The era of faux newspapers has evaporated from Walt Disney World, but these publications were some of the greatest storytelling and information devices the resorts had. Case in point, The Sassagoula Times, the newspaper provided to guests when they checked in and which supplied them with recreation and dining information, while also feeding into the backstory of both Port Orleans (now known as Port Orleans – French Quarter) and Dixie Landings (now known as Port Orleans – Riverside). The newspaper was a staple throughout the early years of both resorts and while the stories are wonderful, the classified section, with a page each for both Port Orleans and Dixie Landings, is even more of a gem.
On the Port Orleans side of the page you have wonderful advertisements with specifics on Scat Cat’s Club Lounge, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, Jackson Square Gifts, the Landing Marina, Mardi Gras Pool Bar, the Sassagoula Steamboat Co., and the now shuttered Bonfamille’s Café. Story elements include clever puns around blacksmiths (Baudelaire Buckets… everything else “pails” by comparison) and tooth extractions (Dr. Pullsmore, DDS.), as well as more earnest entries for things such as sales of middle aged mules and chimney cleaning service providers.
Flipping the page over to the Dixie Landings section, you have similar advertisements for actual activities and establishments of the resort, including Boatwright’s Dining Hall, Dixie Levee Marina, the Fishin’ Hole, Colonel’s Cottom Mill, the Sassagoula Steamboat Co., Fulton’s General Store, the Muddy Rivers Pool Bar, and Cotton Co-Op Lounge. Reading through the list, it’s fairly clear why some of these names, including the resort itself, needed to be changed. Moving over to the humorous side of the classifieds there are you weather predictors (Noah Vail) and a whole host of puns from Fulton’s General Store (licorice sticks, lye soap flakes, and cast iron sinks). There are also the more straightforward entries for timber hoisters boat building or the warning to pet owners about a runaway alligator.
Both sides, however, feature a cleverly disguised posting featuring someone from a well-known brand other that Disney. From Port Orleans is the 10 Great Gator Recipes, which will all more than likely make the alligator meat taste like chicken. These recipes come from none other than the Colonel & Mrs. Sanders. I wonder if one of the recipes is for 11 secret herbs and spices for fried gator? Meanwhile, over in Dixie Landings, a poundcake has been lost and the baker is seeking to know whether or not she needs to bake another for the birthday celebration. The baker is Mrs. Crocker, which makes me question if her first name isn’t Betty.
Peruse the remaining of the classifieds for yourself at your leisure. What sticks out, makes you remember something you had forgotten about either resort, or makes you giggle?