Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Virtual Tour of Disney’s Port Orleans–Riverside

Blogorail Logo

Welcome to those of you joining me from
My Dreams of Disney
and those of you just hopping aboard.
I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

During this very special Magical Blogorail Loop,
we are taking you on a Virtual Tour of
Disney’s Moderate Resorts.

PO-Riverside-LogoIt is my honor and privilege to introduce you to one of our favorite Disney resorts – Port Orleans Riverside.  Here is what Disney has to say about this beautiful resort:

Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside was inspired by rural Louisiana and is nestled alongside the picturesque Sassagoula River. You'll feel welcomed back to a time and place where everything seems to move a little slower and simple pleasures flourish like magnolia blossoms in the springtime.

Be surrounded by the tranquility of the Louisiana Bayou as you enjoy the hospitality of a picturesque waterfront Resort hotel that embodies the traditions born of steamboat travel, formal garden parties, and mint juleps on the front porch. Take a romantic carriage ride down a shady lane, dine on delicious Southern favorites or simply sit back and relax and let the cool waters of the Sassagoula River glide by.

POR1(Scenes around the resort, clockwise from top left: the main lobby and dining area as seen from the pool, the boat dock, the lobby, and the dining hall)

You’re probably wondering what’s so special about this resort and why you should consider it when making your next vacation reservation, right?  Let me tell you a bit about the rooms, dining options, and other amenities . . .


The Guest rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside are divided into 2 distinctly themed parishes: the stately white-columned Magnolia Bend "mansions" and the quaint backwoods "cottages" of Alligator Bayou.

My family has always stayed in the rooms at Alligator Bayou.  Why?  Because they are large enough to accommodate a family of five (and there aren’t many resorts on Disney property that can claim that!)  Earlier this year, I did a post showing the changes that have recently been made to these guest rooms.  These rooms are housed in large buildings that resemble cabins or lodges, and have a rustic, outdoorsy feel to them.


(clockwise from top left: 2 queen beds, the murphy bed by day, sink area with double sinks, and the murphy bed by night)

While my family hasn’t had opportunity to experience them, the rooms in the Magnolia Bend section of the resort look very nice as well.  Some of these rooms have also recently been remodeled into the Royal Guest Rooms

Now open and welcoming reservations, the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside are quarters befitting the kings and queens of the family—as well as the princes and princesses. Here, the remarkable décor and rich details will place your family right in the middle of classic Disney stories.

Brought to life by celebrated Disney characters, each room is fit for royalty. Enjoy magnificent touches and magical surprises, including custom drapes and linens, ornately decorated beds—and headboards that glitter with a fiber optic "fireworks" display. Here you'll enjoy majesty and fun, all rolled into one!

POR3(My friend Kim provided the above pictures, taken before the Magnolia Bend rooms were refurbished. My friend and boss, Carol Beth from 3D Travel provided the below pictures after the refurbishment and of the Royal Guest Rooms)



The Magnolia Bend section of the resort has a much more “classy” feel to it, with the rooms being housed in building that resemble mansions or large plantation homes.


The Sassagoula Steamboat Company is the main building on property. In addition to housing the lobby (which is themed after a departure hall for a old-style river steamboat), this building also houses all the dining and shopping options on property at the resort.

Fulton’s General Store is the on-site gift shop. My family loves browsing this shop. In addition to lots of Disney merchandise, you can also get those must-have items that you may have forgotten to pack. 

The River Roost Lounge is the on-site bar.  We aren’t drinkers, but my husband and I did spend some time “lounging” here on our last trip. I wanted to see YeHaa Bob – and it was totally worth it!  This guy is the epitome of entertainment! Her performs routinely in the lounge.

Boatwright’s Dining Hall is the only table service restaurant in the resort.  Southern entries are on the menu (which can be seen here).

My family’s favorite on-site eatery is by far the food court – Riverside Mill. This food court is broken into 5 sections, serving baked goods & ice cream, grilled foods, pasta, carved meats, and pizza.  My 2 favorites are the make-your-own salad and the apple pies.


There is an endless supply of fun stuff to do at Port Orleans Riverside.  In fact, you could keep totally busy at the resort and never have to go to the parks at all (though I’m not sure why you’d want to miss the parks!)  Anyway, here is a list of all the great things you can do (more information can be found here):

  • MomPicturesDays&5 015Swimming – the resort has a total of 6 pools.  Ol’ Man River is the main pool, and there are five smaller “quiet” pools at various locations around the property.
  • Children’s Playground – located near Ol’ Man River, this playground will keep the little ones busy on soft rubberized flooring, while the adults sit on benches and rest!
  • Live Entertainment – see above under River Roost Lounge.
  • Arcade – located just off the main lobby, Port Orleans Riverside boasts one of the largest arcades on Disney property with over 70 video games and pinball machines.
  • Jogging Trail – the fitness-minded may enjoy jogging this trail, but I think it’s perfect for a leisurely stroll as well. (A great jogging trail map can be downloaded here.)
  • Movies Under the Stars – see resort’s activities schedule for a list of times and movies.
  • Campfire on de’ Bayou – located behind the Muddy Rivers Pool Bar by Ol’ Man River, you can enjoy stories and family sing-alongs while making s’mores over the fire.
  • Horse-drawn Carriage Rides – while  these are obviously available as a family activity, I can’t help but this how romantic it would be for a couple to enjoy one of these rides in the evening.
  • MomPicturesDays&5 014Cane Pole Fishing – this is a very cheap on-site family activity, located at the Fishin’ Hole.  It’s catch & release, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to clean and fry up a fish on their Disney vacation anyway! 
  • Guided Bass Fishing Excursion – if fishing is your thing and you’d like to spend more time and money, this might be a good option (it’s a 2-hour fishing tour)!
  • Bayou Pirate Adventure – fun pirate adventure for kids (ages 4-12). It’s also a 2-hour tour (approximately $35/child) and includes lunch and fun pirate-related activities.
  • Hair Wrap / Braiding – while this is available at various locations throughout Disney property, if I wanted it done, I’d choose this location. Located right along the water, it’s peaceful and beautiful!
  • Caricature Drawings – a portrait artist is available in the lobby during the evening hours to paint caricatures and portraits in several variations (prices vary from $15-30).
  • Pressed Pennies – collectors will be happy to know that there are 5 pressed penny and 1 pressed quarter machines on property.

Thank you for joining me today.
Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is DIStherapy.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Fort Wilderness Cabins at The Magical Mouse Pad

2nd Stop ~ Caribbean Beach Resort at Your First Visit

3rd Stop ~ Port Orleans French Quarter at My Dreams of Disney

4th Stop ~ Port Orleans Riverside at Heidi’s Head *you are here!

Final Stop ~ Coronado Springs at DIStherapy


Capturing Magical Memories said...

Love the write up.  We are staying there for the first time in November and can't wait!

Jodi Whisenhunt said...

Great review, Heidi! POR is our fave resort, because it's so quiet and peaceful. We like the separate, covered bus stops too. Can't wait to be back there in Sept.!

David Shute said...

Great review, Heidi! POR is the favorite moderate of so many people and you've done a great job explaining why...

Heidi Strawser said...

Thanks, Dave! What a nice compliment. :)

Distherapy said...

We simply must stay in a themed room and soon!  I just love the details of this resort. Thanks for a terrific "teaser".

blue65829 said...

POR is a fantastic mod! Having stayed in both sections we prefer the more "rustic" theming of alligator bayou to the mansions, but you really can't go wrong either way.

John smith said...

Every children feel entertainment in playground place for playground equipment.

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