First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

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!
AshleyNP
Posts: 1
Joined: March 28th, 2016, 4:12 am

First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by AshleyNP » March 28th, 2016, 4:56 am

We experienced our first stay at Port Orleans Riverside a couple weeks ago - March 13-20 2016. We had a wonderful stay! We were a group of 6 - children ages 2 and 4, my husband and I in our 30s, and my parents in their late 50s. I thoroughly researched all of the moderate scale Disney resorts and settled on Port Orleans Riverside for two main reasons - the horse drawn carriage rides and the Royal Guest themed rooms. I found this forum to be very useful as I was researching our stay and wanted to contribute my advice and reviews of the hotel. This was my 5th trip to Disney - other trips we have stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort and Shades of Green.

I booked our room about 6 months in advance. We are a military family and when the 2016 military resort discount was announced, I was able to retroactively apply the discount to our reservation. I did have to call twice because the first representative I talked to thought I could only apply the discount to my family's room and not my parents' room. However the rules are that the discount can be applied to up to 3 rooms reserved by the active duty service member. Ultimately it was not a problem.

4 days before our trip I faxed the hotel with our room requests as directed on this website. We had booked a Royal Guest Room with a garden view. I specifically wanted to stay in Parterre Place (I thought it was more beautiful based on pictures on this site), and I wanted to be closer to French Quarter because I thought we might go over there to use their new kids' splash area and get beignets. I requested 2 connecting rooms on the upper floor of Parterre Place. Our requests were met exactly and we absolutely loved Parterre Place. We were along the side facing the courtyard on the second floor. The whole resort is gorgeous, but I specifically love the gardens of Parterre Place. Our kids loved the fountains out front and an evening tradition was to go stick their hands in the water! We rented a double stroller from Kingdom Strollers (had a wonderful experience with that too), and used the elevator a couple times to get the stroller up and down from our room, but mostly we found it more convenient to use the stairs and carry the stroller. We were very happy with the distance to the buses and food court. I felt like it was very close to everything.

The Royal Guest Rooms were fantastic. All of us in our varied ages were enamored with the theming. The room feels rich and regal. The fireworks on the headboard are so much fun and never get old. The beds were very comfortable. We loved staying in the Royal Guest Room and I am so glad we splurged a bit on that. I have no complaints about our room - everything was great!

We used Garden Grocer for breakfast items and diapers - another great experience. Lunch and dinner was at the parks or the food court. We knew the crowds would be high due to spring break timing. However I was a bit disappointed with how congested the food court got. For example, we went to breakfast on a Saturday at 9 AM. The lines to get food were very long and it was difficult to get around due to all the people. Tables were sparse. Even by 10 AM, it was still very crowded. The food court seems huge, but at certain times of certain days we had to wait a while to get our food and it took some effort to find a table. But overall I'd say this happened 2-3 times during our one week stay there. Other times it was relatively quiet and we had plenty of tables to choose from. The variety of choices was great and the quality of the food was very good. Pricey, but everything is at Disney World I guess. Overall we were happy with the food court.

We used both the quiet pool and the main pool and loved both. My kids are not big on swimming but they enjoyed the children's wading pool at the main pool. I loved the water slide and also really enjoyed getting non-alcoholic frozen drinks from Muddy Rivers and sipping them poolside. The playground was very clean and nice, and there were multiple hammocks spread out along Old Man Island that we liked. We also very much enjoyed the surrey bikes - our group of 6 could fit in one 4 person surrey bike (2 kids in the front basket). We loved it so much we did it twice! We went on an evening horse drawn carriage ride that took us around the French Quarter resort, which was nice to get to see that. We used the arcade once - it was very big and spacious and had a decent amount of stuff for our kids to enjoy. We went to one movie on the lawn and loved it - so much fun. They have pool towels to sit on and gave out free bags of popcorn. We also did the campfire one night. They did have smores packages for sale that particular night but we just enjoyed the roasted marshmallows.

We loved the boat ride to Disney Springs! We even did it one night without actually getting off at Disney Springs, just to enjoy the ride. Very fun. We didn't get to the pools at French Quarter like I had hoped to - just ran out of time. We did however stop for beignets one night at the food court there. They were pretty good but in my opinion not worth going out of your way for them. There's just always too many things to do!

The buses to the parks were mostly satisfactory. Like many have experienced, they can get crowded. We always were able to get on the first one that showed up, but often some of our party had to stand. Usually we were able to get seats for my children. The worst part I guess was that sometimes it would take what felt like awhile for the bus we needed to show up. We waited about 20 minutes for an Animal Kingdom bus one morning. That was our longest wait probably. There was a screen showing estimated arrival times and when we got to the bus stop it claimed the bus would be there in 8 minutes, but it just kept adding on time until eventually the bus came 20 minutes later. But mostly the buses were there within 10 minutes or so. I didn't like how you had to walk through one bus stop to get to the other - it was often congested. But overall I was okay with the bus situation. I think for the size of the resort and the fact that it's Disney World and was crowded at the time we went, they did a very good job with getting people to and from parks. We always used the main bus stop at the front of the resort because of its proximity to our room.

Overall I was very pleased with my stay. We were there at one of Disney World's peak crowd times and I think they did a very good job of accommodating all the people. I would love to experience it at one of the less crowded times too! I am totally in love with the Royal Guest Rooms at Parterre Place and would stay there again in a heartbeat. The resort is gorgeous. The staff was wonderful - very helpful with all of my requests or questions. Housecleaning was great. We had a fantastic vacation - so much so that I am more depressed that this vacation is over than I ever have been with any of our other trips to Disney World! That's the hardest part - the post-vacation let down!

Thank you to everyone at this website for all the information and pictures! This is a wonderful site for planning a trip to POR and I used it frequently! I was beyond thankful for all the help it provided and the updates/news too. Thank you for all your hard work on this website!!! One question if that's allowed - what might be the best way to write a note to the management/staff at POR to thank them for our wonderful stay?

User avatar
MardiGroggy
Posts: 290
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 10:30 am
Location: North Florida

Re: First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by MardiGroggy » March 28th, 2016, 11:28 am

Sounds like you had a great time, in spite of the crowds. We usually try to avoid peak times for just that reason. The food court can be troublesome, but keep in mind that the tables at Boatwrights (during breakfast and lunch times only, of course) and the tables in the River Roost Lounge are available for "overflow" seating. Just a bit less convenient for busing your table when you are finished, but often worth the extra steps.

I am not aware of any direct email to the resort, but sending an email to WDW Guest Communications has always worked well for me when I want to compliment specific cast members (which I try to do whenever warranted) or services, and/or offer any suggestions. I usually get a response within a few days. Here is the link: wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com

Thank you for taking the time to post about your trip. Beginning the planning process for the next visit is a good way to help with the post Port Orleans blues. :D
MardiGroggy
Aka: Steve

"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

JoyJoy
Posts: 3
Joined: May 16th, 2016, 10:32 am

Re: First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by JoyJoy » May 16th, 2016, 10:38 am

Hi. We will be travelling to POR in October for a week. We will be 4 (2 adults, a 4-year-old, and a 16-month old). At the moment, we have 2 rooms booked (a standard king room with a murphy and a royal room). I am torn between which room to stay in. Do you think there would be enough room in a royal room for the 4 of us, plus a crib, plus a double stroller that we will be renting, plus a single umbrella stroller that we will have brought with us for the airport, plus all of our luggage? I'm worried we would feel very squished. At the moment, I'm leaning towards the king room just to allow us some extra breathing room. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2075
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 6:44 am
Contact:

Re: First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by Admin » May 16th, 2016, 10:43 am

The downside of the King/murphy bed room plus a Royal Room is that you will be located on opposite sides of the resort. The Royal Rooms are only located in the Oak Manor and Parterre Place mansion buildings, but the rooms featuring murphy beds are all the way across the other side of the river in the Alligator Bayou section. Would that be a problem for you?

Andre
Image
- The Unofficial Visitor's Guide to the Port Orleans Resorts in Orlando, Florida -

JoyJoy
Posts: 3
Joined: May 16th, 2016, 10:32 am

Re: First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by JoyJoy » May 16th, 2016, 3:12 pm

Admin wrote:The downside of the King/murphy bed room plus a Royal Room is that you will be located on opposite sides of the resort. The Royal Rooms are only located in the Oak Manor and Parterre Place mansion buildings, but the rooms featuring murphy beds are all the way across the other side of the river in the Alligator Bayou section. Would that be a problem for you?

Andre

No, we aren't travelling with another group so it doesn't matter where we are located in the resort. I'm more concerned about the space issue.

User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2075
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 6:44 am
Contact:

Re: First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by Admin » May 16th, 2016, 6:15 pm

Ah, I see, you don't need both rooms, you just want to know which one of your two bookings to keep.

You would fit OK into the Royal Room, and your kids (well the 4 y.o. anyway) would enjoy all the details, but you're right that it might feel more spacious in the Alligator Bayou King Bed room - and I'm sure the 4 year old will enjoy the Murphy bed too (and if they don't know about the Royal Rooms, they won't miss them). And you can request any location/view you want and still be within the King Bed category (even pool or river views).

Andre
Image
- The Unofficial Visitor's Guide to the Port Orleans Resorts in Orlando, Florida -

JoyJoy
Posts: 3
Joined: May 16th, 2016, 10:32 am

Re: First Time Riverside Visit March 13-20, 2016

Unread post by JoyJoy » May 17th, 2016, 11:25 am

Admin wrote:Ah, I see, you don't need both rooms, you just want to know which one of your two bookings to keep.

You would fit OK into the Royal Room, and your kids (well the 4 y.o. anyway) would enjoy all the details, but you're right that it might feel more spacious in the Alligator Bayou King Bed room - and I'm sure the 4 year old will enjoy the Murphy bed too (and if they don't know about the Royal Rooms, they won't miss them). And you can request any location/view you want and still be within the King Bed category (even pool or river views).

Andre

Thank you! We have let our Royal room go and are sticking with the King :)

Post Reply