Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside: A Slice of Southern Elegance

Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside. Disney's Moderate Resorts


Imagine a place where the allure of the Deep South harmonizes with the enchantment of Disney. Welcome to Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside, a Moderate Resort that beckons you to step into a world where the rich history of the American South meets the magic of Walt Disney World Resort

In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll take a deep dive into the resort’s captivating ambiance, indulge in its diverse dining offerings, unravel its historical inspirations, navigate its convenient transportation, and weigh the pros and cons of embarking on a journey through this unique fusion of Southern elegance and Disney Wonder.

Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside. Disney Moderate Resort
The rooms at Magnolia Bend are modeled after large Southern plantation homes.

Disney World Moderate Resorts

Disney World Resort Hotels fit into three categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside is one of the five resorts in the Moderate Resort category. Explore the articles below to determine if a Disney Moderate Resort like Port Orleans – Riverside is best for you and your travel party.

Decoding Disney World Resorts: Picking the Right One For You

Exploring Disney’s Moderate Resorts: The Perfect Balance of Comfort and Value

Pros and Cons of Staying at a Disney Moderate Resort

Disney World Moderate Resort Rankings – 2024

Southern Elegance Meets Disney Magic

When you step into Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside, you’ll find yourself in a world where Southern elegance and Disney magic harmoniously coexist. This resort isn’t just a place to stay; it’s an enchanting escape that beckons travelers to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of culture, history, and hospitality. The resort is divided into two sections:

  • Magnolia Bend

This section exudes Southern elegance with its stately white-columned mansions and manicured gardens. The accommodations here offer a touch of luxury and refinement.

  • Alligator Bayou

On the flip side, Alligator Bayou captures the rustic beauty of Louisiana’s backwoods. The charming cottages and lush greenery create a serene atmosphere for nature lovers.

The Sassagoula River, which runs through the resort, adds to the ambiance. Guests can stroll along the riverbank or take a scenic boat ride to Disney Springs.

The buildings in Alligator Bayou have a rustic feel with Creole architecture features.

Dining Options: Savoring Southern and Creole Delights

Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside offers a variety of dining options that cater to different tastes:

  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall

A delightful table-service restaurant, Boatwright’s Dining Hall pays homage to the boat builders of the Mississippi River. Guests can savor hearty Southern and Creole-inspired dishes. From the zesty flavors of jambalaya to the classic comfort of buttermilk fried chicken, the menu is a culinary journey through the South’s delectable cuisine.

  • Riverside Mill Food Court

Riverside Mill Food Court is a hub of flavors for those seeking quick and convenient dining. This quick-service food court presents a tempting array of options. Guests can indulge in dishes that range from create-your-own pasta and customizable salads to flavorful Cajun specialties. With such diversity, even the pickiest eaters will find something to relish.

  • River Roost Lounge

If you’re in the mood for relaxation and entertainment, the River Roost Lounge is your haven. This cozy lounge hosts live entertainment, including the beloved “Ye Haa” Bob Jackson. While enjoying the show, you can sip on a classic Southern favorite, the “Bourbon Street Hurricane,” or explore an extensive menu of cocktails, beer, and wine.

  • Muddy Rivers Pool Bar

For those relaxing by the pool or seeking a refreshing break from their Disney adventures, Muddy Rivers Pool Bar offers a selection of tropical cocktails, mocktails, and snacks. It’s the perfect spot to cool off and recharge before diving back into the magic.

Enjoy a taste of the South at Boatwright’s Dining Hall.

Rich History: Inspired by the Mighty Mississippi

Disney’s dedication to storytelling shines through in Port Orleans – Riverside’s design and theming. Whether staying in the stately Magnolia Bend mansions or the rustic Alligator Bayou cottages, every corner of the resort reflects the region’s historical and cultural significance. Names like “Magnolia Bend” and “Alligator Bayou” evoke the essence of the Mississippi River’s surroundings, connecting guests to the past.

Transportation Options at Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside

Port Orleans – Riverside offers guests a couple of different transportation methods to explore Walt Disney World:

  • Sassagoula River Cruise

Embark on a serene and picturesque boat ride along the Sassagoula River. This relaxing water transportation connects Port Orleans – Riverside to the vibrant entertainment and shopping district of Disney Springs. As you glide down the river, you’ll have the opportunity to unwind, take in the scenic views, and perhaps even spot some of Florida’s native wildlife. It’s a delightful way to begin or end your day of Disney exploration.

  • Disney Bus Transportation

Guests can use Disney buses to travel to the four theme parks. The resort has four bus stops, so despite the resort’s large size, you won’t have to walk very far to find a bus stop. Port Orleans – Riverside shares bus transportation with its sister resort, Port Orleans – French Quarter, which has one bus stop.

Guests have easy access to the shopping and award-winning dining at Disney Springs.

Pools at Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside

Port Orleans – Riverside makes it easy for guests to relax at any of the resort’s five leisure pools. There are two pools in Magnolia Bend and three pools in Alligator Bayou. The main feature pool is called Ol’Man Island. Kids will enjoy exploring the 3.5-acre pool and going down the 95-foot waterslide. For a more quiet pool experience, check out the smaller leisure pools.

Ol’Man Pool is themed after an abandoned sawmill.

Pros and Cons of Staying at Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside

Like any vacation, thinking about the good and not-so-good is essential when planning a trip to Disney World.


  • Southern Charm

Port Orleans – Riverside excels in recreating the charming ambiance of the American South. Names, architecture, and decor draw inspiration from the Mississippi River region, adding depth and historical significance to your stay. From the grand Magnolia Bend mansions to the rustic cottages of Alligator Bayou, guests are immersed in a picturesque setting that invites relaxation and exploration.

  • Diverse Dining

The resort offers a range of dining experiences to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re craving hearty Southern fare at Boatwright’s Dining Hall, quick and convenient options at Riverside Mill Food Court, or a relaxing drink at River Roost Lounge, you’ll find culinary delights to satisfy your cravings.

  • Less Expensive than Deluxe Resorts

As a Moderate Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside offers an excellent balance between affordability and a touch of luxury. Guests can enjoy well-themed surroundings, beautiful landscapes, and ample amenities without the premium price tag associated with Deluxe Resorts.

For a unique experience, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage ride after spending the day at the parks.


  • More Expensive than Value Resorts

While Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside is more budget-friendly than Deluxe Resorts, it may still be pricier than some Value Resorts. This can pose a challenge for travelers on a strict budget.

  • Transportation

Port Orleans – Riverside does not have the best transportation options compared to other resorts, such as Carribean Beach Resort. It is located in the Disney Springs area, and while the boat to Disney Springs is convenient, relying on buses to get to all four theme parks is not ideal. With Port Orleans – Riverside sharing bus transportation with Port Orleans – Riverside, there are five bus stops. If you are waiting at the fourth or fifth bus stop, buses will often be full by the time they get to your stop and pass by. This can lead to longer travel times to the theme parks.

  • Size of the Resort

Port Orleans – Riverside is a 2,048-room resort spread out across twenty buildings. Guests staying at the buildings farther out have a longer walk to the lobby, pool, and dining options. This can be inconvenient for guests who have spent all day walking around the park and an issue for guests with mobility issues. Check out this article for the best Disney hotels for guests with mobility issues.

Conclusion: Staying at Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside

In conclusion, Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside beckons travelers with its blend of Southern elegance, rich theming, and convenient transportation. It’s a resort that allows guests to experience the American South’s allure while enjoying Disney World’s enchantment. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, a taste of Southern cuisine, or a touch of history, Port Orleans-Riverside welcomes you with open arms to its charming bayou hideaway.

Pack your bags and let the magic begin! Your enchanting Disney World vacation is just a reservation away. Book your dream stay with Castles & Ears Travel and make memories that will last a lifetime!