Guest Review: Riverside Mill Food Court at Disney World’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Please welcome guest author Emma Stewart as she reviews the Riverside Mill Food Court at Port Orleans Riverside Resort in Walt Disney World!

Imagine you’re strolling through the bayou twilight: crickets chirping, fireflies glowing, a water wheel spinning lazily next to the river.

Stroll on up just past the water wheel and around the corner, and you’ll find a cheerful-looking building that is the perfect spot for dinner.

Welcome to Riverside Mill, the food court at Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Now when it comes to food courts, usually you’ll just stick to the one at whatever resort you happen to be staying . But my family will often make an extra trip just to enjoy the Mill’s cozy charm and delicious entrees.

Riverside Mill from the Outside.


The dining area at Riverside Mill is quite spacious, with lots of lofty wooden beams. The most striking part about it is the mill apparatus that stretches over the drinks station and all the way to the other side of the room, where the water wheel is right outside the windows.

The Dining Area.

The cogs and wheels above you turn lazily, and it feels like it could be a real, working mill! In fact, as far as the more engineering-minded persons in my family have been able to discern, it seems to be a working mechanism that does turn the water wheel outside!

Mill Workings over the Beverage Station.

The dining area is carpeted, which is unique for a food court and may be what makes the space feel so cozy.

I also love the mismatched chairs grouped around every table. Back by the window, furthest from the food service area, there are two big round tables tucked away – my favorite spot!

A Moss-like Carpet adds to the Riverside Ambiance.

Riverside isn’t one of the resorts that tends to attract huge conventions or tour groups, so the food court is usually very quiet and relaxed. Though depending on when you go, you may find yourself singing and dancing along with the cast members up by the cash registers!

There’s a pre-recorded loop with a very charismatic voice that invites you to get up and join in on the Riverside celebration. The song goes: “It’s time to clap our hands (Clap! Clap!) down at the Riverside!” Then the next verse goes: “It’s time to slap our knees down at the Riverside!” and so on. Really cute!


The Riverside Mill is your typical market-style Disney food court, so there are multiple stations where you can order different eats – sandwiches and wraps, hot foods from the grill, or pizza and pasta.

Salads and Sandwiches, Straight Ahead!

Comfort Food!

Sandwiches Ready to Go!

At the pasta station flames sizzle up out of the pan as the chefs cook up your order right before your eyes. They have a create-your-own option where you can pick and choose exactly what sort of pasta you’d like.

Hint: the Pesto Pasta is Delicious!

Disney burgers can be hit or miss; the burger at the Mill is definitely a hit – juicy and delicious. The chipotle-barbecue burger with all the fixings – big onion rings, bacon, cheese, and that tangy bbq sauce – just. so. good.

Angus Chipotle-Barbecue Cheeseburger.

And don’t forget the fries!

A Mountain of Gorgeous Golden Fries…YUM.

The bakery station has a wonderful selection of various treats. And a restaurant is only as good as its desserts, right? :-)

However you look at it, there are plenty of options when it comes to an after-dinner sweet!

An Array of Cakes.

Every time I’ve eaten here, there seems to be some new, lovely-looking cobbler. Usually you’ll find a delectable apple tart as well!

A Variety of Cobblers.

And I always have to get a look at the cupcakes! No fancy flavors here, just good old chocolate or vanilla, but very tasty.

Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Icing.

Interesting fact: the Riverside Mill is one of the few places on property where you will find Hi-C Fruit Punch.

Drinks Station.

I also love the old-fashioned fellow on the Pick-A-Mug signs at the refillable mug stations.

The Mug Fellow!


If I could pick up the Riverside Mill food court and move it to my neighborhood, I would. It’s the sort of place that you want to come to again and again – you know the food is going to be tasty and the atmosphere relaxed. Disney food courts can be hectic places, but this one manages to keep that laid-back Southern charm!

Emma is a writer, photographer, Disney cupcake aficionado, and former Disney cast member. Check out her blog over at A Pinch of Pixie Dust.

Share your experiences at the Riverside Mill Food Court, or tell us your favorite Walt Disney World food court in the comments below!


  1. Nancy says

    I’m staying at the Port Orleans Riverside for my first trip in June and this post just got me very excited (and hungry)!

  2. Fran says

    Riverside Mill is a great food court; much better than some of the quick service locations at deluxe resorts. The make-your-own pasta is a huge, fresh made serving that can easily be shared!

  3. Kelly says

    I am currently at Port Orleans Riverside or as my son calls it Aunt Merlines Riverside Mill. We have stayed here the last several years and eat at Riverside Mill several times a year. The cast members are always really friendly and we always have a good meal. Several of our favorites are the carved turkey dinner and the strawberry cheesecake. I have gotten such great tips from your blog ( Norway’s School bread -AMAZING :) and was tickled to be in the spot you are reviewing while reading your review.

  4. Paul says

    We were there a few months ago and loved the atmosphere. Never really crowded and when the castmembers start the parade singing ‘Down by the riverside’ the whole place comes alive!

  5. Jill D says

    I think this place used to be Dixie Landings Resort. I stayed there in the early 90’s and just remember the same feeling of charm and relaxation. I think I will take a trip over there on our next trip. Thanks for the review!

  6. Kathi G says

    My husband and myself staied at the French Quarter. We would walk by the river over to River Side. The pasta station is wonderful. It was delicious and we enjoyed the relaxing walk.

  7. Jenny says

    My family is going to POR next year, and have never been to this resort. You made it sound so yummy, and now I’m even more excited. :)
    Thank you.

  8. Gabriella B. says

    We’ve never tried the food court at Riverside, we’ll have to do so on our next trip. The burgers look really good! Our favourite go-to food court even though we’ve never stayed at the resort is Landscape of Flavors at the Art of Animation resort because they offer unique choices like curry/tandoori, create-your-own-pasta and gelato for dessert (pistachio and almond are amazing!).

  9. Julie says

    I know it’s just standard chocolate cake, but the cake they have there is one of my favorites! Love to stock up on snack credits and buy a bunch of slices at the end of my trip, then bring them home and freeze them. DELICIOUS!

  10. michael stapf says

    i’m going there in july, the only thing i don’t like is you have to go to french quarter to order Beingets, but that’s okay, i’m really excited about staying at POR, let the good times roll!

  11. gillian smith says

    We stayed at Riverside in February, and ate at Riverside Mill several times. It’s a great food court. I had the tuna sandwich with homemade chips 3 times I think — it was fantastic. The create-your-own pasta is wonderful and the portions are HUGE! Really enjoyed this food court, and look forward to going back.

  12. Sandy from Connecticut says

    We stayed at all the moderate hotels, and this is our favorite food court. Great atmosphere, easy and roomy to maneuver around with kids, and best of all, has traditional American cuisine that the kids recognize and love.

  13. Karen says

    We were just at Port Orleans-Riverside (we still call it Dixie Landings sometimes!) last week for the 10th time. We’ve stayed at all the moderate resorts and Riverside is our favorite by far. One of the things we love is the food court. We only had 1 meal there – breakfast – this time, but the omelet station was great… lots of choices for fillings; a couple cheeses, meats and veggies – yum!

  14. says

    The chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting at Riverside Mill are my wife’s favorite food in the world. Or at least the Disney World. We came home with a big box full.

  15. Phil says

    No mention of magic cookie bars? For shame… That alone is a good reason to swing by POR.

  16. Carol says

    Love the Riverside Mill! My family always stays at French Quarter (our favourite resort) but we really enjoy the pretty and peaceful walk by the river to enjoy a meal at Riverside. As others have posted, the create-your-own pasta station is awesome, and I also love the create-your-own salad station as a lighter, healthier alternative. My husband loves the burgers and sandwiches and the bakery section is wonderful (love the magic cookie bars and red velvet cake!)

  17. Shanna says

    I adore this resort and I ended up eating at the food court here much more than I thought I would. Seriously do not miss the carrot cake. Worth a visit to this resort just for that.

  18. Scott says

    POR has been my home away from home for about fifteen years….the red velvet cake and sour cream icing is worth every calorie and possible diabetic coma. If its a Wednesday through Saturday night after, say 8:30, and you hear a commotion…..follow your ears, and take a snack to the Rivers’ Roost to join in the festivities with Yeehaa Bob Jackson’s show. It’s join along fun for young and old.

  19. Michael says

    Great review. We are staying at Riverside this June and glad to hear we have a go to place during our stay. Any information on breakfast at the Mill?

  20. Shalyn says

    Stayed at POFQ in January. Walked over to Riverside at least 4 times to eat at the mill. Great variety for our group of children and adults. Our last morning headed over to breakfast at the Mill and I had quick service credits left. Asked the manager if I could get some sandwiches to take to the airport with me. Fifteen minutes later out walks the chef with a big bag in his hand full of freshly made sandwiches, chips and cookies! Great customer service.

  21. Anne says

    We are currently staying at Riverside. The food court is great if you time it right so that you arrive after the song is done…so about six minutes after the hour. It’s ok the first time you hear it but at 7:00am it’s a bit much. The staff is friendly. The chocolate cake is dry and not worth the price. Super star breakfast is the oatmeal with fruit and granola! Cheaper and tasty meal is to split a large pizza made hot and fresh to order.

  22. nancy says

    We have stayed at Riverside a couple of times and always enjoy the food court. We will be back again in December and am looking forward to the great choices in the food court. We also really enjoy the lounge with the piano man.

  23. Michael R says

    Riverside Mill was our go to place since we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside. I was happy to discover that the food and service was above average. The turkey dinner and pasta station was a big hit with my family. The breakfast offerings were also very good.

  24. Dave says

    Just back from this place, food is on par with typical shopping center/mall fast food court. Burgers and fries where actually pretty poor, even McDonalds makes a better burger. Only good thing is the pasta, that was ok.

    It is an amusement park; very little variety, food quality the same as a shopping center and $5 more

  25. Joni says

    Can you take food from the Riverside Mill into the River Roost Lounge?
    Want to take my Granddaughter to see Yee Ha Bob and she would not eat anything on the Lounge Menu? Same Resort so just wondering?

  26. Justin says

    We stayed at Dixie Landings throughout the 1990s and even with the name change to Riverside (one management staff for French Quarter and Riverside is cheaper and better from a logistical standpoint than two separate groups), the lodging and food are still great. My family has always enjoyed the carved turkey dinner; they put plenty of food on your plate. And the dessert options are great, the cherry cobbler is delicious. In my opinion, the other moderate resorts don’t have quite the selection Riverside does. Disney being as guest-oriented as it is, you should have no problem bringing food down to the Lounge.

  27. says

    Many, many trips to Riverside and Port Orleans —
    This last visit in mid February to Riverside resulted in a less-than favorable assessment of the restaurant facility .
    We indulged in breakfast and in error ( in retrospect ) I went for the french toast — upon ordering the product was literally tossed from one end of the counter to the other — and served hastily without the items pictured and ordered — bacon and sausage. I asked for that addition and received a rather abrupt ” OK ” ..items added accordingly and slid to me .
    Paid and then found that breakfast was absolutely cold and following the above “service ” I elected NOT to complain and simply leave.
    This was decidedly NOT Disney but it did produce memories !! And I’m a pass holder too !
    A meal will not be on my future schedule.

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