Sunday, September 4, 2011

64. PortOrleans.org

Much of the information that we get regarding the Walt Disney World resort comes directly from the Disney company and their websites. Disney does a good job of providing basic information about the theme parks, resort hotels, restaurants, etc. However, to get more detailed and in depth information regarding specific aspects of the most visited vacation spot in the world, we turn to fan created "unofficial" sites. If you are considering a stay at one of the moderate resorts on property then you must check out PortOrleans.org.

The Port Orleans resort has changed quite a bit over the years, specifically in the names of the different areas. Originally, there was Port Orleans, which opened in 1991 and Dixie Landings, which followed in 1992. In 2001, the two resorts were combined under the Port Orleans name. The original Port Orleans became "French Quarter" and Dixie Landings became "Riverside. Whatever you want to call this place, it is a wonderfully themed resort offering comfortable accommodations and a whole lot more. It will always be a favorite of mine, as my wife and I honeymooned at Dixie Landings back in 2000.

PortOrleans.org was created by Andre Willey who is from England. It is one of the best fan websites I've come across since starting Digital Disney World. It looks very professional and contains an amazing amount of interesting and useful information. There are the expected sections that give details about each area of the resort including accommodations, restaurants, and recreation. However, PortOrleans.org doesn't stop there. You will also find up to date resort news, fun facts, and trivia along with a gigantic photo gallery containing over 2,000 pictures. In addition to the regular pics, there are some fantastic 360 degree panoramic shots of the grounds, lobby, and even a guest room. Of course Andre also includes several great videos from around the resort.

Something that Disney is known for is creating a fictional "backstory" for just about every attraction, restaurant, and resort on property. When you are anywhere in Walt Disney World you are truly part of a show that is going on all around you. As you could imagine, Port Orleans has a very elaborate and detailed backstory that goes along with it. When it first opened, guests were issued a tabloid style newspaper with the name of either the Sassagoula Sentinal or the Sassagoula Times when they checked in at the resort. These handouts gave the full history (or backstory) of both Port Orleans and Dixie Landings. When the resorts were merged, a lot of the detailed history was watered down and the "newspapers" became more of an informational handout about current happenings. Thankfully, Andre includes the entire history and story on PortOrleans.org, including actual copies of some of the old handouts. Thanks to websites like this one, the interesting history and fun backstories of many areas of Walt Disney World are being preserved.

In addition to all the great information and media to be found at Port Orleans.org, there is also a large forum section where visitors can ask questions and get involved in discussions related to Port Orleans. It is a great place to read trip reports from guests who recently stayed there. You can also contact Andre directly in this section of the site with questions and comments. As I said at the beginning of the article, if you are even considering a stay at this resort, you absolutely need to spend some time browsing through PortOrleans.org. Also, if you have stayed at Port Orleans or Dixie Landings in the past, you will certainly enjoy the pictures and stories that can be found here.

Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward. See ya real soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words Dave, glad you liked my humble little corner of cyberspace.

    For some time I've debated on whether I should update to a more 'web 2.0' look-and-feel, but so far I've not had one single negative comment from visitors about the style or layout of the site (and it obviously don't bother Google and the other search engines as the ranking is always very high for Port Orleans related searches) so I think I'm going to continue to let the content dictate the form, rather than the other way around.

    I find so many other sites on the web can look virtually the same these days when you strip the content away that it's kinda refreshing to stay obstinately different. :)

    Andre

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