Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Review and a Holiday Walk Around Port Orleans French Quarter

We’ll stop by Port Orleans French Quarter to check in on the refurbished/re-imagined Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, which closed back in July.

Prior to the refurbishment, you might describe Sassagoula as “a little creepy” or “maybe Josh lives here” with the various Mardi Gras props.

The oversized heads are what does it, I think.

But while the factory vibe remains with the exposed beams, there are very few props to be found now with none hanging down from the ceiling.

Another change is the removal of the usual fountain beverage machines in favor of a total of eight Coke Freestyle machines.

And yes, they are RFID enabled.

One thing that occurred to me is that my dad would never be able to figure out how to use this thing even if you gave him all day and an instruction manual. It’s just not happening. It might have been beneficial to keep one of the legacy dispensers even if it required having a different set of syrups etc.

Not everyone is after Barq’s Diet Lime Root Beer.

Here’s the previous ordering area – it’s perhaps a bit drab with the kind of tile you would expect to see in the attached bathrooms and just a couple purple accents here and there. Do note the small size.

I was kind of shocked to see the size of the new central kiosk, which is part cooler, part shelving unit. It does not leave a lot of room to move around.

And because each station serves a completely different menu, you’re probably going to need to do some moving to see what’s available.

Here’s the dinner menu:

Breakfast features several interesting options as well, including:

  • Grilled Steak and Scrambled Eggs – served with Breakfast Potato Casserole – $12.99.
  • Wolferman’s English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich – House-smoked Ham, American Cheese, Scrambled Eggs and Maple-Bacon Jam – $6.49.
  • Jumbo Sweet Potato Belgian Waffle – topped with Toasted Pecans, Whipped Cream and Apple-Cranberry Compote – $8.99.
  • Breakfast Flatbread – Scrambled Eggs, Sausage Gravy, Andouille Sausage, Onions, Peppers and Red Pepper Aoïli – $8.99.
  • Pain Perdu – Baguette French Toast, warm Fruit Topping, Powdered Sugar, with choice of Bacon, Sausage or House-smoked Ham – $8.99.

The full menu is available here:

Disney has increased the number of registers, which will hopefully reduce waits. It took me and others more than ten minutes in line holding hot food that was much less hot by the time we completed our transaction. We are decidedly in “count the smiles” territory. And spoiler: there aren’t any.

But the good news is that I think the menu and food are improvements across the board. Keeping in mind that I have literally tried one new entree, but the Prime Rib was cut right off the bone and everything else looked to be fresh. The fried chicken, shrimp & grits, and other items all looked fantastic as well.

I ordered the $12.99 Create-Your-Own Signature Rice Bowl – Choose Pulled Pork, Catfish or Shrimp; Choose Red or Black Beans; Choose Cajun, Dirty or White Rice.

And I can’t remember the last time I was this impressed by a resort quick service. Like Art of Animation, Disney has moved to “real” plates, bowls, and silverware, which are nice touches that add a bit of class to the meal.

I expected the catfish to be a previously frozen, deep-fried afterthought, but it was perfectly poached – flaky and still somehow hot. The red beans and dirty rice had an appreciable spice to them – usually Disney goes mild to reduce the number of returned entrees. But this was fresh, flavorful, and there was a lot of it. And as before, they take Tables in Wonderland, which drops the price 20% if you are a card carrying member.

Overall, eliminating the majority of the hanging props perhaps reduces the character of the space. Disney being Disney, you would think they could have come up with something a little more interesting than “it’s just a factory now.” While Tiana’s Place might not make much sense, perhaps her restaurant was so successful that she opened a hole-in-the-wall fried chicken and gumbo place across town. Maybe next time.

Logistically, hopefully the quick service won’t be so busy that space becomes a bigger issue. Once the cashiers get everything under control and literally every single thing isn’t “new,” it should work itself out. The website will return to see how things are progressing.

But the good news is that the outlook is bullish on the menu and food quality. My signature rice bowl was fantastic.

We’ll take a quick look around while we’re here. One of the reasons why you typically see French Quarter recommended is its small size and single bus stop. Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs in particular are so spread out.

At French Quarter, you shouldn’t be more than five minutes away from any point of interest, including the bus stop, boat dock, and feature pool.

The addition of the water play area helps elevate the pool complex, though French Quarter remains a step down from the other Moderate pool areas.

But there is perhaps something to say for quaint:

We’ll return to see how things are going and also stop in at Riverside, which also has some interesting things going on.


  1. Larry says

    High praise indeed from one who is not shy about calling out culinary misfires. Thanks for filling up and then filling us in!

  2. projectx says

    While I would have preferred service sort of theming in Sassafoula I welcome the change. Admittedly I’ve never been there but the the photos I’ve seen just look creepy and tacky. As generic as this looks it’s a step up IMO.

    Other than that the resort looks great and I’m happy to hear the positive review of the food. We’re looking forward to our first stay at POFQ in the spring.

  3. Sarah says

    I don’t mind the loss of the heads, but the space does look really empty now. The food looks like a huge improvement. The new menu looks so much better than what was offered previously. I love this resort, but the food selection, or lack thereof, was always one downside. So glad to see this update. I am a little disappointed that they didn’t open up the food service area itself a bit more, but I guess then you’re sacrificing seating.

  4. Mel says

    “deep-fried afterthought…” HAHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for the review and the ever lovely photos! Rice bowl looks yummy and I look forward to trying it during my stay in January!

    I agree with Sharon in that they could have kept a few pieces from the former decor.

    • Redhed_2001 says

      So I tried the rice bowl based on Josh’s review and had it two other times after that. Loved it! It was much tastier than the cold lunch I was served at BOG earlier that week. Had the catfish twice and the pulled pork once. Catfish was better IMO.

      Thanks again Josh, for the review!

  5. Kait says

    I am not a fan of the freestyle coke machines. I feel the coke tastes terrible. Whenever I go to Universal to use my refillable cup, I always ask for regular fountain coke. Do you think Disney is headed towards putting the freestyle machines in the park and being able to use the resort mugs there as well?

  6. Rachael says

    Greta review Josh! We will be staying here March 1-8 for the first time…..glad to know the musical gators are still there, my son loves tic toc croc. I live through your posts while we are day dreaming our days away :)

  7. Steve Milz says

    We just stayed at POFQ right before Thanksgiving and had dinner at Sassagoula one evening. Some thoughts…
    1) There are still some props way up high above the area that’s the kitchen/backrooms. They’re not nearly as gaudy as before though. The place might be a little more “dull” but it looks better in our opinion.
    2) My daughter had the prime rib. It comes with three sides and corn bread, but she got extra mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. The meat was pretty decent quality for a Disney QS, but more towards medium well than medium rare. The potatoes were good, the mac and cheese standard Stouffer’s quality. Sassagoula’s cornbread is really good.
    3) My wife had the make your own pasta bowl with penne, pesto, chicken, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach I think. She said it was really good (I didn’t try it because I don’t like pesto).
    4) My son and I both had jambalaya (duplicate order, not bloggable, I know). It’s the same as before, which is pretty much like Zatarran’s that’s been pre-made. Nothing to rave about but we both like it, so we got it again. Comes with cornbread – yum.
    5) The checkout area is definitely cramped and lines were pretty long, even at 7:30am when I went the beignets. It was right before Thanksgiving though…
    6) The ice cream has been replaced with gelato. Bakery dessert selections seem reduced but they’ve added a chocolate bread pudding that is pretty good. But there was no vanilla gelato! Isn’t this America? No vanilla gelato? What in the world…

    We would agree with Josh that Sassagoula’s offerings impress and are better than before. My wife keeps having to tell herself that “resort QS is so much different than park QS”.

  8. Ashley says

    Thanks for the update, Josh! Staying at PORFQ for a long weekend in February. First stay there and looking forward to it!

  9. dusty cheatham says

    just returned from a 5 day stay. as always with Disney you get what you pay for. which is a ton of food at about $2.00 higher than it should be. BUT the food tastes SO much better. and with the tables in wonderland card @ 20 % of it really is a no brainer to eat here . if you are staying here you really should try a few meals here as opposed to theme park food .


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