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Port Orleans Riverside Resort

1 rating: 5.0
A Disney World Resort Hotel.

Corporate Description: Disney's Port Orleans Resort — Riverside is a 2,048-room hotel inspired by rural Louisiana that flows alongside the picturesque Sassagoula River.Located near:Epcot theme parkDowntown Disney AreaDisney's BoardWalk AreaWelcome back … see full wiki

1 review about Port Orleans Riverside Resort

The southern charm of Port Orleans Riverside in one-half of my favorite Disney World resort.

  • May 23, 2010
Each resort has its own special character such as the Louisiana-influenced architecture and atmosphere of Port Orleans Riverside. Together with Port Orleans French Quarter these are my favorite resorts at Walt Disney World.

What many people don’t realize is the Walt Disney World is a great place to visit and just relax like any other vacation spot. Yes, the theme parks are an important component of your visit, but not the only thing you should consider doing. There is a lot going on outside the parks, which is why I recommend staying on site and taking advantage of what your resort and other properties offer.
Port Orleans Riverside © Disney

So let’s say you decide to stay at the hotel one day; what is there to do? For Port Orleans, I’ve used a great reference source, The Unofficial Visitors Guide to Riverside and French Quarter, which is the web site. I also want to thank PortOrleans.Org for allowing me to select from their wide variety of photographs as illustrations for my article. So let’s take a walk around the first of two resorts at Port Orleans… Riverside, or POR.

Here is some more information from Only WDW on POR and Moderate Resorts.

Magnolia Bend and Typical Room -

POR is likely the most extensively landscaped of all the Disney Moderate resorts. There are two distinctly themed housing areas, the stately white-columned Magnolia Bend "mansions" and the "cottages" of Alligator Bayou, combined for a total of over 2,000 guest rooms. The Bayou has a rustic look with log furniture and patchwork bedspreads. Magnolia Bend includes plantation home facades, lovely fountains, extensive flora and the lazy river alongside.

Alligator Bayou and Typical Room -

The main building is the Sassagoula Steamboat Company, which like other welcome areas includes the check-in and other customer service and Concierge, a comfortable sitting area, Arcade and Fulton’s General Store. Fulton’s is actually one of the better supplied retail outlets in the entire of WDW. Be aware that this is a very large resort, with a massive island in the middle connected by bridges. If you have special needs, make it clear because you will be doing a lot of walking from one place to the next.

Down the hall you pass the River Roost Lounge. Guests from all over the “World” will stop here on selected evenings just to watch Yee Ha Bob Jackson (check out the video at the story end). This is a real treat for the whole family. Continue walking and you have the Riverside Mill which is a food court, plus the table service restaurant at Port Orleans which is the Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Here’s the dinner menu and the dessert menu. Boatwright’s has a southern shipyard theme with the hull of a large fishing vessel straddling the dining area. It’s a cozy location but with all the accoutrements, it’s quite interesting.
Main Pool and Marina -

Over at the Marina you can rent watercraft from kayaks to pontoon boats, but also bicycles (for use on dry land of course). The boats rent in 30 to 60 minute periods. Mary Ann and I took a Sea Raycer for an hour, travelling up and around the Sassagoula River seeing resorts and Downtown Disney along the way. Bicycles are for one, two and four persons. Here are the current prices .

Speaking of prices, rooms here are the typical wide range of nightly rates, from a low of $149 during weekdays of value season to over $200 a night on the holidays. So it’s important to watch for specials, such as the current 30% off at select resorts from May to August.

Recently I read on the Disney Moms panel web site about The Bayou Pirate Adventure at Port Orleans Riverside that takes place on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30 until 11:30 in the morning. “The pirate cruises are available to children between the ages of 4 and 12. Lunch is included. If you sign your little pirate or pirate princess up to attend, rest assured that he (or she) will have an adventurous time searching for (and likely finding) a slew of treasure. Reservations are required and can be made up to 180 days out by calling 407-WDW-DINE”. The Disney Moms Panel is also a nice resource and fields questions about anything at Walt Disney World .

River Roost Lounge (top) and Muddy Rivers Pool Bar (lower)

Something we’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet is a horse-drawn carriage ride around the pathways of the entire Port Orleans resort. It’s about a half hour for under $50 and provides a very romantic interlude for young people like me and Mary Ann (no comments from my children please). Reservations are required. But if you don’t need the horse to pull you around, there is are nearly 2 miles of walking and running trails around the entire resort and along the river.

Along the Sassagoula River -

Water resources and entertainment is particularly featured at the resort. One is the Water Taxi ride to Downtown Disney. This is a real convenience and lot nicer than taking the bus. The boats are quite frequent from 10:00 am until 11:30 pm. If you finish your shopping after that, you can always get Disney buses back. The boat ride is about 20 minutes each way.

I found a pretty comprehensive video slide show on Port Orleans Riverside, located on the wdwTravelFan YouTube Channel.

The Port Orleans resort is so large in fact, that there’s an island that includes the 225,000 gallon main resort pool, water slide and hot tub. There are also five quiet pools and a Fishin’ Hole where you can rent a cane fishing pole and bait for some catch and release of catfish, blue gill and bass. There is also a playground for the kids. For the more dedicated fish pursuers there is the Guided Bass Fishing Excursion, something that is available at many WDW locations. It’s a two-hour excursion on a 21-foot Tracker pontoon boat. An experienced guide along with your gear is provided for up to four at $260.

This really is a family-friendly resort, because there is something for everyone to do, but also to do together. Another example is the Campfire on de’ Bayou. This is a seasonal activity hopefully repeated in 2010. Sit by the fire, listen to stories, sing songs and burn marshmallows and s’mores behind the Muddy Rivers pool bar. It was $7 a person, and a great way to enjoy the evening sky. Then after, head for the heated pools.

Getting back to the River Roost Lounge, you want to try some of the specialty drinks (if you’re of age, of course). And then check your resort Sassagoula Times newsletter for days and times, but Yee Ha Bob normally performs Wednesday to Saturday at 8:30 pm. Bob also has his own website . Here’s a sample of how Bob entertains and involved his audience from 2008 from the Main Street Cinema by Greg McNaughten .

By the way, PortOrleans.Org has lots of information you will find helpful such as the visitor forum with trip reports. Here’s an index of their entire site , a map of the Port Orleans property, and one of the nicer road maps of WDW to download, a summary of resort facts for planning; and a typical guest room floor plan .

Port Orleans is Mary Ann and mine favorite resort. It’s as simple as that. Have a Disney Day.

A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World

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June 03, 2010
Great Review Bruce! Port Orleans Riverside has always been one of my family's favorite Disney World Resorts. We have probably stayed there more than any other Disney Resort. I really like the theming on the Alligator Bayou side of the resort. You did a great job researching and sharing the great features of the resort, clear down to night time favorite Yee-Haw Bob! Definitely the place to stay if you are looking for a Disney World Moderate Resort.
May 23, 2010
Thanks, we just love this resort and it's sister site French Quarter. Many consider it the best stay at the "World". For the photos, I did rely a lot on, a comprehensive fan site about this location.
May 23, 2010
Great photos and video! You really give an amazing overview of this hotel and it looks like a fabulous place to stay. Thanks for sharing this!
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