Port Orleans Riverside Resort Review
In this review of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Sarah of Moment Mom, introduces us to the charm of an authentic Louisiana themed experience. Join us on the Disney Bayou to learn about the Port Orleans Riverside rooms fit for your prince or princess, the convenient amenities of a Disney moderate resort, and the authentic Bayou cuisine at Boatwright’s Dining Hall.
Introduction to Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans Riverside channels Louisiana in its theming and decor while occupying a convenient space between Epcot and Disney Springs. You can stroll through Magnolia Bend and admire the large mansion style buildings or swing over to Alligator Bayou for a more rural Louisiana experience. At night, you can see and hear horse-drawn carriages ferrying guests around the relaxing resort.
Port Orleans Resort Rate and Room Size
As one of the Moderate Resorts, the price range for a standard room is usually between $199 and $302 depending on your time of travel. If you choose to upgrade to a Port Orleans Royal Guest Room fit for a Princess or Prince, you will pay an additional premium of $50-70 per night.
Port Orleans Riverside is one of the smaller Moderate Resorts, hosting 7 sections and 4 bus stops. This is especially important for your commute time between parks. With a stay at Coronado Springs, Carribean Beach, and Port Orleans Riverside all in one year, I can easily say that Port Orleans Riverside has the shortest wait times for buses and time to get to the parks for the other Moderate Resorts and rivals some Deluxe.
The resort is very easy to get around on foot, with the pool at the center and all food at the main house. Staying in the back corner in the Royal Guest Rooms, it was a very quick 10 minute walk to the main house for food or even quicker to enjoy the main pool on Ol’ Man Isle.
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With a stay at Coronado Springs, Carribean Beach, and Port Orleans Riverside all in one year, I can easily say that Port Orleans Riverside has the shortest wait times for buses and time to get to the parks for the other Moderate Resorts and rivals some Deluxe.
Port Orleans Riverside Rooms
Port Orleans Riverside has two room options with varying choices for views. We have stayed in both over the course of our Walt Disney World visits, and the Royal Guest Room takes the cake with the theming. However, both are very good Disney Moderate rooms. All rooms are 314 square feet. The bathrooms have a double sink and a standard size bathroom. We found them all to be very clean and well maintained.
You have the choice of several different views/locations while staying at Port Orleans Riverside as well. These come with a slightly increased price as you upgrade your view:
- Standard View – View of the Parking Lot
- River View – View of the River Front
- Garden View – View of the Landscaping, Courtyard or Bayou
- Pool View – View of the Pool
- Preferred Room – Room close to Sassagoula Steamboat Company, Dining, Shopping and Transportation
The Standard Room at Port Orleans Riverside comes with two queen beds or one king bed. You can also request a room in Alligator Bayou that comes with an additional child pull-out/Murphy bed with the 2 queen beds allowing you to sleep up to 5 in a room.
Royal Guest Room
The Royal Guest Rooms are only available with two queen beds and come with special theming. Tiana from Princess and the Frog is the leading princess at Port Orleans Riverside, and there is a large portrait of her along with a letter in the table welcoming you to her resort. You will also find pictures of other Disney Princesses and profiles of the Princes along the walls.
We particularly enjoyed the wallpaper border with all of the Princesses’ best friends like Jaq and Gus Gus from Cinderella. The theming continues in the bathroom with the shower curtain displaying items from Ariel’s treasure trove. The most impressive feature of the room is the headboard. There is a little gold button on the inside. Make sure you have your lights off and you can enjoy a fireworks show in your room!
Be sure to visit Moment Mom for an even more in depth look at staying at a Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
Amenities on Site
As a moderate resort, Port Orleans Riverside, offers the following services and amenities.
- In-Room Celebrations
- Disney’s Magical Express
- Disney Fine Art Photograph
- Online Check-In
- Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Complimentary standard parking
- Onsite Transportation*
- Resort air-line check in
- Mail Services
- Merchandise Delivery
- More…visit Walt Disney World Resorts here for more details on amenities
*see Transportation section for more details on the types of transportation available at Port Orleans Riverside
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A Special Note On Mail Services
Port Orleans Riverside has a well-stocked Sundries shop, Fulton’s General Store, including a mail room. We had a stroller rain cover delivered same day by Amazon to the mail area. There is a $5 Fee, but it was well worth it for a dry stroller! You can also have items purchased in the park delivered to the mail room at the resort for no additional cost. We took advantage of this for some fragile souvenirs we bought in Epcot and it worked great!
One of the great reasons to upgrade to a Moderate from a Value resort is to take advantage of the water slide that comes with the Moderate pools! Ol’ Man Isle sits at the center of the resort and boasts a water slide and snack bar. There are an additional 5 pools, situated in between the different resort sections. While the main pool can get crowded, we found the pools near our resort to be almost empty and great for a non-park day.
Restaurants on site
A central food court, Riverside Mill, serves up several different quick service options. We especially enjoyed the burger options from the grill, including one topped with barbecue! Other options include:
- Pizza and Pasta
- Salads and Soup
- Carving Station
- Specialities with New Orleans inspired food
If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, each of these options will cost you one Quick service credit.
For the best in Disney Food Guides, check out Disney Food Blog 2018 Guides! We download them and screen shot them to our phones so we never miss a snack!
Table Service Dining
Boatwright’s Dining Hall. You should be aware that Boatwright’s is only open for dinner. We made the mistake of trying to get a little more up-scale lunch on our last day only to realize it was closed. Boatwrights stays true to the theming of the resort and serves New Orleans inspired fare like jamabalaya, shrimp and grits, and andouille-stuffed catfish. It is available for reservations via My Disney Experience and will cost one table service credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan. (See full menu here)
Transportation to all of the parks is via bus at Port Orleans Riverside. We found the buses to be right on schedule, which was a change from our experience at some of the other moderate resorts like Coronado Springs. In our experience, the transit times to the parks were:
- Magic Kingdom – 15 minutes
- Epcot – 15 minutes
- Hollywood Studios – 20 minutes
- Animal Kingdom – 25 minutes
One of the big pluses for transportation at Port Orleans Riverside is the boat to Disney Springs. We love taking the boats around, and it adds a fun experience to your visit. The drop off for the buses at Disney Springs still leaves quite a walk to the shops so having the option to be dropped off by boat in the middle of the action was a big advantage for this resort
One of the new perks to staying at Port Orleans Riverside is that it participates in the dog-friendly program. You can bring up to two of your best friends to stay in the room with you. To bring your dog along on your upcoming visit, please call (407) 939-7539
If you spend much time in Disney groups or boards, you will see people rank Port Orleans Riverside at the top or near top of their list when it comes to Moderate Resorts. It earns that that top honor through:
- Well-Maintained Rooms with some fun extras like the Royal Guest Rooms
- Smaller size making walking and getting around the resort a breeze
- Solid dining options
- Good amenities like Ol’ Man Isle
- Shortest transportation times of the Moderate resorts – even rivaling some Deluxe.
Having stayed in several Moderate Resorts during the same year, I can easily say that Port Orleans Riverside was my favorite and a great value!
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