These pictures are from a quick getaway during the first weekend of February, 2013. I’d had a terrible day at work and knew rates were decent during this time of year. My first and only previous stay in a Port Orleans Royal Guest Room was fairly rainy, so I wanted to see it all again and get away from it all.
I know a lot of people aren’t fans of Downtown Disney. My main complaint with it is the lack of parking, but I truly enjoy the dining experiences and live music offered there. Luckily, if you’re staying at Port Orleans (Riverside or French Quarter), you’re a convenient boat ride away from the fun! In this gallery, you’ll find pictures of Port Orleans, the Royal Guest Rooms, the ride down the Sassagoula River, and some scenes around Downtown Disney Marketplace. I had lunch at T-REX (for a much more thorough writeup, click here!), did some shopping at the LEGO store, and had a chicken Caesar salad at Wolfgang Puck Express before riding back up the river after dark.
As always, I hope you enjoy the pictures.
Probably the first thing you’ll notice in your room are the headboards. With the press of a button, fireworks light up the night sky over the bayou!
Pictures of princesses visiting Port Orleans Riverside adorn the wall.
Snow White left a mirror through which you can see the princesses hanging out in front of your building.
Everyone left some presents.
Mickey hides in the lighting…
Jasmine and Aladdin left a carpet. Recognize it?
Some well-known gentlemen.
More princes. Don’t get that old Spin Doctors song stuck in your head.
Tiana’s crown. Looks an awful lot like a frog’s footprint…
Some friends of Tiana.
I told you, everyone’s been here!
No rubbing needed. Just turn the handle for water.
Belle left us a dog.
Through the looking glass…
That headboard. So great!
Larger than the value rooms, and beautiful throughout!
A bedspread fit for a princess!
A letter from Tiana, explaining everything you’ll find here.
Royal letterhead and envelope.
A very comfy seating area. Many pics were tweeted from this very spot.
The AC even gets themed.
Mickey, of course!
TV, coffeemaker, chest of drawers. The TV, of course, is to be turned onto the Stacey channel and left there the entire time.
The area in front of our “mansion.” I was playing with the star filter for my lens..
More needless star filter…
Outside, in the courtyard, on the other side of the building from the previous shots.
I love this fountain. I took dozens of pictures.
The trees are alive with lighting bugs – remember the movie?
The courtyard is huge. In warmer weather (this was the first weekend of February and in the 40s), you’ll find people playing catch and football out here.
Plenty of spectator seating for those games.
A look at the main building, just across the Sassagoula River.
A long-exposure shot. I LOVE this area. It’s so beautiful and serene at night.
I couldn’t decide which one to post.
See that long white line? That’s a boat passing by, on its way to Downtown Disney.
More star filter.
Stars at night…
Long exposure stars.
No, seriously, it’s beautiful.
Really, really beautiful.
Turning around, I find the fountain I love in front of the beautiful building.
Umm.. Sorry about that time I vaporized Port Orleans Riverside!
Fountain, long-ish exposure.
Fountain, with a short exposure, to capture the water droplets.
I love it how serenely cycles through the colors.
My last sight before heading into my room for the night: A bunny!
A morning stroll to catch a boat will take you past so many pretty sights.
Across the river.
If you follow me on twitter, you’ve seen a great 360-degree panoramic of this.
Playing with some antique effects.
Many nice paths to walk…
…with beautiful places to rest.
We’ll be boarding one of these when we get to the main building.
Coming out of the country, toward a busy port.
PORT ORLEANS – if you’re looking for a boat, it’ll be right below here.
Across from the dock.
Couldn’t pay for a sky that blue.
Heading down the river, on our Sassagoula Steamboat.
From the boat, it just gets prettier.
As appropriately-themed as a concrete bridge can get.
The boat, after leaving Riverside, picks up guests at French Quarter. French Quarter is technically a separate resort… but not really.
French Quarter has an awesome pool, I’ll tell you that.
I know this flag is marking a stump hazard in the water, but I pretend it’s a long-lost tour group.
Nothing to see but trees, right?
Wrong! You’ll pass the Treehouse Villas on your way down the river.
One of the boats you can rent at Downtown Disney or the connecting resorts.
The Treehouse Villas have their own dock.
I’ve always wanted to stay here.
We pull to the side to away passage of another boat under the bridge.
After the other boat passes through, it’s our turn.
We go under the bridge and can immediately see Saratoga Springs
Here we are: Downtown Disney is in sight!
Saratoga looks pretty. It’s not my style, but it’s pretty.
“WELCOME HOME” is what you’ll see on every Disney Vacation Club resort.
The volcano rising over Rainforest Cafe.
Fulton’s, formerly the Lilly Belle.
T-REX from the dock.
The World of Disney is the largest Disney Store, yet will be expanded soon, as part of Disney Springs.
I want to rent the big one! In the back!!!
Some say Downtown Disney is for the birds. I disagree.
Stitch spits. Say that ten times fast.
Churros are always photo-worthy.
Soon my students will be performing here.
The LEGO Store – I’ll get there soon!
I’ve always felt this is the mascot of Downtown Disney.
A kiss for Dopey.
Have you been to T-REX? It’s fun!
Let’s go in!
Last time we were in the blue room, in the glacier. Today we’re in the meteor shower room.
Nice dessert – that kid’s excited!
I’ve got a much longer T-REX writeup on this site. You should check it out.
I don’t ever, ever recommend going into that store.
I played with the colors. Looks pretty.
Alright, into the LEGO Store!!
Do you spot the Village People?
Little Mermaid LEGO.
Flounder is so cute.
LEGO citizens take in a movie.
A few of them aren’t staying til the end.
This just makes me more excited for Star Wars Weekends!
I need three alarm clocks… This one.
And this one.
Here’s R2, all built!
Reminds me of Snoopy.
…Main Street, USA…
Prince Philip is attacking the World of Disney.
I think he’s attacking it because the carriage is his. It’s got a P on it and everything!
That volcano is going to look amazing!
Princesses getting their pretzels. This Wetzel’s Pretzels stand is a fairly new addition to the Marketplace.
Can’t wait til she gets this assembled.
Only Mickey gets to be in 3D :(
The Downtown Disney Dollar Tree.
Flowers outside Pin Traders.
A must-do at Disney.
A brief history of Downtown Disney is available on the Marketplace Carousel.
Kid’s saying, “LOL WHAT?”
Great food in here, used to be hard to find a table…
…but they’ve added a lot more seating. Wise choice.
No, thank you!
Christmas is always in season at Downtown Disney.
This place smells wonderful and has so many cool things on which to attempt shoddy photography!
I love this ornament.
Sooo many new nutcrackers.
If I buy one, I’ll buy them all.
So, no.. not doing it.
BEL13VE IN HACK3RS.
Dopey all blinged out.
A Hidden Mickey inside the store. There are many.
So, you people online are really mad they’re going to “destroy” this sort of design and architecture? It’s tired, guys.
Though, inside, I find the sketch on which my iPhone case is based.
I love this store! My wallet does not.
I won’t buy these, either, because I’ll end up with all of them.
Awesome, for all the Country Bear Jamboree fans out there.
My personal favorite.
How much for the banner?
Can’t wait to see the finished volcano.
He’s never flown away.
Avoid it. Or don’t. Caloric heaven.
Thanks for the pics!
And the dinner!
This boat doesn’t set sail. Many guests didn’t believe my friend when he worked at the reservations center.
What a unique silhouette.
Back down the river.
Ships passing in the night.
French Quarter, star filter.
Riverside, star filter.
A whole different place by night!
Notice the top of the sign posts? Steamboat stacks.
I need to take a carriage ride someday.
He looks up to it.
Back into the lobby. There are great benches, each one topped with a different sign. This one indicates there’s food nearby…
The grand check-in area.
More steamboat smokestacks make up the columns in this room.
Wallpaper… I can’t find any Hidden Mickeys, but I always look.
Above the foyer.
Star-filtered in the foyer.
River Roost!! There’s a certain piano player here…
Also off this lobby, you’ll find Riverside’s general store.
I love this Mickey napkin… I wish there was a matching plate.
Above the shelves, you’ll find all sorts of rustic antiques.
Swampy! Of iOS fame!
These are just awesome displays. They move! Poor Goofy.
Some crate decorations…
Poor Donald, again.
Up to no good.
Not quite Kona coffee.
It’s open fairly late, for all your needs after a day on the river.
I’ll let you guess what the other three giant letters are…