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The connections between Walt Disney and New Orleans go far beyond New Orleans Square in Disneyland and the Port Orleans Resorts in Walt Disney World. In fact, the influence of the real New Orleans can be found throughout the parks and resorts, as well as music, parades, films, and in many other ways you might not have known of before. Having just returned from the real French Quarter, we’ll also discuss just how close the parks come to the real thing.

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QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: What is your favorite Disney/New Orleans connection? Do you prefer French Quarter or Riverside? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


WDW Radio On the Road in New Orleans and the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & 1/2 Marathon with the WDW Radio…

Posted by Lou Mongello on Wednesday, March 2, 2016



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6 thoughts on “WDW Radio Show #439 – Disney and New Orleans”

  1. Shannon G. says:

    Fun show! I’ve always wanted to see New Orleans so I’m curious to hear any follow-ups regarding how Disney “New Orleans inspired” cuisine holds up to the real thing. I have a Disneyland Annual Pass and I love the feel of New Orleans square, especially at Christmas and Mardis Gras. Make sure to go back to the Blue Bayou on your next trip; they have a completely updated menu and I’ve heard great reviews on the changes! There was a small shop behind the Mint Julep window that sold merchandise from New Orleans but it’s been converted to a Pandora shop sometime within the past 6 months. I want the New Orleans shop back 🙁

    My first DW resort to stay at when I was little was Dixie Landings and I just stayed there (as Port Orleans Riverside) for 9 days in January. I absolutely loved it! We went to see Ye Haa Bob Jackson one evening on your recommendation and it was a blast! He picked me to lead the hand jive and signed photos for us. Such a great performer!

  2. Chuck Zitta says:

    Yeah, the Princess and the Frog was a great movie. Love the fact that they went back to the hand drawn animation style. There’s a certain warmth created using this technique, that to me, gets lost with most of today’s CGI style of animation. I would really love to see Disney throw a hand drawn movie in the mix every few years, if for no other reason, than to honor all the great animators from days gone by. But I understand there may be financial considerations that keep them from doing so. Anyway, that’s just my nostalgic side talking.

    I would have to say my favorite Disney connection to New Orleans, would have to be two things:

    First, would be the Princess and the Frog movie – for reasons I mentioned above. The second would be the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, being we stayed there 6 years ago. Agree with you, it does have a nice quaint feel to it.

    Thanks again for another fantastic show, Lou and Ryan!!!

    P.S. Really dug all the photos you took in NOLA :0) Nice musical touch at the end of the show!

  3. Kyera says:

    I absolutely adore Port Orleans, every time I go to Disney.. that’s where I want to stay. As festive and cozy as French Quarter is, I usually end up gravitating towards Riverside. I just love the water, the regal houses, and the royal rooms! I’ve only stayed in them once, for one night but the fireworks in the backboard and the princess version of hidden mickey/homages was so fun to search for. The theming is gorgeous, the cast members are wonderfully helpful and the food? Don’t get me started. As a celiac, its difficult to eat out places and the chefs at Port Orleans are so wonderful. GF mickey waffles, salads, pastas, they even make gluten free beignets, which are a must have during every trip!

  4. Doug Mecca says:

    It was great meeting you in the FQ at Cafe Du Monde. Im sure you noticed Disney does a great job of recreating the atmosphere. Hope to see you in the Parks.. Ill be the 47 year old guy with Mickey ears. 🙂

  5. Cindy Alford says:

    So glad you discovered the NOLA connection to Walt. My first visit to NOLA was in 1998 when I read a Southern Living article listing the 3 oldest Grand Dame hotels of New Orleans… Hotel Monteleone ( which is still family owned with a roof top pool which we chose), and the Ponchotrain… which has a Walt Disney suite. We visited the lobby of the Ponchotrain and it was amazing, but was way off Royal, so visited only. We were so impressed about how often Walt visited New Orleans and how much he loved the city. too bad New Orleans didn’t take Walt up on his offer, for the city lacks in business revenue. The city is so magical and historic, that I wish it could have financially benefited from Disney’s revenue, but sure glad Orlando doesn’t have as many hurricanes ( the ones you can’t drink). Wish the New Orleans symbolance would become part of the Orlando landscape at WDW: have always wondered why not.

    Love the Tianna musical performace and expected much more from the film’s release, but Disney chose to not capitalize on it. So sad. As a southerner, was really hoping they would expand on it.

    I do remember a Carnival parade in 1993 in Magic Kingdom. Have a video tape of it. (yes, a VCR tape) Are we really that old????

    It was my favorite 3pm parade ever….

    hope to meet up with you guys next time you are in NOLA.!!!

  6. Bradley says:

    I (and my wife) love Port Orleans. I stayed there as a kid on my first time to WDW, and my wife and I stayed at Riverside when we were on our honeymoon. At that time in 2012, French Quarter was under renovations.

    We stayed at Coronado Springs in 2014, and my wife mentioned that, though she liked CS, Port Orleans was her favorite. She had stayed at several other resorts growing up, and Port Orleans lands at the top of her favorites.