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Port Orleans French Quarter Room Refurbishment

jack-spence%27s-masthead4.jpg

Back in July, 2010, I wrote an extensive article about Port Orleans French Quarter. Although a few items may have been tweaked over the last three years, nothing of significance has changed with the basic resort. However, the rooms were recently redecorated so I spent the night here a few weeks ago to find out what has changed. Here’s what I found.

Overall, little has been altered. The basic layout of the room remains the same – two queen beds, a table and chairs, a chest of drawers, and a nightstand.

Here are the differences: Before and after.


The headboards are the same and have not changed. However, a new bedspread design is now used.


Headboard

Headboard

Bedspread

Bedspread


The nightstand has changed, but only slightly. The new drawer is deeper than the previous.


Nightstand

Nightstand


The artist concept drawing of Pirates of the Caribbean remains the same.


Artist concept drawing of Pirates of the Caribbean


The table and chairs are the same; however they have been reupholstered in a new fabric. The picture above the table has been replaced with a mirror.


Table and Chairs

Table and Chairs


The air conditioning unit received a major makeover. In the past, it was an ugly, modern air conditioner – thematically out of place in the room. Today it looks like a nice piece of furniture complete with a window seat. They also put a thermostat on the wall rather than controls on the unit. Also notice that the carpet and draperies have changed from a blue pattern to a golden design.


Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning


The biggest change in the room is the chest of drawers. This may present a storage problem for some of you. The old chest featured four large and two small drawers. The new chest only has three large drawers.


Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers


This extra space was taken up by housing the refrigerator into the chest rather than have it stored in a free standing cabinet.


Refrigerator

Refrigerator


The old tube TV was replaced by a flat screen unit.


Tube TV

Flat Screen TV


Like the table and chairs, the only change to the bench is the upholstery.


Bench

Bench


The old vanity area featured two pedestal sinks. This was thematically attractive, but offered too little counter space. The new vanity has one large counter with two sinks. The small hexagon floor tiles were replaced by large, brown tiles.


Vanity

Vanity


Over the shower we find a new curtain. And the dingy wall tiles have been replaced with a clean, white replacement. The shower head is also new and more stylish.


Shower Curtain

Shower Curtain

Shower Tile and Head

Shower Tile and Head


Disney is always in the process of updating their rooms. They know the importance of keeping things fresh. Most people will never notice these changes from one visit to the next. In fact, it took looking at my old pictures for me to be reminded of the differences.

To see a video of the new room design, check out the clip below.



I like Port Orleans French Quarter. In fact, I prefer it over the Mansion and Bayou rooms found in the Riverside section of the resort. Much of this has to do with the resort layout. It’s far more compact and thus, easier to navigate. Also, there is only one bus stop. This makes transportation to and from the parks easier as you don’t have to make multiple stops to pick up and drop off others.

If you’re looking for a moderate resort at Walt Disney World, I highly recommend Port Orleans French Quarter. You will not be disappointed.

RELATED LINKS:
** Readers Rate and Review the French Quarter
** French Quarter FAQ
** Updated Resort Photo Gallery 1
** Updated Resort Photo Gallery 2
** New Resort Video Slide Show


The previous post in this blog was New Disney Transport Look.

The next post in this blog is Old Key West - Disney Vacation Club - Part One.

Comments (28)

Mary Beth:

Thank you for the up date on Port Orleans French Quarter. We will be staying their for the first time in September. Now we are even more excited to stay and check things out for our selves.

PJ:

You're very much right when you mention the lack of storage space. In fact it's one of my two big beefs when it comes to Disneys moderate resorts. There is no where near enough storage space, especially hanging space. As a family of four from the UK, like most of us from this side of the pond we come for at least two weeks and there is not enough room for two weeks worth of clothes storage in the moderate hotel rooms. We used to love being at a Disney resort and to be absorbed in the magic, but we hated going back to the room - clothes everywhere! We solved the problem by buying DVC, but if we hadn't taken that step I'm sure we would by now be staying off property. The other beef.....the size of the safe, don't get me started on that one!

Josh:

hey Jack
The only thing I don't like about the new rooms is the fact that there is less storage space for people's clothes. other then that, everything looks great. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Doug:

Hi Jack,

Great blog as always.

I have not stayed at the Riverside section but if Disney was able to put multiple queues at the park bus stops for Riverside during peak times and have a cast member moderate the lines they can have a window LED sign on the bus designating which stop at Riverside it goes to. For example, the queues will be labeled A, B and C. A bus going to Riverside would have on the LED sign that it is going to "Riverside - Stop B". Guests staying at rooms near that stop would board that bus. During non peak times they can use one bus for all stops. I hope you have understand what I'm saying. Just an idea and wonder what your take is.

Looking forward to next week's blog.

Doug

Hi Jack -

I watched your video and it's interesting to note that your room does not have the typical Disney angled door. At 1st I wondered if this was part of the makeover, but on re-watching the video it seems that your room was unique!

- Jeff

Jack's Comment:

You're right. I didn't even notice. I know that some "handicapped" rooms forgo the angled door to add more room, but the rest of the room was not equipped for those with special needs. Maybe it's an former handicapped room. I don't know.

Bill:

Really like the new decor - the color scheme ties in wonderfully with New Orleans and Mardi Gras.

vicki:

Stayed in the POR Mansions recently after it was just remodeled - next visit will be to the French Quarter. That won't be until next summer - I can't wait to see the Resort and I think I'm going to start working on my countdown to Disney calendar today!! Do I say "thank you for all this great info" or do I say "oh no.... I want to go so bad now that it hurts"?!?!?

Scott:

We stayed at FQ in September 2012, and in place of the bench there was a free standing closet with shelves, mirror and a rod to hang clothes. The iron and ironing board were also in the closet. This was very useful - we were in building 4.

Jack's Answer:

What you describe sounds like a Special Needs room. I can't be certain without seeing it, but I know the closet is placed in this location in these rooms.

DW:

Hi Jack thanks for the update. I agree that Port Orleans would be our preferred moderate resort. I also like that they have live New Orleans style entertainment on weekends at the resteraunt bar area. The counter service meals are okay and the pool is family friendly. Another great report by JACK!!!

Deb Ragno:

The picture on the wall featuring Pirates of the Caribbean is not the picture that has been on the wall in my previous stays. All I can remember is a lady with a parasol on a bustling square. Perhaps the pictures differ throughout the resort? Also, I could really use a close-up of the current coffeemaker and the coffee supplied with it. Any help there? Thanks!

JC:

Jack, as always, a great exploration of the Disney resorts. I agree that while not dramatic changes, they work to keep POFQ rooms very fresh. I think the biggest improvements are in terms of the upgraded shower, sinks which offer more usable space, and the disguised A/C unit + wall controls. (In my opinion, that one feature of the old rooms was the single factor most driving associations with motel style chains, like the Days Inns of the world).

Question for you - are you aware of any resource which keeps tabs on the dates/date ranges of the last room rehabs at each of the Disney resorts? As I plan my vacations, I always look for this info, but Disney doesn't make it as available as other brands (such as Marriott, for example, where you can always see a last rehab year). There's nothing worse than saving for a vacation at an otherwise great resort, only to find out the rooms are tired.

Jack's Answer:

I am not aware of any site that keeps track of Disney room refurbishments. We at AllEars usually find out by word-of-mouth. It's my belief that Disney really doesn't want this information made public. Disney's view is this: They keep their rooms in great condition all the time -- even immediately before a refurbishment. So posting a rehab schedule would be meaningless.

Whether the public would agree with this is another matter. LOL But overall, I think Disney succeeds.

ShannonM:

Is it just me or is that tv RIDICULOUSLY tiny? We stayed at Coronado last year, and the tv seemed much larger.

Jack's Comment:

I went back and looked at pictures I took of my room at Coronado Springs last year. The TV MIGHT be a an inch or two bigger, but not noticeably so. Disney tries to keep things pretty consistent within a room categories.

Jane Morris:

I have stayed at POFQ and PORS and Grovenor House. Well all I can say is to my UK and friends at least we can sleep 4 or 5 to a room instead of the only 2 or maybe 3 the way it is across the pond. Don't complain about the lack of space.

Helen Dixon:

Great blog yet again. Have noticed it is not a new mirror above the table & chairs just the one above the chest of draws has been moved. So glad you had posted this as my son & I are visiting from the UK in six weeks time. Last year we arrive at All Stars Music which had just been refurbished so we have done well again! Thanks for all your information you have been posting it's been a great help in planning our holiday this year. (Only found this site 3 months ago)

liz weiter:

We were in Disney in September of last year and stayed in one of the new princess suites.These rooms also have the attractive d thing over the AC. But there if definitely a design flaw, the slats that allow the air come out not are not moveable. So the air can only blow one direction. So we found it made one side of the room much cooler than the other. Plus we had a 7 week old in a play pen. The best place space wise was by the door, whick was where it was the coldest, which forced us to move it and its placement then had to be in the way. Hoping they realize this design flaw.

Sue Meredith:

Thanks Jack! We stayed at POFQ in January for the first time. Usually stay in the POR mansions. I love how they refurbed both resorts. The rooms are more upscale looking and fresh. I really love the new bathroom/ sink area, and wall thermostat! Only thing they could have done better is the dresser, don't know why they did away with the extra drawers and put the fridge in. The free standing fridge in its own cabinet is a way better design.

Misty:

Do the rooms have ceiling fans?

Jack's Answer:

Yes. Most of the rooms have ceiling fans.

Sean:

What do the hotels do with the old sheets? Sell them? Donate them?

Jack's Answer:

I really don't know what, specifically, Disney does with old sheets. But I do know that they do donate and sell many of their used items. I have seen bedspread for sale at MouseSurplus.

Jennifer:

One of the things I really love about staying at POFQ is the queen sized beds they have put in with the remodel! It is so worth sacrificing a little space on the night stand! We have stayed here our last two visits, but are ready to try something new on our next visit. It's between a POR mansion room (we've stayed here before but in Alligator Bayou, and pre-remodel), or Coronado Springs. Decisions, decisions!!!

Kelly:

Just returned from a stay at the Port Orleans French Quarter and enjoyed it. It's one of my favorite themed hotels.

My biggest complaint though is the busing. Yes, French Quarter has only one bus stop. However, the bus routes frequently combine the two Port Orleans resorts. Over three days, I wanted to catch a bus at 4pm to meet up with friends in the parks. The bus for Epcot and Hollywood Studios stopped at FQ and then went to Riverside (4 more stops with folks in wheelchairs) before going back to the parks. The trip took an hour each time. Only the Magic Kingdom bus drove directly to the park after I embarked.

Jack's Comment:

Unfortunately, you are correct. Riverside and French Quarter do share bus routes at times. Disney states on all literature to plan on an hour when traveling from point A to point B when using Disney transportation.

Susan:

We stayed at the French Quarter three years ago and loved it then. I can't wait to stay again and experience the new room updates!

John:

Just made a reservation for September 29 - October 5 for a "Standard View". Considering I'll be making use of the parks during the week with dining reservations in the evenings at the various parks in addition to possibly going to Downtown Disney by boat for nightlife, is worth upgrading to a better view?

Jack's Comment:

This is such a subjective decision. I can argue this both ways. Views are nice, but they do cost more. And if you're only going to be in your room to sleep and change clothes, why bother. One thing nice about Disney resorts, even the worst views are better than other non-Disney resorts.

Keep in mind, at Disney, a "water" view can be EITHER a view of a lake or river OR a view of the pool.

Donna:

We love french quarter.it is our favorite moderate we have stayed before and after and dont notice too much different. We think this is the most comfortable of the moderates.

susan:

We stayed at French Quarter over spring break. Our third time there, once before and twice after the refurb. We LOVE the new sink area. Much improved. And with the big shelf above the hanging rack, the posts above the bench, and tons of space on the floor beneath the "closet" hanging rack, our family of 4 didn't have any trouble with the reduced storage space.

What I really WISH they would do, however, it stick a little corner/wall shelf on the wall beside the side of the bed that doesn't have the nightstand. I need a place for my book and glasses too!

Helen Dixon:

We are staying at French Quarter in three weeks time. I have heard that the laundry is now credit/debit card only. Is this true? If so I will have to pay exchange rate charges as we are coming from England.

Clair Frankland :

Cant wait to stay here again in november, we were last there in march of 2011 the rooms look alot better and brighter,getting more excited now!!

Kelly:

Were all the rooms remodeled? I have seen reviews on other sites (as late as 04/2013) that state that the rooms need to be refurbished.

I know this web page offers quality depending articles and
other information, is there any other website which gives these stuff in
quality?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 8, 2013 7:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was New Disney Transport Look.

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