Port Orleans Disney Resort
The Port Orleans Disney Resort is actually two different resorts, yet still connected.
The first is Port Orleans French Quarter, which has a, well, French Quarter New Orleans look and feel. The other half of this Disney World resort is Port Orleans Riverside, which is more of a graceful southern mansion atmosphere.
Both of these resorts sit on the "Sassgagoula River", which is a waterway that connects Port Orleans to Downtown Disney.
Let's check out the two Port Orleans Disney resorts -- French Quarter and Riverside. But before we look at them separately, let's take a look at what they have in common.
What the Two Port Orleans Disney Resorts Share
These two resorts share a few things, as they are so close together.
First, the Port Orleans Disney resorts share a table-service restaurant, called "Boatwright's". It's located in the Riverside area and features Southern-style cooking. It's delicious, but beware -- the portions are huge! David and I were hungry when we arrived at the restaurant, but even so, we could not finish our dinners -- and forget about desert! There was really enough on one dinner plate to feed the both of us.
Do plan on making reservations for "Boatwright's" -- we got in quickly with them, but I saw them turning away people who had none.
The next shared itembetween the two Port Orleans Disney resorts is the marina where you can rent watercraft to ply the Sassgagoula River. In the marina area you can also rent a bicycle built for four and a horse-drawn carriage ride.
It's an easy walk between the two resorts, about 5 minutes on a nicely shaded and landscaped walkway. But if you prefer to take it easy, you can grab one of the boat taxis that go back and forth between the two.
Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter was the first of the Port Orleans Disney resorts to start accepting guests. Riverside followed in a kind of convoluted way (you can read about it in the Riverside section).
I have stayed in Port Orleans French Quarter, so this write-up is also an actual review.
When you get to the lobby of French Quarter, it's about what you would expect, as far as decor goes. It's very pleasant and well-laid out. There is a little quick-service snack bar in the lobby building, towards the back. However, you don't get to your room via the lobby; the rooms all have separate outdoor entrances.
At 1,008 rooms, the French Quarter is the smallest of the Disney Moderate resort hotels. The rooms are quite nicely decorated, with a very comfortable bed and pillows -- ahhh! The towels are nice and fluffy and there is plenty of soap, shampoo, etc. for you. The only thing I would have liked to see more of was closet space, because there wasn't really any. Just a small rack for hanging clothes in the sink area.
If you get the chance, try for a room facing the river. They are more expensive, but not a whole lot more. They are also quieter. One caveat though -- the river view rooms are quite a hike from the parking lot (if you drove) and from the bus stop (for traveling to the theme parks).
The rooms themselves are about 314 square feet, and provide more than ample room for two adults. Most rooms have two double beds, but a few rooms do have one king instead, I imagine it might be a little crowded for four people, though.
Internet access is available, but at a rather steep price -- about $10 for just 24 hours. You have to check with the front desk in order to get it.
Regarding transportation, you get to the theme parks via bus, and the stop is located near the lobby building. But of you are going to Downtown Disney, take the water taxi -- a very nice 10-minute ride.
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter resort has two pools for your enjoyment. The themed pool is called "Doubloon Lagoon ". A "kiddie" pool and a spa are also available.
The theme pool is really quite interesting, with a "sea monster" type water slide.
What else to do? Mosey on over to Riverside and rent a boat or a bicycle built for four. There are also boat tours which include fishing -- check at the marina for availability.
Also, the horse-drawn carriage rides start at Riverside.
Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
The Port Orleans Disney resort that is now known as Riverside didn't exactly start out that way. The original name was "Dixie Landings", but the name was eventually changed to a less emotionally-charged one. Thus Dixie Landings was remade as Port Orleans Riverside.
The name may have changed, but the atmosphere hasn't. Originally modeled on southern plantations, the resort still has that relaxing-on-the-front-porch-with-a-mint-julep feel.
The Riverside resort at Port Orleans has 2,048 rooms, so it's over twice the size of French Quarter.
Disney's Riverside resort has five heated pools for your pleasure. The themed pool is called "Ol' Man Island ". Yes, there are also "quiet" pools.
The rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort are also roughly 314 square feet, and have either two double beds or one king-size bed. Occupancy is up to four people per room.
You're closer to everything at Port Orleans Riverside -- the restaurant, arcade, marina, tours and rentals. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing or a good thing, but I do know that it means less walking!
Okay, I didn't stay in Port Orleans Riverside (I was in French Quarter), but I have to say that I liked the "theme" of Port Orleans Riverside better than French Quarter -- it just seemed to be better-done.
I didn't go into any of the guest rooms, but I hear they are basically the same, except for bedspreads and artwork. Still, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend either of the Port Orleans Disney resorts -- Riverside or French Quarter!!!
If you'd like to try a moderate resort on your next vacation, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest a Port Orleans Disney resort!
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