I know how stressful it can be to find the perfect resort to stay in that fits you and your family’s needs. If you’re looking for a Disney Resort that has charm and elegance with a rustic feel, then Port Orleans Riverside may be the perfect place for you and your family to stay on your next Disney World adventure.
I had the opportunity to stay at Port Orleans Riverside Resort so I wanted to give you a review on the theming, rooms, food, amenities and transportation so you can decide if this is the right stay for you and your little ones.
Click here to learn more about this resort: Port Orleans Riverside Resort Profile
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is modeled after a Louisiana town along the Mississippi River, with plantation-style ‘mansions’ and bayou-themed guesthouses. Take a short walk along the Sassagoula River to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, known for Southern specialties like jambalaya, gumbo, and beignets.
There’s something for everyone at Port Orleans Riverside – a moderate Disney resort with elegant mansions and rustic retreats . This resort has a charming swimming pool with a slide as well as five quiet pools, quick-service, and sit down food options, and a stocked fishing hole, all set along the Sassagoula River
Port Orleans Riverside Resort is in the moderate category of Disney resorts. I love the moderate resorts. These are typically the resorts I will stay in during my trips. They offer a little more space (which is great when you have to work in the hotel room, I know I know I shouldn’t complain that I have to work from Walt Disney World) and I love the added dining (and drinking) options. This category is best for those who want a little more than just the bare essentials. These resorts have sprawling properties with immaculate landscaping. They add a touch more luxury, slightly larger rooms and some extra amenities, but without the deluxe prices.
I think Disney World’s Moderate Resorts offer more “adult” accommodations, however children of all ages will still enjoy them. They don’t have the big character icons like the values, instead they transport you to a different place with a lot of Disney Magic.
Moderate Resorts offer more dining options, including Table-service and, in most cases, full service bars beyond just the pool bar. A main pool features a water slide and each area has its own quiet pool.
Click here to learn more about Disney’s Moderate Resorts:
Port Orleans Riverside Resort is themed to the Louisiana Bayou. There are two separate sections – Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend.
Alligator Bayou has influences from regions of Southern Louisiana which is why it has lodges that give a rustic feel and are landscaped with pines and iris. Even the bed-heads in each room were hand carved to emulate the rustic nature of the small cottages in the rural bayou regions of Southern Louisiana.
Magnolia Bend offers guest rooms in the Garden District mansion. The theme here is Southern charm and elegance. There are grand staircases on this property with white columns filled with azaleas and magnolias. Better theme if you love florals and grand buildings.
The grounds are beautiful and definitely evoke the swampiness of the Louisiana Bayou.
We stayed in a Royal Room which was princess themed. My three year old absolutely loved it! It sleeps 4 on two queen beds with a curtain separating the vanity area and the toilet and tub/shower combo behind a door. Royal Rooms are in either (look up the two buildings) which are located close to the main building.
It is a moderate level resort so the rooms are slightly larger than the value and there are added amenities such as a waterslide and table service restaurant. It is also one of the few resorts that offer dog friendly accommodation.
There are some rooms in the Alligator Bayou section that sleep 5 with a pullman bed in addition to the two queens. The rooms in Magnolia Bend come in 5 different category options and they are rooms within a mansion.
The food at Port Orleans Riverside is pretty standard. Riverside Mill is fine, serving items like burgers, sandwiches and pizza for lunch and dinner. They do have a few creole specialties like gumbo and shrimp and grits but I would skip it here and head to Port Orleans French Quarter instead. The meal prep here can be extremely slow if you have somewhere to utilize mobile order and place it before you leave your room.
Boatwrights gets terrible reviews but we really enjoy it. It is worth a reservation just for the cornbread and appetizers, we love the Mardi Gras Fritters. Highlight of the menu is All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Chef’s Platter (describe.) I am a huge fan of shrimp and grits but wasn’t impressed with these.
What is great about Port Orleans is that it is a short boat ride from Disney Springs and all the amazing ding they have to offer. My favorite is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ his shrimp and grits (and hummingbird cake) are too die for.
Port Orleans Riverside features six pools, 5 quiet pools located in each individual group of buildings and the main pool Ole Man River. It is a cute water hole theme with a great slide. There is no splash pad here so you have to walk or take the boat to Port Orleans French Quarter, its sister resort. These are the only properties where pool hopping is allowed.
In terms of activities, Port Orleans has more than any other value or moderate resort. Does your family love fishing? There is a catch-and-release bass fishing excursion at Port Orleans Resort that allows fishing lovers to enjoy their stay even more. You can rent out surrey bikes as well. There’s even an arcade to enjoy. And for the little princesses? There’s carriage rides available which is an unforgettable experience.
One activity that is amazing at Port Orleans Riverside Resort is the Yeeha Bob show located in the cozy club area. Yeeha Bob is a local legend who does wacky piano playing and singing of Disney standards and songbook classics. Kids are sure to get a kick out of this one.
Like most of the other moderate resorts, Port Orleans is sprawling which means there are multiple bus stops. Staying in a preferred room like the Royal Rooms makes getting to the bus stop really easy but you still have to go around the resort loop when returning from your destination.
The big perk here is the boat to Disney Springs. It is a nice enjoyable 20 minute ride to access the dining and entertainment district.
The right resort can upgrade your entire Disney vacation—but with more than 25 Disney resorts and hotels to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed! I can help you so you can choose the perfect-fit resort for your family—based on your budget, travel style, and family’s interests.
DOWNLOAD the Guide to Choosing the Right Resort to understand the differences in amenities, how to choose the resort with the right location and which resorts offer the activities you are looking for.
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