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If you’ve ever stayed at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida before, or you’ve ever looked into staying there, then you may have heard of Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter.  You may have wondered if they are same hotel.  Well, in actuality, while they are beside each other, they really are different.  Originally, Port Orleans French Quarter was Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and Port Orleans Riverside was Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort but later Disney changed the name of Dixie Landings (to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside) and made each hotel a region of the same Port Orleans Resort (the original Disney’s Port Orleans then became Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter).

There are similarities between the resorts besides just the southern theme.  They are both “moderate” resorts, are generally priced somewhat similar (more on that later), have similar size rooms (more on this later, too) and they both offer bus transportation to Disney’s theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon & Blizzard Beach) and boat transportation to Disney Springs (which I really like; the boat ride is nice and I like the dining and shopping options at Disney Springs).  I have stayed at both Port Orleans French Quarter & Port Orleans Riverside 3 times each and I have to say there are differences between the two hotels, so if you are deciding between the two hotels you may want to keep reading because these key differences may help you decide which hotel to book.

1Theming

lobby Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort hotel
Port Orleans Riverside lobby
Port Orleans Riverside river view Disney World hotel
Port Orleans Riverside
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside hotel river
Port Orleans Riverside
Disney hotel Port Orleans Riverside view of river
Port Orleans Riverside
theming of Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort hotel
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans Riverside river trees theming outdoors
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans Riverside hotel buildings, river
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans Riverside fountains, flowers, hotel buildings at Disney resort
Port Orleans Riverside
outside Port Orleans Riverside hotel at night at Disney World
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans French Quarter hotel building
Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter hotel New Orleans theming outside buildings
Port Orleans French Quarter
Disney Port Orleans French Quarter hotel horse and carriage
Port Orleans French Quarter
horse carriage Port Orleans French Quarter Disney resort hotel grounds
Port Orleans French Quarter
fountain lobby Port Orleans French Quarter hotel Orlando
Port Orleans French Quarter lobby
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter hotel exterior Mardi Gras theme
Port Orleans French Quarter

Both Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter have awesome theming.  Port Orleans French Quarter really captures the French Quarter area of New Orleans, both architecturally and in spirit.  The theming of Port Orleans Riverside reflects life in the south around the Mississippi River in the 1800’s.  Both have a very romantic feel to them and are themed incredibly well, but if you want to visit the real French Quarter in New Orleans you can, but you can’t go back in time so to me that gives the edge to the theming of Port Orleans Riverside because it is one of a kind.

Advantage: Port Orleans Riverside

2Convenience

signs at Port Orleans Riverside for Magnolia Bend, lobby, Alligator Bayou, Muddy Rivers, Fishing Hole Playground
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans French Quarter sign for pool, spa, guest laundry, Mardi Gras pool bar
Port Orleans French Quarter

A big draw to me of Port Orleans French Quarter is how much smaller it is compared to Port Orleans Riverside.  Because Port Orleans French Quarter has less buildings, no matter where you stay, you’ll be close to busses, the boat to Disney Springs, the food court, etc.  Port Orleans Riverside is much larger and as a result, you could end up staying in a room that’s far away.  You can pay extra for a preferred room, but that would cost you more than a room at Port Orleans French Quarter.  I will say that I have stayed at Port Orleans Riverside three times, twice in a preferred room and once in a non-preferred room, and there was a decided difference in my stays.  Being really far away from the food court, the boat to Disney Springs, etc. was kind of a pain and made my stay less magical.

Advantage: Port Orleans French Quarter

3Rooms

Port Orleans Riverside Royal hotel Room beds princess pictures
Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
Port Orleans Riverside Royal Guest Room princess frog theme above bed
Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
Port Orleans Riverside Royal Guest Room princess tiana prince pictures
Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Hotel Room table chairs curtains
Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
Port Orleans French Quarter hotel room beds
Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter hotel room bathroom Disney resort
Port Orleans French Quarter

Rooms at both Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are spacious and the beds are extremely comfortable.  Both have great decorations with pictures up fitting their respective themes, and there’s a privacy curtain between the bedroom and the bathroom which I like.  What gives the nod to Port Orleans Riverside is that (for an extra cost; this is Disney of course) you can get a Royal Room Princess-Themed hotel room at Port Orleans Riverside.  The room is really well done with great attention to detail.  Staying at one of these rooms almost gives your vacation a whole new feel even if you’ve stayed at Port Orleans Riverside before.

Aquatica Orlando

Advantage: Port Orleans Riverside

4Dining

Riverside Mill Food Court Disney's Port Orleans Resort
Riverside Mill Food Court at Port Orleans Resort
Port Orleans Riverside food court Disney World hotel
Riverside Mill Food Court at Port Orleans Resort
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Port Orleans French Quarter food court
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter food court quick service dining
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Port Orleans French Quarter

Both Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter offer food courts for quick, convenient dining.  As far as food courts go, I would give the nod to French Quarter’s Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory because I like the Mardi Gras decorations a bit more than the mil wheel décor of the Riverside Mill Food Court.  But in addition to the food court, Port Orleans Riverside also has a sit-down restaurant, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, which my family and I have eaten at and enjoyed, so being able to have more than one dining option to me means Port Orleans Riverside should get the nod here.

Advantage: Port Orleans Riverside

5Pools

Port Orleans Riverside pool Disney World hotel
Port Orleans Riverside
swimming pool at Port Orleans Riverside Disney World hotel
Port Orleans Riverside
outdoor pool Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort hotel
Port Orleans Riverside
pool Port Orleans French Quarter Disney resort hotel
Port Orleans French Quarter

On the one hand, Port Orleans Riverside has more pools, so there is an advantage there.  I do like the water hole theming of the pools at Port Orleans Riverside and it perfectly fits the hotel’s theme.  But I personally like the colorful, upbeat theming of the pool at Port Orleans French Quarter better.  Walking by the pool at French Quarter makes me want to change my plans and jump right in the pool but the pool at Port Orleans does not have the same effect on me.

Advantage: Port Orleans French Quarter

6Kid-Friendly

This is Disney so of course both hotels are going to have fun aspects for kids, but Port Orleans Riverside’s laid-back feel isn’t exactly the most exciting for kids.  Port Orleans French Quarter on the other hand has more of an “exciting” feel with a more visually appealing food court and pool area.

Advantage: Port Orleans French Quarter

7Dog-Friendly

dog friendly Disney's Port Orleans Riverside hotel
You can now bring your dog to Port Orleans Riverside!

If you have a dog you would like to bring to Disney World with you, then you can bring the dog to Port Orleans Riverside (for an extra fee, of course) but you cannot bring the dog to Port Orleans French Quarter.  So if bringing the dog would be a big plus for you, that would make Port Orleans Riverside the better choice but if say you wouldn’t want to be at a hotel where there were dogs around (like say there’s a dog allergy in your family, your child is scared of dogs, etc.) then this would give Port Orleans French Quarter the edge.

Advantage: Draw

8Pricing

Because Port Orleans Riverside is a larger resort, there are usually more rooms available, and because of this you are much more likely to find Port Orleans Riverside on sale.  That’s not to say you can’t find a good deal for Port Orleans French Quarter because I have before; your best bet to find a good deal for both hotels is to book through Undercover Tourist.  But you are much more likely to find a good deal for Port Orleans Riverside.

Advantage: Port Orleans Riverside

 

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If you're planning a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida then consider staying on-site at Port Orleans Resort. There are 2 Port Orleans hotels: Riverside & French Quarter. Here's how to decide which hotel is best for your family