Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort is an Epcot area Disney moderate resort. The resort is themed to be a Southern town along the Mississippi river, with mansion houses and the bayou. Riverside also boasts Princess themed rooms with Disney easter eggs throughout from the genie lamp taps to the footstool from Beauty and the Beast.
If, like me, you arrived on The Magical Express, you will be dropped out the front of the hotel which is for the most part under cover in case you arrive in the Florida rain. The front area has a designated coach loading space, as well as multiple benches if you are waiting for an Uber, taxi or your own car. We did drive through rain a little on the way in, so things were a little damp.
The lobby, albeit a bit damp on our arrival, is beautifully decorated with tall ceilings, large windows and elegant sitting areas.
The check in area, otherwise referred to as Registration, is immediately off to your right. Here, you check in to your room, get your Magic Bands if you come from outside the US, and access Guest Services. In the same area is the hotel shop with a large variety of parks merchandise, snacks and general items you may have forgotten.
To your left, and just past the shop entrance, is the River Roost. This is a bar and also home to Yee-Haw Bob! If you get chance to ever see Yee-Haw Bob, even if you are just visiting the Disney parks, please do! It is a fantastic experience, for both adults and children, and he draws in quite a crowd!
I arrived early evening, so it was darker than expected due to delays with our flight. I was lucky enough to be staying in one of the Mansion buildings close to all the hotel amenities. The main lobby was only a few minutes walk away, and the pool even closer. I was around the back of the building, close to a set of stairs down to a bus stop and it was beautifully quiet.
The views from the room are beautiful. All the greenery is perfectly landscaped with paths entwining through the lawn.
The main pool is located closer to the lobby building, but the mansion buildings have individual pools scattered between them. These pools aren't themed in the same way as the main pool, but are often quiet and seem to be open later. You are also pretty much always guaranteed a sun bed at these pools!
The Mansion buildings are three storeys tall with staircases and elevators to each floor. Rooms are either river facing or back facing towards the trees and bus route.
The Sassagoula River runs from Port Orleans Riverside through to Port Orleans French Quarter then the other Disney Springs Resort hotels and on to Disney Springs. Sassagoula River Boats run frequently from the dock at Riverside to both French Quarter and Disney Springs. You can also take a nice walk from Riverside to French Quarter which will only take 10 minutes or so.
The Riverside Mill Food Court is a well themed quick service dining area with many different options including allergy friendly options and children's meals. This is also where you would collect your refillable mugs if you are purchasing one or on the Disney Dining Plan, and also the location of the drinks machines.
You are also able to catch a horse and carriage ride from the rear of the main lobby building. These are an additional cost and can be rented for trips up and down the Sassagoula River.
Riverside is a great resort to stay at to be close to the parks. You can often see Happily Ever After as well as IllumiNations from the hotel closer to the river. Rooms are spacious and great for families or parties travelling with multiple adults and are equally fairly priced.