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Beignets & Hurricanes: A Review of Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory & Mardi Grogs Pool Bar.

When we think of Disney Food, there are a lot of opinions! If you’re a Disney newbie or haven’t made your first trip yet, you might think of your options as limited- typical

theme park fair- burgers, fries, hot dogs, ice cream etc. To anyone who has been, we know that there is a great big beautiful world of incredible entrees and snacks that will make you say “what’s keto again?” and even specialty beverages that will blow your mind. We all know that the really unique findings are found at EPCOT festivals and table service restaurants in the parks, but did you know that you can find really delicious and themed food at your resort’s food court? Well…. you can! On my last trip I stayed at the beautiful Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. I could lie and say I stumbled upon this cozy and beautiful resort on my own, but I will just be honest and say that it was chosen for me. We traveled to WDW on this occasion because my daughter’s dance team had the privilege of performing at the Disney Springs Marketplace Stage. It was an incredible experience, and I’m so happy we had the opportunity. Being the dedicated Disney planner that I am, I was quite weary of a big travel company picking a resort for us. Little did I know it would expose me to this wonderful resort, and my new favorite snack, Mickey Beignets!!!

French Quarter is part of the Port Orleans Resort, in the Disney Springs resort area. Its sister resort, Riverside is much larger than French Quarter, and it has a table service restaurant, Boatwrights. Riverside is a pleasant stroll by the Sassagoula River from French Quarter, and guests are permitted to use all amenities there as well. The theming at Riverside focuses more on the Louisiana countryside and river areas, while French Quarter looks more like the famous district in New Orleans. Which brings us to our focus, the Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at French Quarter. The interior is decorated to reflect the fun and family friendly parts of Mardi Gras, adorned with beads and masks. Because this resort is so small, everything is convenient to all of the buildings, with only 8 buildings, a pool and splash pad, separate Jacuzzi, playground, an arcade, lobby, food court, lounge and pool bar, you will forget you are in central Florida and be sure you are visiting a very clean, pleasant and quiet version of New Orleans. The entire resort smells like jasmine and assorted blooming flowers and even buildings near the pool are quiet and pleasant.

Upon arrival to French Quarter, we checked in ( online check in was not cooperating on my phone while riding the Magical Express) and headed straight to the pool area to relax and cool off. I took a moment to just take it all in, looked around at the beautiful buildings, landscaping, theming, and the overall ambiance; love at first sight! Having stayed only at All Star Music during the busy Spring Break season, I was thrilled to be in such a cozy place. The kids’ splash pad has a bucket that dumps water after it fills up and it really sounds like ocean waves in the background. I could go on, but on to the food! As soon as it was open I was in line at the pool bar, Mardi Grogs. I knew I had to have one of those famous hurricanes! I chose the souvenir plastic cup for $18, my husband got the smaller version in a regular cup and my best friend chose the Sunshine Margarita. None of us were disappointed! Special shout out to one of the best bartenders, cast member Shelly, she is an amazing mixologist and will help you pick out the perfect cocktail if you’re on the fence or have questions. Let’s not forget the little ones or those who prefer non-alcoholic specialty beverages. For my 10 year old daughter, I ordered the Bull Frog Brew, a sweet green lemonade drink served in a mason jar that lights up. It’s super cute, sturdy, and is still used when we are poolside at home. While Mardi Grogs doesn’t have a huge menu of sandwiches or drinks, its so close to Sassagoula, that if you are hungry for more than a wrap, sandwich or pretzel, take a quick walk over to the food court or mobile order while poolside. We were however happy with their selection and my husband and I split a turkey club and my daughter was content with pretzels and cheese before we checked in. It's important to note that Mardi Grogs doesn't utilize the dining plans, but again, you're so close to the food court, I think its a small inconvenience, and there aren't real meals here, so I don't think the small wraps and snacks are worth DDP credts, but that's just my opinion.

Captains Mai Tai

Bourbon & Strawberry Sour & Sunshine Margarita

Courtesy of the DisneyWorldDrinks facebook pagee.
Banana Cabana & Blue Berry Lemondade

Western Omelet

Let’s start with the most important meal of the day, Breakfast! The current menu has several entrees including two omelets, specialties like The Big Easy- scrambled eggs, with meat choice, potatoes and a buttermilk biscuit. As you can see, this is more than enough to start your day and give you all the fuel you need whether you’re taking on a full park day or resort hopping.

Big Easy Scrambled Eggs with bacon

Another great specialty choice is the French toast, it comes with season fruit toppings and choice of meat. I think what makes it so crunchy and delightful is the preparation, as you can see.

Yes, that's brioche bread in the deep fryer!

As with any Disney quick service, there are plenty of sides on the menu such as breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, or cereal and milk if you’re looking for something quick and easy to snack on while you’re walking to the bus for an early morning rope drop. You can also grab a variety of specialty coffees and bottled juices or chocolate milk, so you can be on your way without any delay. And yes, there are Mickey Waffles!! ( I don’t care what the menu says, they aren’t just for kids!)

Now for the breakfast of champions and my staple while I was there- Mickey Beignets! We must talk about the beignets! I myself have never visited New Orleans, but I am told that these Mickey shaped pastries are the closest in authenticity to those served at Café Du Monde that others have come across. Perfectly golden on the outside and soft decadent pastry on the inside, these are simply heaven in your mouth. An order of three is $4.49 or a DDP snack credit, making it a satisfying snack or quick breakfast for a light eater. I paired my morning beignet with a side of bacon for a sweet/savory combination of deliciousness that kept me happy all morning. Pro Tip- if you get these to-go they will be packaged in a bag full of powdered sugar. There will be so much powdered sugar in your bag that you can dip your beignet back in sugar between bites, I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that Disney calories don’t count )

Breakfast of Champions!!

I will take a moment to say that there are plenty of healthy and plant based options available at Sassagoula Floatworks if you are a healthy eater, have dietary restrictions or health concerns that prohibit you from indulging as much as I am touting here. Many of these options are available as “grab and go” or as hot entrees. And as always at any Disney eatery, ask your chefs for help and they will happily oblige to meet your dietary needs.

The lunch and dinner menus vary due to specialty entrees that are only available at dinner. I can assure you that just about anyone can find something they will enjoy, and meets a dietary need or restriction. While I was visiting last June my family visited us on the resort, as they also live in Florida. My dad was recovering from jaw surgery and still needed to eat softer foods. He enjoyed the dinner specialty fish, with mashed potatoes, beans and rice and green beans. Also present was my two year old niece, who had macaroni and cheese from the kids menu as well as some of the pizza we were sharing. A large cheese or pepperoni pizza along with salad and breadsticks for sharing is $29.99 or two adult meal credits. It was shared by more than 6 people and no one was hungry. You can also order a huge slice of pizza with a side salad for $10.49.

As for other options, my two favorite sandwiches were the VooDoo Chicken sandwich and the Beignet Burger.

The Voodoo Chicken is a grilled chicken breast with mushrooms, onions, swiss and house made “voodoo” sauce. While it’s a bit spicier than your standard mayo or mustard, it was not over powering or mouth burning as the name might suggest. If you want some extra heat, ask for jalapenos! It comes with fries and coleslaw, but you can request double fries, which makes it a great entrée for sharing. The same can be done with the beignet burger. I know what you’re thinking (Brandi, didn’t you get enough beignet at breakfast?) but as a lover of sweet/savory combos I had to try this! I was not disappointed. It comes with specialty “bacon jam” and all the American cheeseburger fixin’s.

VooDoo Chicken Sandwiches

Inspired by the New Orleans theming here are the Po Boys, Shrimp and Grits, Gumbo and Jambalaya. At $12.99 the shrimp & grits is a great meal as far as value as it can definitely be shared by two people. It’s a fan favorite and considered a staple of the resort by many.

Shrimp Po Boy

Shrimp & Grits

I know I mentioned healthy eating earlier, and this food court has a lot to offer as far as entrée salads and veggie centered pastas. In fact there are 6 entrée salads on the lunch menu currently, including an option with Tofu. My favorite salad was the FQ house salad, with chicken. The house made creamy lemon vinaigrette dressing was not too tart but a perfect compliment to the grilled chicken and crisp lettuce.

As mentioned prior there are specialty entrees only available at dinner, currently listed on the menu are Southern classic specials like BBQ ribs, a blackened rib-eye, fried chicken or sustainable fish. All of these come with three sides. You can also create your own rice bowl, with choice of proteins pulled pork, fish, shrimp or tofu with brown or white rice and black beans. Even the kids menu has a specialty option at dinner, which is BBQ ribs with green beans. And since these are southern style specialties please don’t’ forget the cornbread!! It can be had on its own for only $2.49.

Don’t think I’m signing off before talking about desserts!! You’re on vacation, you can even have this before dinner if you want, or in place of dinner, I won’t judge you, especially with all of these incredible options! All the bakeries and quick service locations across Disney resorts have their own takes on dessert items, like Mickey brownies, specialty cookies or even ice cream. There are two desserts here specific to Sassagoula Floatworks. I’m talking about none other than the beignet Sunday and Mardi Gras King cake. For those of you not familiar with this southern staple, here is a link explaining the significance of King Cake, and its connection to Mardi Gras. The beignet sundae comes with your choice of ice cream and sundae sauce with whipped cream. Just when you thought beignets couldn’t get any better- well here it is!

If you didn’t get your fill of beignets earlier in the day, you can always get another order of 3 or share a 6 piece with dipping sauce, like caramel, strawberry or chicory ganache.

Overall I think that Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory offers a wonderful selection of entrees, sandwiches and snacks. They also have a nice cooler full of grab and go items like prepared salads and deli sandwiches if you prefer not to wait for a made to order meal. Due to the size of this resort the food court never felt too crowded or even too loud, and considering I was there during the rainy season with lots of pool shutdowns, when everyone flocked to the food court for shelter, I thought that was quite impressive.

If you are ever resort hopping, or at Disney Springs and fancy a quiet boat ride down to Port Orleans Resorts, I highly recommend stopping in to Sassagoula Floatworks for a quick meal or just a beignet, you just might find the resort for your next trip!

If you are interested in a no obligation quote for Port Orleans French Quarter or any other amazing Walt Disney World Resort, please contact me at Mickey is waiting for you!

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