Tag Archives: Port Orleans Riverside
My family has enjoyed a couple of weeklong stays at Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. The question asked above, is it for you, depends on what you are looking for in a Resort, how much time you will actually spend at the Resort, and what types of amenities you prefer. My family stays at the Value and Moderate Resorts, because we do not spend a lot of time in our room or exploring the property. We get our fill of adventure at the Parks and Downtown Disney area and only hit the room to drop off souvenirs or catch a nap. Perhaps when the kids are older and we slow down a bit, we may justify the extra expense of the Deluxe Resorts and their magical appeal. Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of Port Orleans Riverside (POR):
- The property is absolutely beautiful, quiet, peaceful, and serenely scenic.
- Bus service is excellent, with 4 convenient, covered stops. (POR shares buses with only neighboring Port Orleans French Quarter.)
- All of the guest rooms have been recently refurbished to include queen beds and flat-screen TVs during 2011/2012 refurbishment.
- The Riverside Mill Food Court is spacious and picturesque with lovely views of the Riverside Mill water wheel and Ol’ Man Island, and the food is delicious.
- Boatwright’s Dining Hall table-service restaurant serves dinner only, but it’s a great place for hearty Cajun cooking.
Tipping is an important part of my Walt Disney World budget planning. I budget for Mousekeeping, bell service, and food servers at all my favorite table service restaurants. Each day, I leave a special Mousekeeping envelope with a few dollars inside when we leave for the day, and I have been blessed with awesome mousekeeping staff when I have traveled.
Now, making towel animals is not a prerequisite for landing a job with the Disney mousekeeping department, but I wanted to share the treasures that Susan and I found waiting for us after long days in the parks. Our special room attendant, Gilma, at the Port Orleans Riverside left us these special mood boosters each day of our stay.
On Thursday, we received a rose.
Last week I talked about the WDW Value Resorts, and gave some information that hopefully helped you decide if they would work for you and your family. While the Value Resorts are great, they aren’t for everyone, and if you’re not sure the over the top decor and super family friendly atmosphere of the Value Resorts is quite your style, then read on for some information about Disney’s Moderate Resorts:
Price: Moderate means “middle of the road”, so at these Resorts, you will pay more for a room than at a Value Resort (but you also get more too!). A single room costs anywhere from $170-$300 per night (with select resorts offering suites which can cost from $600 to $1300 per night depending on the season). There are “standard”, “preferred” and “water”/”river”/”garden” view” rooms, all of which vary in price, and unfortunately a ‘water view’ can equal a pond sometimes, so you’ll want to do your research on what type of room would best suit you. The exception to the price rule here is the Fort Wilderness Cabins – which will run you around $300-$450 per night
Port Orleans French Quarter is one of Disney’s Moderate Resorts, and it’s modeled after New Orlean’s historic French Quarter. It’s a great Resort to stay at, and it’s also a great Resort to visit, even if you aren’t staying there!
So why should you go out of your way to visit this quaint little resort?
Well, there are many reasons:
Atmosphere (and Romance!) – it is a quiet, laid back resort that really encompasses the New Orleans “big easy” style. When you walk in through the lobby, you enter a big open courtyard area where there are palm trees and cobblestone streets and smooth jazz music playing in the background (when we went, it was the holidays, so the jazz was Christmas themed!)
I recommend taking a leisurely, romantic walk around the resort and breathe in the smell of the magnolia blossoms and check out the landscaping – there are several beautiful courtyards with benches in them, where you can sit and relax (and it’s very peaceful!). There is a trail along the Sassagoula River that connects Port Orleans French Quarter to Port Orleans Riverside, and this scenic stroll really makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the Big Easy! This is an especially romantic thing to do at sunset, and if you decide to walk to Port Orleans Riverside, you can take an old fashioned horse and carriage ride through the beautiful woodlands of both Port Orleans Resorts (Here is some more information on the Carriage Rides)
Entertainment – The Resort offers live entertainment at it’s bar, Scat Cat’s Lounge every Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30pm-Midnight by Elliot Dyson, a New-Orleans style pianist who also plays the saxophone, sings, and has been known to play the guitar and steel drums on occasion too. And as if that weren’t enough, he is also hilarious (Here’s some more info on Elliot Dyson)
If you happen to miss Elliot, you can still stop in at Scat Cat’s for one of their specialty drinks, including the Southern Hurricane (Southern Comfort, orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine), Sassagoula Swamp water (A blend of rum, gin, tequila and a secret touch!), or the Banana Cabana (Bacardi Spiced Rum and Creme de Banana liquor with coconut and pineapple juice served frozen). The Hurricane drink actually originated in New Orleans, which is why these are the house specialty here and are a definite must try!
If you have kids in your group, Port Orleans French Quarter has them covered too – they have a playground, as well as a video game arcade, and every night the Resort hosts an outdoor movie as well as a campfire (complete with s’mores!)
I also recommend that you stop in at Jackson Square Gifts and Desires for a little shopping and pick up a souvenir to commemorate your fun trip to Port Orleans French Quarter!
Specialty Food – Should you happen to get hungry after your walk, head on over to the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory for some New Orleans style cuisine – gumbo, po’boys, and beignets are all on the menu here, and the dining area is decorated with huge festive Mardi Gras decor that is sure to put you in a party mood!
So now that you’re ready to visit Port Orleans French Quarter, you might be wondering, “How can I get there?”. You can travel by bus from any of the 4 Theme Parks, and if you happen to be at Downtown Disney, you can take a boat to Port Orleans French Quarter, its a nice scenic ride over to the Resort!
Personally, I love Port Orleans French Quarter, I stayed there last year and can’t say enough good things about it (check out some of my pics here, and check out this post for more info on what makes it such a great place to stay!), and if you can’t stay here, then I highly recommend you stop by for a visit. So take some time and escape the busy Parks for a leisurely afternoon full of New Orleans charm at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort!
- Cruising The Waters Of The World (chipandco.com)
- T.G.I.F Pic Of The Week – Missing Mardi Gras? Celebrate It Everyday at WDW’s Port Orleans Resort! (livinginagrownupworld.wordpress.com)
My favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World outside the parks, and now my son’s favorite, was always renting one of the little two-person boats for a cruise in one of the property’s many waterways. The “water mice” of my childhood have been replaced by Sea Raycers designed specially for Disney by Sea Ray. These little 10 foot beauties zip along powered by a 9.9 horsepower outboard engine and are tremendous fun!
You need not be a resort guest to rent a boat, so you can pick and choose where you’d like to take your cruise. Our favorite location is Bay Lake, which is accessible from all the Magic Kingdom Resorts including Fort Wilderness. The Sea Raycer is a great way to go have a look at the old River Country or Discovery island sites and view all the monorail resorts from the water. Chasing after the ferries is great fun as well, just don’t get in the way.
For a different experience, you can try renting at Port Orleans Riverside. From there, you boat in a river/canal rather than a lake. There are all sorts of wildlife to see and if you go down river a bit you can check out the Treehouse Villas, which are really cool.
Sea Raycers are available to rent at the Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, Beach and Yacht Club Resorts, Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian Resort, Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, Old Key West Resort, Fort Wilderness and at Captain Jack’s Marina in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
Renters must be 18 year of age or older, but children as young as 12 can drive as long as they are at least five feet tall. My son turned 12 since his last trip to Disney, so you can bet a Sea Raycer cruise is high on his list for our next trip. Rental rates are as follows:
$32+tax for 30 minutes
$40+tax for 45 minutes
$45+tax for 60 minutes
Two people may ride together as long as their combined weight is less than 320 pounds, but we find the boats go faster with only one rider, and that makes it a bit more fun.
As a kid, I was convinced the Contemporary Resort had the “best” water mice ( the predecessor to the Sea Raycer). Do you think one of the resorts has the “best and fastest” Sea Raycers? Do you have a favorite spot to cruise? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
- 10 Free or Cheap Things to do outside WDW Parks (chipandco.com)
- What do you do on a Non-Park Day? (chipandco.com)