When we got to our bus stop, there was another party waiting at it. This was a rare sight for us, but it wasn’t a big deal…at first.
It turned out that they were going to Port Orleans – French Quarter, and the bus was going to stop there first.
I had intended upon taking a few photos at Port Orleans – Riverside before going to bed, anyway, and since Riverside is a short walk from French Quarter, I figured, “why not?” and got off the bus at French Quarter for a few quick photos before walking back to Riverside.
Much like “just one photo” is never only one photo, “a few quick photos” is seldom only a few photos and is never quick. I ended up taking dozens of photos of the cool alligators around the grounds of French Quarter, along with the pool, and some other random things.
I think these alligators really enhance the theme of Port Orleans – French Quarter. Even though they’re not Disney characters, per se, they give the resort a bit of whimsy instead of attempting to cast it as a faithful recreation of the French Quarter. As skilled as the Imagineers are at theming, they will never be able to do complete justice to the real thing–regardless of the theme–the best way around this is to theme to a stylized version and whimsical version of the real thing.
After I was done shootin’ gators, I began walking back toward Port Orleans – Riverside. Although I’ve never floated along the bayou, the walk reminded me of that, as the warm, dim lights really kept true to theme even in the area between the two resorts. It’s details like this that most people don’t think about or even notice, but help sell the theme. Guests may not realize why they think they’re down on the bayou, but they think it. These unnoticed details are a big reason why.
Although I only have a handful of photos here to show for my time shooting at Port Orleans – Riverside, I actually spent a ton of time wandering around outside snapping shots. I’ll have more ready later, but suffice to say, the grounds are absolutely gorgeous. Even though I prefer the theme of Caribbean Beach Resort more (the cheery feel of the tropics is just more appealing), I think the execution of the theme is better at Riverside. As I said in our Moderate Resort Rankings, Port Orleans – Riverside is a moderate in terms of price, but it has Deluxe-level theming.
Sarah, who had taken the bus back to Riverside and presumably had been in bed for a while at this point, called to ask where the heck I was. Realizing that it was already after 2 am and we wanted to arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by 7 am the next morning, I packed up my gear and headed to bed after her call.
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