Ed. – Today the blog is taking you to Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter. These resorts are connected by a very pleasant walk along the Sassagoula River and are favorites on the Unofficial Guide reader survey.
On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, which is my personal favorite moderate resort hotel. An important factor in choosing any Walt Disney World Resort is the food. Especially when traveling with a larger group, variety is essential when it comes to dining options. Luckily, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, the main dining option at French Quarter, offers a variety of choices with a strong influence on Cajun and New Orleans cuisine.
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is a breakfast, lunch and dinner quick service food court decked out in a bright and colorful Mardi Gras theme. If you’re into subtlety, you might just die of excessiveness while eating here. Some may say that many of the decorations of Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory are “creepy” or “terrifying” but I personally think they straddle the, “almost scary but hilarious because of it” line quite nicely. Also, in case you were wondering, both the Disney Dining Plan and Tables in Wonderland are accepted at Sassagoula. That’s all well and fine but the real question remains. Is the food any good? I’m happy to report that after staying at French Quarter for a week and having multiple meals there, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
There are five stations to order from that each offer different dining options. Whether you’re eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s almost definitely at least one item that you’ll enjoy. The food is American but there are a number of unique items for French Quarter along with a Cajun spin on more traditional dishes that really make Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory stand out from most resort food courts.
For breakfast, Sassagoula has an omelet station along with the options to create your own parfait and the more classic Disney offerings like the beloved and delicious Mickey Waffle. Breakfast sadly was the most disappointing of all my meals here. Mickey Waffles are delicious but you can get them almost anywhere on Disney property. The other options just felt underwhelming in comparison to the lunch and dinner choices at Sassagoula. For example, I tried the Bounty Platter, which comes with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, biscuit, and a Mickey Waffle. I’m pretty sure every place that serves breakfast at Disney has a variation on this meal. The problem is, none of the individual items, besides the Mickey waffle, are particularly good. (Side rant: Disney you need to get your act together with your bacon. For too long, it’s been terrible. That’s a bad thing. Bacon is a delicious American treasure and you should treat it as such. It’s pretty hard to make it awful but you did it. Bad Disney.) The eggs in particular are reminiscent of the eggs at my college dining hall. Nobody liked the eggs at my college dining hall. So if you’re staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, just grab some donuts for your room or eat breakfast in the parks. When it comes to the most important meal of the day at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, I say skip it. Now, onto lunch and dinner…
As I mentioned earlier, lunch and dinner are leagues ahead of breakfast here at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. If you’re looking for New Oreans style cuisine, Sassagoula offers gumbo, po’ boys,
muffuletta sandwiches (UPDATE: Muffuletta has been removed from the menu since my trip in August) and a creole burger among others. Don’t forget the beignets for dessert! If you don’t know what a beignet is, it’s a small French pastry that’s similar to fried dough, or doughboy or whatever you want to call it. Basically it’s dough that’s been fried and topped with powdered sugar and it’s delicious. As for the po’ boys, they have a few different options for the meat in the sub. Being a fan of buffalo chicken, I’d opt for the buffalo chicken po’ boy but my brother got the shrimp and said that was also tasty. Speaking of shrimp, I thought the fried shrimp was delicious. It may not win any awards in terms of presentation, but it tastes great. I always like a little kick to my food and I was pleased with the spices and seasoning atop the shrimp.
If you’re a pickier eater that prefers American fare, the chili-cheese dog is a safe bet. It’s not as messy as you’d expect either. It’s not the best hot dog in Disney (lookin’ at you Mac & Cheese Hot Dog!) but it’s still good. You can also order personal pizzas or go for a large if you feel like sharing with the whole family. I’m almost positive this is the same pizza available for room service in most resorts at Disney World. I enjoyed it but if you’re only getting pizza once on your trip, I’d highly recommend a reservation at Via Napoli instead. You can also create your own salad with shrimp or chicken if you’re trying to eat healthier on your vacation. I don’t know why you would do that since it’s vacation but it’s there if you want it.
The “Floatworks” in Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory isn’t just for show either. Besides the previously mentioned beignets, there are a bunch of different ice cream dessert options including cones and shakes. I think the real draw, however, are the ice cream cookie sandwiches. Similar to Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom, these cookie sandwiches are made on the spot with your choice of ice cream between two warm chocolate chip cookies. They’re massive too. The kind of big where you’re not sure where to start eating so you just go for it and hope for the best. And now I want another one.
I heavily base my resort choices around dining options and I would absolutely recommend staying at Port Orleans French Quarter for Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory if you assign similar value to your resort food. Plus, it’s just a great moderate resort in general. I understand that many of the food court offerings at Disney Resorts can be weak, which is evidenced by many of them being refurbished recently/currently, but Sassagoula can boast that it’s in the top tier when it comes to this. Despite a sub-par breakfast, Sassagoula is a superb option for casual resort dining.