If you've read my Disney planning post, you already know how much planning I put into my Walt Disney World trip, including where to say. Disney World boasts 27 resorts, so there are plenty of options to choose from. After much debating, a large Excel spreadsheet and tons of pros and cons, I settled on Port Orleans Riverside.
I'd like to start this review off by letting you all know that I was not traveling with children, and I do not recommend this resort for families with young children, nor do I recommend it for those seeking a high-energy resort. I purposely chose this resort because of its serenity, aesthetics, and Royal Rooms.
I'm going to insert Disney's Magical Express right here. The Magical Express is a service included for resort guests - it is a shuttle that takes you to and from the airport and your resort. When we got off of our flight, we had little to worry about. Disney already had our flight information and which resort we were staying at. All we had to do was find the Magical Express (which had a ton of signage at the airport), and take it to our resort, with only a couple stops in between. Our Disney experience truly began as we tapped our Magic Bands, boarded the bus, and got to watch cartoons and behind-the-scenes footage of the parks.
Port Orleans Riverside is a moderate resort, basically the second tier in the world of Disney resorts. It isn't the fanciest, but it sure felt luxurious to us! Upon arrival (past midnight), we were already impressed by the water running through the resort, the well-manicured lawns and plantation-style buildings. There was something very sophisticated about it, and I was feeling pretty validated regarding my resort choice.
I did not find the resort to be particularly disability-friendly; the walk to our room was fairly unpleasant, as we had to walk up a few stairs, then an inconvenient distance to an elevator, then wind our way back around on the second floor to our room.
The good news? We absolutely weren't disappointed when we got there.
Our room was full of Disney magic - princess portraits, many Disney-related details, and of course, the fireworks on the bed made me smile. The room was spacious, with two queen-sized beds, a table, a few places to sit, a bathroom with a shower/tub, and a double sink. We had more than enough space for the two of us, which led to a very comfortable stay.
I loved all of the little details, from the Magic Carpet on the floor, to the enchanted ottoman from Beauty and the Beast, to the LED fireworks on our headboards (activated by the push of a button).
We got a good night's sleep before taking some time to explore our resort.
Since we slept in, we skipped breakfast and grabbed lunch at the food court instead. Selection wasn't huge, but there was something for everyone. I opted for a build-your-own pasta, choosing fettuccine, shrimp, veggies, and white sauce.
We took a long walk around the resort, taking the rustic paths around and through the winding rivers. Even though the resort was pretty full, we were never overwhelmed by crowds (perhaps because they were all at the parks). Ultimately we made our way to the boat dock to catch a boat to Disney Springs.
While our boat exited Riverside and entered into French Quarter I snapped the photo above. Our room is the one on the corner of the second floor!
I absolutely adore boat rides, and I was thrilled to have a boat as a transportation option. Boarding was beyond easy, and we enjoyed a quiet ride down the Sassagoula River, passing by several other Disney properties before arriving at Disney Springs.
Overall, we were wonderfully impressed by this resort. The Disney Magic was present in our room, and the river view upgrade gave us two large windows with a view of the river. Even though we didn't spend the most money, our stay felt luxurious. We enjoyed the Disney-brand toiletries provided, the shopping options (Fulton's is awesome!), and our short walk to theme park transportation every morning.
I would absolutely stay there again!
Until next time,