The Total Guide to Disneyland’s New Orleans Square Culture

Welcome to the heart of adventure, the cradle of rich history, and the ultimate haven for exquisite culinary delights – Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. A visit to this unique corner of Disneyland serves up a blend of thrills, stories, and flavors that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

It’s more than just a section of the park; it’s an experience that takes you on a journey through the vibrant and spirited life of New Orleans. Let me walk you through everything New Orleans Square has to offer – from adrenaline-pumping rides to mouth-watering eats and fascinating architectural marvels.


Read on for a map of New Orleans Square.

History

The genesis of New Orleans Square in Disneyland can be traced back to Walt Disney’s profound admiration for the charm and vibrancy of New Orleans. Walt wanted to replicate this atmosphere, making it a space where visitors could explore the intriguing blend of adventure, history, and culinary richness that characterizes the real New Orleans.

This vision was brought to life with the opening of New Orleans Square on July 24, 1966, marking it as a significant addition to Disneyland’s landscape and offering guests a unique, immersive experience unlike any other section of the park.

Since its inception, New Orleans Square has experienced various landmark moments, evolving continuously to captivate its visitors. Perhaps the most notable among these is the introduction of the now-iconic Pirates of the Caribbean ride in 1967, just after Walt’s death. T

his ride and the Haunted Mansion’s opening in 1969 set a new standard for immersive theme park attractions. These additions firmly established New Orleans Square as a critical component of Disneyland, marrying innovative ride technology with storytelling.

Over the years, New Orleans Square has seen several transformations, though it has always retained its core themes and ambiance. The area celebrates New Orleans’ culture, from the intricately designed architecture to the themed dining experiences and shops.

Disney has continuously infused the Square with new life while maintaining the original charm and sophistication that Walt Disney had envisioned. Notably, over time, seasonal decorations and themed events have also been introduced, making the Square not just a static relic of the past but a dynamic, evolving section of Disneyland.

The evolution of attractions and themes in New Orleans Square demonstrates Disney’s commitment to innovation while respecting the area’s historical roots. From its opening to the present day, New Orleans Square remains a testament to Walt Disney’s genius, capturing the imagination of visitors with its unique blend of adventure, history, and culinary delights.

How to Best Enjoy Disneyland New Orleans Square

Navigating the lively streets and attractions of Disneyland’s New Orleans Square can be quite an adventure, but it’s all about strategy.

To start, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion tend to have shorter lines during parade times and just before the park closes. Who knew that the ghostly hours could be so beneficial?

When it comes to dining, New Orleans Square gives fast food a whole new meaning with its beignets and gumbo. But, my friends, planning is your best friend here. Try to grab lunch at off-peak hours—think late afternoon or early dinner—and make reservations for table service restaurants like the Blue Bayou to avoid disappointment. And don’t skip out on trying those beignets at the Mint Julep Bar; they’re worth every calorie, promise.

Last but not least, New Orleans Square is a treasure chest of unique photo ops for the photogenic at heart. Don’t miss the chance to snap a pic with the roaming jazz band or in front of the intricately designed shop facades.

For a truly magical shot, wait until evening when the area is all lit up—the ambiance is unlike anywhere else in the park. These moments, surrounded by the glow of lanterns, make for truly special memories.

Tips Details
Timing for Attractions Early morning, during parades, and pre-closing for shorter wait times
Dining Strategy Off-peak hours and reservations for table service
Unique Photo Ops Roaming jazz bands, shop facades, and nighttime ambiance

 

Rides

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean holds a special place in the hearts of many visitors, being one of the original attractions of Disneyland. Its charm lies in the intricate detail and expansive storyline that sweeps you off your feet and into a world of high seas adventure.

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From the moment you step onto the boat, each scene offers a glimpse into the life of pirates, filled with treasure, danger, and a touch of humor. It’s a must-ride for anyone wanting to experience the magic of Disneyland storytelling at its best.

Haunted Mansion

Where technology meets storytelling, the Haunted Mansion is a testament to Disneyland’s innovation in ride design. The attraction offers a riveting journey through a house with 999 happy haunts, blending eerie sights with captivating narratives.

What makes it even more special are the seasonal overlays, such as the popular Halloween and Christmas themes, which transform the ride experience entirely, catering to first-time visitors and seasoned Disneyland fans looking for something new and exciting.

Other Attractions

New Orleans Square Railroad Station

The New Orleans Square/Frontierland Station is a charming stop on the Disneyland Railroad. It’s your gateway to a scenic 18-minute journey aboard an authentic steam-powered train that circles the entire park.

The station features a functional water tower, vintage architecture, and a loading platform where guests can board the train.

Currently, the station is temporarily closed for refurbishment. However, the Disneyland Railroad continues to operate, making stops at all four stations: Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland.

Even though guests can’t enter or exit at New Orleans Square, the trains still stop there. Why? The locomotives need to take on water, and maintaining evenly spaced trains on the line is essential.

Walking Paths and Scenic Views

If you’re anything like me, finding a peaceful spot amidst the whirlwind of theme park excitement is a slice of heaven. Disneyland’s New Orleans Square offers just that with its beautifully themed alleys and paths. We’re talking about where you can take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a mint julep, and enjoy the scenic views that make you feel like you’ve stepped right into a charmed little corner of New Orleans. These walking paths are perfect for guests looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the park.

Interactive Experiences

Besides the visual and shopping feats, New Orleans Square is brimming with interactive experiences designed to engage guests of all ages. Ever dreamed of being part of a story? Well, here’s your chance! Opportunities to interact with skilled performers or participate in a pirate initiation ceremony add a layer of excitement and personal involvement.

Entertainment

In the heart of New Orleans Square, Disneyland, the streets come alive with many live entertainment choices, each crafted to transport you straight into the lively spirit of New Orleans’ rich culture. From the jazzy tunes that fill the air to thematic performances, here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer.

  • The Royal Street Bachelors: These tuneful troubadours can often be found at the French Market, serenading guests with Dixieland jazz – a delightful nod to New Orleans’ musical heritage. Grab a beignet, sit back, and let their melody sweep you off your feet.
  • The Bootstrappers: A rowdy band of pirates, The Bootstrappers, adds a splash of adventure to New Orleans Square. Their sea shanties and tales of the high seas are engaging and humorous, perfect for those eagerly exploring the pirate-themed corners of the park.
  • Street Magicians: Adding a dash of mystery and wonder are the street magicians that roam New Orleans Square. They captivate young and old audiences with tricks and illusions inspired by the magical ambiance of the area.

Restaurants

Table-Service Restaurants

Blue Bayou Restaurant:

This restaurant offers a unique dining experience as it overlooks the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Guests love the ambiance that mimics a never-ending nighttime, complete with the soft crooning of crickets. Signature dishes include the Monte Cristo Sandwich and the Jambalaya.

Café Orleans:

With a quaint outdoor seating area, this spot offers views of the bustling Square while guests enjoy their meal. The Pommes Frites and the Monte Cristo Sandwich are standout offerings, alongside their famous Mickey-shaped beignets.

Quick-Service Food

Royal Street Veranda

Located under the dreamy drapes of New Orleans Square, Royal Street Veranda serves up quick and comforting meals in soups, stews, and the guest-favorite gumbo in a sourdough bread bowl. Its quick service and cozy outdoor seating make it perfect for a satisfying meal.

French Market Restaurant:

For those of us seeking a bit of brisk dining without sacrificing flavor, the French Market serves up New Orleans-style dishes like the Corn Chowder Soup and Jambalaya. The outdoor seating area is perfect for people-watching.

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Mint Julep Bar:

Min Julep Bar is actually nestled within French Market Restaurant’s patio. Not your average quick-service spot, the Mint Julep Bar is famous for its non-alcoholic Mint Julep and the iconic Mickey-shaped beignets dipped in fruit-flavored sugars. It’s the go-to place for a quick snack and a refreshing drink.

Tiana’s Palace

Mosey on down to Tiana’s Palace where family and friends gather around for a delicious Southern meal inspired by Creole and Cajun cuisine!

Shopping

  1. Pieces of Eight:

    • A treasure trove for pirate enthusiasts! Explore pirate-themed merchandise, jewelry, and clothing.
    • Must-See: Look out for unique pirate hats, skull-and-crossbones accessories, and ship-inspired trinkets.
  2. Port Royal Curios and Curiosities:

    • Nestled within the French quarters since the late-19th/early-20th century, this shop emerges as a peculiar establishment. It boasts a specialization in the sale of the peculiar and arcane.
  3. Cristal d’Orleans:

    • For personalized crystal and glass, visit this elegant shop. Consider getting a custom glass souvenir.
    • Unique Finds: Crystal figurines, glassware, and delicate ornaments await.
  4. Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie:

    • Step into a fragrant world. Perfume gifts, scented candles, and luxurious bath products await.
    • Recommendation: Treat yourself to a Disney-inspired fragrance or a beautifully packaged gift set.
  5. Eudora’s Chic Boutique:

    • Shop handsome home goods, stylish apparel, accessories and more at this beautiful bayou boutique.
  6. La Mascarade d’Orleans:

    • Explore an array of distinctive Pandora jewellery at this charming store with a French flair.
  7. Parasol Cart (former):

    • The parasol cart hasn’t made a comeback since the Disneyland Resort reopened in 2021. There are no current plans to bring back this delightful souvenir stand.
  8. Le Bat En Rouge (former):

    • This store celebrates the darker side of Disney. Find “Nightmare Before Christmas” and Disney villains merchandise.
    • Favorites: Check out spooky apparel, collectibles, and exclusive villain-themed items.

Characters to Meet

Meeting characters in Disney Parks adds a special touch to your visit, making those moments memorable and sometimes pretty adorable. With its unique atmosphere, New Orleans Square hosts various characters that bring the area to life. Here’s a quick guide on who you might meet and how you can make the most of these encounters:

Character Location Tips Timing Tips
Jack Sparrow Near Pirates of the Caribbean Early morning or during parade times
Princess Tiana Along the riverfront Mid-morning or late afternoon
Dr. Facilier Wandering in the streets Evenings are best

Jack Sparrow: Naturally, you’ll find Captain Jack Sparrow roaming near his beloved attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean. Catching him early in the morning or when parades are happening can significantly reduce wait times for a photo-op.

Princess Tiana: The star of “The Princess and the Frog” is often found by the riverfront, adding to the authentic New Orleans vibe. Visiting her in the mid-morning or late afternoon might give you a golden-hour glow that’s perfect for pictures.

Dr. Facilier: For those who lean a little more toward the intriguing villains of Disney, Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog” wanders the streets of New Orleans Square. Evening times usually work best to meet him, adding an extra mystique to your encounter.

Here are some pointers for ensuring those meetings are just as enchanting as the characters themselves:

  • Keep an eye on the Disney Parks app for real-time updates and locations of characters in New Orleans Square.
  • Characters’ appearances might change based on the season or events, so planning and flexibility can go a long way.
  • Always have your camera ready, but asking for a PhotoPass photographer can sometimes capture those precious moments in the best light.
  • Lining up about 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time can improve your chances of meeting them without a long wait.

Striking up a conversation with your favorite characters or asking for an autograph can make the experience even more memorable. Go with the flow, let the magic of the place guide you, and who knows? You can have the most delightful conversations and create memories that last a lifetime.

Map

Attractions

  • 1 Pirates of the Caribbean
  • 2 Haunted Mansion
  • 3 New Orleans Square Railroad Station

Dining

  • Table-Service

  • A Blue Bayou Restaurant
  • B Café Orleans
  • Quick Service

  • C Royal Street Veranda
  • D French Market Restaurant
  • D Mint Julep Bar
  • E Tiana’s Palace

Shopping

  • F Pieces of Eight
  • G Port Royal Curios and Curiosities
  • H Cristal d’Orleans
  • I Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie
  • J Eudora’s Chic Boutique
  • K La Mascarade d’Orleans

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