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Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort Marks 20 Years

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the grand opening of Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort. Nestled along the Sassagoula River, this Disney Resort hotel was inspired by picturesque Louisiana and has 2,048 guest rooms, which are split up into two separate areas within the resort – Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend.

Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort Under Construction in 1991 at Walt Disney World Resort

The resort’s main building, the Sassagoula Steamboat Company, where you will find guest check-in, Boatwright’s Dining Hall and River Mill Food Court was still under construction back in August 1991.

Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Later this year, guests will be able to stay like a Disney princess when the Royal Guest Rooms open, adding even more magic to a resort already known for its Southern hospitality.


  • So excited to be staying there in March in one of the Royal Guest rooms! Will be our first time staying at Port Orleans. I know my 2 girls are going to be ecstatic!

  • Love Port Orleans-Riverside, formerly Dixie Landings. I first went there in 1995 and was pleasantly surprised how beautifully serene it was and that it seemed to be hundreds of miles from the parks though they were only a short bus ride away.

  • It was our fisrt Disney resort to stay in, and we loved it!(Dixie landings)

  • My wife and I were told about Dixie Landings by a friend and we spent our honeymoon there and then 10 years later we celebrated our 10 year anniversary with all of our blended family. The best!!!!

  • WE LOVE POR!! Our first stay was when it was Dixie Landings (should have not changed the name). It is our favorite resort. We have stayed at our home away from home 23 times and still counting.

  • We are on our way! We will be there 2 Sat. from now! Can’t wait!

  • We stayed at POR Dec. 18-23, 2011. It was our second trip to WDW and the first time staying on property. My son (8) begged us to skip a day at the parks in order to take advantage of the amenities at the resort. We can’t wait to go back and my daughter loved sleeping on the Princess and the Frog murphy bed. It was a relief to find a reasonable resort that slept 5 🙂

  • LOVE Port Orleans Riverside….stayed there in March 2010 for my daughter’s first visit to Disney. Superior service: cast members bent over backwards to help when we left an item on our bus from the airport. Great dining options and beautiful landscaping! Took advantage of the surrey rentals to see the whole resort. Hoping to stay here again in May 2013!

  • By far the best of Disney’s resorts for a moderate price. Love to take the boat ride to downtown Disney. Excellent food court and great ambiance.

  • Still my all time favorite resort and the first one we ever stayed at in 1996. I love the ambiance and the water and even the boat ride to Downtown. Great area for the adults to relax while the kids go to the arcade not that far away. I agree…it will always be Dixie landings to me……

  • Love staying at the Riverside and Coronado Springs. Wish there were some new moderate resorts opening up!

  • We stayed here in October 2010 and absolutely loved it. Would definitely stay here again.

  • I love reading all the comments! We will be staying at Port Orleans for the first time the end of April and can’t wait!

    • Enjoy your trip! It’s a wonderful Resort.

  • We we’re just there in Jan ’12 and simply loved it!

  • I have stayed here several times and still have my Dixie Landings refillable mug!

    • I have one of those too!!

  • Stayed there when it was just Dixie Landings oh so long ago:)

  • Happy birthday, POR! What a wonderful resort – from the scent of the wood in Food and Drink, to the fun pool and slide, to the beautiful walking paths and river, it made my last trip one to remember!

  • First stayed at Dixie Landings in 1996 and been coming back from Scotland every year since then returning this June. Gutted to be missing out on the free birthday cake at the resort today. Really wouldn’t think of staying anywhere else on property. Love the construction picture posted above, never seen any of the resort like that before.

  • Happy Birthday POR :)This year will be our 4th trip to POR, my kids refer to POR as home. Such a beautiful resort, wonderful cast members and precious memories have been made at our “home” over the years.
    Thank you!

    • Speaking of wonderful Cast Members, did you see the story about Kyle Raser earlier this week?

  • Stayed there on our first trip to Disneyworld in 2008…loved it

  • We have stayed at the Riverside several times, most recently in November 2011. It is one of the resorts that can accomodate a family of 5 in one room. Love the property and plan to return soon.

  • Nate, we stayed there in Oct. of 1997 for our honeymoon, when it was still Dixie Landings! But I still don’t know why they changed the name! I am looking forward to going back, (just us! without the kids!) Again for our 20th anniversary!

  • POR is one of our fav. Disney resorts. We currently live in Texas, but are from Michigan. The beautiful grounds at POR remind us of the fall season that we miss in Michigan!

  • I stayed here with my son and daughter in 2009. Really enjoyed it. Such beautiful grounds.

  • Been home from Port Orleans- Riverside for just over a month. We had a wonderful vacation. The resort is beyond beautiful. Even at Disney’s busiest time of year it was peaceful and relaxing. It was our first time staying at Disney, and like usual, they did not disappoint.

  • Port Orleans, French Quarter, is the best moderate I have stayed at. Great theming and layout.

  • My favourite non DVC resort! We have stayed here many, many times and have very fond memories as it was the first place we ever stayed on Disney property. I am now a travel agent specializing in all things Disney and I recommend and sell this resort the most! LOVE!

  • We love Port Orleans – Riverside..We have stay here many times…It is our favorite…We just stayed there at the end of November for 12 days….Boatwrights has the best food…We started when the resort was known by another name….

  • Our first stay (definitely not our last stay) was July 2011. Loved the resort!

  • Princess Tiana and beignets! Best resort on property!

  • Dear Mr. Rasmussen,

    We have visited the Port Orleans resort many times and look forward to being guests there in the future. What a wonderful theme and true to form too! Congratulations and Happy Birthday to the Port Orleans.

    Jackie P.

  • I’ve stayed here many times over the years; the first time with my HS best friend for Senior Week (the first trip either of us had ever been on sans parents!) and most recently with my husband celebrating our anniversay. Mousekeeping here always makes you feel welcome and they bend over backwards to make you feel special. The hotel is beautifully maintained, centrally located, and has wonderful atmosphere.

  • Love the ol’ Dixie Landings! (and Port Orleans as well)

  • MY favorite resort to visit, have stayed there many times will be back in Sept., can’t wait. The river and boat to the village, is the best.

  • We stayed here november 2010 and absolutely loved it! It’s a tranquil resort with great outdoor spaces, activities and beautiful architecture.

    We also loved Boatwright’s Corn Bread. We found the recepy on the net so we can make it ourself, it brings back memories.

    Albert (Netherlands)

  • Thanks for the pics!

    We stopped in there last week for dinner (kosher on demand) with friends. I absolutely LOVE the property! Not only is the architecture stunning, but the functional space is outstanding.

    A fantastic arcade, HUGE dining hall, waterside beauty, boat service, and it is also a quiet tranquil resort.

    Love it!

    • You’re welcome. I love this Resort too, very tranquil.

  • Stayed in Feb. 2011. Very nice and quiet. The food court has wonderful breakfeasts to choose from. The resort is very spread out, but that makes it very peaceful. will be staying there again in Feb. 2013.

  • It will always be Dixie Landings forever in my heart! 😉

  • It’s where my wife and I spent our Honeymoon in ’97. Wonderful trip! Wonderful resort!

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