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Old 01-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #1
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Disney's Port Orleans Riverside (Disney Moderate Resort)

Port Orleans Riverside, downriver from the French Quarter, evokes the old South with mansions and bayous.

Official Guidebook Review: Our official review of Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort can be read in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook (chapter 3).

Personal Review: We've enjoyed many good vacations at Port Orleans Riverside (starting back when it was known as Dixie Landings). It comes in at our second favorite moderate resort, with lower marks mostly due to its size (it's very spread out).

Other Reviews: Disney's Port Orleans Resort: A Resort Hotel Review.

Photo Reviews: See our Port Orleans Riverside Resort photo collection.

Your Review: What do YOU think of this resort? We want to know! To leave a review AND numerical rating, click the Review button below. Please avoid commenting on previously posted reviews. Tip: Include your pros and cons!

Results from these ratings and reviews will be factored into the ratings that appear in the guidebook, too!

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Old 01-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #2
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Thumbs up POR Alligator Bayou July 2005

We stayed here (just before THE hurricanes) and really liked it. My mom is from the Mississippi gulf coast (were we went just after we left WDW) and she has stayed here many times because of the theme. We chose this resort because:
Mom was loaning us the money for this stay, so she chose it for the theme (that made one less decision for us),
On the grounds guest advantages,
Sleeping space for 5 of us.

What makes this resort really neat is the old-time river-side town theme, including the punkah fan in the high-ceilinged guest service area. The ‘Old man Island’ play area was a nice, safe place to enjoy a pool with the kids. The area has a nice hot-tub and life guards. It was a very nice place to come back to after a hot day in the parks (Florida in July = HOT). There is large, covered bar area, but we did not get anything there. The waterfront area has boat rentals and the ferry to DTD (we did not use either), as well as bike and ‘surrey’ rentals. I can’t comment on the value of any of the rentals as we did not have the $ at the time for stuff like that. Our older DS (and I) liked the arcade, my DW liked the shopping (a little TOO much, as my DS likes to say). The food in the food court was good and varied (the scrambled eggs were the BRIGHTEST yellow I have ever seen) and we got the refillable mugs, which we still use every day. The theme in our room was appropriate, without calling attention to itself. We were not able to get a first floor room as requested because my mom needs at least a cane to get around (no elevators), but she very well. It worked out that I got to sleep on the trundle bed, and I was comfortable (I’m 6’ 2”) and I was closest to the door (I arise VERY early) and did not disturb everyone else when I got up to get coffee. The pathways are winding and our building was a decent walk to the main building, but it was really neat to see the ducks, which was my younger DS’s favorite feature. It is really amazing to me that there are so many rooms at this resort, but it seems so peaceful and spread out! The flora seems to be very authentic, based on my travels in the South. The waterwheel on the outside of the main building was turning, but the inside part was not, but even though the machinery was not moving, it was pretty neat just looking at it. Even the temperature of the food court was just right, which is amazing considering the size of the room!
We did not go to the lounge, but we did get to enjoy Boatwrights and everyone enjoyed the food. Having briefly lived in New Orleans, I hesitate to get ‘Cajun’ style food, but I liked what I got (It has been a few years, so I forget exactly what we had). I don’t think we had ADRs, but maybe it helped to be guests and have our own Steel Magnolia (my mom) to arrange things. Because of hurricane Dennis, we had to extend our stay, and it did not seem to be any problem for the hotel and we did not go stir crazy (laundry, arcade, shopping). All the resort CMs seemed very nice and mousekeeping was fine.
The wait for the buses did not seem too long, but I really do not have the experience with other resorts to compare it with. While we were here, we went to MK, EPCOT, and AK.
I don’t think that I would pay extra for a “water view” because I would not be spending much daylight time in the room and it’s not like you can see the fireworks.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:00 AM   #3
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POR is a fablous hotel. The best themed moderate. I'm one of the few that likes Boatwrights. The boat ride to DTD is great. It's a pleasure just strolling around the resort
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My Previous Trips2015 BC, 2014 BC, 2014 BWI, 2013 BC, 2013 GF, 2012 BC, 2012 OKW, 2012 BWI, 2011 BWI, 2011 BC, 2010 BC, 2010 CSR, 2010 Kidani, 2009 GCV, 2009 BC, 2008 BWV, 2008 Grand Californian, 2008 BC, 2007 BWI, 2007 POFQ, 2007 Grand Californian, 2006 BC, 2006 POR, 2006 WL, 2005 BC, 2005 BWI, 2005 CBR, 2004 CR, 2004 GF, 2004 POFQ 2004 Poly, 2003 Poly, 2003 CSR, 2003 POR, 2002 AKL, 2002 GF, 2001 AKL, 2001 Poly, 2000 CBR, 1999 CBR, 1998 ASMo, 1997 ASMSp, 1996 ASMo, 1995 ASSp, 1991 Wyndham, 1989 off site, 1985 Off Site

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Old 01-09-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
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Our family LOVED this resort! The kids enjoyed playing at Ol' Man Island as well as the near by quiet pool. The scenery made us feel as if we were the only ones there.
People talk about the "long walks" but we really didn't feel that it took us long to walk anywhere. We stayed in the Aligator Bayou section near the West Bus Depot.
The "bicycle for 4" was a nice way to see the resort. And we really enjoyed the boat ride to DtD.
We'd go back there again in a second!!

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My Previous TripsWDW (POR) Nov. 12- 20 2007 WDW (POP) Oct. 22 - 29 2008 WDW (POP) Jan. 24 - 28 2009 (SOLO)
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:16 PM   #5
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a perfect 10

We stayed in the Alligator Bayou Section for a Grand Gathering of Four families with people ranging in age from a 7 year old girl to an 81 year old man. WE ALL LOVED THIS RESORT.

The Quality is A-1 for any moderate resort anywhere.

Accessibility should be a 12 or more but they only let me rate up to 10. There are very dependable busses, a water taxi to DTD, POFQ, or SS, you can also walk down river to any of them. From DTD you can also hop a bus to anywhere.

Affordabilty is right in line with moderates elswhere, but you rally do get so much moe 'bang for the buck'

Theming is awesome real down-home southern charm at it's best.

One word for the Amenities is wow..everything from the Lobby to the pool, to The restaurant 'Boatwrights" is fantastic....and all of it keeps right in line with the above-mentioned fantastic themeing.

Magic...I'd like to give it a 15 but as I said above...they only let me go up to 10
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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We love this resort! Our first stay here was in December 2000 when it was still Dixie Landings. The Holiday decorations here were beautiful! There were live poinsettias lining the walk ways and all the landscaping was perfectly groomed every day. This trip was a 20th wedding anniversary trip (we did the land/cruise package with another couple) and we asked for rooms in the Magnolia Bend section for the romance factor. The rooms were beautiful and very nicely furnished. Our only drawback was the very long walks to get from the bus stops or the food court/restaurant to our rooms. On our more recent trips, we have requested rooms in the Alligator Bayou section so that we wouldn't have as much walking. They are still very nice rooms but the theming is completely different from Magnolia Bend. Recently we stayed in a deluxe resort and my DH and I both agree that POR is definitely as nice as the deluxe and more our style of resort. We feel that we get a nicer room at a lower cost and the whole ambience of the resort was more our style. We just felt more at home here. We love the boat transportation to Downtown Disney, the bike paths, the pools and Boatwright's. We've never had a problem with the food court (always had good food, lots of choices and no problems getting a seat) but have not been there since that was renovated.
I highly recommend this resort and am hoping to talk my sister into staying here on our fall trip this year!
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My Previous Trips1st WDW experience - October 1992 stayed offsite, March 2000 AllStar Music, Dec. 2000 Cruise/Dixie Landings (now POR), June 2002 POR, Sept. 2004 Disneyland, April 2005 POR, April 2006 POR, October 2006 Pop, December 2007 Wilderness Lodge!, October 2008 Pop, May 2009 CBR, October 2010 Grand Floridian Birthday celebration!, Nov/Dec 2010 POFQ, April 2011 Disneyland weekend, July 2011 POFQ, September 2011 solo MNSSHP @ POFQ, February 2013 Princess Half Marathon w/DD at POFQ
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:56 PM   #7
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Stayed in the Mansions section and was very happy -- love the theming and the size of the resort was good as well. Not too big, not too small. The food court and gift shop were very nice also.
My Previous Trips2014 - Pop Century (Fall Fantasy Solo Trip), 2010 - USF/Food & Wine Festival, 2009 - Polynesian/Coronado Springs (Desert Flower Tour), 2008 - Wilderness Lodge/Port Orleans-French Quarter (Le laisser le bon temps roulent la tournee!), 2007 - Caribbean Beach (Greg's First Trip), 2006 - Port Orleans-Riverside (Fall Fling), 2006 - Pop Century (Solo Trip), 2005 - Coronado Springs (Holiday Excursion), 2003 - All Star Music/Animal Kingdom Lodge (Summer Tour), 2001 - Offsite, 1999 - Doubletree @ Downtown Disney (Business Trip), 1998 - Port Orleans-French Quarter/Coronado Springs, 1995 - All Star Movies, 1994 - All Star Sports
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:39 PM   #8
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Port Orleans Riverside

My Husband and I stayed at this resort for our Honeymoon in 2000 when it was Dixie Landings and in 2005. We love this resort. We are staying there again in February of this year with my sister-in-law. The rooms are spacious. The grounds are beautiful and when you enter this resort you definitely feel you are at disney. The sounds and smell are authentic. Transportation is good and the food is good as well. We feel that this is our favorite resort in disney. We previously stayed at the Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Caribean Beach Resort but find that there is something about Port Orleans that is far nicer than the others.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:26 PM   #9
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We love this resort. It is absolutely beautiful with the river running through the property. Everything is so lush and green. The landscaping is by far the prettiest of all the resorts. You truly feel like you are hidden away in the old south. The boats to Downtown Disney are fun to ride. We usually arrive late in the afternoon when beginning our vacation at WDW. We always take the boat to DTD for that night - it's a fun way to start the magic.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:59 AM   #10
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:12 PM   #11
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Thumbs up POR - AB section

Being a family of 5 (DH, myself, DS14, DS11, DD9) and on a "moderate income" so our resort of choice is Port Orleans Riverside - Alligator Bayou!

We have stayed here twice - October 2003 in building 17 and December 2006 in building 26 (I think that was it). The theming in the room is wonderful and the rooms are clean. I like the safe in the room, the trundle bed, double sinks, and the that there is a small table and 2 chairs as well. I do wish the beds were queen size though but they're comfortable and you can get extra pillows as well as towels.

The grounds are gorgeous! In fact, on our last trip, there was an Owl in the trees outside our room! I had a bit of a hard time the first trip finding my way around, but was and "expert" by the end and of course for our next trip. Be sure to take a boat ride - it's SO relaxing! One night DH and I headed down to DTD (my parents were on that trip and stayed with the kids) and it gives you a different perspective and is one way to not be so 'commando'.

The kids and DH love the pools (I don't like bathing suits ) and had a lot of fun on the slide in the theme pool as well as the 'small' pool near our building. I like that there is a laundry facility as well (I like to come home with some clean clothes if possible).

The food court is also incredible - so many choices. We all enjoyed everything we ate - especially chocolate chip pancakes and bacon as well as the cinnamon rolls! We typically ate our breakfast there each morning as well as a few lunch/dinner items that we all enjoyed. We did purchase 2 of the refillable mugs and got good use out of them.

Transportation to the parks was always ok too. In 2003, POFQ was closed for rehab so we were always on an 'empty' bus going into the parks. Sometimes the wait for a bus from the park to the resort could be a bit longer that we would have liked but not enough to make me not want to use it (hey, it's 'free'!).

CMs - any interaction with the POR CMs has been outstanding - for our 2006 trip, the TA did not mention that we were traveling with my parents and a friend so they had us all over the place (literally) and they did their BEST to get us close together. (Not THEIR fault - stuped TA I used).

I have recommended POR to friends and family and they have all been very satisfied with their stay and had good experiences.

I am looking forward to planning our next WDW trip and am sure it will include a stay at POR-AB (unless I win mega-millions or something and then I'm staying at every resort on property!)

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Old 02-15-2008, 12:49 PM   #12
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Thumbs up I Love This Resort

Really. I do.

Here's my ten cents on everything. I stayed from 2/9 to 2/14, 2008 in Alligator Bayou, room 3855 (building 38, room 55 - a second floor room).

The bus system really is fine. I hate buses in general, but if I'm being fair, it was fine. The buses ran regularly and I never had a long wait for anything.

Love them. We stayed in Alligator Bayou and the theming was gorgeous. The beds were very comfortable. I had no problems with them whatsoever. The pillows were a bit fluffier than I normally like, but they flattened down just fine.

Tons of counter space in the sink area. I was pleased with that. The drawers are quite large and have plenty of room, and there are lots of other little storage areas in the tv stand / bureau. The beds have plenty of room underneath to store suitcases, which is nice. Gets them out of the way.

There was also plenty of room for me to store the stroller - open - without it being at all in the way. I was really impressed with the room size. I would have loved a balcony, but I could live without it.

The food court was great. Not at all crowded, and had lots of great options. I was very impressed. Their chocolate cake is out of this world, I tell you what.

I also ate at Boatwrights and was very impressed with both the service and the food. Wonderful breakfast, reasonable prices. The dinner menu looked fantastic, too, and had reasonable prices, but I had other plans for my dinners so I didn't eat there.

I was a little disappointed - though not surprised - that the pool bar didn't have any foodstuffs whatsoever (except bags of chips). But being that it's a moderate, I wasn't terribly surprised. A hotdog / burger offer would have been nice though.

The store had so many different things, I found myself wanting to buy a little of everything! Great selection! And a lot of the prices for toiletries were pretty close to what I pay in my grocery store. I was surprised.

I had no troubles here. Everything was cleaned to my satisfaction (and I'm SUPER picky) and I got some fun towel art every day.

Bell Services
Very impressed here. They were prompt and friendly and very helpful. Definitely utilize them!! Besides, it's fun zooming around in the little cart!

Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I walked all over the resort and it was just so beautiful everywhere! There are tons of paths to walk. The pool was nice and warm - though the wading / kiddie pool was FREEZING! It was also in the shade which doesn't help matters - though it makes sense to not have the little ones out in the blazing sun.

It's a spread out resort, for sure, but I never found any walk to be what I would consider "too far" at all. And I wasn't even in a "close in" building at all.

Bottom Line
Can't recommend this place enough. I'm a deluxe snob, for sure, and this place was wonderful! I missed room service and the like (the pizza didn't quite cut it for me) but everything else was just phenomenal. Loved it. We're definitely going back!!
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:24 PM   #13
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I am writing this review about only the "Mansions" section of Port Orleans Riverside and not Alligator Bayou.

We enjoyed the relaxed ambiance of the mansions. The theming was beautiful and we really felt like we were far away in a mansion in New Orleans. The building and room was so nice. The views of the surrounding landscaping was really authentic. The quiet pool was a joy to swim in, it was clean, warm, and quiet. This place was a real joy to stay in. The room was clena and quiet too. We enjoyed walks in the landscaped walkways near the meandering river, enjoyed drinks in the evening by the fountain in the front and just relaxed and enjoyed this spot!

It was large but not that difficult to navigate. All in all a nice place to stay! I definitely give this place a big overall score of 8!

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My Previous TripsWDW: (offsite) 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998 WDW: CSR: 06/2004, 07/2005, CR: 12/2006, POR: 07/2007, SSR: 12/2008, CR: 06/2009 WDW: BLT: 10/2009, Poly:07/2012, YC 12/2012 Poly: 07/2013, Bay Lake: 07.2013, Poly: 07/2014

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Old 02-23-2008, 08:29 PM   #14
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The scores in my review above reflect the scores for the Mansions section and NOT alligator bayou section!!!!
I am reviewing the alligator bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside here and not the mansions. I would give this part of Port Orleans Riverside at best a 5 overall and here is why:

We checked into the Bayou section and disliked it immensely. Our room was very dirty, the carpet stained our socks brown, there were stains on the chairs, and there was globs of icky stuff on the netting over bed and on the wall near the window.

It was quite a walk from the parking of our car to where our room was located, and we use a handicapped parking tag for my hubby due to his disabilities...not very accessible.

The quiet pool was cloudy and full of leaves and other debris...ugh we did not swim in it (it was cold water too)...this was in July not fall so why so much leaves, and other debris all over the walkways? Doesn't say much for the grounds keepers unless this is intentional, we've never been to the bayou of New Orleans so maybe this is authentic?

We didn't stay overnight even...got out of there as it was not up to Disney standards in our opinion. So we instead moved to the Mansions section and had a much better impression. as in at least an 8 overall.

Also in the Bayou it was very noisy and so crowded, theming was ok.. I know others will have a better experience and disagree with us but this was our experience. The bus stop was quite a walk too.

Would we go there again...no way....
We would however stay in the mansions section in a heartbeat.
Boatwrights had very good food and the staff there was pleasant and accomodating.

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Old 02-23-2008, 11:24 PM   #15
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Port Orleans Riverside - 2006

We stayed here on our last trip in 2006 and stayed in the Alligator bayou section since we went with my sister and nephew so there was five in the room...

We loved this resort, our building was not too far from the main building and the pool was a relaxing walk in the other direction. We did not have a river view but we looked out over this area of water and trees....just like the swamps you would see in the Bayou and in the morning it was quite beautiful to see the dew on the trees and plants as the sun started to come up.

The kids loved the pool, I found that while it was crowded there was always more than enough chairs to sit and did not feel too crowded.

The food court was nice, never too crowded and we enjoyed the food and the selection, we also were a family that had a wonderful meal at Boatright's...

The boatride to DTD was relaxing and overall the atmosphere just made the vacation so much better then it already was...

The only complaint which really isn't a complaint is that walking to the bus could be quite a distance depending on where you were...at night when the kids were exhausted it was a long walk to the room depending which stop we got off...but during the day when the kids were up and excited the walk was very pleasant and the grounds were lovely to walk through.

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