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“Loved it so much in February, I had to go back in August!”

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Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Ranked #92 of 341 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Just got back from another trip to this resort. In February we stayed in Arcadia House in a newly renovated room, which was nice. But we were intrigued with the looks of the Alligator Bayou lodges when we were walking past them so we decided to come back and request to stay in one; our second trip in 6 months to Disney! Ok, I'm crazy and will not do this again because of the expense, especially because it included an pricey flight, but life's too short sometimes. We stayed in AB 38 which was a short walk to the North bus stop, and really not a bad walk to Old Man Island, or the food court. Check in took a while, which was surprising on a Tuesday evening, there was only one cast member for a long line of guests. The room was newly renovated and so charmingly decorated. The rug was patterned like wood planking, and the shower stall has heavy faux wood composite. The queen beds have adorable toile bedspreads and are on rustic log frames. There is a pretty privacy curtain between the sink area and the bedroom area. The room was extraordinarily clean. There is a pull out Murphy bed that fits a child up to 5 feet tall, with 3 drawers under it. The room also has a table and 2 chairs, and an ac unit that freezes the occupant of the closest bed - had to cover it with a pillow. The ceiling fan is a nice touch. They give you bar soap and shampoo/conditioner mixture and good quality towels. No lotion or shower gel! The food court and Boatwrights restaurant are excellent with great variety and high quality food. The river roost lounge has a lively entertainer nightly. You can take a boat to downtown Disney, ride a surrey bike or take a carriage ride around the resort, learn to fish, or swim in one of the many pools on property, including the large main pool with slide. They even have movies outside - under the stars. Fulton's general store has a large selection of merchandise and expensive sundries and groceries. No resort specific souvenirs, which is a rare marketing mistake for Disney as far as I'm concerned. The bus service to the parks sometimes shares with Port Orleans French quarter - meh! Bus transportation was ok, but hit or miss. I wish Disney would just add more buses to these routes. It's annoying and maddening to wait for such a long time to be brought back to the resort after a long day at the parks. The wait from magic kingdom is always the longest. But the resort is wonderful. We would go back in a heartbeat.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
6  Thank momtokande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,683 - 5,689 of 8,809 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2012 via mobile

From the moment we stepped into the lobby we had exceptional service from the hotel staff. What made the whole week stay was the upgrad in room. It set the happy mood for the whole family. Overall port orleans location in disney is great, about 10-20mins from the theme parks. The best part was that is was quiet compared to the other hotels. From a parents point of view that counts for something after a long day at a theme park. My wife recomends that if your staying up to a week book online about 2-3 months out for the best price and to get the meal option. All in all the best vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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2  Thank okiebilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

My wife and I took our niece and nephew to Disney for a week long vacation and we stayed at the Riverside for one night before heading over to the French quarter for the other 6 nights. I booked a Royal Guestroom for it's theme and the kids really enjoyed it. The room wasn't big but it was cozy and had two queen size beds that were comfortable. This Resort is HUGE and spread out. Expect to do a lot of walking if your building is further away from the main lobby and food court as ours was. The Food court was awesome! Lots of options to choose from and I loved the pasta bar where you can customize any pasta dish you want and they cook it fresh right in front of you. There is also a sit down table service restaurant if you want a slower pace meal and don't want to eat at the quick service food court. The gift shop here at this resort is amazing, 10 times bigger than the one at the French Quarter. The arcade was much larger as well, so if you have kids who like playing video games, the Riverside is gonna be better. There are six heated pools on the property, but sadly we didn't have enough time to enjoy any of them as we only stayed for one night. Lots of activities and entertainment ongoing throughout the day in this resort, especially for the kids. It seems like there's always something to do here if you're not enjoying your day at the parks. The river taxi to downtown disney is convenient and easily accessible. And overall, the grounds of the property were immaculate. My wife commented that she would have loved to just walked around the entire resort, as the whole atmosphere of the place was just relaxing. Overall, we would definitely stay here again for sure.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank chuckert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Stayed here with my 14 and 5 year old boys and my son's 15 year old's best friend the first week of August. The last time I stayed at this resort was when my 14 yr old was only 3. It's a great resort that has even gotten better.

Rooms: The rooms are fantastic. We were in building 15 "Alligator Bayou". This was a preferred location. I would highly recommend paying a little more for a preferred room. The resort is sooo big that it was nice to stay in the middle where it was a short walk to the food court, the restaurant, the marina, the bus stop, the main pool. Our room had nicely disguised trundle bed. It was perfect for my 5 year old. The bathrooms had nice updated fixtures. There is a coffee maker and a refrigerator.

Grounds: The resort is gorgeous. If you get up early enough to beat the heat, it's worth taking a stroll around the property. There are bridges and walkways to explore, pretty architecture that touches all elements of the south, and a lake with a path that follows it to the neighboring resort.

Food: The food court is a perfect place to grab a quick bite or to pick up a decent sit down meal. The hours were reasonable (it didn't close until 12a each night) so the boys were able to walk over to grab a late night sandwich, fruit bowl, or whatever they were craving. We had gotten the refillable mugs (about $16 each) so we could get all the soda, tea, lemonage, coffee that we wanted. Even though these mugs weren't good at the theme parks, the boys were very good about keeping them in their backpacks for the day. When we came back from a long day at the theme park, it was nice to be able to swing thru the food court and grab an ice cold drink.
We also had dinner one night at Boatwright's Dining Hall, the main restaurant on property. The food was amazing! I had the filet mignon, my older son had prime rib, my younger one had chicken strips and my son's friend had salmon. Each and every plate was delicious.

Pool: If you have kids, you have to take them to the main pool. The waterslide is tons of fun, adults were even having a blast on it. The pool is huge enough that you never feel like it's too crowded. The only bad thing is that when thunderstorms are passing thru, the pool has to close. It reopens once the storm has passed but one day that took about 4 hours. But, we can't do nothing about mother nature and I do appreciate them taking the precaution that I don't get zapped by lightning while swimming. Tip: If you have a little one whose not a strong swimmer, complimentary life vests are availble at the marina. You are able to hold onto them for the length of your stay at the resort.

Activities: The calendar of events for the kids was just enough to fill in any extra time. Of course, my little one was content sitting in the lobby or the food court watching the Disney shows, but it you are looking for a little more, there is a Wii game in the lobby, a bonfire for marshmallow roasting at 7pm every night, movies on the lawn every night, a playground, bicycles to rent, catch and release fishing, an arcade stocked with the latest games, and games at the pool.

From the staff in the lobby to the people at the pool, everyone was pleasant and friendly. For this being a moderate resort at WDW, we are very impressed by the level of guest service and exceptional accomadations at this resort.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank suzycruizy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Disney's Port Orleans has two distinct resort areas: French Quarter (see our 2010 review) and Riverside. Port Orleans- Riverside has 2,048 rooms and is the larger of the 2 resorts. It is set up in plantation style "mansion homes". This area was formerly known as Dixie Landing until 2001. Riverside was designed to reflect the Antebellum style south, leisurely life along the mighty Mississippi. We traveled with a party of 8 and stayed in 2 rooms with 4 each. This was our second time to travel together to WDW as families & our first together at this moderate resort. We had stayed in 2009 at Grand Floridian so expectations were set HIGH!

In 2010 our family of 4 had traveled to Disney & stayed at Port Orleans- French Quarter. We opted for Riverside for this trip, however, because we had a 9 year old boy & a 10 year old girl staying in the adjoining room & Riverside rooms are the only moderate rooms that offer a trundle bed under the queen beds - PLUS they have 2 queens & not 2 doubles.

We find Port Orleans to be well situated and beautiful. The theme is carried out to a tee.
We started our journey by using Disney's Magical Express and despite not having been given our tags prior to our trip our bags made it fairly quickly to our rooms & well in tact.

Our rooms adjoining and located in the Magnolia Bend mansion building per our request. I knew that the other 2 mansion buildings, Oak Manor & Parterre, would be under construction for the 512 renovated "Royal Guest" rooms. These rooms share a theme where Princess Tiana plays host to some of the other princess characters and for an extra amount you may stay in these guest rooms. These rooms are more ornately decorated to give the appearance of luxury & royalty. The rooms opened in the Spring of 2012.

I liked where our building was situated as it was close to the East Depot & we could run to grab busses quickly in the morning yet we were close to a quiet pool, the laundry facility (which we always take advantage of to save ourselves the work when we get home) and just a short walk over the bridge to the 3.5 acre Ol' Man Island where the large pool & slide are located. Next to the pool & slide are a fishing area & a great playground for the kids.

In an 8 night stay we usually only have our room cleaned 3x as we like to eat either breakfast or dinner in our rooms each day to save time & money. We were given supplies every, single day regardless so we always had toiletries & clean towels. The ladies would ask if they saw us if we had any trash or needed anything else. Impeccable.

We did have an issue(s) with our key, however, that was extremely frustrating & we wound up just entering through my sister's family's room often to avoid having to call maintenance yet again. Not sure what we might have done had we not had the connecting rooms. It was frustrating because when we initially called we were told the front desk was handling then we were switched to maintenance. We did get new keys but they didn't always work. It didn't ruin a thing! This is Disney, our happy place!!

Check-in was easy but took forever as we got an overly friendly & chatty cast member. I guess it's better than the alternative although after a long day's travel we were tired & hungry.

I am what I refer to as an A- personality. I am not all A but I do have type A tendencies. I do a ton of research before we go. What resort? What room? Where should we eat? What day for what park, etc etc. It has served us well especially the 2 times we've gone with all 8 of us. Could you imagine not being prepared when you have a group including a 3 year old, 5 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old up to a 62 year old? Ugh! Luckily Riverside had a lot to offer.

Among the available activities at the resort are: Catch & Release Fishing, nightly movies shown at both resorts, 6 pools, playground, Medicine Show Arcade (I've said before that they're expensive but worth a bit of your time to relax & play as a family - this one is LOUD but has a nice variety), bike rentals, romantic evening carriage rides, Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course, Fulton's General Store, jogging trails, Bayou Pirate Adventures for the little guys, Campfire on de' Bayou (with s'mores!), hair wrap/ braiding, caricatures/ portraits & lounges with live entertainment for the big guys!

Room amenities include: an optional trundle bed for 5th person, pizza delivery, babysitting is available, cable, hair dryer, iron & ironing board, coffee maker, mini-fridge, double sink & vanity with shelf underneath, a bench with shelf above for more storage, a current divider to separate bathroom from bedroom & the sink area is divided from shower/ toilet area so more than one person can be getting ready at a time. There is a table & 2 chairs so you can sit & enjoy your morning coffee or a meal. I've heard a rumor that wi-fi is now available at this resort as well which it wasn't when we were there.

We had the free dining plan & ate at the Riverside Mill Food Court several times. It was inexpensive for the couple of times we paid cash & there was decent variety for a moderate resort. The fresh made-to-order pasta station was a huge hit. There was a nice selection for the kids although I find all of WDW limited after 8 days for the lil ones. There is also a nice ice cream/ dessert selection despite you having to walk over to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at PO-French Quarter for fresh beignets. Really though the walk is only about 10 minutes along the river. We always get the refillable mugs for when we are at the resorts.

When we went in November the parks closed earlier than usual. Although we were excited to see Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (we had been to Not So Scary Halloween 2x before).

Our first day we always reserve for unpacking, exploring & swimming so we don't burn through our days at the park. We took the river cruise ride to do some shopping at Downtown Disney. It was nice but crowded because we got in on Saturday, the same day as everyone else who also seemed to have the same idea.

We enjoy eating at several WDW restaurants, some of which are located at other resorts such as 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian, Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary & O'hana at Disney's Polynesian Resort. We had one ADR per day & never had a problem with timing or travel. I thought the bus system was a bit slower than when we stayed in September '10 at French Quarter but it really wasn't as bad as I had initially feared. The most we ever waited - ever- for a bus was almost 20 minutes. We were closet to the East Depot which happened to be the last stop so that could've slowed us down a bit as well. However, if we were going during peak times (we choose Sept or Nov deliberately to avoid the out-of-school crowds & summer heat) the bus system might be a nightmare. When you transfer between resort hotels as I mentioned we did for character meals & advanced dining reservations, there is not a direct bus so it can be tricky for a novice. And you have to manage your time well. One way is to take a bus or boat (adds more time) to Downtown Disney & grab a bus for that specific resort there. We usually go to Magic Kingdom & grab the transportation from there (this is because we are typically going to Magic Kingdom area resorts, PO is a Downtown Disney area resort). If this is confusing please don't hesitate to contact me.

Everything at Disney is designed for you to have a Magical time. You'd have to try awfully hard not to! Some of the research resources I used to plan are Disney's own website & Mom's Panel, Allears.net, Portorleans.org: the unofficial guide to Port Orleans, Passporter's book & website, The Unofficial Disney Guides most especially including their website touringplans.com! Hope this helps if you are planning a trip.

Room Tip: Preferred rooms are available at a minimal premium. I find that just asking for a certain building...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank cnm6528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

My wife and I stayed here with our 7, 6 and 3 year old last week. We stayed in the Alligator Bayou, building 14 which is the closest to the main building and food. The room was great! the kids loved using the Murphy Bed. Double sinks worked out well when we were in a rush in the morning to get out of the room and into the parks!! Also, we were pretty close to the South bus depot where all the buses for the parks stopped.

Check in was a breeze. They have a separate line for people who used online check in, which made it very easy for us. I also like the fact they had kid chairs lined up infront of a TV that was playing Disney shows while we waited in line to check in.

The food court was great! There was plenty of options for us and the kids to choose from. Even though my kids couldn't get enough of the mac and cheese! The dessert area was awesome! We had the meal plan so we never went hungry. I recommend buying the meal plan especially if you have a big family with small kids. It was worth every penny.

The pool area was another highlight! The water slide was just great for the kids and I enjoyed it as well. There were plenty of lifeguards watching over and scanning the pool which made me feel a little more relaxed.

We never had time to take advantage of everything the resort had to offer such as roasting marshmellows, night time movie, boat rentals and fishing to name a few. There is a boat that can take you do downtown Disney which is much better then waiting for a bus. The resort did not overwhelm me with Disney themes. There was just the right amount to make sure you knew you were at a Disney Resort.

In all, Great resort! Staff super friendly. Clean rooms. Great Food. I will recommend this resort to anyone!

Room Tip: Choose building 14.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank smur38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

I love Walt Disney World and have stayed on Disney property for years. In the past, we have stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort. This year, I chose to stay at Riverside for a few reasons. First, Caribbean Beach is older and in need of renovation. Second, the reviews were wonderful! Finally, the Royal Rooms are what really sold me on this resort.

We stayed for 9 nights in a Royal room. The room was spotless and very clean upon arrival. I am very picky about clean rooms, and this one was wonderful! I loved the fireworks on the headboard and the attention to detail.

At first, I planned to give the resort a perfect score, but in the end, I had to give it a lower rating. There were little things that we found strange. We did not have a single box of tissues in our room during the stay. We also only had one garbage can. Again, little things that are not really a big deal, but worth noting. The real reason I did not give the resort a perfect score was because the entire 9 nights we were there, the sheets on our beds were not changed once!! It stated in the information from Disney that the sheets would be changed every four night. I did not think it was necessary to have to ask mousekeeping to change our sheets. We did tip on a daily basis.

My mom is Celiac and needs to eat gluten free. Overall, the resort was excellent about providing gluten free food. The chef would personally prepare her food to make sure there was no cross-contamination. Great job, Riverside!!

Overall, I will be staying at Riverside in the future. The resort is beautiful, the rooms are clean, and it is in a wonderful location.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank eeyore10479
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

Address: 1251 Riverside Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8514 (Formerly Dixie Landings)
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#49 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#72 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $224 - $403 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside 3.5*
Number of rooms: 2048
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 
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Also Known As:
Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Port Orleans Disney Resort
Orlando Port Orleans 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

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