We absolutely LOVE Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort in the moderate category. This resort has a special place in our hearts, as it is the resort we enjoyed on our first Walt Disney World trip when the twins were 5. It was going to be a “once in a lifetime” Disney trip….well, that didn’t work out so well, because we went back almost every year since then! Has Disney “spoiled” vacations for anyone else? I am sure we are not the only ones who thought we would be one and done. Having stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort twice, I’d like to share my thoughts on Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort with you!
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is in the Disney Springs area. So, you can take a boat over to Disney Springs for shopping and dining. It is very convenient, and is a nice and relaxing ride. The boat also stops at Port Orleans~French Quarter, which is the “sister resort” of Riverside. That means you can use the pools interchangeably, and it is convenient to walk between the two for food and activities. Both Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter have pools with slides, as well as fun water play areas for little ones. The pools are centrally located at each resort, so you can easily access it from your room and spend a fun day at the pool.
Most rooms at Port Orleans Riverside sleep 4 guests, with two queen beds in each room. However, Riverside has stepped up its game after some refurbishments, and now have rooms that sleep 5 guests. These rooms have two queens and a pull down Murphy Bed. The pull down beds are not designed for adults ~ they are best for a child maybe 10 and younger or so. I do like to request a corner room at the moderate resorts. Why? Because they feel a tad bigger, and they have two nice, big windows. The only thing I don’t like about Port Orleans is there is a curtain and not a sliding door that separates the vanity from the sleeping area. That’s not a deal breaker, but I think a sliding door would be better. Currently, Riverside is undergoing a refurbishment in their rooms, so I am anxious to see if they will update the bathroom area, as they have at Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs.
Port Orleans Riverside is broken down into two areas. The Alligator Bayou Lodges have a more rustic feel to the rooms. The headboards are hickory, hand carved wood, and they have a more “down home” feel to them. This is the area where you will find most of the rooms that sleep 5 guests. Secondly, toward the back side of the resort, you have the Magnolia Bend, where you have the Mansions. These rooms are lighter, more airy, and where you will find the Royal Guest Rooms. These are a tad more “elegant”, think Southern charm. I prefer these rooms, as I just prefer the decor. However, the themes and pull down beds of Alligator Bayou are perfect as well.
You can find Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. The Royal Guest Rooms, which are themed after the Disney princesses, are absolutely stunning. They do only sleep 4, or will sleep 5 if one is age 2 or under. They are fit for the perfect little princess and her family, and are decked out in fine linens, photos of princesses, and twinkling light up headboards. They are gorgeous, and this option makes Port Orleans Riverside stand out to me as a unique experience for a Walt Disney World trip.
Port Orleans Riverside is also “small” in comparison to the other moderates, which is a huge plus for us. The buses run well, in our experience. Depending on the crowds and season, the buses MAY stop at Port Orleans French Quarter, but not always. Also, in the grand scheme of Disney property, the Port Orleans Riverside is somewhat equidistant from the parks, so the bus rides are all about equal.
The dining at Port Orleans Riverside is nice. Boatwright’s Dining Hall is somewhat of a hidden gem, and is the table service location there. Also, you can get beignets at the Port Orleans resorts…..YUM! You will also find Yee Ha Bob, a nightly piano player and singer who likes to entertain guests at Port Orleans Riverside. The Riverside Mill is the quick service location, and they have a great selection of options. I also like this area because it has a lot of seating. I never feel like this area is crowded.
There are so many fun activities at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. First, you can easily take the boat to Disney Springs. This makes a perfect no park day, or activity on arrival day. With so many amazing dining options over at Disney Springs, plus the shopping, you can easily make a day out of it. One thing that I love about Port Orleans Riverside is the ability to book a carriage ride or a surrey ride around the property. This makes a fun Disney “extra” for your family, or if you are on a grown up Disney Trip. Also, over at French Quarter, they have extra Mardi Gras activities around that time of year. These include a parade and a “Mask-erade” Scavenger Hunt. All through the year, you will find Movies Under the Stars, art activities, and even new painting and drawing sessions at Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter.
Port Orleans Riverside is my “go to” recommendation for the Disney Moderate Resorts. Maybe it has a soft spot in my heart, maybe it’s the location, maybe it’s the quaint mansions and quiet atmosphere. Regardless, we love this Disney Resort, and I hope you can call it home on your next Disney trip!