A Review of the Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Take a cruise down the Sassagoula River, sing along with “Ye Haa” Bob in the River Roost Lounge, or treat your princesses to a Royal Room - all of these are great ways to make the most of a stay at the Port Orleans Riverside.
View across the Sassagoula River - Photo: www.PortOrleans.org
The Port Orleans Riverside is one of two resorts themed around New Orleans and the Old South. Riverside and her sister resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, are inspired by New Orleans, Cajun culture, and the Mighty Mississippi. They are considered “Moderate” Disney resorts, which means they are in the mid-range of Disney pricing. With over 2,000 rooms Riverside is about twice as big as French Quarter. At Riverside, the rooms are spread out among several buildings that surround the main building and pool. If a short walk for morning coffee is important for you, I recommend a Preferred Room in one of the closer buildings. I wouldn’t recommend paying more for a room view, but I would always pay a little more for less walking at Disney. There is a small upcharge for the Preferred Room, but there is value there, especially in the hot Orlando summers!
Port Orleans Riverside feels a bit like you have stepped into the pages of The Adventures of Huck Finn. The resort vibe is relaxed, you are “down south”, and life moves a little slower here!! The Sassagoula River is the heart of the resort and everything is themed around this slow winding river, this includes:
‘Ol Man Island - the feature pool (and 4 other quiet pools)
Muddy Rivers Pool Bar and Grill
Boatwright’s Dining Hall (the table service restaurant)
The Riverside Mill (quick service food court)
The River Roost Lounge - sing along with “Ye Haa” Bob on the piano as he leads the crowd in songs everyone is sure to know and love!
Fulton’s General Store - everything from bandaids to bourbon to brownies can be found here
The Mansions - a section of guest room in larger plantation mansion style buildings
Alligator Alley - smaller buildings of guest rooms, these rooms all sleep 5
Complimentary boat shuttle to Disney Springs and Port Orleans French Quarter
The Port Orleans rooms are divided into two sections: The Mansions and Alligator Alley. The Mansions are home to the Royal Rooms which sleep 4. The rooms in Alligator Alley can accommodate up to 5 adults, with 2 queen bed and fold down twin bed. The rooms are all 314 square feet, and feature a mini-fridge, coffee maker, a small table with two chairs and a large bathroom featuring two sinks and a tub shower.
The most unique feature of the Port Orleans Riverside rooms is ability to book a “Royal Room”. These are specially decorated rooms with Princess touches throughout, including a note from Tiana. I was lucky enough to be upgraded to a Royal Room on a recent stay and the room was very cute and would be exciting for any young princess. My Tip: If you reserve a Royal Room this will secure you a location equally as close to the lobby as the Preferred Rooms, plus you get a little more “Disney Magic”.
My Tip: If you reserve a Royal Room this will secure you a location equally as close to the lobby as the Preferred Rooms, plus you get a little more “Disney Magic”.
Even the Coat hangers are adorable!
Princess Tiana will leave you a note when you arrive!
The food court at Riverside was easy for breakfast, and you can be guaranteed to get your Mickey waffles! The lunch offerings were typical American fare with burgers and pizza, but also “local” favorites like a Cajun Chicken sandwich, fried green tomatoes and okra.
Boatwright's, the table service restaurant, has not had great reviews lately, so I would recommend a night at Disney Springs instead, there are so many restaurants there that you can eat someplace different every night, most of which are on the Disney Dining Plan.
The pool bar, Muddy Rivers, features a surprisingly good turkey club with hand carved turkey on thick multigrain bread with fresh bacon, lettuce and tomato. You can also get ham and cheese on a croissant or a chicken salad sandwich. Each entree comes with a drink on the dining plan, and when you are in New Orleans, you should probably try the Hurricane! The drinks are the real stars here, but it’s super easy to walk the 50 yards to the Riverside Mill for dozens of lunch options you can bring to the pool.
The food at Riverside was good, but if you are looking for a truly interesting menu, take the 3 minute boat ride to the French Quarter. At the Sassagoula Floatworks food court you can get Jambalaya, Gumbo, Shrimp Po’ Boys, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy and even Mickey shaped beignets! The jambalaya was yummy and beignets were authentically light and fluffy. If you are there after 4pm you can also sample a “boozy beignet” with an infusion of your choice of liquor, I guess I will have to go back again since I was there for lunch!
I also got one of my favorite salads anywhere at Disney - the Sassagoula Power Salad, featuring Shredded Kale, Quinoa, Dried Cranberries, Mandarin Oranges, Red Onions, Walnuts, and a citrus vinaigrette with choice of chicken or shrimp. A much needed infusion of vegetables after eating my way around the world at the Epcot food and wine festival! (More on that in another post)
I would definitely stay here again! I really liked the whole feel of the resort, the pool was relaxing, the room was comfortable and the resort was close to all the parks and Disney Springs!