Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Mellower and more scenic than other Disney resorts, despite its festive theme, and it's a fine choice for couples, for the price -- though it lacks the quality of rooms at the Coronado and features at the Port Orleans Riverside.
Built in the spirit of celebrating Mardi Gras in the French Quarter of New Orleans -- with a more playful, kid-friendly twist on the original, of course -- the Port Orleans French Quarter comes with pastel-colored buildings, a wrought-iron entryway, and giant statues of a crocodile marching band near the elaborate Doubloon Lagoon pool complex. At 1,008 guest rooms, the resort doesn't exactly feel intimate, and during the day crowds of rambunctious children (and their harried parents) swarm the lobby and the the cafeteria-style Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. But it is about half the size of the neighbording Port Orleans Riverside, and it can feel comparitively peaceful in the early mornings and in the evenings. Due to this, and a small, jazz-themed lounge called Sassagoula, the resort is a popular choice among couples as well as families.
The French Quarter is about halfway up the pricing scale of the Disney World resorts (in the Moderate category). For the most part, guests get what they pay for -- clean, though older, guest rooms with no iPod docks and less-than-luxurious bedding; casual dining from just one sit-down restaurant, a food court, and a poolside snack shack; a large pool with a waterslide and a kiddie play area. The staff doesn't offer the typical service one finds at many hotels -- no full room service menu; just pizza delivery -- though there are some welcome touches geared toward families with kids, like a costumed "cast member" at the door to engage children as they pass through the entrance.
But the real advantage is its location -- near Epcot, just a five- to 20-minute free shuttle bus ride from all the other Disney theme parks. Along with the Riverside, the Port Orleans Resorts have a far more convenient location than all of the other Moderate-category hotels. Coronado Springs has much newer and nicer guest rooms, but it is much farther from the most popular theme parks, like Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
Within the Port Orleans Resort compound, the Riverside bests the French Quarter with its small pools right outside the rustic-looking bungalow guest rooms (it can be a long walk from some rooms to the pool at the French Quarter) and a more pleasent, full-service, southern-style restaurant (the French Quarter has none). Plus, the Riverside includes standard rooms that can sleep a family of five; rooms at the French Quarter only sleep up to four people (like most other Disney resorts). Since both resorts are typically the same price, pick the Riverside.
Limited services, compared to most Orlando resorts
On the eastern end of Walt Disney World Resort; a free, five-minute shuttle to Epcot Center
Located in the northeast area of gigantic Walt Disney World, the Port Orleans French Quarter is connected to several Disney properties including Port Orleans Riverside and Downtown Disney via a free riverboat. The closest theme park is Epcot Center, an eight-minute drive via a free Disney bus (that runs to all of the various parks and Disney hotels). Any trips outside of Disney World would require a car.
OK for families, especially those on a budget, but there's more to do at the Riverside Resort next door
It might be 1,008 rooms and styled in the spirit of Mardi Gras, but the French Quarter is often quieter and more relaxing than most other moderately priced Disney resorts. Given its central location near Epcot, fun pool complex, and large, guest bedrooms, it's a great deal, but the Riverside (next door) has all this, and more.