Monday, July 21, 2014

Port Orleans Resort - Riverside Review

You can view more pictures of this resort by clicking here.

Magnolia Bend
This is one of my favorite resorts to walk around and relax. Between the Old South D├ęcor and the trees lining the walkways, you immediately become transported to a time of peace and tranquility.  Imagine this….. stepping out of the sparkling lobby onto the wooden docks. In front of you is a horse drawn carriage ready to take you for a leisurely stroll along the Sassagoula River over to the neighboring sister resort Port Orleans French Quarter and back. After that you walk along the dock contemplating taking a boat ride or renting a surrey bike. You admire the working waterwheel built to resemble a working cotton press.  Then you leisurely cross over the Sassagoula River heading directly toward a wall of willow trees so thick and so large you don’t know if you can get through them.  Once you get closer you see there are many paths to choose from.  One will lead to your plantation for the duration of your stay.

Royal Guest Room
You can choose to go to Magnolia Bend where the resort building looms ahead like an old plantation style mansion home.  I can imagine sitting on the manicured lawn sipping some sweet tea and enjoying time with family and friends. You can feel like a Prince or Princess in one of the Royal Rooms located in buildings 90 and 95. These rooms are full of magic! The headboard comes alive with fireworks just for you. Princess Tiana’s friends have left special mementos for your children to find throughout the room.

Room in Alligator Bayou
Want something a little more rustic then head over to the Alligator Bayou.  Here you will be transported to a country cottage where the elegance of the back woods brings on a sense of fun and excitement.  Enter into your room and you will find the furniture is of a beautiful country/rustic decor. There are 2048 rooms between Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou.  Most of the rooms will comfortably sleep 4 guests, Alligator Bayou has some rooms that contain a Murphy bed and will sleep 5. Each room contains 2 pedestal sinks, a small refrigerator, shower with a retractable clothesline (this is great for hanging up the wet bathing suits), a separate curtain area for privacy, personal safe, a small table and 2 chairs.  Disney offers free Wifi for all your electronic needs.


Looking for something to eat? Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a sit down restaurant serving a variety of Cajun style food, crawfish bites, jambalaya and more. Look around see the large unfinished hull, the tools that would have been used to make it, even your table is themed for the shipyard warehouse notice the tool box? If you want a quicker meal visit the Riverside Mill food court. With 6 different food stations you should be able to find something to satisfy any palate. This fascinating building carries you back to the days of the cotton press with its huge working gears that are powered by the large water wheel sitting outside on the dock.

Looking for some light appetizers, adult drinks, live entertainment well then head on over to the River Roost Lounge and see Ye-Haw Bob. He puts on a lively and entertaining show; if you are lucky he may grab you and have you help him sing a song. Watch out for the piano it also rocks and rolls during his show. Don’t leave the kids back at the room because surprisingly it is a very kid friendly place.

Ol’ Man Island has a fishing hole (yes, you can truly fish there, catch and release only), a children’s play area, a large swimming pool (with a real geyser), spa (what a wonderful relaxing spot for the adults), a kiddie pool and a rustic water slide themed after an abandon sawmill.  If you want a larger water slide you are welcome to use the pool located at Port Orleans French Quarter. There are pool parties, movies and campfires on a daily basis all adding to the fun.  Try your hand at the trivia contest. While swimming and enjoying the beautiful Florida sunshine you can grab a drink or light snack at Muddy Rivers Pool Bar.  If you want a quieter place to relax in the water you can choose to visit one of the 3 pools in Alligator Bayou or 2 pools in Magnolia Bend. Keep an eye on your little treasures because Life Guards are usually present at the large swimming pool (select hours) but not the smaller ones. Sometimes you may need to use your Magic Band to get into the pools so make sure you have that on you. I like to use the pools on the day I arrive. I arrive around lunch time grab a quick bite to eat, take a refreshing swim, then usually my room is ready and I go get changed and head out to my destination. You can also use the pools on the day you are leaving after you have checked out of the hotel. There are changing areas nearby.

When you are ready to head out to the Parks there is complimentary motor coach transportation available. You may have to walk a bit to get to the bus stop; there are 4 - North, South, East and West. You can use this time to look around. Can you notice the transition in the trees from the bogs of the Bayou to the flowering Magnolia’s of the Bend? Want to go to Downtown Disney for some shopping or fun and games, why don’t you try taking the water Taxi (there is no charge for this as well). Don’t forget if you will be at the resort for 24 more hours you can send your packages to the resort and pick them up at Fulton’s General Store.

If you just want to pick up a souvenir or two such as Mickey ears, apparel, sun screen, camera or more then you can find many choices at Fulton’s General Store. The Medicine Show Arcade located nearby has lots of fun video games and pinball machines.

If you are someone who likes to get up and go early in the morning, you can take a two hour guided fishing trip that includes all the supplies you will need. Kids want an adventure on the water as well? Children age 4 – 10 are encouraged to join the crew on the Bayou Pirate Adventure Cruise.

I hope you enjoy Port Orleans Riverside as much as I do. It has so many hidden treasures, try to slow down and enjoy the beauty!

Tara

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