Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

How was your stay at Riverside? Leave your comments or full trip reports here. Photos welcome.
Forum rules
This forum is for Port Orleans RIVERSIDE Trip Reports, not for general questions. Please try to keep your reviews relevant, informative and useful to other visiting families. Thanks!
Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 21st, 2014, 6:31 pm

Hey I wanted to share my family's trip with PORR with everyone here. Originally I was going to review our entire trip but I decided to limit this report to Riverside only. We decided to use the Disney's Magic Express bus service between the Airport and our resort. My family is myself (32) my wife (34) and my daughter (6).

First, the Disney's Magic Express (DME) 8/10. Sadly with PORR, our stop was the last one on the DME and was also for the vast majority of the people on the bus. So for anyone who says at PORR and uses the DME, you will be the 4th and final stop so expect to wait on the bus until the very end. After stepping off the bus we were greeted with someone with our name on a board and explained to us that since we had already used online check-in there was no need for us to go to the desk, we could go straight to our rooms. When it was time to leave they placed a envelope on our door to give us our departure time. Once again, there were several stops before going to the Airport which almost made us late for our flight, thank you TSA for expedited lanes.

Room, 9/10 We asked for a river-room view in Magnolia Bend. My wife and I did not care at all for the appearance of the Alligator Bayou rooms and I think that the Disney website needs to let people know that you may not get a room as advertised on their website. As all of the pictures show rooms in MB. The room was nice and clean and was exactly what we expected. Our room was cleaned daily, except for our last day we told housekeeping that we didn't need it serviced.

Staff,10/10 Everyone I talked to was extremely friendly and could answer all of my questions, which I assure you was a lot.

Pools, 8/10 We only used the main pool, it was good if a little crowded. My Daughter loved the slide. Temperature was great.

Food Court, 7/10 The food court was great. The BYO pasta was quite good and was large enough for my wife and I. The options were very good. Where the food court falls short is the very long lines and the crowds, I waited in line for over 10 minutes just to purchase a dessert. By the time I sat down it was nearly melted. also the cleanliness. I think the staff struggled to keep up with the almost always crowded food court, the drink stations in particular. However, everything we had at the food court was very good. Was not disappointed once.

Boatwright's Dining Hall, 4/10 We booked a reservation for a dinner here and we were quite underwhelmed. Although the place was fairly quiet, the service was slow. As for the food, well.... I guess I had higher expectations. My wife and I were excited for this meal because we had read so many good things about this restaurant. I had the prime rib which to be honest, wasn't very good. It was chewy and tasted old, the flavor was a little bland. My wife had the Voodoo Chicken and it was ok, nothing special. Maybe we went in expecting to get blown away, but we were sadly disappointed. In the end we paid around 85 bucks for the whole meal and honestly, would have been better spend at the food court.

Fulton's General Store, 10/10 It had everything we would have needed for our stay and some nice souvenirs. Everyone was very nice and helpful. I really liked some of the breakfast options here. We decided to buy a whole coffee cake and ate that for breakfast every morning in our room instead of eating at the food court.

Finally, what everyone has been waiting for, the busses. 5/10 I have very mixed opinions for the busses. On one hand sometimes they were good, others not so good and it was never consistent with the stops. Sometimes it would start at the South Depot and sometimes the West Depot. I can't say we used any other Depot except the South and North. South for going to a park and North for getting back to our room. The busses to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios were always very crowded and were not frequent enough. A lot of us sat there while we watched at least 3 busses from Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon would go by before we saw 1 from MK or HSs. When we went to the Not so scary Halloween party, the busses couldn't come fast enough with people fighting to get on so they wouldn't have to wait any longer, to the point a woman nearly got caught between the doors in the back because she was so hell bent on getting on (and tired of waiting.)

I think the problem isn't with the busses at all. I think the issue here is this, the Port Orleans Riverside resort is just too big and the busses can't handle it logistically. I think they could almost split the PORR resort into 2 resorts and just call them Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou at Riverside.

All in all the bottom line is always this. "Would I go back?" And I think the answer is yes I would. Overall it was a good experience, but be prepared to walk and wait. This resort is huge which I think due to its capacity, increases wait times everywhere. I am more then willing to answer any questions anyone might have.

The_Walking_Dead_1
Posts: 31
Joined: September 13th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by The_Walking_Dead_1 » October 21st, 2014, 7:12 pm

Hello AntiCitizen1,

We are going to POR 15-22 Nov and have a few questions for you if you have the time:

1. What was the actual time it took to arrive at POR from the airport with those 3 additional stops?

2, The resort transportation - was your family there at 7AM (to account for Extra Magic Hours) to try to be at the parks prior to them opening?

Cheers Rocky (aka The_Walking_Dead_1)

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 21st, 2014, 8:01 pm

Hey there I'll try to answer as best I can.

1. It took roughly 45 minutes with the 4 stops to get from the Airport to Riverside. That is not counting time waiting for the bus at the Airport, we were lucky and got there just before the bus left. Otherwise we could have sat at the Airport for a good amount of time.

2. I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. Are you wanting to know how long we had to wait for a bus to Magic Kingdom? Or the time it took to get from PORR to any of the parks?

I'll see if I can answer this correctly. We did not try to be at the park at 7am for extra hours. I don't recall exactly which parks had the extra time, I think MK was Monday and we didn't visit a park on Monday as we had just got in. As for time to other parks, it was about 10-15 minutes to get to Magic Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Hollywood Studios. Downtown Disney was about a 20 minute boat ride or about 10 minutes by bus. And finally about 20-25 minutes to Animal Kingdom. We did not get to Typhoon Lagoon, however I would best guess it being around 10 minutes.

Hope that helps. If you have anymore just post them here and I'll get to them.

Edit: Forgot to mention Epcot which was around 10 minutes. Also another thing, as for magic hours, we didn't really bother to look at them as we had our days and fastpasses planned out way in advance.

The_Walking_Dead_1
Posts: 31
Joined: September 13th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by The_Walking_Dead_1 » October 22nd, 2014, 6:59 pm

Hello Anticitizen,

Sorry, let me ask it this way: In your post you mentioned that you saw 2-3 buses go by before you would get one for the MK or DS. Having said that, we are one of those families who love to get to the parks early. So did you and your family get to the North/South Depots early on the morning to arrive at the parks before they open? Or did you guys just get up and take your time going to the bus stops without trying to get there early?

Guess what I'm trying to figure out is there at least 1 bus for every park at the depots first thing in the morning.

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 22nd, 2014, 8:48 pm

We didn't hit any of the parks early. (You can only go so early because you can't get in before a certain time.) The earliest we were up and out the door was to Magic Kingdom on 10/7. The park didn't open until 9am so we were out the door and at the south depot a little before 8am. I know they had at least 2 busses running for Magic Kingdom on that day. The day when we saw 3 busses for the other parks was on Friday 10/10 and we could not figure out why, but it was nearly mutiny at the depot. For whatever reason there was only 1 bus to Magic Kingdom and 1 Bus to Hollywood Studios.

Forgive me for sounding like a jerk here, but why are you asking about getting to the parks early? You can't exactly get in before 9am usually unless they have the extra magic on that particular day. (And from what I've heard its not worth it.) Otherwise you are just going to have to wait outside until they open the park. Or worst case stand and you will have some tired feet by midday. The last thing we wanted to do was get to a park 2 hours before it opens only to stand there with a cranky 6-year old.

Edit: To further clarify, it seemed that in the mornings there were at least 2 busses going to MK, EP and HSs. If I recall correctly Blizzard Beach shares its bus with Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon shares its route with Downtown Disney and I don't recall seeing more then 1 bus each for those in the AM. Hope this helps.

Matty101
Posts: 4
Joined: October 22nd, 2014, 11:33 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Matty101 » October 22nd, 2014, 11:40 pm

Anticitizen,

Question for you. Based on your experiences of the buses would you recommend a car rental? We are going in November and I have been debating renting a car or just using the buses. We didn't have a problem with buses last year but at that time we stayed at a smaller resort. I figure even if we rented a car we would still lose some time right back with parking and walking where a bus drops you off closer at MK. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 23rd, 2014, 7:04 am

Matty101 wrote:Anticitizen,

Question for you. Based on your experiences of the buses would you recommend a car rental? We are going in November and I have been debating renting a car or just using the buses. We didn't have a problem with buses last year but at that time we stayed at a smaller resort. I figure even if we rented a car we would still lose some time right back with parking and walking where a bus drops you off closer at MK. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
If I were to go back to Riverside today, yes I would totally rent a car. I know it will cost a bit more and to be honest the Disney Magic Express did a great job. But because of the sheer size of Riverside, the busses are such a hassle. Rent a car if you are staying here. Save yourself the headache.

Nicola74
Posts: 125
Joined: May 14th, 2014, 1:53 pm
Location: Chester, England

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Nicola74 » October 23rd, 2014, 12:19 pm

Anyone have an opinion on whether to opt for a taxi to and from the airport rather than DME? Also, if so any recommendations of who to use?

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 23rd, 2014, 2:05 pm

Nicola74 wrote:Anyone have an opinion on whether to opt for a taxi to and from the airport rather than DME? Also, if so any recommendations of who to use?
Well, lets assume you opted to use the Disney Magic Express. You won't have to pay anything extra to use this service. Its completely free (as long as you are staying in a Disney resort) So you won't have to pay anything extra. A taxi on the otherhand. You might save some time but Disney World is not exactly a quick hop up the street. It will still take a good 20-30 minutes to get from the airport just to the Disney World area. Also if you do decide to use the DME, they will provide luggage tags and will deliver your bags directly to your room within a few hours of arrival.

But if your time is that valuable or if money is no problem, then a cab might be quicker getting to and from, but you will pay the price. My best guess for a cab to and from the airport would be at least 40-50 bucks each way and will more then likely be closer to $100. At least with a cab you won't have to sit at the airport and wait for the bus to get back to the airport. Which could take some serious time. I have no idea if there are more then 1 bus at a time for each route. Lets say we did miss the DME bus at the airport and we nearly did, the driver was just about to close the door. It would be at least 45 minutes and probably more of waiting at the airport for the bus to show up. However I could be wrong in thinking that there is only 1 bus per route which frankly, would surprise me.

If anyone is curious about the route it goes,

Saratoga Springs>>>Old Key West>>>French Quarter>>>Riverside.

Lastly, I have nothing but praise for the Disney Magic Express. They did a tremendous job. My only complaint would be less stops to and from the airport. However I will note that we did not check in any luggage so I cannot comment on how quickly bags will be delivered to your room.

Nicola74
Posts: 125
Joined: May 14th, 2014, 1:53 pm
Location: Chester, England

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Nicola74 » October 23rd, 2014, 6:08 pm

Thanks. Your comments about almost being late for your flight home made we wonder. As we are long haul with a child with additional needs I was curious if you felt a taxi would be preferable. We're not planning on using the luggage delivery service and would sooner arrive early to the airport and be able to take our time there rather than rush anyone.

Matty101
Posts: 4
Joined: October 22nd, 2014, 11:33 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Matty101 » October 23rd, 2014, 6:20 pm

Anticitizen, thanks for the reply. I've been debating the rental car idea back and forth so I really appreciate your input. Thanks

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 23rd, 2014, 6:36 pm

Nicola74 wrote:Thanks. Your comments about almost being late for your flight home made we wonder. As we are long haul with a child with additional needs I was curious if you felt a taxi would be preferable. We're not planning on using the luggage delivery service and would sooner arrive early to the airport and be able to take our time there rather than rush anyone.
If you use the DME and seeing that you are in the UK you will be leaving 3 hours before your flight instead of the usual 2 for domestic flights which I'm sure you would have enough time. As for being with children and additional needs, TSA should put you in the expedited security line. As for the taxi...that would certainly save you some time. Especially with the additional stops that they will do on their way to the airport. Glad I could be of help.
Matty101 wrote:Anticitizen, thanks for the reply. I've been debating the rental car idea back and forth so I really appreciate your input. Thanks
You are quite welcome. If you were staying at almost any other resort (except maybe the all-star resorts) I'd just stick with the bus. Yes there will be some more walking involved getting to the car and such, but it might be worth it because you could wait up to 20 minutes (and in my case sometimes more then 20 minutes) for the bus back to the resort. That all being said...I've never driven in the DW area so I have no idea how traffic is.

Matty101
Posts: 4
Joined: October 22nd, 2014, 11:33 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Matty101 » October 23rd, 2014, 6:50 pm

Good points. Not related to buses but did you buy the memory maker? We have been thinking about it. Also did you eat at boatrights? I haven't heard anything good about the food there. Thanks

The_Walking_Dead_1
Posts: 31
Joined: September 13th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by The_Walking_Dead_1 » October 23rd, 2014, 8:00 pm

Hey AntiCitizen,

No worries about your comment, here's why.....we love using the early morning Extra Magic Hours, with smaller kids its the best for us.

Also, here are 2 rules we live by when at WDW:

1. You will do more in the First Hour than you will do in the next Three Hours, you will do more in the next Three Hours than you will do the rest of the day.

2. We always leave the parks around 1p or 2p and go back to the resort for a 2-3 hour rest or swim, then return to the parks after 5p feeling refreshed and ready to go.

One additional trick we are trying this trip is we added an extra day in the middle (so we have AK Mon, EP Tues, Resort day Weds, MK Thurs & DS Fri) to do nothing but explore and relax at the resort and recharge our feet.

We always see the families that try to stay the entire day and they are totally miserable and we want to have a great experience every time. We manage our expectations knowing we wont see everything.

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 23rd, 2014, 8:14 pm

Matty101 wrote:Good points. Not related to buses but did you buy the memory maker? We have been thinking about it. Also did you eat at boatrights? I haven't heard anything good about the food there. Thanks
We did not buy the memory maker, however they do have photographers there who will take pictures for you and they can scan them into your magicband. You can then look at them online if you are interested in buying them. A little expensive they are however. Photopass I think its called.

As for Boatwright's yes we did eat there. My review of them I put in my original post but to summarize, it wasn't worth what we paid. Granted I did buy the most expensive item on the menu (prime rib) there are cheaper items on their menu but my wife and I both left pretty disappointed. IMO skip it and to be honest everything at the food court was cheaper and was quite good for what you pay for.
The_Walking_Dead_1 wrote:Hey AntiCitizen,

No worries about your comment, here's why.....we love using the early morning Extra Magic Hours, with smaller kids its the best for us.

Also, here are 2 rules we live by when at WDW:

1. You will do more in the First Hour than you will do in the next Three Hours, you will do more in the next Three Hours than you will do the rest of the day.

2. We always leave the parks around 1p or 2p and go back to the resort for a 2-3 hour rest or swim, then return to the parks after 5p feeling refreshed and ready to go.

One additional trick we are trying this trip is we added an extra day in the middle (so we have AK Mon, EP Tues, Resort day Weds, MK Thurs & DS Fri) to do nothing but explore and relax at the resort and recharge our feet.

We always see the families that try to stay the entire day and they are totally miserable and we want to have a great experience every time. We manage our expectations knowing we wont see everything.
Totally agree with you. The only place we wanted to be at when it opened was Magic Kingdom because we had so much planned that day. At noon we took my daughter to the Bibbdi Bobbity Boutique and got to relax there for about an hour or so. And at 4:30 we had dinner at Cinderella's Castle so we got some more rest there. We spent the entire day at MK and my daughter didn't gripe once. Wednesday we went to Animal Kingdom for about half the day, got there about 9:30 and went back to get a break then hit Epcot in the evening. While we were at Epcot I hit up the German pavilion and got to practice my German with a really cute girl from Hamburg. I guess Thursday we did g oto Blizzard Beach right when it opened. then we did the Not so scary Halloween party that night. Friday we had nothing planned so we hit up Hollywood Studios for about half the day. And yes take a day off, you'll need it.

Matty101
Posts: 4
Joined: October 22nd, 2014, 11:33 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Matty101 » October 23rd, 2014, 8:47 pm

Anticitizen a couple more questions if you don't mind. Are there any activities you did at PORT you would recommend like bike or horse carriage ride? How about park crowds? All the charts show the time you went are low, was that accurate?

Did you do the boat ride to downtown disney, I'm thinking about eating dinner there some night because of the availability of the restaurants. Again. Thanks

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 23rd, 2014, 8:57 pm

Matty101 wrote:Anticitizen a couple more questions if you don't mind. Are there any activities you did at PORT you would recommend like bike or horse carriage ride? How about park crowds? All the charts show the time you went are low, was that accurate?

Did you do the boat ride to downtown disney, I'm thinking about eating dinner there some night because of the availability of the restaurants. Again. Thanks
Sadly, I can't say we did much more activities then swimming. Which my wife and I thought about it and we decided when we go back were going to put a day in there just to relax at the resort and try to do some of the things that they offered. The crowds were above average from what they were expecting. But Magic Kingdom was by far the busiest and it didn't feel like a low crowd at all. AK didn't seem too bad but it's also the largest park and is very spread out. Epcot was very crowded around the World Showcase, this was due to the Wine and Food festival. Blizzard Beach wasn't too bad and Hollywood Studios when we went wasn't bad either. But I think the crowds get higher around Veterans Day and will only increase as Thanksgiving gets closer.

We took the boat ride to Downtown Disney the day we arrived because we had reservations at Planet Hollywood (note if you go there, a reservation doesn't mean a table is waiting for you, we still had to wait an additional 30 minutes to get a table and they were just allowing people who were walking up to be seated right away.) The boat ride took about 20 minutes because it stops at French Quarter to pickup more people and stops at French Quarter on the way back. Personally we only took the boat once to DD because it was still very hot and muggy outside (I come from cool dry mountain air) The other time we took the bus. But take the boat ride once, its quite nice.

The_Walking_Dead_1
Posts: 31
Joined: September 13th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by The_Walking_Dead_1 » October 24th, 2014, 8:38 pm

AntiCitizen,

Thanks for the answers!!!! Sounds like you had a great vacation!!! We always plan for a few little hiccups just in case!!!!!!

Anticitizen1
Posts: 9
Joined: October 11th, 2014, 2:51 pm

Re: Riverside Report 10/6-10/11

Unread post by Anticitizen1 » October 25th, 2014, 7:31 am

Yes we had a great time. The only thing I would do differently, would be to take a day off to spend at the resort and enjoy some of the things that they offered. Hope you guys have a great trip!

Post Reply