On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, we had a chance to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside resort. I’ve stayed at this resort before but its been years since the last time. Being from Louisiana originally, this resort reminds me of home so I was happy to book a room here. This was also the first time that I’ve used the Disney App/Online check in for any Disney resort which was a bit of a lesson as well.
First of all, the grounds, landscaping, bridges, and lush wooded areas make for a lovely, peaceful walk to your room as you stroll along the Sassagoula River. The buildings are designed to resemble stately mansions and backwoods cottages from Louisiana. This resort has a natural appeal and a calming ambiance. Keep in mind that this resort is BIG so you may want to ask directions before dragging your luggage across this resort (you can always have your bags delivered to your room as well).
The main lobby area includes check in, Fulton’s General Store (gift shop), Boatwright’s Dining Hall (table service restaurant), Riverside Mill (food court), River Roost (lounge), and the Medicine Show Arcade.
As you cross over the river, you land on ‘Ol Man Island, which includes the main swimming pool at Riverside, Muddy Rivers poolside bar, Fishing Hole, playground, and Campfire on de Bayou. This island is surrounded by the river, and like Magic Kingdom, provides the hub/spoke design to the hotel villages, Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou, and the Lobby.
Our room was a standard room (2 queen beds) in the Magnolia Bend section. The room was clean and provided all that we needed for our stay. It was also towards the back of the resort, which allowed for a quiet night, and not far from the bus stop which was very convenient for us. The beds were comfortable but the pillows were heavenly ( I love a good pillow).
By the way, have you ever wanted to bring your dog to Disney? Well you can at this resort which offers pet friendly rooms. Disney also has Best Friends Pet Care very nearby that can help with doggie daycare needs while you are at the park. For more information, please call Disney reservations.
There are five pools at this resort and we tried two of them. The main pool is kiddie central with a water slide and fountains, etc. There is also a hot tub and it is located next to Muddy Rivers poolside bar. This pool offers a daily pool party, evening campfire nearby, and movie screening on select nights. The five other pools are located throughout the resort with 3 in Alligator Bayou and 2 in Magnolia Bend. All provide complimentary towels which is always a plus and one less thing to pack!
There are a variety of recreational activities at this resort from Horse Drawn carriage rides to fishing and bike riding. Carriage rides can be made in advance by calling the Disney reservations line. I highly recommend this activity. This is a wonderful, romantic option especially for you and your loved one.
One disappointing feature at this resort was the check in and food. I used the online check in once we left the park at 3:00 ( which I thought was check in time) only to find out that our room was not ready. I was told that housekeeping has between 3:00 and 5:00 to get the room ready for us. It ended up being 4;30 before we were able to finally access our room.
During that time, we decided to get a late lunch at the food court. Considering this is a Louisiana themed resort, I thought there would be more options for Louisiana cuisine but there were few to be found. The food court offered standard pizza, burgers, pasta, desserts, with 2 options for Cajun food. Those included the Jambalaya and Pimento BLT, which I ordered. This sandwich was not good and I do not recommend it. There was little pimento cheese and the bacon was cold and looked like it had just been pulled from the refrigerator after 3 days. Not something I would recommend. I then tried to fill up my water bottle only to find that all 4 water fountains did not work. I brought this to the attention of one of the cast members but we left before it got fixed.
Breakfast was not much better and we learned that was the last day that Port Orleans was offering Mickey Waffles! Even the cast member was not excited about this change and its one I do NOT understand. Why would they get rid of this fan favorite? I hope they reconsider this decision. We did not dine at Boatwright’s during our stay but I would imagine this would be the wiser choice if you are looking for authentic Louisiana cuisine.
Overall, I recommend this resort as a comfortable location with beautiful surroundings and fun recreational activities. Hopefully the food court will up its game with better offerings very soon.
See ya real soon Port Orleans and maybe next time, with my dog!