Hey there Disney family! Well, another trip has come and gone and the countdown is on for the next one! My mom and I just returned form our trip to Walt Disney World and our stay at Port Orleans Riverside. This was my first stay at Port Orleans Riverside and also my first stay at a moderate resort. Having gone in, not knowing what to expect I am ready to give an overall review of my stay!
Port Orleans Riverside is a sprawling moderate resort on Walt Disney World property. There are a number of buildings sitting on these grounds, all connected by a path that runs along the river of both Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter. If you are staying at either Riverside or French Quarter you have access to all amenities at both resorts including the pools.
The buildings of Port Orleans Riverside are modeled after southern plantations with lush gardens and greens, water features and columns. I called prior to our trip to request a room close to the main building as my mom has trouble walking long distances and I wanted to limit that walking as much as possible, especially knowing we would be walking long distances in the parks. Ideally, I wanted a room in Oak Manor but after speaking to a castmember I was told that those rooms are mostly upgraded rooms and we had reserved a standard room with a garden view.
Our building was Acadian House, the third building from the main building and located just off the North bus depot. There are several bus depots located around the resort because it is so large. this was a huge bonus and a great amenity that was offered to guests to cut down on the walking and the lines to get on the busses.
We checked in around 2 pm (check-in is at 4) and our room was not ready. We had used Disney’s Magical Express so we didn’t have our suitcases, just our carry on items. We dropped off items we didn’t need at concierge and then headed out to check out the resort.
Connected to the main building is the gift shop called Fulton’s General Store. This is a really large gift shop that has a wide variety of merchandise. Beyond that, down a hallway is the River Rooost. This is a casual service restaurant with drinks and small plates.
Boatwright’s is the sit down restaurant at Port Orleans Riverside. If you are looking to dine here during a busy time, be sure to make a reservation. Reservations are not that difficult to come by for this place but are highly recommended just to be sure. Southern cuisine including Jambalaya, Etoufee and cajun catfish are on the menu and also American classics like BBQ ribs and prime rib. The theming in this restaurant includes a giant skeleton of a wooden ship and is cozy with lots of exposed beams. Boatwright’s is only open for dinner and opens at 5 pm nightly.
Next up in terms of dining is the Riverside Mill Food Court. This is the main dining establishment for this resort and includes desserts and pastries, pizza, salads and sandwiches and more for lunch, dinner and snacks and also serves breakfast including pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and waffles.
The pool here at Riverside is called Ol’ Man Island and you cross a bridge form either the path along the river or from the main building to get here. The pool bar is called Muddy Rivers and serves specialty cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks. There is also a pool at Port Orleans French Quarter and it is only a short walk to get there and as I mentioned before, you have access to both!
One important thing to remember when staying here, is that there is no fitness center. I know a lot of people don’t hit the gym in Disney, especially with all of the walking, but for those, like me, who do, remember that there is no fitness center at Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter so if you do want to get your fitness on, be sure to bring your running shoes and hit the trail that connects the two resorts. It is a 1.7 mile trail that follows the river and makes a loop around both Riverside and French Quarter.
I got up each morning we were there and ran along the trail. The first morning, I woke up at 6:45 am but it was still pitch black outside so I waited until 7:20 to go for my run. Typically, when hubby and I travel, I have to get up at 6 am or earlier to workout every morning so that we can get to parks at rope drop but my mom and I got to the parks later than I normally would so I was able to get that run in. If you are not open to running in the dark then perhaps a hotel room workout would be a better idea for you when staying at this resort.
We weren’t on the Disney Dining Plan this trip, we didn’t plan on eating enough (Except at Flower and Garden), to justify it, so we would have coffee and a couple clementines at the hotel before taking off for our day.
As mentioned, our room was a standard room. I will say, that I think it is about time for a renovation to the standard rooms; ours was dated but it was really just a bed for us and we didn’t spend much time there so it did the job but I hope that these rooms are on the list for renovations. We had two Queen beds that had cute portraits on the headboards and that was probably my favorite part of the rooms.
From our room, each morning, we would head to the North bus depot to catch the bus to whichever park we were headed. Each bus stopped at each of the depots before heading to the parks and they were all full busses by the time we were off the the parks. The busses to each park would run about every 15 minutes but a different bus was stopping by every few minutes headed to a different park. It was about a 10-15 minute ride to Epcot and Magic Kingdom and just a bit longer than that to Animal Kingdom.
If you are wanting to head to Disney Springs or just looking for a nice relaxing thing to do; hop on a boat! The boats leave for Disney Springs and also stop off at French Quarter from the back of the main building. So, if you enter the main building through the front entrance go straight back, around to the right of the water and it will be right there at the bottom of the ramp.
The boat ride is awesome. Super relaxing. If you have read our previous blogs on resort hopping, you know that I love the boats and this boat was no exception. It’s about a 20 minute trop to Disney Springs and you pass by Saratoga Springs and the Treehouse Villas and you get to see a lot of the property! Highly recommend it!
All in all, I would stay at Port Orleans Riverside again! I love the property but as I told hubby, the outside was better than the inside for our particular room but that is fine because we really only used the inside as a bed and a shower. If you are looking for a moderate resort to stay at definitely check this one out. There really seemed to be a lot of adults at this resort. Of course, there were families, it’s Disney but a ton of adults were staying here.
I spoke to a lot of people on the busses and around the resort and so many of them told me that this is their favorite moderate resort. If you are able , try to get the royal rooms. They are upgraded rooms and everyone I talked to or have talked to previously about this resort agrees that is the way to go.
Well, that’s it for this post. I hope that you enjoyed hearing about my experience at Port Orleans Riverside and I hope that you will stop by again for more blogs! Blogs post every Tuesday and Thursday and I would love your feedback on them! Other ways that you can follow along with For The Love of The Mouse is on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram at ForLoveOfMouse.
What is your favorite moderate resort? Have you stayed at Port Orleans Riverside? What did you think? I would love your feedback and thoughts on Port Orleans Riverside!
Thank you for stopping by; we’ll see ya’ real soon and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse!