Monday, April 14, 2014

Dixie Landings/Port Orleans Riverside Review

I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World since 1996.  My family and I went down for a week in late April/early May for a week and stayed at Dixie Landings.  Being a family of five, it was always hard trying to find places to travel to without having to rent two hotel rooms.  We chose Dixie Landings because the Alligator Bayou section of Dixie Landings had a trundle bed that allowed five guests in a room.  I had grown up on all things Disney, but had never visited a park before.  My mom bought the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World along with the Birnbaum guide.  I read both books from front to back to memorize everything about the resort, the parks and everything else.

Once we arrived on property, I remember looking around and taking it all in.  We were in antebellum south with names of major cities and ports above us.  There was a TV playing cartoons in the lobby, so my brothers and I went there while my parents checked in.  Once we had our arrival packet with the resort map, park maps, times guides and our Key to the World cards, it was off to our room with luggage in tow.

The resort, a moderate, has all the looks and feels of a deluxe resort without the price.  Whenever we have stayed there in the years since, we always choose rooms in the Alligator Bayou section because of how comfortable they are.  There are three small pools in the Alligator Bayou section which are almost always empty.  The main pool on Ol’ Man Island is the busiest pool.  Guests wanting to stay in plantation style rooms can choose the Magnolia Bend section of the resort.  There are also two pools in this section.  The resort has a marina with rental boats that you can take all the way to Downtown Disney.  There's also a fishing hole and bar on Ol' Man Island. We always enjoyed a paddle boat trip around the area, usually going to Port Orleans French Quarter and turning back.  The food court, located in the main building, is complete with a working water wheel.  What a beauty it is too!  I feel the food court is one of, if not the best, on property.  Inside the main building is a full service restaurant that we’ve never eaten at, but have heard wonderful reviews of.  You can’t forget “Ye Ha Bob" at the River Roost Lounge Bar - he’s not to be missed!  Also in the main building is a large gift shop (one of the largest resort gift shops).

For anyone wanting a great family or romantic atmosphere, this resort should be at the top of your list.  I cannot recommend it enough!  I’ve always wanted to become a Disney Vacation Club owner, and have said that if Port Orleans Riverside ever becomes a DVC resort, I want to be the first to buy into it!

(Here’s a tip, when booking, ask for a room in a preferred location – buildings 14, 15, 18, and 27.  I also recommend buildings 17 and 26.  These are all close to a small pool, the main building, and the bus stop.)

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