Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: 1251 Riverside Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (maiden name, Dixie Landings Resort) is where the Bayou meets the Old-South and southern charm is at its finest. As you step inside this Moderate Disney Resort’s Main Lobby, casual elegance surrounds you. This little slice of the South transports Disney guests to a simpler time of steamboats, ship yards, and cotton mills. Grab yourself a sweet tea and a spot on the front porch because for us, the theming, the food, and fun are what make this Resort a Mouse-Stay!
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort is a dual resort, and in our overall resort post (here) we discuss the benefits of this two-for-one Disney Moderate Resort. This post is dedicated specifically to the features of the Riverside portion of the Resort.
From the decor and architecture to the landscaping, the theming of this Disney Moderate Resort reminds us of the great American industries the United States was built on. Oversize paddle fans hang from the grand ceilings above, guests relax in wooden rocking chairs on the front porch of the Riverside Mill, and we have no problem feeling at home in this laid back Louisiana-style Resort.
The mighty Sassagoula River flows throughout the Property, and guests make their way to and from the Main Lobby via a maze of wooden pathways and bridge ways, but just wait – the best is yet to come!
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside is certainly the larger of the two Port Orleans Resorts. Throughout the Resort’s wide spread grounds, Riverside’s 2,040 plus guest rooms are housed in twenty motel-style buildings uniquely themed in two sections: the majestic mansions of southern Mississippi River plantations known as “Magnolia Bend,” and the rustic bungalows of the Louisiana bayou appropriately named “Alligator Bayou,” with the latter being the more popular of the two. The rooms along the immersive swamps of Alligator Bayou offer the ability to sleep five guests with their inclusive Murphy Bed, in contrast to the standard occupancy of just four guests per room at most Disney Resorts (not including the Disney Vacation Club Villas).
Travel Note: Are you a family of five? We highly recommend the rooms at Alligator Bayou at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside for families of five visiting The Walt Disney World Resort.
Along the perfectly manicured lawns of the Sassagoula River, you will find the stately mansions of Magnolia Bend. Take a walk through the Resort’s impressive grounds, dressed only in your Sunday-best of course, where you will find beautiful brick work, water features, and a simply southern landscape made up of Magnolia trees, camelias, and gardenias.
However, unlike their stately exteriors, you will find each guest room’s interior is in line with other Disney Moderate Resorts. At just over 300 square feet of interior space, the guest rooms include one king or two queen beds, a double sink, bathroom with full tub and shower, a modest closet, a small table, two chairs, and a mini fridge.
The Royal Guest Rooms of the Magnolia Bend section of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside are popular with younger guests. This is the best way, aside from sleeping in Cinderella’s Castle, to feel like you’re a part of Disney Royalty. A Royal Guest Room will take guests on a magic carpet ride with Aladdin and Jasmin over Agraba with their illuminated headboards featuring scenes from Disney’s Aladdin and through the bayou’s of Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. However, this extra theming will cost you an additional $70.00 per night for a royal themed guest room. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion for your little Prince or Princess, we highly recommend the splurge on these very special rooms!
In a culinary capital like The Walt Disney World Resort where everyone has their favorite Mouse-Eats, deciding where to eat can be tough and trying somewhere new can be even more difficult. However, Port Orleans Resort Riverside offers a few unique options for those looking to enjoy comfort food done right!
The only table-service restaurant presently being offered to guests is Boatwright’s Dining Hall which can be found at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. Frankly, this restaurant has been a favorite of ours for its homey vibe and delicious down-home eats (did we mention the fluffy biscuits?).
Travel Note: Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is one of the few places left on Walt Disney World Property that still serves Prime Rib regularly on its menu.
Riverside’s quick service, the Riverside Mill Food Court, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From create-your-own pizzas and pastas, barbecue burgers for lunch and dinner to Mickey Waffles and omelet stations for breakfast, this location has something for everyone. What we love most is that this popular spot is fittingly set in an old cotton mill, and aside from the general people watching – this venue has so much to take in!
Here you will find the Resort’s most iconic and in our opinion its most photogenic symbol, an authentic reproduction of a thirty-two foot waterwheel which powers the Mill’s cotton press. We love passing by this baby on our morning walks from Alligator Bend to the Riverside Mill. Even if you aren’t a guest of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, this massive waterwheel is truly impressive, and it’s a definite Mouse-See on your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort!
Riverside is also home to The River Roost Lounge, one of the best bars on Disney Property if you ask us. If you’re looking for a good time, The River Roost Lounge is the bee’s knees! This is where Disney Legend YeHaa Bob Jackson performs his show Wednesday through Saturday nights. YeHaa Bob is, in our opinion, the best Walt Disney World entertainer, and he has been a Port Orleans staple since as far back as 1997. We’ve spent plenty of Disney Date Nights singing along with YeHaa Bob and the fabulous River Roost Bar Tenders.
This indoor lounge is located just off the Resort’s Main Lobby and adjacent to Boatwright’s Dining Hall. If y’all find yourself staying at either Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside or French Quarter, make your way to The River Roost Lounge Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night to catch a YeHaa Bob show. We promise you won’t regret it!
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside offers a total of six pools onsite all heated year round. There are five quiet pools tucked away throughout the Resort’s grounds. Two quiet pools are located in the Magnolia Bend section, and the three remaining quiet pools are scattered throughout the Alligator Bayou section of the Resort. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside’s feature pool, Ol’ Man Island, is the smaller of the two resort pools at 158,000 gallons. Centrally located near the Resort’s main lobby and the Riverside Mill Food Court, Ol’ Man Island is themed after an old swimming hole that takes us back to our early days at the now defunct River Country Water Park. The theming here is right up our alley, and for us its the perfect rustic retreat for a day outside the parks. Ol’ Man Island was a favorite of ours growing up, and it still ranks high on our list of favorite pools of Walt Disney World.
This swimming hole is where we spent most of our young adult life, and it features a water slide, hot tub, and a large swimming pool with an overhead aquaduct style-waterfall. If you’re looking for afternoon of fun pool-side, the Resort’s Pool Party takes place daily. Guests young and old participate in pool games, trivia, and a dance party. We’re suckers for Disney Trivia, so this is always a Mouse-Do for us! Also, don’t forget the nearby Muddy Rivers Pool Bar serves excellent cocktails poolside. Cheers!
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside holds a very special place in our hearts going all the way back to its Dixie Landing Days. If you’re looking for a charming spot for your first or next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, we hope you and your family will consider Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside.
For more on Disney’s Port Orleans Resort as a whole, please visit our post on this dual resort.
Have you stayed at or are you planning an upcoming stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort? If so, we’d love to hear about your stay!