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Staying at Port Orleans – Riverside is like being transported to New Orleans of yesterday. Split into two sections, Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend, each shows a different aspect of the lesser known country life of New Orleans.
Alligator Bayou has more of a rustic, cabin feeling, but a bit more upscale than Fort Wilderness or the Treehouses at Saratoga Springs.
Magnolia Bend features architecture found in the plantation manors of the Deep South, complete with soaring columns and classic décor.
Vintage touches throughout both bring the quaint feeling that we love about this place.
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About Port Orleans Riverside Rooms
All of the buildings at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside have external room access, meaning your room won’t be along an indoor corridor, but rather your door opens directly to the outside.
The Alligator Bayou buildings are two floors and only have stairs, while the Magnolia Bend areas are three floors and have elevator access. This is important to note, especially if you have guests in your party that need elevator access…or if you don’t want to schlep that stroller up the stairs every day.
Just make sure to contact (407) 939-5277 with any questions or booking requests.
Rooms are divided into two categories – Standard and Royal Guest Rooms. Within these categories, the rooms are separated by view, each view falling into a slightly different price range.
These rooms are a cozy set up, the majority of which have two queen beds in the main living space, complete with a TV and small eating nook. The bathroom is split into a sink area with a rail for hanging clothes, and a space for the shower and toilet. You can pull a curtain to separate the bathroom area from the rest of the room, and there is a door on the shower space. This allows several people to get ready to go at once while maximizing privacy.
Within these rooms, you’ll find many of the typical hotel standards, like a hair dryer, ironing board, and in-room safe. While there aren’t any cooking units, you do have a mini-fridge and a coffee maker available, which can be nice for storing drinks or snacks and saving some time in the morning. All the rooms at the property are connected to Disney’s free WiFi service, which is particularly nice given all you’ll need to do on the My Disney Experience app!
Standard Room Views
Standard rooms are available in standard view, woods view, pool view, and river view, with slight variations in price between each. Since the rooms are off an exterior hallway, none of them have balconies, so the actual “view” itself isn’t really what you’re paying for with these choices. Selecting a view largely determines where you end up within the resort.
Standard view rooms are closer to the parking lots, pool views are closer to the pool (which makes sense), while woods and river views are a bit deeper within the resort area. A woods view is more likely to be on the Alligator Bayou side, while a river view is probably on the Magnolia Bend send. While there’s no guarantee of that, it tends to work out that way.
You can also get a preferred room, which will put you much closer to the main Sassagoula Company building, therefore the transportation options and the food sources. These rooms are only on the Alligator Bayou side, but the Royal Rooms on the Magnolia Bend side are in comparable location. If you don’t want to have to walk a distance to any of those amenities, you might want to spring for the preferred rooms.
While most of the rooms have two queen beds, you also have the option for one king bed or to reserve a room with a fifth sleeper, or a child-size pull-down bed located under the TV. To get either of these options, you do need to reserve them in particular, but they are clearly marked as separate choices on the Port Orleans – Riverside booking site. Couples might prefer the bigger bed and more living space, while a family with small children might want the extra bed. You know the size of your party and your needs, so choose accordingly!
There aren’t any suites or villas at Port Orleans – Riverside, however many of the rooms have connecting lock-out doors to other guest rooms.
When booking, simply request that the rooms for your party be connected, and it will be just like living in a villa at another resort.
Royal Guest Rooms
Throughout the Walt Disney World Resorts, several of the resorts underwent a refit to bring an extra level of theming to sections of their rooms. At Port Orleans – Riverside, this takes shape in the form of the Royal Rooms.
The theming fits the name, as the elegance of these rooms is befitting a princess without being overly childish or girly. An overall color scheme of shades of blue and gold complement lavish wood furnishings, with pops of brighter colors adding fun accents throughout the space. Even the light fixtures have a luxury touch, with a golden glow that casts a magical radiance across your room. Special touches like Aladdin’s magic carpet in the rug, princess portraits on the walls, and of course, the light-up fireworks headboards really make these rooms.
On top of the theming, these rooms are in a similar location to the preferred rooms, which means you’ll be closer to the center of the resort. If you are considering getting a preferred room anyway, and you have princess-lovers in your group, you might want to spring for these rooms!
Royal Room Views
Royal guest rooms are divided into views as well – standard, river, woods, and pool. However, just like the regular rooms, Royal Rooms are still on an exterior hallway without a balcony, so paying extra for a particular view really has more to do with the location of the room within the resort than what you’re actually seeing out the window. Again, you’re already in a preferred location, so going for the more expensive view isn’t really worth it.
All the Royal Rooms have two queen beds, so that’s another factor you might want to consider when booking. Whether you’re a couple or a family, the room set up is the same, so if you’re in a larger party you might want to skip this option. You could also opt for multiple rooms, which is one of our key tips wherever you stay, but that is particularly true when space is limited.
How to Choose?
Since you have different choices in terms of rooms, it can be overwhelming trying to settle on the right option. We have a couple of tips for you to help you narrow it down!
When determining which room you should pick, it is important to take into account a few factors:
The size of your party
If you have a larger group, you might want to focus on the areas that have lock-out options and extra beds available. While the Royal Rooms are beautiful, trying to get more than one right next to each other is going to be difficult. Come back another time with just your family (or just as a couple!) and check out these rooms then.
The age of your party
Don’t spend money on something your kids or vacation buddies just aren’t going to care about. We’re not saying that teenagers won’t love the Royal Rooms, but you know your family. For instance, if you have three kids older than ten, they might be happier to have an extra bed in a standard room rather than sleeping on a cot in a Royal Room.
Your vacation priorities
Debating whether to go preferred? Think about what your family values in a vacation. If being close to the food and the main entrance is important, then it will be worth it. Have kiddos that can’t get enough of the pool? Then you might want to go for the pool view instead. Driving yourself? Save the money and time by just getting a standard view, as you will most likely be closer to the parking lot.
At the end of the day, you want to do what is the best for your family. Also, remember, no matter where you choose to stay at Port Orleans – Riverside, you are going to love it!
Written by Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer
Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.