Disney Q: Why'd they change the name of Dixie Landings?

Apparently they changed the name of Dixie landings to Port Orleans Riverside. Why?

Port Orleans was the similar hotel area down the street. It was also very nice, but wasn’t quite as cool.

Disney didn’t say why. There are two popular theories.

  1. They wanted to get away from a plantation setting out of fears it might be insensitive or remind people of slavery. At the same time they changed the hotel’s name, they also changed the name of the food court from the “Colonel’s Cotton Mill”, and the lounge from the “Cotton Co-op”.

  2. It was doing better business than the Port Orleans (Now the Port Orleans French Quarter), and they hoped that, by tying the two together, it would increase occupancy in the less popular hotel.

I don’t suppose anyone ever pointed out ot them that New Orleans was a huge center of the slave trade and served as a destination for saves from other areas of the South. Being “sold downriver” usually meant to New Orleans’ markets.

I don’t know if anyone did or not, but “New Orleans” still doesn’t scream out slavery the way that “antebellum cotton plantation” does, even though there was a good deal of slavery in New Orleans. People are more likely to associate it with jazz, or Mardi Gras, or riverboats, or something like that.

Also when I think of having a good time a cotton plantation does not pop into my mind, even without thinking of slavery. The French Quarter is fun, picking cotton not so much.

Just out of curiousity, what in particular are we talking about? It helps to provide a reference or something to act as a way of being on the same page. :slight_smile:

There was a hotel in DisneyWorld called the “Dixie Landings Resort”. In 2001, Disney changed the name of the hotel to the “Port Orleans Resort Riverside”. (Disney had another hotel called the “Port Orleans Resort”, that, at the same time, it changed the name to the “Port Orleans Resort French Quarter”.)

Ironically, Dixie Landings is and remains much more fun than Port Orleans.

Dixie Landings (or Riverside, if you prefer) is my favorite hotel on their property. Wait, scratch that, it’s my favorite hotel I’ve ever been to. Beautiful, clean, vast, and the walk around the river is awesome. Hell, it even has it’s own island!

We just returned (on Sunday!) from a week in Disney. We spent 6 nights at the Wilderness Lodge, and it was absolutely fantastic! We had a room overlooking the pool, geyser, and the lake. The Pacific Northwest lodge decor was just beautiful.

We had so much fun, we decided to stay an extra night at Disney, but could only get a room at the Yacht Club. While the pool there was great, we didn’t much like the place. Too snooty, not family-friendly in the least, and our room was six wings away from the front desk. Plus, I get enough of the whole New England theme here where I live.

I’m trying to organize a return trip in a couple of years with more of my extended family, and was seriously considering Port Orleans Riverside. Being a moderate resort, it would be cheaper for the larger group.

My wife is concerned that Riverside is so far from the Magic Kingdom. Any issues with transportation?

Also, the bus stops appeared to be pretty distant from the rooms. Any concerns with the length of the walk from the rooms to the stops?

Finally, how does Riverside compare with the deluxe resorts?


A couple of years ago I (along with my wife, her dad, and his wife) stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, which was perfectly adequate for our purposes. The rooms were pretty standard; small, but comfortable. And let’s face it, at Disney World, that’s all you need. The room is just where you go for sleeping and showering before and after having fun elsewhere.

I can’t speak for the rooms at Riverside, but it’s a beautiful property; we went there many times for strolls and for breakfast (try the banana-stuffed French toast). It does look very spread out, so walking to the bus stops may take a while, but have you ever thought about how much walking you do at Disney World in general? The walk to the bus stop is the shortest bit of it all. And I recall that the buses always stopped at Riverside after French Quarter on the way to the parks, so you’re at least one stop closer at Riverside. Not to mention, Riverside has water taxi service to Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island, which is a pretty cool ride.

I’ve never stayed at one of the deluxe resorts, but from what I hear, there’s a big step up. That’s not to say that you’ll be super-disappointed if you stay at Port Orleans; like I said, it’s perfectly fine, but it’s not five-star.

And ironically you can’t go into the water at the Yacht Club or the nearby Beach Resort (unless you’re in a boat,) but you can go into the near waterpark quality slides and pools there! Never stayed there, but the slide at Wilderness Lodge was better than most waterparks even though it’s really short (no line, and you can go fast as heck because you’re not on a tube.)

The Wilderness Lodge was the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at: clean, classy, atmospheric, and lots of amenities (and did I mention the water slide?)

The water slide at Wilderness Lodge was OK, but didn’t really compare to the water park, IMHO. The one at the Yacht/Beach Club came close, though. You slide down inside a 100-foot long “mast” that looks like it fell over from a derelict ship, then hit a series of curves before ending up in a pool. The pools were great, too. There were three of them, including a “lazy river,” and all of them had a coarse sand bottom. One of them even had a sand beach–alongside a pool!

At lakeside, they did have a sand beach and a fire pit. Now that you mention it, nobody was in the water, but I didn’t see any signs prohibiting it. However, no swim area was marked off, so swimming probably wasn’t allowed. I did step into the water though–the whole New England feel was dashed when I felt 80 degree lake water on my feet!

All in all, though, I agree with you. Wilderness Lodge was far preferable in every other respect. Despite the great pools and slide, I’d never stay at the Yacht or Beach Club again. Wilderness Lodge was just fantastic. We felt like we were in a beautiful, isolated spot, even though the hotel had over 800 rooms. The Yacht Club felt much more crowded, and the staff there were not very family-friendly. We only encountered a few downright rude Disney employees in our week, and they were all at the Yacht Club.

We stayed there this summer and the walk to the bus stops wasn’t a big deal - maybe 5 minutes. The biggest navigation problem was, the place consists of numerous buildings and it’s hard to find the direction you want to go. There are signs but honestly they’re not that helpful. We made frequent wrong turns. The signage to get to the pool was pretty bad, too.

Transportation wasn’t a problem - maybe a 10-15 minute bus ride (though you might have to wait 5-10 minutes for the bus). Of course, if you’re leaving the park at the end of the day, the buses can be so crowded that you have to wait for the next bus to come along. That’s true at any resort though.

Can’t comment on the deluxe resorts, except that they have fancier landscaping and public areas and nicer restaurants onsite. We thought about getting rooms at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (bunkbeds woulda been nice for the kids) but decided the extra few hundred dollars (for 6 nights) would not be worth it. We did eat dinner at Animal Kingdom, and Polynesian, on 2 separate evenings, so we got to take advantage of the public areas.

The two times I stayed at Disney it was in Shades of Green so I wouldn’t know from experience. I was just commenting about the marketing.