Some vacationers really want to stay “on-property” when they make their trek to Orlando. If the Disney Deluxe Resorts are out of your price range, but you’re looking for something a little more special than the Value Resorts, then you’ve landed squarely with the Moderate Resorts. The Moderate Resorts include the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, and the two sections of Port Orleans, Riverside and French Quarter. Here are four reasons Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside might be the best choice for you.
1) Location- Journey to the Deep South
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside was inspired by rural Louisiana. Located next to the beautiful Sassagoula River, Riverside will make you feel as if you’ve gone back in time to a golden age in the Louisiana Bayou, reminiscent of steamboat travel, formal southern garden parties, and mint julips. The guest rooms at Riverside are divided into two distinctly themed sections, or a la Louisiana, “parishes”: the stately white-columned Magnolia Bend “mansions” and the quaint backwoods “cottages” of Alligator Bayou.
The Colonel’s Cotton Mill building houses the resort’s Main Lobby, which resembles a steamship ticket station with soaring columns and high ceiling. Inside the Mill, there’s southern-themed shopping, dining and entertainment. You can pick up necessities at Fulton’s General Store, grab something to eat in the Riverside Mill food court, or sit down for a meal of Cajun specialties at Boatright’s Dining Hall.
If you feel like exploring a little bit, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is just a short walk down the pathway alongside the Sassagoula River. With beautiful Disney landscaping, you’ll think you’ve left the rural countryside and arrived in the big city of New Orleans.
Mouze Kateerz fan Kathy of travel blog Traveling With Teddy stayed at Riverside recently and offered her thoughts on the accommodations. “This picturesque waterfront resort is a wonderfully quiet change from some of the other busier Disney resort hotels. It really feels like you’ve stepped back in time, or at least away from the hectic life you left behind.”
2) Beautiful Restaurants and Children’s Activities
At the Riverside Mill Food Court, with a price range of $14.99 and under, you’ll be entertained by a 32-foot waterwheel that powers a cotton press. Meal selections for the whole family include standards like pizza, fish, and roast beef. You’ll find a more upscale dining experience at Boatwright’s Dining Hall, themed as a restored boat workshop, with meals ranging from $15 to $35.99. For adults looking for a lounge, the River Roost offers beer and specialty drinks under $14.99. On certain nights, there will be live entertainment.
Back to Kathy for the low-down on dining at Riverside. “There are a couple of restaurants and shops on property and plenty of things to do if you want to take a break from the theme parks. The Riverside Mill Food Court serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Depending on what building your room is in, it can be a bit of a walk to Riverside Mill Food Court, but it is a nice quiet walk through the property. We had breakfast there every morning where I enjoyed a Mickey Mouse waffle! For a sit down dinner, there’s Boatwright’s, which serves steaks, prime rib and seafood. Fulton’s General Store carries Disney merchandise, snacks, beverages and sundries.
What sort of food do they have at BoatWright’s Dining hall? Here’s a sample of some dinner menu items with prices:
- Creole Jambalaya $17.99
- Andouille-crusted Catfish $15.99
- VooDoo Chicken $17.99
- Grilled Pork Chop $21.99
- Pasta with Shrimp $19.99
- Pasta with Chicken $18.99
- Blackened Fish Fillet $20.99
- Slow-roasted Prime Rib $27.99
Here’s some dessert items with prices:
- New Orleans Bread Pudding $5.49
- Chocolate cake $5.99
- Bananas Foster Angel Food Cake $7.49
- Butterscotch Creame Brulee $5.99
For kid’s activities, they can play a few video games at the Medicine Show Arcade or go for a swim in one of the pools. Kathy offered these tips, “For recreation, you can swim in one of the many pools around the property, rent bicycles or boats, take a guided fishing excursion, or board a horse-drawn carriage for a romantic ride through the resort.”
One bit of relaxing entertainment you might not think about is a boat ride. Kathy explains, “There is also a riverboat that can take you to the Downtown Disney Marketplace and West End. This tranquil, scenic ride is quite lovely and relaxing, and it stops at both Riverside and The French Quarter. If you get a chance to take the boat back at night, you might see rows of herons lined up on the banks of the river. They wait for the riverboats to churn up the water and bring fish to the surface. It’s a pretty interesting sight to see all these white birds waiting to catch their dinner!”
3) The All New Royal Guest Rooms!
Disney just remodeled, or “re-imagined” as Disney so aptly describes it, a total of 512 guest rooms with a royalty theme for your prince or princess. You’ll feel like you are staying in the middle of your favorite Disney stories, with rooms decorated with your favorite Disney characters like “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Princess and the Frog.” These rooms feature custom drapes and linens and ornately decorated beds trimmed with crystals and gold accents. But the most magical of touches is the headboard, glittering with fiber optic lights, so you’ll enjoy your own personal “fireworks” display.
What you need to know about room pricing.
Here’s a guide to room pricing, using 2012 prices during value season. Obviously prices will be higher during holiday and summer vacations.
- Riverside Standard View, 2 standard size beds, Maximum Occupancy 5, $159
- Preferred Room, 2 standard sized beds, Maximum Occupancy 4, $184
- Riverside Water View, 2 standard sized Beds, Maximum Occupancy 5 $184
- Riverside River view, 2 double sized beds, Maximum Occupancy 4, $189
- Riverside King Bedroom, 1 King sized Bed, Maximum Occupancy 2, $189
- Garden View, 2 double beds, Maximum Occupancy 4, $169
Most of the rooms come with the following options, depending on your location:
- Table and chairs
- Vanity area with 2 sinks
- Ceiling fan Privacy curtain between the vanity and room
- All rooms are non-smoking
- In-room wall safe
- Voice mail
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access
- Iron and ironing board
- Mini refrigerator
- Coffee maker
- Pack ‘n Play playard is available upon request
- Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available
To book your room, you can book online or call (407) WDW-MAGIC or (407) 939-6244. You can check out the WDW Riverside web page with this link.
Potential Drawbacks to Riverside
Kathy points out, “Port Orleans is on Disney property but not directly connected by boat or monorail to any of the theme parks. However, bus service is easily available to take you to all theme parks and water parks. There is also a riverboat that can take you to the Downtown Disney Marketplace and West End.”
This property is more expensive than your Value Resorts and definitely more expensive than staying at some of the off-property hotels. It all depends on what type budget you have for accommodations. If you can swing it, Kathy offers her thoughts on the property. “There’s no question that the next time we plan a Disney World getaway, we’ll book a stay at Port Orleans. For the money, it’s the best deal going.”
A special thanks to Kathy for her review of the Riverside resort and her photographs of the property.
Kathy is a freelance video producer in Orlando. When she’s not working on TV shows, commercials or corporate projects, she’s writing for her blogs, Traveling With Teddy and I Love British TV. She’s been a Walt Disney World season passholder for many years and loves to visit the parks. Her favorite is EPCOT.
Be sure you stop by Traveling With Teddy. Kathy has some fabulous reviews of resorts and restaurants all over the south, and tell her Mouze Kateerz sent ya!
So there’s four reasons ya’ll would love to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside. Thanks for coming along for a Photographical ride, and we hope to see you on a boat ride to Downtown Disney.
See ya soon!
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