your room towels with you when using other pools. You can call Housekeeping to replenish the towel supply in your room.

Children's Pool

Gator with Sax

Also near the pool is the one and only self-service laundry facility. “Laundry on the Levee” features a large number of washers and dryers in air conditioned comfort. Vending machines offer soap, bleach, beverages, and change. If you must wash clothes while on vacation, this is a good spot as you can easily enjoy the pool while taking care of this otherwise boring task. Dry cleaning and laundry service is also available for pickup from your room.

Laundry on the Levee

Laundry on the Levee

The French Quarter opened on May 17, 1991 with 432 rooms in three guest buildings. In the months to come, the resort was expanded to seven buildings and a total of 1,008 rooms. Of these, 946 rooms have 2 double beds and 62 rooms have a king-size bed (with a higher room rate). There are also 12 disabled-accessible rooms. The typical room is 314 square feet. Each building contains 144 rooms and is clearly identified with a number and a musical instrument associated with jazz music.

Building Numbers

Building Numbers

Although the seven buildings are quite large, the clever use of color, different styles of wrought iron, brickwork, rooflines, and angles create the look of row houses in New Orleans rather than large, institutional structures. Lush landscaping and cobblestone “streets” add to the effect and make guests believe they’re wandering in a bygone neighborhood rather than a modern resort.

French Quarter Exterior Buildings

French Quarter Exterior Buildings

French Quarter Exterior Buildings

French Quarter Street

French Quarter Street

To help you find your way around, the streets have been given some imaginative names that are sure to make you smile.

Sign Posts

Sign Posts

Sign Posts

Between many of the buildings are manicured courtyards complete with fountains. Note, most of these areas are designated smoking sections so those of you with an aversion, plan accordingly.

Fountain and Courtyard

Fountain and Courtyard

Fountain and Courtyard


Basic rooms contain the following:

Two double beds or one king
Chest of drawers
A table and two chairs
Vanity area with two sinks – curtain divide from bedroom
Private shower/tub & toilet area
Cable TV with Disney programming
High-speed Internet Access (for an additional fee)
Iron and Ironing Board
Coffee Maker

For guests with disabilities, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and rooms designed for the hearing impaired are available (not shown). Elevators and snack and beverage machines can also be found in each building.

Table and Chairs

Chest of Drawers and TV



Toilet and Shower

Finding the right spot to park your car is a breeze. Large, easy-to-read signs mark each lot and none are too far away from your room. Note, staying at a Disney Resort entitles you to complimentary parking at the theme parks.

Parking Indicator Signs

For me, one of the most delightful activities at Walt Disney World is a boat ride on the Sassagoula River. Flat-bottom craft make their way between the French Quarter, Riverside, and Downtown Disney. Service begins each day at 10am with pickups every 20 minutes. Starting at 4:30pm, the interval is 10 minutes until the end of service at 11pm. Bus service to the resort is available from 11pm to 2am.

Sassagoula River Boat

I like the French Quarter. I feel it is more compact than the Riverside, thus, easier to navigate. However, it might not be perfect for everyone. A number of facilities and amenities are only available at the Riverside Resort next door. Although Disney touts this as an easy journey, it isn’t necessarily so. Depending on your room location, the walk can be anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes (in the heat or rain). And waiting for the boat can be just as long if not longer. Here are a few of the services found only at the Riverside:

Boatwright’s – a full service restaurant
Fishing hole and fishing excursions
Boat rentals
Bicycle rentals
Horse-drawn carriage rides
Quiet pools

Now if you don’t plan on using any of these services, then I think you should definitely consider a stay at the French Quarter. As I said at the beginning of this article, Disney has done a wonderful job of combining festivity with relaxation. Charm oozes from every nook and cranny and your senses are in for a treat. It’s hard to believe the French Quarter is a moderate resort. It has an allure worthy of a deluxe facility.

I have created a 10 minute video that highlights most of the resort. For those of you who are curious, the songs played are:

Down in New Orleans (from the Princess and the Frog)
Swanee River (Disneyland’s Royal Street Bachelors)
Happy Rag (Disneyland’s Royal Street Bachelors)
My Grandfather’s Clock


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51 Replies to “Port Orleans French Quarter – Part Two”

  1. Jack,
    Thanks for the indepth article and video. I love how the characters were in the video as well. We will be making our first trip as a family to WDW June 2013. We are staying at POFQ and can’t wait!

  2. Jack- great blog! We are staying at the French Quarter in March and I can’t wait b/c New Orleans is one of my all time favorite places. Do you know the hours of the pool? Does it close at dusk like the pool bar?

    Jack’s Answer:

    At the time I wrote this review, the hours were 7am to midnight. But it’s best to ask when you check in to make sure.

  3. We’re staying at POFQ in December, and your blog and FANTASTIC pictures have gotten me even more excited for our trip! None of the countless hotel reviews even come close to what you’ve done here. I’ll admit I was a little worried up until now that maybe we chose wrong based on a few guide book reviews. But, now I’m positive we made the right choice. We can’t wait.

  4. Thanks so much for this. We will be arriving at POFQ in 40 days (I’m not at all excited am I) this just hyped me up even more.

  5. Jack,
    I loved the video of the French Quarter! It is our favorite resort to stay at. I just wanted you to know the three people boarding the boat to Down Town Disney is my husband, daughter, and me! We always wonder how many Disney pictures we are in around the world.

  6. Jack,

    This brought back memories from 2008 when we stayed at the French Quarter for 7 days. It was great…so great that we are going back on August 23rd through the 28th to celebrate my 60th Birthday as well as my Sister’s 50th. What better way is there to celebrate these milestone birthdays than in Disney, and what better hotel to stay in but the French Quarter! I can’t wait, nor can the rest of my family!

    My 82 year old Mom is coming with us. She did great two years ago…held out better than all of us. It was a magical experience for her. She was the only one of us that had never seen Disneyworld.

    You did a terrific job with this site. I loved the video! It brought back such wonderful memories.

  7. Jack,
    Great blog! We are thinking about staying here next summer when we return to Disney. We have 5 in our family & would need to get 2 rooms, but this may still be cheaper than a deluxe resort. Did I read somewhere recently that the POFQ will be having its room refurbished soon?

    Jack’s Answer:

    You are correct. The rooms at the French Quarter will start renovation in the very near future. New furniture, new color scheme, and flat screen TVs are on the horizon.

  8. Hey Jack great video i felt like i was there. We are going back for our 4 th stay there. It is one of Disney’s best resorts the size is so perfect and the walk to the riverside resort is a nice way to fell like you are at a much larger resort but still very quiet by Disney standards. and the boats are the best way to get to Downtown Disney.

  9. We selected this resort on our annual visit last year at the recommendation of a friend who visits Disney twice a year. We were traveling for the first time with our 3 year old for her first visit and my friend thought the “smallness” and quaintness of this resort would be perfect for a 1st visit without being overwhelmed and let me say, we were not disappointed. I have stayed at many of the WDW resorts and find this to be one of my fave because of the size, the bus service and we love taking the boat to DTD. We are going again this Sept. and are staying here again as both my hubby and daughter will not stay anywhere else!

  10. Hi Jack,

    My wife and I stayed there in 1994 and I seem to remember a second (full service) restaurant. Is that now the bar (I don’t remember that being there)?


  11. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for this great blog! I am a DVC member and have planned a surprise birthday trip for my DH 12/9-12/12. I was unable to procure the 9th at OKW, so I booked a night at the FQ. I have wanted to stay there for a while and am glad we will have the opportunity to spend at least 1 night there. From the sound of your blog, it seems like we will enjoy it immensely! I am very excited, I have always wanted to visit New Orleans, just never had the chance. Glad to know this resort has gotten the “thumbs up” from native New Orleans folk!

  12. I’m a Disney virgin and my family and I just booked a trip to stay at the FQ in just a couple of weeks. This blog is even making me more excited about my choice to stay at this particular resort. I’ll definitely be back posting our experiences. Thanks again for all the valuable info.

  13. Thanks Jack! We are staying at POFQ for the first time in October and this was perfect.
    We usually stay deluxe but as this is our second trip this year decided to try a moderate. I feel great about my choice and appreciate the time you put into getting this information to us.

    Thanks again!

  14. Thanks for the blog and happy memories Jack,

    We stayed at POFQ last August for our first visit to WDW and had a great time. The size of the resort and number of bus stops (1)was great. We loved the boat ride to Downtown Disney which we took several times in the evening. Also loved the door men who gave the coins to all the children to make wishes in the fountain and tips to adults for which ever park you were going to that day. This will be our first choice when we come back to the world again.

  15. So glad you posted this article and video! I will returning to WDW with my first stay at FQ in 4 weeks! I was happy to read all the positive comments from the previous guests. Keep the great posts coming, we all love to see where you take us in that magical world called Disney!

  16. Great Blog,We have stayed at POFQ about 4 times, makes me wish I was staying here again in August..Now that we are DVC members, we are staying at Kidani Village. I just hope we can just kick back and relax like we usually do at the FQ. You never feel like your at a resort, it is such a quiet place to stay and the cast members we have encountered over the years are just wonderful….Thanks again for the blog and the great pictures,,,,

  17. I just had a great stay at the Port Orleans French Quarter last weekend, my kid loved the pool! She had to be dragged from the pool, she loved it sooo much. It is a quiet resort, and it’s fun to take the boat to Downtown Disney.
    I saw a life-changing event there, however, on Sunday July 11th that I’ll probably never forget. I was walking to the restaurant to pick up some tea bags on the 11th and saw a man, kind of overweight and probably in his mid-50’s, sprawled out on the ground along one of the main walkways. Rescue personnel were administering chest compressions and had an oxygen bag over his mouth. He was blue, and not moving of course. When I came out with my tea bags, they had him on a stretcher with a horrific (but necessary) machine strapped to his chest to automatically do the compressions as they slowly wheeled him away. His heart was not working. I can’t stop thinking of this man. I haven’t told my family what I saw for fear of spoiling the vacation.
    Is there any way to tell if this man survived? I’d love to know!

    Jack’s Answer:

    It’s always sad to see someone in dire straits, especially when we’re enjoying ourselves on vacation. It makes us stop and think how vulnerable we all are.

    Disney has four fire stations located around property and each has a team of highly trained paramedics/emergency medical technicians. As you can imagine, with well over 100,000 guests and cast members on property at any time, emergencies occur every day. Disney tries to minimize the impact that these crises can have on the rest of us, but of course, this isn’t always possible. And to the best of their ability, Disney tries to respect people’s privacy and names and information are only given out on a need-to-know basis. So all you can really do is try to believe that the experts were able to work some Disney magic and the gentleman recovered quickly.

  18. Our first stay was at POFQ and we have never seen a reason to stay anywhere else on all our WDW trips since. The small size, quiet atmosphere, and ease of transportation make POFQ perfect. After all the hub bub of the parks a nice quiet resort is just the ticket. The boatrides to downtown are the icing on the cake. Thanks for the much needed smile and memories.

  19. Thanks Jack,

    I love all of your reports. We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter for the first time this past March, well my second time but first for my husband and two daughters, and we all fell in love with it. We love how it is so much smaller than the other moderates and the beautiful landscaping, plus the boat ride to Downtown Disney is pretty relaxing. We will be staying at the French Quarter again this coming September and cannot wait, I think it very well may be our home away from home.

  20. Hi,
    Thanks for the great reviews we are coming in September to celebrate my 50th birthday and staying with another couple also celbrating a birthday and we are really looking forward to staying at the French Quarter.This will be our first trip without kids so it will be a different trip for all of us.We are counting down the days now.See you soon.

  21. Wonderful again, Jack! We returned from our Riverside trip about a month ago and while there we visited POFQ. My children LOVED the pool there compared to Ol’ Man Island and I thought the resort was lovely! We exceeded the room limit, which is why we had to do Riverside, but I would have much rather stayed at FQ!

  22. Great blog as always!

    My wife and I stayed here in November for our belated honeymoon. It was a perfect resort for us. Romantic, quiet, great place for walks, the boat to DTD…it has it all!

    We caught Elliott Dyson one night after spending a rain soaked day in the AK. We sat back and had a few drinks while watching him perform. A note on the Scat Cat Lounge, they have beer on draught from New Orleans…a nice touch (and it tastes great too!)!

    On our next trip we had talked about trying a different resort, but after staying there we are tempted to just goo back there!

    Thanks again for the great blogs!

  23. Another great blog, Jack. Was just wondering what ever became of Bonfamilles, the full service restaurant. Have you heard why it closed? Full-service dining seems to be the only thing that the French Quarter is lacking (by comparison to the other moderates). Take Care.

    Jack’s Answer

    I’m not exactly sure of the timing. It might have been right after 911, but Disney was trying to cut costs. Bonfamilles was never extremely busy. For the most part, it only catered to the French Quarter whereas Boatwright’s next door served a resort twice the size. So it was decided that guests staying at Port Orleans who wanted a table service restaurant, could walk to Boatwright’s.

    I was sad to see this eatery close. I enjoyed its quiet atmosphere and the food was good.

    For a long time, Bonfamilles was used for special functions. However, I have no idea if this is still so.

    In a further move to cut costs, Disney recently stopped serving breakfast at Boatwright’s. Sad. Very sad. The food courts are a madhouse in the morning.

  24. WOW!! Thank you so much for the pictures and video. Brings back so many memories of 08 and will be bake this fall. My folks are coming this time and this article and video has put a lot of fears at ease. Thank you. You are a fab writer and made a great video!
    Thanks again!

  25. Jack- Thank you so much for the video. I have only seen pictures of POFQ until now. This resort is beautiful and I really can’t wait to check in there at the end of August. Also just wanted to say thank you Allears for all the planning tips and restaurant menus. I tell everyone that will listen about your website! Thanks again.

  26. Loved the photos. Your reviews are always right on the money. Over the years we have stayed at several deluxe resorts, one value and all the moderate resorts. We have always loved the PO Riverside for the atmosphere. We stayed for the first time at French Quarter in May and truly loved it. I have mobility problems and found that the walking distances at FQ are much easier than the other resorts. It is also less crowded, quieter, and much cozier than the other moderates.
    Even though it is smaller, it is themed and a colorful, lovely resort for all to enjoy.

  27. I love your resort reviews. Will you consider posting a link to your blog reviews on the “accomadations” section of the website? I like how you combine the pictures and narration plus video.

  28. Great blogs! Maybe you mentioned the beignets and I missed it but they are worth a trip to the French Quarter even if you are not staying there. We had them years ago in New Orleans at Cafe Du Monde and when I found out they had them at the food court we made a trip there just for them. They were just as yummy and we were able to share them with our sons. Thanks Jack!

  29. Hi Jack,
    A great blog as usual. One of my favorite resorts but you forgot to mention the benignets (?spelling) a must to try if you come here.

  30. Jack,
    Thanks for your information on the French Quarter. We have a trip planned to Disney in September to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday and I decided to stay somewhere different this trip, so we decided on the French Quarter. I was a little nervous since we had never been there, but your article and pictures really have me looking forward to staying there.

  31. When we were there Elliott Dyson was playing at the Cat Scat’s Lounge. He is awesome and very entertaining. I highly recommend catching one of his shows if you are there when he is playing.

  32. The resort looks great but I really need queen beds for my family. Oh well – deluxe or Coronado it is!

  33. Hi Jack,

    The video was great…loved the Princess and the Frog characters! This is a very pretty resort except for the creepy foodcourt characters…reminds me of those clown/jester things on the spinning balls in SpectroMagic.

    Where are you taking us next?


  34. Hello Jack. Thank you for your wonderful and very informative articles. I love the French Quarter resort. We recently vacationed there for our first time this past January. We too were greatly amused by the funny street signs. All of your pictures are wonderful. They bring back so many warm memories. I tried looking for the frog reflective pond but could not find it. I even asked at the front desk but was met with many strange glares from those behind the desk. Could you please inform me on the exact location of it? Thank you again for the great articles and I look forward to reading all of your future articles.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The Frog Fountain is sandwiched in between buildings 4, 6, and 7.

  35. Jack, Another incredible resort review. Stayed at FQ in April 2009 and loved everything about it (except the creepy heads in the food court:)It’s so peaceful and intimate that we felt like we were in another world after the wonderful craziness of the parks. Also,the cast members were outstanding. We are coming to WDW again in Oct and were heartbroken to find out that FQ was booked solid, so we chose Riverside.
    I’m sure we’ll take a walk down the river to enjoy the ambiance of this very special resort.
    Thanks for bringing back some great memories. I look forward to the next resort review!

  36. you are amazing!
    makes me want to HUG you!
    big smiles, and warm feelings, tapping toes…your video was perfect for capturing and sharing the way POFQ feels…enjoyed it so much!
    thank you!

  37. Jack,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog and video. My husband and I stayed here years ago right after we got engaged so the FQ holds special meaning to us, but we haven’t been back there in ages. Stunning since we get to WDW 2-3 times per year. You’ve reminded me about what a wonderful, lush resort this is. I love the peaceful boat ride to Downtown Disney and the smaller feel of the place. And I am so impressed by Disney’s attention to detail – the courtyards, street names, fountains, wrought iron work.

    Thanks for the reminder that we absolutely must get back to this resort in the very near future!

  38. Thanks, Jack for another wonderful glide down membory lane! The techniques you used for putting together the video are fabulous – especially the added animations! My husband and I stayed at POFQ in Dec ’09 and felt right at home. It was our first moderate, we’ve stayed at 4 deluxe before, but we were not disappointed. Their blend of Christmas and jazz gave us a ‘holiday’ feeling too.

  39. Hey, Jack!
    Great blog! My husband and I just stayed at POFQ the first time this last September! It was a great little spot, and your blog brought back lots of memories! Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  40. Hi Jack,
    Great blogs when staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter which building would you choose?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I like Building 5 with a river view. It’s close to the pool and an easy walk to the food court and lobby.

  41. Nice memories. PO was the first on-site resort I ever stayed at. We were able to be there in Jan. of ’92 so it was still new. Thinking back, I still get a kick out of “Rue D’Baga”. Thanks.

  42. Jack,
    Thanks for another wonderful blog. As always, you did a great job with everything. I loved the video and the music. There are so many great resorts at WDW. This is one place I haven’t yet stayed but is certainly on my list for a future visit!

  43. Hi Jack,
    Loved these two blogs because the French Quarter is so lovely . I love it being a smaller resort so you can find your room easily!
    My husband and I usually stay at a deluxe resort but in Dec. we will be staying at the FQ.
    Thank you for the video too!

  44. Thanks for a great report! This brought me to one of my favorite resorts!!! My daughter and I always choose to stay here as it feels like a small resort and the staff is truly wonderful! Thank you again!

  45. Your timing for this is perfect! I’ll be taking my BFF (regular travel companion) & a work colleague (WDW virgin!) here in Oct. after our conference. Although we’ve stayed at most of the WDW resorts, including Riverside, we’ve yet to be at POFQ. Thanks for your efforts on this!

  46. Hi Jack,

    Another great report and I agree that these are great resorts. We haven’t stayed at French Quarter, but at Riverside way back when it was still Dixie Landings. We loved the lush surroundings and the boat to Downtown.
    We too, being DVC and you know, not having 8 weeks of vacation time, haven’t been back, but I’m starting to long for it.


  47. Jack,

    Wonderful report. Makes me homesick for the French Quarter as we just spent a week there at the beginning of May. As DVC we love to stay at this resort as regular guests when we go down to WDW on dollars instead of points. Third time staying there over the years. In my opinion, both French Quarter and Riverside are 2 hidden Disney jewels that most people tend to overlook and most don’t realize they can take in the ammenities of both resorts. And I do agree, it’s so much like luxury at a moderate price…………..VIC