Slightly more spacious than accommodations at Disney Value Resorts, but with less elbow room than you'd enjoy at a Deluxe Category property, guestrooms at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside are basic yet functional, with the standard amenities you'd expect to find in a mid-range chain hotel, plus a few extras thrown in with trademark Disney flair.
While you'll pay a premium during peak and holiday seasons, many feel that what rooms lack in luxury or space is made up for in resort recreation, facilities and onsite guest privileges. Whether you're hoping to keep the kids busy -- or else reign them back in for some family togetherness time -- this resort offers the most diverse recreational options among traditional Moderate category properties.
Standard rooms are 314 square feet and are located in two distinctive sections: Magnolia Bend is a stately neighborhood featuring neatly manicured hedges and grand columned "mansions," while Alligator Bayou has a comfortable country feel, with lush vegetation and cozy "cottages." Linens and furnishings match the neighborhood theme -- think dark cherry and refined at Magnolia Bend, and hickory wood and rustic at Alligator Bayou, with "Hidden Mickeys" to be found in each.
Guest rooms contain a king bed ($25 surcharge) or two double beds. Some rooms in Alligator Bayou are equipped with a narrow trundle bed (suitable for ages nine and under) as well, making it an attractive choice for families of five who don't mind sharing close quarters. Other double rooms sleep up to four ($15 night each for third and fourth adult), plus one crib sleeper under the age of three. Complimentary Pack 'N Plays and bed rails are delivered upon request, and connecting rooms are available.
Besides a large armoire, a table with two chairs and a bench, each room is equipped with a coffeepot and Hi-Speed Internet ($9.95 for 24-hour access). A small refrigerator is housed in a low-lying, non-locking cabinet -- this may be an issue if you're traveling with little ones. A vanity area contains two sinks, as opposed to the one available at Value Resorts, and a privacy curtain separates it from the bedroom, meaning part of your party can shower early while others sleep in (assuming they';re not light sleepers).
Be forewarned that pedestal-style sinks at this resort are positioned well within a toddler's reach. Thankfully, management seems to have adjusted water temperature so as to avoid burn accidents, but like the "peek-a-boo" privacy curtains, this surprise "water feature" could prove to be one of the property's more popular but less practical family attractions. In any case, consider requesting a room that has been recently updated. The property is beginning to show its age and, while grounds are pristine, some accommodations are in need of a little TLC.
Back on the plus side, parking is free to resort guests and parking lots are located adjacent to lodgings -- a major advantage over some Value or Deluxe properties, where access tends to be less convenient. Those planning to rely on resort transportation can reduce transit time by requesting a room near the resort center, close to both the food court and South Depot bus stops. Some buildings don't have elevators, so if you're traveling with a child in a stroller, be kind to your back by requesting a ground floor room. If you must have a water view (river or pool), expect to pay a surcharge of around $25 to $30.