Port Orleans: Riverside Vs. French Quarter – Which Is Right For Me?

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port orleans

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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Catie Hiltz is an avid Walt Disney World lover who has been vacationing there since she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain. She believes there is something for everyone at WDW-and especially writing about the benefits of vacationing there as an adult
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5 thoughts on “Port Orleans: Riverside Vs. French Quarter – Which Is Right For Me?

  1. My parents stayed at Port Orleans-Riverside, when it was then known as DIxie Landings. It was their last vacation together (they were checking up on my when I was working at WDW at the time) and they both LOVED the place. It reminded them of Louisiana, where they both grew up. My parents were placed over in the Alligator Bayou rooms, which they both enjoyed the rustic charm of the decor. My dad said the room was reminiscent (sp) of the kind of room he had when he was a boy. I truly cheirsh that time my folks had for thier first (and only) trip to WDW.

  2. 11 years ago we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside & loved every minute we were there. We stayed in the Bayou and it was wonderful. We want to stay at French Quarter when we go next time, but I would always be willing to stay at Riverside.

  3. I like Riverside, but only if I can get into the Magnolia Plantation rooms (I have no desire to stay in a bayou-themed room 🙂 The grounds of Riverside Resort are so darn pleasant. I prefer The Yacht, Beach or Boardwalk Resorts…but after those, I would take Riverside over any other Deluxe or Moderate Resort.

  4. I love Riverside, it is by far my favorite resort on Disney property!!! I stay here as much as I can, I love everything about it

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