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“Decent family resort” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside

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Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Ranked #89 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Centurion, South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Decent family resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

We took our sons between the ages of 8 and 11 to Disney in April. The hotel has a number of activities and facilities that cater for the children and the kids loved the swimming pools dotted around the resort. The rooms are spacious and catered for all of us in one room with 2 double beds and a single bed. There was still sufficient space not to get into each others' way.

The food was adequate but we found it a little expensive. It would be wise to go on a meal plan and purchase a free refill mug that you can use around the resort. What I did like, was the fruit and raw vegies the kids received with every kids meal. They made good snacks to take along on daily excursions.

We did enjoy the river taxi that travelled between the resort and Downtown Disney. It was a very scenic route and makes a pleasant change from the buses. The resort has a pre-checking facility and I suggest you use it and it can be a little slow to check in.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CharmaineCenturion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Freckleton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

We travelled here for the proverbial holiday of a lifetime in July. Myself and my three sons 18, 28,and 31. Flew with Virgin which was fine and booked extra leg room seats which seemed worth the extra. Got a taxi from the airport which took about 20 mins and i think was about $60. Warm welcome from the staff and our room was probably about 5/10 mins walk. The properties looked like something from Gone with the wind and ours was across the river. Room was fine. Beds very comfy. Coffee in room undrinkable. Good air con in the room as it was very hot. Room had a curtain to pull across in the washing area for some privacy as there were 4 of us in the room. Plenty of toiletries and the room was cleaned well. Lots of towels. We all slept very well. Near the room was a laundrette which we used once. Complete wash and dry was about $6. One of the pools was very close and we used this one every day. Sometimes hard to get a sun bed. Plenty of life guards and there was games in the afternoon for younger children. Free towels here Also a bar which served soft drinks , alcoholic drinks and cocktails etc. We had breakfast on site and then travelled each day to our chosen Disney Park. The transportation was superb. Just outside the main door all the buses stopped and we very rarely had to wait more than 10 mins. When you got to each park they told you to remember the stop number and use this to return to your hotel. Perfect. Sometimes at night it got very busy coming back and you may have to stand but it was very well organised. A word of warning there are bus stops at different areas around this hotel. The all look the same so the first night we got off at the wrong stop and got really lost. From then on we got off at the front of the hotel so we were sure where we were. We visited all the parks and don’t really think there is much point in commenting on the rides as each person will have their own favourites. But i will comment on the worst. Disney Hollywood studios has a (i think) Capt Jack Sparrow “experience”. Don’t waste your time. Think they had a room they didn’t know what to do with. At the same park the highlight of the trip was Darth Vader “fighting” young Jedi. These were children visiting and they had probably paid to do this. It was hilarious. I think the fast pass set up has changed and you can only do one ride at once. This was a bit inconvenient. It was very busy while we were there and as other people have commented there were large groups of South American students. Getting behind one of these groups in any queue wasn’t good. The hotel had two restaurants and a large gift shop. Also a lovely water taxi which took you to Downtown Disney. Dont really think we could fault this hotel or Disney full stop. It was everything i wanted it to be and more. 99% of the staff had been trained to provide the service people expect from Disney. Someone commented that the staff at the hotel quick serve cafe were not too happy. Understandable when you are just on a conveyor belt of food service in boiling hot temperatures. I have saved my hopefully helpful part of this review until last. The Disney Dining plan. We had this and it gives you ... one quick serve meal ( hot dogs, burgers etc) a snack ( candy floss , drink etc) free soft drinks at your hotel and a waiter service meal each night with soft drinks. This is done on a points system. After a few days i checked my points and realised that the hotel breakfast was being taken from our points. This then meant that the quick serve meal we had at lunch time was eating into our Waiter service meal points. As the waiter service meal was usually worth about $150 we had to put some points onto our room bill to ensure we kept the correct number of points in our account for the evening. Just be aware what they are charging to the dinning plan and what is going on to your room bill. Also the lst day there we went straight to the Magic Kingdom. I think there were 4 restaurants that were in the Dining Plan and we couldn’t get into any of them. Try and prebook at least the 1st nights meal. After that we went to the Concierge at the hotel and booked all our meals for the following nights at the different parks we visited. All very good. Some do not serve alcohol some do. This holiday was everything we wanted. Nothing here is inexpensive but you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank intrak2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Durham
Level Contributor
65 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

This was our fourth visit to WDW and had stayed in two previous Disney hotels (Pop Century (twice, Caribbean Beach) and now Port Orleans Riverside.
We stayed here for a two week vacation in July and upon arrival at the hotel we were given room 9052 at Oak Manor. Check in was quick and efficient and the cast members were friendly as we had come to expect at a Disney hotel. We were given our Disney 'Key to the world' and went off to our room. This was only a few minutes walk from the main building and we had a garden view.

Room - Our room was one of the newly refurbished Royal Guest rooms and this was quite a large room with two double beds, coffee machine in the room, TV, hairdryer, ironing board and a refridgerator. The decor we thought was excellent and there are various references to the Disney princesses and nice touches such as the sink taps which are gold and shaped as the genies lamp and lots of other Disney touches. Room was clean so no complaints there. Rooms are cleaned daily, towels changed each day if you want them to be. A couple of times we came back to the room to find that the maid's (Mousekeepers) had made animals out of towels and left them in our room which was a nice touch. All rooms are air conditioned which was a blessing. I know some people have complained about the noise of this but to be fair after a day in the parks sleeping isn't too difficult. The beds were comfortable although the pillows I found were a little hard but that's just personal preference.

Resort - PO Riverside is quite a large resort but the grounds are fantastic and are always kept clean and tidy. The Sassangoula river runs through the resort and there are boat trips approximately every 20 minutes which can be taken to Downtown Disney, there is one stop at PO French Quarter on route but overall the trip is worth doing and can be very relaxing just taking in the views. The trip to Downtown takes around 15 minutes or so. Boats run up to 11pm each night and are completely free to use. Bike hire is available at the resort (either a standard pedal bike or a surrey bike, we hired a standard pedal cycle one day just to see the whole resort and this cost $9 each for 60 minutes. If you want to hire the bike for the day I believe this was $18. Again I'm pleased we did this as we got to ride around the whole resort all the way to French Quarter but what this did show us is that although our room was close to the main building there would be quite a bit of walking involved for some guests staying at different locations on the resort due to it's size. You can also ride around the resort on a horse and cart, this is something you have to pay for though but I'm sure it would have been relaxing had we done so. Boat hire is also available although unsure of the cost.
There is an amusement arcade at the resort and 3 pools (we didn't use them so can't comment) and there is also an outdoor bar which we only found when we did our bike ride. This is near to the Alligator Bayou lodges. In the main building there is the usual Disney shop selling a variety of merchandise, the River Roost bar which had a real flame fire which was on even though the temperatures were topping 33 degrees when we were there, a restaurant (didn't use so can't comment) and the dining hall which I'll come to next.

Food - We were on the Quick Service dining plan which was free at the time of booking. For our stay this equated to two meals a day along with 1 snack per day. As we ventured outside of Disney to visit (Seaworld, Universal and Discovery Cove) we were able to have 3 meals a day throughout our stay on the DP and get snacks whilst out and about. Food itself is standard fast food so variety isn't it's strong point although I must say that the Pasta is worthy of a mention as you can pick what you want with it and the type of Pasta and sauce. DP also gives you unlimited drinks refills at the hotel as long as you use the plastic Disney cup given to you when you get your first meal. DP can also be used at a number of other locations throughout the Disney parks so you are not limited to eating at the hotel although the drinks can only be refilled at the hotel. Overall for us I estimated that we must have saved around $1000 (for 2 of us) over the two week period by having the DP when I worked out the cost of what the meals were so if you can get this free when you book and don't mind the repetitive food then it's a no brainer. My only negative about the dining is sometimes it can seem chaotic, cast members serving the food rarely smiled and one day whilst waiting for my omelet two cast members started bad mouthing each other in front of guests as the orders had been mixed up which wasn't very professional.

Buses - The resort has four bus stops throughout it (North, South, East, West depots) we tended to use the South depot which is the one closest to the main building. Buses came frequently and we rarely had any issues getting on them although sometimes we did have to stand as sometimes they did get busy. Buses coming into PO Riverside went directly to the parks but sometimes coming away from the parks they would drop off at French Quarter beforehand. It doesn't take long to get to any of the parks as PO is pretty much in the middle of everything.

Entertainment - For a few nights a week the hotel bar hosts Bob Jackson who plays the piano and sings songs in his own 'unique' way. Personally he wasn't my cup of tea however he is clearly very popular at the hotel and the bar was always full when he was on. As I say it is purely my own preference but I just didn't get the act. There is also a movie on the lawn played during the week where a large projector screen shows Disney movies from around 8pm and there are other activities to keep you and any children entertained.

Overall I would recommend this resort. We had a fantastic stay. I see some recent reviews have referred to rowdy teenagers namely tour groups from Brazil and Mexico running amok. We didn't see any of them at the resort during our stay so we may have just missed them however there were plenty of them in the parks each day and I do feel for those affected by them at PO and I'm thankful we didn't encounter any at the hotel because they are loud. I thought my stay at Caribbean Beach would be hard to top but once again a Disney hotel out trumps the last one.I can only base my rating on my experience over the two weeks we were there. You will read some negative reviews but base your opinion on the majority and you won't be far wrong. Any questions feel free to contact me.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jaseace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monroe, Ohio
Level Contributor
40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in a princess themed room in the Oak building during a week long stay in June. My daughter loved the themed room with princess decorations and near Disney touches. Our room was clean and the beds were comfortable. At WDW that is as much as you need as you time is spent in the parks.

What is important at POR is building location and bus service. As mentioned above we stayed in the Oak building which was a short walk to the main building and the South bus depot, the main bus stop for the entire resort.

If you stay at POR I encourage you to request a room near the South bus depot. That stop has the best service that offers direct trips to many of the resorts without stops at other POR depots. When it was shared, it was the first stop which helped to ensure a bus ride.

POR is centrally located in WDW and most bus trips were 20ish minutes. There's also a boat that takes you to Downtown Disney.

Bus service was generally reliable and speedy. On one day, service to the Magic Kingdom for extra magic hours was so crowded that it was obvious we'd need to wait for at least a second bus. So we grabbed a cab. For $15 our cabbie dropped us in the parking lot of the Contemporary which was just a 5 minute walk to MK. Other than that experience, we didn't wait more than 15 minutes for a bus.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aaron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed at the Alligator Bayou as we are a family of 5 - 2 adults and 3 young boys. My youngest loved the murphy bed and the picture of the alligator next to him while we slept. The other 2 queen beds were firm (which is what we prefer) and though they just renovated the style of the bedding, it was a pretty thin/polyester blend. The A/C unit is on a thermostat though is loud when it kicks in (we all sleep soundly and don't mind the white noise, but others may not). The resort is spread out which for those who don't like to walk, may not prefer this resort (though we enjoy and are fast walkers and everything was within 3-5 min walk). We enjoyed the landscaping, ponds, off main pools (along with the main Old Man Island w/waterfalls and waterslide), and seeing critters outside of our room - cranes, frogs, lizards, bunnies. It was convenient to have the ferry running from this resort to Downtown Disney and the bus service was just as convenient and timely (seemed like no wait at all this year). I read another review regarding the large tour groups. We typically go in May, and this was our first time going in July and there were several large teenager tour groups primarily from the Latin American countries, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. We did strike up conversations with several of them who were extremely friendly and fun, but having them stay near our room would be loud. We typically go in May and stay at one of the Disney resort villas and this was our first time trying one of the "hotel" style rooms with no kitchen. The mini-fridge was adequate though not cold enough (I know they'll phase these out as there is a recall on them at the resorts), but our 2 cases of bottled water got cold enough for us to carry around during the 90 degree hot humid days. The Mercantile was huge and provided great last minute shopping for souvenirs on the last day. The main quick service dining hall was always busy, even at 11pm at night, but provided adequate variety/selection of breakfast and lunch items (we didn't eat there for dinner). We spent on average of 8 hours each day in our room and it was only for sleeping so it was adequate. Otherwise, we would go back another year to Bay Lake where we enjoy the balcony and space of relaxing and hanging out. It is a nicely themed resort, but size of the room could be larger. We stayed 1 night at a Hampton Inn in Jacksonville/Bartram Park and Savannah/Historical District at beginning and end of our vacation/drive to/from Disney and those rooms were more spacious. We will likely go back to staying at one of the Disney Villa resorts instead.

Room Tip: Sections 14, 15, 16 are closer (and are premium locations) to the Old Man Island main pool w/waterfa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kam0202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

Before I start, let me say that 1) our Riverside experience lated all of 2 hours and 2) I am currently writing this from the French Quarter. Be sure to read my review of FQ later in the week.

Apparently Riverside is hosting a very large group of teenagers from Brazil. By large I mean at least 2 per room, occupying a large part of Acadia House in Magnolia Bend. They were loud, obnoxious, and you could hear them screaming from the steps by the lobby. When we were walking back to our room at 11:30pm after only arriving at 10pm, we (my husband, 9 year old daughter & myself).were nearly trampled by a mass of these teenagers running through the place and screaming in absolute hysteria. I think Braille must ave won a soccer game or something it the screaming, shouting,and running around was at such at a level that my daughter started crying, she had no idea what was going on. Our room was in a block with these screaming kids and the 2 security guards looked overwhelmed. We had a feeling that we would be in for a very noisy stay when all we wanted was a nice family resort.

Front desk was responsive so kudos to them. They moved us to the French Quarter and assured us there were no group stays at FQ. So at 1 am we packed up and moved to French Quarter. The porter was very nice and got us to FQ, but all in all it was a very bad start to the holiday. I wanted to post this review now in case anyone else has a room at Riverside booked soon and were expecting a tranquil family resort because it most certainly isn't that at the moment. Right now it's filled with pushy, rude, loud teens without adequate chaperones and supervision.

We are now at FQ and have had a host of issues here, my husband is on the phone with management at 1:04 am and for the first time we have encountered someone who actually seems to care and actually expressed concern about our experience, especially with it being our first Disney holiday.

Ps, the beds are very very hard. Request the foam egg crate mattress topper if you want any kind of comfort!

Room Tip: Ask to be booked as far away from the "group stay" rooms!!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank auxarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensbury, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

I would give it 5 stars, but refridgerator did not work, there was a huge recall on them. we like
to stock cold water on vaca. We put water bottles on the AC vent. Other than that, it was clean,
quiet, loved the pool, stayed in Alligator Bayou. Would consider staying again down the road,
but will probably stay in a deluxe next time. Food court also great, although employees did not
seem happy to be there

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John S
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:
#20 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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