The answer to this question will depend on what you are looking for. I saved nearly 50.00 a night to stay at Riverside and I will share the number one issue that others have shared turned out to be right on the mark. Riverside is truly a giant property, which means you may have to do some extra walking to get to your room or to the main lobby/restaurant/pool area. It's also true that if you will be relying on the Disney Transport bus system, you will need to be more patient, as there are four stops on this property. The first stop is by the main lobby and three more to follow, before the bus will head out to the parks. Now if you have your own car and want to utilize this service, I would totally suggest driving over to the French Quarter and parking in front of their one and only bus depot. This turned out to be quite a time-saver, as you board the bus and you are one your way to the park. When we returned, we just walked over to our car and drove back on over to the Riverside. This proved to be a good plan, as the first day we waited for a bus at the Riverside and then had to go to three more stops before heading to the park. Plus when the bus returned, it actually stopped at the French Quarter first and then all of the Riverside stops. Again, Riverside is big, so the closest bus stop may be a little bit of a walk for you.
OK...if you are still interested, then this is a great resort! We stayed in the Alligator Bayou Lodge 39 and the rooms were updated and very clean. As others have shared, there are no elevators, so being on the first floor was actually a nice feature. It's also nice that the first floor is up a few steps, so you aren't completely on the ground level. If you can, request a corner room, so that you get the extra window, as it did add some nice daylight to room. The only noise we ever heard from above was the sound of a flush (in the morning) but honestly, it was not a very big deal. The beds were quite comfortable and the room even had an extra trundle style bed that pulled down from the wall. I traveled with my wife and two boys (9&6) and there was a quite pool right outside our unit. Of course the neatest pool was the main one...that had a water slide and plenty of activities going on for the kids.
The property is nicely maintained and the landscaping truly makes you feel like you are down by the riverside! Great views of the river are available throughout the property. We ate many meals on-site at their food court and I found them to be reasonably priced and of an acceptable quality. There is a gift shop in the lobby that has snacks, toiletries and all kinds of other goodies and I must say, I thought their prices were reasonable as well (for the snacks that is).
The previous trip we took we stayed at the Yacht Club, which has such an ideal location that we knew that this one would be different. Even though it was not as nice, it was still a great trip! I love that Disney Resorts let you check in as early as your room is ready, in this case 11 AM. They also let us check-out at 1 PM. Had we arrived at 9AM, they would let you check-in too, as long as your room was ready. That is some great service! :)
So, back to the original question, was it worth it to save the money and say at Riverside instead of the FQ? For us it was. FQ is a smaller property, so less walking, but that didn't ruin this trip for us at all. Considering how much walking we did in the theme parks, the extra mileage put on at the resort was not a big deal for us. Truthfully, aside from that issue, Riverside is truly a great value and nice property. Their food-court area is much larger and the dining area is much more comfortable.
If you are torn between the two, the deal breaker is the size of the property and your tolerance for walking! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover a place where simple pleasures flourish and Southern hospitality abounds. From the stately white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend to the quaint backwoods cottages of Alligator Bayou, delight in this picturesque Resort hotel that evokes the romance and tranquility of the rural Louisiana Bayou. ... 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