Now that I've stayed here, I'm really surprised by the negative reviews.
Yes, this is a VERY large resort. VERY! LARGE! If you're out of shape and can't walk far, this is not the resort for you. Spend your money and stay at the Contemporary. However, I was not bothered by the distance or the walking. This is Walt Disney World. You're GOING to be walking a LOT, you're going to be standing in lines, and you're going to be waiting. It's just the reality of this place. If you prepare yourself for that, you won't be bothered by it when you get here.
Luckily for myself, I was placed in Building 15 which is conveniently located near the main lobby and dining hall. My friends were upgraded to a Royal Room and were in a different area, but it was not a far walk from the dining hall either. The grounds of the resort are absolutely beautiful and immaculately maintained, in true Disney fashion. A river runs through the middle, and there is daily ferry boat service to and from Downtown Disney. Check-in was quick and easy and the staff were very friendly.
My room was in Alligator Bayou and it was nicer than I thought and very clean. I'm not sure who it was who said the bathroom vanity area is only separated by a curtain, because mine was in the bathroom itself which of course was a separate room with a locking door. Perhaps the rooms are varied? I found the bed to be very comfortable, and since I was staying by myself in a room with a King Bed, I had plenty of room for storage for my luggage/clothes/etc., but I could see where it would be lacking if you were stuffing 4 people in one room. I loved the fact that my room had a ceiling fan! That was the highlight of my stay, haha.
My friends' Royal Room was beautiful and had such unique touches to it!! I would love to stay in one of those next time.
We ate in the Riverside Food Mill (otherwise known as the dining hall) for all of our breakfasts and one dinner. At dinner, they have a create-your-own-pasta station which is AWESOME!!! I had penne pasta with alfredo, loaded up with lots of veggies and chicken. It was huge and delicious! I highly recommend that. Breakfasts are typical Disney breakfasts. Yes, there were lines at the cashiers, but nothing unusual and again, very, VERY typical for Disney. Like I said above, this is WDW. Lines and waiting are STANDARD here. Prepare yourself for it. That being said, I never waited for more than just a few minutes at breakfast. We arrived at breakfast at around 7:30, as we wanted to get to rope-drop at the parks. It was crowded, but nothing terrible. We always managed to get a table.
The bus stops can get a bit annoying at this resort because there are a few of them. The main one is usually crowded so we opted for the East Depot which was not far from my friends' Royal Room. We got on the buses every time and always got a seat. We didn't have to stand for the entire time. The buses are crowded and they stop at multiple stops within the resort, so driving can be easier if this is something that bothers you. However, you'll deal with the Disney transportation "issues" at every resort, not just this one. It is what it is.
All in all I loved this resort and would stay here again. I didn't love it as much as I loved Animal Kingdom Lodge, but then again, that's the difference between the moderate resorts and the deluxe resorts. ;)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside was inspired by rural Louisiana. You'll feel welcomed back to a time and place where everything seems to move a little slower and simple pleasures flourish like magnolia blossoms in the springtime. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Orlando Port Orleans Resort
- Port Orleans Disney Resort
- Riverside Disney
- Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Port Orleans Hotel Disney
- Port Orleans Resort Riverside
- Port Orleans Resort Disney
- Disney Port Orleans Hotel
- Disneys Port Orleans Resort Riverside