Review: Port Orleans Riverside Alligator Bayou Rooms
By Dave Shute
THE ALLIGATOR BAYOU ROOMS AT PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE
On the map, French Quarter is the purple area on the right, and Riverside the green area on the left.
Port Orleans Riverside has two areas and three distinct room types.
Its Alligator Bayou area comprises the groups of buildings on the lower left corner of the map. These rooms sleep five in two queen beds and one short (~66 inches long) Murphy bed. Rooms in the Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside are the only traditional moderate resort spaces that sleep 5 (some refurbed rooms at Caribbean Beach sleep 5, but are not yet available to be booked for 5; the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort sleep 6) and these rooms are as a result very important to families a little larger than average.
For families that don’t need the extra bed, these rooms have so-so theming, are kind of ugly in spots, and are thin on storage. Such families have better options.
REVIEW OF THE ALLIGATOR BAYOU ROOMS
Even before the renovation with queens, Alligator Bayou rooms slept five–back then, the fifth spot was a trundle bed that rolled out from underneath one of the full beds, and occupied the space between that bed and the connecting door area.
After the renovation, the spot for the fifth person is now a drop-down Murphy bed that lowers in front of the TV.
See the floor plan–the bed is the dashed area directly opposite from the center of the two queen beds.
There’s more detail and images of the Murphy bed here.
The Murphy bed is comfortable and fine for sleeping a kid five feet tall or shorter. And the sleepy gator is drop-dead cute. But the design and placement of this bed means both that the room has very few drawers (just three) and also that these drawers are inaccessible when the bed is lowered.
On the other side of the room you’ll find a table and chairs, an object that contains the TV, Murphy bed, and drawers, and a mini-fridge and set of shelves. This image shows the table and chairs–note that less than half of rooms have two windows like this one shows. Most rooms have just one.
These rooms are lightly themed–and not that much too their benefit–to a rustic southern/bayou-side look. For example, the AC unit has been clad to make it look like something–perhaps a traveler’s chest.
The table is a little too large for its area, and heavy. Its design suggests construction from branches. You can also see in the image the rug, meant to be reminiscent of a planked floor. The depiction of wood grain does not quite work.
This entire object is themed to be something, perhaps a packing case. Note the “stenciling” on the center drawer–a reference to the groundbreaking Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie, released in 1928.
The mini-fridge is similar to other ones installed recently–no freezer compartment, but plenty of room and movable shelves. For some reason I didn’t take a shot with my usual scaling objects, but this fridge holds plenty.
Typical of the moderates, the bath is split into two spaces and the sink space can be closed off with a privacy curtain. Note the clothes hanging area on one side–there’s also an ironing board and wall safe in this area.
The sink is themed subtly with a washboard surface, and has an overall grace to it rare in the rest of the room’s theming. Note that the areas under the sinks can be used to stash clothes (as can the shelves by the fridge) making up a bit for the lack of drawers in the room.
This space functions fine, but the theming of the room is at its worst here. The shower surround is meant to mimic wood construction. While the wood grain is modeled better here than in the rug, the upshot is a tub with mud-brown walls. This is not something that most of us would regard as either fun or lovely!
These rooms are a godsend for five-person families.
Otherwise, I can’t really recommend them. For families that don’t need the Murphy bed, the small number of drawers, theming both too subtle and too ugly, and the extreme distance of many of these rooms from the central services of Port Orleans Riverside makes them not the best choice. Families who don’t need the Murphy bed, but are committed to Port Orleans Riverside, would be better off in one of the rooms in its Magnolia Bend section.
MORE ON WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD
- For where to stay, see this
- For what you get in each resort price category, see this