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Port Orleans French Quarter vs Riverside: Which to Choose?

When it comes to choosing a Walt Disney World resort, two of the most popular options are Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside. These charming resorts offer a unique experience that captures the essence of New Orleans. However, with both resorts being so similar, it can be challenging to decide which one is right for your vacation style. In this article, we will compare and contrast Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside, helping you make an informed decision for your Disney World vacation.

Both Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside are located in the Disney Springs area and provide an immersive experience for guests. Whether you want to enjoy a romantic getaway or a family vacation, these resorts have options for everyone. Let’s dive deeper into the differences between the resorts and figure out which one suits your vacation style best.

Location and Setting

Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside are both located within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The resorts’ locations make them ideal for visitors who want to be close to the action and in the heart of the magic.

Port Orleans French Quarter, situated on the Sassagoula River, exudes a relaxed New Orleans vibe. The resort’s location offers easy access to the Disney Springs shopping and dining district, connected by boat transportation. Additionally, Port Orleans French Quarter is just a short bus ride away from Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Riverside, on the other hand, takes visitors back in time to the deep south of Louisiana. The resort features lush gardens, tranquil waterways, and grand mansions, perfect for those looking for a more tranquil vacation. Riverside is also connected to Disney Springs via boat transportation, and just a short bus ride away from the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

Transportation Options

Both resorts offer several convenient transportation options for guests. Buses run regularly to all Disney parks and attractions, while boat transportation is available to Disney Springs and select locations throughout the resort. Guests looking to travel in style can also use the Minnie Van service, powered by Lyft, for a more personalized transportation experience at an additional cost.

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Ambiance and Atmosphere

Port Orleans French Quarter’s ambiance is full of whimsy and charm, with cobblestone streets, gas lanterns, and wrought-iron balconies. The resort’s design evokes the feeling of a small, vibrant Louisiana town, with jazz music often heard in the background.

Riverside’s ambiance is more spacious and grand, inspired by the grand plantation homes of the deep south. The resort’s setting offers guests a sense of relaxation, taking visitors away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.

Whether you prefer the lively and vibrant atmosphere of Port Orleans French Quarter or the tranquil and peaceful ambiance of Riverside, both resorts offer their unique charm and character to visitors, making them a popular choice for Walt Disney World vacationers.

Accommodation Options

Both Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside offer a range of accommodation options to suit different vacation styles and budgets.

Port Orleans French Quarter

Port Orleans French Quarter, inspired by the historic French Quarter in New Orleans, is a smaller resort with a cozy and intimate feel. The resort offers slightly smaller rooms compared to Riverside, but they are beautifully themed with wrought-iron beds and colorful murals. They offer standard rooms with two queen beds or one king bed, and some rooms come with a pull-out trundle bed for an additional guest.

There are also several specialty rooms available, including Junior Suites, which have a separate sitting area and a pull-out sofa bed, and king bed rooms with a garden view. All rooms come with standard amenities like a coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, and flat-screen TV.


Riverside is a larger resort, inspired by rural Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta. The rooms at Riverside are more spacious than at French Quarter, and they offer two queen beds or one king bed, as well as rooms with a pull-out trundle bed. The decor is more rustic and traditional with wooden beds and earthy tones throughout the room.

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Riverside also offers several specialty rooms, including Royal Rooms, which are themed after Disney’s Princess Tiana, and feature royal touches like a crystal chandelier, gold accents, and custom bedding. Additionally, there are several room options with preferred location views, including garden, pool, and river views. All rooms come with standard amenities like a refrigerator, coffee maker, and flat-screen TV.

Overall, both resorts offer comfortable and beautifully-themed rooms with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. The decision on which resort to choose will depend on individual preferences and budget.

Dining and Entertainment

Both Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside offer various dining options for guests.

At Port Orleans French Quarter, guests can enjoy the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, which offers classic American fare like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. Additionally, beignets are a must-try dessert option. The Scat Cat’s Club Lounge provides a cozy atmosphere for drinks and snacks.

Riverside boasts the Boatwright’s Dining Hall, where guests can enjoy Southern cuisine like jambalaya and gumbo. The Riverside Mill Food Court offers a range of food options including burgers, pizzas, and salads. The River Roost Lounge is a popular spot for live music and drinks.

Entertainment options at both resorts include movies under the stars, campfire activities, and bike rentals. However, Port Orleans French Quarter has a unique amenity – the Mardi Gras pool area – which features a sea serpent slide and a festive ambiance.

Recreation and Amenities

Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside offer outstanding recreational and amenity facilities. The resorts have multiple pools, fitness centers, and jogging trails for guests to enjoy.

Port Orleans French Quarter has one large pool, an arcade, and bike rentals for guests. On the other hand, Riverside has six pools, including a themed pool with water slides and a hot tub. It also has a fishing hole and boat rentals for guests who love water activities.

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Both resorts offer a variety of recreational activities, including movie nights, campfires, and live music performances. Port Orleans French Quarter offers guests the chance to go on horse-drawn carriage rides, whereas Riverside offers horseback riding and a themed playground for kids.

Transportation within the resorts is convenient, with complimentary buses that run throughout the day and night. Guests can also enjoy a relaxing boat ride to Disney Springs from both resorts.

Overall, Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside have plenty to offer in terms of recreational activities and amenities. It all depends on individual preferences and vacation style.


In conclusion, choosing between Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside depends on your vacation style and preferences.

If you prefer a more intimate and cozy atmosphere, Port Orleans French Quarter is the perfect choice for you. The compact and easy-to-navigate resort offers a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a larger resort with more amenities and activities to choose from, Riverside is a better option. The resort boasts a magnificent setting with beautifully landscaped gardens, waterways, and a vast range of dining options to satisfy all palates.

Final Recommendation

Our final recommendation is that you consider your vacation preferences and choose the resort that best meets your needs. If you’re still unsure, you can always split your stay between the two resorts to experience the best of both worlds. Whatever your choice, both Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside offer exceptional Disney World experiences that you won’t forget anytime soon.