The photos on this post are from my spring 2023 trip to Walt Disney World for an Agent Education Program. Because I was traveling solo and looking to spend down time in a quieter setting, Port Orleans Riverside was a great option.
The neighboring Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is just a 15 minute walk from Riverside, and guests are able to enjoy pools and recreation from both sites. It’s worth the walk just to see the New Orleans theming and to get King Cake from the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. Bus transportation is the only option to the four Theme Parks; Epcot is the closest with just a 10-15 minute bus ride.
Alligator Bayou Section
My room was in building 35 of the Alligator Bayou, just a 10-minute walk across Ol’ Man Island from the lobby area. The Alligator Bayou buildings were surrounded by live oaks, palms, cypress and other plants that created a bayou wilderness-like feeling.
Magnolia Bend Section
While the Alligator Bayou sections are tucked back into wooded areas, the Magnolia Bend rooms are in large buildings in a more open area of the resort. Many of them line the canal that leads to Port Orleans French Quarter and Disney Springs.
The Sassagoula boats departed every 15 minutes for Disney Springs. The full boat ride took about 25 minutes, with a stop at Port Orleans French Quarter. Boats ran until 11pm, after that Disney Springs guests had to use bus transportation to get back to the resort. The boats are a great option to get to Disney Springs, and to then hop on buses to other see or dine at other resorts. The views of the resorts (including the treehouse villas at Saratoga Springs) make the boats feel more like recreation than transportation.
Old Man’s Island
For fishing families there is an adorable catch and release pond on Ol’ Man Island. The small cabin offered bamboo fishing pole rentals and bait for the sunfish, bass, and bluegill. Individual hammocks were located in shady spots on the island, and the campfire ring offered activities for an hour each night. Bike rentals were available during the day and horse and carriage rides departed from behind Sassagoula Works in the evening.
Each section of rooms had a small leisure pool, and they were filled with mostly adults and parents with babies during my visit. Most families traveling with preschool age children through teens were in the more exciting Ol’ Man Island pool. Jazz music played and water features made it a more interactive place to spend time.
The Table Service Boatswright’s Dining Hall offered traditional Louisiana dishes surrounded by boatbuilding materials. The adjacent River Roost bar had lighter meals and a full bar in a more casual setting (no reservation required) and live music. The pianist at River Roost played everything from the Star Wars theme to Crocodile Rock on the Thursday night of my resort stay.
Quick service was available at two locations: the Riverside Mill Food Court and Muddy Rivers Pool Bar. I grabbed a plant-based Mickey-shaped frittata for breakfast. The dining hall had no outdoor seating, so I took it to the Ol’ Man Island pool patio to enjoy the perfect May morning.
5th Sleeper Room
Fifth Sleeper Room
Port Orleans Riverside had many different room sizes, and my Fifth Sleeper room had two king beds and one drop down wall bed large enough for a medium-size child. Moderate hotels offer different “views” but with the layout of the exterior hallway against the window I don’t feel like the upgrade is worth the extra cost. The Royal Guest princess-themed rooms weren’t available for the trip (nor could I justify the additional cost when traveling solo and without a child).