Review: Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside



By Dave Shute

PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE ROYAL ROOMS

ROYAL ROOMS AT PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE

There are two Port Orleans resorts at Walt Disney World: Port Orleans French Quarter and 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.

Its Magnolia Bend area (the four blocks of rooms at the top of the Riverside part of the map) has two room types, Royal Rooms and Standard Rooms, each sleeping four in two queen beds.

This page reviews the Magnolia Bend Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside.

REVIEW OF THE ROYAL ROOMS

Port Orleans Riverside Parterre Place The Royal Rooms were introduced to Port Orleans Riverside as part of the rehab that finished in 2012.

As part of this rehab, full beds were replaced with queens across the resort, and the rooms in two buildings in Magnolia Bend, Oak Manor and Parterre Place, were redesigned–and re-priced–as “Royal” Rooms.

I stayed in one in December 2012, wishing to test three potential issues: are these rooms too girly, too inconvenient, and/or too expensive?

The short answers:

  • These rooms are not girly, but distinctive more in a heavy, detailed, layered, Victorian “elderly aunt” sense than in a princessy way. They won’t be off-putting to little boys. Little–and mom-sized–princesses will likely love their sumptuous design, unless their design aesthetic tends towards the spare and the simple.
  • These two buildings have always been inconvenient, particularly distant from bus stops, and they remain so–particularly Parterre Place, where I stayed.  Disney’s choosing of them for the Royal Rooms is a way to add value to this base of inconvenience similar to the choice to make the Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach out of the least convenient buildings there.
  • They cost most nights of the year $30 more per night than standard Magnolia Bend rooms.  You have to value the decor, and princes and princesses, for them to be worth the extra cost and inconvenience they bring–or be a huge fan of The Princess & The Frog.

A PHOTO TOUR OF THE ROYAL ROOMS AT PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room WelcomeYour experience with the Royal Rooms begins with check in, where you will be issued a special proclamation of welcome from Tiana, the wonderful heroine of The Princess & The Frog. (Because I watch Pawn Stars, I knew enough not to open my proclamation…I’ll sell it to Chumlee for big bucks someday.)

Next you make your way–possibly quite a hike if you are in one of the southern rooms in Parterre Place–to your room.

Floor Plan Royal Room Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from yourfirstvisit.netThe floor plan is pretty close to the standard for the queen-bed moderate resorts.

What’s different compared to other moderate rooms is the richness of the furnishings, and all the wonderful prince and princessy detailing…and those headboards!

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room Bed SideYou’ll find two queen beds on one side.

The headboards are lovely even in standard light.

Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room FirefliesBut darken the room, and find on the side of each a button which launches a very fun “fireworks” show on the headboards–actually, as you’ll know if you’ve seen The Princess and the Frog, it’s a firefly show.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room Bed Side from BathNote also the richness of the patterning on the bed furnishings.  This is typical of the room’s overall decor.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room TableOn the other side of the room, you’ll find a table and two chairs…

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room Princes…with the mirror above them flanked on either side by silhouettes of Disney princes.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room CornerHere’s a shot that shows this corner of the room in total, including the detailed and layered window curtains.

This is typical of one of the several ways–besides price!–these rooms are “royal.”  There are images of princes and princesses, sumptuous Victorian-styled furnishings and fittings in a regal color scheme of (royal!) blue and gold, and various objects that will remind fans of various princesses and their films.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room Dresser DetailNext on this side of the room is a combined dresser and mini-fridge with a TV on top.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room DrawersWith only three drawers, this room is short on storage–though there is a large clothes rod in the bath, with a shelf above.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room Mini-FridgeThe mini-fridge is the standard Disney offering.  I have my usual objects in it to help you with its scale.  I probably should have bought classier objects for such a royal space!

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room TV Side Royal FootstoolNext to it is a charming footstool, meant to remind you of the pup in Beauty and the Beast!

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room PrincessesAbove it you’ll see the first appearance in the room of actual princesses…

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room More Princesses…with more princesses on the wall separating the beds from the bath area.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room CarpetBetween the bed area and the dresser/TV area you’ll find this ornate rug that may remind you of something…

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room BathThe bath as is typical is divided into two areas.  One area has sinks that have a very graceful design, including sparklies that I couldn’t photograph. I didn’t get an adequate shot of them (even by my low standards), but the faucets here mimic the magic lamps from Aladdin.

There’s a closet area on the side.

Behind a door you’ll find the rest of the bath–including more gold-colored fixtures!

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room Shower CurtainThe shower curtain reportedly is reminiscent of the Little Mermaid–not so obvious to me. Personally, I would rather have found Jasmine in the shower…

Something I do get is the allusion to Cinderella in this coat rack!

For more–including much better photos!–see this entry on portorleans.org.

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13 comments

1 Ginette { 12.30.12 at 8:35 pm }

Thanks Dave for the review of the Royal room at POR. I didn’t get a sense whether you enjoyed your stay or if it was just so so. Lol. We will be there in February with our 2 girls (7 and 10) staying in a royal room riverside. Any suggestions on transportation and bus stops as I know there is more than one? We also have a Reservation at Tusker House for 8 AM , an hour before animal kingdom opens. Any recommendations on how to get there that early?

2 Dave { 12.31.12 at 10:06 am }

Hi Ginette! On Tusker, talk to the resort concierge the evening or day before. They will make sure that the special bus that gfoes around for first-thing character meals comes by, and tell you were to get it.

Royal Rooms are in two buildings. If you end up in Parterre Place, then you will want to use the main depot by the food court–but if you are in Oak Manor, depending on where your room is, the East Depot may be closer…

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3 Concetta { 02.28.13 at 9:23 am }

Hi Dave,
We will be staying at the Royal rooms in August…we got the pool view, how is that pool area and which building is that usually in. We will have 3 children under the age of 6 , one is an 18 month old. Which bus depot is better for us ( seating wise). Thank you for any info you can give us in advance.

4 Dave { 02.28.13 at 11:44 am }

Hi Concetta, if you look at the map, the Royal Rooms are in the Oak Manor and Parterre Place buildings at the upper right (buildings 90 and 95.)

The pool at issue is the pool between these two buildings. Parterre Place has just a couple of pool view rooms, while Oak Manor has a coupla dozen, on its right edge as you look at the map. So it’s most likely you’ll be in Oak Manor.

There’s no bus stop particularly convenient to these buildings (which is why they got picked for the Royal Rooms…) Depending on where your room is, either the East Depot at the top of the map, or the bus stop near the check in and dining area (“River Delta” and “Blue Bayou” “platforms”) will work.

If they seem, once you get there, about equally close, pick the two “platforms.” Most–but not all–buses start here, and can get pretty full before they get to the East Depot. The MK bus often starts at the West Depot and hits the “platforms” last, but all this can vary a bit…

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5 Angela { 03.04.13 at 10:44 am }

My kids are set on staying in a Royal Room. We’re booking this week. Do you have any suggestions on which building is the better of the two evils in regards to distance for walking to the bus stops, food, etc? It sounds like both are far, but which one would you ask for if you can make a request? Thanks!

6 Angela { 03.04.13 at 10:45 am }

And if it helps, we want to request a standard view. I didn’t see any point paying more for the garden or pool view! Thanks!

7 Dave { 03.04.13 at 11:36 am }

Angela, Oak Manor is the better of the two buildings. Although more expensive, a river (not pool) view would put you in the most convenient spot.

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8 Angela { 03.06.13 at 5:37 pm }

Thanks Dave! I thought that Oak Manor sounded like the better option based on your review. I had found this information on the site that is all about the Port Orleans resorts and they’re making it sound like Parterre Palace has a closer walk? Is there anything you can elaborate on? Maybe some blocked paths they aren’t mentioning?

Oak Manor (Royal Rooms) > Food Court: 286 yds / 488 yds
Oak Manor (Royal Rooms) > South Bus Depot: 303 yds / 505 yds
Oak Manor (Royal Rooms) > Ferry Dock: 275 yds / 477 yds

Parterre Place (Royal Rooms) > Food Court: 249 yds / 456 yds
Parterre Place (Royal Rooms) > South Bus Depot: 266 yds / 473 yds
Parterre Place (Royal Rooms) > Ferry Dock: 238 yds / 445 yds

9 Dave { 03.07.13 at 8:32 am }

Hi Angela, I’m still noodling over this, but if you found it on PortOrleans.org, I’d say it’s highly credible. Just a couple of comments:

1. The ferry doesn’t much matter so I’d leave that out of your thinking
2. The East Depot bus stop (not listed in your notes) is closer to all Oak Manor rooms than it is to any Parterre Place rooms, and for many–but not all–Oak Manor rooms, is closer than is the “South Depot” which is actually the “Blue Bayou and River Delta Bus Platforms.” In other words, on average Oak Manor is closer to a bus stop.
3. The food court and main pool is about the same distance from most average rooms in both buildings, but there’s one tiny wing at the north end of Parterre which is closest, and one big wing at the north end of Oak Manor which is closer to the pool (because people can go over another bridge.)

There’s another map that’s annotated that may make all this a bit clearer, on this page: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/02/28/review-disneys-port-orleans-riverside-resort-continued/

But as noted, I’m still noodling this, as I have great respect for portorleans.org!

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10 Dave { 03.07.13 at 12:14 pm }

OK Angela, I’m likely over-complicating this, but see the image. (Click it to enlarge it.) Royal Rooms Walking Distances

Note the bridge marked with a yellow X. It is basically (other than one small Parterre building, which is balanced out by the other small Parterre building at the other side) equidistant between Oak Manor and Parterre Place. The red line is how all Parterre, and some Oak Manor, will travel to the main pool. The brown offshoot of the red line is how all Parterre, and some Oak, get to the South/Blue Bayou and River Delta bus stops.

But then note the yellow line. It is exactly as long as the red-brown line, so shows how for many Oak Manor rooms, the bus walk is shorter than at Parterre. The orange line, meanwhile, is exactly as long as the full red line–thus showing how for many Oak, the pool is closer than at Parterre.

In interpreting all this, note also that the full red, and red/brown, lines don’t extend all the way to Parterre…they begin at the equidistant points…so the Parterre walks are longer than the yellow and orange walks…

11 Angela { 03.07.13 at 5:04 pm }

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation! I’ll definitely request the closer walk! :)

12 Rob { 01.03.14 at 10:20 pm }

We have 2 DDs (who will be 6 and 3 this year). We are debating between Royal Room (great décor but inconvenient location) and POFQ (decor not as nice as Royal room but rooms close to pool, bus and main building). But we’re torn and don’t know which would be better. In-laws in their late 60s also may join us at the same resort.

13 Dave { 01.04.14 at 10:30 am }

Rob, either could be a good choice. If the in-laws have any mobility issues, then I’d pick POFQ for sure…

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