by: guide4wdw – Collin

Every Walt Disney World resort has it’s strengths and weaknesses, but there’s always been and there will likely always be something special about staying on property during your Walt Disney World vacation. While many believe staying off property may save you money, often times the costs associated with the experience, which Disney provides free of charge, more that offset the cost difference. 

However, a few Disney resorts have always stood above the rest in regards to value for your hard earned dollars. Personally, one resort has always held the title of best “bang for your buck” in my humble opinion. As you may have guessed, that same resort is the one I’m sharing with you tonight, Port Orleans – French Quarter. 

Before I really dive into the benefits of this location’s vast accommodations, I should preface this article with the fact that I have not stayed here in about 3 years. As a result, a few things may have changed along the way. Taking that fact into consideration, here’s a closer look at our experience. 

On this particularly trip to Walt Disney World we intended to do things a little bit differently. A majority of the time when we travel to Disney, we do so with a vast layout of what we’re going to do on each day, what parks are open the longest, and a plan for every little detail of our week on property. That plan has always proven incredibly productive for us, but on this particular trip we had very few plans and did so completely intentionally. Our goal was to simply enjoy the resort and experience Disney in an entirely different way. We did go to the parks for a couple days of the trip, but spent a majority of our time at the resort, playing miniature golf, resort hopping, and resort dining. It was an outstanding trip and one that really allowed for a change of pace that proved incredibly enjoyable. However, as you can likely imagine, the resort accommodations could have made or broke our vacation experience. 

I’m happy to report that this was an excellent resort for this scenario. For those of you who may not know, Port Orleans is divided into two different sections, Riverside and French Quarter. We chose to stay in French Quarter largely because of it’s smaller size and much less scattered layout. Upon arrival, we entered the spectacular glass walled lobby area and headed over to the check-in counter. To our surprise, there was no line to check in (which can often happen at Walt Disney World resorts) and we were even upgraded to a garden view room as a result of a request to be near the pool if at all possible (since we would be spending a good amount of time there). 

The resort layout really lends itself to a great guest experience. The parking lots are spread across the resort and offer a great way to unload luggage and transport it to the room without any unnecessary hassle. Upon entering the room, the decor was classy and upscale in a way that made it feel much more luxurious that what you would expect to find in the moderate tier. Every little element of the room debuted dark wood accents and it even featured a decent sized window looking out to the courtyard (or in our case a view of the pool area). We were located on the first floor, and were only a short minute or two walk from the excellent Floatworks dining location which recently made Our Top 5 Quick Service Dining Options at Walt Disney World! To be quite honest with you, after walking a majority of the resort grounds, there really are no “bad” room locations. Everything is very quaint and compact which makes the resort feel very comfortable. 

Beyond the room and other typical accommodations, Port Orleans offers a fairly unique transportation option which transports guest via boat to Disney Springs. The journey from the resort dock takes around 20 minutes but is a great alternative to the typical bus rides that carry guests around property. Along the way, you get the opportunity to catch a brief view of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and may even catch a glimpse of boats making their way over to Old Key West. The journey transports guest along the Sassagoula River surrounded by large trees and picturesque views of the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course and perhaps one of the most unique views of Disney Springs from water as you traverse your way to the docking location. The incredible view of the Boathouse, House of Blues, and other Disney Springs icons are truly impressive from this unique viewpoint. 

Overall, this is one of the best moderate resorts for your money on Disney property. While the cost does tend to be a touch higher that Caribbean Beach or Coronado Springs, the added transportation benefits of fewer bus stops, optional boat transportation, and a much more compact layout are often well worth the additional cost. The cost also tends to be a result of the fact that Port Orleans French Quarter is often excluded from many of Disney’s discounts. It may cost more, but it often also increases availability for last minute reservations.   

If you’re looking to book a Disney resort in the near (or distant) future, be sure to look into the services of our friends over at Destinations to Travel. They’re not only who we recommend but also who we use for our vacation planning process. If you’d like to use this service and help support the site along the way, be sure to check out our quote request form below. Thanks!