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This Disney World hotel room will make your family feel like royalty

Oct. 02, 2022
6 min read
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"Hello, princess!" It's a friendly greeting you often hear from Disney cast members and, despite my age and lack of royal family members, it really does make me feel a bit more regal. On a recent visit to Disney World, I decided it was time to take my rightful place on the throne by staying in a room fit for a princess such as myself at Disney's Port Orleans Resort — Riverside.

The overall design of the resort was inspired by the Louisiana Bayou, with a lobby themed to a steamship ticket station, a saw-mill-themed waterslide at the pool and a well-stocked fishing pond. Most guests stay in rooms that have a Southern feel and subtle nods to "The Princess and the Frog," which was set in New Orleans — but I am not most guests. Luckily, I found suitable accommodations in one of the resort's "Royal Guest Rooms."

If you, too, want the royal treatment on your next Disney World vacation, here's a look at what you can expect from the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Resort — Riverside.

The entrance is grand

TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

The stately white-columned mansions that house the Royal Guest Rooms are situated on the banks of the Sassagoula River. To reach them, you must cross a bridge from the main section of the resort where the pool, dining and check-in areas are. Once you reach the other side, the walkway leads you to a series of buildings with well-manicured lawns, flowing fountains and grand staircases (elevators are also available).

TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

My room was in the Parterre Place building, which had the added royal touch of banners bearing the names of Disney princesses on light poles throughout the courtyard.

Note that the buildings are quite far from the main area of the hotel. The luggage attendant did offer me a golf cart ride (alas, not a horse and carriage) to my room so that I wouldn't have to lug my suitcase all that way. I declined, but I appreciate that they offer that service.

Your favorite Disney stories are represented

As soon as I stepped into the room, I noticed decorative elements themed to Disney's princess films. Portraits of Ariel, Belle, Jasmine and their friends adorned the wall next to the bed, banners with silhouettes of their suitors hung in the entryway and Aladdin's magic carpet was woven into the carpet pattern.

At every turn, I noticed more details that played into the princess theme. The oak furniture was accented with gold filigree, the shower curtain was designed with gold starfish, sand dollars and "dinglehoppers" from "The Little Mermaid, and the sink faucet was shaped like the genie's golden lamp from "Aladdin."

All of the practical aspects of the room were the same as any standard room at a moderate Disney resort. The room had a minifridge, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, hair dryer and vanity area outside of the bathroom.

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Tiana is the star of the show

While quite a few princesses are represented, Princess Tiana featured most prominently. There was a large, ornately-framed portrait of Tiana hanging above a red-and-gold upholstered bench and a letter from Tiana herself welcoming me to the room and inviting me to make myself at home and enjoy making magical memories during my stay.

The standout feature of these royal guest rooms is the beds. The headboards stretch all the way to the ceiling and are painted with a nighttime bayou scene in shades of deep blue and purple. When you press a small button on the side of the bed, the headboards magically come to life as fireworks burst into the sky above the swamp and fireflies light up the night. Let's just say, I pressed that button more times than you might think an adult would.

A few amenities are outdated

Most rooms at Port Orleans — Riverside had been renovated by the time the resort reopened after Disney World's temporary pandemic closure, but most of the Royal Guest Rooms were left untouched. For the most part, I considered this a good thing because I was impressed by the intricate theming, but it did mean that a few amenities were outdated.

There were no USB ports anywhere in the room and the television was smaller and older than I've seen in other hotel rooms at Disney World. Most now have newer remote controls with channel guides and other features, but this one forced you to scroll through every channel and didn't do much else.

The location is serene

While this was my first time in a royal guest room, it wasn't my first time at Disney's Port Orleans Resort. I've previously stayed at French Quarter, Riverside's sister property, and it quickly became one of my favorite Disney resorts.

I love the quiet, waterfront setting and the walking paths along which you can explore the resort. The area surrounding the resort is wooded and the architecture feels so authentically Louisiana (especially the New Orleans-themed rooms at Port Orleans — French Quarter). Thanks to its location along the Sassagoula River, I was also able to take a leisurely ferry ride from the hotel over to Disney Springs.

The price is relatively reasonable

When discussing prices at Disney World, everything is relative. I wouldn't necessarily call the Royal Guest Rooms a "budget-friendly option," but the price is only slightly more per night than a standard room at Port Orleans — Riverside. Using a sample date of Feb. 15, 2023, a standard river view room costs $364.00 per night plus tax. A Royal Guest Room with a river view is only $17 more, at $381 per night plus tax.

Bottom line

To some, the princess decor in Disney's Port Orleans Resort — Riverside Royal Guest Rooms may feel over the top, but if your family is princess-obsessed, the theming is spot on — and the price difference between a standard room and a room fit for royalty is minimal.

Featured image by TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more