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  • Katie Brittle

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside: A Serene Retreat for Your Magical Vacation

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

Hello, Happily Ever Emporium travelers! We recently had the pleasure of visiting Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from April 3-5 during spring break. While the parks were insanely busy, coming back to this resort was so refreshing because of the calm and relaxing atmosphere. Let us take you on a tour of this beautiful resort, and share our experiences with you!


port orleans riverside

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort Theme

Immersed in the charm of the Old South, the Port Orleans Riverside Resort showcases elegant architecture reminiscent of early 19th-century mansions. The beautifully landscaped grounds feature lush gardens, tranquil trails, and enchanting fountains. Divided into four buildings - Acadian House, Parterre Place, Oak Manor, and Magnolia Terrace - the resort offers a variety of accommodations to suit every guest's needs.

check in at port orleans riverside in disney world

Accommodations

During our stay at Parterre Place, we enjoyed a prime location just across the river from the Sassasougla Steamboat Company, which houses the resort's main restaurants, gift shops, and lounge. The convenient access made late-night food court runs for drinks or food a breeze.

The rooms in the Magnolia Bend buildings boast classic light wood furniture and serene landscape scenes inspired by the rural South, with subtle references to the beloved Disney film, The Princess and the Frog. Guests can choose from standard rooms, 5th sleeper rooms, and the enchanting Royal Rooms, ensuring a delightful stay for everyone.

The Royal Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort
The Luxurious Royal Room

For guests looking to immerse themselves in a magical Disney-inspired experience, the Royal Rooms are just the perfect option. For an additional $60(sometimes this number can vary depending on time of year) per night, these rooms boast stunning decor, prime locations within the resort, and intricate details that will make every princess's dream come true. Gilded swirls adorn the walls, magical lamp gold faucets add a touch of whimsy, and tasseled tapestry curtains frame the windows. The enchanting experience continues with genie lamp sinks and beautiful portraits of Disney princesses and silhouettes of our favorite Disney princes. While the upcharge for these rooms might not warrant choosing this over Disney's Boardwalk Inn or Animal Kingdom Lodge, if you're traveling with children, the Royal Rooms offer an unparalleled Disney experience in a resort that seamlessly blends its elegant theme with the magical world of Disney.


Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort understands the importance of including your furry friends in your magical vacation experience. As a pet-friendly resort, you can bring one or two dogs along for your stay, subject to an additional fee and adherence to specific resort rules. To ensure a delightful and hassle-free experience for you and your pup, familiarize yourself with the Disney Dog Policy for Port Orleans Riverside, which outlines the designated areas for playtime and walks. Your four-legged companion will surely enjoy exploring the charming grounds of this enchanting resort alongside you.

port orleans riverside areas

Another captivating area within the Port Orleans Riverside Resort is the Alligator Bayou, which we didn't have the chance to explore extensively during our visit. This rustic-themed section of the resort transports guests to the Louisiana bayous with its charming wooden lodges, meandering waterways, and lush vegetation. Surrounded by nature, the Alligator Bayou provides a serene and picturesque setting for guests seeking an immersive Southern atmosphere. We hope to spend more time discovering this enchanting area during our next stay at the resort.


Shopping

At Port Orleans Riverside, guests can indulge in a unique shopping experience at the Fulton's General Store. Located near the resort's main lobby, this charming shop offers a variety of Disney merchandise, souvenirs, clothing, and travel essentials. You'll find everything you need to make your stay more comfortable and memorable. For those looking to explore even more shopping options, you can take a leisurely ferry ride from the resort to Disney Springs. This delightful boat trip not only offers stunning views along the way but also brings you to a world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. With countless shops and boutiques, Disney Springs is a shopper's paradise, providing endless opportunities to find the perfect gifts or keepsakes from your magical vacation.


port orleans riverside shopping

Dining

Riverside Mill Food Court

The Riverside Mill Food Court is a quick-service dining location offering a variety of food options. One of our favorites was the delicious shrimp and grits! Though we found the selection and quality to be slightly better at the neighboring Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory in the French Quarter, Riverside Mill is still a great option for a quick meal. Plus, you can always walk to the French Quarter if you prefer their food.


Riverside Mill Food Court

Riverside Mill Food Court
The Riverside Mill Food Court

Boatwright's Dining Hall

Boatwright's Dining Hall is a charming, boat-building-themed table service restaurant at Port Orleans Riverside. The menu features classic Southern dishes that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. It's a lovely spot for a relaxing dinner, and reservations are usually easy to come by.


Boatwright's Dining Hall

Muddy Rivers Pool Bar

Located on 'Ol Man Island, Muddy Rivers Pool Bar offers sandwiches, non-alcoholic drinks, and alcoholic beverages. The covered seating area provides a shady spot to enjoy a quick bite without straying too far from the pool.


River Roost Lounge

River Roost Lounge is a cozy spot to unwind after a long day at the parks. Open from 5 pm to 11 pm, the lounge offers a variety of drinks and appetizers. Enjoy the lively music from Wednesdays to Saturdays. We, unfortunately, ran out of time, but I'll be back in June and will likely try to do a bar crawl. 🍹


Activities

Pools

Port Orleans Riverside offers several pools for guests to enjoy, including the main pool on 'Ol Man Island, featuring a 95-foot-long waterslide and daily activities. Additionally, there are five leisure pools scattered throughout the resort, providing plenty of options for relaxation.


small pool at Disney's Port Orlean's Riverside
Small Pool by Parterre Place


Recreation

The resort offers various recreational activities, such as Movies Under the Stars, horse-drawn carriage rides, bike rentals, and walking trails. There's plenty to do if you decide to take a break from the parks and enjoy a leisurely day at the resort.


horse drawn carriage at port orleans riverside on the canal

Cost

As a moderate Disney resort, Port Orleans Riverside's prices range from $280 to $580 per night, depending on factors such as the time of year and booking promotions. While it might not be our top choice if we were only focused on park time, it's an excellent option if you're looking for a relaxing atmosphere and proximity to Disney Springs.


Transportation

At Port Orleans Riverside, a variety of transportation options are available to make your stay convenient and enjoyable. Disney's complimentary bus service connects the resort to all major theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs, ensuring hassle-free travel throughout your stay. The buses run regularly, typically arriving every 15-20 minutes, making it easy to plan your day around the various parks and attractions. Additionally, for a more leisurely and scenic option, guests can take advantage of the delightful ferry service to Disney Springs. This charming boat ride offers a unique perspective of the resort and its surroundings, as well as a relaxing way to reach the shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. With these convenient transportation options, exploring the magic of Disney World has never been easier.

Port Orleans Riverside Ferry, Water Taxi

Final Thoughts

As I reflect on our stay at Port Orleans Riverside, I can't help but appreciate the convenience and charm of the resort. Staying in Parterre Place was a delight, as it was located just steps away from the quaint pool and the bridge that led us to dining and transportation options. The Royal Rooms were an absolute treat, and the attention to detail left us in awe. Although I would have loved to see more themed food options and a wider variety of desserts at the pastry shop, the overall experience at the resort was soothing and rejuvenating - a perfect respite from the bustling theme parks.


port orleans riverside ferry or water taxi

Choosing a favorite moderate-level Disney resort is still up in the air for me. While I adored Caribbean Beach Resort for its vibrant theme, Skyliner access, and proximity to the Riviera, I must say that Port Orleans Riverside left a lasting impression. Its serene atmosphere and charming surroundings have certainly earned a special place in my heart, and I wouldn't hesitate to return for another magical stay.


port orleans riverside exterior

Interested in booking a stay? Email me at happilyeveremporium@gmail.com!





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