With three stays at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside under our belts, I wanted to give an updated review of the resort including the grounds, rooms, dining and activities. It falls in the moderately priced resort category and we have had a great experience staying here every time, hence why we’ve made return visits!
In true Disney fashion, you are immersed in the theme as soon as you arrive at the portico. It is rustic, charming and quite lovely.
The Sassagoula Steamboat Company main building houses the lobby, Fulton’s General Store, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, River Roost Lounge and Riverside Mill. It is also just steps away from the boat docks.
During the holidays, the lobby features a soaring tree and garlands.
On our most recent stay in February for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, our room was in the Magnolia Bend section and was themed to mimic the sprawling grand manor homes of New Orleans. Magnolia Bend also has Royal Guest Rooms that look darling for girls.
Our room was comfortable and appropriately themed. There were two queen beds and the room slept four. I’ll be honest and say that outside of a select few deluxe rooms, I don’t think any of them are much to write home about. That being said, staying on property has loads of perks and we have loved every single Disney resort thus far!
Like all Disney rooms, we had a flat screen tv and mini fridge.
The bathroom was pristine. I don’t know if they have recently been updated, but it was bright and spotless. In all of the moderate resort bathrooms you have a curtain that separates the vanity area from the sleeping area. To the left is a door to the potty/shower room. To the right is a shelf for bags and a rack for hanging clothes.
On our other two stays were in the Alligator Bayou Lodges. This section resembles the small cottages found in the rural bayou regions of Southern Louisiana. The buildings are rustic and the landscaping is lush.
Of all of the resorts, I feel like this Alligator Bend section is very boy-ish. We found so many cute details in the room, from the lights, to the carpet that looked like wood planks, to the wood shower tiles to the rope curtain rods. This room has two queen beds as well as a fold down bed to sleep 5. This is our favorite type of room to get so that our boys don’t have to share a bed!
We think that the Riverside Mill food court is one of the better ones on property. The ambiance is great and the food is good. It is centrally located right off of the main building.
One thing that we love about Port Orleans is that a quick jaunt on the boat will take you to Port Orleans French Quarter (beignets!) or Disney Springs. There is nothing like a sunset boat ride to Disney Springs! The parks all require a bus, but we found them to be prompt. There are bus stops located around the property so you should not ever be too far from one. The stops have flat screens noting when the next bus for each park is due to arrive. You can also rent surrey bikes from this area to pedal around the property.
From the Sassagoula Steamboat Company main building, you cross a bridge to Ol’ Man Island where you will find an old-fashioned swimmin’ hole and a sawmill slide. This is also where you’ll find hammocks, hot tubs, the campfire pit, a playground and a pool bar.
Inspired by the story of Tom Sawyer, Ol’ Man Island even features a catch-and-release cane pole fishing hole. We were eager to try it out, but not one of us had so much as a tug on the line. There was a charge for this but I can’t recall what it was.
(Surely this didn’t scare all the fish away…)
Other amenities around the resort include camp fires, movie nights, a playground, quiet pools and an arcade.
The resort does feature a sit down restaurant, Boatwrights. This rustic shipyard themed dining hall features N’awlins favorites on the menu. We had reservations and I was glad, because it was slammed. Now, this restaurant gets a lot of poor reviews, but the night we went our food was good and affordable and the kids were smitten with the make your own ice cream sundae desserts. They also did a precious “zippety doo dah” birthday song for John that was worth the dinner alone for this mama. If you’re staying here, I’d recommend a dinner at Boatwright’s. I probably would not travel from another resort, however.
One of my very favorite night time activities on property is right here at Port Orleans Riverside! You absolutely MUST make time during your stay to visit the River Roost Lounge. The infamous Yehaa Bob cabaret-style show always makes for a fun and memorable evening! We usually don’t travel during peak times, but I’ve found that claiming a table 1 – 1.5 hours in advance of the show time will suffice. We usually grab food from the food court and entertain ourselves with cocktails, hot chocolates and cards.
The show is SUPER entertaining and even Honey agrees that it is a must-do! At one point or another every one of us was out of our seat!
The birthday boy was so excited when Bob came by the table to say hello!
Our very favorite of all the moderate resorts is actually just next door at Port Orleans French Quarter. It is an easy walk (or boat ride) from Riverside over to French Quarter and I would definitely recommend doing just that for a beignet breakfast during your stay. Grab an outdoor table and let the kids play on the playground while you have a slow cup of coffee. It’s the best!
I fully expect that we will be back at Port Orleans Riverside sometime soon. It’s a great resort overall and we all enjoy it! Feel free to ask any questions you might have!!
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