If you’re looking to stay in a Moderate Resort, then two of your choices are Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter.
Many people can get confused with the differences between the two. They are both New Orleans themed but each have unique features.
Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter is much smaller than Port Orleans Riverside.
There are seven buildings along the banks of the Sassagoula River. You’ll imagine yourself in the South, walking among the cobblestone streets surrounded by magnolia trees. You’ll feel like you are in the French Quarter when you see the brightly colored Mardi Gras masks and hear the jazz music.
You can choose between a Standard View or Water View room at Port Orleans French Quarter. The rooms all feature 2 queen size beds with Mardi Gras inspired bedding. All of the bathrooms have 2 sinks to make it easier to get ready in the morning.
As far as restaurants, Port Orleans French Quarter has Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, a large food court featuring standard fare like pizza, burgers and sandwiches. There is also Scat Cat’s Club, a full-service bar.
Doubloon Lagoon is the French Quarter’s themed pool and it features a huge dragon that is actually a water slide. Watch out for the band of crocodiles shooting water at you! For the little ones, there is a kiddie pool nearby. If you’re looking for refreshments you can grab a drink from Mardi Grogs pool bar.
Additional activities are a playground near the pool for little ones to burn off some energy and a hot tub for adults to soak in after a long day at the park.
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans Riverside is much bigger than the French Quarter, with almost 1,000 more rooms. Riverside is also along the banks of the Sassagoula River. You’ll be transported to the South and feel like you are an extra in “Gone With the Wind” as you stroll along and gaze at the plantation-style buildings in the Magnolia Bend section. Or head over to the Alligator Bayou section where you’ll be surrounded by trees and feel like you’re down in the bayou.
The rooms are the same setup as French Quarter. You can choose between a Standard View room or a Water View room. Rooms at Riverside feature double beds as opposed to the upgraded queen beds at French Quarter.
If you have a Princess in the family, you may consider booking a Royal Room at Port Orleans Riverside. 512 rooms will be redesigned and based on the Disney Princesses! Princess Tiana of “The Princess and the Frog” lives in New Orleans and she is inviting all her Princess friends to join her. Each Royal Room will have a unique item from another princess. These rooms will be gorgeous and fit for a Princess! Cost will most likely be the same as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort’s pirate-themed rooms.
If you’re hungry, you can head to Riverside Mill, a large food court featuring the same burgers and sandwiches that Sassagoula Floatworks has. If you’re looking for a sit down dinner, Riverside does offer Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Boatwright’s serves southern-style meals and is only open for dinner. While French Quarter does not have a table service restaurant, guests from French Quarter can visit and use the food options at Riverside. Riverside also boasts River Roost Lounge, where you can listen to music in the evenings, enjoy the fun antics of entertainer Ye-Haa Bob, and order drinks and appetizers.
You won’t go without a pool while staying at Riverside. Unlike the French Quarter’s one themed pool, Riverside features a main themed pool called Ol’ Man Island and fiver other pools. Ol’ Man Island is a large pool that has a waterslide and a waterfall. There is also a kiddie pool and a hot tub.
Port Orleans Riverside also offers numerous activities that the French Quarter does not. However, Riverside guests are able to share these amenities.
Activities for Both Resorts
Since Port Orleans is right on the Sassagoula River, there are many water activities. You can rent a fishing pole and fish at Ol’ Man Island Fishin’ Hole. You can also choose to rent from many different boats and spend some time right on the river.
If land is more your thing, then rent a bike or Surrey bike and tour the grounds of both Riverside and the French Quarter.
Want to sit back and relax while someone else does the driving? Riverside offers nightly horse drawn carriage rides that tours the grounds of both resorts and also along the river.
Another great perk for staying at the Port Orleans resorts is you can easily get to Downtown Disney by boarding the boat service. There is also a shuttle boat that can bring you back and forth between Riverside and French Quarter.
If you’re looking for a smaller resort with a more intimate feel, then choose Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. You will still be able to use the amenities and do the activities at Port Orlean’s Riverside.