It’s official! Both of Disney’s Port Orleans resorts are reopening and we are so excited! Port Orleans Riverside will start welcoming guests on October 14 and French Quarter will start on October 28! These resorts are so popular and guests have been overjoyed with the reopening news. Both of these resorts have so much to offer and considering they are both in the moderate resort category, it’s not hard to see why they are so popular. So how do you know which Port Orleans resort is right for you? Let’s break down the differences!
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans Riverside has an old Southern charm theme and is divided into two sections; Alligator Bayou (called bayou) and Magnolia Bend (called mansions). The grounds of Port Orleans Riverside are absolutely breathtaking. With quiet pathways, meticulously manicured gardens, and rich wilderness, you can definitely escape all of the hustle and bustle of the parks when you head back to this resort. Have a larger family? Rooms in the Alligator Bayou section can sleep 5 due to the pull-down Murphy bed! Celebrating a young prince or princess? Try one of the beautifully themed Royal Guest Rooms, located in the Magnolia Bend section. Seriously, these rooms are AMAZING, and come at a moderate resort price point!
Dining– For dining options, Riverside is the only Port Orleans Resort with a table service option, Boatwrights Dining Hall. Riverside also has a food court with quick-service options, as well as River Roost Lounge, serving up appetizers, a small menu of items, and cocktails. With Disney Springs as a very short boat ride away and all of the dining options available there, I wouldn’t let the restaurant be a make-or-break factor when choosing which resort to book.
Pools- If you like quiet, unthemed pools, you will love the pools at Riverside. That’s right- POOLS! Riverside has 6 of them! 5 are leisure pools- 3 are located in Alligator Bayou and 2 in Magnolia Bend. The main pool, Ol Man Island, is 3.5-acre refuge accessible by 3 wooden bridges!
Transportation- Port Orleans Riverside offers complimentary bus transportation to all Disney parks and water parks as well as complimentary water taxis to Disney Springs! As the resort is spread out, there are multiple bus stops for added convenience.
Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter features a fun Mardi Gras theme and is a fraction of the size of Riverside, which some people see as a huge positive. If you are looking for a quiet, smaller resort that won’t require miles of walking when you return from the parks, French Quarter is for you!
Dining- While French Quarter doesn’t offer a table service restaurant, guests are free to walk over to Riverside to dine at Boatwright’s Dining Hall, or (the option I would choose) take the complimentary water taxi over to Disney Springs for dining! There is a food court at French Quarter where guests can get the famous Mickey-shaped beignets (among multiple other quick-service options). French Quarter also boats the fun Scat Cat’s club, a lounge featuring appetizers and specialty cocktails.
Pools- The pool at French Quarter, Doubloon Lagoon, is so much fun and considered one of the best pools at Disney! You can’t go wrong with a 51-foot long slide in the shape of a sea serpent! French Quarter is also home to a splash pad for younger guests. The pool is very centrally located, so no matter where your room is you shouldn’t have too far to walk.
Transportation- This is where French Quarter might have the advantage! Get this- there is only ONE bus stop! If you hate having to walk far distances to and from bus stops you will absolutely love staying here. No matter where your room is, you should easily make it to the bus stop in 10 minutes or less! French Quarter also provides a complimentary water taxi to and from Disney Springs.
So which resort is “better”? Honestly, that is all depending on every individual traveling party and their own specific needs. The best thing about staying at either of the Port Orleans resorts is that they are sister resorts and guests are allowed to use amenities of either! They are within walking distance of each other and guests are encouraged to utilize what both resorts have to offer! As far as pricing goes the resorts generally cost very close to the exact same (depending on the type of room). honestly, you can’t really go wrong staying at either of the Port Orleans resorts!
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