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Guide to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Guide to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Welcome to the enchanting world of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside! Nestled along the scenic Sassagoula River, this magical getaway transports guests to the heart of the charming Deep South. The closer you get, you will be transported to the land of magnolia trees, mint juleps, and accents thick and sweet as honey. 

As one of the moderate-level resorts within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, Port Orleans Resort – Riverside offers a unique combination of Southern hospitality, picturesque surroundings, and immersive Disney theming.

Ambiance of Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Inspired by the antebellum era, this resort captures the essence of rustic Louisiana with its stately mansions, sprawling Magnolia Bend buildings, and quaint rustic cottages. Whether you’re strolling down the cobblestone streets or relaxing by the tranquil riverfront, every detail of the resort evokes a sense of Southern elegance and serenity.

One of the standout features of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is its captivating “Bayou” area, where you can explore the meandering waterways and moss-draped trees reminiscent of a Louisiana bayou. Hop aboard a charming ferryboat or take a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride to fully immerse yourself in the resort’s idyllic ambiance.

The resort offers a wide range of accommodations to suit various needs and preferences. The Magnolia Bend mansions provide a touch of grandeur, featuring spacious rooms adorned with beautiful Southern-inspired décor. On the other hand, the rustic Alligator Bayou cottages offer a more quaint and cozy setting, perfect for families or those seeking a rustic retreat.

Where is Port Orleans Resort – Riverside?

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is in the Disney Springs Resort district, and is the sister resort to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. 

Transportation Options at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside offers a variety of transportation options to help guests navigate the Walt Disney World Resort:

  1. Disney Bus Transportation
    Complimentary bus transportation is available to and from all four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), as well as to Disney Springs. Buses typically run on a regular schedule, providing convenient transportation throughout the day.
  2. Sassagoula River Cruise
    Guests staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside can enjoy a delightful boat ride along the scenic Sassagoula River. This transportation option connects the resort to Disney Springs, allowing guests to explore the dining, shopping, and entertainment offerings at the popular waterfront district.
  3. Minnie Van Service
    For a more personalized and direct transportation experience, guests can utilize the Minnie Van service. This private ride-sharing service operated by Lyft is available for an additional fee and offers comfortable transportation to various locations within the Walt Disney World Resort.

Additionally, guests can also use their personal vehicles or rental cars to drive to the various attractions within the Walt Disney World Resort, as the resort provides ample parking facilities.

How Close is Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to Disney Springs?

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is conveniently located near Disney Springs, which is within walking distance from the resort. The approximate walking distance from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to Disney Springs is about 15-20 minutes, depending on your walking pace. This allows guests staying at the resort to easily access the shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings at Disney Springs without the need for additional transportation. 

Additionally, guests can also take advantage of the complimentary boat transportation along the Sassagoula River, which provides a scenic and relaxing option for reaching Disney Springs from the resort.

How Close is Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is approximately 6 miles away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The driving distance between the resort and the theme park is approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Guests staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside can utilize the complimentary Disney bus transportation to reach Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which typically takes around 15-20 minutes, factoring in stops and travel time. It’s important to note that transportation times may vary depending on factors such as park hours, traffic, and the specific route taken.

How Close is Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to EPCOT?

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is approximately 4 miles away from Epcot, one of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World. The driving distance between the resort and Epcot is approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Guests staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside have several transportation options to reach Epcot. The most convenient and commonly used option is the complimentary Disney bus transportation, which runs regularly between the resort and Epcot. The bus ride typically takes around 15-20 minutes, factoring in stops and travel time.

How Close is Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to the Magic Kingdom?

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is approximately 6 miles away from the Magic Kingdom, which is one of the four main theme parks in Walt Disney World.

The most convenient and commonly used option is the complimentary Disney bus transportation. Buses run regularly between the resort and the Magic Kingdom, with an average travel time of around 15-20 minutes, taking into account stops and travel conditions.

Alternatively, guests can also choose to drive their own vehicle or take a taxi or rideshare service, which would provide more flexibility and potentially reduce travel time depending on traffic conditions.

Dining at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

One of the benefits of a moderate resort versus the value resorts is better dining options. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside has a blend of Table Service, Quick Service, and Pool Bars, with a Louisiana flair. 

Boatwright’s Dining Hall

Inside Entrance to Boatwrights

Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a charming and inviting table-service restaurant located within Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. As soon as you step inside, you’ll be transported to a shipyard warehouse setting, complete with wooden beams, nautical touches, and maritime-inspired decor. The restaurant’s atmosphere exudes a cozy and rustic charm, providing guests with a warm and welcoming dining experience.

The menu at Boatwright’s Dining Hall showcases a delectable array of Southern-inspired cuisine, paying homage to the flavors and culinary traditions of the Deep South. From seafood delicacies to mouthwatering steaks and Creole specialties, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Indulge in dishes like the shrimp and grits, slow-cooked prime rib, jambalaya, or the savory blackened salmon. Vegetarian options and a children’s menu are also available, ensuring that everyone in your party can find something to enjoy.

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Aside from the delicious food, Boatwright’s Dining Hall is known for its friendly and attentive service. The staff is committed to providing a memorable dining experience, and they are more than happy to answer any questions or offer recommendations to enhance your meal. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a relaxing evening, Boatwright’s Dining Hall offers a delightful blend of Southern hospitality, flavorful cuisine, and charming ambiance that will leave you craving a return visit.

Not only is Boatwright’s Dining Hall a fantastic meal to share with family and friends, it is also a very easy reservation to get. Most Table Service restaurants need a dining reservation, and you can generally reserve a spot at Boatwright’s without any issues. 

Riverside Mill Food Court

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Riverside Mill Food Court is a vibrant and bustling dining venue located at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. As the main quick-service dining option within the resort, it offers a convenient and varied selection of delicious dishes to satisfy any craving. The food court is housed in a picturesque setting with rustic flourishes and a charming waterwheel, creating a unique and welcoming atmosphere.

The food court is divided into different stations, each offering a different culinary experience. Guests can choose from a range of options, including made-to-order sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizza, pasta, and hot entrees. The variety ensures that there is something to suit every taste and dietary preference.

 Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal to fuel your day at the parks or a quick snack to satisfy your hunger, Riverside Mill Food Court has you covered.

In addition to the diverse food offerings, Riverside Mill Food Court also provides a pleasant dining environment. With ample seating areas both indoors and outdoors, guests can find a comfortable spot to enjoy their meal. The rustic charm of the surroundings combined with the friendly service creates a relaxed and enjoyable dining experience. Riverside Mill Food Court is the ideal spot for families and individuals seeking a quick and tasty meal before continuing their Disney adventures.

River Roost Lounge

The River Roost Lounge is a lively and entertaining venue located within Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. Known for its fun and energetic atmosphere, this lounge offers a fantastic setting for guests to unwind and enjoy some live entertainment. The lounge’s ambiance is reminiscent of an old-fashioned Southern saloon, with warm lighting, comfortable seating, and rustic decor, creating a cozy and inviting space for relaxation.

What sets the River Roost Lounge apart is its live entertainment by the talented musician known as Yehaa Bob. With his piano skills and infectious energy, Yehaa Bob delivers a one-of-a-kind performance that combines music, comedy, and audience participation. Guests can expect sing-alongs, jokes, and even impromptu dance parties as Yehaa Bob interacts with the crowd. His entertaining shows create an electric and joyful atmosphere that keeps guests coming back for more.

The River Roost Lounge is not only a place to enjoy the live entertainment, but it also offers a selection of beverages, including cocktails, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks. Not to mention the Louisiana-inspired snacks like Bayou Wings and Mardi Gras Fritters. Guests can relax and sip on their favorite libations while immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere of the lounge. The combination of fantastic live entertainment, delightful drinks, and a friendly environment make the River Roost Lounge a must-visit destination for guests looking to have a memorable and entertaining evening at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.

Muddy Rivers Pool Bar

The Muddy Rivers Pool Bar is a delightful oasis located at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, offering a refreshing escape for guests looking to cool off and unwind. Situated near the Ol’ Man Island pool complex, this poolside bar provides a relaxing and casual setting to enjoy a variety of refreshing beverages.

The ambiance at Muddy Rivers Pool Bar captures the essence of a Southern bayou, with its charming decor and laid-back atmosphere. Guests can take a break from their pool activities and settle into one of the comfortable seating areas, complete with shaded spots for respite from the Florida sun. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or seeking a moment of relaxation, Muddy Rivers Pool Bar provides a tranquil retreat.

The bar menu features a wide selection of libations to quench your thirst. From tropical cocktails and frozen beverages to beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options, there’s something for everyone. Sip on a refreshing piña colada, indulge in a signature margarita, or enjoy a local craft beer while taking in the serene surroundings. With friendly and attentive staff ready to serve you, Muddy Rivers Pool Bar is the perfect spot to unwind, socialize, and enjoy a delightful beverage during your stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.

Pools at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside boasts a delightful pool complex that offers guests the perfect opportunity to relax and have fun under the Florida sun. The main pool, known as Ol’ Man Island, serves as the centerpiece of the resort’s aquatic offerings.

Ol’ Man Island Pool is a themed pool area designed to resemble an abandoned sawmill set within a picturesque bayou. Complete with a large water slide that winds down a rustic wooden structure, this pool provides a thrilling experience for guests of all ages. The slide plunges riders into the refreshing waters, adding an element of excitement to the pool experience.

Surrounded by lush landscaping, Ol’ Man Island Pool also features a spa-like hot tub where guests can unwind and enjoy the soothing bubbles. There are ample lounge chairs and shaded seating areas available, providing the perfect spots to relax, read a book, or soak up the sun.

For younger guests, the resort offers a splash play area called the Muddy Ducks Water Works. Kids can enjoy interactive water features, geysers, and a small water slide, creating a playful and safe environment for them to splash and have fun.

In addition to Ol’ Man Island Pool, there are several leisure pools located throughout Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. These smaller pools offer a more intimate setting for guests looking to unwind and take a refreshing dip. Each leisure pool is nestled within different sections of the resort, providing convenient access for guests staying in those areas.

Overall, the pools at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside provide a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. Whether you’re seeking excitement on the water slide, relaxation in the hot tub, or a leisurely swim, the resort’s pools offer a refreshing and enjoyable experience for guests of all ages.

Shopping at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside offers a delightful shopping experience for guests looking to indulge in some Disney-themed merchandise and souvenirs. The main shopping location within the resort is the Fulton’s General Store, a charming emporium reminiscent of an old-fashioned Southern marketplace.

Fulton’s General Store provides a wide range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, toys, collectibles, and home goods. Guests can find an assortment of Disney-branded items, including clothing adorned with beloved characters, plush toys, pins, and Mickey’s ears. There is also a selection of resort-specific merchandise, allowing guests to take home unique souvenirs to commemorate their stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.

The store also stocks a variety of convenience items and essentials, making it a convenient stop for any last-minute needs. From snacks and beverages to toiletries and travel necessities, Fulton’s General Store has you covered.

Additionally, guests can explore the boutique shops located at Disney Springs, which is within walking distance or accessible by boat from the resort. Disney Springs offers a vast array of shopping options, ranging from high-end retailers to specialty boutiques, where guests can find everything from fashion and accessories to artwork and specialty goods.

PROS and CONS of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

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It can be difficult to choose what Disney’s resort is right for you. After all, there are 27 of them! Once you define your budget the list is more manageable. We offer you to use our guide and list of PROS and CONS to help you to make your decision. 

Pros:

  • Theming and Atmosphere
    The resort’s charming Southern-themed atmosphere, complete with scenic waterways, beautiful landscaping, and rustic architecture, creates a relaxing and immersive experience for guests. We consider Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts to be the quietest and most relaxing resorts on Disney property, while still maintaining the Disney feel.
  • Transportation Options
    The resort provides convenient transportation options to various Disney parks and attractions, including complimentary bus service and boat transportation to Disney Springs, making it easy to navigate the resort and explore the surrounding areas.
  • Dining Options
    With the variety of dining options available, including Boatwright’s Dining Hall and Riverside Mill Food Court, guests can enjoy a range of delicious meals and snacks to suit different tastes and budgets.
  • Pool Complex
    The Ol’ Man Island pool, along with leisure pools and a splash play area, offers fun and refreshing experiences for guests of all ages, providing a great way to relax and cool off. The main pool offers trivia games and pool party activities hosted by Cast Members at various times throughout the day, giving guests options for relaxation or fun. 

Cons:

  • Resort Size
    Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is a large resort, which means that some rooms and amenities may be a considerable distance from the main building, transportation stops, or dining locations. This could result in longer walks or reliance on internal transportation.
  • Accessibility
    Most buildings in Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside do not have elevators. Only the Magnolia Bend building, the main building, has an elevator. This needs to be considered if you or a member of your party is planning on renting an ECV while in Disney World.
  • Price
    The cost of staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside can be higher compared to some other resorts in the area, especially during peak times. There are less expensive options if you consider the value resorts, such as the All Star Resorts.
  • Limited On-Site Shopping
    While the resort offers Fulton’s General Store for basic merchandise and souvenirs, guests looking for a more extensive shopping experience may need to visit Disney Springs or other shopping locations in the area.
  • Theming
    While many would consider the theme and atmosphere of the rich Louisiana feel, some may be disappointed that they may not see anything related to Mickey Mouse or other Disney characters. 

Ultimately, the decision to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside depends on personal preferences, budget, and desired amenities. It’s advisable to weigh these pros and cons to determine if the resort aligns with your vacation needs and expectations. 

Click here to check availability at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, as well as all of the room options and amenities.

From Dixie Landings to Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

There is a long history leading up to what Port Orleans Resort is today, dating way back to the mid 1980s. Disney announced a property expansion that would include what we now know today as Disney Springs and Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts. But it was not all smooth sailing. 

What is now known as Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside was originally known as Dixie Landings that had an extensive backstory that was shared with guests via an old-timey newspaper. 

Dixie Landing was a cotton plantation during the high time of agriculture in the United States, the 1850s. As time went on, people made speculations that Disney was being insensitive to history and that there were racial tones with the back story. 

Port Orleans and Dixie Landings formally merged to create one huge resort on April 1st, 2001. Although the reason for the merger was never explicitly stated, most people believe it was because of any implied racial or slavery overtones in the history of the Dixie Landings cotton plantation. Even though the management teams for the two areas had always been the same, this approach completely changed some of the road names and eliminated all references to the previous Dixie Landings language.