History of Disney's Port Orleans Resort
Walt Disney World has many themed resorts
throughout its parks that are sure to appeal to many people's tastes. One of these resorts, Disney's Port Orleans resort
, is filled with Southern charm and the party-centric feel of New Orleans
. Whether you're walking through the gated gardens or swimming in the brightly colored swimming pool, Port Orleans Resort can whet many people's palettes with all of the amenities it has to offer. Part of the adventure in this hotel is to learn about its history.
Opening and Layout--Port Orleans French Quarter
Photo courtesy of Wyscan at Flickr Creative Commons.
Disney's Port Orleans Resort opened the first phase of the resort in 1991. The French Quarter is based on New Orleans Mardi Gras culture. Each room is on a New Orleans "street." Wrought-iron fences and plants native to Louisiana line these streets, creating picturesque images of antebellum New Orleans.
Port Orleans French Quarter consists of seven buildings with about 1,000 rooms. Port Orleans is close to Downtown Disney, which can be reached by walking along the Sassagoula River, which also leads to Port Orleans Riverside.
Opening and Layout--Port Orleans Riverside
Photo courtesy of Miss Shari, Flickr Creative Commons
Port Orleans Riverside, formally Disney's Dixie Landing Resort, opened in 1992. Consisting of two areas--Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bayou--Port Orleans Riverside consists of more than 2,000 rooms. Located along the Sassagoula River, Riverside is rich in water-based activities, including river boats, water parks and fishing excursions.
Port Orleans Riverside is built to resemble antebellum towns along the Mississippi River. Many of the buildings along this stretch of Port Orleans resemble plantations or riverboats, so there are several themes to choose from.
Guests can reach Disney's Downtown region by taking a jaunt through the winding paths or via ferry.
In 2001, Dixie Landings and Port Orleans merged to create a larger Port Orleans Resort. Disney Imagineers began dividing Port Orleans into "regions" to create areas that reflect different aspects of the South. Previously, Dixie Landings and Port Orleans were two separate resorts, and guests were limited to the amenities that each separate resort offered. With the merger, guests at Riverside and French Quarter can now enjoy everything the total Port Orleans has to offer.
Riverside Mill; Photo courtesy Alex1961, Flickr Creative Commons
The entire Port Orleans Resort offers many different looks of the Old South, which makes touring this resort a must for Disney guests. The lobby to Port Orleans Riverside--Sassagoula Steamboat Company--resembles the inside of an 1800s riverboat. The rooms in Riverside resemble cabins inside a yacht or rustic cruise liner. Visit Riverside Mill, a quick-service restaurant to see a real working cotton mill.
Architectual Gems--French Quarter
Photo courtesy Midge3426, Flickr Creative Commons.
In the French Quarter, guests can experience antebellum Southern charm mixed with 1900s New Orleans architecture. Narrow walkways and wrought-iron streetlights and fences dominate the French Quarter. The rooms and balconies resemble New Orleans-style apartments and homes. This resort makes visitors feel as if they stepped back in time.
How it Stacks Up--Resort Comparison
Disney's Port Orleans Resort is one of Disney's most affordable resorts. There are two room packages available--standard view, which has either courtyard or streetside rooms, and water view, which have rooms located near the Sassagoula River.
Port Orleans has seven pools and water areas available. It also features several walking trails and horse-drawn carriages, a feature that is unique to this resort.
Port Orleans is also a Downtown Disney resort. Downtown Disney is accessible via water taxi or bus, but Epcot and other Disney parks are accessible via bus only. Although scenic, Port Orleans may be too out of the way for some of Disney's magic, meaning moderate travel times to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
Yuurei Serai began freelancing in 2008 when she wrote an ebook for Experian. She has written for Purdue University's "Chronicle" newspaper as well as for various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Master of Fine Arts in literature and composition from Purdue University.
CKramer, Wyscan, Miss Shari, Alex1961, Flickr Creative Commons