Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

April 1, 2011 by DisGuruMom

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

As a family of five, we have fewer resort options – especially affordable resort options – than the typical four-person family. The one resort that best meets our needs for sleeping space with a below-deluxe price tag is Port Orleans – Riverside. Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, and the non-suite Coronado Springs rooms only allow 4 plus one child under 3 in a crib. Riverside, however, allows 5 plus the additional child under 3.

We have stayed at POR 3 times over the years – in 1995 as a couple when it was called Dixie Landings and twice in 2010 as a family of 5. Oddly, the rooms at Riverside are no larger than rooms at the other moderates. And are in fact smaller than those at CBR. However, the rooms in POR’s Alligator Bayou section include a trundle bed under one of the double beds which accommodates one extra person (king rooms are also available but do not have trundles).

Aside from the trundle bed, the guest rooms have the same layout whether in the rustic Alligator Bayou area or the stately mansions of the Magnolia Bend area of Riverside. Only the decor differs. The rooms include a king or two double beds, a curtain to partition off a dressing area near the sinks, a bedside table, a bench, a small refrigerator, a table with two chairs, and an armoire housing a TV and drawers for storing clothes. There’s also a rod for hanging clothes as well as an ironing board and iron in the sink area. All rooms open to an outer walkway rather than an interior hallway.

The resort is situated along the Sassagoula River next door to its sister resort Port Orleans French Quarter. The two resorts share transportation including buses to the theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney as well as boats to Downtown Disney by way of the river. Riverside has 4 bus stops, so no room is too far from one.

There are plenty of things to do without ever leaving Riverside though. Onsite recreation choices include bike and boat rentals, guided fishing trips, playground, the Medicine Show arcade, and evening carriage rides. A kiddie pool, hot tub, and large themed pool complete with water-slide can be found at Ol’ Man Island centrally located in the resort. Two other non-themed pools can be found amongst the guest room buildings.

The front desk, Fulton’s General Store, River Roast lounge, the arcade, and dining can be found in the main building at the front of the resort. Riverside Mill food court serves quick food at multiple stations with a centralized payment area from 6am to midnight. It also offers a “Grab and Go” refrigerated section of pre-packaged items. Boatwright’s Dining Hall is the resort’s table service restaurant serving dinner only.

Some guest room buildings can be quite a hike from the guest service area at the front, so if convenience is a priority, you should have it noted at the time of booking. The maze of walkways around the Alligator Bayou buildings can be confusing, especially at night, so pay attention t the signage around the resort. Also worth noting – Alligator Bayou buildings do not have elevators. If someone in your party will be chained with stairs, request a ground floor room or a room in Magnolia Bend.

We find the theming of this resort to be very rich and homey. The beautiful Magnolia Bend buildings recall elegant Southern plantations with their grassy lawns, fountains, and river front location, while the Alligator Bayou section has the rustic, casual atmosphere reflecting the bayou regions of Southern Louisiana. Landscaping is a highlight of Riverside fro the rose gardens of Magnolia Bend to the quaint bridges and marsh platings found around Alligator Bayou.

Disney has definitely gotten it right with Port Orleans – Riverside. With two distinctly different but equally charming guest room choices, a gracious river front location, and a plethora of activities, there truly is something for everyone. Proximity to Downtown Disney and the parks in an obvious bonus. Riverside is frequently named a favorite of guests, and it is easy to see why.

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