Join us for a tour of Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
It's time to explore a resort filled with Louisiana charm, royal guest rooms, southern cuisine and more -- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside. This resort is a moderate resort at Walt Disney World so you will find spacious guest rooms, multiple dining opportunities and an array of recreation and amenities. It is located next door to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter which is just a short walk or boat ride away. When you stay at either of Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts it really is like getting the amenities of two hotels with just one stay. However, in this blog we will only be focusing on the Riverside resort. This is a laid back style resort influenced by Louisiana culture. The reason for its name “Riverside” is due to the Sassagoula River that runs right through the centre of it. The river allows for boat transportation, recreational fishing and it adds to the overall quiet and peacefulness of the resort that allows a nice break from the theme parks. You will notice the resort is quite large and divided into two sections: Magnolia Bend & Alligator Bayou. In Alligator Bayou you will find rustic style lodges, nature trails, hammocks and natural greenery. However, over at Magnolia Bend you will encounter neatly manicured landscapes, massive white column mansions. gazebos and decorative fountains. Both showcasing different Louisiana styles.
As a moderate resort, you can expect spacious guest rooms in a 'motel-style' buildings as the rooms have an exterior entry. No matter which category of room you opt for it will include your basic amenities such as a small table and chairs, mini fridge and coffee maker.
The room categories as Disney Port Orleans Resort - Riverside include:
Standard Room: The standard rooms will be located anywhere throughout the entire resort either in Magnolia Bend or Alligator Bayou. Standard rooms will be available with either a resort view or you can upgrade to a water view providing you with a view of a pool or Sassagoula River.
Preferred Room: The preferred rooms are located in areas that will keep you close to the lobby, pool and dining options for added convenience. Due to their location you will only find these rooms within the Alligator Bayou section of the resort.
Both the standard rooms and the preferred rooms do come with the option of a 5th sleeper as well. Rooms that can accomodate 5 guests can do so with the addition of a pull down child size bed. These beds are about 5 feet long which and are suitable the smaller children in your family!
Lastly, there is one other room category at this resort and it is the most popular especially for those travelling with little princes or princesses.
Royal Guest Room: The story here is that Princess Tiana had invited some royal friends for a vacation getaway and after their stay they left some royal gifts that can be found all over the room. You can find a beautiful frame from Snow White, the footstool from Beauty and the Beast, a magic lamp gifted by Princess Jasmine and so much more. Keep your eyes peeled for hidden princess nods within all the decor in the room. One of the most magical touches in the rooms is going to be the light up headboards. With the push of a button on the side of your bed, you can enjoy your own in room fireworks display. These rooms will be found within those white column mansions in Magnolia Bend.
The Royal Guest Rooms in Magnolia Bend are full of magical touches
As a moderate resort you can expect to find multiple dining options. At Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside you will find:
A Quick Service Dining Location - The Riverside Mill
A Resort Lounge - The River Roost Lounge
A Pool Bar - Muddy Rivers Pool Bar
A Table Service Dining Location - Boatwright’s Dining Hall
There are great dining choices at this resort!
The Riverside Mill: The Riverside Mill is located adjacent to the main lobby and will be where you can find quick meals, grab and go options, the resort mug refill station and more. The resort's Louisiana theming will carry over into the menu offerings here with items such as jambalaya and gumbo. However, you will also find more traditional offerings such as pizza and burgers too! This is where you can purchase your resort mugs as well. The resort mugs are a great way to stay hydrated while spending time at your resort. For one set cost you will be able to refill the mug with soft drinks, coffee or tea at any Walt Disney World resort hotel for a duration of 14 days.
Muddy Rivers: Muddy Rivers is the resort pool bar and therefore, is located in the main pool area. It primarily serves drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic but it has a few small bite options as well. However if sandwiches and pretzels aren’t doing it for you, the Riverside Mill food court is just a short walk away.
The River Roost Lounge: The River Roost lounge is located off the main lobby and similarly to the pool bar it primarily serves beverages. You can also find a selection of appetizers including the Mardi Gras Fritters filled with pimento cheese and served with red pepper jelly. Definitely a must on the Pure Magic Vacations foodie list. On select nights the River Roost Lounge is home to Yee-haw Bob Jackson who puts on quite the show. His musical stylings get the entire crowd singing and clapping along. He has been performing for over 20 years and continues to grow in popularity and for this reason we recommend getting there early to grab your seat!
Boatwright’s Dining Hall: This restaurant is the only table service restaurant located at either of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort hotels. Being located in a southern inspired hotel, Boatwright’s Dining Hall serves up delicious southern style cuisine. Your meal will begin with delicious cornbread and then you can choose one of the many entrees listed on the menu including the “Taste of the Bayou.” This offering is a never-ending platter of the best dishes including crispy Cajun chicken, barbecued beef brisket, mac and cheese and more. Reservations here are encouraged but there is typically a walk up list as well.
Walt Disney World is equivalent to the size of two Manhattan islands and therefore the location of your hotel might be an important factor to you. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside is considered a Disney Springs Area hotel so if you plan on doing some shopping or dining this resort location is perfect for you. What’s great about the location of this resort is the boat transportation along the Sassagoula River. Enjoy a scenic boat ride and be at Disney Springs within 20 minutes! The boat transportation will also bring guests to and from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter if you opt to forgo the walk but want to get your hands on some of their popular beignets!
Taking a ride down the Sassagoula River to Disney Springs is one of the amazing transportation amenities of this resort
However, when visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks the only transportation option available to you is the bus transportation. You can use the My Disney Experience app or the screens located at each bus shelter for guidance on when the next bus is scheduled to arrive. The buses do run continuously throughout the day beginning before park opening until after park closing. Due to the size of this resort there are multiple bus stops so you may want to check which bus stop is going to be closest to you for the shortest walk back to your room after a long park day.
Recreation & Amenities
There is never a lack of recreational options and amenities at the Walt Disney World hotels and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside is no exception. Whether you want to enjoy a run on the jogging trail, some time on the playground or a horse drawn carriage ride around the resort - there are plenty of ways to spend your time around the hotel.
Pools: The feature pool is located in the centre of the resort on Ol' Man Island and is themed around an abandoned sawmill. There you will find a kids splash pool, jacuzzi tub, interactive water components and a waterslide fit for both kids and adults. What’s great about hanging out at the feature pool is the addition of the Disney Recreation Team each afternoon. This team can be found putting on fun poolside activities such as games or making tie dyed items. However, if you would prefer a quieter pool day than this resort also has 5 leisure pools located throughout the resort.
With all these pools, it's easy to add some 'R&R' to your trip itinerary.
The Fishing Hole: A unique recreational offering that you can find at this hotel is The Fishing Hole! You can rent a pole, buy some bait and enjoy some catch and release fishing from this peaceful corner of the resort. Additionally, for those who might take fishing a little more seriously there is the option for bass fishing with a guided catch-and-release excursion from the Riverside Levee Marina.
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides: Both Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside & French Quarter are filled with gorgeous views of the natural landscapes and the river. What better way to take it all in than with a horse drawn carriage ride? The carriages can fit up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 small children. Each ride is going to be about 25 minutes and reservations are definitely recommended as spots can fill up quite quickly.
Bike Rentals: One of the best ways to enjoy the resort's waterfront trails is by renting a bike from the Riverside Levee Marina. You can choose from a selection of regular bikes or surrey bikes. The surrey bike is a great way for the whole family to get involved - it’s all fun and games until it’s time to pedal up a hill! Additionally, the bike trails also double as a jogging trail for those who like to take in the scenery with a leisurely run.
Playground: Located adjacent to the feature pool on Ol' Man Island is the perfect way to let little ones burn off their excessive energy. The resort playground is designed for those Mouseketeers ages 2-12 and offer tunnels, slides and more!
Medicine Show Arcade: One recreational offering you will find at every Walt Disney World hotel is an arcade. The selection of games and offerings may differ from resort to resort but the addition of an arcade is always great for those rainy days or the famous afternoon storm during the summer months!
Campfire on de ‘Bayou & Movies Under the Stars: Another noteworthy recreational offering that is put on by the Disney Recreation Team is the nightly campfire with free marshmallow roasting as well as movies under the stars. At the campfire you can also find s’mores kits being sold for the ultimate marshmallow roasting evening. The nightly movie will alternate being shown at both Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside & French Quarter. In the case of inclement weather the movie will be shown indoors in the Riverside Mill with colouring sheets available for extra fun!
With so many activites around your resort, no wonder your Pure Magic Agent will suggest to add a resort day or two to your schedule!
Fulton’s General Store: As with every Walt Disney World resort hotel you will find a gift shop located off the main lobby. The gift shop will offer a selection of sundries that you may have forgotten to park such as medicine, sunscreen or snacks. Of course no shop on Disney property would be complete without a variety of Disney souvenirs. There is no lack of Minnie ears, Disney shirts, trading pins and more. What’s special about Fulton’s General Store is the selection of Disney’s Port Orlean Resort - Riverside specific merchandise. If you want to commemorate your stay with something to remember it by you can choose from Riverside Minnie Ears, Riverside mugs and bottles, Riverside clothing and more!
With its gorgeous landscapes, wide array of recreational offerings and delicious dining opportunities Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside should absolutely be a consideration for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
Our Pure Magic Vacations agents are ready to help make your next vacation magical and memorable. The magic is calling you, so reach out to an agent today for a no-obligation quote to get started on booking your dream vacation!
Planning magical vacations for families since 2011, Pure Magic Vacations is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Travel Agency - EarMarked Gold Producer.