Top Twenty Tips for Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Port Orleans Riverside WDW Mansion

Top Twenty Tips for Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort (POR) sits alongside the Sassagoula River in Walt Disney World. As a moderately priced hotel, Port Orleans Riverside is a popular lodging choice with WDW visitors.

Top Twenty Tips for Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Top Twenty Tips
Find out my top twenty tips for guests staying at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Twenty Port Orleans Riverside Resort Tips.

Here are my top twenty tips for guests staying at this gorgeous resort:

Splurge on a Royal Room

In March 2012, Oak Manor and Parterre Place mansion buildings debuted Royal Guest rooms. Underneath the royal themeing, guests will notice that the amenities are similar to standard rooms at the moderate resorts.

Yes, these rooms may be a bit too princesss-y for some guests. However, the headboards that burst with a fireworks display add a touch of whimsy that will likely appeal to the whole family. See how many princess mentions your family can find. The beautiful Tiana definitely holds court here.

Royal Guest Room Port Orleans Riverside
Princesses will feel right at home.

Take a Carriage Ride

The rustic ambiance of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside can be viewed from a horse-drawn carriage ride. For $45 ($55 starting October 1, 2017), you’ll receive a 25-minute ride for up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 small children.

Make reservations up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-PLAY.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Hang at the Muddy Rivers Pool Bar

Muddy Rivers is a serene watering spot near the Ol’ Man Island pool. Refreshments are served up by an attentive bartender. Seating is shaded!

Muddy Rivers Pool Bar located at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside.
Sip a beverage at this relaxing bar.

Visit Disney Springs via the Riverboat

The leisurely boat ride from Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside to Disney Springs takes about 20-25 minutes with a brief stop at French Quarter. Operated by the Sassagoula Steamboat Co., the boats along this route sail under a yellow flag. Plus, this ferry service is complimentary!

Sassagoula Riverboat at Port Orleans Riverside.
Float down the river on a ferry boat.

Walk to Port Orleans French Quarter

For additional shopping and dining, take a leisurely stroll around the riverbend to Port Orleans French Quarter.

Of course, you’ll want to get some beignets while you’re there.

Beignets at Sassagoula Floatworks at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort.
Messy but good!

Take Breakfast to Boatwright’s

In the morning, diners can take their quick service breakfast from the Riverside Mill food court to the dining room in Boatwright’s. It’s a quieter, less chaotic location.

Boatwrights Port Orleans Riverside Tables
Eat your quick service breakfast in Boatwright’s.

Look for Hidden Mickeys

I love looking for Hidden Mickeys!

Hidden Mickeys Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Railing
Look closely at the mansion railings.
Hidden Mickeys in Lobby at Port Orleans Riverside.
Look up high for Hidden Mickeys.

Alligator Bayou Room’s Murphy Bed

Families with young children will appreciate the pull-down Murphy bed.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Room Murphy Bed
Pull down child-size murphy bed.

Stop by River Roost

For musical entertainment, stop by River Roost in the evenings. During the day, this is a quiet place to wait for your Disney’s Magical Express return bus to the Orlando International Airport. For charging your electronics before your departure, look for electric outlets along the wall.

Recommendation: Order an Albita Purple Haze on tap.

River Roost at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside.
River Roost.

Go Fishing

Fishing excursions include fun amenities, including an experienced guide, rod and reel, tackle, artificial and/or live bait, non-alcoholic beverages, and one year BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) membership, which includes 11 issues of Bassmaster Magazine (one membership per excursion).

Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-BASS. Choose between 2 and 4 hour trips!

Walt Disney World Fishing Excursions
Fish for largemouth bass.

Look for seasonal events

The Beignet Dash Fun Run takes place Sundays at 8AM at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. Check-In begins at 7:30AM with a cost of $15 plus tax. You’ll receive a race bib, finisher’s medallion, a small goody bag, and a certificate for an order of three beignets at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory.

Beignet Dash Fun Run Port Orleans French Quarter
Join in a Fun Run.

Fulton’s General Store

Fulton’s carries necessities such as sundries, rain ponchos, and beverages. It’s also a relaxing spot to browse through the latest Disney merchandise. We love finding resort-specific goodies.

Fulton's General Store at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort.
Stop by Fulton’s General Store.

Compare prices! A bottle of Dasani Water was $3.19 in the Riverside Mill food court compared to $3.00 in the General Store.

Online Check In

If you check-in online (and have a MagicBand) before your WDW arrival, you’ll be able to skip the Registration Desk. Watch for a text indicating that your room is ready; I love getting this text!

Room Ready Text Walt Disney World Online check-in
Your Resort Room is Ready.

On our most recent trip (August 2017), we arrived Riverside at 11:30AM. By the time we had lunch and walked around the resort for a bit, we had already received the “Your Resort Room is Ready” text at 10:07AM.

Riverside Mill Food Court

During prime dining hours, it gets crazy in here. Dine early or late for a less chaotic meal.

The pasta dishes here are satisfying. For dessert, get the chocolate cake. When you’re craving a snack or light meal, nosh on the breadsticks with marinara sauce.

The Riverside Mill Food Court at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort.
Riverside Mill.

Bus Transportation

Buses can be a tad bit aggravating at this resort. Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside often shares bus transportation with nearby French Quarter resort. Depending on what stop is nearest your building, you may find that exiting the bus at French Quarter and walking to Riverside is quicker. (I’m not kidding.) You’ll also want to line up near the blue line where the motor coach stops for a better chance of finding space on the next bus. This is a large resort and buses can be packed full during theme park rush hours.

Bus Transport Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
Bus Transportation Arrival Times.

Poolside Fun

Fashioned after a Bayou swimming hole, Ol’ Man Island’s pool is a refreshing oasis for adults and kids of all ages.

The pool on Ol' Man Island at Port Orleans Riverside.
Cool off at Ol’ Man Island.

Recreation Calendar

Don’t miss the Recreation Calendar filled with fun activities. Some of your choices include bike rentals, evening campfires, and outdoor movies.

Bike Rentals at Port Orleans Riverside
Go pedaling around the resort.

Elevators

Note that the two-story Alligator Bayou lodge buildings do not have elevators. If this is an issue for your family, request a first floor room or lodging in the Mansion section of the resort.

Port Orleans Riverside Outdoor Stairway Alligator Bayou
Stairway at an Alligator Bayou building.

Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express took about 90 minutes from stepping off the Southwest airplane to arrival at Port Orleans Riverside. We made stops at Old Key West and French Quarter first. The longest wait that we endured was waiting for the bus to depart the airport once we were seated on board. It was about 9:30AM and since we were among the first passengers to board, it took time to fill up the bus. At least we were sitting down!

Bus Queues at MCO for Disney's Magical Express
Bus Queues at MCO.

Our luggage arrived our room 2 hours and 50 minutes after our plane landed. We know because we were just settling in to take a nap; it was perfect timing.

Resort Airline Check-In and Luggage Storage

Resort Airline Check-In was well organized at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. We dropped off our luggage in the morning prior to heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Boarding passes were delivered to our room the day prior so we only needed to have our luggage weighed and tagged.

Resort Airline Check In Desk Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
Open 5AM until Noon.

After, we headed to the Luggage Room to store a carry-on bag. Again, service was exemplary.

Why Stay at Port Orleans Riverside?

Stay here for the choice of lodgings — Alligator Bayou or Mansion buildings — giving families two themed options. Also, Port Orleans Riverside boasts prime real estate along the Sassagoula River with the opportunity to take a boat to Disney Springs. With French Quarter around the river bend, Riverside guests get two resorts filled with fun activities within easy walking distance of each other. Book your stay at this WDW moderate resort!

Port Orleans Riverside Resort Tips

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Kimberly LaPaglia

Kimberly shared her passion for Disney when she was selected for the inaugural Walt Disney World Moms Panel and then as the first Disney Cruise Line panelist. As a Disney Mom, she helped countless families plan their own dream-filled journeys. Blending her love for research, travel, and writing, Kim has been an editor for Disney Food Blog for nearly 8 years. At The Castle Concierge, she blogs about travel, parenting, celebrations, and the road to empty nesting.

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