You might wonder why I am writing about our first stay at Walt Disney World Resort months after our return. I don’t really know 100% myself. I think perhaps it’s because I knew deep down that whenever I started sorting through the hundreds of photos and recalling the magical experiences we had, that we would have to plan to return.
So now I’m finally writing about our stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort’s Royal Guest Rooms and also planning our second Walt Disney World vacation for sometime in January/February 2014! I tend to gush about Disney when I start talking about it, so I need to keep this post focused on Port Orleans Riverside (POR) itself.
We booked our entire WDW vacation online through Disney directly, and in true Disney style, it was very simple and straightforward… I’d recommend it to anyone comfortable with completing online transactions. Even if you don’t, you can still call Disney directly and do it by phone.
I read every blog, article and brochure I could find on POR before we booked our vacation and was confident in our selection. When we arrived and checked in I knew I had made a great choice. The photos of this resort don’t do it justice. It is absolutely beautiful! From the backwoods cottages of Alligator Bayou to the beautiful mansions of Magnolia Bend, the whole resort looked like something out of a movie… but we were part of it.
The room itself was average in size, but the custom furniture made it very usable. The three of us were very comfortable living there for the 10 nights we experienced the Southern hospitality of POR. The Royal Guest Rooms house 2 queen size beds which are covered in a Royal bedspread and pillows befitting a princess and her princess guests. That’s the story with the Royal Guest Room theme at POR, Princess Tiana decorated these rooms for her Princess friends when they came to visit and then completed them with photos of her and her friends having fun at POR. The Princes adorn the walls at well, and with the red, blue and gold theme, the room itself is not traditionally feminine, so boys (or Daddy) won’t feel out of place at all.
I like how the rooms at POR have the separate bathroom and vanity area, it makes it much faster to get out the door in the morning. We also loved the H20 products that were stocked in the bath (and I may or may not have a little private stash that I use when I need a little Disney ‘Magic’ at home… shh).
In my research before we came I heard a couple common complaints about POR, the first being that it is huge. Well, it is huge, but we liked that… the walking paths were needed after days of Disney Dining Plan (more on that in an upcoming post), and we even rented one of the Surrey bikes to do a couple quick laps of the property. It was like living on a huge estate and the landscaping was absolutely beautiful. The other thing I read is that the wifi was sketchy… that I agree with. We had issues keeping a good wifi connection on our phones while in our room most of the time. On the bright side we found a lot of beautiful areas outside with great wifi and we made the family jealous when we Skyped home. Still… better wifi coverage is needed.
When we ate at POR, we always went to the quick serve Riverside Mill Food Court, and the food was always great and very generous in size. There were a number of counters within and you could select from burgers, sandwiches (with yummy homemade chips), pizzas, build-your-own-pasta, and even a bakery that made a killer red velvet cake and ginormous and delicious brownies and Magic Cookie Bars (and real cappuccino). Breakfast was awesome and only needs two words – Mickey Waffles. There is also a table service restaurant (Boatwright’s Dining Hall), but we didn’t get the chance to eat there during our stay.
I could write for days and not share all of the goodness that was POR… from the big Mickey pool and waterslide on Ol’ Man Island to the 5 other large leisure pools on the property, from the boat rentals to the tambourine parades around Riverside Mill. Would I recommend it? Uh…. yes. Is it a great value for the money? Absolutely. Are the Royal Guest Rooms worth the upgrade? Oh yeah…. we could watch those fiber-optic fireworks all night long after a day at the parks.
If you have any questions at all about our stay at Port Orleans Riverside, ask away, I’ll be happy to share any information I have. If you’d just love to talk Disney, I’m up for that too. This last photo that I snapped one day as we were crossing the river heading to our room sums it all up…
For more information, visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/port-orleans-resort-riverside/ and http://www.portorleans.org/ or the oodles of awesome blog posts about it found by a quick Google.