6 Transportation Options at Disney’s Riverside Resort (2024)

What are the options for transportation at Port Orleans Riverside Resort?

One issue that can be intimidating for many guests staying at Riverside is figuring out how to travel from the resort to the theme parks, shopping areas, and other Orlando area activities.

I know when our family travels to Disney, knowing our transportation options BEFORE arriving is incredibly comforting.

In this post, you will learn about all the modes of transportation available at Riverside so you know EXACTLY how to get where you need to go.

6 Transportation Options from Riverside Resort:

Option #1. Take a boat! (FREE)

boat transportation from riverside

The most fun way to get to Disney Springs from Port Orleans Riverside Resort is to ride on a boat!

Where will the boats at Riverside Resort take me?

The boats at Port Orleans Riverside take guests to and from Disney Springs, which is the shopping and dining epicenter of Disney World! There’s so much to do, it’s almost like an additional theme park:

  • Restaurants like T-REX Cafe (my son’s favorite), Raglan Road (my husband’s go-to), and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, which is my favorite restaurant at Disney World!
  • Shopping at designer boutiques, small shops, and themed gift stores like World of Disney and the Lego store.
  • Plenty of entertainment, including nighttime music performances and beautiful outdoor spaces to explore.

How do I get to the boat dock at Port Orleans Riverside?

To find the boat dock, walk out the back of the main building, where you check in. Keep walking until you reach the Sassagoula River. You should be able to see the boat dock, and there are signs pointing you in the right direction.

boat dock - transportation from riverside

The dock is just to the right as you exit the building, and you can’t miss it! The bridge to ‘Ol Man Island made a great backdrop for photos when our family stayed at Port Orleans a few years ago.

What will I see while riding on the boat from Port Orleans Riverside?

It’s a relaxing ride, with unique views as you travel. Along the way, you might see other resorts along the Sassagoula River, including Old Key West and Saratoga Springs. The ride ends at a boat dock near the Marketplace at Disney Springs. As you approach, you will see all the shops and restaurants on your right. Once you disembark, Disney Springs is just a short walk!

Lastly, the boats are typically scheduled to operate from Riverside to Disney Springs from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The last boat leaves to return to Riverside from Disney Springs at 11:30 p.m. But check these times when you arrive, as they are subject to change.

Option #2: Take the FREE Disney bus!

bus transportation from riverside

Did you know Disney World provides FREE bus transportation from Riverside to all the parks?

What is the bus schedule at Riverside?

In general, you can catch a bus to any park 45 minutes before it opens to 45 minutes before it closes. There are also screens at the bus stop that outline which parks and destinations are open, as well as when the next bus will arrive.

Where can I go on a bus from Riverside?

You can get to any location in Disney World by bus. Although it can be a little confusing at first, once you get the hang of the schedule and transfers, it’s easy to find your way around.

The buses at Riverside Resort provide direct service to:

  • Magic Kingdom: The bus ride is 7-10 minutes. It is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) away.
  • Epcot: It takes about 10 minutes to get to Epcot, and it’s 2.8 miles (4.5 km) away.
  • Hollywood Studios: The ride takes 10 minutes on average. It is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) away.
  • Animal Kingdom: The bus ride is typically between 10-15 minutes. It is 5.3 miles (8.5 km) away.
  • Disney Springs: The bus ride will take 5-10 minutes. It is 1.8 miles (2.9 km) away.

In addition, you can get to these locations from Port Orleans Riverside with ONE bus transfer.

  • Blizzard Beach: Take the bus from Riverside to Animal Kingdom. Then, get off the bus and find the shuttle going directly to Blizzard Beach.
  • Typhoon Lagoon: Take the bus from Riverside to Disney Springs. Then, get off the bus and find the bus going directly to Typhoon Lagoon.
  • ANY of the other Disney World Resorts: Do you have dinner reservations at the Wilderness Lodge? Or do you want to check out the Polynesian Resort for your next vacation? Luckily, it’s EASY to get to any of the other 20+ Disney hotels from Riverside using the free Disney bus transportation. All you need to do is take the bus to Disney Springs or the closest theme park. Then get off the shuttle and find the bus that goes directly to the resort you want to visit!
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports: Check with the front desk regarding bus transportation here. The schedule and operating hours change depending on what events are being held. If there are no direct buses, you must take a bus to one of the parks and transfer to ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Where is the bus stop at Port Orleans Riverside located?

There are four bus stops at Port Orleans Riverside, so no matter where you stay at the resort, one will be close by. Just step out of your resort building and follow the signs to the nearest one.

As you can imagine, since the buses do not cost anything extra, they’re the most popular way to travel. However, at certain times of the day, like during dinner time, you might experience a bit of a line to board the bus. So give yourself plenty of time to arrive for a reservation or show.

Option #3: Drive yourself!

One nice thing about staying at Port Orleans Riverside is that parking at the parks is FREE! Seriously, it’s rare for anything to be free at Disney World. 🙂

Getting in your car (if you have one) and driving yourself is an often overlooked way to go from Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside to the parks. It’s probably the fastest way to travel since you don’t have to wait for someone to pick you up.

The driving distance around Walt Disney World is reasonable, and it’s easy to navigate with a little practice and a GPS. There are parking lots at each of the parks. Pay attention to where you park, as some of these lots are HUGE, and it can be hard to find your car again.

Option #4: Take an Uber/Lyft from Riverside

If you don’t want to wait for the bus or boat, using a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) from the Port Orleans Riverside Resort is easy.

How do I use a rideshare app at Port Orleans Riverside?

Calling an Uber or Lyft to Riverside is simple. Just open the app and select your destination, and you will be matched with a driver within seconds.

It’s important that you mark your location CORRECTLY in the app to avoid any delays. No matter which building you are staying in, there will be a parking lot nearby, offering plenty of room for your driver to pick you up. There is also plenty of space outside the front lobby for your driver to pick you up.

Between Uber and Lyft, there are a lot of drivers cruising around. Almost every time I’ve used a rideshare to the parks, I’ve had to wait less than 10 minutes to get picked up. 🙂

Where can I go with an Uber or Lyft from Riverside?

One of the best things about using a rideshare service is it can take you anywhere, whether you want to stay at Disney World or not!

If you want to reach your destination quickly, using a rideshare service is the way to go. This option can save a lot of time, especially if you just missed the bus. I would also advise using a rideshare if you have an early breakfast at another resort!

transportation from riverside around orlando

In addition, there are so many things to do outside of Disney World. An Uber or Lyft can get you to any of these places:

  • Sea World <– One of my favorite places. 🙂
  • Universal Theme Parks
  • Downtown Orlando
  • Restaurants, parks, etc. Honestly, you can go anywhere you want!

Finally, this option is surprisingly cost-effective (especially on the Disney scale!) The one-way fare from Riverside averages under $15. If you have limited time to travel to your destination, I think it is money well spent!

Option #5: Ride in a MINNIE VAN

riverside transportation using a minnie van

Lyft has partnered with Disney World to provide MINNIE VANS, which are Minnie Mouse-themed mini-vans!  A big benefit of using a Minnie Van is that DISNEY CAST MEMBERS drive them. I know many people like this fact because the drivers are Disney employees, which provides additional peace of mind.

But in addition to a Disney Cast Member driving, there are a few additional benefits of a Minnie Van.

  • They can fit up to SIX people.
  • The fare includes two car seats, which your driver will install for you.
  • These vans can fit scooters and wheelchairs, but please pre-arrange your ride if you need this service.

How do I get a Minnie Van to pick me up at Riverside?

While using the Lyft app inside the resort, choose your destination. Then, order the Minnie Van to come and pick you up. Once you’ve ordered your ride, you can track where your driver is in the app so you know exactly when to meet them.

While this option is fun, as you can see above, it is more expensive than a regular Lyft vehicle. Although I wouldn’t use it as my primary way to get around Disney World, it is fun for a special treat or a way to get to your destination quickly!

Option #6: Take a TAXI from the Riverside Resort

I know some people don’t like using Uber or Lyft because they don’t know about the person driving or don’t feel comfortable using the app. If this describes you, calling a traditional taxi company for a ride is easy.

Taking a taxi has many of the same benefits as rideshares, such as not waiting for a bus. But of course, you must pay for the taxi ride, where the Disney buses are free.

If you want to take a taxi from Port Orleans Riverside Resort, I recommend calling Mears Taxi, a well-known and trusted company in the Orlando area. You can even schedule and book your ride online.

Related Posts:

Can I walk to any parks from Port Orleans Riverside?

No, there are no walking paths between Port Orleans and the parks. Plus, the walking distance is too far.

However, you can walk to Port Orleans – French Quarter, which has additional shops, restaurants, and a Mardi-Gras-themed pool!

Can I ride on the Disney Skyliner from Port Orleans Riverside?

The short answer to this question is NO. There is no boarding station for the Skyliner at Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

If you want a Skyliner boarding station at your hotel, stay at the Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation, or Pop Century.

Does the Disney Monorail operate at Port Orleans Riverside?

monorail at disney

No, the monorail has no boarding station at the Riverside. If you want monorail service from your hotel, you need to stay at Contemporary, Polynesian Village, or the Grand Floridian Resort.

What is your favorite way to travel from the Riverside Resort – Port Orleans?

Leave a COMMENT below!

Lindsey Dahle
Lindsey Dahle

Lindsey has been writing at Resort Rat since 2023. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for travel, especially to Disney destinations. She is passionate about helping others make the most of their travel. Lindsey's home base is a quiet neighborhood with a pond and woods, but her home is wherever her husband and two kids are.

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