Walt Disney World is composed of miles upon miles of fun attractions, shows and experiences. This doesn’t just hold true to the theme parks, but to the resort hotels as well. Guests staying at any of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels will find themselves transported to a whole new world and completely immersed in Disney magic 24 hours a day. From the seaside escapes of the Yacht & Beach Club, to the sandy beaches and swaying palm trees of the Polynesian - each resort has a story to tell, and you as the guest play a very important role! Every resort has a specific theme which begins in the lobby and carries through the restaurants, courtyards, guest rooms and of course – to the pool - a major player in any vacation!One of the most beautifully and well themed resorts in my opinion is Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. My first stay here was on my most recent trip to Walt Disney World in May 2012. When Disney’s Magical Express dropped me off, I felt like I was really stepping into a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Shades of purples, greens and gold welcomed me, along with the sounds of jazz music winding through the air. I was immediately charmed and ready to explore. I checked in, made a quick stop in my room, got my camera set and was out the door. I was anxious to get a peek at Scales – Port Orleans French Quarter’s very own sea serpent. Yes, there is a sea serpent – and he’s much cuter and happier than any sea serpent I’ve ever seen (not that I have many to compare him to).
I made my way up toward the pool, also known as “Doubloon Lagoon.” Before I got to visit Scales, I was greeted by a few of his crocodile friends, marching their way through the streets of the French Quarter, instruments in hand and smiles on their faces. They are quite possibly the most charming crocs I’ve ever encountered. And they are definitely some of the most photogenic, too! Passing by the musical Mardi Gras crocs, you’ll find a rather large tail. This is the first sign that Scales is waiting for his guests!
Unlike many of the other Walt Disney World Resorts, Port Orleans French Quarter only has one main pool, along with a smaller shallow pool for children (which comes with its own crocodile, playfully squirting the little ones with water out of his saxophone). Normally pool hopping from one resort to another is a big no-no in Walt Disney World. However, because Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside are “sister” resorts, guests at French Quarter can also use the pools at Riverside, and vice versa. Port Orleans Riverside is a much larger resort, which means more pools. Here guests can make a splash at the resort’s main pool – Ol’ Man Island, or enjoy a more peaceful swim in one of the five “quiet” pools.
Once you get a full look at Doubloon Lagoon, you’ll quickly see this pool has tons of fun to offer. Scales the sea serpent waves and winds himself around the pool and over the water. There are stair steps along his back to help guests across the pool over to his smiling face, where his tongue also doubles as a water slide! Thankfully he's friendly and doesn't like to eat his guests for dinner. Kids especially will have fun with Scales and will want to do this over and over again, splash after soaking splash. Of course Scales isn’t the only character having all the fun – more of the Mardi Gras crocodile band are hanging out around the pool using their instruments as water toys, spraying swimmers passing by. Another fun water feature is the clam shell housing a crocodile band, showering water on to guests below.
Guests who may not feel like swimming, but lounging poolside instead, can find a number of chairs to kick back and soak up some Florida sunshine on. Behind the clam shell fountain at Doubloon Lagoon, tucked behind some trees, there is a quiet but prime sunning spot with chairs laid out just waiting to be relaxed on. If enjoying an adult beverage is more of your idea of relaxing, check out Mardi Grogs – the pool bar offering up your favorite drink of choice. A hot tub is also available for guests looking to unwind (a wonderful treat after a day of walking the parks).
Doubloon Lagoon is open from 7:00 am – 11:00 pm (hours are subject to change). Children under 12 must have adult supervision. Those children who are still in diapers must wear a swim diaper in the pool. There are towels available for guests to use at a poolside towel stand. For guests with disabilities who want to spend time in the Doubloon Lagoon, a chair lift is available at the front side of the pool.
Whether you’ve stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter before, or are planning your first stay in Walt Disney World’s version of the Big Easy, one thing is for sure – Scales and his croc friends will be waiting for you to share a splishin’ and a splashin’ jazzin’ time!
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