Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter evokes the “Big Easy” with its blooming magnolias, live Jazz, wrought-iron décor and colorful Sassagoula Fireworks and Food Factory restaurant. When you arrive, Cast Members greet you with Mardi Gras beads to make you feel at home! But perhaps, no one embodies the spirit of Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter and hospitality quite like Arneil, the Doorman at the resort. You’ll recognize him immediately with his purple suit with matching sash and top hat that has feathers protruding on top. He looks quite dapper! He’s there to not just open the door for you, but to greet you and welcome you into his world at POFQ! He’ll even give you some Mardi Gras-colored coins to toss into the lobby’s fountain!
I had the opportunity to chat multiple times with Arneil on a recent trip to POFQ – it was my first stay there and Arneil has become one of my favorite Cast Members of all time! Many of you are familiar with him and can attest to this little charmer!
Arneil has been a Walt Disney World Resort Cast Member for 28 years! He was previously a Doorman at Yacht & Beach Club for 16 years and Wilderness Lodge for five years before settling at POFQ in 2010. Prior to working for the Mouse, he was a Doorman for over 21 years and was also in the Service!
Arneil, a Dutch name based on a street and lane in Edinburgh (England), is of Dutch and German descent, but can greet in many other languages. That comes in handy as a Doorman for Disney’s guests from all over the world! He can speak and write in Dutch and German, in addition to being able to greet guests in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Tagalong, French, Spanish, Hindu, Italian, Polish and Arabic!
An avid reader and bird raiser, Arneil enjoys meeting guests from all over the world. He enjoys talking to guests, making a connection and being able to speak to them in their native language, even if it’s just a hello or good-bye.
As a Doorman at WDW Resort, he’s had the opportunity to meet many celebrities- too many to name! Some of the celebrities that stood out the most for him were Zsa Zsa Gabor, Buzz Aldren and his wife, and author James A. Michener, one of his favorite authors.
We asked Arneil some of his “hints” as well as favorites at WDW:
Favorite resort – POFQ and Yacht & Beach Club, where he got his start.
Favorite park – Epcot. He’s a huge fan of World Showcase!
Favorite restaurant – Arneil loves the Biergarten in Germany!
Favorite attractions – Soarin!, O Canada!, Impressions de France, Reflections of China, all in Epcot.
Tip/Hint – Make sure to go on Kilimanjaro Safaris as early as you can because it’s a completely different experience depending on the time, and don’t forget about Flights of Wonder!
So next time you are at POFQ, make sure to stop by and chat with Arneil! And ask him to recite his favorite quote: “More to be pitied than one who cannot learn is one who refuses to learn.”