We have stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside in Walt Disney World a few times over the years. In this article I am going to share with you my review of this Disney World Resort.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is a moderate level resort in Walt Disney World. It draws in the themes of a rural Louisiana port city that is along the Sassagoula River.
The resort is beautiful with so much to see and do. It is one of my favourite Disney World resorts because of the themeing and the activities that are offered.
Here I share my experience with the acomodations, pools, activites, transportaion and eating at Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside resort.
Riverside is divided into two themed sections, the Alligator Bayou (bayou) and the Magnolia Bend (mansions), we have stayed in both sections of this resort and love them both in their own unique way.
Magnolia Bend Mansions
The mansions of Magnolia Bend are surrounded by large, perfectly manicured lawns and beautiful gardens.
The impressive mansions are situated in all their stately splendour along the Sassogoula river.
Their are two quite pools (pools without water slides, and usually less busy and therefore more quite than the main pool) situated between the mansions.
When we stayed in the mansions, we stayed in a Standard Royal Guest Room. The rooms fit up to four guests with the option of an additional child under 3 in a playpen. We were a party of eight and so we got two rooms with connecting doors.
The room was decorated with artwork featuring Tiana and her royal visitors, the bed coverings and drapes created a luxurious “royal” experience, and our favourite feature was the headboards of the ornate beds that had fiber optic special effects that when you pushed a button it looked like shooting stars.
The room was beautiful, the kids loved the fiber optic headboards, and it really placed you in the Disney princess magic.
Alligator Bayou (bayou)
In Alligator Bayou the paths weave through a rich wilderness of dense forests, small creeks, waterways and rustic buildings each with their own unique design and colour. If you look closely you might even find some small wildlife like turtles and little lizards.
Their are three quite pools in the bayou. These pools were one of the highlights of our last trip here. While the main pool with its waterslide was fun, the much less crowded quite pool, sometimes felt like we had our own exclusive hideaway.
We stayed in a ground level suite with a corner room, the corner rooms have more windows, and I just like the extra light you get there. You can make a request for this when you are confirming your reservation online.
The rooms in the bayou fits up to 5 guests. They have two queen sized beds and a small trundle pull-down bed. Most of the rooms have a connecting door if you are traveling as a larger family.
My kids kept taking turns for who got to sleep on this special trundle bed each night. Although, my youngest kids wasn’t so sure about the crocodile. Scary, I know…:)
The rooms have a very rustic feel with wooden post beds and green plank carpet. The bathroom even has a fish shower curtain. It is very outdoorsy, but themed to the nines as only Disney would do.
When we go to Disney World one of the highlights of our trip is swimming in the pools.
Ol’ Man Island Swimming Hole – Riverside
In addition to the 5 quiet pools located around the guest buildings, Port Orleans – Riverside has a beautifully themed pool with waterslide on Ol’ Man Island.
Themed with a sawmill slide that my kids loved because everyone could go down it with or without life jackets no matter their height. My kids loved this because they are usually to short to go down most waterslides even though they can swim, so this was a new event for them.
The pool did get busy in the late afternoon and early evening, but first thing in the morning this heated pool was an oasis of fun.
Mardi Gras-themed pool – French Side
Because Port Orleans – Riverside is a sister resort of Port Orleans – French Quarters, we were allowed to use the pools and waterslides there too.
We just hopped on the water taxi that connected the two resorts, and were right on the door step of the other pool.
The waterslide at this pool looked really cool with King Neptune riding a sea serpent, but it wasn’t as twisty and turny and the kids only went a few times down the slide before they were board.
Their was alsow a water play area for guest 48″ and smaller, sort of like a splash park with miniture slides. It was closed when we were their and one of my kids was over 48″ and couldn’t go in anyways, which would have been sad.
One of the reasons this is my one of my favourite Disney World Resorts is that their is so much to see and do here.
In addition to all the pools, they have hoarse drawn carriage rides, campfires on de’ Bayou, bike rentals, fishing, and some really fun playgrounds.
One of the highlights of our last trip here was the movie under the stars event, where we sat on the lawns of one of the Mansions and watched the new Disney flick Beauty and the Beast. They even provided the towels to sit on and the popcorn to snack on.
If you are using Disney Transportation to get to your theme park just remember to give yourself lots of time to get there. I always give myself 1 hour before I want to get to the park. Crazy, I know.
Because Port Orleans – Riverside is such a big resort the busing can get a little congested certain times of the day depending on what park you are going too or coming from. If you pick a theme park that everyone else wants to go to that day you might have to wait a little for an empty bus to come by. If you give yourself enough time, then don’t worry, you will get there eventually.
Having said that, we have stayed at a few other resorts in Disney World, and this busing congestion seems to be the problem everywhere. Disney is busy and big and your resorts are busy and big, after all that is why we go there!
Another reason why this resort is a favourite of mine is the transportation options to other Disney areas.
Port Orleans – Riverside has a water taxi that connect it to Port Orleans – French Quarters and Disney Springs.
On our last trip here, we regularly took the water taxi down to Disney Springs for some food or change of scenery.
Sometimes at night when we were at another resort visiting or at Disney’s Boardwalk we would go back to Disney Springs and take the Water Taxi back to Port Orleans – Riverside.
It made for a fun adventure that the kids loved.
Port Orleans – Riverside has a quick serve restaurant called the Riverside Mill Food Court, you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner here.
The selection of food is good with your normal breakfast fare of eggs, bacon, Mickey waffles, make your own yogurt parfait and breakfast bakery items. For lunch and supper their was a wide selection such as pizza, sandwiches, pastas, hamburgers and small snack items.
The food was good for fast food. We enjoyed the make your own pasta bowls and breadsticks, their was lots of food for us to share.
It could get a little congested during breakfast when everyone was trying to get to the parks and at supper when everyone was coming back.
The only part that drove me nuts, was that you have to stand in different line for the different foods you want. So if you wanted a hamburger and pizza you needed to stand in two different lines to get that. This made it take a long time to get food sometimes.
The sit down restaurant in Port Orleans – Riverside is called the Boatright’s Dinning Hall. It servers authentic Louisiana fare like fried green tomatoes, cajun bayou catfish, and fried okra.
We never ate here, so I don’t have much to say about it, other than if you don’t feel like standing in line to get all your food for supper, this might be a nice alternative.
I hope you have enjoyed my review of Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside. I really do love this resort with so much to see and do here. It is a great vacation stop for your next Disney World vacation.
Have you ever stayed here? Let me know in the comments below what you thought about this resort.