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Ranking Port Orleans Riverside by Section at Disney World

Ranking Port Orleans Riverside by Section at Disney World

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Port Orleans Riverside is one of four moderate resorts at Disney World. It evokes the slow-paced feeling of rural Louisiana from the quaint cottages to the impressive mansions. The resort is also home to the Royal Guest Rooms! Which category should you book? I’m ranking them to help you decide!

Port Orleans Riverside

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Credit: Maggie

One of the two Port Orleans resort is Riverside. This moderate resort feels like you’ve gone back 150 years to rural Louisiana. If you can imagine what life looked like in the late 1800’s on a river, steamboats and mill wheels come to mind. There is actually a working cotton press mill outside the Riverside food court!

The inside lobby of Riverside pays homage to every main city located on the Mississippi River. If you look above, you will see names like Vicksburg and Memphis. It’s pretty neat! Riverside is considerably large with 2,048 rooms. This will undoubtedly increase the amount of walking you do around the resorts depending on where your room is.

Riverside is situated along the Sassagoula River, right next to French Quarter and just 15 minutes from Disney Springs via boat ride. Be sure to check out my guide for both Riverside and French Quarter in this post. And, if you cannot decide between the two, check out my comparsion HERE.


Credit: Monica

The Alligator Bayou section features cottages with tin roofs while the Magnolia Bend section features stately white mansions and fountains. Both are gorgeously themed and elicit their own story. On one hand, you have the “Gone with the Wind” type imagery. On the other, you have the smaller cottages that were found on the bayou.

In the Magnolia Bend section, two buildings are dedicated to the Royal Guest Rooms. Since Princess and the Frog took place in Louisiana, it’s a perfect opportunity for Disney to include Princess Tiana in the theming for the Royal Guest rooms. Tiana and her other princess friends have left momentos from their adventures in the room.

These rooms are my personal favorite in all of Disney. You can find more pictures and descriptions of the room in my post. Now, let’s go on to the rankings!


Screenshot: MDE

My least favorite area in Riverside is the standard category in the Alligator Bayou Section (top area in the photo above). These are incredibly plain rooms. Other than some artwork on the wall, it really is not reminiscent of rural Louisiana. I have similar complaints at French Quarter.

In addition, they are far away from the resort’s amenities. Buildings 16 and 17 are pretty close to the preferred category section of the resort, so consider yourself lucky if you get placed in one of those buildings!

I do want to mention that there are fifth sleeper rooms at Riverside, which is great for larger parties. Fifth sleepers are rare at Disney, with the other moderate resort that has them being Caribbean Beach Resort. You must book the Woods or Standard View 5th sleeper when booking.


Credit: Monica

A few select buildings in the Alligator Bayou Section are preferred rooms. These are rooms that are closely situated next to the lobby, food court, and main pool.

It is also very close to the main bus stop. For these reasons, I have chosen the preferred rooms as my “runner up”. Riverside is certainly not the largest resort on property, but there is quite a bit of walking involved.

The building numbers that are preferred rooms are 14, 15, 18, and 27. Building 14 is the closest to the main building and walkway to the feature pool.


Credit: Kate

On the Magnolia side, two of the buildings have regular rooms and the other two have royal rooms. Again, if you want to stay in a royal room you must book that specific category! I really love them, and I think they are worth the increase in price.

For the regular rooms, Building 85 is closest to the feature pool. You just take a short walk over the bridge, and you are on Ol’ Man Island. Then, you can take the bridge on the other side of the small island to get to the main building.

This is the best themed room in all of Disney World!
Credit: Monica

For the royal rooms, Building 90 is situated right in the middle of two bridges: one that takes you to Ol’ Man Island and one that takes you to the main building.

On the other hand, if you want to walk over to Port Orleans French Quarter for beignets or the jazz band, you will want to hope and pray for Building 95.

Final Thoughts

Credit: Monica

As always, these room recommendations are just that…recommendations. You may have your own preferences and reasons to choose royal room vs preferred vs standard, and that is okay!

Also, keep in mind that you cannot request which building you are assigned. If you arrive early enough in the day you may be able to stop by the front desk and let a Cast Member know you are willing to wait for a particular building assignment. But, nothing is guarunteed.

Credit: Monica

If you are looking for other building recommendations, you can check out my posts for Pop Century and Caribbean Beach.

Using a Travel Agent can help you navigate the ins and outs of planning! I am here to help! Please fill out this form and put my name (Monica) in the Special Request box.

Have you ever stayed at Port Orleans Riverside? Which room categories do you like to book? Is there a building you like to stay in? Let us know in the comments below. And, be sure to share this post with someone you know who is staying at Riverside!

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