You see them throughout Disney World: little princesses roaming the theme parks bedecked in their regal finery. After hobnobbing with Cinderella, Princess Aurora, and other crowned heads at the Magic Kingdom, why should the royal treatment end when families return to their hotels? Starting this March, little princesses and princes staying at the Port Orleans Riverside will be able to continue their pageantry -- provided Mom or Dad book one of the new Royal Guest Rooms.
The hotel is in the process of converting 512 of its rooms, which will include features such as Aladdin's Magic Carpet embedded into the carpeting and footstools straight out of Beauty and the Beast. I got a chance to tour one of the new rooms and found it charming. The color schemes, drapes, wall hangings, and other elements all conform to the royal theme. Little touches, such as tiny LED "fireworks" that explode in the headboards at the touch of a button will delight guests. None of the add-ons are overly showy, and the rooms are still essentially the same functional, comfortable rooms that can be found throughout Port Orleans and Disney's other Moderate Resorts.
Since it's Port Orleans, the backstory is that New Orleans'-based Princess Tiana, of The Princess and the Frog fame, is the hostess of the special rooms. The other Disney royals who visit her at her Disney World outpost leave behind tokens of their visits. The hotel's elegant buildings, while not exactly castle-like, resemble large Southern mansions and are nonetheless stately.
The Royal Guest Rooms command an extra $30 over the price of a standard Port Orleans Room and start at $198 per night. You can see photos of the rooms in my Royal Guest Rooms mini gallery.
Photo: © Arthur Levine, 2012. Licensed to About.com.