When it comes to Disney World resorts, Port Orleans has become a fan favourite. It’s a moderate resort, balancing comfort and affordability. Located on the Sassagoula River, this resort is themed after rural Louisiana. The river is lined with paths for guests, creating a relaxed atmosphere a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom, and transporting guests to the Old South.
If you’re looking to get on the water, guests can take a boat ride from Port Orleans Riverside to Port Orleans French Quarter where everyday is Mardi Gras. It’s worth the trip just to try the beignets! Helpful hint: French quarter also offers gluten-free beignets. In addition to transportation to French Quarter, the boat also transports guests to Disney Springs for your shopping and entertainment needs.
The main building, Sassagoula Steamboat Company, houses: Boatwright’s Dining Hall, the Riverside Mill food court, River Roost Lounge, and Fulton’s General Store. The general store is a unique addition, adding to the southern charm of the resort, plus providing guests with an assortment of products from snacks to souvenirs.
The rooms at Port Orleans Riverside are broken down into three areas: Alligator Bayou, Magnolia Bend, and Royal Guest Rooms.
Let’s start with Alligator Bayou – these lodges are styled after cabins in Cajun country. The lodges have a rustic feel and the foliage truly transports you to a Louisiana bayou. These rooms sleep 5 people with 2 queen beds and a pull-down bed. The pull down beds are technically intended for children, but they are comfortable enough for many of those under 5’2. The space also has a split washroom (sinks separated from shower/toilet area), making it easier to share the space.
Magnolia Bend features stately southern mansions straight off a sugar plantation. The manors come fully equipped with grand staircases, white pillars, and gazebos. One of the key differences, ambience aside, between Alligator Bayou and Magnolia bend is that these rooms only sleep up to 4 people.
Magnolia Bend is also home to the Royal Guest Rooms. These are story-themed rooms, decorated with trinkets left behind by Princess Tiana (the Princess and the Frog) and her other royal friends. These rooms are truly fit for a prince or princess!
Port Orleans Riverside offers three different dining experiences for guests: Boatwright’s Dining Hall, the Riverside Mill food court, and River Roost Lounge. Boatwright’s is a casual table service dining option that serves a selection straight from the Big Easy.
The Riverside Mill food court offers a variety of traditional American fare, but it is not your average food court – connected to the food court is a water wheel that powers a working cotton press!
Last but not least is River Roost Lounge; this lively spot makes a great hurricane and features live performances by the award-winning entertainer, Yeeha Bob. Performing a mix of classics and Disney favourites, these interactive performances are fun for the whole family! Bob has been a staple at the River Roost Lounge for about 20 years, which is a testament to the quality of his performances.
Port Orleans offers a large variety of recreational activities outside of the theme parks, making it an excellent resort choice if you are looking to extend your vacation without adding extra park days. In addition to the usual recreation options you see at Disney resorts, like swimming pools and movies under the stars, Port Orleans Riverside also offers guest some more unique options.
Guests can take a horse-drawn carriage ride along the river, test their skill at bass fishing, or rent a surrey bike to explore the bayou. And for the pirates in your party, Port Orleans offers a Pirate Adventure Cruise along the Sassagoula river where you can hear legends of a famous New Orleans pirate!
Port Orleans is a hidden treasure in Walt Disney World. It’s laid-back Louisiana atmosphere and amazing amenities make it the perfect retreat after a long day in the theme parks. If you’re looking for some southern hospitality – Port Orleans Riverside is the place to be!