My 40th Birthday Mini-Vacation Getaway
So I turned 40 in October and wanted to desperately do some sort of a getaway for my birthday since I would rather travel than have a party. Call me crazy but I find traveling using precautions and wearing masks safer than sitting un-masked with any room full of people – no offense to my family and friends. When we travel we keep to ourselves, and wear masks in public. The only risk is eating indoors which we try to do quickly and at this time Disney is still enforcing masks in all indoor areas, unless seated and actively eating or drinking.
Why We Chose Port Orleans Riverside
In September an Annual Pass Discount was released on a few resorts – so we quickly nabbed it. I believe I paid $300 a night for this Royal Guest Room – which usually costs more for just the fancy room.
At first I tried for Disney’s All Star Music Resort but the discount sold out within days. So the AP discount we went with was a on a Royal Guest Room at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. At first we were going Sunday December 19-23 but I decided that wasn’t enough of time — so when I tried to add on Saturday night the discount was sold-out; so I had to try to book at the cheapest resort at the time which was $240 a night at All Stars Music. $240 is high for a value resort – compared to the $300 a night for a moderate.
Reasons Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Is Great
More Amenities Than a Value
- Food Court (quick service)
- Lounge near Lobby/Restaurant
- Slide on the main pool but other quiet pools available
- Gorgeous Grounds
- Stunning Buildings
- Riverboat Ride Transportation Option to Disney Springs
- Great Resort for Strolling Along the Riverside
At Port Orleans Riverside everything you need is centrally located at the lobby where you will find not just the bus service, but concierge, food court, great gift shop, lounge with sometimes entertainment by Yehaa Bob. Main Pool with slide is a few steps away with a fantastic poolside bar. Disney’s Value Resorts do not contain a slide on their pools (although they have the best Disney Theming and party atmosphere) nor do they have any restaurants besides a quick service and offer no lounges besides the pool-side bar. In the heat of the summer, you will find this shady resort to be a little cooler to walk around.
Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter both just re-opened this fall (after the pandemic hit in March 2020) – so the resort seemed a little “extra quiet” but we had no issues and everything was perfect.
Royal Guest Rooms
Port Orleans’s Royal Guest Rooms are not the furthest walk from the main lobby and food court but are also not too close either. The beautiful grounds and walk along the water make this stroll a stunning one for sure so it is never minded. The Royal Guest Rooms have a table and 2 chairs, as well as 2 queen size beds and a double sink. Shower is great and lots of storage for luggage. It could use some updating – Port Orleans French Quarter was already updated when we stayed there back in April 2019 with new flooring and giant flat screen tv’s. Above the beds are these giant headboards with fiber optic effects and gold trimmings and accents. Beware if you don’t have girls – lol – our boys were not thrilled with all the pictures of the princesses.
Both Riverside and French Quarter are typically more quiet resorts with absolutely majestic grounds. Theses resorts are perfect for people that like escaping from the hustle and bustle of the crowded parks. A cheaper option but aesthetically comparable to Disney’s Grand Floridian this resort is definitely a perfect choice for a vacation.
Why We Felt Disappointed Leaving Disney’s All Stars Music
Being that we were there in December the weather was much cooler so we didn’t mind all the walking at both Disney’s All Stars Music as well as Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside; however we did feel a little disappointed leaving the happier, more upbeat atmosphere of the Music Resort. Since we have 2 boys ages 13 and 11 we really enjoyed the free Guitar Hero located in the lobby and how conveniently located Ping Pong was near the main pool. Surprisingly the soda selection at the Music Resort was a little better! (We always purchase the refillable mugs and we resort hop with them). Even though room size at Disney’s Port Orleans is much bigger, the newly updated room at the Music Resort now sleeps the 4 of us just fine – since they put in new queen-size beds. We really enjoy the happy, and exciting larger than life gigantic theming around the resort – and for a cheaper price.
Here are some pictures below and I plan on posting some pics and videos of the resort on Instagram!
Walt Disney World Planning Worksheet – Downloadable Editable Canva Template.
I have designed some customizable downloadable items created in Canva and sold on Etsy.
Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation and don’t know where to start? Look no further