by Ashleigh Schneider
Staying on property at Walt Disney World is truly a treat because each of the resorts is completely individual in its own way, decorated to the nines with a unique style and theme. Exploring any of them will lead you to uncovering a few awesome experiences and details, and Port Orleans Resort is no exception. It’s easy to forget that this is a Moderate-level resort, because between Riverside and French Quarter there are so many exciting things to see and do. Here are just a few of the hidden treasures waiting for you on your next stop at Port Orleans:
Yehaa Bob: Perhaps one of the greatest sources of entertainment you will find at Port Orleans—and possibly within the entire Walt Disney World Resort—is the legendary Yehaa Bob Jackson. Playing on select nights at the River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Riverside, Yehaa Bob bangs on his swaying piano, blows on his trumpet and sings at the top of his lungs to your enjoyment. He plays many popular songs, everything from the YMCA to The Flight of the Bumblebee, and invites members of the crowd to join in singing and dancing with him. He typically performs for an hour and a half twice a night, often performing one show for all ages and another that is geared more toward adults. Yehaa Bob is a true gem of Port Orleans should not to be missed!
Beignets: If you’re looking for copious amounts of sugary goodness, Port Orleans is the place to go! Located in the French Quarter, the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory houses the delectable beignet. If you’ve never had one of these treats before, you are missing out and you’ve just got to pick up a dish of these soft, flaky, warm, powdered sugared goodies! They can be ordered in quantities of three or six, and you can add some Caramel, Raspberry, or Chicory Coffee Ganache dipping sauce for an extra charge if you so desire. Port Orleans French Quarter is the only place at Walt Disney World where you can get these better-than-doughnuts, so make sure to make it a stop on your snacking bucket list!
Magic Cookie Bars: If you’re not a doughnut kind of person, there are plenty of other yummy foods to be found around the resort. The Walt Disney World Resort is known for its confections, and Port Orleans is no exception. Patrons of the Riverside Mill, located at Riverside, have found a favorite in the Magic Cookie Bar. Chefs combine chocolate, butterscotch, flaky coconut, and a chewy cookie base to create this delectable dessert that flies off the Bakery Shop shelves. The Magic Cookie Bar is massive, so bring a friend—and maybe some milk—with you to try this scrumptious sweet.
French Quarter Streets: As you’re walking through French Quarter, you may begin to notice something a little interesting about the paths you are traversing. Many of the streets have been given cute, ridiculous, or just plain silly names to help you remember where you are located. A few favorites include “Cake Walk,” “Rue D’ Blues,” “Jazz Alley,” and “Rue D’ Baga.” Pay close attention to which roads you are taking, and you may find some incredibly ingenious names that only the creative people working with Disney Parks and Resorts could possibly come up with.
Fishin’ Hole: In a secluded alcove behind the Ol’ Man Island pool at Riverside, you can try your hand at fishing! The Fishin’ Hole, typically open from early morning to early afternoon, gives you the opportunity to step away from modern times and attempt to catch fish with an old-fashioned pole made of cane. Although the fishing is catch-and-release only, you will have a fantastic time trying to obtain as many as you can. The atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful, and it is a great addition to your day at the resort!
“Scales”: While many of the resorts have fun, themed pools with awesome slides to go with them, nothing quite compares to the waterslide at French Quarter. “Scales,” as he is affectionately known by cast members and guests alike, is a sea serpent whose body and tale stretch across much of the Doubloon Lagoon pool deck. Slide riders climb up his back to reach the top of the slide, and swoop down his tongue and out his mouth into the pool. Riding atop Scales is none other than Poseidon himself, and both characters watch over the swimmers in Doubloon Lagoon.
Horse-Drawn Carriages: Sometimes staying at the Value or Moderate resorts doesn’t feel quite as fancy as staying at one of the more expensive resorts, but at Port Orleans that is not the case. At Riverside you can reserve a carriage to ride in style around both resorts. Take a break from all the walking you do at Walt Disney World and let a beautiful horse pull you along the Sassagoula River, while your carriage driver gives you some history about the resort. It’s a great way to relax after a long day at the parks, and allows you to take in the sights of Port Orleans in a leisurely fashion!