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Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort Review
There's something magical about the day the #family finds out they're going to Disney World. Excitement is bubbling, curiosity is piqued, and the parents can almost see #relaxation on the horizon. But once you get to #Florida, where should you stay? How about our go-to resort, Port Orleans Riverside?
Port Orleans Riverside is one of Walt Disney World’s moderate resorts – the middle of the road category of hotels owned by Disney.
Hotel Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
Whistler day Trip
Coastal Mountains & Waterfall Experiences
It is a sprawling resort compared to its sister resort Port Orleans French Quarter (my favourite moderate resort).
About Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
There are a little over 2,000 guest rooms which are divided between two oppositely themed sections – Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend.
Alligator Bayou features rustic lodges and buildings with lush foliage and Magnolia Bend buildings features mansions with perfectly manicured lawns, gardens and grand staircases.
There’s six swimming pools on the property – Ol’ Man Island is the main swimming pool which features a saw-mill water slide and hot tub and a 5 smaller pools for those who prefer less noise while swimming or lounging poolside.
There are 4 bus stops to the parks as well as the Sassagoula River Boat that shuttles guests to and from Downtown Disney.
Guests can choose to eat at the Riverside Mill food court, grab a drink or small bites at River Roost Lounge or sit down for dinner at Boatwright’s.
Port Orleans Riverside Review Guest Rooms
Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside can accommodate up to 5 guests (not including a crib that can also be placed in the room) and are approximately 315 square feet.
Standard rooms feature 2 queen sized beds and there are several rooms that have 1 king bed instead of the two. Handicapped accessible rooms are available upon request.
Rooms are decorated to match the section you’re in. Alligator Bayou rooms feature log headboards and rustic looking furniture whereas rooms in the Magnolia Bend section rooms are done in turquoise and gold with more modern furniture and fixtures.
We stayed in one of the Royal Guest Rooms (a princess themed room in one of the Magnolia Bend mansions) during our most recent visit and my husband and I found it to be more comfortable than a Value Resort like Pop Century.
Royal Guest Rooms offer a bit of Disney theming for Disney princess fans without going too overboard.
As with all Disney owned resorts, there’s a hair dryer, in-wall safe, iron and ironing board, table and 2 chairs, mini fridge with complimentary H2O, and Disney soaps and shampoos.
Dining At Port Orleans Riverside
The food is the reason why my husband calls Port Orleans Riverside his favourite resort.
Riverside Mill food court features everything from burgers, fries, sandwiches, soups and a make your own pasta and salad bar.
Portions are huge if you are going the pasta/salad bar route and are a good deal at $10.
The food court is bustling during breakfast and dinner time but fairly quiet during off hours – after 10AM and before 5:30PM.
Boatwright’s, the table service restaurant at Port Orleans Riverside, is often overlooked by Disney visitors but after our first dinner there several years ago we were hooked.
Prime rib and steak are our favourite entrées at Boatwrights and the kids go crazy for the corn bread served before dinner.
Activities & Amenities
Movies Under the Stars and evening campfires are offered every night at Port Orleans Riverside.
Free resort wide Wi-Fi is available including in guest rooms.
There is an arcade and gift shop for guests looking to spend some time indoors.
There are also plenty of outdoor activities including surrey bike rentals, boat rentals, fishing and horse and carriage rides if you’re looking for family friendly activities outside of the theme parks.
As mentioned above, guests can take the bus to the parks or take a relaxing boat ride to Downtown Disney.
Port Orleans Riverside is located just 10 minutes walking to its sister resort Port Orleans French Quarter. If guests are looking for a change of scenery or another dining option, they can get to the French Quarter fairly quickly.
Yeehaa Bob offers nightly entertainment at River Roost Lounge and draws a crowd every day. Most nights it is standing room only. If sing-a-longs are your thing, this is the place to be after dinner.
Port Orleans Riverside is a perfect place for families who are looking for a quiet and well themed and not over the top in your face Disney-fied resort.
Families looking for a little more “character” or Disney theming should consider the Royal Guest Rooms.
Guests who are not fans of walking may not like this resort as it can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes to get to the main building where the food and activities are.
Bus transportation is shared between Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter and thus travel times to the parks vary. We’ve experienced anywhere from 20 to 45 minute bus rides to the park.
The good thing though is that at the South Depot bus stop (right outside the main building) there are computer screens that show the bus schedules and pick up times for each of the parks so you know exactly how long you will be waiting.
Great dining options, proximity and boat transportation to Downtown Disney and relaxed theming is what keeps calling us back to Port Orleans Riverside.