A Stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: Perspective from a Value Gal

by | Mar 31, 2022 | WDW Blog, WDW Food, WDW Resorts

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Is a stay at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter worth the cost? Get the opinions of our loyal Value Resort queen and WDW Magazine CEO, Stephanie Shuster.

I’m a loud and proud, self-proclaimed Value Gal—a huge fan of the Value Resorts at Walt Disney World. But in November 2021 on a quick trip down to WDW, I stayed in a Standard View room at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

This was my first time staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter, and it’s no secret to our regular readers that I’m not usually a fan of Disney’s Moderate resorts (except for Coronado Springs!). In the past, I’ve experienced Moderates to be inconvenient for getting around the resort and WDW at large, and not enough of an upgrade in amenities to justify the increased price over a Value Resort.

I was going in skeptical, but open to the possibility that this resort would be a winner. After all, I love New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and Disney … plus they serve outrageous beignets. How bad could it be?

Read on to see what I thought of my stay at Port Orleans French Quarter—and whether it’s worth the cost.

Arrival and Departure from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

signage_port-orleans-french-quarter

Photo by Danny Shuster

Arrival at this resort was remarkably easy. The property is so small (and that’s a good thing!) that it was a mere minute from the main building to our room after we arrived. We used online check-in and were able to go straight to our room. On the way, we were greeted by a lovely Cast Member who was decked out in his Mardi Gras finest, setting a lively tone for our trip.

We did have a little problem with our MagicBands not working (the front desk sorted it out quickly; they were some of the most efficient resort Cast Members I’ve met!), but we were able to unlock the door with our My Disney Experience app.

Departure was just as quick; we called a Lyft from our room and were barely at the loading zone when our car pulled up to whisk us away.

How did the experience rate out of 10?

  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – 8
  • Value Resorts – 7

For the easy and friendly arrival and departure experience, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter is worth the cost.

Transportation at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter 

A ferry boat at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort

Photo by Danny Shuster

There are two modes of transportation at Port Orleans, and both have their perks and flaws.

My favorite option is the water taxi to Disney Springs. It floats down the Sassagoula River at a peaceful yet efficient pace. They might close down during Florida’s infamous inclement weather spells, and they do stop running from the far side of Disney Springs Marketplace a little earlier than I’d like. After meeting our Editorial Director, Rain, for dinner at Wine Bar George, I barely made the last launch, and I would have had a pretty long walk back to the bus stop near Town Center if I’d been a minute later.

The resort buses run everywhere else and are alternate transportation to Disney Springs when the weather is a concern, and you seem to have a 50/50 shot of it being easy or frustrating. There’s only one stop, which I like, but there aren’t clearly segmented areas for each park, so at peak times like rope drop it’s very confusing to get in the right line for your bus, and the crowd jumbles together.

At times, the buses are also shared with its sister resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, in which case you could be on the bus for a long time before finally getting on your way.

How did the experience rate out of 10?

  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – 5
  • Value Resorts – 9

Transportation is one area where Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is not worth the cost. Even though I really do like the boat option, it’s simply not reliable enough to bank your stay on using it.

Around Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter 

A alligator at the pool at Port Orleans French Quarter

Photo by Danny Shuster

The thing I loved the most about Port Orleans French Quarter was its quaint size. With smaller grounds than even the All-Stars, it was easy to get from the dining and shopping locations in the main building, to the pool and laundry areas, to the room and transportation. Plus, the whole vibe was super calming. Is it weird to say that about a Mardi Gras-themed hotel?  There was just such a nice, laid-back energy.

We were visiting during the holiday season, and I loved seeing the bright decorations around the resort. We only had a few opportunities to dine here, but of course, we tried the Baton Rouge Beignets (they are huge, so make sure you’re hungry and willing to share!), which I didn’t love as much as their counterparts at the Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland.

The real star of the show for me was the Prime Rib Dip, which was so good I had it twice, didn’t stop to take a picture, and pouted when my husband asked me to share a bite. There are quite a few out-of-the-ordinary items on the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory menu, and I can see why another one of our writers called Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort a top pick for foodies.

The pool at Port Orleans French Quarter

Photo by Danny Shuster

The grounds themselves were nicely manicured with little streets (and cute street signs, my favorite being Cafe Au Lait Way) and gardens surrounding buildings that really mimic that French Quarter feel. It was almost like being on a movie set where everything is a smaller version of its real life counterpart.

The central courtyard of the resort is home to Doubloon Lagoon, a pretty lively pool with a splash area and a pool bar complete with a few signature offerings. But my favorite feature is the tranquil hot tub in its own shady garden. Being separated from the main pool makes it all the more relaxing.

How did the experience rate out of 10?

  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – 9
  • Value Resorts – 7

For the amenities, dining, and entertainment around the resort, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter is worth the cost.

Video Tour of the Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter Resort

Check out our short video tour of Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter below for a more in-depth dive into this resort.

The In-Room Experience at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

room-interior_port-orleans-french-quarte

Photo by Danny Shuster

I don’t know that I’d call the rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort a reason to stay here. Don’t get me wrong: They are comfy and clean, but I prefer the more modern look of Disney’s Pop Century Resort’s rooms. These offer a little extra space and a much nicer vanity area with a double sink.  

room-vanity_port-orleans-french-quarter

Photo by Danny Shuster

We were treated to a hidden Mickey of Mardi Gras beads on our table, and I loved the Princess and the Frog-inspired shower curtain pattern. In-room coffee currently features Joffrey’s special blend to mark Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

Although it measures 314 square feet, which is the same as the other Moderate Resorts, it didn’t feel as spacious to me as the rooms at Coronado Springs. And at the Values, we leave the second bed folded up into the wall, where here we had two beds taking up more space. If you’re traveling in a party that will use two beds, this probably doesn’t make a difference, but for us it just added clutter to the room.

How did the experience rate out of 10?

  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – 5
  • Value Resorts – 7

For the room amenities and style, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter is not worth the cost.

Room Tour: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Let’s take a complete tour of the room we stayed at: a Standard View room with a River View!!

Did This Value Gal Become a Moderate Resort Devotee?

An exterior of the resort building at Port Orleans French Quarter

Photo by Danny Shuster

Overall, I did enjoy my stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and would happily return in the future. If you asked me five years ago whether the increase in price over a Value Resort is worth it, I would have said no way. But today, the price of the Values has gone up, and if you can get a good discount at Port Orleans French Quarter, the difference in cost could be negligible. 

Will I be back? Yes, especially on trips when I will be spending a lot of time at Disney Springs. Will it replace all my on-property stays? No, but I might make a point of resort hopping there more often to indulge in one of those Prime Rib Dips and a free cruise down the Sassagoula River. After all, I am a Value Gal …

We’ve taken a look at five resorts so far in this series. I wonder which resort I should stay at next …

How did the OVERALL experience rate?

  • Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – 27 out of 40
  • Value Resorts – 30 out of 40

Can’t wait to check out Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter? Or are you more of a Value Resort fan? Either way, book your dream getaway todayjust fill out this form to get a quote on your stay from our partners at Destinations to Travel!


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Written by Stephanie Shuster

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A lifelong Disney fan with a passion for globetrotting, I’m driven by a desire to build a community where people like me can let their Disney flag fly with pride. As CEO and Owner of WDW Magazine, I lead a team that connects thousands of Disney fans to the Most Magical Place on Earth from wherever they are.
Stephanie Shuster

Written by Stephanie Shuster

A lifelong Disney fan with a passion for globetrotting, I’m driven by a desire to build a community where people like me can let their Disney flag fly with pride. As CEO and Owner of WDW Magazine, I lead a team that connects thousands of Disney fans to the Most Magical Place on Earth from wherever they are.