Walt Disney World has tons of amazing Resorts to choose from – there’s the family (and wallet) friendly Value Resorts, the amenity rich and opulent Deluxe Resorts – and then there’s my personal favorite, the Moderate Resorts – which combine great theming and amenities for the best of both worlds!
Of the Moderate Resorts, I love Port Orleans the most – the New Orleans theme is amazing, and it has a great atmosphere – and best of all – there are TWO resorts to pick from! Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are the two Resort Hotels, located side by side, and both are great in their own ways. So you might be wondering – “What’s the difference?” and “How do I know which one to pick?” So let’s explore each one and find out what makes them great:
Port Orleans Riverside: is the larger of the two Resorts, with a Mississippi bayou “Old South” theming, with the Sassagoula river winding through the Resort (it eventually leads to Downtown Disney!).
There are three styles of rooms available here – the Magnolia Bend rooms are located in plantation style mansions, and the Alligator Bayou rooms are more rustic, located in lodge type buildings. The third group of rooms are the “Royal Rooms” which are located within the Magnolia Bend buildings, but are themed to house “royalty” and have plenty of magic touches that your little Princes and Princesses will love
The Transportation options available here are bus and boat – with 4 bus stops within the Resort that service the Parks, and a boat launch that will take guests from both Port Orleans Resorts to the Downtown Disney area.
The Dining options here include Boatwrights– a sit down restaurant that serves up Cajun inspired dishes, Riverside Mill – the Resort’s food court style dining restaurant which offers a variety of options (including Southern dishes!), and the River Roost Lounge which is a full bar that offers light appetizers – and some downright amusing entertainment courtesy of Yee-Haw Bob – a singing, dancing, hilarious fixture at the Resort (he’s a must see!)
Port Orleans French Quarter: is much smaller and quieter than its Bayou counterpart, with a Mardi Gras/New Orleans French Quarter theme that is evident through the giant carnival masks and cheerful brass music pumped through the Resort’s speakers.
The Rooms are all similarly themed, but with different view options – You can choose to stay where you’ll have a Garden or Water view of the Resort’s charming landscaping and décor
Transportation here is similar to that at Port Orleans Riverside, in that a bus will take you to most major destinations, and the boat launch will bring you directly to Downtown Disney. I personally love the boat ride at sunset down the Sassagoula River – it’s a great relaxing trip over to DTD (much better than the bus!)
Dine at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory where you can choose from a variety of food court type options with a Southern flair – like beignets, gumbo, and po’boy sandwiches. Grab a drink at Scat Cat’s Lounge where you can relax and enjoy their free entertainment
The atmospheres are pretty different between the two Resorts, but both provide plenty of that Disney Magic we have come to know and love. Personally, I love the charm and quaint settings offered at the French Quarter Resort – so that would be my top choice for lodging of the two. But I would love to know your opinion – which do YOU love – French Quarter or Riverside?
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