Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is one of Walt Disney World’s Moderate resorts – the middle of the road category of hotels owned by Disney.
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 2000 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 Disney Springs.
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
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 and complimentary H2O 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 a good deal for $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 Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort 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 Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort.
Free resort wide Wi-Fi is available including 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 Disney Springs.
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort 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.
Overall Impressions of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort 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 Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort 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 Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort.
More About Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Address: 1251 Riverside Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8514
Price Range: $$$
Hotel Class: 3.5 stars
Reviews: Over 80% of reviewers rated this hotel Very Good or Excellent
Availability: Click here for rates and availability
Have you ever stayed at Port Orleans Riverside Resort? What did you like and dislike about it?