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“Loved the Royal Guest Rooms!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

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Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Ranked #88 of 338 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Loved the Royal Guest Rooms!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Driving up to the Port Orleans-Riverside, my family of three and I didn't know what to expect since we had only ever stayed at the Polynesian Resort. However, we were immediately transported into the old south. We had a pleasant check in experience, and the staff was very friendly. We explored the gift shop, and it turned out to be huge and stuffed with amazing Disney merchandise everywhere you looked! We stayed at the Royal Guest Rooms at Magnolia Bend, and my teenage daughter was incredibly thrilled! Any Disney Princess fan like her would definitely appreciate the lavish decor. The room was very clean, and the fiber optic headboards were magnificent. Our only complaint would be the noise. The walls weren't very soundproof, so you could hear everything that went on in the neighboring rooms and in the hallways. You could also hear toilets flushing, which wasn't very pleasant when one of your upstairs neighbors was vomiting all night and constantly flushing. Anyways, the grounds were beautiful and we enjoyed having our Resort Refillable Mugs filled every morning at the Riverside Mill food court. We thought the food was pretty good, but it was often hard to find seating, especially in the mornings. The bus stops were clean as well, but a word to the wise: Don't try to board any of the buses at the stop closest to the the main building and lobby, because it gets insanely crowded in the morning. Just head to your room, drop off your mugs and walk to the bus stop closest to your building. You'll save so much valuable park time that way! Overall, we really enjoyed this resort and will definitely come back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lady_of_Sealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Worcester, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

This was our second stay at the Port Orleans Riverside (the last trip was 7 years ago). We stayed for 9 nights....and I can honestly say....it was just 'okay' and unfortunately, priced WAY too high for what we experienced....and lacked and Disney magic or hospitality.

Let me start by saying that our room was dirty upon check-in (princess rooms). When I say dirty....I mean old spilled something (we think soda??) all over the dresser drawers, a dirty floor in the bathroom, and an uncleaned coffee maker with old pods still in it. Okay....we were tired, it was late and raining....so I cleaned a bit and decided to ignore it...until I went to dry my hair and the hair dryer started billowing smoke!!! UGH! That left a smelly room and I called the desk immediately....they were not very helpful but housekeeping was sent the next morning to clean and change the dryer. OK---

We were in a closer room, Oak Manor, to the main building....but still a realllly far walk....especially during rain :( The food court (I will not review much because it would take too long) but....was awful! The only okay food was at the carving station and that is being generous because they were extremely stingy--our already small piece of cornbread was ripped in half, a whole spoon full of vege's was considered too much and the server had to remove some from our plate on her supervisors order and a 1/2 scoop of potatoes was all that was allowed.....for $11!!! The other side had fast food that was not very good and frankly, waiting in a 1/2 hour plus line for a bad burger just didn't cut it for us. I heard repeated comments of 'never again will I come here'....

The pool was okay....we only made it once sadly, because the buses took soooo long that we found ourselves going to the parks all day or just going to the water park to swim. A word of caution.....If you want to go to a fireworks show etc...show be warned that the Riverside's bus line will be hours long to get back to the hotel ....so make sure to run! After, if you want something to eat....the lines will still be at the food court...even at 11pm!!

Overall, it was a cute resort but we have stayed at better Holiday Inns for less than half the price....We have stayed at the Polynesian twice (a few years ago at the same price we paid for the Riverside this trip) and if I was ever to go back to Disney....I would save to go back there. If your thinking about Riverside....maybe pick French Quarter....it was smaller and the food was better.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank L C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birmingham
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Second visit to disney, first to port Orleans ( having previously stayed at Caribbean beach 3 yrs ago). We travelled with our kids aged 5 and 11 and their grandparents.
We stayed for 6 nights before moving on to hard rock hotel at universal.
What a lovely hotel. We had a room on the second floor of alligator bayou 1738. Lovely clean rooms although the only downside was the miserable maid which we bumped into mid afternoon a couple of times.
We purchased the meal plan as we found this great on our last visit. The food was plentiful and very good. Their is a knack to this as the food complex can get very busy at times, go early or late to avoid the queues and a more pleasant experience.
Evening entertainment with the funny man and piano in the bar was great. As we're the nachos we purchased in the bar too!
Buses were regular altho we did struggle for seats many times and felt that young children should be seated rather than standing for safety reasons so more seats would be a bonus rather than standing room.
Boat downtown was great as we used this facility instead of coaches. Didn't visit the French quarter as didn't have time but did use the pool on ol mans island which the kids loved.
I would definitely visit this hotel again if we return to disney and prefer this hotel than Caribbean beach.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jmbug2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
55 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

This was my family's first time staying on Disney Property and we were really excited about it. My husband and I have a 4 year old and a 9 year old and we traveled with another couple who have a 9 year old son. We stayed in Alligator Bayou in Building 39 for 8 nights/ 9 days.

First the Pros:
- You will get a good night sleep. The walls are thick and you don't hear a thing. Our 4 year old had a complete meltdown after a long day at the parks and our friends who were in the next room didn't hear a peep so that was amazing.

- Drew, the night shift resort employee is by far the BEST employee at the resort. I'm not sure what his official job is, but he had access to a golf cart. He was amazing and ALWAYS willing to assist us. One night my 4 year old fell asleep on the bus on the way back to the resort and as I was stuck having to carry him back to the room since the rest of my group was watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. Drew saw me struggling and immediately offered me a ride to my room. There were other times he offered rides and believe me after walking all day and then getting back to the resort and having to walk a mile to your room it's exhausting and the rides were greatly appreciated!

- Entertainment at the pool for kids - the pool staff at the main pool are fantastic. They have a DJ that sings with the kids, dances and plays games with them - my kids loved them! The Life Guards at the main pool are also very attentive (no Life Guards at smaller pools).

- Areas with shade at the large pool.

Now for the Cons:
- Housekeeping - By far the worst I have ever experienced in any resort or hotel. My husband marks the sheets every time we stay at a hotel to see if they get changed and even though the hotel says they change the sheets every 4 days - they do not. We were given "clean" towels that had red marks (looked like lipstick) all over them. Our garbage was not emptied until I put the garbage outside the door (after returning on the 2nd night). Our friends had to call the front desk at 5pm on 2 different days to have their room serviced. On the 2nd to last night of our trip our friends came back and the room had been left open by the cleaning people for at least 4 hours based on the cleaning schedule. They say they service all rooms by 4:30pm and we arrived at 9:30pm and the door was wide open with a sign on the door knob stating the room was being serviced...it wasn't..it was 9:30pm! Anyone could have come in or out of their room and taken their belongings. The hotel staff didn't seem all that concerned by this and took at least 30 minutes to come to the room. The manager rolled her eyes as if were bothering her as we were showing her the room and how it was left. Thankfully nothing was stolen.

- If your flight gets in after 9pm and you use the Magical Express you will get your luggage delivered to your room around 1:30am – they bang really loudly on the door since they know everyone is sleeping and need to wake someone up. They will not go away until your luggage is delivered and everyone in your family is awake – not ideal for families with small kids that don’t go back to sleep easily.

- The quick service dining area is not quick. The burger/ chicken nugget section is by far the busiest. One would think that if you have a line going past the registers for burgers or chicken nuggets that you would throw some extra burgers on the grill or put some fries in the fryer...nope....the grill cook was standing next to the grill waiting for each individual order. They don't put fries in the fryer until the small container they have already cooked is completely gone...so waited for our burgers and then had to wait for the fries while the burger got cold. Don't plan on eating together if you want a burger...you will be in line for 40 minutes while the people in your group that got pizza or pasta have been sitting waitng for you for 30. Same is true for breakfast with the pancake area....they do make extra pancakes but not enough...the line in the morning was ridiculous.

- The resort is huge and like I mentioned earlier if you're going to the parks with kids you will be walking all day and you will be exhausted when you get back...now imagine getting back to your resort and then having to walk a mile to your room. Then getting back to your room, changing and walking a mile back to get dinner or evening snack. Fast forward to breakfast and you have to walk a mile to get breakfast. The way the resort is designed there really isn't a building with sleeping rooms that are close to anything so you will be walking regardless of where you stay.

- Pine needles all around pool area. Not sure who had the bright idea to put pine needles all around the resort and pools but people walk through them and they end up in the pool. The small pool by our room had much less debris in it.

- Spiders .....if you do not like spiders do not stay here......there are spider webs every where. I get that Disney wants to be authentic but come on....spiders are gross!

- Inconsistent information - On the day of our departure our friends had an envelope on their door with their bill and boarding passes for their flight inside. We did not. I walked a mile to the front desk and asked why we didn't have the same envelope and was told that they don't print the boarding passes for guests until you come to the front desk....odd since our friends had their stuff and we received a voicemail the night before stating that we would have the information on our door when we woke up.

- If you are taking the Magical Express bus back to the airport for departure you will be told to be ready for the bus a couple of hours before your flight which seems great. The problem started when our bus was late and then had to stop at 3 additional resorts to pick up additional passengers. We almost missed our flight because the line to get through the Security check was insane. Airport personnel were telling folks in the Security line that they needed to arrive at least 2 hours before their flight time which was our intention but not Disney’s.

Overall I just expected more from a Disney Resort - I have never had the housekeeping issues like we had here at any other place and the attitude of the Manager was just unacceptable. The wait for meals was ridiculous considering the people working on the grills were just standing there looking at the line. We did have a great trip and we will be back - just not at this particular resort.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jdiluci2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ocean, NJ
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

I LOVED PO! Having been to several of the Disney resorts, this rates at the top. By far the best moderate. We stayed in the Royal Rooms, just adorable for the little princess he kid in all of us. the service is wonderful...It's Disney! The pros !. Beautiful pool & grounds, nightly carriage rides, a short walk to French Quarter, and it's own ferry to Downtown Disney! What I loved most was the calming atmosphere at PO. Such romantic charm, a great relaxing resort after the parks. I would ecommend for couples as well.

Room Tip: chose a room close to lobby
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DKD d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hagerstown, MD
Level Contributor
48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Yes, it's good to stay on a Disney hotel if you're going to Disney, But few hotels are actually a stone's throw from Disney This hotel's strongest asset is the lovely grounds and river that runs through it. That's truly charming. If you stay at any of the Disney hotels, but sure to ask them how to check in at the airport to be able to ride the Disney shuttle to the hotel. It's free and you need to do this. The check-in is past the luggage area and they will help you from there. And they will ask to book your return ride at that time, so have your return trip details handy. Check in at the hotel was sort of slow- a long line. Then it was confusing to actually find our room I did ask for a quiet room and they put is in the Alligator Bayou part- the theme was rustic and the room small and darkly decorated. I didn't like it and immediately asked for something brighter. So we got the other type of room It was still small, but the decorating was more in my taste. I do mean small, so if there are more than 2 people, you will be cramped. This hotel is not that close to Disney and you will need to ride the Disney shuttle buses to get there, Buses will take you anywhere in Disney you need to go. As far as eating, there is a place that everyone eats at and the food is actually pretty good- not cheap if you don't have a meal plan included. At least we didn't overpay to stay here. I did like the Mark Twain river type theme, but I don't think I'd stay here again. I would want to be at a hotel where I could walk to at least one park Also, you can take the little boats into Downtown Disney. That does take some time- like 20 minutes. Downtown Disney has some nice restaurants and some interesting stores.

Room Tip: If you like dark rooms with a rustic bayou feel, then ask for the Alligator Bayou. If you want light...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruthyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I came back to Disney for a quick long weekend away without the kids, we brought the whole famille 6 months ago for a 10 day stay. Because we have a large family, we always stay at the Villa Resorts so this was our first time staying at a moderate priced resort, it will probably be our last. While some things were wonderful, the overall feel we were left with will have us booking future vacations at the deluxe and villa resorts only.

We did take advantage of the online check in, which helped to quicken our time at the reservation desk. However, once we recieved our welcome package and were sent on our way, it was a while before we were able to find our room. The layout to the resort is a little confusing and not very clearly marked. Upon finding our room, our initial impression was that the room was well appointed and clean, although small and dimly lit. The one window did little to allow natural light in. But the bed, we had a king bed room, was so soft and comfy it made you want to immediately fall asleep. And thank goodness for the extra covers on top, the room was chilly and we were unable to control the temp via the wall controls. So if we stayed in the room at all and didn't feel like wearing a sweatshirt, we needed to cover up with the blanket. Another issue with the room was that the wifi service was practically nonexistent and cell phone signal only worked if we were sitting at the window. Not at all acceptable when trying to keep in touch with family back home.

The privacy curtain at the sink/closet area is a good idea but I was completely shocked by the unbelievably small size of the bathroom. Is that how it is in all of the value/moderate resorts? It borders on completely unacceptable! I know I am used to the spacious layout of the villa bathrooms, but this was little more than a toilet and small shower/tub shoved in a closet! However it did have a fantastic shower head that made the shower enjoyable.

Did I mention that it took five hours for our luggage to arrive? We used Disney's Magical Express, and while they have changed the check in process a bit and made it a little more time consuming, it was still wonderful to not have to worry about ground transportation to and from the airport. But if we could reach our hotel in under an hour, what is the reasoning for our luggage taking 5 hours? There was only one other couple on our bus and only 5 or 6 familys in total waiting at the bus depot at the airport. So I can not begin to understand why our luggage was detained, causing us to have to wear our dirty airplane clothes when we left the resort to meet friends. Next time I will make sure to carry a clean set of clothes in my carry on.

The grounds at Riverside were beautifully maintained and lush, although the walking paths are very dimly lit at night. And the only pool we could find, the main one I believe, was too small for a resort this size and always crowded. The food court at Riverside was spacious although their food selection was limited and never changed. If you want something more than burgers, sandwiches or pizza you will need to look elsewhere. We never did get to try the resort restaurant, but the bar/lounge area off the lobby was fun, the staff was friendly and courteous, and there is even a working fireplace you can sit by while sipping your drinks.

My overall impression was that this hotel wasn't terrible, and maybe if we hadn't been previously spoiled by staying at the better resorts, we would even think it is great. But knowing that Disney has greater selections available, I will be choosing to spend a little bit more money and staying at the more deluxe resorts on our future trips.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kcarty76
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

Property: 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:
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#49 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#72 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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