Hotel Review: Disney's Port Orleans Resort Orlando
It's always rough when you get off a red eye flight from the West Coast. We arrived at Orlando before sunrise without much sleep, so we slowly walked our way to the Disney Magical Express which took us to our hotel about 30 minutes away.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by the staff wearing their big smiles and Mickey Mouse hands and handing out stickers. I was not expecting such a warm greeting so early in the morning but it did cheer us up. When we walked in to the hotel lobby, I was amazed at the elegance of it's tall white columns and beautiful chandeliers! "Wow!", I said to my self. It was more than I expected from a moderate resort. Check in was a breeze. I knew our room would not be ready so early in the morning so we were advised that we would receive a text message with the room number when it was ready. They didn't have to give us keys because we already had our Magic Bands and we could go to our room as soon as we received the text message, no need to go back to the front desk to get keys.
Since we had time, we decided to eat breakfast at the Riverside Mill Food Court. It was around 8:30 am so the dining room was abuzz with people getting ready to go visit the parks. They had a pancake/waffle station and a omelette station. We were not expecting the quality of the food to be exceptional; WDW has a number of other restaurants that had outstanding food (our favorites during this trip were Chef Mickey's and Akershus). After breakfast, we walked around the resort grounds that were very well kept. the large trees provided a lot of shade and the river gave a Louisiana Bayou feel to the resort. There were 3 swimming pools, the largest of which had a slide. I remember Michelle squealing with glee as she slid down the slide for the first time.
Our room was ready around 9:30 am (check in time is really 3 pm, so thank you Disney!). We had a room in the Alligator Bayou which was large enough to accommodate 5 guests (it had 2 double beds and a murphy bed for kids). The bathroom was small but it did help that the vanity was separate from the toilet/bath area. so one person can be in the shower while someone else brushed their teeth or got dressed.
Disney's bus system to the parks were very efficient. an added benefit of staying at Disney's Port Orleans resort is the water transportation from the resort to Downtown Disney. we took advantage of this amenity after exploring Downtown Disney on our last night at Walt Disney World.
Highlights: to me, the best thing about staying at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort was the friendliness of the staff. there wasn't one person that stood out but everyone did an exceptional job. I was in awe at the professionalism and the level of service the Disney Cast Members give to ALL the guests. From the Disney Magical Express, to the Hotel, to the Theme Parks, everyone was helpful and attentive. we have stayed at many hotels, some even at the highest level of luxury so you expect the service to excellent. we experienced the same excellent service all through out our stay at Riverside and throughout Walt Disney World. I highly recommend staying here for your next Disney World Vacation. We have not experienced other WDW hotels so we don't have a basis of comparison, but Port Orleans Riverside will not disappoint.
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