Port Orleans Riverside vs. French Quarter: Which Resort is Better?
Hooray! The glorious day has arrived! Both Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter are scheduled for re-opening!
You may have read my recent post begging Disney to bring these resorts back. Maybe my desperation and pleading worked!
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort will welcome back guests on Oct. 14th with French Quarter reopening on Oct. 28th.
Booking is currently available for both of these resorts through much of 2022.
This might lead you to wonder: Which resort is better?
Let’s find out the winner as we put these resorts up against one another in a resort face-off battle!
Resort Size – Winner: French Quarter!
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort is the definite winner in this category. The grounds are small and easy to navigate.
No matter the room category, you’re sure to be close to all of the major amenities: bus stop, food court, and pool.
Consider this fact: Riverside has more than 2,000 guest rooms with French Quarter housing around 1,000 rooms.
That means Riverside is double the size, which can make for sorer feet at the end of a long day.
French Quarter, on the other hand, will take just about five minutes to get from the lobby to your guest room.
And about that bus stop: French Quarter has one main bus stop. We find this to be a plus, especially as you’ll be needing bus service to access all of the theme parks.
You’ll enjoy boat service to Disney Springs, though, no matter which Port Orleans Resort you call your Disney “home”.
Rooms & Theming – Winner: Riverside!
There is a lot to be said about the theming of Port Orleans in general. Both are designed around the charm of the south.
But Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort really takes it to the next level.
This resort is divided into two sections: Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou.
The buildings on the Magnolia Bend side are themed as sprawling mansions nestled in beautiful gardens. This is also where you’ll find the Royal Guest Rooms.
And if you want to talk about theming, the Royal Guest Rooms are top-notch and fit for a prince or princess!
The Alligator Bayou section of Riverside resembles the rural bayou regions of Southern Louisiana. Here you’ll discover rustic buildings themed as “lodges.”
There’s even a whole backstory with Riverside!
As the story goes, when settlers first moved from Port Orleans, they constructed four beautiful mansions, known to guests as “Magnolia Bend.”
As they moved up the Sassagoula River, though, they could not transport all of their construction materials. So they used what they could to design the lodges in Alligator Bayou.
Looking for a refurbished room? Both Riverside and French Quarter have undergone soft goods refurbishments that include the hard flooring.
The Pool – Winner: French Quarter!
You will absolutely love the pool area at French Quarter.
It features the Doubloon Lagoon pool, home to our favorite sea serpent who doubles as a massive slide, and an aquatic play area for the littlest visitors.
The splash pad is designed with families in mind. The water features are surrounded by lounge chairs, so parents can relax while the kids splash around.
Now, we aren’t saying that Riverside has a bad pool. It’s actually a great one! We just think that French Quarter’s feature pool is a cut above.
One major perk of staying at the Port Orleans Resorts is that all pools are open to guests staying on either side!
The Food – Winner: Riverside!
This was a hard call because French Quarter does have those delightful Mickey beignets.
But Riverside just offers more options when it comes to food.
For starters, there is the Riverside Mill food court, which is comparable to French Quarter’s Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory.
However, Riverside has a table service option: Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Although currently closed, we feel that this is a solid dining location. The food is fresh, and it’s a relatively easy reservation to get.
Riverside is also home to the River Roost Lounge for guests 21+. Why do we love it so much?
It’s where you can find Ye Haa Bob! He is currently furloughed, but we can’t wait until the day when he returns!
Value – Winner: Riverside!
Let’s start by stating that French Quarter and Riverside are very comparable in price. The difference in cost can be negligible.
But Riverside offers a “5th Sleeper” option, which is fantastic for families of five.
I do want to note that these “5th Sleeper” rooms can only accommodate up to 4 adults, so if you are a party of 5 adults (ages 18+), you would not be able to book this room category.
However, if you have at least one child in the mix, you can enjoy this room category, which offers two queen-sized beds and a pull-out child-sized sleeper sofa.
French Quarter, on the other hand, can only accommodate up to 4 guests. There is no child-sized sleeper sofa available in these rooms.
Because of this, we think the overall value for your hard earned dollar is better at Riverside.
One caveat, though, is that the non-preferred rooms at Riverside are typically a good walk from the main lobby.
Preferred rooms at Riverside can be more expensive than comparable rooms at French Quarter, which does not have a preferred category due to its small size.
So if you are a family of 4, and you want a smaller sized resort, you might opt for French Quarter.
Who Wins the Battle of Port Orleans?
Drum roll please….
We choose Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort as the best option.
Of course, we love both French Quarter and Riverside! But we like that French Quarter is easy to navigate with an amazing feature pool area.
No matter which Port Orleans Resort you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy your stay!
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